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

Baking

Vanilla, Almond, Orange, Anise

Pure

The bottles of extract all say Pure so they must be, right?

Fun weekly photo challenge Jen H. 


Matt Carries Freshly Baked Croissants

He was headed to Enrico’s Biscotti Company.  I was headed to Ohio.

Wait, may I take your photo?  I wanted to get out the real camera, not the phone.

I was parked just in front of his truck

He was so nice.  His name’s Matt.  He baked these down on 31st Street and was bringing them to Enrico’s Biscotti. If you saw the movie The Bread My Sweet/ A Wedding for Bella, you’ve been inside bakery.

And this is the part you are never going to believe.

I watched that very movie (renamed A Wedding for Bella) not twelve hours before I ran into Matt taking the croissants to the same bakery in the film. If you click on the title above you can read Roger Ebert’s review.  All filmed in Pittsburgh, right in the Strip District.

Matt and his freshly baked croissants

Matt and his Freshly Baked Croissants. 

 

EnricoYou can see the sign for Enrico’s on Penn Avenue in this shot as I got into my car.

 


Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake

Did some research for a Portuguese dessert and this cake came up in two places.  Recipe for Orange-Olive Oil Cake.

I went across the Allegheny to Labriola’s and bought a new Zoe Olive Oil as recommended in the recipe. Fresh eggs. And five navel oranges were five dollars at Whole You-Know. 

Zested three oranges and squeezed four to get 1 1/2 c of juice. 

Used a tube pan as I did not have a light colored bundt pan. Baked it 1 1/4 hours. 

Make it at least a day before serving. I did.  

 Will let you know what the verdict is after Friday night dessert. I usually don’t make a new recipe to share, untested.

  

   
 
  
I put it on a glass cake stand after it cooled. 


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.

 

cookies

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.

Sweet!


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

IMG_1540

 


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!
cakepans

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

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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


Fellow blogger inspires my friend’s dessert for dinner guests 

Thursday I shared a blog post with my friend Roberta. It was from a blog I follow-(http://jjbegonia.com/marian-burros-plum-torte/) with Marion Burros Plum Torte recipe included in the post. 

Roberta made it that night for dinner guests.

Sent the two photos and I asked her permission to share. She’s guest blogger today.  Here’s what she said-

I made it with apricots since there were no Italian prune plums at the market, but otherwise didn’t change a thing. I can see why people love this recipe–so easy and so good. Thanks a million–it’s a keeper! R  

  
Check out the Plum torte post by jjbegonia to see her beautiful plum torte photos and recipe which inspired the apricot torte!


We Used To Be Off School February 22

First day of March and I’m a week
off but I’m blogging from my phone while sitting in the dark in my granddaughters room. Some of the family already headed out to a swim meet.

Here’s the vein of memory sparked by these photos – not for certain when Presidents Day started but will google.

My mother had a small cookie cuter in the shape of a hatchet.
Baked sugar cookies and the skinny dough hatchet handles would break off so easily.

She also made a pie like dessert with canned sour cherries and every so often you’d find a pit. I remember her stirring the juice on the stove with cornstarch to thicken, a crusty biscuit on top, baked.

This pie, a purchased one, reminded me of her efforts to celebrate Washington’s Birthday when I was growing up.

I’ve baked a chocolate log for Lincoln when the kids were small.

For this impromptu photo op, I pulled out the Presidents’ teapot J gave me and then remembered my parents George plate in the china cabinet.

The year mark (77-78) and I lived in Philadelphia while his dad was in Korea, my mom or dad would rock Mark in the big wooden rocker( it’s in his office now) and he’d look up at the blue plate on the wall and say “George” when you’d ask him “who’s that?”

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When it bakes, you smell autumn

One of the good things about fall.

It’s a simple dessert. The time of year when the apples are perfect, so fresh

A sign of fall.  Apple Crisp.

If you want to be inspired with Apples Galore, stop by Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide blog.

I peeled a lot of apples(10), sliced and chopped and put them into a buttered 9×13 glass dish.

Cut a stick of butter into 2 cups of oats (we skip the flour) some salt and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Just hint of cinnamon, not to overpower the apples.

Crumble the buttery oatmeal crumbs over the apples.  Bake about 50 minutes.

Marlene adds a cup of cranberries to her apples and that makes it nice and tart with the contrast of sweet.

(and a little salty caramel or vanilla ice cream on the side- or even mint, eh Maura?)

Golden Delicious Apples

apples on the cutting board

Oh no, I didn’t photograph the fragrant apple crisp as it cooled or when it was dished up on plates with the ice cream.

We just ate it!


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