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?

baking · cakes · Celebrations

My Favorite German Chocolate Cake

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The holidays usually leave all of us feeling like our jeans certainly must have shrunk in the wash, right?  Cough!  Cough!  I know I have eaten more than my share of sugar and carbs over Christmas and New Year’s and should be staring at a simple salad for the next month!  But life happens!  Things like birthdays come even after the holidays and we find the need for a great cake in order to celebrate.  If you can celebrate with tofu, I applaud you!  My family would cut my branch off the family tree! So…

Continue reading “My Favorite German Chocolate Cake”

Bread · breakfast · cakes · Cooking · dessert · Dinner · Easter · entertaining · main dish · memories · Side dish · Sunday Dinner

(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

Easter dinner 2017 a

If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.

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When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –

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Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!

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Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!

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Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!

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Coconut Cake

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One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:

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We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Dinner · Easter

Do Ahead Easter Menu

The result will be something delicious and beautiful, and you won't be exhausted!

It’s Easter week!!!!  This is my favorite holiday!  Without the resurrection, there’s no hope, no eternity in heaven, no joy for today!  But because Christ lives, we have it all!  He lives within m heart, and as a believer, I should celebrate every single day!  I will definitely celebrate on Easter!  We’ll celebrate at church this Sunday as we worship with the Galkin Evangelistic team.  We’re excited about the day/week with them at BCBC!

Let’s talk about the Easter dinner today!  Some of my favorite foods to fix for Easter are already posted here on my blog, so I thought I’d do an Easter Round-Up and share some of my favorite recipes that would make a wonderful Easter dinner, in case you need some suggestions for your menu this coming Sunday!  These aren’t just good recipes, most of them are things that can be made in advance, which will lighten your load on the weekend!

Let’s talk dessert first!  This Coconut Cake has been an Easter tradition for many years at my house.  On the link you’ll find the recipe and my instructions of how to put the cake together easily.  This cake is THE BEST!  It’s worth the effort, and if you do the steps one at a time, a few days in advance, it won’t even be that much effort!

The result will be something delicious and beautiful, and you won't be exhausted!

This frozen fruit salad is so delicious and is made ahead of time, which is always a winning recipe in my book!

 

Frozen Fruit Salad

1 can jellied cranberry or cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

2 bananas chopped in small pieces
1 c. chopped pecans
1 8-oz. container Cool Whip

Place jellied cranberries or cranberry sauce in mixing bowl and using a whisk, break it up well. Add pineapple, banana, and pecans and combine. Fold in Cool Whip.

You can put this in a 9 x 13 dish or make individual servings by placing cupcake papers in cupcake pan and filling with mixture. Freeze. When ready to serve, peel paper of and serve on a piece of leaf lettuce.

Fresh Broccoli Salad is often covered with a heavy dressing, but this one is a lighter version, but every bit as good!  We love it.  It would go well with a ham dinner.  You can mix this together the night before.

  • Fresh Broccoli Salad
  • 4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 center-cut bacon slice, cooked and crumbled (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

    Preparation
    Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine. Pour vinegar mixture over broccoli mixture; toss gently to coat.

Do-Ahead potatoes are a great time saver on Sunday.  This recipe has been a favorite of ours for about 30 years!

Gourmet Potatoes
6 medium potatoes
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 C sour cream (I used light)
1/3 C chopped onion
1 t. salt
paprika

Peel the potatoes. Leave them whole. Cook in boiling water ’til tender. Cool.
Shred potatoes coarsely. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Stir ’til melted. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream, onions and salt. Fold in potatoes and pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish.
Sprinkle with paprika on top. Refrigerate overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Lastly, if you need a great do-ahead roll, these are my very favorite.  You make them up to the point of just par-baking them, then pop them in the freezer.  They only require about 10 minutes of baking from their frozen state when you need them!  I make up half of this recipe and keep these rolls on hand for last minute dinners after the holiday meal is over!

rolls

This is Lee Drummond’s recipe.  You can find it on this post.

Working on your menu a little at a time this week will cause less stress on Sunday.  It’s all about the Lord Jesus Sunday – so make wise choices this week so you can focus on Him rather than having to fuss with the meal!

Do any of these strike your fancy?  What will you be fixing for Easter dinner?

Lovingly,