Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Dedicated to My Mother In Law

My mother in law was a baker extraordinaire.  Every Monday, she baked, all day, according to my dearly beloved.  She made great cookies by the hundreds.  She made outstanding pies.  And she made fine cakes.  Just last night, my dearly beloved said, "She always decorated her cakes. It was her hobby."

So, a few years after we got here, my mother in law brought me her prized collection of cake decorating books.  For over 20 years, they've been carefully stored in the cupboard with her everyday dishes, which she also gave me.  I guess I was the only person she thought might like her books.
 And what an assortment it was.
 Since this book is published in 1976, I have to presume that she winged it for a long time.
 Because she did make wedding cakes for 2 of her 4 children.
 She also made the cake for her in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary.  This was approximately 1957, and while her 3 boys were in school, she made this with her 3 year old daughter clambering around her.  I, for one, am impressed.

(Why do people who are 80 and 87 always look so dour, even on a happy occasion?)
 I think Louise would enjoy this one!
 Big Bird cake, anyone?  It's in a Celebration for Everyone, after all!
My mother in law died last Wednesday; she was almost 96, so this is not unexpected.  Rather than be sad, I feel that we should celebrate the long life of a good wife, mother, mother in law, and grandmother.  Truthfully describing her as good in all of those categories is the best testament of all.

This is Cookbook Wednesday, which I'm hosting while Louise is on hiatus.
Leave me a message, and I'll link to your Cookbook Wednesday entry!

Edited to add:

Debbie's Church Cookbook!  Her potluck looks like it was fun.

Poppy's Woman's Glory - The Kitchen! Featuring "Fresh Orange Juice Goes Into Cake!"

Friday, May 22, 2015

Garden Tuesday is Really, Really Late....

But it's been a terribly busy week.

These pictures are actually from last weekend, so a week old now.  3 days of rain and wind took away most of my flowers...waaaahhh!!!

Yes, there was even some car washing going on.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday

I've found any number of cookbooks at used book sales.  A couple of them have been published by farmers, or at least by the editors of the Farm Journal, which is kind of the same thing, right?

I was pretty pleased when I found a couple of recipes tucked in the front cover of this book by its previous owner.  I like seeing a little of the personality of whoever else has enjoyed a cookbook.

Their table of contents is pretty straightforward, and they cover a lot of ground.

(and here, my camera died, so I had to take up using another while the batteries recharge.)
 There are plenty of pretty pictures, obviously from the 1970s, judging by the layout and colors.
 I need to try this Chiffon Pie.  My dearly beloved will whine that I'm making him fat, and I'll be able to smugly inform him that it contains minimal sugar.
 Recipes from all over, including a pretty long story about beef enchiladas.  Who knew that enchiladas have their own story?
 And a goodly section about recipes from the Old Country(ies).

 This is Cookbook Wednesday, which I'm hosting while Louise is on sabbatical with her family.
 Other Participants:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Chocolate Dessert #24, Of Course!

I made this cake from my 365 Chocolate Desserts cookbook; it's recipe #24.


1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In a bowl, mix the cocoa powder and boiling water; stir until the cocoa dissolves and set aside.  In your mixing bowl, beat together the mayonnaise and sugar until well combined; add the cocoa mix and beat until smooth.  Stir together the flour, soda and salt, beat into the chocolate mix, and divide between 2 well greased layer pans.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Cool, then frost with this suggested frosting:


1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp almond extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk

Beat all together until smooth.  Frost the cake.

The cake was amazingly moist, and the almond extract gave it a nice flavor.  The frosting was only semi-sweet, and even Ryan opined that it was just too much chocolate; he said I should use the regular buttercream frosting next time.  All in all, however, this was a very successful cake, on everyone's "Make this again!" list.  Best of all, it's cholesterol free, and no one knew the difference.

Oh, and to answer Karin's question?  You know Ryan won the race for the cake.  He's eaten about 5 slices in 2 days, to Mark's 2.  Gee.  I wonder why Ryan outweighs Mark.

(To reduce the caloric content of the cake, use 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup stevia instead of the 1-1/4 cups sugar.  Not that this will in any way make it a diet cake.  Just sayin'.)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thorsday Book Review - With Tank!

Well, this book will prove to you that I'm boring.  Who else do you know who would choose to read a book on economics?  They don't call it "The Dismal Science" for nothing.

by John Tamny

I saw this book reviewed in The Wall Street Journal (of course), and had to read it.  The subtitle refers to what Downton Abbey, Lebron James and The Rolling Stones can teach us about economics.  The book is divided into 4 parts; part 1 deals with taxes (defined a a price placed on work), including discussion of corporate, personal, capital gains and estate taxes.  He discusses at length how each of these types of taxes discourages work and/or savings, and advocates bulldozing the tax code and starting anew.  (Never gonna happen.)  He also asserts that running deficits is OK, as long as tax collections cover debt service.
Part 2 deals with government regulation; summation is that the government is not staffed by the best and brightest.  Further, they make the point that industry would self regulate regardless of the government's intervention: would drug companies want to be killing their customers with their products?
Part 3 is about Trade - specifically overseas.  He says trade deficits are OK, and outsourcing is good, because other types of jobs are created here to replace the jobs that disappear.  My economist son agrees, but I'm not sure I"m buying it.
Part 4 is about Money, specifically currency vs. the gold standard.  Enough to make your eyeballs roll into the back of your head.

Overall, very well written and informative. Very thought provoking.  Not exciting, but that happens with economics.  Still, a good read.  4/5

You can see that Tank was dressed to read this book; he has 4 ties of his very own.

 Of course, he also does the usual, puppy-like, snuffle in the grass type things.
Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Chocolate!

Ryan's home from college for the summer.  That means Mark will eat more of the desserts I make, because "there is competition for them!"  Gah!  Who ever heard of a teenager who doesn't eat desserts unless someone else is around who might eat them first?

Today's Cookbook Wednesday offering is inspired by Ryan.  It's just what everyone wants: Chocolate!  365 Chocolate Recipes, to be exact!
 Some of the numbered recipes are a "cheat", in my opinion.  Really? You make cake #11, and you have to wait until Day 12 to make frosting #12? 
 There are pies involving chocolate.  What's not to love about that?
 Some recipes have crazy long directions.  You probably won't find me making this one.

 Microwavable recipes?  That screams summer, doesn't it?
 Even cookies!
 This is my entry for Cookbook Wednesday, which I'm hosting while Louise is on sabbatical.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Also Linked:

Nellie's Children's Cookbook

Debbie's Washington State Cookbook

Poppy's McCalls Cookbook - 1970s version

Kitchen Flavours Bread Cookbook (and Cranberry Scones!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Garden Tuesday: Planting

My daughter was here this weekend, and leading her brothers on a planting spree.
 But really, what's planting without a little help from a puppy?  (As an aside, Tank is getting big.)
 And he's not particular; Tank will help everyone!
 Ryan was assigned his own flowers to plant.  He (almost) enjoyed the artistry of it.
Happy Garden Tuesday, everyone!  I hope your garden is progressing nicely.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Hope you all had a nice Mother's Day.  My wonderful children showered me with flowers.

I don't know how I got to be so lucky!  Great weather, time with my kids and pretty flowers all at once.  Life doesn't get any better than that.

Happy Monday, everyone.