1 cup softened butter (unsalted)
1 cup of vegetable oil - here is where I made a change - I don't love oil in cake so I melted butter instead - I've done this every time oil is called for in a cake and it's always turned out great and yes, you beat the softened sticks with melted sticks - your choice though.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt (I made it 1 tsp as all the butter I used was unsalted)
1 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
Beat butters, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs. Add all the dry stuff at once and beat until well mixed. Spread into a greased 9x13 cake pan. The dough was sticky so I wet my hands a bit to smooth it out or you could do this with greased parchment paper by pressing. Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes - start checking at 20 and remove when pale golden as you would sugar cookies. Don't over bake. Don't even attempt to frost until the cake is absolutely cool.
1 cup salted butter softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream (I used heavy cream - I love the taste)
Frost and then sprinkle on colored sugar or any other sprinkles/jimmies you desire. These are rich so cut them small for serving.
It was a rainy, raw Saturday just after the sunny island trip when I made the sugar cookie bars so I kept baking and made the intensely peanut butter swirled brownies you see below as well. This is Smitten Kitchen's recipe. Here is the LINK
Make both of these recipes - they freeze well - even the frosted bars. That's what I did with both after baking them and then having Dan and myself sample for quality control.
Three Ingredient Blender Pancakes
1 cup of cottage cheese
1 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
Put all in blender and whip until liquid. Pour batter onto a hot greased skillet - flip when bubbles form (the bubbles are barely visible unlike regular pancake batter due to lack of leavening). They cook quickly. I ate the warm one with butter and real maple syrup and the next day I used the cold one as a wrap for a cheese sandwich. Delicious sweet or savory - high in protein and fiber, no sugar, GF, scrumptious.
Now back to the island adventure.
While we were doing some of this above, this was happening at home in New Hampshire in the two photos below. We haven't had much of a winter but March has brought the real snow this year.
After three days in St. Martin, we boarded a tiny plane and took the 10 minute journey to St. Bart's. That was a really fun flight - because it's so short, the plane flies not far above the water so the views are spectacular.
There were just six of us on the wee flight. Dan took the back where he had lots of leg room.
Below is one of the wind surfers we were watching from our beach chairs at Le Sereno. This guy (can you spot him?) was out there for hours - quite the stamina to do that I would guess.
Back at home I have had just two weeks to catch up on things, like clean, bake, paint, appointments, meetings, catching up with my kids, rental property issues, church work etc. Here below is the only painting I was able to work on. It's an abstract modeled on the late Alma Thomas's style and an excuse to paint something pink - I really really love pink and it even looked nice drying on the rug in my studio.
But first, lots and lots of sticks and branches to pick up that have littered the property through out the winter.