Sunday, September 26, 2010

Oregon Trip

I recently connected with a long ago girlfriend who now lives in the Portland, Oregon area. I've been to Oregon before but not to this area. I think Oregon is one of the most beautiful states we have. I was treated to some sightseeing that was just stunning. Lots of shopping in consignment shops and antique shops looking for treasures. So much fun. Except for one rainy day (but I love rain) the weather was so wonderful. After months of hot and humid Texas weather this was a welcome treat. Here are some pictures from my trip.




Saturday, September 11, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

Birthday time at work and I decided to make a Southern tradition -- Red Velvet Cake. I started with the recipe from the back of the Swans Down Cake flour box and made a couple of changes. The cake was moist and really red. I should have taken a picture of it cut. Normally a true red velvet cake calls for the cooked icing with milk and flour and sugar, but I opted for cream cheese frosting instead. It was hard for me not to throw some pecans on here as I think that would taste good, but then I love adding nuts to everything!


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup red food coloring
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (I changed to 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Swans Down cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottoms of two 9 inch cake pans sprayed with Pam and parchment paper. Spray paper also. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl whisk together food coloring and cocoa powder to make a paste. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour to butter mixture in batches alternately with buttermilk mixture. Beat until well blended. In a small bowl stir together the vinegar and baking soda (this will fizz). Add to batter and stir gently to mix. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutesbefore turning out onto racks. Remove paper from cakes and cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting.


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together until smooth. Frost cake.