Monday, August 11, 2008

A Grand Time On Historic Grand Avenue!

     Saturday was a splendid day indeed.   Me and my cousin Jody decided to spend our afternoon on Grand Avenue.   Of course, we must start with lunch.   Our choice today was Billy's on Grand.
Billy's is famous for their walleye, however today I opted for the usual Asian Chicken Salad with mandarin orange slices and wonton strips, etc.  and Jody had a honey chipotle chicken sandwich and fries.   The restauarant is divided into 3 parts , large outdoor patio,  four season porch, and large dining room.   I wish I could show you a pic but I forgot to bring my camera - bummer!   We opted for the four season porch.  I thought of Gollum right away because the room was full of 9' ficus trees and a multitude of plants.

The first stop was Pottery Barn.   After a purchase of the red bistro chairs and striped cushions, we moved on to Restoration Hardware and Smith & Hawken.   We must have missed out on the big end of season sale at RH because it was stocked with all new merchandise and not a sale to be had.   Now we're talking with Smith & Hawken!  They had a large clearance corner!   I purchased the 3 tier wire mesh  stands.  Half Price!

Well, since we are across the street from Cafe' Latte we had to stop.  They have a famous Turtle Cake.   Since we really were stuffed, we shared a huge slice.  I have actually made this cake once or twice before.  They had the recipe featured in Midwest Living Magazine a few years back.

Cafe'Latte Famous Turtle Cake
Cake Recipe
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups good quality semisweet choc. chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
Prepare oven & pans:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease  3 9"  cake pans.
Cover each bottom with disk of parchment paper.

To make cake:   In bowl, combine egg, oil,  and buttermilk.   In large separate bowl mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.   Gradually  add wet ingredients to dry until well mixed.  Gradually add hot coffee.   Scrape batter into prepared pans.

To bake cake:   Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cake rest in pans for 10 minutes.   Turn out onto wire racks to cool.

To make frosting:   Mix sugar and milk in saucepan.   Add butter.   Bring to a boil.   Remove from heat.   Add chocolate chips to pan.   Using wire whisk, mix until smooth.   If frosting is too thick or grainy add 1 to 2 tsp. of hot coffee.  

To assemble cake:   Place one cooled cake layer, top side down on cake plate.   Spread with 1/3 of frosting, pushing it out  gently from edges to make petal effects.   Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and 1/4 cup caramel.   Add next layer, again top side down.  Repeat with frosting, caramel and pecans.   For the top layer, place top side up, frost heavily with petal effect, and finish with remaining caramel and pecans.  Yum!

Lillian's Handbags, which is only open 1 weekend a month, was loaded with women.  However, we struck out.  The handbags are faux designer bags.  They really didn't look much like the originals to us.  

Traditions, what's not to like?   I always get a good idea or two from browsing through.  It is an upscale furnishings store.   A few years ago they had a sofa upholstered in the prettiest fabric of annabelle hydrangeas.  It was different shades of greens and creams.   Just beautiful.   Rich down seats. Over stuffed fringed pillows.   It was only $8,000.00, on sale.

       After a few incidental shops we concluded our tour with stops in Woullet's Bakery for an anniversary cake for Gramma & Grampa (52 years!)  and the Bibelot Shops.   They are a very fun gift shop.  You never know what you're going to find there.   I bought a bird feeder that suction cups to a window.  



Smilingsal said...

What a nice time you had!

jojillia said...

hey, thanks for stopping by. It's so nice to meet new people. It sounds like such a perfect day. love restoration hardware. J

Allgrins said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your music. I am starved after looking at that cake. Jamie

SHaBBy ViNTaGe CHiC said...

Thanks for the lovely comment. Ok can I just say, that cake looks scrumptious!!

Rue said...

Thanks! Now I'm STARVING! LOL

It sounds like y'all had a great time :)


Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

I haven't been to Grand Avenue in some time, I will have to put it on my places to go list soon! Thanks for sharing the cake recipe, I think I'll have to make this one for my next family get together! :)