Friday, October 23, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
I'm not usually a huge fan of cupcakes, but Lavender Moon Cupcakery delivers where others fail. Original and classic flavors are moist, not dry as is a common problem with cupcakes. My husband picked up a handful of these for my son's actual birthday: Orange Creamsicle, Flourless Chocolate, Triple Chocolate, and Apple. Selection varies daily.
Lavender Moon Cupcakery
116 South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Baking from scratch is about the closest I get to being a 'real' housewife. The best Pumpkin Bread is from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.
One 9 x 5-inch loaf
This loaf can be made with any cooked mashed squash, yams, or sweet potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine in a small bowl:
1⁄3 cup water or milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat in a large bowl until fluffy:
6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) butter, softened, or 1⁄3 cup vegetable shortening
1 1⁄3 cups sugar or 1 cup sugar plus 1⁄ 3 cup packed brown sugar
Beat in one at a time:
2 large eggs
Add and beat on low speed just until blended:
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in:
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1⁄3 cup raisins or chopped dates
[Blogger's Note: I prefer to add chocolate chips in lieu of the above.]
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.
Monday, September 14, 2009
In honor of my husband's fortieth birthday recently, we dined at the new Robert Wiedmaier restaurant, Brabo, in Old Town Alexandria. Most of the food is fairly simple, traditional fare, yet perfectly prepared. Nothing too wildly adventurous here, although I was tempted by the watermelon and goat cheese salad (I had the minestrone soup instead, which was delicious). The service was almost perfect, save for the fact that our server addressed us as Madam and Monsieur, though it is not a French restaurant. The dessert pictured above is a spiced pear and pomegranate cobbler with black pepper ice cream. It was the perfect ending to a lovely meal on a cool, almost-autumn, evening.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
She has some great products and did a fantastic job on the invites. Now I just need to mail them out!
Michael's has a bunch of their Martha Stewart line on clearance, so I really scored with paper in a bandanna print that I hope to use to make a flag banner. Some cowboy hats, a horse balloon, and maybe a paper cactus or two should make the party festive. Oh, and I may borrow my neighbor Joe's wooden, life-size cow, if I can muster up the guts to ask him. What's a cowboy without any cows?