cakes and family deserts

Coconut Cream Cup Cakes with Amaretto Buttercream frosting.

 

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quick coconut cake with Amaretto  buttercream icing

It is not often that I have a chance to make something in the kitchen just for the my youngest son. He recently asked me “What does coconut taste like?” I could think of only one thing…. Cake. So I put together what I had in the kitchen and made up a simple white cake made with coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk as the flavoring. Then topped off the cup cakes with my favorite flavoring, Amaretto, in a butter cream icing. I could have made the cake in a traditional two layer style but I really wanted to share the cake so I ended up with 36 white and toasty cupcakes instead. They were a big hit with my husband, my co-workers and my son… he likes the sweet soft coconut not the crunchy topping. I guess you win some and you lose some. Next time we will make it with the regular  shredded coconut as topping instead, even if I love the toasty crunch.

So the cake is really simple I used a store-bought white cake mix and to that I added 1 8oz. can unsweetened coconut milk and 1 6oz. can sweetened condensed milk and 3 eggs  omitting the oil in the directions.

 

 

This recipe is one that I will use again when we get closer to Easter and the bake sales for the church and 4-H Clubs start again in the spring

The recipe:

1 box of white cake mix.

1 can unsweetened coconut milk 8oz.

1 can sweetened condensed milk 6oz.

3 eggs

pour one 1/4 cup of batter into muffin tins lined with paper wrappers

The cooking time is slightly longer then what is listed on the box. I think I needed to add about 8 minutes making the cooking time 30 mins. at 350 degrees.

While the cupcakes cooled I toasted one 12 oz. bag of sweetened shredded coconut. placing the coconut on a cooking sheet in a thin lares under the broiler on low heat. Watching constantly, stir every time the flakes on the edge of the sheet begin to brown. This took stirring 5 or 6 time over the 5 minutes.

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toasting sweetened Coconut

Frosting:

1 cup real butter at room temperature. This is two sticks.

1  2 pound bag of powered sugar, mixed into the soft butter slowly.

2 teaspoons almond extract, or Amaretto liquor.

1 tablespoon milk

After cupcakes have cooled frost and roll in toasted coconut. Adding half of a Maraschino cherry on top if desired.

the recipe makes 36 to 38 cup cakes.

Coconut cupcakes with Almond buttercream icing and toasted coconut topping.

Coconut cupcakes with almond buttercream icing and toasted coconut toping.

So what would you make if you were asked ” What does Coconut taste like?” I have not cooked with it much other than making cakes or cookies. If you have any other ideas send them my way I would love to try other things too!

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Categories: Amarretto, cakes and family deserts, coconut, Easter, family memories, Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Grandma Powers Southern Style Carrot Cake

Many of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that I like to  share my families culture, history  and traditions. So to honor the State of Virginia where this cake was first made and to honor my  mother in law I want to share her cake receipt with you. In doing this I am hoping to keep one more of our families traditions alive.

Around 50 years ago my husband’s family  lived just outside of Winchester Virginia. Where they lived with up to 7 children off and on, some are from a first marriage, ( they added one later to make a nice round 8). Moving often due to the nature of Grandpa Powers work as a bulldozer operator. He spent years building the many interstate and highway systems of the two states. I- 79 running north and south in West Virginia is one of the last he worked on. Grandpa would often fallow the construction for many miles often leaving for months at a time.This meant leaving Grandma with a house full of kids to raise on her own. So as a frugal home maker she often made home-made desserts for her children and neighbors kids. One of the mothers that she met while living in Winchester, shared this wonderful cake with her and told her that it came from a very expensive hotel in the area in the late 1950’s. It has been in the family ever since and is my personal favorite cake of all times. So someone in the 1950 got it right and we have not changed much about the cake in the last 65  years.

So as my birthday is only a few days a way, I though it fitting to make myself this cake. It is a frosting free cake. I am not an icing person and neither is my husband so this cake gets served at our house with just a cold glass of milk. I hope that all of you will try it and love it. It is just one of the many traditions that I am so happy to have gained from one of my favorite people.

Southern Style Carrot Cake

3 cups sifted flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup vegetable oil… ( yes we know that it seems like a lot but it is just perfect)

3 beaten eggs

2 tsp Vanilla

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple ( Use a good brand, generic seems tough in the cake we use Dole)

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Just use a kitchen spoon for this cake no need to get the mixer out. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 1/2 to 1 hour and 40 minutes, test with tooth pick to make sure the cake is dry inside.

I start shredding 2 cups carrots this usually means about two large and one small carrot. If you have slightly more than two cups just add it in.

Mix dry ingredients together, flour sugar, soda, salt and spices.

dry ingredients for carrot cake

dry ingredients for carrot cake

Stir and then add in wet ingredients, oil, can of pineapple, vanilla and slowly at the end add beaten eggs.

adding wet ingredients to carrot cake.

adding wet ingredients to carrot cake.

ready to beat eggs and add to cake

ready to beat eggs and add to cake

When eggs are incorporated in the  batter add shredded carrots and pecans. Pour batter into a large pan like a 13 x 11 deep ( not a Pyrex 11 x 13 glass pan) cake pan or angel food cake pan. The cake can be cut into about 12 to 15 pieces.

two piece angel food cake pan with cooking spray

two piece angel food cake pan with cooking spray

I use this pan so the cake can be placed on my cake stand and it cools faster with out the outside ring.

 

Carrot cake out of the oven

Carrot cake out of the oven

This cake is dense and rich but not overly sweet.The cake stores well at room temperature and with out cream cheese icing it does not need refrigeration.  It does take about 4 hours for the cake to totally cool and get firm to eat with you fingers. Yummy as a late night snack.

Finished Southern Style Carrot Cake with no frosting needed

Finished Southern Style Carrot Cake

 

Thanks for the Birthday cake recipe Grandma it is delicious as always.

Wanda Gay Powers At Christmas 2012

Wanda Gay Powers At Christmas 2012

 

Categories: Birthday, cakes and family deserts, country cooking, grandma | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

True Love is always found over Pie: My recipe for True Love Apple Pie

close up a green apples

close up a green apples

Every time I make apple pie I remember how just one slice changed everything between Tom and I. It was  Thanksgiving day in Baumholder West Germany ( at the time they were still East and West) my first holiday away from home and on an Army Base. A couple of us girls with off Post housing thought we would make dinner for our friends who were either single or home alone while their husbands were out in the field or doing other assignments.The food and company had to be better than dinner at the Mess Hall so the plans were set. We were a loose bunch of friends from the 363rd mechanized unit. Some were Gunners, Recovery Specialist, Mechanics, Tankers, Mortar Men, Radio Controllers, but  most of all, we were part of the United States Army family.We were brought together from all over the country. We had friends from small towns and big cities, from the green east to the sunny west from the cold north to the deep south. Our dinner party had a random mixture of accents, stories and colors of skin. We were all from the U.S.  and we all wanted to have a traditional American Thanksgiving even if we were thousands of miles away from home..

My friend Angie was the hostess that Thanksgiving, making most of the main course of the  dinner, the rest of us girls just helped out. I have always liked to bake and worked in a bakery for several years so I volunteered to make the traditional pies for the dinner two pumpkin and one apple. I made the same recipe that I still fallow today. Around 1 p.m. in the afternoon I walked the fresh home-made pies to Angie’s midsize two bedroom apartment. We lived only about 4 blocks away from each other in white stucco apartments. The crowd arrived and I think we had about 15 for dinner and the house was full. We ate sitting on the floor, on dinning chairs and on sofa arms . The food was great, the music was the 80’s metal bands and smoke-filled the room as dinner was over and deserts got cut. I help to serve pie, ice cream and cake. But what caught my attention that day was Tom. After a few bites of pie he returned to where I stood and asked me where I learned to make the apple pie. I said from my mothers old cookbook and we continued to talk. The talking never really ended.

granny smith apples sliced

granny smith apples sliced

That afternoon we spent hours talking about our families and that we both loved home cooked food and Christmas fudge that our families would send over to us from home. He talked about his dog and I talked about my cat. We eat another piece of pie and spent the rest of the evening sitting together in the living room playing Gun and Roses, Ozzy, White Snake, AC/DC  on the stereo turn table with Tom as D.J. Our friends moved in and out of groups of conversations and beer bottles hissed and dancing happened. We never moved from that old soft recliner where I sat on the floor watching him change albums. Hours passed, dishes needed cleared and beer bottles clanked in the trash bag as ashes got dumped in from a hundred cigarettes. We were still talking and cleaning and neither of us wanted it to end. Finally around 11 p.m. I had to walk home and Tom offered to walk with me. In the glow of street lamps, on the cobble stones we walked the 4 blocks from Angie’s apartment to mine where we said good night.

apple pie filling is ready to bake

apple pie filling is ready to bake

He never kissed or  hugged me at that old wooden door. He only said  he was happy that I was safe at home and that he loved my pie. He turned and started to walk up the steep cobble stone hill in front of my apartment building. I watched as he reached the crest and he turned and waved good-bye to me on his 2 mile walk back to the barracks. I spent to rest of the night wondering what in the world was so good about that pie and how he would have to get up in just a few hours and go to work. I was happy to see him the following evening after he got off work so we could talk more over a beer or two.

I never did understand why that pie was so good. I never did forget that walk home in the misty night. I am just thankful that I can still make it for him. Today I am preparing for a fruit pie contest at the 4-H fair. I have made other things for the fair but this will be the first time I have made a pie. So I am making a couple of TEST apple pies today and want to share the recipe with you just because this pie is why my husband and I are still in love.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do making them.

Apple pie ready for the oven

Apple pie ready for the oven

My True Love Apple Pie ( deep dish)

1  Double Pie crust… store-bought or home-made.

5 to 6 large Granny Smith Apples ( 2 pounds),peeled, cored and sliced very thin.

1/2 half cup packed dark brown sugar

1   tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup salted real butter

add lots of love.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until filling is bubbly. Always put pie on cook sheet to prevent juice from running over into oven.Cover edge of pie crust for about the first 20 minutes with tin foil.

True Love Apple Pie

True Love Apple Pie

Categories: Apples, cakes and family deserts, family memories, friends, Memories, nostalgic, Pie, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sweet Potato Garden FAIL that Tastes so Good!

So it did finally frost about a week ago and we did finally get a chance before my two-week recovery to get out and dig my beautiful, bountiful, overflowing sweet potatoes. This was the first time either my husband or I  attempted to grow them in our family garden. The slips were a gift from a friend and we started off with about 10 plants and hoped to get 2 to 3 roots per plant. Well as things always go in a garden this one was about the funniest fails I have ever had.

Sweet Potato slips ready to plant

Sweet Potato slips ready to plant

The plants started off well and we did nothing to stop their spread or growth. Eventually they over ran the row they were growing in and just took over. My pumpkin hills became a sea of sweet potato vines and we lost pumpkins and cucumbers to the tangle of root shoots. Cody my oldest son played hide and seek with pumpkins and cucumbers in between their glossy leaves.

Cody picking Pumpkins in the sweet potato patch

Cody picking Pumpkins in the sweet potato patch

So the excitement was so high when my husband said it was time to trim the plants down and dig, dig, dig. It took us a couple of hours to dig the patch of 10 plants. Slowly and careful to not damage to roots we found that almost the enter garden damaged by VOLES. Check out this link for images and information on the difference between Moles and Voles.

I wanted to laugh and cry all at once, the largest and most beautiful potatoes were the most damaged.The beautiful pink skin left with huge holes and pits. We carried two five gallon buckets up on the porch and I  just walked away…… for several days! It was so discouraging I almost tossed all of them out.

Mole damaged sweet potatoes 2014

Mole damaged sweet potatoes 2014

As I walked past the buckets twice a day for a week my heart just did not have strength to dump the darn things out. “What should I do with them” was my thought every time I looked down at the muddy pink flesh. Finally on a spur of the moment idea I just started cleaning, sorting and tossing out my harvest. Finally it came to me… “What would your grandma do? She would use them any way.” The roots were mostly corked over where the damage had happened, so no rot was found. I was left with 8 to 10 pounds of sweet potatoes that needed saved in some way. So I cleaned, paired and salvaged what I could from the buckets.

trimmed,washed and sorted sweet potatoes ready to parboil

trimmed,washed and sorted sweet potatoes ready to parboil

I boiled the potatoes for twenty minutes, drained them and cooled them for several hours. Still sad, I removed the skins by hand under warm running water. Finally, they started to look like the yams that we normally see brightly colored, clean and blemish free. I cut them into large chunks and measured their amount. Discovering that I really did not have enough to make a full canner full of candied sweet potatoes I froze the remaining pieces.

4 Cups frozen Sweet potato chunks

4 Cups frozen Sweet potato chunks

Then as I reached the end of my pile of chucks I finally realized that I had plenty of time to make a Sweet Potato Pie ( canning sweet potatoes is at least a 90 minute process that I did not want to do). So just on chance I took the remaining pile of potatoes and cooked them for another 20 minutes until fork tender and braved the internet for a pie recipe. So to make this story shorter I made 2 wonderful sweet potato pies that I shared with my friends and family.

Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pie.

Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Pie.

At the end of the day I felt satisfied, I had learned a lot about Voles/Moles, Sweet Potatoes and Pie. This gardening FAIL ended up tasting great!  Lucky for me every one seemed to like a pie made from what retail stores call trash. I think my Grandmother who raised 6 living kids and farmed for a living would have been proud that I didn’t give up on those chewed up roots.

Categories: cakes and family deserts, canning, gardening, mole/ vole damage, Pie, Preserving, regional food, Sweet Potato | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Building Memories, Gingerbread House

    One of my favorite things about having kids is doing things together that they will remember when they are old and gray. I try to spend time with my sons doing creative things that we will both like to do too.

christopher building ginger bread house

Christopher building gingerbread house

   This seems to always involve food or building something so we finally found a  way to combine the two, gingerbread houses. I am now hooked and will be looking at other houses for ideas. We cheated this year with a kit house and some stale candy from Halloween. I learned tons and am thinking of already making another one from scratch.

The two houses my friends Jacquelyn has written about her Blog  http://quiltofmissingmemories.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/one-sweet-forecast/ made a real impression on me and I hope to get an idea as nice as her “Dance Studio” house for the kids to build in the future. I am sure that I would end up dragging Tom into it also… He could draw out the plans on butcher paper and I would cook the cookies and make the icing.

My older son suggested that we make a barn and I am thinking that would be great if I can maybe make it with animal crackers we decorate or find some cookie cutters in animal shapes… the ideas go on and on.

But in the end it was all about making memories with my son and having fun on his Thanksgiving break and spending family time together.

small ginger bread house

small ginger bread house

Then after all the fun is over mom still gets to clean up the mess.

mess left after decorating ginger bread house

mess left after decorating ginger bread house

Sharing this with Thursday favorite things at Katherine’s Corner.com

Categories: cakes and family deserts, candy, Christopher, cooking, gingerbread, Holidays | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Memories of Grandpaw P. and Mock Mince Meat Pie

  As I finish up making my Thanksgiving Turkey I want to share with all of you some thing that I love…. it is the tradition of MEAT FREE, Mock Mince Meat at our Thanksgiving table. Toms Dad made the filling from his garden every few years. Home made pie and filling was one of his many specialties. The recipe came from his mother  who made it before “Grandpa Powers” birth in 1918. Making this pie over 100 years old. I miss him at this time of year more than any other. My own father passing away when I was five made my relationship with him very sentimental. He only lived a few years after Tom and I married but his importance to my family lingers around the holidays.

mock mincemeat, pumpkin pie and chocolet cake

mock mincemeat, pumpkin pie and chocolate cake

    He is the one who inspired all the canning and gardening that Tom and I do. His gardens were huge in comparison to anything that I have ever tried and he was able to keep a family of 9 or more at times, well feed and well stocked on fresh vegetables and fruit from his trees. He knew his way around the kitchen and shared my love of food and having family all around. I only wish that I had more time to pick his brain. He had so much knowledge in his head that I could still use today.

   So when I make and fill my pies today I think of him and all the years his hands worked so hard to take care of all of us.The bushels of apples and green tomatoes that he had to be picked to fill just one jar of spicy goodness. The hours of time it takes to make the filling stirring every few minutes to make sure it does not scorch and the money spent on the spices and pounds of sugar. The steam from the canner as the quart jars rise out to cool on the kitchen table. It is him that I see and hear when I open the jar of my frist batch of that Mock Mince Meat… he stands beside me as I roll out a crust and pour in the filling. He whispers to me that I should have cooked down the filling just a little bit more, but the flavor is right. He reminds me to check the oven and not burn the pie and reappears when we slice each piece.

He is here with us for Thanksgiving because we fallow a tradition that means nothing to anyone but us. The pie will be with us until I can no longer make the filling from our garden and trees. It will then pass to my sons who already  have the recipe and are learning about the huge amount of time and love all went into one very simple pie.

thanks giving table with food 2013

thanks giving table with food 2013

 The following is the actual recipe that we fallow to make our MEAT FREE MOCK MINCE MEAT pie filling.

  Mock Mincemeat

  • 15 lb green Tomatoes
  • 15 lb Apples
  • 3 lb Raisins
  • 1 cup Cider Vinegar
  • 12 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Table spoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Table spoon Allspice
  • 2 Table spoon Cloves
  • 4 Table spoon Salt
  • 1/2 pound beef fat from butcher

Wash, core and chop unpeeled green tomatoes… grind or finally chop in food processor. Drain through colander lined with cheese cloth into shallow pan. Measure juice after draining and discard. Place tomatoes in large stainless steel kettle with 2 tablespoons salt adding small amount of water to keep from scorching. Bring to boil, strain hot tomatoes again and remove excess juice.Again add 2 tablespoons salt and water boil again strain and remove excess juice.Wash, peel, core and chop apples, chop up beef tallow into tiny chucks, add apples raisins, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves. Cook together until thick. (1 to 2 hours) stirring frequently, mixture will be thick and sticky. Ladle into hot sterilized quart jars leaving 1″ head space. Process 20 minutes..in boilng water bath.

Categories: cakes and family deserts, cooking, family memories, gardening, Pie | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fresh Southern Ginger Peach Cobbler

   

Fresh peaches in bowl

Fresh peaches in bowl

     This has been a great fresh fruit year. I headed into to town on Tuesday and found peaches the size of softballs for 99 cents a pound. So what did I do after canning 60 lbs of apples, I bought 25 lbs of peaches of course. I actually got these at the local feed store and made a deal with the owner for a discount and free bushel baskets because these guys were over ripe and some were already  bruising and soft. These I would not have tried to can, they were just to soft to really handle. I did on the other hand cook and freeze all of them.

   I made 2, 13×9 old fashion southern ginger peach cobblers, two 8 inch peach pies, froze 2 gallons of peach slices without sweetener and made 6 half pints of ginger peach butter all in two days.The peach butter I let cook over night in a slow cooker before canning. 

     After informing my husband that I was going to make cobbler, he asked if I would make one for his work. I know there are ten on his crew and I had a birthday party that I was bringing a cobbler to, so I needed at least 16 servings between both places and extra for home. I ended my day with 24 servings total. After our busy day only one serving of cobbler made it back home… All of us eat too much, but nothing says summer better than fresh peaches.

    For a single 9X13 cobbler I used 5 cups of fresh sliced peaches = 6 or 7 slightly over ripe peaches do the very best. The flavor of peaches actually improves with age and at times the bruised ones are the most flavorful.

The time-consuming part of any fresh peach receipt is scalding and pealing the peaches.

scalding peachs

scalding peachs

dunking peaches in cold water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The process involves boiling a pot of water and adding the peaches for about 1 1/2 minutes then removing them. I have a hand strainer I use to drain the excess water. I then plunge them into a cold water bath to release the skins. In my case, many of the skins started to pull away before I even pulled them from the cold water bath.  

   Once pealed, pitted and sliced, I measured my amount of peaches into a stock pot to weep the peaches with a 1 cup sugar and heat. This allows me to remove a little of the peach nectar to stop boil overs in the oven.

cooking peaches

cooking peaches

  The cobbler is made from either canned peaches or fresh at this point.

     Southern ginger peach cobbler

  1. 5 cups fresh or canned peach slices
  2. 1 1/2 cups sugar… 1/2 cup for crust and 1 cup for light canned peaches or fresh,simmered as directed above.
  3. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1 cup milk.
  10. 1 stick of real butter.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To a 13X9 pan add one stick salted butter. Let melt and brown in oven while cooking peaches on stove top.

bubbly brown in pan

bubbly brown in pan

    If using home canned peaches a quart of slices will work well , drain off 1/3 of juice in jar or if using fresh drain off about 1/3 cup juice from peaches add the remaining cup of sugar and ginger, cinnamon and corn starch. Simmer on stove a couple of minutes and remove from heat to cool slightly.Peach mixture will thicken a little while simmering.

  Next mix the batter for crust. This crust goes under the peaches and will rise to the top of cobbler and brown on its own. In a med bowl mix sugar, flour,baking powder, baking soda together and slowly add milk. Do not leave batter lumpy. Pour over warm melted butter.

flour mixture

flour mixture

 Add  the warm peach mixture. DO NOT MIX …. peaches should be on top.cooking

   Bake in already warm 350 degree oven for  40 minutes. I always place pan on cookie sheet to prevent juice running over the side.Check that the cobbler is done with toothpick and set to cool on rack. This size makes about 12 servings.

brown top of cobbler

brown top of cobbler

  Our family eats cobbler with whole milk instead of ice cream or whipped cream.So here is what we all got at the end of a long day. It was yummy.peach cobbler with milk

                                            Hope you enjoy our friends and family sure did,Jolynn

Categories: cakes and family deserts, country cooking, peaches, Preserving | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Comfort Food Sunday… Ending with Apple Pie

     Sunday family dinner is a tradition at our house as long as everyone is feeling well. I make dinner for my kids, grandkids, sometimes family friends and the In-laws. This week felt different the food was more comforting and everyone was so excited to eat. I made old-fashioned food from the garden and from the neighbors apple tree. I had a simple menu of meatloaf, fried potatoes, ramps ( I have another post about these wild onions and greens,check it out.) cucumber onion salad, sweet tea and home-made apple pie à la mode. It wasn’t much work and I had everything except a pie crust on hand. It was as if my family was rejoicing in the food and company. It was a celebration of our garden and being blessed with 60 pounds of fresh free apples from our neighbors tree that made the night so wonderful.

60 lbs of apples ready to use

60 lbs of apples ready to use

    My husband and oldest son love  Grandma Powers’ meat loaf and she has instructed me on how to make a tender and juicy one. I haven’t made this for about two years and just thought OK it’s time. Also,the flow of cucumbers has been steady from the gardens so I needed to use them up. I had two bags of frozen ramps that needed eaten to make more room in the freezer for fall and the apples you see in the photo were also sitting on my back porch and were ready to eat. I think this meal planed its’self or maybe the bounty of the earth planed it for me. It took about an hour of time to put the whole thing together.

      I sat on the back porch and peeled the apples while Christopher and my granddaughter Paige played in the yard. I was laughing and talking to Cody and my daughter-in -law Jamie the whole time I peeled the apples. It was so nice to just sit and visit with them. Then off to the kitchen I went, I needed to get a few things started. About hour later, Bill my husbands best friend arrived, and we were finally ready to eat.

with help we were able to repair the back porch that was 4" off level from front to back

 

    Everyone went on and on about how nice it was to have MEATLOAF???? for dinner??? Really??? They all oohed and awwwed about the apple pie. It was the topic of conversation for several minuets. Their complements took me off guard. I didn’t expect the reaction I was getting. In my mind it was just another dinner that I cook 5 nights a week, it was just part of my day. Then something else ran through my mind…. This was simple food, nothing fancy or expensive. Heck, I got a great deal on the burger so the whole dinner for 5 adults and two picky kids cost me 10 dollars. Much of the food was free… foraged ramps, garden cucumbers and onions and free apples. I bought beef, potatoes and a pie crust and ice cream. I sat back contented that I had made everyone  happy and everyone had a great time. 

Cody and Tucker in the recliner

Cody and Tucker in the recliner

   If you were to attend one of my family dinners you would realise  that it is totally craziness for the 5 hours my family and friends are together. With all of us together on the porch or dinning room, my sons new puppy underfoot , the two little ones  laughing and crying and the cell phones wringing, it is a little hectic.

 Sunday is the only day of my week that my home over flows with voices and laughter. Back doors slam open and closed, footsteps run back and forth across the porch.The kids are free to run from room to room screaming as  the pup chases them. The yard is usually full of cars, a parking lot forms.  Christopher drives his Gader around in huge circles greeting everyone as they come up to the house. Sometimes Cody even brings the mini bike and we all go for rides. It is truly Grandmas house and I am proud of it.

Christopher and the Gader

Christopher and the Gader

Christopher and Paige sitting on Codys mini bike

Christopher and Paige sitting on Cody’s mini bike

   Our life style is from a generation that has already passed. It is family dinners and loud kids and puppies barking. It flashes back to a grandma pealing apples on a porch and a meatloaf in the oven from the 50’s. I don’t understand how I got here, but I love it and all the crazy work that it means. It’s so traditional  my life could be confused for Norman Rockwell painting. As I cut and serve a home-made  apple pie and Tom starts to scoop ice cream to two whiny kids that don’t like pie just ice cream. I think of my grandmas house and her cooking and wonder if she is smiling at me with all these people in my house just like hers 40 years before.

   At times I can hardly believe that this is my life. I well up with tears when I remember my childhood that was so similar,full of love, joy and family. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with this life. I know it was just a dinner with meatloaf and pie but some how it felt like so much more.

Freah apple pie for dinner

Fresh apple pie for dinner

Categories: About me, cakes and family deserts, country cooking, family fun | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Five Random In Door Facts Friday

When ever I have time I love blog hopping with Nancy Claeys,

“A Rural Journal”    five facts friday.http://www.nancyclaeys.com/blog

 Today I am a home body with a Virus. Yea, just when the weather is nice I can’t go out side… so here are my                 five indoor facts friday.

1. I love to take photos of old buildings and while my husband is working hard on customers horses, I am always looking around to take photos on their farms or near by property. Today while inside I am going to learn some more creative editing tools from Nancy’s pages.

snowy hunting shack

snowy hunting shack

2.  Another of my favorite  indoor activities is baking.I can cook, but find that making cakes, pies, muffins and cookies is much more satisfying for me.  Today I will be lucky to make toast… but you get the idea.

old fahion stack cake.. appircote and orange

old fashion stack cake.. apricots and orange

3. Another favorite in-door activity is going to my local library for a monthly book club meeting.. I wish I had more to read these days but joining with other people who like to read has kept me  motivated. I also love this building and it is a pleasure to see it all the time.

Louise Bennett Memorial Library

Louise Bennett Memorial Library

4. I also love to have company and visit with friends … we do an open door sunday dinner almost every weekend where any one who is free can stop by and eat. So times that means just a couple and sometimes that means ten… love it!

Grandbaby Paige and I making dinner for the crrew

Grandbaby Paige and I making dinner for the crew

5. But my favorite in-door or out-door activity is spending time with my best friend Natalie…

love spending time with my best friend Natalie

love spending time with my best friend Natalie

 
http://www.nancyclaeys.com/blog

Categories: cakes and family deserts, family fun, Five Facts Friday, Friendship, Louis Bennett Library, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Best Egg Free Cake Ever….Grandma Powers Apple Sauce Cake

   With every passing holiday my family asks me to make the same cake, Apples Sauce Cake. Grandma Powers  received this receipt back in the 70’s from a family friend. Over the years the cakes recipe is one of the few things that passes from generation to generation in our family. The cake will easily feed about 10 in normal slices but when my son and husband get together it disappears in chunks. I recently made the cake for my sons 22 birthday and took it with us to Kentucky. The cake got stored for a couple of days in a hotel refrigerator during our stay and remained  moist and flavorful. This is one of the few cakes that I have ever made from scratch that does not us eggs or oil,so for those with allergies this is a nice desert that is egg free.

Cooling apple sauce cake

Cooling apple sauce cake

The frist thing that you may notice about this cake is that it is very large, it fills an angel food cake pan almost to the top, so keep this in mind. It also fits nicely into two buttered loaf pans. I make this size in the winter and give the other cake away as a gift.

Set oven to 350 degrees and butter what ever pan you are going to use for the cake.

Apple Sauce Cake

3 cups sugar

5 cups flour

2 sticks butter at room temperature for easy melting

24 oz. of cinnamon apple sauce… 1 quart home make sauce is equal to 24 oz.

3 teaspoons fresh baking soda ( added to hot apple sauce)

1 teaspoon all spice, cloves, nutmeg

1 tablespoon cinnamon

12 oz or two cups raisins

1 cup nuts … we use pecans

Mix together flour, sugar, spices, placing butter on top of  other ingredients . This will help the hot apple sauce melt the butter into the cake batter.

room temp butter on top of cake mix

room temp butter on top of cake mix

    In a small sauce pan put 24 oz of apple sauce, heat until sauce begins to bubble at a low simmer, at this point  turn off heat and add all three teaspoons of  backing soda and mix untill foamy.  Pour hot sauce over dry mix and butter and beat until well mixed.

foaming apple sauce

foaming apple sauce

Hot apple sauce with Baking Soda added

Hot apple sauce with Baking Soda added

                      Add nuts and raisins  at this point and mix well again. Pour batter into pan that is on top of a cookie sheet to prevent any spill, as angel food cake pans are two-part pans and sometimes leak batter.

apple sauce cake in pan

apple sauce cake in pan

Be prepared for the cake to take at least two hours to cook and maybe a few more minutes. The first hours bake the cake at 350 degrees and the second hour lowered the temperature to 250 degrees. Always test this cake with a knife or skewer, the outside will appear done while the inside will be raw. I have never seen this cake burn on the outside as the inside continues to cook the crust just gets a deeper dark brown. Cool for a couple of hours with outside ring removed and serve.

http://katherinescorner.com/sharing in Kathrinescorner.coms blog hop every thursday

Categories: apple sauce, cakes and family deserts, Kentucky | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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