Monthly Archives

May 2016

Food

CHOCOLATE CAKE

May 28, 2016

Growing up, one of my favorite memories of birthdays was my mom’s delicious chocolate cakes. Well, this year, for my dad’s birthday, I decided to try making my own cake from scratch. This was my first attempt with frosting and it was perfect! For that special occasion, try this recipe from Good Housekeeping. Your tastebuds will thank you!

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Ingredients

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ c. low-fat buttermilk

Directions

  1. Prepare cake layers:  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease three 8-in. round cake pans.  Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper.  Dust pans with flour.
  2. On another sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until blended.  Increase speed to high; beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  Reduce speed to medium-low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla until blended.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon batter evenly among prepared pans.  If necessary, stagger pans on 2 oven racks, placing 2 on upper rack and 1 on lower rack, so that top pans are not directly above bottom one.  Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.  With small knife, loosen layers from sides of pans; invert onto wire racks.  Carefully remove and discard waxed paper; cool completely, about 45 minutes.  If you like, wrap layers well and store at room temperature up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month.  Bring to room temperature before frosting cake.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting:  (see below).  In small bowl, combine cocoa and boiling water, stirring until smooth.  In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar 5 minutes or until fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium-low; add melted chocolate, then cocoa mixture, beating until smooth and occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.  If frosting is too runny, refrigerate until just stiff enough to spread.
  5. Assemble cake: Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on cake plate; spread with 1/3 cup frosting.  Top with second layer, bottom side up; spread with 1/3 cup frosting.  Place remaining layer bottom side up on top.  Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake.
  6. Make the frosting: • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa • 1/3 cup boiling water • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar •12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled.

Note:  Cakes tend to be dry when they sit out as the recipe states.  For best results, sweat cake by immediately covering hot pan with saran wrap.  Leave until cake cools.  Makes such a big difference!

Photography

BABY BUMP

May 23, 2016

HAPPY MONDAY!!

Over the weekend, I had such a fun photoshoot with a dear friend and her adoring husband.

Looking forward to meeting and photographing this new little one!

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Thanks for stopping by!

xo, A

Travel

BANFF, CANADA

May 23, 2016

WOW!  This was such a remarkable vacation!  I would recommend this trip to EVERYONE.  I decided to take my mom on a little mid-week getaway to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.  I kept our itinerary simple and based everything around dog sledding.  This was a dream come true for me.  Being a proud owner of two huskies, I’ve felt a calling to create my own dog sledding team.  Ok!  Ok!  Not really, but I have always wanted to experience it.  Our guide was Kingmik Dog Sled Tours, very informative and such an enjoyable ride through the gorgeous national park.  The Fairmont Lake Louise was a picture perfect hotel.  Pictures of this hotel will entice you to visit during any season.  Banff National Park has abundant hiking and site seeing which will keep everyone entertained. Such a successful mother-daughter trip.  I hope to return soon.  Enjoy the pictures!!

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xo, A