Essex, MA actually has the most antique shops per capita in the country, maybe in the world. You'd think that would be pretty awesome, but there are really only 2 or 3 worth going to. The rest are all "real antiques" for "serious antique people." But for people like me looking for a sweet deal and a little inspiration, there is The White Elephant Outlet.
Last Saturday, Jason and I set out for The White Elephant with a bit of cash and the hope of finding a creative spark for me and some Cubs baseball cards for Jason. Unfortunately, the White Elephant people put their huge box of assorted cards into a vending machine type deal that spits out 3 random cards for 50 cents. So without the option of sorting through for Cubbies, Jason sorely was disappointed, and The White Elephant lost a good 2 or 3 dollars worth of revenue. Serves them right.
But on my end, The White Elephant did not disappoint. Here's what I found:
I couldn't resist the 7 pear-shaped plates for a total of 5 dollars. I've decided that I'm going to use them as fondue plates. Does anybody know if that's what they actually are? The old copper something (jello mold?), which will soon be hanging in my kitchen, was 6 dollars. I splurged a bit ($12) on the sweet oval footed frame that used to be a mirror. It will eventually be the display of some lovely artlet (a word i made up which means little art project). Any ideas?
And now for the sweet goodness...I tried another new recipe on Saturday. It's a chocolate raspberry bundt cake. Here's the recipe:
1 box devils food cake mix
1 box of chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of raspberry liqueur
2 cups (1 bag) of mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup of seedless raspberry jam
Toss the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, vegetable oil, water, sour cream, and raspberry liqueur in a bowl, and mix with an electric mixer on low until it’s all blended. Then bump the mixer up to medium speed, and mix for 4 minutes, stopping every so often to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the chocolate chips. Stir those in. Then stir in the jam.
Pour the batter into a well-greased bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. (Keep in mind that there will be melted chocolate chips, so it may not be totally clean.) Take the cake out, and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Dust the top with powered sugar, and you’re ready to go! I served it with fresh raspberries to add a little sweet/tart contrast to the rich chocolate cake. Delicious!
Unfortunately, I was in quite a rush to get the cake to dinner with the same friends that I made the infamous A/C raspberry vinagrette for. This time, I did the 10-15 minute cooling stage in the car (holding it up with oven mitts), flipped the cake onto a plate when we parked the car, and dusted it with powdered sugar on the walk up to the door. My lateness meant that the cake was still warm with melted, gooey chocolate chips by the time we got to dessert. But it also meant that I didn't have time to take a picture for you. I guess you'll just have to use your imagination. Or you can make one for yourself. :o) Enjoy!