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

Posts tagged “baking

Bread and Salt Adventure

Maybe you read Mark Bittman’s farewell article A Slice of Heaven in Pittsburgh (in the NYTimes) about the Pittsburgh bakery- Bread and Salt.

My neighbor and I went over to Bloomfield and got in line to order our lunch. We took it to go.

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday you need to plan ahead.

You can order via email. If you ordered bread or pizza online you don’t have to wait in the line.  Just go ahead to the counter, pay and pick up.

Samples of bread are in bowls on the counter. Here are a couple of loaves.  They are sold by the pound so you can get exactly what you need, you don’t have to buy the whole loaf.




Here is Laura on her first day of work. She was gracious to let me photograph her.

That’s a ricotta/almond cake.  They weigh the bread and pizza. It was Laura’s (smiling on right) first day




We sampled all four types offered on Friday.


We had a nice lunch back at my neighbor’s.

Lots of fresh veggie toppings.

The one on the right is the Rosa pizza with oregano.

The classic Margherita was my favorite.  The combination of basil, fresh  mozzarella and tomatoes so fragrant and delicious. Next time I plan to try the bread.


Writer Hal Klein has an article in Pittsburgh Magazine describing the breads, the baker Rick Easton  and the bakery

If you plan to go, be sure to click the Bread and Salt link to check on hours of operation.

Change: From Dough to Cookies

Change is this week’s photography challenge and Friday I posted my children as they are all grown up with families of their own.  I’ve looked at quite a few fellow bloggers posts and didn’t see this one yet but I might have missed it.  So many possibilities for posts illustrating change.  

I was baking some cookies, noticed the mixing bowl of dough, and I thought- change.

I went to the other room and got the real camera instead of the phone.

The light seemed nice in the kitchen.


cookie dough

Oatmeal Crisps from the Farm Journal Cookbook (1972 ed.)

 I cut the recipe in half and left out the coconut. You could add nuts and/or raisins.

My minor adjustments to the original recipe below.



1 C butter, room temp ( I happened to have Irish butter on hand)

1 C brown sugar

3/4 C white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C flour

3 C Bob’s Red Mill Oats

1 t baking soda

1 t salt

dash of cinnamon and dash of ginger

Bake about 11 minutes @ 350


Thanks to Kristin Snow for the challenge this week. You have to check out her blog Snowmads

Excerpt from her blog is below.  You will be inspired for adventure after reading it.  

“Who are the Snowmads?

We’re Jason and Kristin Snow, a travel-addicted couple who walked away from cubicles and conventional lives two years ago to roam full-time, gaining valuable perspective on life and meeting new friends at every turn. We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams and collect experiences instead of things. Please feel free to share some travel tips right back at us whenever possible — we love hearing from you!”

Aunt Georgeann Brought Cupcakes from Regent Square

Four of the grandchildren are visiting for the weekend, along with their parents. Saturday night we had dinner and guests. Aunt Georgeann came to see how they’d grown. She arrived with a big pink box.


She knew there was almond, lemon, red velvet, and a carrot cake with the sliver of candied ginger, plus two chocolate with espresso frosting.  A dozen sweet cakes.We needed a key but came up with a solution.

She’d stopped off in Regent Square at Vanilla Pastry Studio Molly gave me this birthday gift of a  Rooster Harkerware piece just yesterday.

Aunt Georgeann cut them in half so the kids could decide what they wanted to eat. It was fun to try the different flavors. 


You can see everyone enjoyed the treat! 

I took one of the leftovers and put it on a cupcake stand Joanne gave me years ago.

Practicing my food photography.

 I wanted to show the big pink box!

One More Plum Torte Post

JJBegonias post of Marian Burros Plum Torte has inspired many to bake one.

My friend Roberta made a couple and gave me one she baked but unfortunately Steve and I ate it without thinking about photographing it,

I made one for my friend Josie’s parents and then her sister Carol made one and Josie sent me a photo of it on the phone. Looks like they paired it with a cup of coffee.  Mmmm.

Carol's plum Torte


Then here is the one I made



Happy Day or 1-2-3-4 Cake?

 If you’ve been following the blog since the beginning, you might remember the photos and recipes.On several occasions, I’ve posted our  “go to” birthday cake recipes.
 My sister got me the one Swan’s Down vintage cake pan in Omak, Washington when were visiting our brother one summer.
I did mail a birthday card to my sister.  (Unusual for me that it wasn’t belated)
In my family, we’d try to get it in the octave, as my mom would call it.  Enjoy your day!

Happy Day Cake Recipe-

For Birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle. And as I remember it she added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a slice and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Happy Birthday to my sister Mary who gave me the vintage pan

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional


In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.


p.s. Last year I mailed an actual cake but this year it will be virtual

and another connection was the post when my friend J sent me a cupcake tree to Ohio when I was visiting


The weekly photo challenge is fresh

fresh strawberries

smoothie carrot ginger

Laura sipping a NorthStar Shooting Star- Organic Carrot, Lemon and Ginger

Fresh PastaEataly Fresh Pasta

fresh mango

Fresh Mango NYC


Remember Delores’ Fresh Cinnamon Rolls (and Key Lime Pie?) Apalachicola FL

oatmeal and latte

Fresh Oatmeall and Banana and a Latte at Big Dog Coffee

helen's salad

Helen’s Fresh Salad St. George Island July 2014

fresh ingredients


fresh flowers

Fresh Flowers NYC

produce boxes

Produce Boxes  NYC

Brand New Today

Brand new today.   I was wondering what to post for this week’s photo challenge.

We went to a delicious brunch at our friends’  home Saturday morning.
I received this unexpected gift- at first I thought it was a whisk broom for clothes – but no, can you guess?

It’s a cake tester!  Perfect for a baker.  A cake baker.  Just need an occasion to bake a cake.
Pull a broom straw and insert in the cake’s center to test the cake’s doneness.  Make sure it comes out clean.

I’m hanging my brand new cake tester on the pot rack right next to the over door as the little verse suggests.

Thanks Rich and Barb for a lovely time and for this unique gift.  


Whoa, Beware of Falling Sprinkles

At the end of the day my  school neighbor, the librarian, brought me this fancy cupcake with multi-colored sprinkles AND a wet wipey for my hands after consuming it!

As I put it on my desk, a few sprinkles fell off and the little railroad man was nearby.  Photographed with the Canon SX 170 point and shoot.  Just for fun.

This post is also a nod to Big Appetites author and photographer from Seattle who inspires our class daily- Christopher Boffoli.  If you don’t know his work, check it out when you have time.

cupcake sprinkles

So How Do You Feel About Cheesecake?

I ordered a piece of New York Cheesecake when I visited my sister in NYC.  With the fresh fruit on top. A generous amount that contrasted nicely with it.

There is no crust.

I thought it tasted really good and had a smooth texture, satisfying and rich but not too rich or sweet.

Mary said when she took a spoonful,  it felt like she was biting into a block of cream cheese.

Her pastry looked delicious, filled with ricotta.

Here is the piece I ordered and ate, almost to the last bite.

Just wondering how you feel about cheesecake?

My sister-in-law Bobbie has a great recipe I have baked for parties over the years and guests devour it.

That is, if they like cheesecake.

NYC Cheesecake

Now We Are Six- Happy Birthday Maura Clare!

Updated Post with corrections 

Now We Are Six

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

-A.A. Milne

Six Years Old November 17, 2014

(Retro Raggedy Ann and Andy party tablecloth from blog follower and friend Deb B.who has been saving it to give to me and driving it around since forever and got it out of the trunk of her car on Greenfield School Veterans Day Dinner, thank you Deb!)


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