Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Is Under That Frosting? Chocolate Cake

What is under that frosting?

Isn't that hilarious? I sure don't get my cake decorating abilities from my Grandmother.

She was a professional cake decorator for 40 years.

Under that frosting is the most delicious chocolate cake you will ever eat.

I promised my mom that I would never give out her chocolate cake recipe, but one thing that I have learned over the last few days, you cannot take anything with you when it is your time to leave this earth.

I have decided to share my mom's recipe. And I know she would agree with my thoughts.

I lost my dear sweet grandmother June 24th. She lived a long happy life of 90 years.

She has always been my idol, and she was my inspiration for cooking and baking.

I never wanted my Grandmother to leave. I wanted her with me forever. She is the most amazing woman I have ever known in my lifetime. She loved life, she loved everyone around her, she never judged, and she always found the strength to rise above misfortune.

In this picture are her grandchildren. There are only two missing.

The day after my Grandmother's passing we had a birthday to celebrate.

This little guy (Ashton) turned 6 years old.

We all had to put on a brave face and make sure Ashton's birthday was celebrated appropriately.

We spent the day at the lake with fun in the water....


Paddle boat rides.....

And playing in the sand....

And lots of comfort foods, which we all needed (chocolate cake, ice cream, hot dogs, and potato chips).

This recipe is linked to:

Mom's Chocolate Cake

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
6 TBS cocoa
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
Mix together and set aside.

2 TBS vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. hot water
1/2 c. plus 1 TBS melted butter
Combine with first mixture. Pour into a 9x13 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes (exactly 35 minutes).

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."
John 5:24

"Eternal life" - living forever with God - this begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior. At that moment, new life begins in you. It is a completed transaction. You still will face physical death, but when Christ returns again, your body will be resurrected to live forever. I know my grandmother will live forever....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Secrets: Tomato Bread

How exciting! I was picked and featured at Lark's Country Heart in the top three picks for Made it on Monday.

Lark has some awesome recipes to share. Make sure you visit her, spend some time with her, and save some of her recipes. She has many recipes in MY saved recipe's file.
I just have to find the time to make them.
She inspired me to make an amazing peach cobbler. A keeper that will be made many times over.

Lark's Country Heart

Well folks, the time has come for me to give up my tomato bread recipe. Well, not my recipe but I will give out the original.

I have to keep the secrets that I added to this recipe a secret (or I wouldn't have people calling for this bread).

My sister-in-law gave me the cookbook that is pictured above. She was on vacation and thought of me during her vacation. She brought this book home to me, and I am so glad she did.

The tomato bread recipe has been tweaked and changed to my liking (and so many other's liking).

I started making this bread when I was attending the Farmer's Market in my area. The bread is so unique and flavorful that customers returned looking for more.

It got to the point where I was making six loaves of bread just to take to the Farmer's Market (sold out every time), and there were people calling for special orders.

A friend of mine called me before Father's Day to see if I would make her some tomato bread so she could give it to her Dad for Father's Day.

This bread makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich.

How can something that looks like a total mess turn into something amazing?

After it is kneaded it all comes together and looks like this.

On the rise here.

But like I said, I can't supply my recipe. You will have to tweak and create this to your own liking.
Grab the recipe and run....

I turned to my Facebook family and did a survey on the tomato bread (Share the recipe/not share the recipe). Share the recipe won (imagine that...).

This recipe is linked to:


Lark's Country Heart

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Hero! Peach Cobbler

Oh Lark, Lark, are definitely my hero.

This peach cobbler is out of this world fantastic!!

You will have to head over to Lark's Country Heart and check out all the other fantastic recipes she supplies.

I spotted a chocolate cinnamon cobbler while I was there, and I am definitely going to try that one too.

Thank you for sharing Lark.

Lark's Country Heart

My only regret with this recipe is, I wish I would have sliced my peaches instead of leaving them in halves.

That photo kind of looks like floating eggs, huh?

This is definitely the old fashioned cobbler that I remember as a kid. It has a cake texture along with all the gooey goodness of a cobbler.

Absolutely amazing!

This recipe is linked to Ingredient Spotlight at:

I had to show you the gooey goodness.

Eaten warm, topped with whipped cream.....Oh my goodness! Cobbler Heaven!

You can see that I made sure this was eaten warm. My whipped cream is starting to melt.

There was only a couple changes I made, and I hope you don't mind Lark.

You can't eat peaches without nutmeg. I do believe there is a law written somewhere.

Peach Cobbler
Inspired by Lark's Country Heart

1 stick margarine
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. milk
1 (29 oz.) can sliced peaches, juice reserved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt margarine then set aside. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients.
Pour melted margarine into the dry ingredients. Stir until margarine is blended (mixture will be clumpy).
Pour the milk and vanilla extract in, and blend until smooth (I used a whisk).
Pour the mixture into a sprayed 9x13 baking pan.
Place the peaches on top of the batter.
Pour the peach juice over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.
Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
Top with whipped cream while still warm.

"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage, if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
Romans 12:6-8

Lark's gift pretty much meets all of thee above (to me anyway). God gives us gifts so we can build up his church. To use them effectively, we must realize that all gifts and abilities come from God; understand that not everyone has the same gifts; know who we are and what we do best; dedicate our gifts to God's service and not to our personal success; be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God's service. God's gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to His wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us. Thank you for your servicing gift Lark. You definitely bring a joy to others.

Monday, June 27, 2011

USDA: Western Style Ribs with Chocolate Ketchup

Do you remember me telling you that I am going to try the chocolate ketchup on ribs?

Well, I did it....

And it was fantastic!

My plate doesn't come anywhere close to matching the USDA food pyramid, but it was good anyway.

Have you seen the changes that have been made to the food pyramid?

My thoughts, "It's about damn time...."

I never liked the food pyramid. How do they expect people to stack their food in a pyramid?

The "My Plate" is so much easier to follow (user friendly), and if you go to their Web Site you can click on the plate to create your own with the appropriate food choices. I think they have done a great job, and this newness about them, it will surely make dieting easy.

Western Style Ribs with Chocolate Ketchup

1 pkg. western style ribs
season with lemon pepper

Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Place ribs in shallow baking dish with a lid. Season with lemon pepper, add water to the dish till the ribs are almost covered. Place lid on dish, place in oven and bake for 2 hours. Remove from oven, drain almost all liquid (I leave just a little in the bottom). Spread the chocolate ketchup over the ribs, cover, and return to oven for 30 minutes.

"If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,"
Jeremiah 7:5

Change! Do we really need to? Do we like it? Change can sometimes make life so much easier, more understandable, just like the change with the USDA food pyramid. My plate has just become easier to use and create.
We can easily change....attend church, take communion, teach church school, sing in the choir - All are empty exercises unless we are truly doing them for God. Change becomes habit, habit becomes a part of our life, and trusting and being truthful to God is just a small step.
If I can do it, anyone can.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last Call For Alcohol: Popped Cherry

Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel the need for an alcoholic beverage?

I have had one of those days!

The stress of everyday life has drove me to the need for relaxation.

I am not a drinker, but sometimes I really need a mood change. Do ya know what I'm talk'n about?

This drink not only hit the spot for my mood change, but it was quite refreshing (and I drank 2).

This is the perfect summertime drink.

Jam Hands

How cool is that?? I was featured at Jam Hands. My zucchini cupcakes were chosen to be featured.

Popped Cherry

1 c. ice
1 oz. maraschino cherry juice
2 oz. cherry vodka
4 oz. orange juice
3 maraschino cherries

Fill a glass with 1 cup ice, pour in the cherry juice, vodka, and orange juice. Stir to mix, and garnish with maraschino cherries.

"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper."
Proverbs 23:29-32

The soothing comfort of alcohol is only temporary, and makes us feel comfortable for a little while. Real relief comes from dealing with the cause of stress or anguish by turning to God for peace. Don't lose yourself in the drowning midst of alcohol, find yourself in God.

This recipe is linked to:
Foodie Friends Friday

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Own Holiday: Pickled Eggs and Beets

Yes, I am having my very own holiday (because I want to). These are usually served around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

This is one of my favorite foods, and when I get a craving for them I make them (no holiday necessary).

I think that jar of pickled eggs and beets looks gorgeous, and I can't wait for them to sit for a couple days to soak up the flavors.

I could only wait 18 hours and I indulged.... a little bit too early, but I enjoyed it anyway.

This recipe came from a friend of mine (an ex coworker that I spent many years with).

Jill would treat me every time she made these. I loved them so much that she gave me the recipe.

Pickled Eggs and Beets

4 - #2 cans of beets
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of sugar
4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
dash of pepper

Bring all of the above to a boil (not the beets just the juice). Let cool and pour over beets and eggs. Chill and let sit for a couple days.

"The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives."
Proverbs 27:21

Praise tests a person, just as high temperatures test metal. How does praise affect you? Do you work hard to get it? Do you work harder after you receive it? Our attitude toward praise tells a lot about our character. Most people of high integrity are not swayed by praise. We are attuned to our inner convictions, and we do what we should whether or not we are praised for it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Second Time: Stuffed Peppers

Can you believe it? I finally won a blog give-away....I was so excited when Angela from Alternative Tastes contacted me about this great package (mustard, marinade, and vinaigrette dressing) that I had won. I promised her that I would find ways to use these products, and I did.

I used the Tarragon Lemon Mustard in this stuffed peppers recipe. You will find the link to the recipe below. Just replace the mustard amount with Saucy Mama, Tarragon Lemon Mustard.

This is one of my favorite meals.

And can you believe this is the first time I have doubled a post since August of last year?

Today I just wanted to share the pictures. If you would like the recipe for this, go here. This recipe was last posted August of 2010. Who knows, you might even get a chuckle since the recipe was posted almost a year ago....
I wasn't really sure about my public technique in blogging yet.

Through my year of blogging, I have found out that the technique should remain simple....


Help me out here fellow bloggers.....

Funny stories are encouraged....

Heart-to-hearts are loved......

And pictures are the best (I love to see what I'm making)......

I love taking pictures of produce. Especially colorful produce. Aren't those peppers just awesome?

I love the vibrant colors and fresh looking-ness.

I hope you enjoyed my picture presentation of my colorful peppers.

And the meal was good again too.

"How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!"
Psalm 47:2

The Lord Most High is awesome beyond words, but this didn't keep Bible writers from trying to describe Him. And it shouldn't keep us from talking about Him either. We can't describe God completely, but we can tell others what He has done for us. Don't let the indescribable aspects of God's greatness prevent you from telling others what you know about Him.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stacks? Tomato Stacks

Have you ever seen this done before?

What a great idea!!

Perfect for summertime lunches.

And you can stack them with just about anything (bacon crumbles, pesto, feta cheese, olives, etc...). The stacking ingredients could be endless.

Have you tried the Bolthouse Farms vinaigrette's yet?

Oh my goodness....I want to try them all.

The one in this recipe is Raspberry Merlot, and it is out of this world delicious.

There is only 30 calories per serving, calories from fat 5, sodium 50 mg., carbs 6 g., and sugars 5 g. And did you see the 40 mg. of omega - 3 on the front of the bottle?

All natural - No preservatives

The Raspberry Merlot is the bomb on a spinach/strawberry salad.

This is what I did:

I sliced a tomato and layered lettuce, minced sweet onion, and cottage cheese in between the tomato slices. I then topped it off with Bolthouse Farms Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette.

What a great lunch!

Here are a couple more pictures for you to see the greatness....

This post is linked to:


"For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything."
Hebrews 3:4

Because Christ lives in us as believers, we can remain courageous and hopeful to the end. We are not saved by being steadfast, creative, and firm in our faith, but our courage and hope do reveal that our faith is real. Without this enduring faithfulness, we could easily be blown away by the winds of temptation, false teaching, or ill-usage.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Longing For: Raisin Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes I long for a good sturdy cookie, and then other times I have to have the soft, melt in your mouth kind.

Today was a "sturdy" day.

These cookies are the perfect combination of crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside. I am very impressed with the results.

I used a fork dipped in powdered sugar to flatten the cookie dough mounds (which gives them a little more outside crunch).

Sometimes I long for a coffee-dunker cookie. These definitely hold true to the coffee dunk. Very, very yummy....

They even hold true to the milk dunking technique. And I'm sure these would be amazing crumbled on top of a parfait. HUMMMM....I may have to try that.

You may have a parfait coming your way..?..?..

This recipe is linked to:


Mandy‘s Recipe Box


Lark's Country Heart


Raisin Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter, room temp
1 c. lightly packed, light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 c. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 c. golden raisins
1 c. English toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I used baking stones, and the toffee caused them to stick a little. Not bad though).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift the four, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in oats. Stir in raisins and toffee bits just until combined.
Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheets, spacing the cookies two inches apart. Flatten slightly with fork dipped in powdered sugar. Bake for 11 - 13 minutes (on stones, mine took 18 minutes), (I took mine out of the oven when the edges were browned). Transfer the cookies after sitting a few minutes on baking sheets to a cooling rack.

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:13-14

We have done things which cause us to feel ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don't dwell on the past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with Him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ.


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