Monday, May 25, 2020

Charlotte Cake with a Berry Cannoli Cream Topping

Just when I thought I was done buying cake pans, Nordicware produced a Charlotte pan that made me fall in love. It reminded me of the beautiful desserts we saw in the bakery windows in Europe. The cake pan is ingenious, and makes an instantly elegant cake. I topped the cake with cannoli filling that we had left over from making cannolis, and cut up a few strawberries and added blueberies. We have strawberry blossoms in our mint garden so I added a few for embellishments. I'll make this cake each May or June when we have strawberry blossoms and local strawberries. 

For the cake part, I used the recipe that came with the pan, and it's just four ingredients. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pan with baking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high for one minute. Then, gradually add sugar and continue beating for 6-8 minutes until eggs are light and fluffy. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Sift half of flour into beaten eggs and fold in. Stir in second half and fold in completely. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack. 

Here's another shot so you can see the filling. 
I always drive down the Memorial Parkway in our area (3 miles from our home) on Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, and also on my way to take Xavier to the zoo :-) I've been taking him to the zoo since he was two and he has the statues memorized. 

In observance of Memorial Day, the Conservancy in our area recognizes and appreciates the ultimate sacrifice given by the men and women of our armed forces and does a nice job maintaining and beautifying the monuments on the Parkway as their token of  gratitude for their service to the country.

I hope you had a peaceful holiday. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Enjoying Spring Blooms #1


I ordered my bedding plants from our local florist, and Joe picked them up. Easy peasy, and I'm keeping the garden simple this year. Today we are putting down the mulch after planting the begonias. There is nothing like springtime in New York, and we appreciate the blooms so much after a long winter. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend. 

This last photo....I planted this flowering bulb several years ago. Nectaroscordum siculum or Allium siculum is a wonderful oddball of a flowering bulb. It has lovely dangling mauve and green bells, and are very tall and located near our patio table so they stare me in the face when we dine alfresco. Nectar-garlic (that’s what Nectaroscordum means) is animal-proof, since nobody messes with onion relatives, really. It is long-lasting too. Nectaroscordum is good-looking even after the blooms are done, forming a tan-colored seedpod that turns upward where each waxy bell once dangled. Bees love it which is why I planted it. I watch the bees while having a picnic lunch from time to time. 

Cheers and Stay Safe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Sweetheart Cookies

Not much going on here, I am still working from home and we opened our camp for the summer. Yay! I am as busy as ever, even working from home. Once in a while, I dust mop the floors while on hold with our corporate office :-)  It's weird after 35 years, but we are making do. 

When we travel, I am inspired by the presentation of our meals. When we were in Verona, Italy, the Due Torri Hotel served us breakfast in our room and my tired eyes were fixated on the woman entering our room and setting up the table without a word spoken. She set up the beautiful table within 5 minutes, smiled and this experience will be embedded in my memory forever. Of all the places we have traveled, Italy is at the top of the list to return to when we can. The hotel where we stayed in Verona is re-opening this week, and I wish them the very best. The photo prompted me to set a pretty breakfast table this week before work, and make my favorite cookies from childhood. We always had fresh cookies and dessert, never a store bought dessert in the house. 
Sweetheart Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar, optional

1. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk; mix well. Stir in the flour by hand. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly combined.

2. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indention in the center of each. Fill each with 1/4 teaspoon preserves.

3. Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Dust warm cookies with confectioners' sugar if desired. Cool.

Hope all is well with you!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day 2020

Wishing you peace, love and appreciation! 

Thursday, May 7, 2020


The original French market coffee stand, Cafe Du Monde, serves cafe au lait and hot beignets (french doughnuts) in the french market of New Orleans since 1862. If you've ever been to New Orleans, you have most likely had Beignets. They remind me of fried dough, very addictive. I've been working from home due to the pandemic, and have extra time in the morning so I have been organizing cupboards, closets, etc. I found this box of Beignet mix that we received as a gift and never used. It expires in April 2020, had to use it up. We are supposed to be attending a wedding in New Orleans in September 2020 but I question if that is going to happen. Here's a couple photos from our last trip to New Orleans for my sisterinlaw's 60th birthday. We certainly took traveling for granted, and look forward to when we can travel again. 

Au revior, N'awlins!  


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