Saturday, August 12, 2006


My baby is home! She's back after a two week stay away (the last two of the total five weeks throughout this summer). She has been a junior staffer at a summer camp. I was so excited that I wanted to make her homecoming special so I baked a cake. This is totally out of my ordinary. I have done so much baking as a part of my business and I don't care to have to much for sugary white flour treats around the house, BUT this is a special occasion and I have wanted to make it since first seeing it on Bryanna's website ... this would have been shortly after she began Vegan Feast.

I did make my own special touches to it.... for example mine is sugar free and completely sweetened with KAL brand stevia extract (see link on my sidebar). I use the following sweetening substitution: a scant 1 tsp KAL stavia extract powder = 1 Cup white granulated sugar sweetening power. I also used 1 cup whole wheat organic pastry flour and 1 cup all purpose organic wheat flour plus 2 Tbsp oat flour. The cakes didn't rise as well, but well enough and it was still a beautiful presentation as well as tastey. I love, love, love this frosting.

(link to Bryanna's Recipe)

Dave finished the addition to the garage this evening. It has two doors, one for the riding mower and one for the push mower.

He also built a bird house and has desired to make a welcome sign in our front yard for a very long time. He got the idea of placing a bird feeder on a pole at that sign which is to be placed in our front yard flower box. Well, he completed a bird house that looks like our house, shingled and all. When I first saw this, even if it is cute, I felt like we crossed a line somewhere... a now we are "one of them" kind of line. I don't know who them is, but a bird house that looks like a mini version of our home?! He wants me to paint what looks like our shutters on his mini house, I will even though I feel the idea is, umm - maybe dorky is the word I want to use ... it makes me think of pink flamingoes I don't know why but it does.

I harvested some chard for supper. I pulled the thick celery like stalk off the green leaves and chopped them like celery. I sauteed them with garlic and then added the shredded leaves, salted, added apple cider vinegar, and a little soy sauce. That is all that is in this pan... the chard stalks are red and add a nice color to this dish.

I also made VwaV green curry, which uses a tomatoes and chickpeas. I used chard in this dish to sub for the spinach and it worked very well.


funwithyourfood said...

Home again home again :)
Sugar free cake? What a great homecoming.
"I harvested some chard for supper"
I want to say that someday too


Freedom said...

Wow, that cake is beautiful. I can see why the mini bird feeder house might be 'dorky' but I think it's a gorgeous idea! You have a very talented family all round!

Melody said...

That cake looks great!... So, you used the exact recipe, only substituting the stevia? I will have to try this.. I've been afraid to bake with stevia. I think I might try some brownies later.

You husband is so talented.. I think it's really cute that he made the house like that.. I don't even think it's dorky..

Love the chard.. mmm.

I'm glad your daughter is back home. It's hard to have them gone so much..

Anonymous said...

I have another brand of stevia and haven't really cared for it too much (but I haven't actually been brave enough to try baking with it either). I will definitely be hunting down the KAL Stevia. Your cake looks delicious and your daughter is beautiful (she obviously gets her good looks from you). I am showing the pic of the shed to hubby. We could use one of these. Right now, both mowers are in the garage and are difficult to get to (it involves taking out the cars first). As for the birdhouse, I think it's sweet that your hubby cares so much to make a replica. It hasn't crossed the line and is not tacky at all. There is a lady who's house I pass going into town and she has about 20 flamingos (10 on each side) lining the walk up to her front door. Now that's crossed the line. A guy in my neighborhood has about 25 resin/stone animals (including a 4 ft plastic white horse with a black tail) arranged around his front yard. That's crossed the line. Snap a pic of the bird house when it's all done. I can't wait to see it.

Midwest Vegan said...

A birdhouse that looks like your house? That's awesome -- your husband must be pretty talented.

I bet you're glad to have your daughter home. As a mom, I know I sleep better once my daughter comes home.

JAM*tacular said...

Dear Dave,

Please come to my house and build me a shed. Thank you.

Kind Regards,

PS: Bring Dori too, so she can cook me dinner.


Urban Vegan said...

That cake looks amazing.

Dori, I am waiting for your book. You can title it DIV (Do It yourself Vegan).

Candi said...

Wow! Dori, you are amazing! (And your hubby too!)

The cake is gorgeous, as is your daughter! I'm happy she is home with you! I bet it's hard to leave!

What an amazing presentation on that strawberry lemon cake! It sounds so good. Thanks for the recipe and the stevia info. I've never used that or really researches it at all, so now is my chance!

I love the idea of the tiny birdhouse! It's not dorky at all, it's cute and when you have a bird family in there, you will be pleased with it, even if the shutters match your own! :P I think it's cute!

Harvesting chard for supper. You are such an inspiration! The dish looks perfect. I love chard with garlic!

The addition to the garage looks perfect for the mowers! Nice work! You two are quite the team!

I agree with the cookbook idea! You could toss in other "Do it yourself" tips after each recipe! :P

Dori said...

ROTFL.... the letter to Dave tickled me. Today's good laugh, he is absolutely flattered and wanted to know where you live Jam'tacular. I told him I thought it was washington state (not sure), he said, "that's okay, I think the weather is nice there. :)

Dori's Do-it-yourself Family Handbook.... maybe someday, but not today. In the meantime I'll keep blogging, I enjoy that.

I'm glad to know that once we get this little bird house put up you all won;t think it dorky if you ever drive by and see it. :b

KleoPatra said...

That is so sweet, Dave is such a creative and kind man. What a lovely couple you make, Dori. A handyman husband, that is really nice!

Chard, don't think i have had that. Is the flavor strong?

Your daughter is just beautiful, and i'm sure she's even more beautiful on the "inside" as well! Glad she's back hom after the summer camp. And what a great mom you are to give her a special welcome back! That cake is spectacular. Love the strawbs!

Anonymous said...

I like what you have here! I have a lucid dream site I think you might enjoy.

Dori said...

Thanks Kleo. Chard is not strong flavored, it's more like spinach but a little firmer leaf so it takes a bit longer to cook. I do find that chard's flavor changes if it is not used the same day picked.

JAM*tacular said...

Actually, we're in southeastern PA - and the weather's great! :D


Jody from VegChic said...

The cake looks wonderful. Dave did a great job on the garage.

Funny, I made some chard this weekend too. No photo yet, but it was sauteed with garlic and pinenuts. My friend gave me some from her garden.

I also planted some chard this weekend. It is late in the season, but I'm hoping that they will do ok as a late season crop.

cindy said...

I am so glad your daughter is home. I hope she had fun. The cake looks awesome and it is admirable that you substituted the sugar. I am with you about keeping white flour treats out of the house, but every now and then you just have to eat cake.

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

one punk rawk family :-D .. yayyy for all of ya!!

Megan said...

Wow such a simple meal. I wish I could live off the right foods more easily. I guess having your own garden besides buying is the only way.