Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Secret of the Sea Tablescape



The Secret of the Sea 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~











Ah!  what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!



All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.




Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;



And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!




Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,



Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor's mystic song.




Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,



With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;-




Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,



Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;-




How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,



That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,




Till his sould was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,-



"Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!"




"Wouldst thou,"- so the helmsman answered,
"Learn the secret of the sea?



Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!"




In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,



I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;




Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,



And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.










My table is an old spool for cable wire.  I just flipped it on its side and now we've got an outdoor table! ;-)  It's got a hole in the center so I can add an umbrella! 

Last night we celebrated two of my kiddos birthdays.  Ethan and Trevor, though 5 years apart, share the same birthday.  Ethan turned 23 and Trevor turned 18.  I wanted to show you all a picture of them together because I don't get to take pictures with them all in one spot very often.  I love them all so much and feel so blessed that God chose me to be their Mom!
From left to right is Jonah, Ethan, Kalyn, Ashton, Trevor and Michael…oh and random guy =). 

Brown transferware ship plates available in my shop, HERE

Napkin rings:  Fashioned from shower curtain hooks.  I tied a knot around each of the hooks.

Wine bucket:  is a waste bucket

Side plates:  are soap dishes

Shell Candle holders:  I fashioned these from wine bottle stoppers adorned with sea shell napkin rings and small votives.

Centerpiece:  Shell Pillar Holder lined with a blue Mercury glass votive holder.  I placed this in a vintage glass compote and around the shell base scattered tonal blue, aqua and clear glass beads.

Aqua goblets:  Park Design

Pineapple Cake...yummy and came from a local bakery! 



Linking to

Savvy Southern Style
Centerpiece Wednesdays
Tablescape   Thursdays
Show and Tell Friday 
French Country Cottage
A Delightsome Life


















Monday, August 4, 2014

Coconut Cake w/ Cream of Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I had been craving coconut cake for a while and could no longer resist the temptation to indulge, besides I had a legitimate excuse to do so.   I had to make a dessert for our Independence Day celebration so Coconut Cake it was, and this is what we took to my sisters house for the 4th of July.


I found the original recipe at Taste of Home and only modified it slightly.  Coconut seems to be one of those love it or hate it ingredients.  If you love it, you'll love this cake!  It had wonderful reviews already and sounded like a cake our family would like, and it absolutely was.  It's got a wonderfully moist texture and very satisfying coconut flavor.  It was just what I'd been craving.  


I topped my cake with sliced almonds that I placed at an angle into the frosting so they looked like flower petals.  I saw this on another cake somewhere and thought it was so cute.    In the center of the petals, I plopped a single blueberry.    I wanted this to be a little festive looking and since it was the 4th of July, and on a huge red transferware chop plate I thought the blueberries would be just enough blue.   Yes, my blueberries have a case of the shrivels because they were frozen.  Frozen blueberries don't defrost and look like fresh blueberries.  If I'd planned this out, I'd have used fresh blueberries, but oh well…live and learn!  =)





You can leave them off or even use another fruit or nut in the center if you decide to add the fowers to the cake.


Here's the recipe and I hope you all like it as much as we did!


COCONUT CAKE

5 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (be sure to use cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

     











  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325°. In another large bowl, beat sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut.
  • Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  • Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.

  • CREAM OF COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

    11 oz cream cheese (one 8 oz package plus one 3 oz package), softened
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    4 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
    1 1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
    1/2 cup cream of coconut (optional, I added this for an extra creamy frosting with a boost of coconut flavor)
    1-2 cups toasted coconut (I made only one cup and skipped putting this between layers)













  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut (if desired). Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Decorate the cake with the remaining toasted coconut however you like.  I chose to just put it around the sides.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.




  • ENJOY!

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