Monday, August 21, 2017

Josefina's Apricot Sponge Cake

Sponge Cake Take 2!

And last but not least from last summer’s recipe vault, here’s Josefina’s apricot sponge cake! I’d been wanting to do a recipe for Josefina with apricots in it for a while. An apricot tree is an important plot point in her stories, and also apricots are in general pretty delicious, so it seemed like a perfect combination. 

Fortunately, the American Girl Party Handbook had a dessert suggestion that sounded pretty promising, and last summer I decided to break it out for a shot.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nanea's Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

A World War II era favorite with a tropical twist!

Everyone, meet Nanea Mitchell! She’s American Girl’s newest historical character, and comes from 1941 Honolulu, Hawaii. I plowed through her books as soon as I had them out of the box, and can safely say as someone who specializes in Pacific War history, they are pretty darn great. Besides covering the attack on Pearl Harbor and the resulting changes in Hawaii very well as well as age appropriately, Kirby Larson has done an exceptional job showing how 1941 Hawaii was an extremely diverse community where neighbors participated in cultural exchange every single day. 

Often involving food. Lots and lots of food. 

Picking what Nanea’s first recipe on the blog should be was a tough one, but these muffins are a tasty snack for just about any time of day, even if I can’t exactly in good faith call these health foods.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Julie's Trip to Disney World

The Most Magical Place on Earth!

Said it before, will say it again: I come from a very Disney family. No, we’re not Annual Pass holders, we’re not locals of any of the parks, nor do we go every single year, but we like it and always manage to have a great time when we go. 

My mom first went to the park with her parents and older brother when she was seven, turning eight in 1972. Back then, there was only Magic Kingdom, and they drove from Connecticut all the way to Florida, making some stops along the way. Since there was just one park, they ended up spending parts of their two week vacation at other Florida tourist attractions. She and her family would go back to visit when she and her brother were in college, and then she and my dad celebrated part of their honeymoon there in 1987. We were actually there for their 30th anniversary, which was why they had booked the vacation in the first place. 

I love Disney history almost as much as I love, well, almost any kind of history. So even though I didn’t plan on doing a huge, drawn out photo adventure while I was there, I still wanted to do a quick write up about the trip. Considering my mom was a girl with long blonde hair and considered rompers to be the height of fashion, the obvious choice in host for this post is, of course, Julie. Read on for some Disney history and talk of tasty food!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Refrigerator Pickles with Rebecca

The perfect no fuss snack for a hot summer day!

I’ve been sitting on this post for almost a whole year, which is both embarrassing and an indication of just how busy I’ve been. Which I know, I know, I’ve been complaining about a lot when I do have the time to post, so I’ll try to hush up about it as I keep trying to clear out my backlog of posts from last summer. 

July is apparently National Pickle Month, which made this one a priority to get out to you guys as soon as possible, or at least before the month was over. Although pickling has been around for thousands of years and the Chinese were the first to invent the modern pickling process, in the US, cucumber pickles have become pretty heavily associated with Jewish immigrants in urban centers like New York. Have you ever wondered why that is? 

Well, read on and wonder no more!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Melody Explores the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Celebrating 50 years of folklife!

In 1967, the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival was held in Washington, DC. Created as a means of encouraging cultural exchange, the festival has been held every summer for the last 50 years. Each year has a different theme, often centered around the culture of a particular country, region, or US state. They’ve managed to feature every region of the US, as well as 90 individual countries. That’s pretty impressive!

The festival is held on the National Mall between the US Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, making it a popular stop for tourists visiting the monuments, museums, and government buildings. Fourth of July is usually sandwiched more or less in the middle of the festival, which runs for two weeks. They’ve got programming running all day, with lots of vendors, artisans, and experts in their field. 

In honor of the 50th anniversary, the festival’s theme this year was more multicultural than usual: Circus Arts! Almost every culture in the world has a circus, right? It also featured programming about migration and the history of the festival. Want to check it out?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Felicity's 4th of July in Washington, DC

Where else can you see the actual Declaration of Independence on America’s birthday?

Is there a better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than Washington, DC? I don’t think so, especially not after the awesome day I had yesterday! Washington in the summer is hot, crowded, and often plagued by metro problems (although that’s definitely not just a summer problem), but if you can make it down to the nation’s capital for the Fourth? I think it’s worth it. 

Why? Well, I’ve got some cool programs to tell you about.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Addy's Washington Pie

A light and flavorful butter cake that’s perfect for any occasion!

Ah, remember when I thought I’d have lots of free time this summer to bake, write my novel, and generally indulge in my favorite hobbies and past times after two long semesters?

Yeah, let’s just say that didn’t happen.

But fortunately, I’m actually sitting on a backlog of posts from last summer, complete with nice pictures in my brightly lit former abode with my wonderful old camera, may it rest in peace. I figured while I’m still trying to find my feet and figure out a time to start featuring new recipes and places to visit, the best place to start might be clearing out my backlog.

And to start us off, I have for you all a really delicious treat that’s allegedly from the Civil War period. The historicity of this recipe is difficult to track down, but it’s a really delicious treat that will be right at home at any summer function you might be holding. Without further ado, let’s get baking!