Who Is Anastasia?

My photo
New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear, regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I am a visual folk artist who loves flowers - my own flowers, grown and/or painted by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love the secret garden situated in my backyard, regardless of how overgrown and wild it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my art, favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ...


My Book Available on AMAZON

Stacey Torres ART Prints

Stacey Torres ART Prints
A very limited selection of reproductions from my paintings can be found here

August 9, 2009

Fresh Raspberry Cream Cake Recipe @ CDKitchen.com :: it's what's cooking online!

Fresh Raspberry Cream Cake Recipe @ CDKitchen.com :: it's what's cooking online!

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Lady & Lord Baltimore Cakes

Southern weddings were not complete without the gracefully elegant Lady Baltimore Cake, and the Lord Baltimore Cake (possibly for the groom?) There is a history behind both cakes, simply click on the title above for the link. These old classics still reign today!

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
6 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar

Lady Baltimore Frosting
1/2 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped candied cherries
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round layer pans.
In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine, 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla together well. Beat until light and fluffy.
Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in another bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 parts alternating with milk in 2 parts, beginning and ending with flour.
Using clean beaters, beat egg whites in mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually while beating until stiff. Fold whipped egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean. Cool.
To Make Filling: Stir 2 cups Lady Baltimore Frosting, raisins, nuts, cherries, and 2 teaspoons vanilla or sherry all together. Use as filling to spread between layers. Spread remaining frosting on tops and sides of cake.

2 3/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
7 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed macaroon cookies
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
12 candied cherries, quartered
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9 inch round layer cake pans.
In small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. In another small mixer bowl beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; set aside.
In large mixer bowl combine butter and sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks. With mixer at low speed add dry ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Divide evenly among prepared pans. Spread to edges.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Make Seven Minute Frosting. Remove one third of the Seven Minute Frosting and place it in a mixing bowl with the macaroon crumbs, pecans, almonds, cherries, lemon juice, and orange rind. Fold together until thoroughly blended. Use this mixture as the filling between the three cake layers, and use the remaining 2/3 of the frosting to cover the tops and sides of the cake.

Seven Minute Frosting
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put egg whites, sugar, water and syrup in top of double boiler. Beat until mixed well. Place over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with electric beater while it cooks for 7 minutes or until it will stand in peaks when beater is raised. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Beat. Fills and frosts 2 layer cake, 8 or 9 inch
Recipes from http://www.Allrecipes.com


This week, the Hardy Hibiscus are finally beginning to strut their stuff. It's been a fairly cool/damp summer, and I didn't know what to expect. I planted Lord Baltimore, who is red; Lady Baltimore (shown above), big pink and blousy in a small bed with Silver Beacon Lamium, Casablanca lilies and a butterfly bush about five years ago. Now, there is a third one growing in the middle that is pink with a red center ... How do you think THAT happened? I've asked Lord Baltimore, but he just lets his branches languish and spread all over the place, as if he owns it - even reaching across the little path. Lady Baltimore simply blushes and bows gracefully! I love these things!!!

They are so easy to grow, low maintenance. Just let them candelabra all over the place, and in early Spring, cut them back to the ground. The only thing I can't figure out is this huge, woody clump they leave behind when you cut it. I don't know whether to leave it alone, chop it up, or what - it gets bigger each year. This can't be normal; and no one has been able to give me a reasonable explanation on how to care for it. Anyway, I love them, and they love me. I call Lord and Lady's Baby "Pink Diva" ... it's probably a boy ... Oh, well.

Early this summer, Rural King had some of their leftover plants on a clearance rack. These were supposedly water plants for ponds and water gardens. One of them was a Hibiscus moscheutos var. lasiocarpos (native rose mallow a/k/a Marsh or Swamp Mallow or Wild Hibiscus). They are actually hardy, and are supposed to grow near water. It was a cheap boxed plant soaking in water, about 6" tall. Well, I have no water near me, and my garden is lucky to get a drink from the watering can once a week. But, I bought this cute little thing, planted it and forgot it (sounds like an infomercial). Today, I saw the perky thing peeking from behind a butterfly bush. It's now about 12" tall, but very full and lush, and it has the nerve to have a little bud on it. I didn't expect it to survive, let alone bloom in year one. When it does, I'll share a picture. It deserves a place of honor in my garden - anything that survives, gets to stay.

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot
A simple garden meal in the shade. No, it's not my backyard, but it looks identical to the one I grew up with at our home in Queens. Looking for an original pic of it to post soon!

Old Fashioned Tips