Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Had friends for dinner last night. Here's the menu:

brie cheese with almonds
asparagus soup
bison meatballs
angel hair pasta
tomato and basil sauce
chocolate cake
strawberries sauce

Here's the chocolate cake recipe (courtesy of Country Living Magazine):
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cup sifted cake flour (I used King Arthur unbleached)
1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee, warm
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 400. Lightly coat an 8 inch round cake pan with PAM and dust with flour. (Or cut a round of wax paper for the bottom instead of the flour.)

Whisk the flour, cocoa, soda, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Stir the coffee, oil, vinegar, extract together in another bowl or large measuring container.

Whisk the liquids into the dry ingredients just until smooth.

Pour batter into pan and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan and then remove to serving plate.

Cake may be iced or I like to serve with strawberries in syrup and whipped cream or ice cream.

Fresh Strawberries Sauce.
1 pint ripe strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar

Lightly rinse the strawberries and pat dry. Hull and cut up into a bowl. Toss with lemon juice and sugar and let stand for 2 hours to let juices develop. Refrigerate covered for up to 4 hours before using.

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