Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moist Devil's Food Cake

With a few simple ingredients I already had on hand, I created a yummy dessert.
I found some sour cream on sale for half price last week, bought some cake mixes that were on sale at an unheard of price, and had a smidgen of frosting in a can leftover. What to do? What to do?

Well, I just pulled some buttermilk out of the freezer, (I pour it into ice cube trays before it expires and freeze it. The consistency isn't the same when it thaws but for baking, it does the job and I don't notice any adverse effects.) let it thaw & when I had enough to equal the amount of liquid called for on the cake mix box, I went to work. This is what I came up with...

Moist Devil's Food Cake

1 box of devil's food cake mix

1 cup of sour cream

buttermilk to replace the water/liquid called for on the cake mix box

1-2 tsp. vanilla extract

canned frosting; a little will do...maybe 1/4 - 1/3 cup???

Preheat your oven to the temperature called for on the cake mix box and prepare the pan according to the directions as well. Mix the cake batter according to the instructions on the cake mix box, substituting an equal amount of buttermilk for the liquid called for on the box. Add vanilla extract and sour cream. Bake and cool the cake according to the instructions given on the box.

Melt a little of the canned frosting either for a few seconds in the microwave or just until runny in a saucepan (we had funfetti ;) ). Drizzle the icing over the cake and enjoy!!!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Sweet Spots

I'm sure we all have those little areas or things in our home
that, when we see them, they make us smile. The sweet spots in our home. I thought I 'd share just a few of mine...

The glow of candlelight on my kitchen table while I'm fixin' supper...
A sweet, tiny sign I made from a thrift store found frame & pedestal and scrapbook supplies
I had on hand. I painted the frame black, put a cheery background of scrapbook paper and a word that's close to my heart...
A happy corner of my kitchen...


What are the "sweet spots" in YOUR home that make you smile?
Have a blessed day & thanks for stopping by!







Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Fling

Spring has officially sprung!
I hope you are enjoying spring-like weather in your neck of the woods! Today was a beautiful day here so I celebrated by flinging off our dark, heavy comforter and exchanged it for something a little lighter...a beautiful cream colored quilt my mom made! She does custom quilts and her work is just breathtaking!




And since I love crochet too, these pretty beribboned pillow shams were right up my alley...



After making my bed, I took a walk out in the sunshine to see what the garden was up to...



































(baby elephant ears peeking out from a long winter's nap)

(the first delicious smelling rosebud of the season)


(the guard-en cat~keeping a watchful eye out for intruders and keeping mommy company)

(the fig tree is in bloom~I can't wait for another bumper crop!)

(the newest member of our plant family~a pretty zinnia waiting to be potted up and BLOOM!)
I managed to plant some
bulbs~dutch iris, holleyhock and the lightest, laciest, airiest
{are those words?} daffodils~
some assorted flower seeds and nasturtiums. I am crossing my fingers that they will GROW!
Please share how you are welcoming spring!
































































Sunday, March 21, 2010

PawPaw & Popsicles

This past Saturday, as north winds howled, the rain pelted our windows and a chill air marched into our town, my sweet grandson came a visitin'.
At one point during his forced indoor play, he must have remembered grand-ma'ma's stash of sugar free popsicles. He cracked open the freezer door and rounded the corner into the living room with two popsicles in his tiny hands. One for him and one for pawpaw...








( BTW...that headgear? Well, it's to save our ears from pawpaws LOUD television, lol!)










Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break Fun

Spring break is winding down here. We had fun while it lasted though! Ari & I started the week off by planning a little outing to a nearby shopping center. We began our day by getting in a happy little mood...
And as soon as we got to our destination...Ari HAD to go to her favorite store first...
We visited other favorite stores and then took a walk around as we tried to decide where to have lunch...
We decided on Mimi's Cafe...
And patiently waited on our yummy lunch...
We had a little mommy...ahem...Mom, daughter talk...ate our delicious lunch...and then...
Our favorite part of the meal...DESSERT!!!
We headed home, hitting a couple of thrift shops on the way. Once we arrived home, we were tired but happy.

Another day, we spent the whole day going to thrift shops (again!). Ari likes going to thrift shops with me to look for funky t-shirts (which I think is so funny because I used to HATE going to thrift shops when I was her age!!!!).
And since life isn't all fun and games, I DID work some and of course Ari spent some time with friends~~~what would spring break be without 'em?
What did YOU do for spring break? Hope you had a fantastic time too!!!








Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Beauty of My Imperfect Life~

As I look at the quirky little spots in my home
that can only happen when we live in the real world with husbands and kiddos, my forehead wrinkle gets a little deeper with frustration. Then the frown that has begun as I ask myself "Why?!" morphs into a satisfied smile as I realize that I am so very blessed to have them in my life, even if it means my home isn't magazine worthy. Yes, my home would be much neater and nicer looking (read: staged) but my life would not be quite as beautiful!
I hope you find the beauty in the imperfections of your life too!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pantry Primer


As I laze about on this beautiful Saturday afternoon nursing a tall iced tea while making my weekly grocery list and menu, I realize it's been a while since I took stock of my pantry. Ideally, I like to make sure I have the following on hand at all times:




baking powder


baking soda


flours-wheat, white, cake & bread


sugars-white granulated, brown & confectioners


sugar substitute (I like splenda)


cocoa powder


yeast-dry active


extracts- vanilla & other flavors


oatmeal


grits


dry cereals


beans-canned & dried


pastas- variety


brown rice


canned tomatoes-variety


marinated artichokes


assorted teas


coffee


cooking oils-olive, canola, EV coconut


cooking spray


crackers


fruits-canned & dried


jams & jellies


peanut butter


canned fish- tuna, salmon, mackeral


canned soups




and my freezer "pantry" staples:




homemade stocks- chicken, beef & veggie


frozen veggies




These are just a few of the staples I like to keep handy for whipping together delicious dishes for company or just when the mood {or hunger} strikes! Of course, every household has different tastes and budgets so pantry staples can vary widely.




What do YOU keep in your pantry?
































Friday, March 12, 2010

For You...

I wanted to share these pretty tulips that hubby bought to brighten our home.
(While he was at the grocery store picking up things to cook dinner for us, both days, this past weekend. Isn't that sweet & thoughtful?)
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

TJ's EASY Fig-gy Spice Cake

I've been trying to come up with creative ways to use up the things I have on hand in the pantry and in my freezer rather than going out and buying new items. I like to buy in bulk when the staples I normally use are on sale, but at times I forget to actually USE those items, forgoing them for something easier and quicker to prepare. It's not always easy for me, but when I do manage to come up with something yummy to make with the things I've stored away, well...I feel sooo accomplished!

When we acquired our home, we inherited the former owners pear and fig trees. Last summer, after sharing some figs with the beautiful birds in our area, I put away a good amount in the freezer. Today I actually put some of them to delicious use by adding them to a boxed spice cake I had on the pantry shelf and some buttermilk I had frozen.

TJ's EASY Fig-gy Spice Cake
You will need:
1 box spice cake mix
1/3 c. butter
1 1/3 c. buttermilk
3 eggs
13 oz. fresh figs, chopped roughly
walnuts (optional)
cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to the temperature on the cake mix box. Spray a baking pan (I used a bundt pan) with cooking spray and coat the pan with a mixture of cinnamon & sugar (you can buy it premade in the spice aisle of your grocery store but I like to live dangerously and make my own). Put the cake mix into a medium sized mixing bowl and add the next three ingredients. Mix ingredients with a whisk then add your figs (and walnuts if you are adding them). stir them in gently until well combined. Pour all the batter into your baking pan and place in the oven. Check the back of the cake mix box and see how long you should cook your cake for the pan you have chosen. You will know the cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean No ooey gooey stuff on it ;)
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto plate or just cut it up in the pan. Enjoy!
The ingredients
I always crack my eggs into a small bowl before adding them to my recipes to be sure no shell has worked it's way in
Mix by hand with a whisk.
Don't even pull out an electric mixer, this is supposed to be easy, remember?

Figs ready for chopping on my sweet piggy chopping board that my mama gave me years ago.
Chopped & ready to go.
I mixed the figs in with the whisk too. One less dish to wash is always a good thing.
Batter poured in the prepared pan, ready to go into the nice warm oven.
YUM









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