Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Craving Cheesecake

My daughter was craving cheesecake and I thought I had set up a pretty good little kitchen here with all the supplies I would need for a summer cottage but alas...no springform pan. Who would have thought I would need one of those? I kept putting off her request...sorry, no springform pan. Clever and persistent, she found this while we were at the supermarket getting groceries. So $9.97 for the pan, approximately $9.00 in ingredients....

Delicious cheesecake... priceless!
The recipe comes from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It's just a traditional cheesecake but all her recipes are just wonderful. This is the first one I have EVER made that didn't crack on top. I think it was due to my cheap little Sears oven here which works great as opposed to my huge expensive Viking oven at home which takes forever to heat up and doesn't bake that evenly.
Also it's good to note that you can't expect to be eating cheesecake until the end of the day if you start early in the morning or the NEXT day if you start later in the day. Good things take time...
Raspberry Cheesecake
For the crust: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp (3/4) cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling: 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temp
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temp
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until moistened. Press into a 9-inch springform pan onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temp.
Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees.
To make filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed of mixer and add eggs and egg yolks. Scrape down the bowl and mix until creamy and no lumps. Add in sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla. Pour into cooled crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 225 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off, open the oven door wide. Allow cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool to room temp. for about 2-3 hours. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or about 6 hours.
Remove from the springform pan and top with raspberries that have been slightly sweetened.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Red Doors

I decided that our cottage needed to have a little personality injected into it this summer. We have been busy the last few years just adding to the basics and not really "decorating". These are the boring white doors that we have and it occurred to me that they would look good in a bright red. Went to the paint store and selected "Bang" red (BeautiTone canadian brand). Bold statement for me and even the paint man raised his eyebrows and told me to expect four coats plus primer. And for heavens sake "don't rush it!"

Before on left....After a coat of oil based gray primer on right. I probably should have done two coats of primer because any spottiness on the primer leads to spottiness on the finish coat no matter how many times you layer it on! But I was really anxious to dip into that can of nail polish red paint!

You must be dedicated to painting if you want red...it takes at least four coats. The paint man (Aubrey at Home Hardware) was right.

Voila... the finished product after four coats and a few touch-ups after that. I like the shot of color though especially in the hallway. As they say in all the home decorating shows on HGTV, it really pops!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Art ... with what you have

We brought with us the most minimal of supplies... and used what we had laying around.

Lucky for us, strawberries are in season right now on Prince Edward Island. They are delicious for eating and the empty baskets make for good painting and embellishing too! All credit for these basket designs go to my daughter who is clever (like her mother!).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh Mamma Mia!

We went to see this movie last night and it was enjoyable with a few caveats... I love Meryl Streep dearly but I don't think she had the vocal talent to carry this movie and watching Pierce Brosnan try to sing was truly painful.... The young girl who played Sophie was very good though and Christine Baranski has the talent to do justice to her scenes and songs.

However, go see this movie purely for the art direction! It is set on a hill top inn on a Greek island and the scenery is scrumptious. The inn is crumbling, drenched with light and sumptious with color and scattered with gorgeous vintage linens and old iron beds. There is a scene where they are walking through the laundry yard which is dripping with colorful vintage tableclothes and embroidered linens- enough to make me swoon! The wedding is scene is so romantic and the table settings and hanging candles make me want to plan an outdoor party right away. I loved the costumes and the interiors... just lovely. The art direction inspired me much the way the movie Chocolat did. So, go see it for that and forgive the substandard musical talent.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Dream Clothesline

We are finally here on our summer holiday in Prince Edward Island! Since we have had our cottage in Darnley, I have wanted to build a clothesline so that I can hang my clothes with an ocean view.. a dream fulfilled. Here are my lovely white sheets overlooking Darnley Basin on a glorious summer morning. Not too windy which is unusual for here. Usually the wind is gusting so strong you must brace yourself. We like it that way and it keeps the bugs away. Today though, there is a soft summer breeze just perfect for drying.
I had a local carpenter from NH cut these boards according to a photo of a nice clothesline that I cut out of an article in Country Living. No reason why a clothesline can't be a thing of beauty... although they are all beautiful to me.

My wonderful husband digging that hard PEI red dirt.

Fastening the cross boards to the posts (which we bought way too long and had to borrow a neighbor's saw to chop off about 2 feet from each).

Lovely don't you think? I know I am obsessed with clotheslines but I really feel that those who don't hang their clothes out are really missing out and I'm sorry for that. Simple pleasures.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fun Little Game

A fun little game to play: first answer these questions about yourself. Then search Flickr for the image that corresponds to your answer. Finally create a picture mosaic of your answers. Fun!

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Loribeth

2. What is your favorite food? lobster tails in butter

3. What high school did you go to? Drury High School

4. What is your favorite color? celedon green

5. Who is your celebrity crush? Mathew McFayden (Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice)

6. Favorite drink? hot cocoa with whipped cream

7. Dream vacation? Tour of Ireland and the Channel Islands

8. Favorite dessert? dense chocolate pound cake

9. What you want to be when you grow up? young at heart, unjaded

10. What do you love most in life? my husband and children

11. One Word to describe you. lucky

12. Your Flickr name. Maminkagirl

If you'd like to do it too here's what you do:
Open three windows. One with the list of questions, another open to Flickr and ready to do an image search, and a third to Big Huge Labs' Mosaic Maker (create a mosaic with 4 columns and 3 rows). Answer the first question, put your answer in the search field on Flickr and choose one of the images from the first page to represent your answer. Click on the photo then copy and paste the url into the #1 spot on the Mosaic Maker. Do that for all 12 questions, then click create and post the results to your blog!

All credit for this idea goes to this blog: Bella Dia which I read and enjoy very much.

I really should be packing for my vacation but am so unfocused that I got sucked into this!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The World's Largest Axe and other fun stuff

Just in case you were wondering where the world's largest axe resides... here it is on the bank of the St. John river in Nackawic, New Brunswick. It is one of our favorite stops on the way to Prince Edward Island where we own a summer cottage. This is the most beautiful park and my daughter and her best friend loved swimming in the river with the dog.
Here is Luna looking for seagulls at the cottage overlooking Darnley Basin.

Views from our deck and touring Green Gables... of course you must if you are in PEI!

I will be visiting my favorite junker's paradise where the honor system still exists. I love this island. You can see this type of thing all over... little potato stands where you buy what you need and make your own change. Even some of the golf courses are like that where you leave your money in the can!

Some of my summer vacation will be spent hosing off a sandy dog.
I won't be posting for a while but just relaxing on the deck with a good book. I have to pack up some projects to work on while I am away. Be back in August.... enjoy the wonderful summer!