This weekend I was stumped. I had company over, a friend from work and her family, and we were visiting while I got dinner ready when I realized that I did not have any dessert planned. Ice cream would do in a pinch but we didn't have any. (We also didn't have any bread or buns which, for hot dogs and burgers just wasn't going to cut it.) This needed to be rectified. Immediately.
My grandma would have just pulled out one of her fabulous pies from the freezer. (She probably would have whipped up a roast and some homemade mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner too. She's so talented... and now I'm getting hungry. *sigh*)
(Okay, so we did have ice cream but I couldn't serve it because someone likes to eat it out of the carton while standing next to the kitchen sink in the evenings after the kids are in bed and she's finished her workout [Jillian Michaels, you are *not* my friend] and is craving a few spoonfuls of something sweet before hitting the hay. Um, yes. That would be me. But we totally don't serve it to guests! Which meant that John had to go to the store to buy a new carton, which meant that he bought the kind he likes and not the kind I like. But that's totally okay by me, because I like to scoop out all of the almonds in his Chocolate Almond Fudge... hee hee... and leave him the ice cream. *snicker*)
Oh, but ice cream all by itself seems so lonely without it's bosom buddy... cake.
So I reached into the pantry for a box of cake mix. I only had a yellow cake mix, not my favorite and not one I usually buy but I guess I was distracted and did the ol' grab and go to keep the cart moving and the kids entertained. (It's kind of like a roller coaster ride. Keep them moving fast enough and they won't complain, cry, attempt to escape, or, most importantly, see any of the stuff we're passing at mach speed. I also employ the "look over there" trick with Katie because she *does* know what candy is [even though she doesn't get it often] and she likes those toys that the stores put just at toddler-in-a-cart eye level. This method usually works but makes for an exhausting store run. Literally.)
Here's a my secret* to a 12 minute cake (15 minutes with prep time) (oh, and you can skip ahead to the next paragraph if you want to avoid the *ahem* somewhat lengthy *ahem* explanation of the same instructions you'll find on the back of the cake box. I just can't seem to shorten up my internal thought process when explaining stuff... just ask John. He's had to listen to many a story I've needed to start with an introductory paragraph. I've told him that he doesn't have to listen, but I *do* have to get it out before getting to my point. This can sometimes take 5 minutes pre-point. But you can skip ahead to the next... well, now I guess it's the next next... paragraph because I really need to do some kind of hard return to break this all up.)
So, back to my secret; I mixed up a cake mix just like it says on the box and I dumped it into a bunt pan I sprayed with non-stick spray, then I cut up some cherries and sprinkled them on top (because with a cake this easy, I always feel like I need to add some extra "oomph" like chili powder or chocolate chips in a chocolate cake or just whatever sounds good at the time. I usually dump a can of frosting on top of the batter once it's in the bunt pan too. Um, just be careful when you turn it out onto your plate... that frosting will imitate molten lava and spill the warm gooeyness onto the plate, the counters, the floor... pretty much everywhere. Not that I would know firsthand or anything.),
then... I microwaved it on high for 12 minutes. Yep, you heard right... microwave.
This way, by the time I'm done licking the bowl, cleaning up dishes, and putting away the pots and pans Jake played with during the 3 seconds it took me to mix up the cake, the cake is done.
And it's delicious.
(*Secret unless you know my mom or my grandma, or have been over for dinner when I've made this OR you've got some other genius in your circle of family and friends who's come up with this time-saving trick. In which case... forget I even mentioned it... since it's obviously not a secret anymore.)