pen rainbow

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wednesday—Good for You, Good for The Home— ❤ Marimekko

Bringing back a great design!
A nostalgic revival of the original 1977 Marimekko garden design by Maija Isola


Breezy, pocket-top, sheer-panel cotton curtains that can be machine washed & dried.  Line dry is recommended, but I dried them on low, and they came out perfectly.

I like a little natural wrinkle, but these could be ironed on low if you wanted them totally wrinkle-free.  These curtains are casual and informal, but comfortably elegant.

They come in 4 lengths to fit standard window & door sizes.  From Crate & Barrel  $34.95 to $64.95

Tuesday's Cupboard—World's Best Carrot Cake

Egg painting on my front porch
This has been a holiday favorite in my family for 3 generations.  


I also use this recipe to make Christmas cakes and birthday cakes.  Don't be tempted to thin out the frosting.  It will be the right consistency once it is whipped with a beater.   


This was the first cake that I learned to make when I was a girl (except for Easy Bake Oven cakes).  


It tastes even better on the second day!   


Mom's Carrot Cake


Preheat oven to 350°
Grease & flour 3, 8" cake pans

CAKE
Dry ingredients:
  • 2 c. white flour
  • 2 c. baker's sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained
Heavy ingredients:
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans

FROSTING - Mix thoroughly with an electric beater or in a Kitchenaid mixer; start on very slow to blend, then work your way up to high.  Mix until smooth & no lumps.
  • 1 - 8 oz. pkg. Philly cream cheese (regular, not whipped)
  • 1 small box of powdered sugar
  • 1 cube butter, semi-softened
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

HOW IT'S MADE

Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add oil & eggs & beat with electric mixer to combine.  Add crushed pineapple & mix in thoroughly by hand.  The pineapple will stick to the mixer tongs if you try to mix this with a beater.  Better to mix it in by hand.  Then, stir in shredded carrots & pecans.  Divide batter equally among 3 greased and floured cake pans.  Be sure to gently drop the pans on the counter to release bubbles before you put them into the oven.  

Bake on 350°F for approx. 20 to 25 minutes.  Test for doneness with toothpick inserted into the middle of each pan.  Let cool.  

Assemble the layers, adding a medium layer of frosting between each cake layer.  This is a three-layer cake, so mentally divide the frosting so that you have about 1+1/2 c. left to give it a crumb coat, plus an outer coat of frosting.  If you make the frosting too thick between the layers, the layers will slide.  *Crumb coat *then chill *then frost.  How to crumb coat a cake  

This works well for cupcakes, too!  To frost the cupcakes, use green food coloring to tint enough white frosting to frost the top of each cupcake.  Reserve some of the white frosting to make the baby carrots.  Tint some shredded coconut with green, as well.  Frost each cupcake with a foundation of green frosting, then add tinted coconut & press it lightly into the green frosting.  This will be the grass.

Tint some white frosting with red & yellow to make a nice shade of orange.  Pipe 3 carrot tops into the center of each cupcake garden.  Finish the carrot tops with a small-tip applicator and dab on a leaf to each carrot.  You can also make baby blue bird cupcakes using toasted coconut, blue frosting for the birds, yellow frosting for the beaks, and black for the eyes.  

Get creative & have fun!

Monday—The Reading Corner—Easter Week

Lethal Experiment —Book of Genesis — The Lincoln Lawyer


Recently finished...
Over the weekend, I finished, Lethal Experiment, by John Locke.  It's a fun, fast read, and the plot is more compelling than its predecessor, Lethal People.

The problem with both books is the chauvinistic tone of the writing.  I'm not sure what the author was going for, but bellicose patriotism and the depreciation of the women in both books were unnecessary distractions from his otherwise fast-paced and entertaining narratives.  ★★ 1/2 out of 5

Pearl's bible
Just started...
Holy Bible Illustrated (King James Version), Old Testament; The First Book of Moses Called, Genesis.

New English Translation (NET) Bible, Old Testament, Kindle Version: Book of Genesis

Backstory...
The Jehovah's Witnesses came by on Sunday while I was standing out on my porch watering the vegetable garden.  I'm a human magnet when it comes to homeless guys and people handing out pamphlets, so I wasn't surprised when a little old lady with a cane and a nice looking gentleman in a light gray suit came chugging up my sidewalk with that look that they get when they've got somebody in their crosshairs.

I was wearing my totally awesome, "I got tubbed!" HOT TUB TIME MACHINE teeshirt, and if they'd seen the movie and known that I participated in the making of that cinematic jewel, I'm sure that they would have thrown some holy water on me.  

The old gal was pretty persistent and kept trying to hand me pamphlets.  Ixnay on the paper and adding to my household clutter.  No can do, Sugar Lips.  I'm always nice, though, and they left after I started moving the sprayer closer to the guy's pant leg.

Their visit reminded me of my annual viewing of The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as the supercool badguy, Pharoah Ramses I.  Anne Baxter played Queen Nefretiri, and Yvonne De Carlo played Sephora, the wife of Moses.  The movie came out when I was minus-one year old (1956), but as soon as it was broadcast on TV, I was hooked on the grandiose special effects.

I'm reading The Book of Genesis this week because it's a pretty cool story, and I'm starting the run-up to Sunday's broadcast of The Ten Commandments.

The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly
I just started this, and I'm going to finish it before I go see the movie, which is now playing at the Century in downtown Walnut Creek.  Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Haller, the criminal defense lawyer who takes on small-time, two-bit clients and conducts business out of the back of his Lincoln Continental.

Here's Roger Ebert's review.  He gives it ★★★ and calls it "satisfactory."  Sounds like something fun to do over Easter weekend!