Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Starts With Sweetiepie

POP! And just like that summer starts. School ended wednesday morning, however the peculiarly unseasonal conditions had prevented us from hurtling full whoop! speed ahead. The serial downpours kinda providing the clouds for the silver lining of summer vacation. Yesterday, I decided a celebration was in order. We chugged down to the City for a little lunch at Sweetiepie. What a treat that was for both young and old-er alike! The space is gorgeously whimsical and playfully sophisticated, with hot pink leather banquettes to lounge on at your perfectly appointed table. If it's the special little touches that make big differences in life, Sweetiepie has made this idea it's central theme. The dainty mismatching china, the huge gilded cage containing a table for 5, the bar stocked with bottles of spirits, wine, and colorful jumbo gumballs, the fey pastel mural stretching along the wall in the back room, the femme powder rooms- where you actually feel like powdering your nose, all contributes to a chic grand time.

Obi 1 Kenobi (kid#1's requested new name) ordered fish 'n chips. Girlette got her usual of mac 'n cheese. I had a salad of halved boconccini and cherry tomatoes with greens and splashed with olive oil and truffle oil. All three dishes were delicious. The mac 'n cheese was seriously yummy smooth, creamy, and sharp, with an attractive golden crust to poke through to get to the stuff. Mmmmm I'm swooning just recalling it. The french fries were thin, crispy, and salted, and served alongside a tiny cup of malt vinegar. Chips with salt and vinegar are a great nostalgic treat for me, so at that point in the experience I was wondering how I could tranform my kitchen-dining area into Sweetiepie. For dessert, the kids decided on milkshakes served in posh heavy glass goblets, which were so thick that Girlette flattened her straw through her hollowed cheek vigor. My dessert of a light and sweet coffee was offered in a beautiful gold rimmed cup and saucer set. And after Girlette and I freshened up in the powder room, and Obi experimented with the automatic hand dryer, we set off through the West Village, back home. Definitely worth the while and effort; a little flight of fancy from the weekly budget every once in a while is always fun.

To provide a contrast for les kides, upon returning to ye olde country we grabbed a couple of balls and Munch, and headed for an off-the-beaten-path park I discovered recently, and frolicked summerly for a while- until I remembered the recent bear warnings in the area. And that's how our vacation began, quite a fantastic opening day, if you ask me.

Today I tried a new dairy-free chocolate cake recipe, and I think I like the result. Of course tweaking and improving are usually necessary, and I already have a few ideas. But this original iteration might be a good canvas to work off of. I'll serve slim wedges of this 2 layer cake on my Royal Albert Country Roses china, with dessert forks and a primly folded cloth napkin in order to have a Sweetiepie experience in my own dining room.

Dairy-free SweetieCake
In med. bowl sift together p2 3/4 c. all purpose flour, 1 c. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. baking soda and set aside. In a large bowl beat together 1 1/2c. smart balance-type spread and 2 c. packed brown sugar. Beat in 4 eggs (1 at a time), 1 1/2 c. almond milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract (the mixture will be soupy). Gradually mix in flour, beat until it resembles a thick batter. Pour into greased cake tins. Bake at 350F for 35-45 mins. or until it passes toothpick test.

Post script (7/1): COCONUT MILK!!!!! Replace almond milk with 2/3 c. coconut milk- and then mix in 1 c. choc chips right before you pour into bundt pan. Pour chocolate glaze over cooled cake. Chocolate Glaze: 1/2 c. coconut milk heated in saucepan, mix in 1/2 c. choc chips until smooth.


Alexa said...

Hi Rachel,

I hope you and your kids have a great Summer!
Dessert looks yummy!


rachel said...

So god to hear from you! Hope all is well with yu- thanks for checking in!