Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice


The year 2018 is moving along at a fast pace.  We are only ten days away from Thanksgiving and I am not even going to count the days til Christmas for fear of a panic attack.  Let’s just think of one celebration at a time. 


While I am talking about upcoming celebrations I will add one more.  Tomorrow, November 13th, is my Wedding Anniversary.  We have been married for 37 years.  Thirty-seven years people; and I know everyone says this, but it really is hard to believe and the years have gone by crazy fast.  We have been blessed with laughter, craziness, love, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 5 grandchildren, and just living a wonderful life.  So I send a shout out to the love of my life – Thank you for being by my side with love, support, understanding, and excited about the next 37 years.
Now, with so many celebrations coming up there definitely needs to be dessert.  There always needs to be dessert.  I wanted to share a wonderfully easy cake recipe that is perfect for the season.   This season that celebrates the different colors of the leaves, apple picking, spiced cider, pumpkins (spiced or pied), and families coming together.
 


 This cake is easy and ever so good.  I have adapted the original recipe because of my allergy to dairy (my substitutions are indicated in parenthesis).
Apple Cider Spice Cake with Apple Cider Buttercream Icing
(makes 1 cake)
2 boxes (15.25 oz.) spice cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 cups apple cider
2/3 cup vegetable oil
6 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to  350
2. 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.  Line the bottom
   of the pans with parchment paper, and spray pans again. 
3. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the 2 cake mixes, 2 cups of cider, the
   vegetable oil, and eggs.  Using a hand mixer at medium speed, mix together
   well.  Divide the batter into the 3 prepared pans.  
4. Bake approximately 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the 
   center comes out clean.
5. Cool completely on a wire rack before icing cake.
  

Apple Cider Buttercream
(makes about 3 cups)

1/2 cup butter, softened (if non-dairy use vegan butter)
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 or 6 tablespoons apple cider

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the
   butter at medium speed until creamy.  This takes about 30 seconds.

2. With the mixer on low speed add the vanilla.  Then add the cider
    1 tablespoon at a time.  Beat this until smooth and at a spreadable
    consistency.

3. Scrape the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to high, and beat on
    high until fluffy.  This takes about 2 minutes.
4. Build your cake - spreading icing between layers and top and sides.
*Note: I made my cake 2 layers and gave my cake a rustic look by spreading the icing thin on the sides.  This is a preference.  The above recipe will be 3 layers. And you can spread the icing as thick as you like.  
Hoping you will bring this cake to your Thanksgiving Table
Blessings and Thank you for being here






Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Do You Remember? & Jello Recipe Photos

Do you remember when families came together?  Not just at meal time, but reunions, weekend visits, or just dropping by to say ‘Hi’.  I remember walking a path from my house to my grandparent’s house almost every day; coming together at every holiday.  I know life styles have changed.  The demographics of families have changed.  Families are spread out, stressed out, and just plain too busy.  And guess what, I don’t have a solution.  I just miss those times in my life; when I was a kid.  We just have to make more of an effort to make those special times happen.  I just wonder if some of the stresses and heavy loads families carry would be lighter if we were about to share this with family.  The conversation, hugs, laughter, and the belonging.

As I promised in my last blog post, photos of “Sally’s Super Duper Delicious Jello Salad.  Oh, and l wanted to change it up a bit.  Not the recipe.  The recipe is perfect.  I changed the presentation a bit.  The recipe calls for the Jello to be in a 9 x 13 glass dish.  I had purchased cute little mason jars and wanted to use them.  These made individual servings of the recipe and using different color combinations made them liven up any party. 



I am also reposting the recipe here.  Have fun creating your own color combinations.

Sally’s Super-Duper Delicious Jello Salad
Ingredients:
6 (3 oz. boxes) of various flavors of Jello (did I mention it is a very pretty and colorful dish)
1 pint of sour cream

(This recipe takes a little time because you must refrigerate each layer for 30 minutes.)

1. Dissolve 1 pkg. of Jello in 1 cup of very hot water.

2. Mix ½ cup of the Jello with 1/3 cup of sour cream.

3. Pour this mixture into a 13 x 9 clear glass baking dish.

4. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

5. Add 3 Tablespoons of warm water to the other ½ cup of (remaining) Jello. Pour this over the sour cream Jello mixture after letting it set for 30 minutes.

6. Place back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

7. Repeat steps 1 thru 6 with the remaining 5 boxes of Jello.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Wishing Everyone A Happy Friday

Happy Friday and a Wonderful Labor Day Weekend


A day without a friend 
is like a day without 
a single drop of honey left inside.
~Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Love of Family


My husband and I have just returned from his families biannual Family Reunion in Pennsylvania.  He is blessed to have such a wonderful family.  I am blessed that I am a part of this group of (at any given time) of 45+ people (give or take).
It began in 2014 as just a Saturday Reunion at the farm.  After that first get-together it has now turned into a 3 to 4 day event.  The day before there is a golf game for anyone wanting to join.  That evening there is a County Fair to attend.  Then, Saturday is the Big day with the entire crowd.
Tractor Pull
Shippensburg County Fair

It starts off with hugs, smiles, and lots of talking all at once.  We catch up on each other’s goings on (the time in between the 2 years).  We gather at the cousin’s fantastic family farm.  The kids can swim; play games on the lawn.  And down the lane (I just love that phrase ‘down the lane’.  It just gives the heart a warm feeling) there are cows and calves to feed; chickens and eggs to gather; pigs to feed; and this year kittens to hold and give more love than they could stand.   
The day is filled with food, fun, and homemade ice cream.  This spills over into the evening with roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, catching fireflies, and watching fireworks.

Sunday is more of the same with the evening meal prepared by father & son team Stephens (Chef & Sous Chef Dad).  Later in the evening is the sad time we say our goodbyes with many hugs and tears.  Everyone always parts feeling blessed and loved: and the anticipation of the next time.

Also, a new tradition was started this year.  My husbands sister makes beautiful quilts.  At each reunion there will be 3 handmade quilts (one for each generation) to be given away in a drawing.  Making the reunion even more of a blessing.
Before I end this post there is one recipe that I would love to share.  One that was declared by my grandson as Super-Duper Delicious!  This dish was prepared by our sweet hostess and in my mind this dish will always be called 'Sally's Super-Duper Delicious Jello Salad.  I was not able to get a photo of this dish (it was gone that fast).  When I get the chance to make it myself I will post a photo.  It makes a great photo with all the colors on the plate.


Sally’s Super-Duper Delicious Jello Salad
Ingredients:
6 (3 oz. boxes) of various flavors of Jello (did I mention it is a very pretty and colorful dish)
1 pint of sour cream

(This recipe takes a little time because you must refrigerate each layer for 30 minutes.)

1. Dissolve 1 pkg. of Jello in 1 cup of very hot water.

2. Mix ½ cup of the Jello with 1/3 cup of sour cream.

3. Pour this mixture into a 13 x 9 clear glass baking dish.

4. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

5. Add 3 Tablespoons of warm water to the other ½ cup of (remaining) Jello. Pour this over the sour cream Jello mixture after letting it set for 30 minutes.
   
6. Place back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

7. Repeat steps 1 thru 6 with the remaining 5 boxes of Jello.




Thanks for Visiting,






Saturday, June 30, 2018

Simple Strawberry Pie

It's summer and it's Hot, and it's the weekend.  This strawberry pie recipe, to me, is the best.  Yes, it is simple; yes, it uses ingredients that are prepackaged (don't know, but that is a sin to some).  And, yes, you can make it more complex if you wish.

If you are having friends over, having pool, and your cooking out; this is just a really delicious, easy, make ahead dessert.

Summertime Strawberry Pie
(makes 1 deep-dish pie)

1/2 package refrigerated pie crust (or make your own crust)
1 (6 oz. ) box strawberry-flavored gelation
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 ½ cups water
4 teaspoons orange zest (this really makes it flavorful)
2 (1-pound) containers fresh strawberries, halved
Whipped cream for topping (optional)

 1.  Preheat oven to 450°

2.  On a lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust.  Roll pastry into a
     12-inch circle.  Place in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, fold edges under, 
     and crimp.  Prick bottom and sides of crust with fork.  Bake for 10 to 12
     minutes or until lightly browned.   Set aside.
     (Or prepare your own home-made pie crust recipe)
3.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together gelatin, sugar, and cornstarch.
     Add water and orange zest, whisking to combine.  Bring to a boil over 
     medium-high heat, and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Cool to  
     room temperature.
4.  Arrange strawberries in pie crust.  Pour enough gelatin mixture into crust 
     to coat strawberries completely; discard any remaining gelatin mixture. 
     Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. 

     Serve with whipped cream, if desired.



This is such an easy dessert.  It has gotten rave reviews when I have prepared it.  I hope you try this pie and it becomes a favorite.
Thank you for stopping by,





  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Soup: the best for a cold day



It's a cold 35° on this Monday in March.  The weather is kind of riding the fence these days.  It's not dead of winter, and not yet spring.   There are signs of the arrival of spring: flowering cherry trees and dogwoods are blooming; and the daffodils are a beautiful bright yellow.
There are still grey, cold, rainy days just perfect for a hot bowl of soup; a cup of hot tea, and a good book. 
*Side note:  I have just finished the wonderful novel "Delicious" by Ruth Reichel (I am a big fan of all her writings).  This book I could not put down.

I have a wonderful new soup recipe that is a must try ~ Carrot and Parsnip Soup.   The recipe I have adapted due to my problems with cow's dairy. **Just know where I have substituted goats milk kefir and strained goats milk yoghurt you can use cow's milk products.

Carrot and Parsnip Soup
Ingredients:
1/4 cup goat butter (or butter of choice)
2 cups of chopped onion
1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
3 cups of grated carrots
3 cups of grated parsnips
1 cup of chopped celery
6 cups of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of ground coriander
2 teaspoons  sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup goats milk kefir (or heavy whipping cream)
1/2 cup strained goats milk yoghurt (or sour cream)
makes about: 2 1/2 quarts
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Careful not to burn butter.
  • When butter is melted add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the saucepan.  Saute this for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is transparent.
  • To this mixture add the carrots, parsnips, and celery.  Cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • To the vegetable mixture add the chicken broth, coriander, sugar, salt, garlic powder, and the white pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender in two batches.  Being careful to vent the top of the blender for safety, purée until smooth.
  • Returning the soup to the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the kefir (or heavy whipping cream) and strained yoghurt (or sour cream.  Whisk until the soup is smooth.
  • Cook until the soup is heated through; about 20 minutes.
  • If you wish, garnish the individual servings with carrot and parsnip curls and snips of dill or carrot leaves.

This is and excellent soup for any occasion.  It warms the heart and the soul.  Enjoy

Thanks for reading and Blessings,




       


Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

The year 2018 is moving along at a fast pace.  We are only ten days away from Thanksgiving and I am not even going to count the days til ...