I ♥

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” 


Or maybe better yet:

♪ I love you truly, truly, dear.  Life with its sorrows, life with its tears.  Fades into dreams when I feel you are near.  For I love you truly, truly, dear.”♪  (I’ll be curious what you think of this/their/his performance.  Be sure to listen! 🙂 )

And here via YouTube is the scene with Edith from All in the Family, loving Archie truly with the same song.  Lord, they were funny….but wouldn’t make it in today’s world.

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Which brings me to my Colorado College days – and singing that same song in a circle in our sorority.  We would be alerted by our president before a chapter meeting that a candle would be passed, meaning someone amongst us had just gotten pinned or engaged.  The excitement would be palpable.   We would sing – and harmonize – as The Candle was passed around once – and then on the second pass-around the lucky girl would announce her pinning by blowing out the candle – to everyone’s screams of joy.  A third go-around (better yet!) meant an engagement.

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All I wanted in my college life was to get to blow out a candle before I graduated.

It didn’t happen.

And yet now – so many years later – I have lots of loves.  Here for Valentine’s Day are 10 of them:


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My 7 one-teaspoon measuring spoons.  When I’m cooking I never have to stop to wash and dry one; I just keep dirtying more.


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My eggs from Sandy and Stacey – and their funny hens.


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My burnt orange Staub cocotte; a Christmas 2017 gift from my kiddos


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My Berndes 9011 Black-slotted Spatula Turner; I have 4!  They’re made in Sweden.


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Sriracha Sauce; more on that in a future blog


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My Lodge carbon steel 12″ skillet


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Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning


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My 6 Epicurean Kitchen Cutting Boards – in 4 different sizes and 3 different colors



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Diamond Kosher Salt; see why at Food for Thought


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The candle I never got to blow out – and the man I met a year too late and who is still here, blogging with me,  50+ years later.  Photography credit: it’s his own selfie.

I’ve baked Red Velvet cupcakes in honor of the occasion.  Red for Valentine’s Day.  Chocolate (cocoa is a main ingredient) because he loves chocolate.  If you get heart palpitations – not thinking about Andy but fretting about red dye – read up on it here: red food dye. And, having just returned from Oaxaca, I have to add that one of the most interesting things we learned there was about the red dye that comes from cochineal.  It’s an aphid-like insect that lives on prickly pear cactus.  So if you want to avoid Red Dye #40, look for the word “Carmine” before purchasing red food coloring.  No chemicals;  just a bug! 🙂  We’ll have more on bugs in a future blog.

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Red Velvet Cupcake with Boiled Milk Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Boiled Milk Frosting

  • Servings: about 24 cupcakes or two 9 inch round layers
  • Print
This is adapted from a recipe in the 1974 cookbook Cane River Cuisine.  The Cane River is a branch of the Red River near Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Red Velvet Cake

  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 8 T butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 – 4 T unsweetened cocoa powder (I like just 2 T – because chocolate isn’t really my thing)
  • 2 T red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 c cake flour (though all-purpose flour will work too)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Boiled Milk Frosting (this doesn’t make a huge amount of frosting; consider doing 1 1/2 x recipe, if you want lots – and who wouldn’t; it’s SO delicious – and not too icky sweet)

  • 4 T flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the cake: heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners – or butter and flour 2 9″ round cake pans.

With an electric hand mixer or in a processor cream the vegetable oil, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat for about another minute.  In another small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and food coloring.  Add that to the creamed mixture and blend well…till the batter is a bright red!  Blend the vanilla and and buttermilk together.  Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Alternate adding the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture.  Mix until it is all combined but do not over mix.  Combine the vinegar and baking soda and fold it into the batter.  Do not beat it in.

Fill the muffin tins about 1/2-2/3 full; bake for 15-20 minutes or until a gentle push in the middle of the cupcake does not stay indented but springs back.

For the frosting: in a small saucepan mix together the flour, milk, and sugar.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and stir for a few minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thickened.  Let it cool.  Cream the butter and the vanilla together and then beat that (electric hand mixer works) into the cooled flour mixture until the frosting is fluffy.  Frost the cupcakes after they have cooled.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann



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