There's something about quarantine that makes you need chocolate, isn't there? All right, maybe EVERYTHING makes some of us need chocolate! But I can't think of a better time to indulge than now. As you can see, our cake nearly flew out of the pan - I didn't even get a photo before we'd eaten almost the whole thing! And we all agreed that it was just what we needed.
This cake has been a favorite for years. I can't remember exactly where we got the original recipe - probably a modification of Wacky Cake from Whole Foods for the Whole Family - but we love it! It's so soft, moist, and absolutely perfect for carrying a load of chocolate chips! Baking soda and vinegar are the leavening, and mini chocolate chips spread deliciously throughout. No one will ever believe that you mixed this up in ONE BOWL in about five minutes. You can even mix it in the pan you're going to bake it in!
All right, enough raving. Let's get baking so you can taste it for yourself!
1 1/2 cups flour (we used whole wheat)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (large would work, too - or you could chop large smaller)
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla (real vanilla is best!)
1 tsp vinegar (we use apple cider)
1 cup water
Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix. Pour into a square or round 8-9" pan (double the recipe for a 9 X 13 pan). Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot - but it's amazing room temperature, as well! Leftovers can even be frozen, and defrosts very nicely on a wire rack. Yep, sounds about perfect for quarantine!
Potato or Pratie Cakes
Being of both Polish and Irish descent, there's one food that pretty nearly every member of our family can agree on: Potatoes! Baked, boiled, cheesy, creamed, fried, mashed - we love them every way possible. And when we have leftover mashed potatoes, we're never disappointed, because we can make potato cakes!
This is the simplest recipe ever, and very dependent on the consistency of your potatoes. Whether you call them potato cakes, or the quaint Irish name of Pratie Cakes, these are a classic old-country dish that is fun and easy to make. So, here we go!
* Leftover Mashed Potatoes (ours measured about 2 cups this time)
* 1 egg
* Flour (we used whole wheat in the potato mixture, and unbleached white flour for dusting)
* Pepper (if desired)
Add the egg to the mashed potatoes and mix well. Add flour until the mixture is thick enough to form a ball, but not dry. Form into patties approximately the size of your palm, and about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Dip in white flour, or hold the cake in your hand and sprinkle a pinch of flour on it, smoothing across the surface on both sides. This should keep your potato cake from sticking to the pan! Heat a generously buttered pan (we're picturing this in a traditional cast iron pan, like this one from Lodge, aren't you?) Place your cakes on the pan and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if desired). Fry your cakes for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through, or until both sides are nicely browned. Enjoy with fried or scrambled eggs for breakfast or brunch; soup or stew for lunch; or chicken or beef and cooked vegetables for supper. Looking to dress them up? Why not try some shredded cheese or a bit of minced onion or chopped chives in the mixture? Or serve them with buttered onions or cottage cheese!
You'll be hoping for leftover mashed potatoes once you try them!
We often get questions about what to wear beneath our full dresses (like the Two Tier and Libby Dresses) or skirts when presenting a historical character.
First, you need to know what time period you are representing.
For Medieval and Renaissance, a simple hoopskirt like this one, with a strict a-line, will give the full, upside-down 'V' of the period.
Don't forget that anytime you measure for the length of a skirt or dress, you need to measure over the hoop, crinoline, or skirt that you will be wearing to make sure it is long enough.
And anytime you need tips or recommendations, feel free to contact us! If we don't have the answer, we're always glad to learn alongside you.
And these little gals are pioneers - they're the first original doll design at Gathering of Goods! Girls and ladies of all ages and sizes fall in love with these tiny bits of love. They were inspired by the historical 'Pieces Dolls' and the 'Pew Dolls' of early days. They fit just right in little girls' hands, and look so cute standing together, as if they were having a bit of prairie town gossip before heading into the general store for the week's supplies.
Don't you just want to join them?
Well, they can join you! Head over to our 'Dolls & Toys' section to order your own set!
We're so happy to have you here to our all-new blog on the updated online store at Gathering of Goods! In fact, we're so happy to be here ourselves - it's been a long and complicated process. But we feel that we are now even better equipped to meet your needs, and deliver the signature product you've come to expect from Gathering of Goods. From modest dresses and jumpers...
to historical sets and more, we're here to help you create the garment of your dreams.
But stay tuned - there's so much more to come!