"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Archive for May, 2011

Chocolate Layer Cake on a Cakestand or Vanilla with Vanilla 1-2-3-4 Cake?

Continuing with the comfort food theme,  Arleen McC made this delicious cake when I visited in the fall.  It was so lovely and rich.  Here is a double chocolate cake recipe by Ina Garten.  So think about cakes ( I know MMM, you prefer pie and Rob B what about you, certified pie taster?) but what is your  basic cake preference?

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting?

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting?chocolate-layer-cake-on-cakestand

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting?

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting?

Granted we know there are Martha Washington and Hummingbird cakes, Pound cakes and cheesecakes and Orange or Lemon, Almond and Spice, Marble and Boston Creme Pie……Today I am thinking basic combinations.

And Mark your birthday is coming up and  I know that Angel Food Cake is your first choice. No icing.  You didn’t even like the frosting when you were one!

Cupcakes are all the rage in a lot of places these days but my sister says the amount of frosting is disproportionate to the amount of cake which is the part she likes to eat. We have all seen kids at birthday parties eat all the frosting and leave the cake part untouched or vice versa. There are lines around the block like waiting for tickets to a rockstar concert at Magnolia’s in Greenwich Village on Bleecker Street.

Just last week Laura baked a classic 1-2-3-4 cake with vanilla icing for her Mom-in-Law 2B and it was well received.

Ruth E Hendricks to bcc: anneaiello, bcc: Madalon, bcc: Aida, bcc: Allison, bcc: Tess, bcc: Roberta, bcc: Joanne, bcc: Yvette, bcc: Bernadette, bcc: bonnie.imhoff, bcc: Erin, bcc: Suzanne, bcc: Carole, bcc: Mary, bcc: pking13, bcc: connie300, bcc: karin, bcc: Laura, bcc: Donna, bcc: davidandcarolee, bcc: Lara, bcc: ericawells, bcc: Erika, bcc: Linda, bcc: Kristin, bcc: Sarah
show details May 21 (3 days ago)

Finish the meal–
wait a bit.
Not many folks
keep a layer cake on hand.
It is usually a special occasion.
I like to serve dessert
on my grandmother’s glass plates.
The addition of fresh berries
and or ice cream can’t hurt!

Vanilla cake with vanilla icing. Classic Birthday 1-2-3-4 cake.


I’ve Been Making Jamie Oliver’s Recipe – Baked Orecchiette – 4 Years Now!

Some blog readers say they just look at my picture of the day and don’t bother reading what I write. They are “visual”.

The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is debatable some days.   The number varies.  On Thursday, a freshly pressed blogger suggested using photos you find on blogs to inspire writing and mentioned my blog as a resource which was flattering.  I love the idea of my photos being a writing prompt.

The New York City sidewalk image of the pizza box and the pair of shoes was a recent example that triggered some one-sentence short story writing!

Today’s post is experimenting with a new feature- distraction free writing- initiated by smart people at wordpress.com I’m checking it out even if everyone stopping by is just looking at the photo of the day!

This baked pasta recipe was in the newspaper more than four years ago and I have been making it ever since.  I haven’t looked at the recipe in a long time but decided to search my email and the year 2007 came up.   I also discovered the author of the recipe was Jamie Oliver. Four years ago I didn’t even know who Jamie Oliver was.  Since it is his recipe I will send you to his page to find it and he calls it baked pasta with tomatoes and mozzarella (pasta al forno con pomodori e mozzarella)

My mother always said to buy the best ingredients and do as little to them as possible.  The best ingredients you need are fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (no green-can-shaker-cheese!).

You can make the sauce in about twenty minutes and use the best quality San Marzano tomatoes just as he suggests.  I’ve made it with fresh tomatoes, too.

This photograph was taken in my daughter-in-law’s (and son’s) kitchen.  My son says don’t call the pasta “little ears” (orecchiette) as it grosses him out. “Call it pasta. Just plain pasta.”   The four grandchildren call it pizza noodles!

And if there are any leftovers, it tastes even better the next day.


Comfort food.
Different choices
for different people
and occasions.
Chilly and rainy?
Bake and cook.
Eat!

Baked Pasta Using Orecchiette Shape Pasta- Fresh Mozzarella-Fresh Basil

My favorite comfort food is baked pasta. Add salad, garlic bread and a glass of red wine.


Just the Clementines

from the archives  Invitation.  Waiting to be selected, a thumb poked into the center, then peeled with ease. Each section eaten separately. Morning citrus. Seedless.

One of the most useful dishes.
A bowl.
Fill a bowl with food.
Pasta, chili, soup.
Salad.
Cereal flakes or
corn meal mush.
Goldfish.
Flowers.
Or in this case, fruit.
You take it off the shelf
or out of the cupboard
and fill it with something good.

Fruit bowl still-life, close up..


No- It’s Not a Keep or Pitch Photo!

I smocked and made the porcelain doll's dress. In another life. Seriously.

From the archives- Some readers get the blogs mixed up and think I am asking for a vote on what’s shown, helping me downsize.

I made this a year or so ago in the summer, thinking it would make good notecards to send to the grandchildren. My mother’s tea set, a doll (with the braids) given to me in 1959 by my second grade teacher when we moved from Newark. So when the grandchildren visit there will be opportunity for a real tea party, not just the one I set up on the front lawn to amuse myself. V gave me the bear says What’s Cookin. Clearly, I am too sentimental. Ann, I know you would throw it all out!!

Nothing political-
from the archives
Waiting for the rain to let up.
Sun welcome.
Everything super green.
Feels like fall.


Recognizing Great Customer Service

You know good customer service is no easy thing to come by these days.  Except at Home Depot.  Check out this stack of badges and pins awarded to Liz for giving great customer service.  Liz knows where EVERYTHING is in the whole store…switchplates, twine, recycle bin, picture hooks, the right shaped shovel for the job,  you name it!    She was gracious to allow me to capture her numerous awards and her wearing them, too.  She has to be the nicest Home Depot employee there is!! Modest, too.

A topic I’ve written about before-
The frustration of making a call
and pushing buttons in response
to an electronic voice.
Remember when a human used to answer?
You notice when someone is caring or kind,
courteous and or helpful.


Pittsburgh Sunset

from the archives

Words can fall short
to describe a feeling
or experience.
A camera can catch
the colors, light
but being
there in person
looking up to the sky
watching the sun set
the camera feels insufficient.


Poets House New York City & Remembering a Friend

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from the archives-   Found a special poetry book on the shelf in Poets House in New York City- Dorothy Holley’s Dream Quartet.    Dorothy Holley was born 88 years ago today- May 15th.  The poetry community of Pittsburgh misses her greatly.

I filmed a video of Dorothy reading her poetry in 2005, Quart Jar Poet.  She was an inspiration, publishing her first book at age 82 and then three more books to follow. Here are a couple photos from Poets House.  From the inside you look out onto the Hudson River.  You can listen to Dorothy reading some of her poetry on YouTube, filmed by Barb Alsko, if you put in her name in the search.  She was a good friend to me.  I miss having tea with her.   She kept a beautiful garden. Her iris are growing and blooming at Liane’s these days.  Click here for last year’s postto remember Dorothy.


Tastykakes Still Life

From the archives.  Jim’s Steaks in Philly. Tastykakes. Behind glass. Mary wrote about Drake’s, Hostess, and there’s Little Debbie brands from different regions.  Each one has a snack cake specialty - Ring Dings, Ho- Hos or Twinkies or Oatmeal Creme Pies!

There was a commercial, Tastykake Cake and Pies.


VW Family in North Carolina

from the Archives.  I learned to drive on a VW bug. 1969. Black, stick-shift.  Taken in North Carolina a couple of years ago.

Just as it was. No set-up. Generations of Volkswagens.


Artist Helène Aylon at the Warhol Museum

I asked Ms. Aylon  if  I might take her picture (with my iPhone these days)  and she graciously agreed.  Then she suggested we take one under the portrait of Julia Warhol, Andy’s mother.  It was Mother’s Day.

Her exhibit The Word of God: Helène Aylon, The Liberation of G-d and The Unmentionable runs through June 26th.

To read about Helène Aylon and her art visit her website.

Photographer Rick Byerly runs the Pittsburgh Art Blog click here for more information.

Details also at the Warhol calendar

A solo exhibit
at the Warhol
is very cool.
Right here
in River City- Pittsburgh.

(Photograph posted with artist’s permission)

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