"Strings of street lights" at Westlake Park, Seattle

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air
There’s a feeling
Of Christmas  . . .
— from “Silver Bells” by Ray Evans

The colors and sounds of the holidays cheer our dark days of December.  Here are some photos from an evening in the city:

Lobby of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle

Carolers in Nord Alley, Pioneer Square

Gingerbread Exhibit, Sheraton Hotel lobby

Carousel and Macy's star, Westlake Center

Santa photos behind the plate-glass window at Nordstrom's

Wish upon a star

“O Star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy Perfect Light.”
— from “We Three Kings of Orient Are” by the Reverend John Henry Hopkins

 

Gingerbread Cake

December 8, 2009

Gingerbread cake ready for the oven

Fresh, warm gingerbread cake and coffee

We’ve been having cold, frosty mornings, and I had a craving for gingerbread to go with my morning coffee.  I found this recipe online at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/gingerbread-cake-recipe/index.html.

Gingerbread Cake
from the Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

 Softened unsalted butter, as needed, to grease pan.

  • 1 cup vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Serving suggestions: Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Lightly butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses, and crystallized ginger. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Whisk the molasses mixture into the flour mixture until evenly combined.

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water into the batter until just combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.