Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Thanks Giving…

Every summer L and I do a full Thanks Giving meal. It's my favorite meal, and I suppose if ever faced with “last meal” choices, this would be it. We cooked a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, cranberry jelly and mini spice cakes. I really didn't want a heavy pie or cake, so I made these little spice cakes simply powdered with sugar. The recipe has sour cream in it, and the cake is really tasty. I spiced mine with vietnamese cinnamon, chinese five spice and star anise. Yumm!!! I did something a little different with the sweet potatoes too—used the star anise there. What a difference that makes. It really cuts the sweetness down from a syrupy style to a spiced taste. I use fresh sweet potatoes, brown sugar, spices and a little butter. I top it all with marshmellows and cook until tender.

After my birthday breakfast, L and I went antiquing—I've never before done that—and I found a cake plate with cover. It's something that I've always wanted but have never found before. Since this one is used, it was super cheap. Here's the spice cake presented in my new cake plate. Just look past those stupid water spots!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hometown Tourist…

This past week L and I celebrated my birthday by spending the day in downtown Tucson. It gave me a great opportunity to be a tourist in my own town, snapping pictures with my new digital SLR camera. Our first stop was the famous Hotel Congress, where John Dillinger stayed shortly before being caught by the local police without a single bullet being shot.

The sign, as seen from the southern side of the hotel.

One of the coolest things about the bar area, where we had breakfast is the penny floor.

A close-up of the Hotel Congress penny floor.

I enjoyed the repetition of forms in the bar chairs. I also really like the
convenience of the little hooks for your handbag underneath the bar.

I had the Eggs and Gunpowder breakfast, which is a big bowl of roasted potatoes,
two poached eggs, cheese and turkey chorizo.

L had the Eggs Chipotle & Borracho Pork. Both breakfasts were excellent.

After breakfast we drove up A-Mountain, which really is not very large compared to the mountains in the background of this image. But it provides a great vantage point of my little town. In this picture you can see the downtown metropolitan area and the U of A campus in the background. The mountains on the far side are the Catalina Mountains, which are about 9,000 feet high.

Finally, L treated me to an ice cream birthday cake, and yes, put all 34 candles on there. Wow! That was pretty crazy.