Sunset on a Lake & Cranberry Pound Cake

I never got around to posting last week, so today I’m posting a drawing and a dessert.

None of the many drawings I am working on are finished yet, so here is a quick sketch I made on the ipad using the Paper app.

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My inspiration came from this photo I saw in an old National Geographic from 1989.

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I was looking through Volume 176 No. 6 because this is the issue that covers the restoration of the Sistine Chapel, and the reason I wanted photos of the Sistine Chapel is a story for a future post!

Now on to dessert! My dad came to visit recently and he requested some baked goods. I decided to try a cranberry pound cake from one of my cookbooks. It should actually be called cranberry butter cake. Butter is yummy. I try to cut down on sugar when baking, but bring on the butter, I’m not afraid to put butter in my desserts 🙂

Here’s Best-Loved Entertaining’s recipe for cranberry pound (butter) cake:

2 sticks unsalted butter
1.5 cups sugar (I used 3/4 non-packed brown sugar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mace (I didn’t have mace so I used nutmeg)
4 eggs
2 cups cake flour
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

Beat butter, sugar, salt and mace (or nutmeg) with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended, then add flour at low speed, only a 1/2 cup at a time. Fold in the cranberries.

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Spoon batter into greased or parchment lined 9 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.

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Delicious!

Old Drawings

I haven’t been able to finish a drawing for several weeks. I have about seven or eight things I’m working on at the same time so nothing is getting finished. My kids have also been sick, and my daughter decided she didn’t want to nap last week. Needless to say my drawings are progressing very slowly. In the meantime, here are two drawings I came across while looking through an old sketchbook.

This is a painting I started (and never completed) when I was twelve. I recall taking an extracurricular watercolour class, but I don’t think it was a recurring class. I remember only one afternoon of sitting and painting at picnic tables next to the large basement windows of my elementary school. That would explain why I never finished it. (I clearly wasn’t being taught how to properly use watercolours!)

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This is a doodle I made in high school, somewhere between the ages of 15 and 17. My technical skills were obviously worse back then, but I was much more creative.

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I may revisit this drawing in the future and make an updated version…

Formerly Sugar-Free Now Egg-Free Chocolate Banana Muffins

Last week I had some browning bananas, so I thought I’d turn them into the delicious sugar free muffins I previously posted here. I also had the urge to make them chocolate-y, and did so by adding approximately 3.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder (it may have been a little more, the spoon got away from me), and a little less than a quarter cup of brown sugar. I proceeded to mix all the dry ingredients together and when I reached into the fridge for some eggs, I realized that we had finished them at breakfast! Luckily my good friend Jen was over and she promptly informed me that flax seed can be used as an egg substitute. She told me to mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water per egg. I did exactly that and the muffins turned out fantastic:

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They needed to be cooked an additional 10-15 minutes, but they were chocolate-y banana goodness!

Summer House in Kusadasi

This week’s drawing is of the view as seen from the inside of my grandmother’s summer house in Kusadasi, Turkey.

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Normally I post the photograph I use to make a drawing, but this time I will be leaving it out. I took a few liberties in making the house look nicer than it actually is, because in reality it’s quite run down and shabby. But I spent all my summers in that house as a child, and I had some of the best times of my life there, so to me it always looked like one of the greatest places on earth. I felt the drawing should represent the house as I saw it (through incredibly biased eyes) and I don’t want to ruin the effect by revealing the actual state of the house.