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November 28, 2010

Grandma Jessie Walker's Coffee Cake


This was so good I forgot to take a picture of it till the plate was empty. Even better--I have a photo of the recipe in my Grandma Walker's handwriting and shorthand, from a notebook so old it is falling apart. I think this is the coffee cake I remember as my mom's standard whenever we had guests or special events, like a holiday morning casual brunch. Easy, fast, and delicious....

Jessie Walker's Coffee Cake

1 1/2 Cup Flour
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Shortening
1 Egg
1/2 C. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Sift dry ingredients & cut in shortening. Add egg, milk, & vanilla.

1/2 C. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Melted Butter

Sprinkle on top before baking at 375 degrees for 20-25 min.

November 20, 2010

Bite Me Holiday Dessert Demo at Surfas


I've discovered the demo/test kitchen at Surfas in Culver City, and my life will never be the same again. This past week I attended a cookbook signing of the Bite Me sisters, Julie Albert & Lisa Gnat. They are entertaining, funny, and saucy, in addition to being great teachers. Their demo presentation featured Holiday Desserts and included recipes and tips for everything they had prepared.

Lisa is the trained pastry chef, while Julie is the professional writer/editor of the duo. Lisa stressed the importance of not overmixing, and taught to add eggs one at a time. Julie came prepared with trivia and prizes. Highlights of the evening were a chocolate pecan pie, an apple-butterscotch quickbread, smores cupcakes, and a pumpkin cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I'll come back to this post to add a recipe when I have the time to type it out, as my scanner's currently broken. I'm definitely adding the book to my PaperbackSwap wish list, but since it's new I'm sure it'll take some time to get ahold of it that way. We left the demo with great schwag giveaways that included reusable bags and various utensils--in my bag was a pizza cutter, while my friend Lisa got a pastry brush.

Bite Me also has a Facebook Page. For future Surfas events, check here, or check out their recipe section here. Surfas offers some free events, such as this one, but more often offers classes given by established chefs and caterers that are expert in a particular area, so be sure to read the event descriptions carefully. My friend Lisa blogs at Epicurean Expressions and is available as a personal chef under the name Chow for Now.

Hollywood Christmas Parade


Guess what I missed last year? Since I don't get the newspaper, or watch news broadcasts with any regularity at all, I miss a lot of fun activities. So I'm posting this to the blog with the tags "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" so that next year when I use my archives, I'll remember that this takes place on Thanksgiving weekend every year. I went the year I was a VISTA volunteer, in 1996, and had a great time with all my roomies. For all the details, check out The Hollywood Christmas Parade official website.
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