Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mocha Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This is the BEST frosting EVER!

Used here on our Easter cake!

This recipe was given to me by my secretary when I worked back east many years ago.  I had tasted it on a dessert she had made and loved it so much that I insisted she let me in on the secret.  :)

Here it is:
1 stick of butter
1 box confectioners sugar
2T baker's cocoa (not instant)
1 t. vanilla
extremely strong coffee as a liquid

Cream butter and vanilla.  Add sugar, cocoa, and some of the coffee.  Blend and add more coffee as needed or more confectioners sugar if it becomes too soft. 


Urban Homesteading

We live in an area of the country that is extremely expensive.  Consequently, the homes are packed in and the yards (assuming you even have a yard) are tiny.  And even though I am a working professional, I am a total (TOTAL) homebody and homemaker at heart.  I even have homesteading tendencies.....if we had the space I would have chickens, large gardens, and a small orchard!    :)  

Below is what I have got going on at the will see that our backyard is basically a patio.  While I have been very successful with flowers, I have not fared as well growing food in our space (except for our orange tree which takes NO work on my part).  So wish me luck!  Not photographed is some lettuce that I am trying to grow, some additional herbs and our orange tree.


This is the tiny space I am using to grow some produce in containers.  Some get morning sun and some get afternoon sun....we will see what survives!

I have a blackberry bush started here...

These are two containers planted with tomatoes, basil, cucumber and zucchini.

A new lemon tree replaced an old palm that outgrew it's space and had to be removed.  It's in a great spot for sun and near our orange tree.  :)

I think a clothesline is not smiled upon by our city but my dryer is not very efficient and I prefer to be greener...

If anyone out there has an urban garden, I would love to hear any pointers!  :D

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Easter Cake

Last weekend my youngest sister and I went to the Long Beach Antique Flea Market.  There was so much to see (I have blogged about this amazing event before, too!).  I ended up purchasing a heavy vintage military type jacket for my younger son (for $15), a pewter Air Force plate for my older son as a gift (for $10) , and a crystal vase (for $5), and my sister purchased a beautiful jacket to wear at Christmastime, a bracelet and a serving platter, all vintage.  While we were on our way out, she spotted two cake pans that she could not seem to leave without.  One is a rabbit pan, and the other a lamb, perfect for Easter.  We decided that we would give them to our niece (who loves to bake and decorate), but I wanted to test out one of them first since we were not sure what to do and there were no instructions!

Here is the final lamb cake:

I dug around online and found a recipe to fit the cake mold as well as the instructions for baking and removing the cake from the pan HERE.

In addition to making the cake using the recipe above from scratch, I made homemade frosting and then applied coconut.  Since this was a practice run, all I had on hand for eyes were chocolate chips, but I think I would prefer small black jellybeans and a pink jellybean for the nose.   I snipped some mint and flowers from the yard to make the cake look a bit more festive.

Looking forward to Easter!  :)  

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