April 29, 2010
April 25, 2010
Wacky cake was an egg-free milk-free recipe developed during the Depression, when eggs and dairy were expensive and difficult to come by. It's a super-easy go-to recipe whenever I want to make a quick chocolate cake. This is a slightly altered version, with a quick chocolate maple icing.
The standard wacky cake recipe is as follows (courtesy of About.com):
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold water
In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Pour into 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.
April 24, 2010
Inspired by this recent post from Design*Sponge, I decided to dig up a couple of the violets growing in our backyard and transplant them into a couple of old ceramic planters that had been sitting unused in a cupboard. It's nice to have living plants inside! I hope they last with indirect sunlight. I might have to move them back outside.
April 17, 2010
This week's Illustration Friday word is detective. When I was little, I used to read Hardy Boys books, Sherlock Holmes, and other mysteries. There were always hidden passageways, suspicious characters, and secret clues. I always hoped to find a real-life mystery and looked around for clues with my friends, but nothing very shady ever seemed to happen.
April 16, 2010
April 15, 2010
I was making black beans the other day when I noticed that the water they were boiling in was a deep purplish black. I had spilled a little on the surface of the stove and thought it would be fun to try painting with it. It's very watercolor-like.
April 14, 2010
April 13, 2010
For a long time now, I've been trying to put together some kind of online portfolio. After many different complex iterations, Sean helped me realize that I don't need anything more than a page showing a bunch of my illustrations. I'm still planning to put together something a little more dynamic in the future, but for now you can see the portfolio at blonderland.com. Stay tuned for updates!
April 12, 2010
April 12 is our second wedding anniversary. We celebrated a week early by going to see a play, but I wanted to make a nice meal on the actual day. For dinner, I made gnocchi on a bed of kale with basil cashew cream sauce, caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes, a beet and cauliflower soup, and pink mashed potatoes. For dessert, I made a cheesecake with strawberries.
April 8, 2010
I started crocheting a circle the other day while practicing the magic adjustable ring method, and realized that I might as well make a set of coasters. We needed some, and I'd basically just crocheted one anyway. I used the same cotton/modal blend Knit Picks Shine Sport yarn that I've used on so many other projects.
April 7, 2010
I was searching on Vegweb for kale recipes, and came across this one, for kale mint chip ice cream. The kale lends it a natural beautiful green, plus a false sense of healthfulness. Bonus!
I modified the recipe, using about three leaves of kale instead of the 4-5 cups suggested (I wasn't sure exactly what that meant, anyway, as it didn't specify how chopped up it should be when measuring), and coconut milk/coconut cream in place of the oil. I also added some alcohol-free vanilla, ended up using a little less sugar than suggested, and used a combination of hemp milk and soymilk. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out! I don't even taste the kale.
April 6, 2010
This is one of the many many blossom photos I took on my trip. My friend Jennifer and I spent a couple of hours wandering through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I highly recommend it, especially if you can go within the next couple of weeks! The cherry trees and magnolias were just breathtaking.
April 5, 2010
April 4, 2010
April 3, 2010
When Sean and I went to Quebec in the fall, we took our sketchbooks with us and were talking about how it would go if we tried drawing certain things from memory. I decided to try drawing the following images without any reference. It's amazing how you think you know what something looks like until you try to actually sit down and draw it. Embarrassing!
Here are images that represent what these things actually look like. I hope that given a few more minutes, I'd have been able to improve the bottom two drawings quite a bit. Mickey Mouse was just a lost cause.
Pick some random items you think you're familiar with and give it a try! I'd love to see your results.