The Queen Mum of All Red Velvets

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God save the Queen…and God bless all the lovely princes and princesses who are falling love, tying the knot and giving us romance fans the kind of storybook weddings we love to read about! Two royal weddings in five months? And now a Meghan/Harry baby, too? These young royals are on a roll, and I’m loving it.

Before we dive headfirst into baby name pools and gender guesses, let’s give Princess Eugenie’s wedding the credit it deserves. After playing second fiddle to Harry and Meghan for over a year now, this princess was ready to show the world how a blood-born royal does it. And boy did she ever! Here’s my top five wins for Princess Eugenie’s nuptials:

1. That Tiara – Holy mother of pearl diamond and emerald. Eugenie, hands down, wins the best borrowed crown jewel award. Her choice of the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara was the perfect complement for that gorgeous auburn hair of hers. If you’d like to read more, The Today Show has article about the tiara’s history here

 I spent my childhood playing dress-up in my grandmother’s fancy slips and satin nightgowns. Can you even imagine playing dress up in grandma’s tiaras??? 😳

2. That Dress – It wasn’t my favorite look ever (all hail Queen Grace Kelly), but it now runs a close second for its intentional design. Eugenie chose to showcase a scar – an obvious line, straight down her spine from scoliosis surgery as a child. But, why?

There’s the obvious – scars make you stronger – and I get it. But what I saw was an attempt to humanize herself. Which I love.

Historically, it is believed the monarchy has a divine connection that allows them the right to rule. Royals are expected to be waaay better than the average Joe. I get that, too. Does anyone remember how swiftly Clarence House clapped back over Kate’s 2011 Extension-gate? And that was just fake hair. 

Eugenie, it seems, wants to celebrate her imperfections. A choice that makes me want to celebrate her.  #peoplesprincess

3. The Gatsby Reading – Internet trolls everywhere lost their collective sh*t over this. I can understand where they’re coming from. The Great Gatsby is taught in American high schools as a condemnation of elitism and entitlement. While that is the overarching thematic of the book, it is also a (tragic) love story.

Before readers get to the careless parts of Gatsby, they’re allowed to fall in love with Jay and Daisy and their star-crossed lover’s fate. Eugenie and Jack’s reading comes from the beginning when it’s all about good love. Not the end where it all goes to hell in a handbasket. When viewed in that light, I have zero problems with it. In fact, I think it’s brilliant, because who doesn’t read that book and fall in love with Jay Gatsby and his beautifully enigmatic presence? Well done, Eugenie.

4. Jamie Redknapp – I know nothing about soccer. If the ball isn’t a pigskin passed or punted in the SEC, I’m clueless. However…when I caught a glimpse of this retired soccer hottie while scrolling through Eugenie’s wedding guest photos, I stopped. Did a couple Google searches. And quickly tucked him into the “Character Inspiration” file on my desktop. You romance readers may have a new soccer hottie book boyfriend in the future. 😍

5. Finally, The Queen Mum of Cakes– Princess Eugenie won over my taste buds when I learned her wedding cake was chocolate and red velvet. The media found her break from tradition fascinating, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about, because, come on, it’s Velvet.

Another part of my childhood – aside from dressing up in granny’s undergarments, 1950s fascinators and elbow length satin gloves (yes there are pictures) – is my mother’s red velvet cake. I’m not saying her homemade confection is the only reason both my husband and best friend stuck around long enough for us to decide we liked each other, but it certainly played a small part in the decision. I love red velvet cake, though I never order it when I’m out. If someone else does, I’ll try it. Then inevitably lay my fork down with a “Meh”. Because, so far, I have yet to find one that holds a candle to Mom’s. And because I love you and your taste buds, I’m sharing the family recipe. Treat yourself to a spot of tea and enjoy, Loves!


Another part of my childhood – aside from dressing up in granny’s undergarments, 1950s fascinators and elbow length satin gloves (yes there are pictures) – is my mother’s red velvet cake. I’m not saying her homemade confection is the only reason both my husband and best friend stuck around long enough for us to decide we liked each other, but it certainly played a small part in the decision. I love red velvet cake, though I never order it when I’m out. If someone else does, I’ll try it. Then inevitably lay my fork down with a “Meh”. Because, so far, I have yet to find one that holds a candle to Mom’s. And because I love you and your taste buds, I’m sharing the family recipe. Treat yourself to a spot of tea and enjoy, Loves!

Mom’s Red Velvet Cake:

Cake Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 ½ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ cup sugar

2 ½ cup cake flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp vinegar

½ oz red food coloring

            In a large mixing bowl (stand mixer is ideal), beat the eggs and add the buttermilk and oil. Combine all the dry ingredients and sift onto wax paper. Slowly add the dry ingredients, one cup at a time, to the egg mixture while continuing to mix. When the dry ingredients are incorporated, add in vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.

Can be made into a single 9” x 13” sheet cake, three layers or 36 cupcakes. Be sure to grease and flour your pans. Room temperature ingredients work best.

Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted at center comes out clean. Estimated times: 3-layer cake (15-20 minutes), cupcakes (20-25 minutes), sheet cake (30-45 minutes).

Icing:

I box powdered sugar

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1 stick butter (softened)

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup toasted pecans (chopped)

            Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl until incorporated. If you love a salty/sweet treat – pan roast your chopped pecans in a bit of salted butter and allow to cool before adding to icing mixture. You can also add the pecans after the cake is iced.

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