Thursday, July 4, 2013

Move Over Martha!

Happy 4th of July!

This beautiful patriotic quilt was made by my friend Carol as a gift for her Dad. She just finished it this morning! Her cute little poodle Bella, at lower right, is so cute, she looks like a stuffed animal! Carol designed the whole quilt around the flag border print. I think it is fabulous!
Today, it was hot enough to fry a pug on the sidewalk, even at 8am this morning, when it felt like Africa had arrived in Hyde Park. So, after I took the pugs for a walk, I thought it would be a great day to bake a cake!!

Quilt Taffy had mentioned some interesting recipes in a recent blog. I decided to make the Apple Tortellini Salad, the Strawberry Lemonade Cake, and the Rootbeer Float Cookies.

I made the cake this morning. I haven't baked from scratch in a long time. Mike helped me out by making fresh lemon zest and squeezing fresh lemon juice for me. You've got to love a man with his own microplane (this is the tool to make lemon zest). After the cakes were in the oven, I started on the Apple Tortellini Salad. Mike helped me with some of the ingredients--he has mad knife skills--and it was fairly quick and easy to put together.

We went out for a little while in the afternoon to get a few last minute ingredients. The cookies called for rootbeer extract. We went to four different stores, including Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma, and we could not find it anywhere. Finally, I bought maple extract, but by the time we got home, we were tired and I gave up on the cookies since I still had to make the frosting for the cake.

The icing for this cake is just delicious. Of course, most things that involve a pound of butter and five cups of sugar usually are... Unfortunately, I made the frosting too thin, and it was quite difficult to spread on the cake.
My brief Martha Stewart moment.
The final verdict: the Apple Tortellini Salad was absolutely delicious and I would definitely make it again. I thought the lemon cake was very dense and I made the frosting too thin, but it was still quite tasty. Mike liked it and he is not a big sweets eater. I may write to Quilt Taffy to see if I overmixed the batter or if it is supposed to be a dense cake. And I still have to get back to the Rootbeer Float Cookies which are now going to be maple until I can find rootbeer extract.

The pugs also liked the strawberry frosting!


Romeo (he's wearing a cone because he had a little surgery on Tuesday, but he is doing fine.)

Larry (usually a camera-hog, but looks like he left the photo a little too soon...)
Pugs and kisses,


  1. The root beer cookies sound interesting. I saw root beer extract at the grocery store today. Do you want me to pick up some for you?

  2. Good Morning Nancy, Not one, not two but you were attempting three culinary delights after not baking for a while. I would have been exhausted.... but at least you had your sous chef with you to help you chop and grate.
    Mike and I are kindred spirits as I love my microplane, I have had one for so long, that I am now able to microplane things without removing part of my fingers..... that takes lots of practise.
    I think the strawberry lemonade cake looks lovely, and there is certainly a look of "give me some more" on Elvis' face.
    How's Romeo after his surgery, I hope he is well and what a little prima donna Larry is.... he obviously was not in the mood to have his photo taken today.
    Keep up the baking.... you will love it.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes