Thursday, August 17, 2017

The 2017 Davidson Bake Off


Got chocolate?
For the past couple of weeks,
my family has had chocolate to the max!



Do you remember our Bake Off cake from last year?
It was a Zucchini Cake with
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
and it was GOOD!


This year my brother Rick choose our cake.
It was the 1966 second place winner in the
Pillsbury Bake-Off Competition.
This cake has a soft fudge core baked into the
center, hence the name.


The original recipe calls for a package of
Double Dutch Fudge Buttercream Frosting Mix.
Alas, powdered frosting mixes are now defunct.
Because this recipe is one of the Bake Off's
most requested recipes,
Pillsbury developed an alternate recipe,
resulting in the same cake.
Above is Rick's cake from the oven.


Here's Nancy's cake just out of the oven.
I must tell you, 
Nancy gets extra points for her cake,
since she is limited to the use
of a toaster oven for her baking endeavors.
(Another whole story there.)
Nancy and Rick used the same recipe.


As usual, I had to go in another direction
and found a recipe for the cake from


Rick's finished cake. 
It got high marks from him.


Nancy's cake. 
Her assessment of it was
it's a good cake, but next time
she'll buy a package of brownie mix
and make those instead.
Enough said.


Here is my sister-in-law, Pat's cake.
Pat is picking up the slack from our 
brother Bill, who is not a baker.
However,  Pat says the cake was yummy 
and passed Bill's taste test.



Here's my NYTimes cake,
which was the only one 
to not call for a glaze.
This cake is VERY rich and
really didn't need a glaze.



However, if the glazed cake
 is NOT rich enough for you,
serve it with 
a scoop of ice cream,
as Nancy did.
My neighbor Sue, 
who was gifted
with a few slices of my cake,
suggested heating a slice,
topping it with ice cream,
and then perhaps a 
drizzle of chocolate sauce. 
(This suggestion was given as a joke!)



The recipe I used had some 
of the most specific instructions 
I have ever come across in a recipe.
For example, 
"Crack the 4 whole eggs into a large mixing bowl.
With a small knife,
cut the yolks and barely
stir the eggs,
minimally blending the
whites and yolks."
What the...???

Another interesting instruction,
"About 30 minutes after taking the cake 
out of the oven,
press the inside and outside
edge of the cake bottom down
all the way around 
to minimize the air pocket"
above the soft fudge center.
I followed this recipe to the letter,
but it started cracking 
before it even came out of the pan.



More cracking and collapsing!!!


Total collapse!!!

The cake is now all gone,
enjoyed by several people.
I don't think it's a cake
I'll ever make again,
although, Pat has already gotten
a request to make one for someone.

We all had fun with this year's cakes.
Thank you Rick for choosing our
cake and keeping us on track!

Nancy with her cake.

Sharing this week at
Foodie Friday/Rattlebridge Farm

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Corporate Headquarters for Buttermilk Cottage


Or, in other words,
my NEW office/sewing room/work space.


Here's a reminder of what this room was like
when I started the renovations.
It's the downstairs bedroom,
to the left of the front door when 
you enter the house.


A look at the plaster
walls after the wallpaper
was stripped away.
The walls in this room were
in fairly good shape and
the crown molding was already there.


Looking in from the entrance at the front door.



 This is the view from my desk 
to the front outside.
There's a pretty little cottage style
garden just outside the window
which has been in bloom with 
different flowers since I've been here.


My old corner desk fit nicely into one corner of the room.
Can you see my sheep lamp on the side?


Isn't this a great lamp?
Particularly for me?


Before I moved I did a bit of
tweaking to my work table.
I chalk painted the bottom and legs.
I also put extenders at the bottom of each leg,
boosting the table up about six inches.
Since I do most of my fabric cutting here,
it's much easier on my back.


The extra height also provides a bit more 
storage for underneath the table.


The bins underneath roll out 
and their tops make a great storage space
for shipping bags.


The secret to this room
is using every available square inch of space.


So the space behind the door
has become a mini closet,
storing yarn.


Speaking of using every inch of space...
behind this closet door...


...is a craft closet to die for!


The shelves were already there,
so I didn't have to do a thing
except fill them up.
This was meant to be!



This white wicker chest with shelves,
first came to live with me 
as a chest for my daughter Kate,
as a newborn.
Then it became a storage chest 
in a bathroom at my next house.


Now it has become storage
for trays of color coordinated yarns.



Remember this chalk painted wardrobe 
from a previous post


It has made the move and now lives
in my workroom.
It provides "storage"
for some of my favorite baskets...


Not to mention a bit of fabric!


Daisy's new bedroom is also
quartered here.
Do you spy it beside my desk?


She particularly likes having her space
in the same place I spend most of my time!


Although she doesn't look it,
she's quite happy at her new home.
As I am too!




Saturday, July 22, 2017

My Cottage Kitchen Reveal!


I have been silent for a bit,
busy settling into my new cottage.
I had in my mind to wait until
things were a bit more finished,
( bit more perfect?)
before posting pictures.
I have now decided,
there is no perfect time,
the house will be an ongoing 
project for a long time to come.
I am still waiting for the painter to finish,
the electrician to
 work me into his schedule,
and a call back from the handyman.
So, I am just going to start sharing.
The room most finished at the moment
(and one my favorites)
is the kitchen.


Do you remember the original kitchen?


It was entirely gutted.


After some extensive wall work,
the floor was the first new addition.


This room has come together exactly as
I saw it in my mind's eye.
That doesn't always happen.


White cabinets,
black granite counter tops,
white subway tiles and
a black and white floor
are the elements that created this kitchen.


It's a small, galley style kitchen
that totally fits my lifestyle.


This is the view from the dining room.


My old black cabinet,
purchased from a moving neighbor
in my previous neighborhood,
found a perfect home here.


It now stands in front of what was
previously the doorway to the pantry.
The pantry is now gone,
so the opening in the hallway,
around the corner could be created...


...to house the stackable washer and dryer.


The existing kitchen windows
were perfect for glass panels
I had designed and made
for my previous house.


I love them in this space.



When planning this kitchen,
I knew I wanted a white cast iron sink.
I needed a fairly small one because
of this kitchen's size.
I found just the right sized one from Kohler.


The original kitchen was without a dishwasher,
but a space was created for one.


My benevolent sheep's head
keeps an eye on all the
doings in the kitchen.


I have never had a gas stove before.
So, since that's what was here before,
I decided to give it a try.
SO glad I did!
One of the features I am particularly enjoying
is the griddle in the center.
It makes remarkably good bacon!



Window treatments thus far 
are a matter of using what I had from 
my previous house.
This was a window topper at that house,
which was folded over a rod for a
triangular effect.


This canister set has been with me
for at least 25 years or more,
during which all but one lid
has gotten broken.
They are now nicely housing
some of my violets.


Are you seeing a color trend,
besides the black and white?
I have used and loved
red, blue and yellow together
for a long time.
For this house,
I have used the same gray
on the walls throughout.
But, I am certainly
still using my favorite










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