Valentine's Day & Mandarin Olive Oil Cake

Valentine's Day was pretty low-key this year for the Hall house. We didn't go out, but we did celebrate with homemade cards, sweets, and time together. Friday morning, I gave Alice our usual piggy-back ride down the stairs and when we opened the door, we found a surprise from daddy!


JD gave Alice a bag of doughnut holes from Jim & Connie's Bakery with a special love note, and me a fried cinnamon. That man loves me so much. And in my monster-laden card was a gift certificate to Our Specialtea - our little, local tea shop :)

That afternoon while Alice napped, I made a recipe I had tabbed in the latest Real Simple issue for a Mandarin Olive Oil Cake. Four bowls and 2 sinks-worth of dirty dishes later, it only confirmed for me what I know to be true of baking (and why I don't like it): baking is exact - and exacting - work that requires attention to the smallest measurements and creates an unbelievable amount of dishes. If I ever make this one again, my notes will graciously reference it as a "labor of love." But the results were scrumptious and the husband appreciated it. Mission accomplished. 





my card to JD - saw this image on Pinterest a while back and just had to use it! | Alice adorably smelling a flower 


"cheese!"


recipe for Mandarin Olive Oil Cake here
 Buen provecho and Happy Belated Valentine's Day!