Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gramma's Little "Helper"

Now that her Mommy has gone back to work, I am the lucky care-giver for Miss E one day a week and I L-O-V-E it. She is such a sweet little dearie to hang out with. We've gone on shopping trips (sorry about bringing her to WalMart, Jed), out to lunch with a special friend, to visit my library friends, out on neighborhood walks and so on. A couple of weeks ago, Ellie even "helped" out in the kitchen at the condo! We made a yummy chocolate cake and baked some flower cookies. Two different days, though.

Surprisingly, it is easier to hold Ellie in a carrier than with no carrier as far as the back is concerned. She loves all the motions of cooking as I stir, roll, mix and blend. Here's the recipe for the chocolate cake we made together --- and note that it has leftover coffee and applesauce in the mix.

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup cold water or chilled brewed coffee

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons cider vinegar Mocha Frosting 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (4 tbsp. butter flavored Crisco also works well) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2-3 tablespoons milk or soymilk Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Generously oil an 8-inch square or round baking pan and dust with a little sifted cocoa or line the bottom with parchment paper. 3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, salt, and sugar. 4. In another bowl, combine the oil, applesauce water or coffee, and vanilla. 5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well-blended and smooth. 6. Add the vinegar and stir briefly; the baking soda will begin to react with the vinegar right away, leaving pale swirls in the batter. 7. Without wasting any time, pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. 8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 9. Cool for 20 minutes, then frost with frosting. 10. For the frosting, combine powdered sugar, cocoa, butter and vanilla in large bowl; beat until combined. 11. Add additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating to desired consistency. 12. Makes about 1-1/4 cups frosting.

The second time we baked together, Ellie sat in her little Bumbo on the counter top, watching every step of the process. I used the cut-out cookie recipe posted previously to make springy flowers.

Such fun times together --- and we've only just begun!


The Lindahl News said...

Yes, Marilyn M., this is the recipe we used at our little gathering in the city this past weekend. I have submitted it to the LCC cookbook committee.

Anne said...

yay for baking/cooking with gramma! i can't wait to make some more of that chocolate cake some time. it was delicious!

Spirit Bear said...

That bumbo is the funniest thing I've ever seen. what a stitch. She looks remarkably comfortable!