2.28.2008

A Working Vacation and Mash Potato Cake


At the beginning of the year, like a lot of you I am sure, I made a list (long) of many things I wanted to accomplish while it was winter and cold and I was stuck in the house. Well it didn't happen. The boutique has been doing quite well and I was spending most of my days tweaking that, working on creative endeavors, blogging and out searching for more inventory. I found my self either hunched over the keyboard, sewing machine or work table, getting no exercise and realizing my shoulders were really hurting, so I took a week off from the computer and my studio. If I didn't get these things done pretty soon Spring would be here and it never would get done. I decided to take a working vacation. It was good! I spent most of the time working on that list, decluttering drawers and closets and pantries and my mind. Look at that photo of all the plastic bags. That was stuff from my closet alone. Two days were spent on my bedroom closet...trying, trying and trying on clothes. Most outdated, some truly vintage which I kept, a lot that I have out grown (blah!), some still with tags on them. That's awful! In the dining room I revamped that old chest of drawers (in the previous post). It used to be where I kept all my shipping and packing supplies. Now it's where I keep my table linens and makes a lot more sense I might add.



I had lunch out with a friend, ordered these really large planter boxes for the deck (in anticipation of Spring spinach...yum!) and did some treasure hunting. Look at this adorable old bunny and planter I found. Love him. It has lots of crazing and reminds me of majolica. He's going to look so charming filled with daffodils real soon. I also found a gorgeous old floral rose 1902 lithograph for the boutique and an old oil painting of tulips thats perfect for the cottage look. Those will go in the boutique asap. I took some long walks with Ben and had a pedicure and a new do.



The day that I worked in the kitchen I went through all my old cookbooks that I hadn't looked at in years. I ended up sitting in the floor for hours thumbing thru them. My fave's are the cookbooks put out by the ladies of the church. I found this quite intriguing and fun recipe for chocolate cake in a cookbook called Carriage House Recipes. It was put together by the ladies of the church that my husband belonged to growing up and was in honor of one of its members. I just had to try this recipe because it's main ingredients was ......ready for this?......mashed potatoes. Here's the recipe. I thought it was good and I especially loved the orange peel with the chocolate. The cake is more like a very dense chocolate pudding....especially good with a dollop of whipping cream and a cup of hot tea or cold milk. Try it!

Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake

aka

Lucy Sale's Chocolate Cake

5 squares ( 1 ounce size) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
grated rind of 1 orange
2 cups cooked instant mashed potatoes, warm, cooked according to package directions ( I could only find instant mashed potatoes with butter and it seemed to work fine and I microwaved them)

Melt chocolate over hot (not boiling) water. (I microwaved mine) Whip butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. (mine was grainy) Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, beating hard after each addition. Continue beating until the mix "makes ribbons." (?? Didn't know what that meant but mine turned out fine) Stir in melted chocolate and orange rind. Finally , stir in mashed potatoes (warm). Spoon into glass 4 cup oblong dish. Smooth surface and place kitchen parchment flat on top. Refrigerate until firm. Will keep forever in refrigerator.




While I was gone Adeline's Shabby Cottage left me this sparkle award. Thank you Brittany for thinking of me. I love it and it's so apropos since I have been sparkling up everything lately.

Speaking of Spring and found bunnies hop on over to the blog spot of Garden Goose. Her son was born on Leap Year. How about that? He will never get old. :) She is having not one but three drawings for this occasion. Hurry up though because tomorrow is the deadline. This is one of the give-aways....her charming faux cupcakes. This one is mine. You can't have it. :) Just kiddin'.


This post is dedicated to our sweet Aussie bloggers Ms.'s Jenn & Jacqui. I know you have started missing their long post so thought I would make up for it today. Grins & Smiles & Winks. ~ xo Lynn

P.S. I don't know why the font is so messed up on this post. I tried very hard to fix it but to no avail. So sorry.

23 comments :

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Hi Lynn! Oh my, I need to do the same thing you are doing!!! I adore your bunny and I can picture beautiful yellow daffodils in it! Oh how I cant wait for flowers! I even want bugs, lol! I am very intrigued by that cake! I think I will have top give it a try! Thank you for sharing !

Love ya,
Amy

Lisa said...

The cake sounds wonderful. I too am in love with cookbooks. I sit and read them for fun and the family thinks I have lost my mind. My favorite are also the ones from the church ladies, different cities, etc that are done in the spiral binders. Now, if you find yourself with extra energy and time you can pop over here and get me organized. I need all the help I can get. No excuse as I can't be outside planting with all this snow!

Sandi McBride said...

Great post today...not surprised tho
hugs
Sandi

Tara said...

Hi Lynn

This recipe sounds great, I am trying to envision the consistency of the cake with the potatoes...but, you know those church gals are never wrong so I am going to try this! Thank you--I think the best recipes are from blogging buddies!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

You have some tasty looking treats here!

I love the idea of the working vacation. We've done many of those just to get our yard work done! Great to accomplish things on the to do list that never seem to get done.

Funny about your font problems, I have that problem too sometimes. Usually my words decide to smash itself along the left margin or won't get any bigger even though I command it to. Ugh.

Janet said...

The "cake" looks great and I am sure it is delicious, I am trying to get past the fact that it isn't cooked. I guess people didn't worry too much about raw eggs when the book was published. I loved the "it will keep forever" comment too :)

restyled home said...

Sigh...that sounds like a perfect week!! Thanks for inspiring me to try the same next week, and I will definitely top my week off with that delicious chocolate cake...looks heavenly!!

Love it here!!
Linda

Brenda said...

Glad your weren't sick. I did wonder many times. Looks like you did have a good work time.

Anonymous said...

I am going to make that cake this very weekend! I will let you know how it turns out. :)

Dee Light said...

You've been hard at work!! I need to declutter my closets...as well.

Mashed potato cake? Sounds interesting. I'll have to try it. It looks yummy. My mother-in-law says she had candy made with mashed potatos as a little girl, but I've never heard of cake.

Oh, and how you sparkle and add sparkle to our days!!

Classic Charm said...

Lynn,
You're doing so good, wow...I need to get my butt in gear. And the cake...wow it looks sooooo yummy and sinful!

Hugs,
Rose

Sharon said...

Lynn when you get tired of cleaning out your closets and drawers come down to my house and we'll give it a good going over, it sure needs it. I keep bringing in but very little makes it's way back out.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Oh, I thought that this post rang a familiar style, and yes I too miss Jenn and Jacqui, hopefully they are taking lots of wonderful photos of Sydney and journaling lots of fun. I admire your ambition, I find I have none to get organized when it is winter. I love your bunny planter and your recent creations are gorgeous. Blessings, Karen

GardenGoose said...

Hey Lynn,
you won't have to worry about sharing those cupcakes..ha..because they are all yours! You won a set of 7 of them!
Please stop by my blog and look under "profile" and send me an email with your address so that I can get these little darlings out to you.
Thanks for joining the fun!
~Tina
~The Garden Goose~

M.KATE said...

tks for sharing the recipe, am a lousy cook but will try as my kids will love it, beautiful post :)

CatHerder said...

I too have started nesting...about a month ago. I started with the kitchen drawers...two large hefty bags of stuff, I didnt even know I had...Its nice now to close a drawer and it doesnt get stuck lol! Your cake looks yummy!

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Lynn, no wonder you haven't been around, you have been really busy haven't you?? Looking at your blog is also making me hungry. : )

Esther Sunday said...

Lynn, what great quality time you had! Doesn't it feel great when you get so much stuff sorted through? I am glad you got so much out of your routine change! Love,Esther

GMG said...

Hi Lynn,
Can imagine all that work to do, and how starving you should have been afterwards... ;) Fortunately for my cholesterol, chocolate is not my favourite. But don't try me with coconut... ;))
Thanks for your comments on Blogtrotter.
Have a great weekend!
Gil

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Hi Lynn! Surprise, you just don't know where we are gonna pop up! lol You were not kidding about the clean up vacation! Well done to you, how many bags are going out there?!! Now you won't have hunched over shoulders any more, you'll have a sore back instead from all the lifting of that stuff! Must feel great though! Thank you dear Lynn for your sweet comments, we miss you all too :) Jenn and Jacqui xo

the mother of this lot said...

I just found you through Sandi's blog. What a great post! My list is sort of gathering dust too!

Michele said...

Hi Lynn,
It must feel so good to check this off your things to do list. Come on over and help me de-clutter, I keep moving this to the bottom of my list.
Your recipe looks yummy, thanks for sharing.
Hugs~
Michele

Marie said...

Hi Lynn,
I really enjoyed my first visit to your blog and to your web site as well. Your decorating vignettes are beautiful. Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas.

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