Home decor · Home making

Kitchen Update and a Homemaking Tip

 

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There’s a project that I’ve wanted to do in my kitchen from the day we moved in.  There was no backsplash, and oh, how I knew I needed one!  Splatters from the stove, sink and electric skillet were making a non-removable mess.  We waited until the resources were available to go ahead, and the time was NOW!

I’m really pleased with the results and think it updated the kitchen and also really gave it a completed look (not that there aren’t other projects on my list!).  I’m sharing some before and after photos on my video today.

Also on my video is my way of keeping the stove and oven clean.  I admit that I have a bit of a fetish about a clean oven (ask my girls!), but to me it’s not only an important safety factor, but a clean stove top and oven help the kitchen look clean and inviting.  I often use high temps when I’m cooking and I don’t want the remaining grease and splatters getting hot.  It only takes me a matter of minutes each time I clean it out!  My tips are easy to do.

Here’s the video and pics of my kitchen update!

Is there a project you’re wanting to do in your kitchen?  It’s worth the wait!  Keep dreaming but then also praying for God to provide!

denise a

 

cakes

Show-Stopper Carrot Cake

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Not only am I going to share my Show-Stopper Carrot Cake recipe today, I’m also going to let you in on a few favorite tips for cake making that just might turn you into a  Cake Baking Pro!

Baking cakes takes a little patience but if you make the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them, you can break up the process into doable portions so you don’t feel overwhelmed with being in the kitchen for five hours baking AND decorating the cake.

I first found this recipe in our local Indiana newspaper in 1989.  This recipe won an Continue reading “Show-Stopper Carrot Cake”

Encouragement · obedience

When You Just Want To Quit

We all experience times when we know we’re doing what God has called us to do, but the going gets tough…really tough, and we would just as soon quit as keep trudging along on this difficult path.  I have found myself there recently, but the Lord has brought me great encouragement through the familiar story of Moses and the Children of Israel as they desired to leave Egypt.

Today’s video will recount some of the hardships this humble servant Moses encountered and then how God encouraged him.  These same truths can encourage you and me when we face opposition on our road of obedience.

Which truth encourages you to stay on the path and not quit?

God is at work; I won’t quit! How about you?

denise a

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