Book: Vintage Cakes

Vintage Cakes Cover

I’ve been following Jane Brocket since the early days of her Yarnstorm blog. Then she started publishing wonderful books like The Gentle Art of Domesticity, The Gentle Art of Knitting and The Gentle Art of Stitching. One of my favorite things in Domesticity were the classic English cake recipes so I was thrilled that she published a whole book of Vintage Cakes.

Vintage Cakes: Welsh Cakes

The cakes are all very English and vintage-y and I want to bake up all them. I love the names like Fat Rascals, Rock Buns and Lamingtons.

Vintage Cakes: Fat Rascals

I haven’t had a chance to bake any of these yet but I have perused the photos and put paper flags on just about every recipe in the book. Maybe I’ll plan some cakes for Easter? The Celebration Cake looks like a perfect Easter treat.

Vintage Cakes: Celebration Cake

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Post-Holiday Plague

TV and PJs

After we got back from our trip South for the holidays, I came down with the Ick. So my last few days have been spent hiding on the couch in my PJs, knitting on Bob’s plain vanilla socks in a limited colorway by Two Windows Dye Co. with heels, toes and cuff in Brown Sheep Wildfoote Blue Blood Red.

We’ve ODed on movies: Men In Black 3, Karate Kid, Magic Mike, RED, and Moonrise Kingdom. Yeah, couch potatoes, kleenex, tea and cookies!

homemade chicken vegetable soup made by @skylabletterpress for sick little me.

Bob has kept me in soup: Chicken Vegetable Soup from the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook and Italian Wedding Soup from Allrecipes.com. The snowflake-shaped Ritz crackers were a homey touch.

Thanks to all this TLC, I’m feeling a little better today and hope to actually get out of the house tomorrow. If it doesn’t snow.

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My very own Pie Hole

I like pie buttons

I’ve officially lived in the Midwest long enough to have grown a genuine appreciation for all food pie-related. I like fruit pies, meat pies and quiche. So, I was tickled to finally make the trip over to The Upper Crust inside Pryde’s in Westport (its an independent kitchen gadget mecca). They are only open on Fridays and Saturdays but it is worth a special trip.

After lovingly watching Pushing Daisies, the idea of a pie shop like the Pie Hole is something I have dreamed about and luckily The Upper Crust is just a few miles from my house as it makes some delectable treats.

Cutie Pie Lemon Meringue

This is a mini lemon meringue called a “Cutie Pie”, just the right size for one or two slices. Bob and I each got a Cutie Pie since we wanted to try different flavors and there’s no way either of us could eat a whole pie. He got Pecan Cutie Pie and I got German Chocolate one. Yum! I think I need to go back for a fruit pie this week, I’m in the mood for berries.

German Chocolate Pie

Stacks of cookies

They also had stacks of luscious cookies and a little area to sit and indulge in your pie lust, right there on the spot. Don’t forget to pick up your own, “I Like Pie” button on your way out.

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Fall-fetti Compost Cookies

a pile of yum

When I saw the recipe for the Crazy Confetti Cookies, I just had to try it for myself. But, as with all recipes, I had to make modifications, of course.

Ingredients

I bought a bag of Heath Chips (already crushed up in the aisle with the chocolate chips), as well as a bag of chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. I didn’t need the whole bag of any of these so when I used what I needed, I dumped all the chips into one container and shook it up so next time I make chocolate chip cookies, it will be a mixed-up chip cookie.

For the graham crackers, I crushed up two full crackers and that was enough to meet the quantity recommended in the recipe.

I didn’t add the additional salt as there seems to be enough salt between the salt and vinegar chips and the pretzels.

crushed potato chips

Since we don’t usually stock potato chips or pretzels I bought small snack-sized bags in hopes that there would be enough to meet the quantity listed in the recipe. A 2 ounce bag of Zapp’s was the exact right amount. I bought a big snack sized bag of pretzels which was more than I needed but I saved the extras to go with our dinner. Win win!

crushing up the dry goodies

I used a shallow bowl and a glass to crush up the chips, graham crackers and pretzels and it worked well!

creamed butter, eggs and sugar

all the dry goodies

I didn’t have regular confetti sprinkles, only fall color themed so I used those instead.

piled high to bake

nary a burnt edge

And finally, I made smaller cookies than what the recipe called for, more like 1″ balls, but did not to need to adjust the time and ended up with about four dozen medium sized cookies! The stacked ball method recommended by How Sweet It Is worked awesome! The bottom of my cookies are just as pretty as the tops.

cooling

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A Feast With Friends

shrimps on the barbie

We recently had the most lovely, delicious Korean BBQ lunch with our friends and surrogate family, the Tompkins, AKA Tag Team Tompkins. The food was so beautiful and just as delicious. So here’s a few pictures of the nibbles.

The chef at the ready

Madeline was in charge of the grill and we ate beef, shrimp, Japanese pumpkin, asparagus and brocollini.

My other mother!

Diane, our “other mother”, made sure the conversation was lively and our plates were loaded.

brocollini

For some reason, food at the Tompkins always tastes better and looks better too. They have a certain magic when it comes to food!

figs and pineapple for dessert

Figs and pineapple were grilled for dessert. So amazing!

grilled figs

(This is a little out of focus but the best picture of the figs on the grill. They were brushed with a little bit of our soy marinade and a bit of honey and they were great.)

espresso aerial

After lunch, Wayne brewed up some espresso so that we wouldn’t fall asleep from a food coma.

espresso a la wayne

Thanks for a fabulous feast!

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Macarons and thrift scores

Delcious and beautiful macarons

What a yummy sight! Last Saturday, we stopped in the River Market for a cup of coffee before making an epic trip to the River Market Antique Mall and boy, am I ever glad we stopped. Not only did I get a lovely cup of coffee from the River Market coffee shop, we also stumbled upon Bloom Baking Co. which makes an array of breads and pastries including… macarons! These are delectable little confections of meringue cookies with buttercream fillings. Bob loved the green one which was a lime mojito flavor and I liked the white one which was a light tiramisu flavor. The pink and purple ones were really pretty but tasted a bit too sweet for us.


Bob demonstrates the proper way to enjoy a macaron

Did you know that tiramisu is actually derived from the Italian expression “tira mi sù” which means “pick me up”? How sweet is that? (Thanks, Apple Dictionary for that little tidbit of trivia!)

Nom nom nom!

We also took home a lemon bar and their vanilla cupcake filled with fresh fruit and topped with a marscapone buttercream — so amazing!

At the antique mall, I marveled at lots of wonderful things but I only brought home every piece I could find from the vintage Franciscan Del Mar pattern china. Wow. So mid-century awesome. When I spotted them, I had never seen the pattern so I didn’t know what it was called but I bought the set of four tea cups and saucers, a gravy boat and a serving platter. When I got home, I looked them up online. I will now need to hunt for all the other pieces. The pale blue on the pattern matches the walls in my kitchen but clashes with all my other dishware so I guess I’m going to have to rethink my choice of daily (red) Fiestaware.

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A Day at Skylab

Bob and his friend and cohort Kalyn Denno of Lilah Paper were participating in a bridal show called The Big Reveal on Sunday. So, on Saturday, I offered to help get things set-up.  First, we borrowed some props from the fabulous Tag Team Tompkins, then we stopped for lunch. We stopped at the hunger-satisfying Smokin’ Guns BBQ in North Kansas City. It was recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives so we got to see posters and autographs on the wall from the show’s host. I totally blew my calorie count on a BBQ beef sandwich, amazing sweet potato fries and homemade peach crisp a la mode. Did I mention they sell my favorite soda too? Yup. Mirinda strawberry soda was on tap. I was one happy — and very full– girl.

Bob at Smokin' Guns

Bob enjoys Smokin' Guns BBQ

BBQ Beef and Sweet Potato Fries

BBQ beef and sweet potato fries

Then we went to Skylab where Bob started printing giveaways and I painted a flag banner for the front of the table display. I cut out old printed samples and painted them with black gesso and then painted letters onto each flag.

Working out the details

Working out the process

Work in progress

Painting the banner

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