Saturday, December 1, 2012

Eggnog Bundt Cake

Well, hubby stopped at Weigels and picked up their infamous eggnog so that I could try out this recipe that was posted by Sugar Baby Aprons on Facebook.

If the finished product is anywhere near as delicious as the batter was .....

For the Cake
1 cup of butter, softened
3 cups of sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups of sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of eggnog
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 tablespoon of dark rum or brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
3/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice 
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1 cup of sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of heavy cream or whipping cream

Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until creamy.
Gradually add sugar, beating 5-7 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time mixing just until yoke is incorporated.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Add to butter and sugar mixture alternating with eggnog starting and ending with flour mixture. 
Stir on low speed just until blended after each addition.

Stir in vanilla and if desired, rum or brandy.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.

Stir the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves in the remaining batter. Spoon spiced batter over plain batter and swirl together using a knife. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

Combine sifted powdered sugar and heavy cream.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

'Tis the season to enjoy pumpkin flavored goodies, so I had to try this recipe from my friend, Elizabeth.  Not only do I enjoy the flavors of pumpkin and bread pudding, I enjoy using my teacups and saucers for more than one purpose.  This pattern is "Leaf Berry" by Royal Stafford.

I halved the recipe and used an 8x8 pan.  The ingredient amounts I will list are for the 9x13 size.

First, I cubed the bread and set it aside in the prepared pan.  The original recipe calls for 1 loaf white bread. Chilling the bread in the fridge makes cubing easier  (or you could just rip it).

Because the following steps are not really photo ops that would enhance the appetite, I will dispense with the step out photos at this point.

In an extra large mixing bowl add each ingredient, blending as you go:

4 eggs, beaten
1 c. milk
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. can evaporated milk
30 oz. can pumpkin pie filling

Toss bread cubes in mixture and return to prepared 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

The recipe is not overly sweet, even with the sweetened condensed milk.  For those with a die hard sweet tooth, you could drizzle some white chocolate sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Variation on a Theme

One of my favorite sweets to make is Cracker Candy.  Here's a twist to the traditional recipe to enjoy the flavors of fall - Graham Cracker Candy.

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with graham crackers, breaking into pieces to fit.  It's best to place aluminum foil inside the pan and butter it, but with my favorite Longaberger bakeware, I just buttered the pan.

Next, melt an 11 oz bag of Caramel Bits with 2 Tbs milk for 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.

Pour melted caramel onto graham cracker base.

Top with 1/2 cup coarsely crushed pretzels, 1/2 cup pecan bits,

1/2 cup marshmallow bits,

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.

Return to microwave for 60 seconds on High.

Allow to cool in frig for 1 hour.

Cut into bars.  Store in air tight container.  

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rooster Pup

I really wanted to sleep until 5am today, but as a slice of daylight broke through at 4:32am, our ever faithful Rooster Pup (aka, Angel) sounded her morning bark.  Some days - though not often - she will settle back in for a while, allowing a little more time for slumber.  But, not today.

So, after the morning puppy routine (clean up, feeding, loving) I took Gabi outside. While we were on our morning walk, lo and behold, what do I hear?  A neighborhood rooster.  A real rooster.  But, alas, it is now after 5am and the sun has been up for ... minutes.  That little guy is just a little late to the party.

As Gabi and I were walking through the neighborhood, I took the time to savor the 'cooler' temp and the subtle, underlying breeze - knowing that within hours, the thermometer would be on it's way to the 100 degree mark.  Any errands would definitely need to be finished by mid-morning.  Should be pretty easy considering that's still 5 hours away.

One of my errands was to restock our Southern Sweet Tea supply for the Keurig.  With the temps as high as they have been this past week, the ice in my tea has been melting just a little too quickly, diluting the tea before it's time.  So, I decided to include a run to the dollar store in my agenda to pick up ice cube trays.  Yes, I'm sure I have some, but I would venture to guess that they are in a box buried in the basement.

I set the brewer for 8oz.  Had I been a little more conservative with the portion in each section of the ice cube tray, that would've worked just fine.  By filling the sections completely, I would recommend about 10 oz.

I now have four trays of iced tea cubes in the freezer.  I'm thinking the flavor of the next glasses of iced tea will not fade as quickly now.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Since learning of one of my 2g-grandmothers, I've been curious about her and the life she led.  I wonder how she spent her days as a single woman who had given birth to a child and then allowed that child to be raised in her brother's home as a complete part of that family.  Living nearby and seeing her child grow could not have been easy.  Tracing Emaline through records available during the mid-late 1800s is a challenge.  We do know that she did live with her parents and following the death of her father, relocated with her mother from TN to KY.  

I heard through a distant cousin about where Emaline was buried.  We planned to one day visit and my intent was to be sure that Emaline's grave was properly marked.  That day finally arrived this week.  And, to make the trip even sweeter, I discovered someone had generously placed markers on several of the graves that had only previously been known with a stone.  

As you can see, there is still only a birth date for her which was found in her father's ledger.  Online searches can only take you so far.  So, after seeing the stone, it led me on a trip to the local library so I could review information in their genealogy department.  Even after searching census records, mortality indexes, and funeral home records, I still am at a loss as to the date of her passing.  Guess I will be making one more trip to spend time going through records at the courthouse.  Maybe then, we will know more.  But, even beyond discovering another date, I still long to learn of her life.  It is truly a selfless thing to be a mother - and make those choices that are in the best interest of your child.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2012 OLW

Rediscover ...

. . . my 'one little word' for 2012

When prompted to think of one word that would sum up my goals and aspirations for the new year, I was challenged to think outside the box. So many 'resolutions' are made with the best intentions, but carry though is difficult. What I needed to think upon was something that would help me in more than one area of my life so that it would both create and enhance change.


William Morris is quoted as saying,

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to beautiful".

This says a lot beyond physical items. To me, it also encourages positive words and actions.
The hymn writer, Cecil F. Alexander (1818-1895) sums it up for me:

All things bright and beautiful, all things great and small ...
... How good is God our Father, who doeth all things well.

Rediscover ways to do all things well.
When you rediscover, you change your perspective on things.

Here's one of my pre-2012 rediscoveries:

Who knew bobbins made great hat stands.
Instead of just adding to a vignette - as in the first photo at the top of the page, they can be useful beyond their original function.

May the New Year be filled with rediscoveries for us all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cake Mix Cookies

When visiting with a friend earlier this week, I was reminded just how easy and how tasty cookies are when made from a cake mix!

So, I found my recipe and got to work. Throughout the year, I'll use chocolate or yellow as the base and then add either butterscotch or chocolate chips or both! For Christmas, I decided to create some other variations.

First ... Lemmon Crinkles ... just the base recipe (lemon cake mix) rolled into balls and after they are baked and cooled, dipped in powdered sugar.

Next was the spice cake mix ... after baking, dip a pecan half into an eggnog glaze and push into cookie. After they are cooled, drizzle them with the glaze.

For the Almond Joy ... add to the white cake mix base a tsp of pure almond extract. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and then dip in chocolate. Chocolate is on my grocery list.

With just a couple of days left, we'll see if there's time for other variations.
Merry Christmas!

Base recipe:
1 box cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil

Eggnog glaze:
Mix together eggnog (Weigels' is the best, esp. for desserts) and powdered sugar to desired consistency.