I LOVE cooking from recipes, and making up meals, I LOVE spending time with my boys (all three) and entertaining my family and friends, I LOVE bargain shopping (vintage stores included), I LOVE flipping through fashion and design mags, I LOVE the smell of libraries and how often I could get lost there, I LOVE scanning realty websites, I LOVE Trader Joes and LUSH, I LOVE fresh flowers and all four seasons, I LOVE Cincinnati and am always ready to travel, I LOVE stationary and stamps, I LOVE diamonds and pearls, tulle and lace, I LOVE smelling coffee and drinking tea, I love marshmallows and chocolate, I LOVE cozy sheets and morning sunshine, I LOVE me and I love GOD!
My son came home Friday and all he could talk about was the Thunder Cake he made in his afternoon class at school. This cake is based off a children's book, Thunder Cake by Leah Polacco, that his teacher read to them during the week. They all came together to make the cake in class and all took a piece home on Friday.
He said it had butter, eggs, flour and tomatoes...I said tomatoes???? I quickly looked up the recipe as he is pleading to make one at home and of course I never turn downan opportunity to try a new cake recipe. I am always excited to support his enthusiasm for learning and of course my enthusiasm for cooking/baking...smile!
Here is the recipe and be sure to check back as I will share our Thunder Cake baking experience in a later post...
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together one at a time: 1 cup shortening 1 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 eggs, separated ( blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.) 1 cup cold water 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
Sift together: 21/2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup dry cocoa 11/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt
Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8 1/2 inch pans at 350 degree for 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting. Top with strawberries.
Here is a I quick synopsis of Thunder Cake story:
Thunder Cake The Story
(From Leah Polacco) "Grandma looked at the horizon, drew a deep breath and said, ‘This is Thunder Cake weather, all right. Looks like a storm is coming.’"
Thunder Cake is the story of how Patricia Polacco conquered her childhood fear of Michigan thunderstorms with the assistance her grandmother. By encouraging the young Patricia to ignore the approaching storm, the two wander outside to gather the ingredients for Thunder Cake, the perfect recipe for a rainy day. After the cake is in the oven, Grandma recounts the day’s events, convincing Patricia that only a "brave" girl would climb out from her hiding spot to collect eggs and tomatoes, milk the cow, and venture through Tangleweed Woods to the dry shed. Realizing that her grandma is right, Patricia welcomes the storm and a warm slice of Thunder Cake, never again to fear the "voice of thunder."
Over my lunch break today, I ventured out to Downtown Cincinnati! I came across the most unique and slightly eccentric (perfect for me) place I have ever seen, St. Theresa Treasure Trove.
It is located in the Pendleton Art Building on Pendleton Street in Downtown Cincinnati. Let me just tell you it is like walking through bead and textile heaven! The walls were lined with rows and rows of fabric and there were so many unique beads I couldn’t hardly stay calm! The sweetest most knowledgeable gal was working while I was visiting and she made me feel right at home. Honey, was her name, beading was her game. She even offered me to stop back in for free beading and sewing demonstrations.
I was on the hunt for authentic African wax fabric (take make some Spring/Summer skirts- see my Spring fashion post) and that is exactly what I found. Stacks and stacks of beautiful vibrant colored fabrics so reasonably priced!!!
Here are some photos from my trip!
I love discovering new and exciting places in my own city!
I have recently done a ton of research on natural beauty products and came across African black soap. I heard about it in passing at many festivals and seen it packaged on vendor’s tables. I never truly understood what it was and why it is so powerful!!!
In doing some research I found that there are two main types of black soap, one from Ghana and one from Nigeria (Dudu Osun). People love both but some saw that the DuDu Osun brand burns a bit because of the lime juice that’s added.
For centuries, Ghanaians have used Black soap to:
keep the skin clear and help prevent fine lines and wrinkles
eczema and psoriasis
dandruff and ringworm
The ingredients consist of: Cocos nucifera(Coconut Oil),butyrospermum parkii,(Raw Shea butter), Cocoa Pod ash, Aqua(Water) Elaeis guineensis (Palm Kernel Oil) (ALL THINGS I CAN READ and understand)
I love thinking about how it is processed.
The skin of the cocoa pod is sun dried to a specific texture and then roasted in a clay like oven. During drying, the heat is kept at a constant temperature in order to maintain a particular smell, color and texture of the dried cocoa pod.
ROASTING OF COCOA POD
The cocoa pods are then roasted. The roasting process determines the color of the African black soap. The longer the roasting process, the darker the black soap.
MIXING OF COCOA POD WITH PALM KERNEL OIL
After the roasting process, the cocoa pod is mixed with pure, unrefined, natural Palm Kernel Oil. This process leads to the formation of the soap. No scents, preservatives, chemicals, color enhancers, dye, charcoal or fragrances are added during mixing.
The African black soap is then poured into molding blocks and then heat sealed.
I have purchased both and absolutely LOVE them. I am beginning to notice a positive difference with my complexion and texture of my skin. The heels of my feet are super soft and my tone is evening out. To find RAW African black soap check your local African grocery store or Coastal Scents-where it is fair traded and the money goes to support the women in the village that makes it. Usually where ever they sell the raw shea butter, that I so fondly LOVE, you will also find raw black soap.
Check out YouTube for great vlogs on black soap!
Sorry LUSH but I think I have to replace you! I still LOVE your bath bombs though…