Saturday, April 20, 2013

Simple, Scrumptious Tiramisu Cake

Oh, My!

I made a cake yesterday-
a super simple, super scrumptious Tiramisu Cake.
I love cake and I love baking.
I especially love baking, because I love anything I can claim to be "cooking" 
while I'm actually sitting, reading blogs on my iPad.
So, a super simple, super scrumptious cake recipe is Just*Grand!

I want to thank all the people who ever posted their Tiramisu recipes on the internet
because I think I read all of them, looking for exactly what I wanted to make.
I didn't find it, but I got inspired.
In my "research"  
I learned that Traditional Tiramisu calls for delicate little finger cakes called Ladyfingers 
which are delicious, but not always available at my usual grocery stores.
It also contains a heavenly filling using Mascarpone cheese, a sweet, light creamy cheese,
and sometimes rum and coffee flavors.

I had recently made a Mascarpone Frosting for another dessert 
and wanted to try it in a Tiramisu.

I had a yellow cake mix on hand.
And chocolate liquor.
And Instant coffee.

I made the yellow cake according to the package directions.

Then I mixed a heaping Tablespoon of instant coffee into a Tablespoon of boiling water.
I added the coffee mixture to 3/4 cup of chocolate liquor.

After the cake had cooled a bit, I poked holes all over the tops of the cake layers 
while they were still in the pans. 
Then I drizzled the coffee/chocolate liquor mixture over the tops of the layers. 
I didn't quite need all of the chocolate liquor mixture, 
so I enjoyed sipping that while the cake cooled.

After the layers had cooled completely, 
I frosted the cake with the mascarpone frosting (recipe follows)
and shaved a chocolate candy bar over the top.


Here's how to make the frosting:

1  8 oz container of Mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl 
and beat with an electric mixer about 4 or 5 minutes, 
until it has a frosting like consistancy and forms stiff peaks.

This frosting is so easy to make 
and is lighter than cream cheese frosting, and less tangy, 
so it would work on a lot of cakes where cream cheese icing might not.

It has a great consistancy for piping, too.
And it's so good.

Here's a slice of heaven!

Doesn't it look pretty on my Mom's gorgeous Limoge plates?

One of my most cherished recipes is from my Mom,
for a Chocolate Heath Bar Trifle.
She didn't bake much- she was busy decorating and collecting.
The recipe is handwritten by her and she mailed it to me years ago.

And it ends with the words, "Oh, My!"

Linking to:
 Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
The Scoop Link Party at Cedar Hill Ranch
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Sunday Showcase Party at Stephanie Lynne
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Brass is back!

They say Brass is back.
You can read all about it here at Sand and Sisal...

I sure hope so.
Our house is an 80 year old Center Hall Colonial
with the original brass hardware and fixtures.
We bought it in the eighties when shiny brass was king.

Imagine our horror as we watched home fashions change-
chrome replaced brass 
and then brushed nickel came long and then oil rubbed bronze.... 
our poor house was hopelessly out of style.

But what is a "purist" homeowner to do?
Every change we've made to this house has been made with one goal in mind-
What would have been done when the home was built?
What would the material have been?  
What would be true to the period the home was designed in?
Replacing good, solid, original hardware 
to keep up with home fashion trends was out of the question.
And so we never did.

We have recently been doing some spring sprucing up around here.
It started with our son's bedroom
and then it began "snowballing" into hallways and down the stairs and into other rooms...
Much has begun to happen, but little has been finished...

One bright spot has been the happy restoration of the brass hardware on the doors.
Our painter and all around house magician, Dan, took it upon himself to polish a door knob 
with a bit of steel wool, and Wow!
What was old and tarnished and ugly 

is once again polished and regal and beautiful.

The 80 year old doors are thick with paint 
and the hardware was not always removed 
as it should have been when things were repainted (GUILTY) 

but Dan cleaned it all up and it looks wonderful now. 

The doors have been sanded and scraped and puttied 
and years of careless painting and neglect have been erased.

This single door knob

also underwent the treatment and looks much better now, too.

There's still a bit of a patina on the door knobs, which I like 
and which I think would have been ruined if Dan had used a chemical brass polish. 

The steel wool did the job so nicely
that we've asked him to do all of the hardware as he paints each room.

This partly explains why nothing is finished...
but a lot is happening.

Linking to:
Trendy Tuesday at Sweet Little Gals
The Scoop at Cedarhill Ranch
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesdays at Knick of Time Interiors

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sneak Peek at a Work in Progress

I have been working on so many projects lately, 
and none are finished,
 but I want to share a sneak peek at one of the big ones....

When our son moved out, he took a lot of his old bedroom furnishings with him.  
I wasn't sorry to see much of it go, only him, and then, only a little.  
It was time and he's doing well on his own.  
We just sort of closed the door to his room and ignored it for a while.  

Enough time had passed
and it seemed ok to reclaim the room from boyhood shrine 
and give it guest room status.
Lots of patching and painting and sticker removal have been done
and the room is now habitable again.

I have some gorgeous twin beds that were in my Mom's house
and I thought they would be perfect in this room.

And then I found the perfect mirrors to hang above the beds...

Here's a close up of one of the mirrors-

I'm still working on window treatments and accessories,
but here's a peek at what's been done so far...

Comfy Pottery Barn duvet covers and shams
and nice new sheets and blankets.  
I may have to try it out myself...
They say you should try sleeping in your guest room 
to make sure it's got all the necessities and niceties your guest will need.
I'm game.

Linking to:
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Flaunt it Friday at Chic On a Shoestring Decorating
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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