cakes · dessert · Lightened Up Recipe

Lemon Pound Cake With Cherry Compote

When I had a group of church friends over recently, I wanted to make a cake that would be a little lighter since the meal was pretty heavy.  I came across a Lemon Pound Cake recipe in my Cooking Light Cookbook.  It had high reviews and sounded so delicious that it didn’t take me long to say yes!

I love pound cake – the crispy exterior and the light, smooth batter inside just makes it so good.  Add lemon to it, and it’s perfect!!

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This turned out absolutely scrumptious and the cherry compote was super easy to whip up.  You might ask, What is a compote? It’s fruit cooked in a syrup.  One of my guests kiddingly called it a “compost.”  Yeah, there’s a huge difference!  You won’t be throwing this in the trash! It makes a pretty presentation, but you won’t be looking at it for long!!

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This was a plate that sampled both desserts I made – the Upside down German Chocolate cake and the Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote.  Who could resist?

Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote

Cake:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 13 2/3 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Compote: – This would also be great spooned over ice cream or pancakes!

  • 4 cups pitted sweet cherries (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare the cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Step 3

Lightly spoon remaining 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 2 cups granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add rind, juice, and mint; beat just until blended.

Step 4

Spoon batter into prepared pan; sharply tap the pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Cut cake into 16 slices.

Step 5

To prepare compote, combine cherries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in extract. Cool. Serve with cake.

Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote
Picture credit: Cooking Light

This kind of cake freezes nicely, too.  Slice it up and put it into individual servings for guests that might drop in – or for cup of coffee that begs for something sweet to accompany it!  It’s lightened up so you won’t feel quite so bad about indulging!!

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

 

 

Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Another Date on the Scenic Route

Back in October, I introduced you to a blog idea that I want to share from time to time – it was called, Follow Us On the Scenic Route.  I am married to a man who likes to have adventures.  He enjoys scouring out new back roads, new restaurants, quaint areas of town in which to drive and activities that we would enjoy sharing together.  The holidays kept us pretty close to home, but now that the new year is upon us, we took the time for a date recently to a place not too far from home.  Come along and I’ll show you where we went!

We live in the Tri-cities area of Tennessee – meaning we’re in the Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City area.  All three cities are really ramping up their towns and there is more and more to enjoy in each place!

Last Thursday morning I was headed out the driveway when my husband motioned for me to roll down my car window.  He said,

Be ready at 4:30 this afternoon.  We’re going to dinner and a movie.

I love it when he tells me ahead of time that he has made plans for us!  I can anticipate and look forward to that date and it makes any difficult day easier to bear with that in my view!

At 4:30 we loaded up and headed towards Bristol via I-81. I had no idea where we were going for dinner, but when we pulled up to to 620 State Restaurant, I was sure it was a good choice!  Before going into the restaurant, we were lured into an adorable shop on the left.  It was full of handmade items, very reasonably priced.  We had a fun time browsing before we ventured over to 620.

Once we were seated and began looking at the menu, we learned that this place is known for their sushi.  My husband ordered a small plate of salmon/cream cheese sushi for us to enjoy before our dinner.  It was very good!!

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Sometimes just doing something fun like learning how to use chopsticks can make a date night memorable! I was impressed by Dale’s skills!

We tried to just chat about casual things and not talk about serious matters.  We needed this time together to get refreshed maritally, physically and emotionally.  What a blessing our time together was!  Going to a new place for dinner is such fun – you get stretched out of your normal routine and get to try new menu items and surroundings!

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For dinner we ordered Shrimp and Grits.  We always share an entree’ when we go out and I’m sure glad we split this meal!  It was absolutely delicious – maybe the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had!  There was plenty to share!

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We left with full stomachs and an absolute intention to return!

Bristol has lots of history with it being known as the Birthplace of Country Music.  You’ll see lots of interesting memorabilia along the streets.  The nighttime view was so pretty!

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One side of the street is Tennessee and the other side is Virginia!

Following dinner we headed to the theater to see Mary Poppins.
I’m a HUGE fan of all things Mary Poppins…(remember this from this past October?)

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so I was super-excited to finally get to see this new movie!

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Who else is always sad to see Mary flying away?  Her mission is accomplished and she must go.  **Sigh** It was a sweet movie and I was smitten with it!

More than that,though, I was smitten with a sweet husband would make the plans for a Scenic Route local adventure that could refresh our marriage and our hearts and give us another memory of roads traveled together!

If you’re in this area, you need to visit 620, and if you haven’t seen the new Mary Poppins, make plans to see it! Oh, and take a kleenex with you…just saying!

What adventures and scenic routes have you taken recently?

Refresh your marriage by taking a scenic route,

denise a

 

 

Motherhood

The Roller Coaster of Motherhood

If you’ve been a mom for more than a day you know it’s exhilarating and exhausting, fun and frustrating, joyful and jolting, breathtaking and back breaking – sometimes all in the span of 24 hours!

On my frustrating mommy days, it was helpful for me to get my focus.  Why was I doing this?  What is my goal?  Where am I headed?  What am I supposed to do each day?  It’s all in God’s Word and I found Proverbs 10:4 convicting and Deuteronomy 6:4-8 especially helpful.

This video will tell you  what I gleaned from these passages about how to survive the roller coaster of motherhood!

When are you most likely to want to turn in your “Mommy Badge?”

Refresh your role by reminding yourself of God’s plan for this season,

denise a

entertaining · hospitality

My Five Best Tips For Hosting a Dinner Party

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Hosting a group of people for dinner is something I love to do!

Laughter,

Good food,

Fellowship

are all enjoyed as we gather around the table.

We hosted a party of ten at our home this past weekend and it was such a blessing!  Here was my menu:

Beef Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas
Sweet Corn Cakes
Black Beans
Upside down German Chocolate cake
Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote

Cares are lifted as we talk, share and pray.  The burdens that were brought in are eased by the joy of coming together for a few hours, and it all happens around good food.  Hmmm, I think that is often the part that makes people afraid to host others – all the work and prep of the food.  Am I right?

I want to help with that and share with you my Five Best Tips for hosting a dinner party so you can enjoy your gathering as much as your guests!

  1. Prepare ahead as much as possible. In the menu I served this weekend, everything but the corn cakes were made ahead of time!
    1. Find a dessert you can make and freeze – Cake layers, cookies, brownies, pie crusts, biscotti – all freeze well and you’ll have one whole course of the meal done a week or more before the party!

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      Desserts made ahead of time are such a help!  This Upside-Down German Chocolate Cake is n’t pretty until you flip each piece over as you serve it, but it’s soooo good!
    2. I made Beef and Chicken Enchiladas at my recent party. I roasted the chicken and browned the hamburger several days beforehand and froze it in freezer bags.  I made the Enchilada sauce the day before.  The day of the party, all I had to do was layer the tortilla shells, meat sauce and cheese.49d48c02-32d4-4fd0-bfa6-7960691df327-16821-0000095519839c17_file8c9fea67-be38-4989-a635-b9e04aee9dfc-16821-00000957553b8d31_file
    3. Set the table the day before or early in the day.
    4. Get the coffee maker ready to perk.  The smell of coffee brewing as guests arrive is so welcoming.
  2. Keep it simpler by serving the food buffet style.  I let my guests choose where they would sit.  Their napkins and glass were at the table, but their silverware was at the end of the buffet line, ready to pick up.IMG_8590
  3. Let guests bring an item for the meal, if they offer.  At my recent party, I made the main dish, a couple sides and the dessert.  My guests brought a salad, chips and salsa, ice and beverages and ice cream.  That was a great help!
  4. Make your home cozy with candlelight.  Don’t burn the overhead lights – use lamps, high and low, strands of twinkly lights, and add jar candles around the rooms.
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  5. Don’t strive for a perfect home in which to entertain, just make sure it’s straightened up and the bathrooms are clean.  Having guests over is a good motivator to clear away clutter.  If need be, get a friend to come over and help you put things away.

Good food, a casual setting, and some good fun are all ingredients for a great time!  When you prepare these things early, you’ll enjoy the time with your guests, and that alone will make them feel truly welcome and glad you invited them over!

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What keeps you from hosting friends for dinner?

Why not refresh yourself and others by putting a dinner party on your upcoming calendar?

denise a

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Wife's Role

Positive Thoughts About Your Spouse

 

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Roses brought home to me for no reason – these are the things I need to think about!

I’m totally not a believer in the Positive thinking mentality of “Just think beautiful thoughts and beautiful things will happen to you.”  Living in a fallen, sinful world means we will deal with fallen people and sinful situations – no matter how positively we think!

However, there is an area of  marriage in which positive thinking will indeed bring about change.

Thinking on positive attributes about your spouse can change your heart about them, which then has the potential to improve your marriage!

When we rehearse the negative characteristics about our mate all day long, in our own mind and in the ears of others, we are only magnifying those issues.  If a wife stews for hours about how she disdains that her husband dresses sloppily, when she sees him at the end of the day in his comfy clothes, those mental magnifiers will jump to attention! It won’t be easier to deal with –  it will be more difficult because she’ll feel justified as she finger points in his “messy” direction.

Think how much sweeter it would be to think of ONE POSITIVE THING for which we could thank the Lord all day long.  Perhaps it would be ~

  • his thoughtfulness
  • his work ethic
  • his provision for your family
  • his attention to detail
  • his love for God
  • his skills
  •  his calm nature

Write it down.
Thank the Lord for that in your prayer time.
Write him a note telling him that you’re thankful for that area of his life.
Tell others both when he is present and when he is absent.

When we make a habit of rehearsing negative issues we’ll only feel overwhelmed and in despair.  But when we trade those thoughts for the positive traits in our spouse, we can’t help but grow to love him more.

Let me set the example – I have a husband who is a romantic at heart.  He is so great about doing the things to touch my heart.  He brings flowers.  He remembers our engagement anniversary.  He is loves to surprise me with gestures like bringing me breakfast while I’m having my quiet time.  He is such a special blessing in my life!

What one thing could you say today about your spouse?  Why not start by sharing it in the comments?

Refresh your marriage with positive thoughts!

denise a

Uncategorized

A Surprising Discovery

Have you ever discovered something that was in a totally unexpected place?  I know the (embarrassed) feeling! A discovery was made years ago and I’ve never forgotten it.  You can hear my story in the video below.

 

Keeping my kitchen drawers cleaned out is a regular chore for me now, but I pray that the spiritual lesson it taught me will be even more ingrained in my life so that nothing will get “swept into” my heart that will break my fellowship with God.

Do your spiritual life a favor and check your heart.

Did you check your silverware drawer?  How was it?

Do you daily set a pretty table for supper?  

Refresh your heart by guarding it carefully,

denise a

Main entree · salad · Side dish

Refreshing the Tossed Salad

Tossed salads are good on occasion, but I love a salad that’s full of good things – not just greens, but fruit, nuts, cheeses, and maybe some protein!

At Christmas I made up a salad for a side dish to go with our Christmas dinner.  I wanted a green salad with great flavor and some Christmas color.  I served the salad before the rest of the meal was set out.  My family raved about it.  They also said it would make a great entree’.  So, last week I decided to repeat that salad and add some roasted chicken to make it a meal. Wow.  It was so good!

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Here’s how I made it:

Christmas Salad

Spring mix
Pomegranate seeds (Here’s how to seed a pomegranate)
Gala Apples – diced
Sugared Walnuts
Honey Goat Cheese
Diced roasted chicken

Place ingredients in large bowl.  Drizzle with dressing just before serving.

Maple Dijon Dressing

1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (more To Taste)
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar (more To Taste)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper, to taste

In a small jar, mix Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.

If you want to make this as a side salad, simply omit the chicken.  I found the Honey Goat Cheese at Aldi.  If you can’t find it, you could use regular goat cheese or Feta.

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I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Muffins to go with this supper and it made a great winter dinner!

Whether you make it as a side or an entree’, I’ll bet you’ll be like me and will fix it for more than just Christmas!

Refresh the tossed salad!

denise a