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Friday, July 24, 2009

A $65,000 Kitchen Giveaway and Two Birthday Cakes To Share

Heads up! The question for this Hooked On and Foodie Friday is: Who gives away a $65,000 kitchen?

Not I.

I mean, I would if I could; I'm not stingy. But if I had $65,000 I would be renovating my kitchen, not yours. I could go for something like this:

Dibs on that design.

(Picture from the Traditional Home website.)

The good news is that Traditional Home Magazine is sponsoring a Kitchen Makeover Sweepstakes, worth over $65,000. I have entered. Several times. Okay, lots of times.

I am Hooked On winning this one, in this Hooked On Houses Friday blog party post.

You can enter, too, by going to Traditional Home Magazine's website (just click here).

Good luck! Although don't get your hopes up, because I am going to win this one. That Old House could use some serious cosmetic surgery in the kitchen department. A little Botox ain't gonna do it.

Visit Julia and the other Hooked On bloggers by clicking here!


Now . . . on to things I can share for Foodie Friday: Birthday Cakes and other delights.

Many thanks to Michael at Designs by Gollum for the dizzying array of foodie posts linked up to her Foodie Friday blog party. Click here to join the fun, and see how it's done!


Last week was my birthday, and daughter Anne made my cake.

When your cake baker is a design student, your cake looks like this:

with flourishes like this:

and the best part is . . . the design is chocolate, and edible. Ummm . . .

It's a simple yellow cake, an old Fannie Farmer recipe, made with the brown sugar and Splenda baking blend, and between the cake layers Anne put a fudge filling made of bittersweet chocolate and condensed milk, and then thinned and added confectioner's sugar to that, to make the frosting. It was scrumptious.

This week, it was Annie's turn to turn a year older. All of 22. Twenty-two.
Yikes. I have lipsticks older than that.

On her birthday, Anne and I were busy cruising her new college town scouting apartment locations. Mid-afternoon, we broke for lunch at a charming Greek taverna, split an entree, and realized we would not be needing dinner that night.

So . . . while we were driving home through evening traffic,
Howard got to work in the kitchen, and made Anne's favorite "cake."

He cut up and Splenda-ed fresh strawberries:

And made-from-scratch biscuit shortcakes, subbing Splenda for sugar:

What a good daddy!

You put a warm crumbly biscuit, cold sweet strawberries,
and fresh whipped cream together and what have you got?

Just about the best combination dinner-and-dessert a birthday girl could want!

Birthday cakes come in all shapes and sizes, and are not necessarily cakes. This would work:

It's the chocolate chip cookie pie that my friend Mardi brought for our dessert when she and her husband came for dinner a couple of weeks ago. Warm that wedge up in the microwave, and nuzzle it up to some vanilla ice cream and . . . oh yeah. (I think it came from Costco! Now that is my kind of recipe.)

It's Friday! Go play. -- Cass


  1. I sure need a kitchen renovation, and it would not take that much to do it either. I hope you know, I just gained 20 lbs. reading this post. I am hungry now. :-)

  2. Well, Miss Cass, aren't you full of treats and treasures today!?!
    I'd love a kitchen redo or actually a redo of what I couldn't redo when I did a little redo! :)


  3. Oh, my gosh, did this post ever make me HUNGRY. Yum. My husband makes a chocolate-chip pie that looks like that, and it's one of my favorite desserts. I'm going to tell him to drizzle chocolate on top like that--looks so pretty. :-)

    Boy, would I love to have $65,000 to spend on my kitchen. I'll have to check that out. Thanks, Cass!

  4. Chocolate chip cookie pie? Oh, my!

  5. Oh my gosh, chocolate chip cookie pie. Now we are combining two desserts into one. How much better can it get.
    I don't really need a kitchen reno but if I won I would take it and then we could put my house kitchen into the cabin. I probably can't win it in Canada anyways so you go ahead and win it.

  6. Hi Cass,
    Hope you had an enjoyable birthday. The cake your daughter made for you is lovely ... understated and very beautiful. Loved the close-up view of the fleur-de-lis!

    I'm running behind viewing tablescapes this week. Yours was very special with the wonderful family heirlooms and the perfectly non-matched colorful florals.

    Hope your weekend goes well!

    Bye for now,

  7. i finally made the blog. hip hip hooray! and all because of the chocolate chip cookie pie, lol! it WAS yummy. it came from BJ's, by the way, which, fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, means you can have it whenever you want! and, oh, btw, that kitchen is to die for - i hope you win! joe is now talking about renovating the kitchen here at kensington. i am freaking!!!!

  8. Hey Mardi! You have made the blog several times, most recently with your picture too -- in "Three Or More Friends" from July 14th.

    And if you re-do the Kensington kitchen, can I have what your tear out?

    Remember, we learned about sharing in Kindergarten!


  9. Great post!
    And I'm trying to diet! But I think I just found a couple of reasons to cheat!

    Your birthday cake was beautiful! Hope you enjoyed your special day!

    Thanks so much for coming back to answer my question! I am still astounded and amazed!
    Have a great weekend!
    All the best,

  10. We call that Toll House Pie. YUMMY! I love it. The kitchen re-do is fantastic. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend and I need something sweet to go with my evening coffee.


  11. mmmmmmm!
    Happy birthday!
    Your daughter did a beautiful job on your cake!

  12. Hi Cass, Thank you for visiting our blog... We are glad you did because now we know where to find you!!
    Have a great weekend!
    Clara & Marcela

  13. Gosh, this looks wonderful, Cass! And Happy Birthday to you daughter and to you! GORGEOUS cakes!

    Happy Foodie Friday...


    Sheila :-)

  14. Oooh, that chocolate chip pie looks so yummy! Wish there was a Costco near me, I may just have to find a recipe for that! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog the other day.

  15. thank you for stopping by my "hooked" post and the encouragement! I'm going to try sewing curtains for my daughters bedroom... just the simple panel kind. I'm so glad you stopped by because I love your blog! Happy Belated Birthday. You have a beautiful home. thanks for the heads-up on the Kitchen giveaway too!

  16. Strawberries and the icing in the cake, the mixture with white an brown - like it, MB

  17. Cass, you NEED a brick floor in your conservatory. I don't think it's hard to care for -- I just vaccuum as needed.

    But, it's a "sham" -- it's real brick but only tile thick. But we didn't put it down like tile -- we glued it to the floor, fairly close together and then put sand in all the cracks. To keep the sand from coming up, we put tile sealer over the sand with a turkey baster.

    Our contractor even took three Fort Scott bricks and shaved them down and incorporated them (which makes our sham work even better)!

    The mold for these bricks came from 80 to 100 old real bricks and there are many different bricks so they don't all look alike.

    We got them at Lowe's -- they weren't cheap but they weren't all that expensive either -- no more than most hard flooring.

    Because of the brick floor, most people think our breakfast room is a porch we enclosed (which is what I want them to think) -- I'm not sure they would think that if we had a slate or tile floor.

    Oh, and in the winter, it doesn't matter if I overflow the plant pots when I water . . . the bricks can take it!

    I think a brick floor in your conservatory would look stunning at That Old House!

  18. These look sooo yummy! I love your beautiful home, too.


  19. I so need to win that kitchen! Thanks for the delicious treats today. Beginning August 5, I will be hosting Crock Pot Wednesdays at I hope you will join me and, hopefully, share in the giveaways:) Mister Linky is up and waiting for your entry.

  20. That kitchen is absolutely every woman's dream! Thanks for the beautiful blog full of info and great pictures, and the FOOD! OH, my goodness! Thanks for stopping by my Pink Saturday blog! I hadn't posted my pinks yet - was running late, so please stop by again for another peek. Take care!

  21. I'm going to do my best to give you a run for your money on the kitchen giveaway!! ;)

    All the desserts look amazing. All I can say is, Wow!

  22. Hi again, Cass. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice (and funny!) comment. ;)

    Don't worry -- Mrs. R's not in any real danger -- it's a faux door at the end of a dormer. The house is a copy of an old one in Natchez, MS that had a similar feature. Probably the door, or it might have been a window, was opened at night for cross ventilation in the days before air conditioning.

    Bye for now,

  23. The kitchen is lovely, I agree!

    The desserts look amazing, but I don't eat any refined sugar so it's just eye-candy to me.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog!!!


  24. I'm all for a $65,000 kitchen re-do. But I'm all for those cakes. Your daughter's design is sure pretty. Happy Birthday to you all! ~ Robyn

  25. Thanks for stopping by my blog...yours is really charming. I am in love with your farmhouse. Now that is dreamy. Have a great weekend.

  26. Happy Birthday my Dear friend...Love the cake and how special of Anne to make it for you...Now I'll take the kitchen redo any old day if it comes with a cook ha ha!! May you have a great week my friend....hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  27. Greetings from the South Fork..Why are you not out here enjoying this fabulous weather??
    The desserts look delicious..Happy Birthday!

  28. I was hoping we would get to see the cakes. Beautiful job! My oldest son, Danny, used to want pumpkin pie for his birthday (in February). One year one of my daughters wanted jello instead of a cake. I had to draw the line at that and made her a cake, just didn't feel right somehow about giving a little girl jello for her birthday treat!

  29. Dang it! I missed your birthday!!

    Happy Birthday!!
    to you and your daughter :)

    Now pass the cake.... what do you mean it's all gone! ;)



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