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May 003June 009

June weekends….We visit with friends and family, eat, play outside. The farm co-op opens. I like June.

My nephew was here for a few days. He’s almost seven and so tall, and The Boy and Miss R looooove him. They had a sleepover, went adventuring in the woods,  and played spies and trucks and dinobots. Mr. 007 took a stealth picture of me at 6:30 a.m. in my robe with crazy hair. Fortunately he’s not connected to Facebook yet! I’m so glad he came to visit.

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The dress and diaper cover set is a baby gift for my friend Mary, who is expecting a girl soon. I had a lot of fun with this! I don’t remember the name of the pink fabric but it’s a soft cotton that feels almost brushed after washing. The floral is called Lindy Leaf; the patterns are a mix of Simplicity 1794 and 1700. Baby undies are just crazy cute. I’m looking forward to meeting the little one who will be wearing these!

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As you can see, my kids haven’t quite given up their boots yet. One day they’re in flip flops, the next they insist on boots with their shorts. I don’t say no. After all, there’s only a certain number of years that you can get away with Spiderman boots or red tutus, and I like to see what they come up with.

The cake is a chocolate loaf cake with coffee frosting. It’s an old friend, something my mom has made for as long as I can remember. It’s a simple cake that always tastes good, moist and not too intensely chocolate-y.

To make the cake, grease a loaf pan and dust it with flour, and preheat the oven the 325 degrees. In a small bowl, add 1 cup of boiling water to 2 oz of chopped unsweetened chocolate. Put it aside and let the chocolate melt. Combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. In another bowl, beat 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, and 2 eggs until fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture and 1/2 cup sour cream on low, then add the chocolate mixture until just combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan but don’t over fill – you may have half a cup or so of batter left over. Bake for 60 minutes.

If you do a good job greasing the pan and loosening the cake, it will come out like this:

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(Yes, that’s a Wonder Woman pint glass in the corner there. There’s nothing better to drink ice coffee out of. It makes me smile every time I pull it out of the cabinet.)

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The frosting is a basic buttercream with the addition of a small amount of instant coffee. If you put this frosting on the cake when the cake is still warm it will melt into a coffee glaze. I usually do this, partly because I’m impatient and partly because I like how the glaze hardens on the cake and forms a slightly crunchy outer layer. If you want something softer and prettier, like the picture at the top of my post, let the cake cool completely first.

To make the frosting, beat together 1/2 box of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 2 teaspoons instant coffee mixed with 1 teaspoon water until fluffy and creamy