Sunday, May 26, 2013

Going Dark

I'm shuttering the store, closing up shop but I'm going to leave the goods displayed in the window.  In the interest in keeping things positive, I'll leave it at that.

I want to thank all of you who came and read my ramblings, kindly commented, and shared things with me.  It's been a fantastic journey but it's time for me to focus on other things.  For now.

I wish you all sunshine, happiness and good health.

Cheers,
Andra

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day Lemon Cake

Two months into spring and we've still not been able to put the outdoor room together for the season.  The nice days have been few and far between, I was still running the heat this time last week and there has been rain.  Lots of rain.  So with the bag of lemons I got on sale at the market I made my own sunshine.

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This recipe is adapted from the Extra Moist Lemon and Vanilla Pound Cake I saw on Food.Com.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day Lemon Cake

This makes a fairly large cake.  You could use a bundt pan or two loaf pans.  I used my USA bakeware Pullman loaf pan because it cooks so evenly and releases better than any other pan I own.




Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit.

Grease pan with butter.

Ingredients for the cake~

2 sticks of softened butter
2 1/2 cups of sugar
6 eggs
8 ounces of full fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Sift flour and soda into a bowl and set aside.  

Cream together softened butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the yogurt and beat well.  Add the vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat well.  The mixture will look a little curdled but that's fine.  Add the dry ingredients and beat for about 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and beat for 30 seconds more.  The goal is a super tender cake, so it's important not to over mix the flour.  

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Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes, rotating the pan half way through the cooking time.  Cool cake in the pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely.  Glaze.  Devour!

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For the glaze, I had some leftover lemon zest and juice, about 1/3 of a cup total.  I whisked confectioner's sugar a few heaping tablespoons at a time into the lemon juice and zest until I had a nice thick but pourable glaze.  

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This cake is perhaps the best thing I ever baked.  Super moist and dense yet light and fluffy at the same time.  Nice lemon flavor and not too sweet.  The crust had a wonderful caramelized flavor.  Just perfect with a cup of tea on a rainy day!

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Flower and Garden Festival and Our Beach Trip

It is a wet and chilly day here in Georgia. I don't remember it ever being this cold in May since we've been here. It's a perfect time to bask in the sun and smiles of our vacation photos.
 
We started off in Orlando and spent the day at EPCOT with my sister and her family. Rob and I had never been to the Flower and Garden Festival and it was well worth the fortune they charge for a one day ticket.
 
Rob and I were thrilled to have some quality time together!

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Disney took the idea from the Food and Wine Festival and applied it to the Flower and Garden Festival, themed booths offering different food and beverages throughout World Showcase. Click here if you'd like to read more.
 
We had pineapple Dole Whip soaked in this amazing spiced rum but this was my favorite of the day...
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This perfectly pink slush from the booth in France, Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain liquor with White and Red Cranberry Juice.  So light and refreshing and did I mention pink!

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Beautiful topiaries everywhere, all the characters were represented.

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This floral teapot was outside the English teashop.

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And inside were these adorable mugs I wanted so much but they were fine and very delicate bone china and would not have lasted long in my ham fists.

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There was a fantastic butterfly garden where we could get up close and personal with so many different varieties of beautiful butterflies.
 
After a few days in Orlando, we all headed to Saint Augustine. We met up with Mother and Auntie at Publix, stocked up and headed to our home for the week on Vilano Beach.  And I mean right on the beach.  The spot was perfect! 
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Paradise!

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I was windswept, barefoot and braless pretty  much the entire time.  It was an excellent way to spend a family reunion.

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We watched the sunrise every morning and the sound of the surf lulled us to sleep every night.

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Mother made her famous clam sauce and it was just so good!

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Vilano Beach has some amazing shells for we beachcombers.

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My sister and I laughed our asses off!

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This kids had a blast playing in the sand.

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We watched the pelicans fly overhead from the top deck.

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It was just such a nice time, so relaxing and romantic!

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Here's my favorite shot of the week, my gorgeous nephews and their Auntie Girlie...

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