baking · cakes · dessert

Angel Food Cake – A Perfect Spring Dessert!

Angel food cake is a perfect spring dessert. Its light texture is perfect alone or with strawberries that are in the market right now. It’s also low in calories, so if winter added a few pounds, you won’t feel guilty about indulging! I was also amazed at how few ingredients it takes to make one. There are lots of eggs, but other than that, it’s just a few other things added!

I made this last week, and there’s really no comparison to this and what you buy in the bakery department of your grocery store. The texture is so much better. Mine had a nice brown, sugar-y edge that gave it a delicious texture. My only warning is not to make this on a rainy, humid day. Beaten egg whites don’t respond with that kind of atmosphere…I speak from experience!

Here’s the simple recipe from Taste of Home ~

Angel Food Cake

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9 large)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.
  2. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake until lightly browned and entire top appears dry, 35-40 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

Eggs are usually marked lower in spring, which makes this dessert an incredible value. Give your hand a try at this wonderful cake and I doubt you’ll be buying the ones in the plastic containers at your grocers!

Bread · breakfast · cakes · Crock Pot · dessert · Make-Ahead · Pie · Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner Favorite Recipes

Favorite Recipes

In case you need a little inspiration for your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration (or for Christmas), I’m going to share some of my favorite recipes for special holiday meals.  That doesn’t mean they’re difficult or fussy, they’re simply delicious!

Everyone needs a great start to the day.   What will you serve for breakfast?  Here are a couple delicious breads:

Breakfast

Nutty Orange Coffee Cake
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C chopped pecans
2 tsp grated orange rind
8 oz. pkg reduced-fat cream cheese
2 (11 oz) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted
1 C sifted powdered sugar
1 T orange juice

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Place about 1 tsp cream cheese on half of each biscuit; fold biscuit over cheese, pressing edges to seal.
  • Dip biscuits in melted butter, and dredge in sugar mixture; place, curved side down, in a lightly greased 12-cup Bundt pan, spacing evenly.  Drizzle any remaining butter over biscuits; sprinkle with any remaining sugar mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done.  Immediately invert onto a serving plate.
  • Combine powdered sugar and orange juice, stirring well; drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve immediately. If you’re fixing this ahead, warm in oven or microwave before serving.

OR Pumpkin Scones

Now some other suggestions for your Thanksgiving Dinner:

Breads:

These are my favorite biscuits.  They’re Angel Biscuits done lighter! Now you can have another piece of pie!These are my favorite rolls.  You can make them ahead of time and stick them in the freezer to bake on Thanksgiving Day!  So easy!!

Salad:

This is a great salad that is also made ahead of time.  It has all the cranberry goodness that a Thanksgiving dinner needs!

Another easy Cranberry relish is to simply pour a can of Whole Berry Cranberry sauce into a pretty dish and break it up with a spoon.  Top with a drained can of Mandarin oranges, then topped with chopped walnuts.  So easy and so good!

Sides:

Here a few of my favorites:

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes make for an easy way to cook the potatoes while the turkey is in the oven.  You’ll mash them after they’ve been in the crockpot and just before it’s time to eat.  Leaving mashed potatoes in the slow cooker will make them runny…not the best.  But the instructions on the page I’ve linked makes it super simple and delicious!
Corn Cheese Bake is the best creamed corn you’ll ever taste!
Broccoli Corn Scallop is creamy and a nice change from the usual casserole.

Dessert:
Can we talk PIE????  This Peanut Butter Pie is over the top!  It’s also really easy!
If you want a show-stopper then Peanut Pie with Peanut Crust is for you!
Kentucky Derby Pie is our family tradition.  Someone might die if this isn’t on the counter when it’s time for dessert!I’ve shared LOTS of pumpkin recipes you can search here on my blog, but among the favorites for most people is the Pumpkin Roll.  My recipe shows step by step instructions.  You can do it!
An easy cake is the Pumpkin Crunch Cake.  It comes together in a few minutes and will remind you of a pumpkin pie in cake form!  Yum!!

Whether you’re doing the whole meal or just bringing a dish for the meal, you can cook with confidence with any of these recipes!  You know what else will help?  Pray and ask the Lord to help you make the most of your time, your resources and your heart!Whatever your plans are for Thanksgiving, I pray you will give thanks to the God Who allowed you the blessings you enjoy.  He is a God who loves you and has given His Son so you can enjoy more than a happy turkey day – He wants you to enjoy a personal relationship with Him and an eternity in heaven through trusting Christ as your Savior. What joy He brings to my life every day!

With love and blessings from my country kitchen,

cakes · Celebrations · Family life · Parenting

Girl’s Trip #2

Throwback to our first Girl’s trip.

Almost 3 years ago my girls and I took our first girl’s trip. We were celebrating my birthday then. We had so much fun, and it was such a special blessing to connect with one another, that we were excited to plan another one!

Last weekend we took our second trip to celebrate a special 30th birthday, and I’ll let you figure out who’s turning 30! We went to a spot in South Carolina that was absolutely beautiful and perfect for our two night, three day getaway!

The most important part of any time is the people with whom you share it! We get along so well and it’s just so easy to be together. How blessed I am!

The place we stayed was on the 11th hole of the golf course, and also near a beautiful lake! There were stunning views all around us!

We chose to bring food and cook supper, lunch and breakfast. We want to have good food anytime we get together! This time did not disappoint!

To celebrate the birthday, we went out to dinner one evening. The picture below was my Tomato pie. It was amazing! It’s very different from the recipe that I make, and I loved it!

For birthday cake, I brought Chocolate Orange cakes – an Ina Garten recipe that we love. We went to a beautiful gazebo at the Lakeside for our birthday party.

There were so many fun things to do! One day we spent five hours in the swimming pool and had it almost completely to ourselves. What a fun, relaxing day!

No girl’s trip is complete without some shopping, right?! Soooo…

We had intentional times of conversation, talking about important matters in each of our lives. We had times of prayer and times in God’s Word. I’m so thankful we can share those spiritual moments that knit our hearts together.

Whitney did a great job planning the location for our getaway. We are all looking forward to the next event that we can celebrate!

Have you ever had a strictly girls trip? What was the best part?

cakes · Celebrations

Celebration Cake!

Strawberry Layer Cake

Last week I mentioned our wonderful 40 anniversary celebration our daughters gave us. Our family celebrations usually always include some GREAT food. This party was no exception! After lunch we went to our daughter’s home for cake! This was a Strawberry Layer Cake from Taste of the South. I’m sharing the recipe with you today because it was fabulous, and because strawberry season is upon us! If you need a reason, this is the perfect one to buy strawberries!

Strawberry Layer Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Strawberry Frosting (recipe follows)
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • Garnish: fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (8-inch) round, tall-sided cake pans with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in 2 cups strawberries, preserves, and vanilla. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread about 1½ cups Strawberry Frosting onto one cake layer. Place about 1 cup Strawberry Frosting in a piping bag, and cut tip to create a dime-size opening. Pipe a border around edge of cake layer. Sprinkle frosting with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Layer remaining 2 cups strawberries slices in center of frosting; sprinkle again with remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining Strawberry Frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

Strawberry Frosting 
Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves or jam

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar alternately with cream, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to high. Add preserves, and beat for 1 minute.

This made a wonderful celebration cake, but you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to make it – especially if you love strawberries!

Are you a strawberry fan like I am?

cakes · dessert

Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Whipping Cream

Oh, the flavors of Christmas! Can we get enough? Surely gingerbread would be one smell and taste associated with Christmas baking. However, you don’t need to go to all the fuss of gingerbread houses or decorated gingerbread men to get that delicious, reminiscent flavor.

When I was growing up, we usually always had dessert with supper, and one treat I loved was Gingerbread Cake. I can still see the metal pan, filled with the gingery goodness. My mom would serve it topped with a dollop of whipping cream. Yum; it made the house smell so good, and it tasted even better.

I was glad to find a recipe from Cooking light for a Gingerbread cake that took me back to my childhood. This recipe has a Lemon Glaze to pour over it, if you wish. I’ve made that and love it, but for December, I’m sticking to whipping cream as the garnish! It only takes a few minutes to whip this together!

Gingerbread Cake
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup hot water
1 cup light or dark molasses
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
 Cooking spray
Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine butter and hot water in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until the butter melts. Add molasses and egg, and stir with a whisk until blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Add flour mixture to the molasses mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 9-inch cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

For Glaze: Combine sugar and lemon juice, stirring until well blended. Pierce top of gingerbread liberally with a wooden skewer. Pour glaze over gingerbread. Cool completely.

Top each serving with the whipped topping. Sprinkle gingerbread with cinnamon and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

I love serving this warm and then topping it with fresh whipping cream and a dusting of cinnamon. This would make a great weeknight dessert to serve to your family. Why not put it on your menu for this week and add some Christmas-y smells and tastes to your supper meal? It would make a great memory recipe for your family!

What recipe evokes memories from your childhood?