Happy Day Cake Recipe

HAPPY DAY CAKE RECIPE

It’s my sister’s birthday today.

The Happy Day Cake Recipe post is from a birthday post I made for her ten years ago.  For many family  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 filled with boiling brown sugar and butter, into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled.She’d add Confectioner’s sugar to it. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle.  She added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a stale slice of cake and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Mary bought me this vintage cake pan when we were visiting our brother in Okanogan Washington

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
  • vanilla extract

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.

Happy Birthday Mary.

 

I didn’t count the cake posts I’ve created in the last 12 years but if you have time on your hands and like cake  you can look at some photos from theblog tagged CAKE here

Danish Dough Whisk Put to Use

Early in the Pandemic my friend Debbie shipped scone mix and an unusual kitchen tool. A “brodpisker”in Danish or a Dough Whisk.

Here’s an Epicurious article all about this wonderful tool.

(Of course, you don’t want to overwork you’re scone dough!)

Thanks, Deb.

Those are bits of dried raspberries
Breakfast on the front porch with sock knitting on the side.

How Do You Like Your Toast?

How do you feel about toast?

Although I’ve burned toast on occasion this Duolit Toaster does a magnificent job, really toasting the bread properly. A milestone birthday gift from my friend Vincie. It’s  almost eighteen years ago, oh my.  It has served me well and is still going strong. I should have polished it for the photo.

What a vehicle for butter, Toast is! How do you like your toast? Jam?Jelly? Honey? Cheese? Avocado?

My granddaughter Anna’s artwork on the mug, at least a decade since it was given to me.

Here’s my sister’s Old School toaster in NYC from a blog post six years ago

Can you find one like my sister’s toaster in the museum collection? A toaster collection at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine Florida

Did you know there a song about toast? My SIL James sent this Heywood Banks Toast, Yeah Toast Song which has had millions of views on YouTube.

Winter Supper- Pierogies with Sautéed Spinach and Onions

A simple meal to ward off the damp chill.

Butter is key! (With a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t burn)

Basic potato and cheddar Pierogies. When I first moved to Pittsburgh the idea of mashed potatoes in dough turned me. Ha! Now it satisfies every carb craving that manifests itself in February. 

   
 

Years Later Everything Still Looks Fresh

Frozen in the moment. Still fresh,  Magic.

I went back to an external hard drive and dug through archives

Looking for images that say fresh.  I sure like to photograph my food. Scroll down for the fresh statue.

Anna is born. October 2003
Anna is born. October 2003

The butter cow at the Ohio State Fair
The butter cow at the Ohio State Fair

A fresh fruit tart at Suzanne's home for tea
A fresh fruit tart at Suzanne’s home for tea

A roll in Zagreb
A roll in Zagreb

Bill's Paint Palette
Bill’s Paint Palette

mixing up paint in with the food theme

Fresh Asparagus at my sister's in NYC
Fresh Asparagus at my sister’s in NYC

A Spinach Salad
A Spinach Salad

Vanilla Gelato
Vanilla Gelato

Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries

Zagreb Fountain Might be Considered a Bit Fresh
Zagreb Fountain Might be Considered a Bit Fresh

Single Ear of Sweet Corn

You can still get great tomatoes. Come January we’ll long for them. 

I was at a friend’s house and she made corn for us.

Butter, salt and fresh black pepper.  

I think it was the first ear of corn I ate all summer.

Delicious.

Had a half of an ear last Sunday at a Garden Party, but

will savor this photo come fall.   

Thanks Ann.

ear of corn

 

 

Daily Prompt: Ingredients

This is the first time the daily prompt really spoke to me- ingredients.

WordPress offers daily inspiration to bloggers, if they want to respond.  Here is the prompt by Ben Huberman

” What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.”

Here’s part of my kitchen.  Isn’t love the secret ingredient?  I read a blog that says it is.

But I think I’ll choose the Kitchen-Aid mixer, the Kitchen-Aid mixer my dad bought me 25 years ago. The one I’ve used to make cakes for all the kids’ birthdays and graduations and cookies for all occasions. Now they are all grown and gone.

You need a lot of ingredients-

An electric kettle (thanks Laura)

The edge of the farmhouse sink  and bit of my stove, the portable dishwasher top is laden with stuff- the knives,

a tin of olive oil.

I added my favorite nesting Pyrex bowls  I’ve a  thing for the big yellow one. It’s like the one my mom used to make her bread dough. Let it rise.

My grandmother’s recipes are in the wooden box on the shelf.

A couple of beat up baby cups, including my pewter one engraved with my name- Ruth Ella 1952

Tea in a tin.

Handwoven potholders.

My favorite French pepper mill a gift (1974) from my sister’s college friend Janet.

The bread board my sister gave me.

And how could I manage without vanilla?

Garlic keeper from Fredda at my shower in college.  Got to have garlic. My brother sends me the best organic garlic from Okanogan WA.

But just one thing?  I chose the mixer.

Definitely need butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Such a lovely start to so many things.

My Kitchen

the close up

and then the shot with a bit more distance to see the all of the clutter  ingredients

Love my stove, oven and range hood, too.  My pots and pans.

Pyrex BowlsNow you can see the dirty dishes in the stainless bowl and the remnants of the sink skirt adhesive I tried to stick onto the sink once upon a time. Need to get some Goo Gone.

Butter- Salted or Un

A variety of butter in the Dairy Case of the Clintonville Community Market in Clintonville Ohio. (walking distance from Laura and James’ home)

Minerva Dairy Amish Butter is on the right and Hartzler Family Dairy butter  ( from Wooster, OH) on the left.

Just last Thursday I ate dinner at a friend’s and she told me that someone told her, “Butter is love.”

A year ago this month the butter sculptor and “butter cow lady” from Iowa, Norma Lyon, passed away and her obituary is in the New York Times.

The butter in this photo was captured in early April. When we lived in Germany the commissary sold Danish butter and I see my family buying Irish butter these days.

What’s your favorite butter?

Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery in Millvale PA

Crossed the Allegheny River to go to Millvale.  After I went to Panza’s to pick up Joan’s painting I had reframed, I went to get some brioche  and a loaf of crusty bread from Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery. 412.821.8533   Everything in the bakery is beyond delicious. There are samples on the counter of the melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies and a French shortbread called Breton Cake. There are little fruit tarts, apricot tarts and flaky croissants, even Key Lime pie slices.  As I was about to pay for my order, I saw him frosting a cake in the back.  I asked the young woman waiting on me if it would be all right to take a picture. She said,” Just take it!”  So I did.  Magnificent artistry in cake making.  And delicious.  I have eaten memorable wedding cakes made by him.  Once I bought a cake there for Laura’s graduation from Marquette and drove it to Milwaukee WI.

Memo to self: Drive across river more often to Millvale and buy delicious pastries from Jean-Marc Chatellier.