Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbirds are so tiny. They are amazing little creatures. At our local zoo there is a display of various bird eggs in an indoor bird sanctuary. I always look for the tiny hummingbird egg and imagine the little nest it calls home.

I have two hummingbird feeders in my backyard. The tiny birds visit daily and I've become used to hearing them buzz near me when I'm out watering my newly planted fall garden (more on that later)! To me, the hummingbirds with their infinitely moving wings sound like miniature U.F.O.'s hovering in my airspace!

In honor of the little cuties I now present this yummy recipe:

This cake is called Hummingbird Cake because when you take your first bite you say, "Mmmmm." And then when you take your second bite you say, "Mmmm!" And eventually after doing so for several more bites you sound like a hummingbird! Or, maybe it got it's name because it's sweet and delicious. If a hummingbird could eat cake, this is the one she would choose.

The recipe is from my mom and is in our Family Favorites cookbook. My mom omits the shredded coconut garnish so I listed that particular ingredient optional. Hope you enjoy!

Hummingbird Cake

Cake Batter Ingredients & Recipe:

  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapples with juice
  • 1 Cup chopped pecans
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Fold in eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, pineapples with juice, pecans, and bananas. Blend well and divide into 3 nine-inch cake pans. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes. Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients & Recipe:

  • ½ Cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons chopped pecans
  • 1 Cup shredded coconut (optional)

Fold together butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Add vanilla and lemon juice and stir well. Apply to the top of all 3 cake layers. Stack layers. Apply remaining frosting to the sides of the cake. Garnish with pecans and coconut.

Mmmm. Mmmm. Hum..mmm. Num..mmm.

Note: For a lower fat version, you might prefer the following recipe from MyRecipes.com: Lightened Hummingbird Cake

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

Yes indeed.

The design I was telling you all about in a previous blog post is now complete!

In high school my photography teacher told us to take black and white photos. He handed me some film and off I went! I took a lot of pictures with my parents camera. There's something mysterious and magical about taking your own photos: blindly loading your film onto a reel in complete darkness, heading into the darkroom to develop the film, making a contact sheet, and finally, perfecting the enlargements. I didn't know at the time how special the subject of my photos would be until later.

One of the pictures I took for my assignment happened to be of the blossoms on a tree near my house. They were cherry blossoms. When I developed my film in the photo lab and presented my work to my instructor I didn't include my blossom photos. There was not enough contrast between the black and white (just shades of gray) for that particular photo. Even so, it was my favorite picture out of the whole roll.

Now I have a new way to show my love and appreciation for these beautiful flowers:

Please view my Handcrafted Cherry Blossom necklaces on sale at an introductory price to celebrate the launch of my new line at www.biologie.etsy.com.