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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Free and easy Valentine!

The February block for the quilt I am designing and teaching. Playful with free motion stitching and embellishment. Lots of textured and decorative threads, even metallic. It says "Love is all there is"

I got off early from work yesterday, and remembering the great hike we had last weekend, we headed out to walk the woods and streets of Eureka Springs before dark. It was not too cold. Mr. Pear took some photos, see the Victorian house below...the town is famous for many like this!

We had a lovely dinner at a pub there and drove home at dusk, or "in the gloaming" ....trees silhouetted against the darkening sky.

Valentine's inevitably means dealing with sugar and sweets.....I saw this plate from British potter, Emma Bridgewater. Not only is it a pear, but it says, "Don't make pudding, have a pear and cheese". Great advice! However, I love to bake....and before the weekend was over I knew I would want to create a wonderful dessert.

To find a recipe, I went to Cornflower's blog...she has great baking ideas and well as knitting and books and scenes of Edinburgh, Scotland. There was a link to Nan's blog with a recipe for a sour cream chocolate cake.

I did have sour cream....SO...I modified the recipe, less sugar, made only half of the large sheet cake as there are only 2 of us (though I will share at work tomorrow too).

Mahogany Sour Cream Cake (Lila's lighter version)

Cream together 1/3 c. butter, 3/4 c. sugar, 1 LARGE egg, 1t. vanilla.
Add 1/4 c. cocoa, 1/4 c. water, 1/2 c. sour cream. Set aside.
In another bowl mix these dry ingredients:
7/8 c. flour, 3/4 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt,1/2 t. baking soda.
Fold into moist ingredients then pour batter into a 8X 8 pan (prepared with baking spray).
Bake 22-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool cake and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
My "frosting" today was mascarpone cheese slightly sweetened and spread on top of the cake.

Final touch, a dusting of cocoa!
One last delicious Valentine idea.... Ricotta Pancakes from "The English Kitchen" blog.
[OH YES! THESE ARE BEAUTIFUL, with fruit on top!]


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It sounds like fun walking around taking photos! I love the beautiful house and the winter background. The plate is beautiful, too. I am always looking for dessert recipes with less sugar...this looks good! The English Kitchen is of my favorite blogs! Enjoy your evening dear friend and Happy Valentines day ....remember the sweet cards we exchanged when we were kids. Ahhh...good memories! ♥

Janet said...

Another great sounding recipe! And the pear plate does have a good message but I'm like you....I like to bake.

Happy Valentine's Day, Lila!!

Shopgirl said...

What a wonderful house, and I did not have anything sweet for Valenties, but did get a are full of peachy Roses...
I am trying to wrap my mind around using Splenda in my baking...we will see. I hope you had a soft sweet day, Hugs Mary

Shopgirl said...

I didn't say how much I like your hearts...Your, mary

gemma said...

How very sweet everything is here.
Not too sugary just the right amount of sweetness. I love that.

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