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

Posts tagged “baking

Wildflour Bakery Anchorage, Alaska- Guest Blog

My wish is you get to Anchorage Alaska and taste Wildflour Bakery pies. Although I am back in the lower 48 today I have some more Alaska posts.

When visiting friends in Homer Alaska, we met some very nice people in their interesting home that our host had helped build.

The first thing they did was offer us pie and coffee.  Who could resist?

Three types of apple pie.  As we sampled a sliver of each type, we talked about the excellent flavor and crust (one gluten- free) and then I learned about the pie creator, Wildflour Bakery Owner Olivia Allen of Anchorage.  Although I took a few photos of the pie (see below) I wanted to know more.

Meet bakery owner Olivia Allen- photograph by Julia Bevins, I  asked Julia if she would like to be guest blogger! What a great photo.

Then I called Olivia. She returned my call just as we were entering our departing flight but emailed me more photos and information about Wildflour Bakery.  Here is her blog link Look into the World  See Olivia’s watercolor illustrations and follow her on Instagram Wildflour Bakery Handcrafted pies and galettes made with foraged wild berries, organic ingredients and lots of love 🌸

Olivia writes-

Wildflour Bakery uses locally sourced and foraged wild berries, herbs, flowers and backyard honey to craft beautiful and sweet treats with creative flair.

Each pie or galette is handcrafted with the intention of highlighting the Alaskan spirit of our wild spaces, near and far.

imageBeautifully photographed by Julia Bevins.

Gallery of photos below , sent to me by Olivia

Here are my pie photos so you see why I needed Olivia to send me some more.

And here is her artwork. I love the part about “serve generous slices.”  Yes!!


We fairly well decimated the pies! You can see why I needed more photos to create this blog post as you look at my three photos I took at the kitchen table.

A few years ago I featured friend and pie judge Rob Bard.on National Pie Day.   I know he would have enjoyed the pies.

Wordless Wednesday





(baked by my SIL Carolee)

Throwback Rhubarb Cake Recipe Success

Guest blogger Kristin used this old recipe from my mother’s recipe box.  

I posted about my old Throwback Recipe Blog which I abandoned but 62 El Salvadorians found recently. No one else seems to be able to access it. I was able to screenshot the post of the Rhubarb Cake Recipe. I don’t even know who Beth Boettner is/was. 

Rhubarb.  You either love it or not. 

I suggested butter for shortening and Kristin doubled the rhubarb to 3 cups  She texted her photos to me.
Here’s the cake! Looks moist. 

Here is her husband Rick enjoying the cake. 

Verdict? Delicious!

Love the candid.  Thanks Kristin (and Rick) 

Would vanilla ice cream or a bit of cream complement the taste?  Hmmmmmm
Here’s the old blog address. Throwback Recipes Blog   Let me know if you can get to it 

Notice -“Booming Stats” on Abandoned Blog Today

Five years ago I tried to create a recipe blog from my grandmother’s wooden recipe box and my mother’s recipe cards. I’d forgotten all about it until today when I got a notice from WordPress. Try this link to the blog   A friend wrote she had trouble

getting to itScreen Shot 2016-07-27 at 11.13.43 PM.png

Throwback Recipes Blog

I didn’t stick with this blog for very long.

There were SIX followers. Throwback seemed as if the recipes weren’t really relevant nowadays.

It stopped seeming like such a cool idea.

But today I got a notice “Your stats are BOOMING!”  On the Throwback Recipes blog.  Rhubarb Cake recipe and the home page

And 65 hits (that’s booming after zero) are from El Salvador, 2 are from United States and 1 from Australia. And in just ONE hour.

So thought I would share about my abandoned blog that got rediscovered today.

Did you ever start a blog and abandon it?

It’s always nice to receive those notices from WordPress.

Here is the Chocolate Pound Cake recipe my mother made





Cherry on Top of a Burnt Almond Torte

Cherry on Top

The fun weekly photo challenge by Michelle W.   I should get in the car and head to a local ice cream shop but it’s really humid and hot and we’ve already been out for dinner.  Wish I knew the Cherry on Top challenge beforehand but then I remembered a Cherry on Top I photographed six years ago.

The following was posted in May 2010.  Since then the Burnt Almond Torte was declared America’s Greatest Cake Here’s the article Thank You, Pittsburgh, For The Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made   (By the way, I never saw a cherry on top of a Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte)

Burnt Almond TorteAnd here is the original writing from my May 2010 blog post

Burnt Almond Torte and Copycat Recipe

Different regions prefer certain pastries, baked goods.  Burnt Almond Torte is popular in Pittsburgh. I’ve seen it as a wedding cake. tiered!  Who brought the recipe here I don’t know but many Pittsburghers LOVE it.  I’d never tasted one until we moved here.  This one is from the Oakmont Bakery.  Joan brought it to dinner one night.  We split it three ways. Don’t know who ate the cherry.  Not me.  But before we devoured it, I photographed it.  Here is a link to the Recipezaar Copycat Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte recipe in case you want to have a taste of Pittsburgh Pastry/Dessert.  I hear there’s one where chocolate is involved.

Checking the Copycat Recipe is still valid, YES!!!

The Molasses Swamp is now a Chocolate Swamp post was a slow low day on the blog today.  Bet this Cherry on Top will top it!!


Vanilla, Almond, Orange, Anise


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

Fun weekly photo challenge Jen H. 

A Pie Map, Not a Pie Chart

This is an honest to goodness pie map !

My two friends flew in to visit me in Pittsburgh.  Earlier today we visited the Frick Mansion, Clayton. 

Discussing dinner options, Steve suggested Grant  Bar and Lounge in Millvale.

This map shows where all the pie eating people hail from and because Kristin ordered a coconut cream pie to go, she and Linda got a pushpin to stick on the Grant Bar and Lounge Pie Lovers map- their cities are Gainesville and Boston. (We got a tapioca to go, too) and there are some pickled beets in the take away container.

Kristin and Linda are nurse midwives I met in Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1975 and Linda on right delivered my son Mark, 40 years ago this month!

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. 

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!”