Thursday, May 04, 2017

May Flowers, Now With a Tray of Brownies

Mayflowers don't just bring Pilgrims....they bring the Spring wardrobe, Thank god for bright florals.
I very nearly donated this dress as I don't like how I look in a shift dress. Then, I realised a belt would solve that problem. Duh. When will I learn? "When in doubt, add a belt?" I should focus on taking my own advice.

I wore this dress on the blog before, way back in 2014.
 No jacket required today-we're finally warming up. I bought these red Franco Sarto slides more than ten years ago, but they're still holding up well. I have no clue where the bag came from-it is ancient (just like meeeeee).

Outfit Particulars:
Vintage (60's? 70's?) dress-Thrift World
Franco Sarto shoes-Goodwill(?)
Vintage clutch bag-can't remember
Berry basket earrings-Hand-Me-Ups (I think)
Yellow spotted bangle-Goodwill
Red bangle-Imaginarium
Teal carved bangle-can't remember
Cherries brooch-Goodwill
Fragrance-Venezia Pastello (Thanks, Emily)-a fragrance I never would have purchased for myself but have taken quite a liking to. It is fruity, but without smelling like a 90's/2000's fruit-cocktail fragrance. This one is magical on my skin, full of rose and heliotrope. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

And now, the brownies.
The boys were going through dessert withdrawal as I haven't been cooking/baking much lately. Brownies are always quick and easy to do, so I grabbed this Baker's Chocolate recipe book from the 60's to see what they suggested. I've made the famous, "One Bowl Brownies" recipe that was on the chocolate box for generations, but this version in the cookbook was slightly different. 
When I make something the boys enjoy, I note it in the cookbook and post it here as well. I used butter flavoured Crisco because I'm low on groceries, and shortening having such a long shelf-life is something I always have on hand for baking emergencies. I'm not sure this qualified as a cake emergency, but it was nice to be able to throw dessert together quickly. I omitted the nuts and added mini-chocolate chips instead. More is more.  Baker's chocolate used to be in squares that were 1 ounce each-hence the four squares called for. A few years ago they changed the shape and size of the packet to a bar where four small squares now equal an ounce. If you cannot get unsweetened chocolate (It isn't that common outside of the US) use bittersweet and reduce the sugar to 1 cup. Even with unsweetened chocolate 2 cups is a bit on the sweet side, so if you prefer a less sweet brownie, or plan to ice them, just adjust as you see fit. 
It is a bad photo, but the brownies are indeed a light brown colour as they are made with melted chocolate rather than cocoa powder. These were good on the first day, and a bit drier on the second. If they last long enough to go stale, these would make an excellent stir-in for softened ice cream. 
Don't worry, I dead-headed those daisies today. Life gets busy, you know. I think we're finally warm enough to bring out the geranium, and some herbs. *Fingers crossed*.  


Vronni's Style Meanderings said...


You look like summer in a dress! How nice the weather has perked up and you don't need a jacket. I love the dress and all the accessories including those lovely mules. Apparently, mules are back in fashion so you are on trend.

The brownies look delicious and so easy to make - I've made a note of the recipe and will give it a try one day when the baking mood takes me...

Hope the good weather continues!

Bibi Maizoon said...

(Rememeber that commercial?) I have several Laura Biagiotti fragrances that I dearly love. Have you tried her Roma for women? That's one of my fave Fall fragrances,. Heavy with a virtual zoo of animalics but rich and balmy with resin-y myrrh and amber.Currant, mint, bergamot and geranium gave it a very unique spicy flair.

You look so Spring-tastic in that dress! That coral-red is sooo your color. Love those Franco Sartos!

I didn't know Baker's changed the size of their squares. That reminds me I have a brownie recipe made with chickpeas I want to try.

Anonymous said...

That dress is lovely and suits you so well. I think it's the best outfit I've seen you in! JanF

Polyester Princess said...

You're looking fabulous in that summery shift, and I love how you used all the flower colours in your accessories. Ready to take on summer, you are. If it ever happens, that is, but one can only live in hope! Haven't made brownies in years, but now you've given me a craving ... xxx

Vix said...

That shift dress is the epitome of Summer, what a fabulous print.
Baking up a storm and recovering from surgery? You're Wonder Woman. xxx

Melanie said...

What a gloriously summery outfit! I love the dress.

The weather here in Blighty is typically confused, but it keeps you on your toes, so can't complain! I've been wearing summery colours on and off for a little while now and broke out the flamingos just recently as it had been too long.

I haven't had brownies in years! I tried a vegan recipe last year but frankly, something went horribly wrong and nothing was making me eat them! xxx

Beth Waltz said...

Click the heels of those Franco Sarto slides together and see where you land! Somewhere warm and wonderful, I have no doubt.

I'm not a sweets person; however, I'm relishing the local market's mountain of navel oranges with my morning coffee and a brownie or two would not last long on my plate. Hoosierland resembles the Netherlands on a frosty morn. I'm beginning to wonder if tomatoes can be raised as houseplants!

Hope said...

That red bag is my favourite.We have in our family tradition,only red bag to attract cash when attending horse races.That dress is adorable and suits you perfect.Beth Waltz,tomatoes could be grown inside like house plants.Decades ago we had eccentric neigbour who grow tomatoes and capsicum and other things .He had lots of purple lights to help plants grow faster.When he went away I had to go and switch lights off and on.No gratitude from him.I was acused of reading his personal mail.

Mim said...

You look AMAZING in that dress. I love it all - the perfectly matched accessories, the freshness... it's super.

Navy bag is getting lots out outings. :-D Thank you so much for it, it is perfect.

Sue said...

Yay for good weather and fabulous summery frocks, you have nailed that look!!! You look gorgeous.

Goody said...


I like how mules look but my feet always feel so sore after wearing them-like my poor toes are hanging on for dear life! I'm too old to learn how to walk in them ;)

I don't remember the ad, but I spent most of my life without television.
They repackaged the chocolate so now you only get 4 ounces in a box instead of 8 ("Same great low price!"). I'd rather pay more to have a normal sized packet rather than need double the amount of space to store the boxes. The bars are supposed to be, "Easy to break" which I suppose they are-if you're a strong man at the circus. They have a good product, but the decision to change the bars and packaging to meet a lower price point is infuriating.

I like baking brownies as they're easy to throw together spur of the moment with ingredients I always have to hand.

No-you're Wonder Woman (and you have the outfit to prove it).

Most of the vegan chocolate cake recipes use vinegar. I could see something going wrong if you used the wrong sort.

Those cAlifornia oranges turning up lately have been beautiful-I don't blame you wanting one each morning. Orange brownies, perhaps? I hope you warm up soon.

What a horrible neighbour-some people are just so thankless. I like the tradition of a red bag at the racetrack!

I'm so glad you are able to put it to use. I wore another white dress today without noticing it was transparent in the sun. Ooops!

Thank you. I am so ready for the warm weather.

Radostin said...

Looking fab, that print is great & I love the red accessories.

Goody said...

If I could find a few yards of this fabric, it would make perfect bedroom curtains. I keep hoping I might, as the dress was a home-sewn piece of vintage and there's always a chance it was mass-produced. There's something familiar about the print, but I can't pin down the origin. Oh well, another reason to look at vintage fabric on Etsy.