Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Idea Binder and Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

I enjoy the occasional magazine. I've subscribed to Family Fun, Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light, and Eating Well at various times over the years. I've had free subscriptions for a few others before too. Magazines can be a great jumping off point for ideas, which is what I love about them. Ideas for birthday parties, holiday traditions, what to make for dinner. . .

But magazines stack up quickly, and before you know it, you've got piles and piles of magazines, each with one or two "must-save" ideas, that you can never find to use. So, many years ago, I started my Idea Binder. It's silly, really, but it works for me. I just bought a basic three-ring binder and lots of page protectors. When magazines come in the mail, I browse through them and any good idea that I see that I think is worth saving, I tear that page out, and then toss the magazine. (I really work hard to keep down clutter.) Then, I slide those pages into the page protectors in my binder. That way, it's like a big magazine perfectly customized to ME, minus all the gross recipes, stupid ideas, and ridiculous advertisements.

I have sections for each holiday, that might include crafts, gift ideas, or recipes:

(Because you know how you see an easy, cute idea and you think, "Oh, I can remember that!" but you can't?)

I also have sections for birthday cake ideas, home decorating and gardening ideas, and then various recipes I might find:

I go through my binder periodicially, (like every few years) and clean out my ideas. Sometimes things no longer appeal to me, so out they go. And I like to browse through and remember my ideas to bring new life to holidays or family time. So, that is what I did over the weekend. I cleaned out my Idea Binder.

On Monday, it rained. Hard. For most of the day, which as you know, is like a dream for me. I decided to treat myself to some homemade hot chocolate and homemade vanilla marshmallows (an idea from my binder, many moons ago!) I made these gifts for a few people over the holidays, and kept some for myself, minus the cute packaging. Both are super easy to make, and both are such indulgent treats.

As the gray afternoon rolled on, I felt a coziness that required baking. You know what I'm talking about. And Family Home Evening was coming up, so I remembered a recipe I'd recently slipped into my Idea Binder for a Blackberry Buttermilk Cake that I'd torn from a Bon Appetit issue, and realized I actually had a bunch of blackberries from a sale over the weekend. Perfect. Let me vouch for this recipe. It is really, really delicious. And the smell as it bakes is heavenly. I highly recommend you tuck this one away. In your Idea Binder. :) I'm giving you links for these recipes instead of typing them out, so that way you can just print them out and have a nice copy for yourself.

(And I wish I had a good camera to do it justice. The cake is beautiful too!)

You should definitely give this one a try!


Megan said...

Idea binder, Pinterest... all the same stuff, just a different way to do it. I still have some of my torn out magazine pages somewhere. Maybe I need a binder, too! lol

Luisa Perkins said...

So, basically, you invented Pinterest. :)

I love your binder. I love that cake. I love you.

Vennesa said...

That cake looks really good! So did you use cake flour or all purpose flour?

Jenna said...

Venessa, I did use cake flour. I happened to have it in my cupboard, and I do love how it lightens up cakes!

Sarah Fogler said...

Thanks Jenna - I just pinned the blackberry cake! :-)