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 Most outdated, some truly vintage which I kept, a lot that I have out grown (blah!), some still with tags on them.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
Lucy Sale's Chocolate Cake
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.