15 April 2018

Recipe : Italian Coffee and Walnut Cake

I realized the other day that I had mentioned this recipe, and then forgot to share it with you - sorry about that!  I came across this years ago, in a magazine whose name is completely lost to the mists of time in my memory.  It's one of our favorites, because it's pretty straightforward, easy to put together, and the result is so good. 

Italian Coffee and Walnut Cake

7 Tablespoons softened butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3/4 flour, sifted with 1 Tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup strong coffee**
7 ounces/~1 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

-- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

-- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs.

-- Add the flour alternately with the coffee until the mixture is smooth.  Fold in the nuts.

-- Pour the mixture into the cake pan, and bake for 1 hour, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

-- Cool on a wire rack before serving.

**We don't really drink coffee on a regular basis, so I have used instant coffee or espresso for this and it's been just fine; I've also sometimes gone to a local coffee shop and ordered a small black coffee and used that, so if you are not a coffee drinker, don't let that keep you from trying this recipe!

Also, the strength of the coffee changes the "color" of the cake - stronger coffee makes it darker (as in the photo above), whereas regular/not-as-strong coffee makes it lighter in appearance.  The taste is the same.

This cake freezes well, if you wait until it is completely cooled, then slice it and wrap each slice in plastic wrap, and place those in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  That way you can pull out a slice at a time to enjoy without it becoming stale.


I hope if you try this, you enjoy it.  We really like it - not too sweet, not really coffee-tasting, and a nice dessert,or a snack with a cup of tea.  Let me know what you think!

13 April 2018

Friday Foolishness on This Friday the 13th

I forgot that today was a Friday the 13th altogether!  Then this morning, I saw this meme on Facebook, and thought it was funny - some of the answers really cracked me up!

Here's what I've thought of so far:

What if Gloria Gaynor didn't love the nightlife?  What if she didn't like to boogie?

What if Santa Claus never came to town?

What if the Red Red Robin never came bob-bob-bobbin' along?

What if James Taylor was never your friend?

Feel free to play along if you like - I know I'm gonna be thinking about more of these silly things all day!

12 April 2018

Three Thanks

Recently, I have had additional reminders from the universe that I am a lucky person.  Mind you, I seldom forget that I am, but as is my wont, I spend more time complaining out loud than I do praising/enjoying/thanking out loud.  So for Three on Thursday, I thought I'd share, because maybe you could use some reminders as well.

1.  This morning I woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and walked to work.  There are four big things right there, containing smaller but just as important things within.

2.  I noted on the calendar it was April 12.  Which marks 14 years to the day of my first cancer surgery.  That's 14 overwhelmingly gargantuan things right there.

3.  I had to only open up my laptop in order to communicate with friends and family, and know what is going on in the rest of the world.  Those are innumberable things.

Are you reading this?  Well then, you're alive and probably doing OK, if not better than that.

Good for all of us.  :-)

11 April 2018

Other Projects

I mentioned in my last post that now that the baby sweater that I knit as a gift was finished, I could return to other projects.  One of them is My Blue Sweater, which was moving along rather quickly until it wasn't.  I'm afraid that I completely ignored it while working on the little gift.  I think it understood, because when I picked it back up to continue, it had not done anything nefarious to foil me - you know, like sometimes when you've ignored a project, and you pick it back up and don't remember where you stopped, or stitches have fallen off the needle, or the pattern has disappeared.  Nope, this was just patiently waited for me to pick it up again and give it some love.  I managed to finish the body to where the pattern said to pause, and got started on the first sleeve.  I've made some good progress, considering I had to rip back a couple of times when I realized I'd been working away, forgetting about increases ... I tend to mess up when I get too proud of myself.  :-)

Here is my progress thus far.  I'm liking the way it looks, though I will admit to being curious to see how the sleeves will end up attached to the body of the sweater.  But a little mystery is a good thing, right?  It's a pleasant knit, and a good one to work on while watching/listening to podcasts, or if you just want to knit but don't want to concentrate intensely.

My current read is also pleasing to me.  I decided to read this book when Sue of High Heels in the Wilderness mentioned it - she has never steered me wrong so far! 

I'm approximately halfway through, and enjoying it so much that I am purposely not reading it all of the time, so it will last.  Though I will have to finish before it's due back at the library!  I love how the writer discusses the way that what we wear can influence our feelings, our confidence, and how style is not fashion, etc.  It's very well-written, and each chapter is one that could stand on its own as an essay.  

I haven't started my April pair of socks yet, but I'm thinking they will be a shortie pair.  I finally wore the shortie pair I knit last year over the weekend, and wow - handknit shortie socks are a whole 'nother story from store-bought!  I should have known that, but to be honest, I just figured that short socks were never terribly comfy because they didn't cover any of your leg.  More the fool am I.

And that's my story for today.  I'm joining in with Kat and the others for Unraveled Wednesdays - stop over and see what everyone else is reading and knitting!

09 April 2018

Sick Day Monday

Hello all - I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was nice - a good combination of being productive and not doing anything.  Then in the middle of the night last night, I woke up, and the cold that had been seeming to be on its way for a week or so, had apparently decided to arrive.  When I got up this morning, I felt so awful, I took a sick day from work.  I've spent a lot of the day sleeping, and between that and the cold meds, I'm feeling a bit more with it, so I thought I'd write a post, though I don't really have much to report.

Over the last week, I have gotten a fair amount of knitting done, which has been nice.  I had put everything else aside while concentrating on the baby sweater, so I felt a bit behind on things.  Fortunately, none of my other knitting projects have any outside deadlines, so it's not an issue that they were briefly ignored.  I am a little bit bummed, since I realized after paying some bills that I won't be able to join Vera and Dee this coming weekend at the Allentown Fiber Festival.  Yes, I *could* go, but I couldn't buy anything.  And I know I don't have to, but I like to get at least some little thing to remember the event.  So I'll just keep working with what I have, and hope to go next year.  The costs so far for my dental implant have really taken a huge chunk out of our finances.  The periodontist doesn't take dental insurance, and though they are nice enough to send in the paperwork for you, you still have to cough up payment when you're there.

Last night I tried a recipe for dinner that sounded like it would be really good, but it was a bust.  Not inedible, but definitely not worth making the effort.  I guess they can't all be winners, right?

Not much else is new otherwise.  Supposedly the weather is supposed to become more spring-like this week around here, so that will be a nice change.  I'm just glad that our daffodils survived after blooming and then getting snowed on!  They managed to hang in there and stay happy, which I guess is something we should all try to take to heart.  :-)

We'll see what else this week brings - I hope you have one that treats you well!