Mother & Baby & Chocolate Butter Cake

This week’s drawing is once again for my daughter (it didn’t photograph very well).

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I had made a similar drawing for my son when he was born, and so I thought it only fair that my daughter should have one too. Here is the one I made for my son almost three years ago:

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The inspiration for this drawing was, believe it or not, toilet paper. Remember Cold Man? Well, the bathroom that houses the tiles that inspired Cold Man is also home to some toilet paper with a little flower pattern. When I was pregnant with my son, every time I used that toilet paper I would see a mother holding her baby in the flower. I clearly had baby on the brain!

I made some butter cake again this week. In fact I made it twice! The first time, I followed the original recipe posted here, but I added four tablespoons of cocoa powder and omitted the vanilla. I also used white sugar since I’m almost out of brown sugar. The result wasn’t quite chocolatey enough, so I made it again, this time using three tablespoons of cocoa powder and one square of unsweetened baking chocolate. The second time it was delicious, but a little too crumbly. Maybe a little extra sugar or an extra egg next time…

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Corn & Butter Cake with Lemon

I had an inexplicable urge to draw some corn. So I did.

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I completed this drawing fairly quickly (by my standards anyway). I started this blog so that I would draw more, get more practice and improve my skills. But I’m surprised at how quickly just three months of drawing has improved the speed at which I can draw. I still have a long way to go, however, before I can be one of those amazing people that can whip out a drawing a day.

This week’s dessert is butter cake with lemon. Last week I made butter cake, and I liked it so much I thought I would try it with some lemon. I followed the same recipe except I added the rind of one lemon and baked it in a loaf pan instead of a square pan. It was just as light and fluffy as it was last week, but the lemon didn’t add as much of an extra kick as I thought it would. I really like this recipe because it’s extremely fast and super moist, so I’m going to try it again next week with some chocolate…

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Baby Entertainment & Butter Cake

This week’s drawing is for my daughter. She sits in her chair at least once a day while I cook or do dishes, and she is a very visual baby, so I made her something more fun to look at than just a plain white dishwasher. It’s a simple board on which I made a little scenery and to which we can velcro various other drawings that I’ve previously made (these drawings are laminated and survived my son’s infancy. I had made a similar board for him when he was a baby, but he didn’t show much interest in it until he was older and big enough to bend, tear and eventually destroy it). Here is the board pre-velcro strips:

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And here it is with a few extra images attached:

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And finally, here is my little lady enjoying the view whilst having a good chew:

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Dessert this week is courtesy of the women of the 1968 Montreal B’nai B’rith Mount Sinai Chapter. We inherited their cookbook from my husband’s late great Aunty Ethel:

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The recipe for butter cake was nice and simple:

1/2 cup unsalted soft butter
1.5 cups flour
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar and only 3/4 cup)
3 tsp baking powder (I used only 2.5 tsp)
2/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and milk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until just blended. Pour into a buttered 9 inch square baking pan and bake at 350 F for 40 to 45 minutes. Easy peasy!

The cake was light, fluffy, and delicious. I am going to make it again very soon I think, but I will try adding some lemon rind for a little extra flavour.

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View From the Window & Pumpkin Muffins

This week’s drawings are of the view from the backdoor window. This was how the view appeared about two months ago before the leaves started changing:

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Once again, I made this using Paper by Fiftythree. One of the reasons I love this app so much is because I can “rewind” what I’ve drawn and do it over and over again until I get it right. That is also one of the reasons why oil paints are my most preferred medium–I can keep painting on the same spot over and over again, and so having an “undo” option provides a similar benefit.

This is the view from the same back door but at a different angle and obviously at a different time of day.

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I made this one in a rush just to capture the lighting and colour of the moment. Eventually I’d like to paint it in oils. This is another reason why the Paper app is so great for me–I can’t work fast enough to make a watercolour sketch or quick oil painting, but I can use Paper to mix the right colours and use it as a template for a future painting. Usually I photograph things I want to paint, but in instances like this where the subject matter won’t photograph well it’s great to be able to create an accurrate record of the right tones and colours.

I had some leftover pumpkin after I made last week’s pumpkin pie, so this week I made pumpkin muffins. Originally I wanted to make pumpkin bread but I couldn’t find a good recipe. All the recipes I found online used a minimum of three cups of sugar, and some used four!!! That’s a lot of sugar! Finally I came across a recipe for pumpkin muffins that was somewhat decent, but I altered it and half invented my own recipe:

1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix eggs, pumpkin and butter, then pour over dry ingredients and mix gently. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 F in a buttered muffin tin for approximately 25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden. Topped with some whipped cream they were fantastic:

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Here’s my trusty and handsome taste tester enjoying a pumpkin muffin:

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