Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I have the neatest pan with molds that lends itself best to quick breads, and I made these little beauties.  The texture is a bit more dense than a muffin, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar adds some sweetness.  These are so perfect for dunking in a mug of coffee or tea.  


So it goes with Naked Cakes.  I read an article, saw the pics and recipes, and just knew it was something I was going to try my hand at.  So this is my first attempt.  A butter cake with whipped vanilla frosting.  Three layers in 6 x 2 spring-form pans.  Trial and error of course. I spread the frosting on each layer, keeping it thick towards the edges.  I smooshed those layers down and then spread the frosting all around the sides of the cake with a wide spatula.  I wish I had a smoother effect, but it seems contradictory to want to perfect "rustic". 


I recently made some changes in the bedroom.  Last week when I was looking for a lamp for Abby at Target, I found this queen size comforter marked down 60%.  Yes, you read that right!  Once I brought it home I washed and dried it on delicate and it fluffed up so nicely.  Score.  Some have asked how I can have so much white in my house with two dogs (and yes, they are on the furniture quite a bit).  The answer:  Oxy Clean.  It's a miracle worker.  I use a little of it in all of my white laundry loads.  So Milo and Layla want to tell you that this is one cozy comforter!

And it was love at first sight with this throw from Anthropology.  Look at those tassels!  My friend Melanie joked that her kitties would be having a ball with these!  

This will be a guest room which practically sends me and The Husband into hysterics.  I don't think we've ever had a guest here in our lives!  Unless you count the children that have left the nest and then came back to regroup, cause a lot of upheaval, leave a ton of their belongings behind, and move on again. 

We have to buy a bed frame and mattress, and I hope to find a used headboard somewhere to jazz up.  I will never be the type to make a headboard out of pallets or cork, so don't expect any forthcoming tutorials! ;-)


Heat 5 T. butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven.  Add 1 large chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  Cook on low until just softened.  Add 2 1 lb. 12 oz. cans of tomatoes (I used diced but you can use whole and mush them up), about 3/4 of a box of chicken stock (the boxes are 32 oz. each), 1 1/2 c. white wine, 2 bay leaves, and a T each of thyme and oregano.  Cover and simmer 45 minutes.  Add the fish of your choice, I used 1 1/2 lb. each shrimp and bay scallops, 1 lb. each little neck clams and mussels, and 1 1/2 lb. cod, cut in small chunks.  Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes, making sure that all of the clams and mussels are open.  Season with salt and pepper and put on your bibs!!

I'm happy to say I have the Pin button working so if you use Pinterest, you can hover over any picture and add it to your pages.  I also want to say thanks to so many of you ladies who are following me on Instagram.  It's so much fun!  I changed my user name recently to my blog name so you can follow me here if you'd like.  I would love to share with some of you ladies who don't always comment on the blog! 

In other news, Kevin and Mary Clare came over for dinner Sunday night with Elsie.  She is such a great baby, slept almost the entire time and when she fussed a bit, Kevin would gently swing her car/infant seat back and forth and she would be fast asleep in about a minute.  I love watching him be a father.  He's very gentle and cautious, and I can sense that he has one eye on her all the time.  He and MC are a great team. 

In some sad news, and I can't go into detail because information is very limited right now, we learned this morning that two pipes broke at the lakehouse and we have some water damage.  Please keep your fingers crossed that the damage is minimal.  Next month is about the time we start to get ready for the warm weather up there.  With all the crazy projects I have going on here, a trip to Asheville in June, a wedding in Louisville in August as well as my son Jeff's wedding in mid August, and a plan in-the-works for a trip to Nashville/Franklin, TN. in October, I just want some smooth sailing! :)  I'll be back later in the week.

Jane x


bj said...

Hey, Blondie...sounds like you are going to be pretty busy, getting all those things done.
Your new comforter looks great and I, too, love the new throw.
Your meal looks sooo good. It's cold here today and I'm hungry for red beans, corn bread and onion....:)

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Jane your desserts look so yummy and I love your new bedding and that pretty throw! We do fish Fridays during lent too :-)

Linda said...

Hi Jane...
Lots of lovely food and great projects!
My daughter gave me a sweet notebook for Christmas...said I should write down my thoughts and ideas as they come to me....great plan....nothing yet!
I want to try the fish stew....after we get home, and I will tell you how it goes!
Sorry about your cottage....we drain all our pipes at the end of the year, although the boyfriend left some water in the toilet tank one year, and it cracked! New toilet! Ha!
Love following you on a Instagram!
We have just about 10 days left here...
Miss my kids and Miss V like crazy!
Enjoy the rest of your week..
Kinda :o)

Simply LKJ said...

You are finding plenty to keep you busy and occupied. That is the key!! And, looks like you have been cooking up a storm. Glad to hear she is settling in well.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

That cake is so pretty - I have always liked the not so perfect look and for things to be asymmetric. Did it taste as good as it looks?

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Your desserts look amazing! I love to use powdered sugar in lieu of a heavy frosting or just frost between the layers of cakes and such (although my boys disagree on that theory) I can't believe the deal you got on that comforter! Great score! I wish I liked to eat more fish, but I don't really like a lot of fish or meats in general. Sometimes I totally think I'd be just fine with a vegetarian diet. I read once that different blood types naturally crave carbs or meats and it seems to ring true with my friends and me. Sending good thoughts about your lakehouse. :)

Theresa said...

The cake looks yummy to me! I love the bedding and a great price too:) Sorry about the busted pipe, hope the damage is minimal! Have a blessed week dear friend, HUGS!

Anonymous said...

Love the new comforter and that beautiful throw. Sorry about the pipes freezing. You have a busy schedule ahead.

Have you tried Goo Gone on those stickers?


Kit said...

Love it all! And especially where you shared being a bit blue and shifting your attention elsewhere. I agree, and have been trying to that myself. :) Thanks! Kit

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

My goodness Jane, I can see why you need a planner. You are one busy girl! Your cakes look wonderful and baking is actually one thing I like to do!
Love your pretty bedding!

I haven't tried Instagram but might go check it out.


Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Where do I begin yet again?? There's always tons of stuff I want to comment on as I'm reading your posts but like you without pictures, I forget! lol I wish I could scroll back up and reread stuff as I'm commenting but with Blogger that's not possible. Anyway, let's see how much I remember...

You had good intentions with the planner.Sounds like something I would do. But you know what they say about good intentions ;). I guess Emily rolled her eyes because everyone does just about everything on their phones it seems. For me, writing it down is the best way. Old school!

The tassels on that throw are amazing! Tassels on steroids. Love that store!

Cioppino is my favorite entree. If it's on a menu. That's what I'm ordering. It's become a bit of a joke actually between fisherman and myself. If I see lobster ravioli on a menu, I know that's what he's ordering, and if he sees cioppino, it's the same for him. That's what happens when you're married so long ;).

That's terrible about the pipes :(. If it's on the lower level, maybe it won't be so bad, but second floor pipe bursts can be pretty damaging. When we had our place as a weekend home, we would turn off the water and drain the faucets a bit in the winter especially. I'm sure you're anxious to see what happened and want to get there asap. Insurance should cover things, so that's some good news.

Well, I'm not sure but I think I got most of my points across. Oh, one more. I love that saying 'don't let your failures stop you from making more failures'. Too funny, and such a 'Blondiism'.

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
I think it is a great idea to get organized with your time.
Yum the bread molds and baking looks so delicious. The bedding is so yummy too.
Have a great week.

Vel Criste said...

I've missed so much! Praying that the damage won't be bad dear. We had the same problem in our pool house last winter, so we learned our lesson this season and shut it all off. Anyway, we follow the Friday fish thing and unlike you, I, we love fish, cooking too that is. Your recipe sounds delish, maybe I'll try it this season. Love the naked cake, looks really yumm and I love that you used edible flowers, so much better, I wonder though, how do they taste? Good luck with your make-overs dear, I'm sure you can handle things. And hugs to little ELSIE!!!!

Melanie said...

I think your cakes are so pretty. I'd never heard of Naked Cake, but it looks pretty darn impressive. The flowers on top make it extra pretty. Sounds like you've been busy...and that's a good thing. So sorry to hear about the pipes at your lake house. Is your hubby going to have to go up there and check things out?

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

You got some great deals Jane. Love the comforter and the throw. You treats look so yummy, wish I had one right now with a good cup of coffee.
I have to tell you that beginning of January I started keeping a journal of each day, list of things to do and how I am doing on my diet. I put the weight down daily and what I eat, my sugar count as I am diabetic. I have done so well that I d not have to take medication for that anymore.
This way I can go back and check on things. I also have a big calendar that I write appointments in, when I got gas, etc. Works very well. I find that I forget some things.
Your cioppino sounds so good, yum. I love it with crusty bread.
The naked cake also looks so good also.
Hope that it's nothing drastic with the Lake House.
Have a good week and hopefully Spring is right around the corner.

Unknown said...

You and I would have a great time baking together, Jane. I love love baking cakes. I don't even eat them...actually that is a lie. I may have a bite or two then I just give them away to friends. I love naked cakes. They are much more fun to decorate with. Recently I have been wanting to try crystallizing edible flowers to use as part of baking. We will see how that goes. I have to try your soup. It looks delicious.

Sarah said...

Jane, one of those little cakes would be a treat with my coffee about right now. Sounds like your plate is full, as well as your travel calendar. Fun times ahead!
Fingers crossed that the lake house damage is minimal.

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Hey Jane, funny! I bought a planner too. I did great in January. Filled up all the blocks. February was a bust. I'm trying to do more this month ... all the bad weather last month kept me Unmotivated. The naked cake looks so good. I need to experiment in my lab more often. I hope you get good news about your lakehouse. Hugs to you!

Carla from The River said...

First, before I forget GooGone works great to get stickers off.

I love all the cooking you are up too. The soups are amazing. :-)

I do hope all will be okay with your pipes and the water damage.

Stay Cozy,

Beth said...

Hi Jane, Love the little bundt cake muffins, and your naked cake! How interesting that you went from pies, to cookies, to cupcakes, to cakes....a couple of years ago I took a cake decorating class and had a lot of fun for awhile making "pretty" cakes. Then I became familiar with Beth Howard, bought her Miss American Pie book, and since then have met her and made more than 20 pies from her book (banana cream, second time, last Sunday)...rhubarb next Sunday! I have grown a few edible flowers (nasturtiums, violets, pansies). What fun it is, and SO beautiful on your cake, Jane! Glad you are enjoying family and have some fun travel planned. :)
Hugs, Beth

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have been baking up a storm since fall also. There have been a few duds, but mostly successes. I think it is all a part of nature to fatten up in the cold weather.

Leslie said...

You have been busy... the fun kind of busy. Your desserts look fantastic. I love what you said about not letting your failures stop you from making more failures. : )
Loving the bedroom making over!!!!

Julie Marie said...

Hello sweet friend... okay, I for one love planners and have kept one for years!... so handy to refer back to when needed, plus I jot down all kinds of things, the weather, things I want to buy, things I am waiting for in the mail, etc.... and it sounds like you need one with all of your plans!... all of your recipes look and sound delish!... as for the stickers on the dresser... take your blow dryer, and start heating one end of the sticker from a bit away from it... when one end starts to peel up, SLOWLY blow some hot air on the sticker as you SLOWLY peel it away... comes off clean!... just don't burn yourself doing it... and take it SLOW... love your new comforter and what a deal!... I am still looking for a chair for my bedroom... hope everything at the lake house is not too bad... love all of your IG photos!... I am really enjoying it and thought it was something I would never do... xoxo... Julie Marie

Debbie said...

Your little bread molds are so cute!
Sounds like you are getting into the groove with the empty nest, and being a "gramma".
Lots to do with your "guest room".
I'm sorry to hear about the lake house.
The date book is a good idea, Jane...I just forget to use mine...lol.
Have a nice week.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Evening Jane,
I love your molds and the Naked cake, Yum! I make fish stew and we love it, especially with a crusty loaf of bread for dipping into the broth.
Take a blow dyer to the dresser, the heat will break down the glue and it will instantly rub away.
Your new comforter and throw is tres chic. I'm working on a little Spring fluff in the guest room. I purchased a duvet cover from West Elm. Its that time of year we enjoy a fresh bedding look, I guess.
Oxy clean is the best invention... especially with pets.
Jane I am sorry to hear about the burst pipes at the Lakehouse, hope all turns out OK. Please keep us posted.
Stay warm and happy,

Lori said...

Oh Jane ~ I hope that things are not too bad up at the lakehouse. I love that you are on Instagram ~ I read so many of my blogs on my phone now so thus my lack of commenting although I do try and log on to some and leave a note. With IG I can send you a quick note ~ so much fun.

Mary said...

Like the rest of the crowd, I so hope the water pipe damage is not too bad Jane - this winter seems so destructive everywhere. We lost power last week in the ice storm, along with a lot of shrubbery damage in the garden, but not burst pipes thankfully!
Busy you as always. I must try your recipe for the cioppino - it sounds even better than the one you and Bob had in Asheville - that was a fun evening, remember?
I'm trying not to bake for a couple of weeks as I'm doing Paleo - have not been able to get much walking in with the bad weather and feel chubby again!! I so miss a good slice of bread but will try to go without for the next two weeks!
Love - Mary

Maggie said...

Great to catch up with news from Blondie's world, sounds like you're super busy right now.
The new comforter is lovely, such a bargain too.
One of my favourite things to cook is bouillebaisse the French version of your dish, a wonderful warming meal on a cold wet day in Normandy.
Hope there's not too much damage at the lake house.

It's me said...

Have a Nice week Jane....love Ria...xxx!

Bluebird49 said...

Busy, busy girl! So much going on---I think you should have an e-mail from me in yor inbox. Take your time! We had pipes freeze and burst here, too No water damage--but to our checkbook--oh, yeah! zNo cute Irish plumbers here, though! :(

Keep on keeping on, Jane--it's what we do!

xxx Trudy

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Everything looks yummy, especially the sweets! Hope all is well at the lake house!!!

podso said...

You are keeping busy with some fun projects. The cake looks amazing. I'm not sure I would be brave enough to try such a thing. It looks so pretty with the flowers. I hope the lake house news is better than you've heard.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
You do such neat baking, I love seeing what you've created!
And the bedding is really beautiful!
Oh I want to see more baby pics too. Maybe you can send me some when you get a free moment.
And don't forget our get together in May!
I guess I better start looking at dates.
Plus I just know a trip to Chicago this summer would be good.
Big Hugs friend,
love ya

Brenda Pruitt said...

Oh, I so hope the lake house doesn't have much damage!

Terri Steffes said...

Hey there! Where to start? Oh yes, I recently started using a planner where you write stuff down. I tried my calendar on my iPhone, it isn't the same. I am keeping both and I like it! The naked cake is so interesting. It looks amazing. Your layers are tall and proud! How was it? Hope the lake house is ok. I just learned you are on Instagram. Gonna go find you! Have a great rest of the week!

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Donna said...

Sorry to hear of the damage at your lakehouse, Jane! I hope the damage is minimal, we were so worried that would happen to us while we were gone, but thankfully everything was ok. Your petite cakes look delish and are just adorable! And your naked cake sounds yummy, too!

Elaine said...

I will have to follow you on Instagram. Yay!

You had me at Butter Cake!

Great find with the comforter-pretty. I could not have the Anthro throw in my home either. The kitties would like it too much.

Sounds like you have a busy travel schedule and you need that planner!

Nancy's Notes said...

Blondie, always the busy and fun lady! Just wanted to drop in and say hello. I've been missing my blogging friends! I'm hoping to be back to blogging one day. Take care and have a great day in your lab!


deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

That comforter and throw are gorgeous.

You will have fun fixing up that room :)

Your desserts look wonderful! Wish I was having a slice of that cake right now.

Maria Elena said...

Hi, Jane. Your bake goods looks sooo good. YUM! Love your new comforter. What a super find! Glad to hear Abby is getting adjusted to her new place and I hope the problems in the lake house are minimal. Take care! xxx Maria

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Well, I hope the water damage won't be too bad. Your cake looks great. I love rustic and don't think anything handmade or homemade should have to be perfect. Best wishes, Tammy

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I had to laugh because I can't remember anything I've done either. It's like scary, and have to write everything down. Your desserts looks so good and I'm not a sweet eater. Sure hope there not a lot of damage at the lake. Love your new bedding!

farmhouse-story said...

your cake looks sweet, jane! love your new bedding, too! we have a product called de-solv-it that takes stickers off easily. have a great day!

Unknown said...

That cake! YUM! And so beautiful! Also that Anthropologie throw, love... To remove the stickers how about goo gone.

Rue said...

Hi Jane :)

You certainly have had a lot going on. I really hope the damage isn't too bad.

That cake looked amazing :)


Betsy Brock said...

That fisherman's stew looks really good!

Traci said...

You're always so busy! The cake & little bread thingies look really good.

Bliss said...

I just had to get stickers off a blanket chest....I got out a brand new razor blade and they came right off. Luck maybe?