The Story of How It Went Down

So glad @coreyschmidt and @clettenberg moved back to Columbia. ¬†Though, it seems that whenever the four of us get together, Ryan gets tipsy ūüėõ

Me and My Guys!

Brotasticness

They say a picture is worth one thousand words, so instead of using my memory, which is probably a little flakey after the night, to recall the evening, I’ll just post the pictures with captions. ¬†These pictures were taken totally out of context. ¬†It’s kinda hilarious, to me, how they worked out, considering they were totally random, slightly, drunken photos.

Corey is Swept Off His Feet

Corey is Swept Off His Feet

And Then it Got Interesting...

Then it Got Interesting...

And Then it Got Interesting...

And Then it Got Out of Focus

And Corey Got Pissed!

Ryan wanted to Join in On the Fun but Corey Wouldn't Have It!

So Corey Decided to Mark His Territory, Chase.

So Corey Decided to Mark His Territory. Chase Attempts to Block Corey's Advances, unsuccessfully I Might Add.

Then, Corey Has an Epiphany!

And then Corey Had an Epiphany!

Then Ryan Tried to Join In

Maybe They Really Can All Be "Friends!"

And So It Was, Two Became Three!

And So It Was, Two Became Three, and They Drank, Happily, Ever, After.

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Touching Down in Memphis

So I’ve finally made it home, after a month and a half out of the state and away from my home and friends, I’m back.

And it feels great! ¬†Last night I went out with some friends for dinner (including tweeps @Chadd65203, @akikooda and @beauaero), bumped into even more friends (@coreyschmidt, @alexandrabrant) at the restaurant and had just a wonderful time. ¬†It’s funny, how much Ryan and I complain about Columbia only for me to ultimately miss it when I leave town for a bit.

I might have been breaking FAA rules by keeping my phone on (in airplane mode!) while we took our final decent into Memphis International Airport. ¬†The view as we touched down reminded me of one of my favorite We Are Voices songs…

So I turned it into a video using my iPhone 3GS, iMovie and their amazing album, What Makes Us So Alive? which you can get by clicking that link to iTunes. ¬†They play some great concerts too, in fact I’ll be at their August 23 show at the Cherry Street Artisan, right here in Columbia Missouri.

Without any further ado…

Goodbye Houston…

Downtown Houston Sunset

Downtown Houston Texas

It’s pretty crazy to think how long I’ve been away from Columbia and Ryan and the rest of my friends. ¬†While I’ve had a great to amazing time here in Texas, it is time for me to go home and get ready for the upcoming semester, as well as act on all the job opportunities I’ve been given, before I’m totally overwhelmed and don’t complete any of them…… rutroh.

I drove to Rockport Texas in a last minute effort to squeeze a little more out of my time here. ¬†There I visited with my cousins, David, Susan and Katie. ¬†David has got to be one of my best friends in the world. ¬†The only person who I’ve ever gotten along with so well that we’ve never had a disagreement or argument. ¬†We grew up as best friends, moved to California together and have continued to maintain a great, though sadly quite distant, relationship. ¬†It was so wonderful to see the three of them, though I really do wish Stephanie, the fourth in this cluster of cousins, could have been there.

We made dinner, I baked a cake and we had a totally random, Cake and a Movie Night.  It was just such a wonderful, relaxing and emotionally fulfilling time together.

Tomorrow morning… well, in 9 hours, I’ll be heading to the airport to fly into Columbia. ¬†I should probably get myself to sleep but the anxiety of the day ahead of me is nearly too much for me to handle! ¬†An ambien would be wonderful right about now.

It isn’t just the stress of so much work to get done when I get home, it’s also the excitement of seeing Ryan, Chadd, Karen, Laura, Eric, Josh, Pheobe, Max Brittany… (@kaleb1983, @chadd65203, @ok2baprincess, @bigred77, @ericcox, @brooding_soul, @fotofobe, @madmax69 @aurablush) and the news that Chase, Corey (@clettenberg, @coreyschmidt) and Sam will be (fingers crossed) moving back to Columbia.

I’ll just have to take it all head on… starting in 8 or so hours. ¬†Until then, goodnight!

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Feeling a Little Homesick

I’ve been here in Texas or in California for a month now. ¬†While I absolutely love traveling and working here in Texas, being away from my home, my friends and Ryan is really starting to grate on me.

Apartment Living Room

Apartment Living Room

The time spent away from home this summer is the longest I’ve been away from Columbia since I moved to California. ¬†While it’s not unusual for me to spend my summers traveling around the country and then some; I typically make trips back home to recharge between trips. ¬†So far this summer I’ve slept in nine beds, I’ve driven thousands of miles, I’ve flown three flights and I’ve eaten out at around 50 different restaurants.

It’s been a great trip. ¬†With still a few days left working at the office here, I’ve accomplished most of my goals. ¬†I’ve visited several professional photographers and even got to sit in on a few photo shoots. ¬†I’ve made fantastic contacts and have been offered four jobs! ¬†I also accomplished conquering 12 hours of university courses, which is like 3-5 credits more than the university would normally allow!

My Capstone is complete.  My internship is complete.

But all of these accomplishments don’t compare to missing the ones you love. ¬†I’m counting down the days until my flight back to Columbia where I’ll meet @Chadd65203 for a ride to Ryan’s. ¬†Then I’ll hop in my car and drive to see Ryan at work. ¬†Wow, 38 days apart? ¬†It’s insanity, it’s never happened before. ¬†A week apart is one thing, but to not see him for nearly the length of Lent?! ¬†Never would have anticipated that.

Pretty soon though, we’ll all be back to together, I say, let’s hit up Cooper’s Landing, what do you think @kaleb1983 @ok2baprincess @bigred77 @ericcox?

Dinner at Coopers Landing

Dinner at Cooper's Landing

Tomorrow will be yet another work-packed day. ¬†We’ve still got a lot to accomplish before I head back to Houston on Saturday. ¬†August 2nd is my birthday, third year in a row that I’ve missed celebrating it with Ryan!

Alright friends, it’s time to close my eyes for a bit. ¬†Catch you guys on the flip-side!

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I Miss My Boys

My dear friend Karen aka @ok2baprincess always refers to her “boys” as the important guys in her life, her closest male friends.

Being a gay male, you’d think that I have a lot of really close gay friends, like you see on television. ¬†Well, TV lies. ¬†I do have a few great gay friends but really… in Columbia, besides my amazing incredible beautiful wonderful boyfriend… I only have two or three super close gay friends.

I won’t name them… you know who you are.

So, when I say “my boys” I mean the guys in Columbia that for any particular amount of time were of the most importance to me. ¬†In particular we’ve got Chase and Corey ( @clettenberg and @coreyschmidt respectively). ¬†They are of the awesome band, Scouts (check them out at http://scoutsmusic.com or on their MySpace).

The band recently moved outta town, off to Kansas City Missouri, you know, where all the big bands really make it… Well… hopefully that’ll be the case for them.

Ever since, my life has been a little empty. ¬†I miss the late night bad decisions they helped me make, the trips to the tattoo parlors where I drunkenly asked for full sleeves and various body piercings. ¬†There’s the incredibly open conversations about sex, relationships and emotions that I don’t think I could have with any other friend. ¬†I miss Chase’s insults on my clothing, taste in music, taste in television, taste in movies, taste in… well my taste period. ¬†I miss the apparent battle between Chase and Corey for who could wear the gayest outfit, the tightest jeans, the deepest v-necks.

I miss their concerts, taking their pictures, shooting the shit with the band and just generally experiencing all the good, and bad, that we all went through together.  Breakups, new relationships, shit jobs, shit classes, you get the point.

I miss the random trips to St. Louis to hang with Chase’s insane(ly awesome) cousin and the completely EPIC beer pong tournaments at Corey’s apartment.

Bottom line, I miss my boys. And Chase coming into town the other day, seeing a movie with him and Karen at RagTag Cinema just brought back all those positive memories.

Soon I’ll be moving to California, well in about a year. ¬†There I will be reunited with all of my old wonderful friends. ¬†Meanwhile, I have a few of those really special friends in Columbia; as time passes and external forces push us away, again I will look fondly at the times we had together.

So here’s a cheers to my best brotastic friends, even if they abandoned me here in the great abyss that is Mid Missouri.

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The Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake

The full title of this post should be…

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Michael (@mdanbom) joined me in making this delicious cake for the last Cake and a Movie night (#CaaM) which happened last night.

We had a wonderful crowd come over…

@laurenreid, @aurablush, @taylorjm10, @ok2baprincess, @brooding_soul, @savannahbrooke and @coreyschmidt.

It was suggested that we watch Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and it was a great film. But I’m a sucker for Michael Cera and Kat Dennings; oh and any movie with a band full of really hot gay guys, especially when the gay characters aren’t so annoying.

Now I guess it’s time to post my Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache.

This is an original of Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes modified by the SmittenKitchen.com and further adopted by me.

With no further adieu… the

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake Base
Makes about 7 cups

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa w/ 60% cacao
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes.

Place cakes in freezer for thirty minutes. This will allow these incredibly soft, moist cakes to firm up before frosting. Now is a good time to make the frosting.

Peanut Butter-Cream Cheese FrostingMakes About 5 cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups sifted confectioners‚Äô sugar
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time to prevent lumping. Mix thoroughly after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Use the spatula to fold frosting to ensure it is smooth and creamy.

Frosting a dark cake with a light frosting can be difficult. Here are some tips to make this as easy as possible.

Measure out just enough frosting to put a thin layer of frosting on the cake using an offset spatular. Microwave frosting for 20-30 seconds to make frosting soft and spreadable. Let this cool on the cold cake, firming up the frosting and preventing any rips in the cake.

Place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread about 1/2 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer.

For a smoother frosting, use 1/2-2/3 of the remaining frosting to finish up the top and sides, reserving 1/3-1/2 for later. Place layered cake into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Warm frosting in microwave for 20-30 seconds before smoothing the rest of the frosting on the chilled cake.

Place cake back into the refrigerator while you prepare the ganache.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter GanacheMakes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the whipping cream, beating until smooth.

Let the ganache sit for a few minutes. It should be warm but not hot when applied to the cake.

Slowly pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely.

Use warm, sharp, thin knife to slice the cake, cleaning between each slice with warm water and dry towel. This will make each slice as beautiful as the first.

Let me know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for modifications or cake suggestion for the next Cake and a Movie night. So far it sounds like a carrot cake is winning out. If you’ve got a great recipe, send it over!


Cake and a Movie Night

Each week I have friends over for a cake and a movie.  Most of those who come over are from my wonderful group of Twitter friends.

We watch movies, all sorts really but normally not the ones you’ve already seen. Independent films, foreign films, sha know, good movies.

We’ve had a few different cakes, traditional, fudge, frozen, mousse… I think the next one will be Cr√®me br√Ľl√©e. Yeah yeah. It’s not a cake, I get that. Whatever, it’s delicious.

This is what we had last night for Cake and a Movie night, or #CaaM on the Twitters.

I made the same thing for the previous movie, Happy Together by Wong Kar-wai, but this time I didn’t rush anything and it came out even better.

Last night we watched Ghostown. It was an awesome movie and the first feature film for #CaaM.¬† Of course, it wasn’t a usual #CaaM night, instead of Twitter peeps, it was my grandmother, our client and Ryan.

Want the recipe for the cake? I’ll give that to you later. ūüėČ

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