The Food Chronicles - Strawberry Country Cake

What to do With Fresh Berries?

The Monster and I hit up the farmer’s market on Tuesday and came home with plenty of fresh goodies, one of which was a lovely pint of strawberries.  Is there anything better than REAL strawberries?  I am not talking about those underripe plumped up gobs of texture that you get at the grocery.

They were so good just rinsed and plopped right into our waiting gobs but we had scads so I thought a summer treat featuring these berries would be fitting.  I wanted to try something new in favor of my usual strawberry shortcake go to.  And who do I turn to in times of need?  Ina, of course.

Enter the Strawberry Country Cake.  A low key no fuss cake that requires very little in the way of icing, my arch nemesis.  Fresh whipped cream is right up towards the tip top of life’s luxurious indulgences for me.  The sour cream combined with citrusy zests in the batter is the perfect counter point to the sweetness of the berries and cream.  Heaven.  Trust.

the recipe called for 40 - 45 minutes bake time;
I took mine out at 35 mins and it was a scosh overdone but still uber tasty

1st layer of yum

Run don’t walk to your nearest farm stand and whip this up for your 4th of July celebration.  Because everyone is probably going to do some version of a flag cake they saw on Pinterest.  If you must simply do the red, white, and blue thing, then me thinks that the addition of blueberries would be just fine too.

All photos and layouts by mrs. V
kisses, mrs. V


Tales From the Projects - Sneak Peak

A Sneaky Piet and a Few Thoughts on RHONJ

If I didn’t have Pieti the Piet Monster sneaking about all the time getting into everything, I would be doing more with this…

For now, I am sneaking moments to do a little here and a little there with it.  Here’s hoping the reality is greater than the sum of my vision.

In other news, is anyone watching RHONJ?  Is there anyone more bonkers than Teresa?  Talk about Hekyll and JydeShe is an even more prolific storyteller than Stephen King who has purportedly written more than 55 novels.  And I won’t even get into her abuse of the English language.  Her de facto response when being called on the carpet for her misbehaviors is to accuse the accuser of being crazy insane.  Pot and kettle.

Andy, more Rosie, please, if you want me to keep watching this trash.  Because watching Caroline call her daughter a butter beast and then watching her other ‘good looking’ (eeeewwww) offspring order pizza in front of said butter beast is just plain mean and boring.

kisses, mrs. V


Scenes From the Weekend

Some Cooking, More Glass Etching, a Shade, and What Happens When I am Busy Writing a Post…

The manic busyness of the week spilled right over into the weekend.  What a whirlwind it was.  All of this happened and more…

my dad and his wife came over yesterday for dinner

BBQ chicken, herb potato salad, and haricot verts with shallots was on the menu

ready to go on the chicken

some more Eddie Ross inspired crafting

I brought this as a hostess gift to dinner Friday evening

remember this find?
a better proportioned shade and some elbow grease
and she is a like-new saucy lassy

And while I was industriously organizing snapshots for this post, the Monster was industriously covering herself with 'tattoos.'

All photos and layouts by mrs. V

kisses, mrs. V


Battling Boredom

When All Else Fails, Use Sidewalk Chalk

Lots of kiddos of varying ages in close quarters can result in some territorial pyrotechnics, so when we had the DeLuca clan visiting from Atlanta earlier this week, I had to get a little creative with the entertainments.  By day 3, the littles had exhausted the ‘newness’ appeal on both sides, both of visiting a new place and having visitors.  So when all else fails, I pull out the sidewalk chalk.  And a road was born along with a few blissful hours of entertainment.

Even Shannon joined in on the fun!

In other news, Pieti finally gave up her pacifier a week ago.  It has been a lot like living with a crack addict.  It was LONG overdue.  We tried unsuccessfully last summer to get her to quit the habit but she wailed for 3 weeks straight.  Bound for the rubber room, we caved.  This time around, she just threw it in the trash on a whim.  We have been dealing ever since as she has yet to find a suitable replacement soothing mechanism.  Having visitors was a great diversion but now that they are gone she is sort of back to inconsolable bonkers land.  If you have new babies, do yourself a favor and don’t give them a pacifier.  Or at least take it away early before they remember.

Looking forward to a much needed night out with mr. V as we are going to have dinner with some dear high school friends.

Hope you have a happy scream-free weekend and all that jazz.

All photos and layouts by mrs. V
kisses, mrs. V


Summer - Where Entertainment Takes on a Whole New Meaning

Summertime is Happening.  Is it Over yet?

Just a pop in to let you know that we are alive and well over here.  Juggling flaming nails and doing the can can to keep this one entertained so that I don’t lose my marbles.  Thankfully one of my dearests from ATL is here with her two kiddos to provide much needed diversion for the Monster.  This one can be a handful.

Hammy Hambone.  Clearly, with no manners.

I love love love having her and her kiddos at Chez V and wish so very much that she lived right down the street.  It has been lovely entertaining them for the last 3 days.  Now if only I had a plan for Monster-tainment when they leave.  Is Summer over yet because I have a chair to finish? !
All photos and layouts by mrs. V
kisses, mrs. V


Summer in Cincy Means Festival Time

Mr. Snappy Peanut and Other Random Carni Things

With the summer season comes the festival circuit.  And boy is Cincinnati mad for festivals. There is literally a festival every single weekend here during the summer.  If Pieti had her say, we would go every night of every weekend to a festival.  We limit it to a few but we have still managed to find ourselves becoming familiar with the various carni characters who run the game, food, and ride booths.  It seems they make the circuit rounds as well and the same folks return every year to run the booths.

festival faces

cotton candy goatee

Pieti is wondering why I look like a bug with Crystal Gale hair.
Seriously, get thee to the hair salon.

I am just so glad that Pieti is still too small to ride most of those crazy rides that look like they are held together with little more than duck tape and a prayer.  Sheesh.  

I suppose I am ok with the random swinging cars that have crazy googly eyes and painted lady lips while also covered with Flintstone characters, but nothing prepared us for Mr. Snappy Peanut this year.

Seriously, someone thought he was a good idea to recruit kids to come to the peanut drop on Saturday.  Too creepy for words.  And Pieti, who would gladly juggle flaming rusty nails, was in agreement.

All photos and layouts by mrs. V
kisses, mrs. V