It's been a busy week since I last blogged. We just came off a 3-day weekend which included 2 games of golf, an overnight stay at a friend's cabin, and some gambling at Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minnesota.
I golfed better than I have in a long time and gambled ... well, let's just say I didn't lose everything I brought with me, and that's the same as winning, in my book. We were with good friends and ate, drank and made merry the whole time. Great way to see an end to summer (the cool, windy weather and mist in the air was NOT great!) If the weather had been a bit warmer, I'd say I had experienced a little slice of Heaven!
But speaking of a little slice of Heaven, I wanted to share a great new recipe with you that I made when we got home from our 3G weekend (golfing/gambling/giggling!)
As usual ... the background. Every September, we make an annual trip with some friends to Grand Avenue in St. Paul. So off we went last week, choosing a weekday since we are now all retired. It was fun to leisurely stroll down the Avenue four abreast, without having to worry about bumping into other people, or making way for someone to pass us. Stores were equally wide open and we didn't have to fight off crowds while making our ice cream cone selection at the Grand Ole Creamery or ordering Bloody Marys at Axel's Bonfire (yes, we have eclectic tastes). I do have to admit the people watching isn't as good on a Tuesday, but the hassle-free shopping made up for it.
One stop we always make is at Penzey's Spice Shop. Even if you don't cook much (and I don't!) the smells in Penzey's are worth stopping in .. and the look and sound of shoes on the wooden floor transports me back to my childhood visits to the Robbinsdale Library!
While Ed and our friend, Linda, shop for spices and herbs (those perfumey green things that can ruin the perfectly good taste of anything you add them to), Rod and I walk around and marvel at the names of some of the products (Tuscan Sunset, Northwoods Seasonings, etc.) and pick up the free 3x5" recipe cards scattered around the store. The recipe cards always feature at least one product that is available at Penzey's, with the goal of getting a customer to buy the product in order to produce the item pictured on the card.
This year I picked up the recipe for "Aunt Velma's Chocolate Cake." I don't know who Aunt Velma is, but the cake looked delicious .. moist and chocolatey with a white buttercream frosting. Plain and simple, but gourmet good in my mind (e.g., no green things floating around in it).
I made the cake Sunday afternoon and the finished product was just as good as the picture promised. I don't know who Aunt Velma is, but she is one heck of a cook. Hope you try the recipe (see link above) and fall in love with Aunt Velma just like I did.
I've got a few other cards that I picked up that I'll try as the fall season progresses. None of them has Aunt Velma's name attached to them, so I can't predict they'll be as good as the cake, but I'll keep you posted.