Thursday, March 28, 2019

Easy Yelllow Cake with Chocolate Chips

The ingredients organized for baking.
Here's another baking favourite from my Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Before this recipe I made a Banana Chocolate Loaf.

I just used my ripe bananas up in the Banana Nut Bread so I turned to an alternative, Fannie Farmer's Easy Yellow Cake and added chocolate chips.

Fannie Farmer's Easy Yellow Cake

You'll find my recipe modifications in italics.


Beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar.
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup milk (low fat or whole)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)


Continue to add the ingredients in order.
Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Grease an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan. I chose to use an 8½ X 4½ loaf pan instead. We find it easier for storing and slicing. I also used vegetable cooking spray and parchment paper on the bottom to make cake removal easier after baking.

Beat sugar, eggs and vanilla for one minute.

Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed but
do not over mix. I used a large whisk for the wet
Adding the chocolate chips.
ingredients and a spoon to mix in the dry ones.

After the cake ingredients were mixed, I stirred in a cup and a half of chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Using the loaf pan required an addition 10 minutes of baking for mine.

This easy to make cake makes a good dessert or sweet snack. Try it with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream (or both) on top. Yum!

What is your favourite easy cake or dessert recipe to make? -- Margy

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Planes and Trains at Bellingham's Marine Drive Park

If you are a transportation nut, the place to visit is Marine Drive Park in Bellingham, WA.

Marine Park is next to Bellingham Bay with spectacular views of Lummi Island and Downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven. There's grass, picnic tables, trees and ... airplanes and trains.

Marine Park is bordered by the train tracks that link the States to Canada. You will see both passenger and freight trains pass by so close you could almost touch them. In fact, you have to be careful since the tracks aren't fenced.

While Wayne and I were there, you could hear the train's whistle as it approached from the south. This one was a BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) freight train with a mixture of cars including telephone poles, lumber and enclosed boxcars with lots of graffiti. I miss cabooses.

The park is also under the flight path from nearby Bellingham International Airport. That's where we keep our airplane 997 in a hangar. It also has commercial service by Alaska and Allegiant Airlines. We saw both take off. This one was Allegiant heading to Las Vegas.

We saw dog walkers, train watchers and a guy using two trees to practice tightrope walking. Marine Park hours are from dawn to dusk, but just before it closes you can see spectacular sunsets. Here are two photos from a previous visits. The first is without flash.

And in this one, I used flash to highlight the native plants in the foreground.

Bellingham has some wonderful places to explore. This is just one of many. -- Margy

Monday, March 18, 2019

Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham, WA

On any given weekend, or weekday for that matter, I can find many of my fellow countrymen (and women) shopping in Bellingham.

Bellingham is the closest major city south of the Canadian border on Interstate 5. That makes it a strong draw for shoppers from both Canada and the States. Prime shopping locations include Walmart, CostCo, and Bellis Fair Mall.

The mall is strategically located near the intersection of Bakerview Road and the Guide Meridian, both of which can easily be reached from I-5.

For Canadian shoppers who want a more leisurely approach, The Guide has a border crossing at Lynden/Aldergrove.

Canadian shoppers are attracted by low prices, value for their dollar and lower taxes.

Even if Canadians don't stay long enough for a personal exemption, paying the required duty still makes purchases a bargain. Locals also enjoy the wide variety of department stores and specialty shops scattered throughout the indoor mall. Stopping for a snack or meal at the food court makes it a complete shopping experience.

Bellis Fair has something for everyone.

On the corner of the mall, but tucked away from the hustle and bustle, you'll find the Centre Pointe Condominiums.

We chose it as the perfect location for us. It's close to the border for us to visit frequently, near excellent medical care including St. Joseph Hospital, and within walking distance of shopping and restaurants. And views of lofty, snow-capped Mt. Baker top it all off.

Have you been to Bellis Fair? What did you like best? -- Margy

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Banana Nut Bread

Fresh baked Banana Nut Bread for breakfast.
I keep buying bananas, and we keep forgetting to eat them. Once they get soft, they go begging.

Last week I had three large ones beyond their shelf life. I decided to mash and freeze them for future baking. Today I thawed the prepared bananas and made fresh baked Banana Nut Bread. Here’s the recipe I used from my favourite Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

Organizing the ingredients.
Banana Nut Bread


3 ripe bananas, well mashed
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup chopped walnuts

Thawed frozen bananas to mix with eggs.

If you don't have frozen mashed bananas, mash them fresh with a fork. Beat the eggs in a bowl then add the bananas. Mix well.

Add flour, sugar, salt and baking soda and stir. Blend in the chopped nuts (I used pecans because I prefer their flavour).

Grease an 8½ X 4½ loaf pan. Pour batter (it will be runny) into the pan.

Pour the batter into a loaf pan to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or until the top is brown with a crack running down the middle.

Wayne and I enjoy a sweet breakfast bread to go with our coffee in the morning. This loaf will last us for several days.

We enjoy warmed slices with butter. It's also tasty for lunch sandwiches with cream cheese and late night snacks.

Do you make Banana Nut Bread? How do you like to eat it? -- Margy