Today is one of the most beautiful days I can remember. I have all of our windows in the back of the house wide open. I can feel the fresh 70 degree breeze, bask in the gleaming sun, listen to leaves rustle, watch the puppies romp and play, and just take a deep breath and enjoy this beautiful moment in the midst of winter.
Our w.a.l.k. (if you have dogs you will understand) this morning in the crisp air.
I want to share the most beautiful glass art I have ever seen, and I am lucky enough to be the sister-in-law of the artist, Anna Curnes! Here is a glass rose that she made for me (buttercup yellow, my favorite color), and here is the link to her website! http://www.annalouglass.com/index2.php#/home/
I fell down on my job as a good neighbor this Christmas. I did not make any fun treats to deliver the decorated doorsteps of my kind neighbors, each of whom dutifully delivered to our doorstep countless cookies, cakes and candies. I decided, rather than just write a thank you note for these sweet treats, I would make a sweet treat in return, in hopes that a special dessert would help start the New Year off on a sweet note!
Shafer Circa: yesterday
Cort Circa: 2008
I have the sweetest neighbors. When you buy a home, you never think about interviewing the neighbors to make sure you are compatible. I honestly didn't think about it until the day we moved in and I met pretty much each of my neighbors, and then I thought about it, and sighed a big sigh of relief, as they were all more delightful than I could have imagined. I appreciate that they watch out for us and our newspapers, deliveries, puppies, lights, anything when we are out of town, or even if we are just out of pocket for an hour! I appreciate that I can chat with them about trivial things, talk about deep things, or just barely wave at one another as we run through our days. However, my neighbors go above and beyond the standard neighborly expectations and niceties; they have built a small community on our block, one in which I am honored to have been accepted as a member.
Do you know your neighbors? If not, go garden out front for an hour...it is a great way to meet people and a great conversation starter.
This recipe is from the All Recipes website. One of the reasons that I chose this recipe was that it had a very high rating with tons of reviews. Another reason was because I had buttermilk in the fridge that I needed to use! Original Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-pound-cake-iii/detail.aspx
Cort with her CJ (my mom) on New Years at the lake.
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1 1/2 cups of butter, softened
3 cups of white sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. The original recipe is for 10 inch bundt pan, but I used three 8 x 4 inch giftable loaf pans. I got them from the Container store, and they are wonderful, because you can bake your treat and then deliver them in the baking dish! http://www.containerstore.com/shop/giftPackaging/giftableBakingCupsPans?productId=10031613&N=80717
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. With a spoon, mix together and then set aside.
4. In your mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture.
6. Stir the vanilla into the butter mixture.
7. Slowly add half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
8. Slowly add half of the buttermilk into the butter mixture.
9. Add the rest of the flour and then the rest of the buttermilk to the butter mixture.
10. Mix until combined, but do not over mix.
11. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish or dishes.
12. If you are baking in one large dish, you will need to bake the cake for about 60 to70 minutes. I you are using smaller pans, you will need to watch. My three smaller dishes took about 35 minutes to be fully cooked.
13. Enjoy by yourself or share with a sweet neighbor!