Tuesday, June 25

Work in Progress

I've had an Etsy shop for several years and have sparsely listed things there from time to time.  But, for the most part, it has stood empty.  It seems like a good time to reinvest some effort in my store.  So, for the past couple of weeks, I've been doing lots of brainstorming and a little sewing and now there is a handful of handmade baby things adorning the walls of my little shop.  I certainly have more ideas than time, but hopefully, I can keep the momentum going for a while.

You can find a link at the top of the right sidebar that will take you right to the shop!


Sunday, June 16

Strawberry Lemonade Cake Makes the Party

After 42 years teaching orchestra I thought my husband deserved something special.  So we invited his colleagues over for a retirement dinner and this Strawberry Lemonade Cake was a hit!  It was the grand finale I was hoping for.  I followed the recipe for the cake which reminded me a lot of a lemon bread I used to make.  It is a dense cake.  The frosting was a little too sweet for me, so I added softened cream cheese to the mix and liked it much better.
 Fresh strawberries are sandwiched in between layers.  The cream cheese gave the filling body and substance. The pink color comes from blending in chopped berries into the frosting.

Tuesday, June 4

Mini Makes: Inspiration

I found these drawings while cleaning up the other night. 
So much inspiration from one nine-year old cannot be kept to myself.  
Had to share.

I see motivational speaking in her future.

Saturday, June 1

Spice Cake with Apple Compote and Vanilla Anglaise

This combination sounded so good the other day.  My little experiment proved a success, so I thought I'd share the recipe.  I'll admit the flavors lend themselves to a blustery Autumn day, but that's good imagery for me since we've been having such a hot and humid and thunderstorm filled May.

 Spice Cake
1 spice cake mix (what ever your favorite brand will do)
Bake according to the box directions.

Apple Compote
4 flavorful apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces (I believe I used Gala or Jazz)
3 TBSP butter
1 to 2 TBSP TBSP dark brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
1 to 2 TBSP water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add apple pieces, sugar, water, cinnamon & vanilla.  Give it a good stir.  Over medium heat, bring to barely a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft (about 15 minutes).  Remove lid and continue to simmer until the liquid thickens and you can mash the apples with a fork (about 20 minutes).  Set aside until ready to serve.

Vanilla Creme Anglaise
 4 egg yolks
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
1 cup good heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

Heat cream and vanilla in a small sauce pan until just barely simmering.  In the meantime, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until smooth.  Temper eggs by slowly adding 1/2 cup of hot cream to the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.  Slowly pour the warm egg mixture into the sauce pan with the remaining cream, whisking constantly.  Whisk and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat and strain through a fine strainer to get rid of any curdled eggs.  Set aside until ready to serve.

Spoon anglais over cake, top with apple compote.  Best served warm!