Collections and Obsessions, Cucina, food, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Photography, sweets, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Nutella

Over Valentines Day weekend I was in charge of Red Velvet Cupcakes for the Pleasant Valley wine Trail, since we are a part of the trail. Everyone had something they made and then paired with a wine. We paired our cupcakes with our Late Harvest Zinfandel. I heard nothing but good things, so I was very happy that it was warmly received.

I made 100 cupcakes on Friday night, and then another 100 on Saturday night. I used the recipe that was passed down from my Great Aunt Nelle. She was a great cook, and it was said in the family that she asked about the recipe one time when she was visited the Waldorf Hotel. I later learned that many southern women told the story about asking for the recipe from the Waldorf. She was a traveler, and was a fantastic cool. I never questioned the story!

My Great Aunt used to make Red Velvet Cake for my dad every year on his birthday. It was his favorite cake. She also would make a mayonnaise cake that was so delicious. Although, I remember that she didn’t like to say the name around me, it made me sick to think of mayonnaise being used to bake a cake. When we would love something that she made, she would give an index card with the recipe to my mom. We would cherish those recipe cards. There was a special wooded box that we kept them.

Never the less, here is the recipe for the cake…

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds canned beets, drained and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon red food color
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I make my own by adding vinegar, and waiting for 10 minutes, 
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start preheating your oven to 375, drain and puree your beets. If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, I never do…Add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to your cup of milk.

Meanwhile, add your dry ingredients together, add you eggs, beets, food coloring, vanilla, vinegar, olive oil and finally, the buttermilk. Mix until all the ingredients are wet.

Add the paper cupcake holders to the cupcake pans, fill up the cupcake papers about 1/2 full. This will make about 18 cupcakes. They will take about 25 minutes to bake.

While your cupcakes are baking, you can make the frosting…

8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)

1 Stick of butter (softened)

4 cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Blend your ingredients together to make the frosting. I used a pastry bag for the first time last week when I made these for Valentines day. I had to end up asking my husband to take the pastry bag away from me, since mine didn’t look good. His looked lovely!

Now, if you want to add the Nutella, it does taste delicious, but it is time consuming. We took a melon baller, and scooped out the center. After each one was done, we then added the frosting. Like I mentioned earlier, my frosting job was a little frightening, so I had my husband make them look pretty.

 

 

 

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Photography, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday

Closer to the Holidays

My kids are on the verge of becoming truly independent. As we approach the holidays I am reminded that not to long ago we were attending all those school performances. There were years when my kids just did not want to go to the performance or one was sick, and I never pushed them into going. The performance went on without them, and they would cuddle up on the couch and just relax. I hope that when they are older and have their own children they will use a page out of my parenting book. LOL

With so many school events,  volunteering, and other family functions it easy to forget that the kids need some rest. When my children were little, and they needed a day off of school, I gave it to them. We called it a “mental health day”.  Sometimes they would tell me “I just need a break.” Then I would ask them if they needed a “mental health day”, a day they could relax, read, or just get catered to for a day.

As much as I loved the school performances, I also didn’t want my kids to feel pressured into doing one more thing that was supposed to be fun. I get that it is a community event, and we all interact within the community. We also need a break, and these days the pressure to be a part of the community doesn’t end once we are home. We also have an online social presence.

So, as we get closer to the holidays, if I am not here, I am at work or spending time with my beloved family. I hope you all treasure every moment you can with your family too, and listen to your children…don’t over burden them with too much hustle and bustle. img_8757

Uncategorized

Gun Show

The last thing I want is for people to believe I am just a business woman, or just a farmer, or “just” anything. We are all diverse human beings. None of us are the same, yet we are equals. Since we do live on a farm, and out in the country we do need protection. I never thought in I would be a person that enjoys going to gun shows. Then again, it is another door of enlightenment for life. There are all kinds at gun shows. There are people that fit the “stereotype”, and those that one would never guess attended a gun show. Embracing the diversity is part of the enjoyment.

Usually, when I go with my family I have something in mind that I am looking for that day. This last time I attended I was looking for a Spanish or German made sword. Something that was pre World War One. Other times I have gone looking for old Barretta’s. I have found some great oldies with bayonets.

Since I found no swords that suited me this time, I did another round just browsing. I happened to find…Harlow-Peters Knives. These are handmade knives made right here in Paso Robles. Here are the two I purchased.

Damask,Hippo tusk
Damask,Hippo tusk

Just look at the detail of the handle. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Then Keith Peters told me that this was hippo tusk. Hippos were one of my favorite animals when I was young.  The grooves on the tusk feel great in my hand. I just love it. It is like a piece of art. I guess I know what I will be using when it comes time to put a chicken on the table.

The other one I purchased for my son, and here it is…

Knife,Ser
Knife,Ser

So, the next time you happen to see a gun show, don’t be so judgmental and go enjoy yourself.