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Archive for January, 2010

     Today I tried to get back into the swing of creativity.  I started sewing.  I didn’t really feel like it, but I did.  And I liked it.  I’m hoping to sew up lots of little stuffed animals for the second annual ♥ Lovely Heart Project ♥ Click Here to check that out and see what it’s all about.  We could always use more volunteers.  I would like to find a simple pattern for some knit children’s toys as well.  For now I’ll just keep sewing farm animals.  The pig is my favourite.

    I have been thinking of Marble Cake lately.  Good old-fashioned marble cake.  As I imagine my great grandma would have made for some special occasion . (I wish I could have known her.)  I have contemplated marble cake,  with those vanilla and chocolate batters swirled to perfection,  all week.  Today was the day.  Yes, there is a three layer marble cake covered with fluffy chocolate frosting in the fridge.  I am looking forward to a cold glass of milk and a chilled slice of cake later tonight.  You should come share the joy with me.  Because really, food is a joy to share.

     This recipe will have to be good enough for now, friend.

Marble Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter cake pans; set aside.(I used three 8 inch pans, two would probably work as well though.) Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
  3. In a bowl, mix cocoa and 3/4 cup boiling water with a rubber spatula until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved cake batter; stir until well combined.
  4. Spoon batters into the prepared pans in 2 layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate to simulate a checkerboard. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
  5. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Turn out cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Cake can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

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A Day of Aprons.

     This last Thursday we had a handful of ladies over for a day of fun, encouragement, and instruction.  We had a lovely potluck lunch and tea… always lots of tea.  After that we got down to the subject of the day.  Aprons.  Everyone brought their own aprons to share.  It was fun to see them all.  We had a little sewing lesson given by Laurie.  She did a wonderful job.  We learned how to make three different aprons from one pair of mens jeans.  Now that, my friends, is resourceful.  And of course some wonderful, basic sewing tips as well.  I love sewing and I love aprons.  Here is a little poem someone shared about Aprons.

The History of ‘Aprons’.

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but it also served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
When the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those bis old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In fall, the apron was used to bring in apples fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in for dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

-Author Unknown

     A woman I know, once said it well –‘Aprons are a uniform.’  I love thinking of it that way.  Aprons are the uniform of the Keeper of the Home.  A homemaker, in her kitchen wears her apron while making meals for her family.  A homemaker, in her garden wears an apron while planting, weeding, and harvesting produce for her household.  A well-worn apron says ‘Welcome’ to whoever may drop in.  

     Someday, I hope to be that homemaker.

     For now, I will practice wearing my apron… and fine tuning my homemaking skills.  Dinner was late last night.  All on account of me, the green beans took longer to roast than I expected.  Yes, I have a lot to learn…

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     That was the question I had this afternoon.   What’s for lunch?  For all of you with new years resolutions concerning health, weight, and diet?  This is the lunch for you.  It’s so simple, and you might think boring, but there are so many ways to change it up. 

     Yes, It’s salad. 

     Come on, I challenge you to make yourself a green salad for lunch at least twice a week.  It doesn’t have to be huge, you could even drown it in some store-bought dressing.  Though, I completely don’t recommend that last one.  A homemade balsamic vinaigrette is my favourite.  Ranch dressing might just ruin the whole thing.

     I have been lacking inspiration for my blog lately.  You’ve probably noticed.  I guess I haven’t been successfully creating in the kitchen.  Something so simple as this salad gave me new ideas though.  It was so delicious.  I’d like to post a little something now and then with new salad ideas, dressing recipes, and toppings.  I’m hoping to give my blog a bit of a face-lift.  I would love your help.  If there is something you would like to see on here, please, let me know. 

     On a different note, I hope your Christmas was jolly and your New Year has been full of joy so far.  And Hey! It’s nearly the weekend!  Look forward to that.  Do something fun.

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