Monday, March 24, 2014

The BEST Caramel Cake

I had bought a book called, Southern Cakes a couple of years ago. I LOVE cookbooks!! Last week I got this one out and looked through it and saw this cake. I have been trying to find a good caramel cake for a couple of years. This one is IT!!  The cake will now be my go to recipe for a yellow cake. It's so moist and light and it isn't crumbly like a lot of homemade cakes.  The icing is so easy to make and it's so good!! 
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Caramel Icing
4  cups brown sugar
3/4  cup butter
10 TBS evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 and grease and flour 2 nine inch pans.
Put the butter and milk in a small pan and heat until melted. Set aside.
Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, put the eggs and sugar and beat on high  until thick and light yellow in color. Stir in the flour mixture until the flour disappears. Add vanilla to the milk and butter mixture and then pour into cake batter. Mix well. Pour into the cake pans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. (Trust me to take the 15 minutes or it WILL stick to the pans!) Remove from pans to wire rack.
When completely cool, make icing and spread quickly.

 To make icing:
Put the sugar, butter, vanilla and evaporated milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and adjust the heat so that the frosting boils gently. Let it cook for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let it set 10 minutes. Take a wooden spoon and beat it for 2-3 minutes. Ice the cake. If it begins to get  hard and  you can't spread it easily, add a little more evaporate milk over a very low heat.  Stir to soften.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Funglish - Another Fun Family Game

One of my daughters was introduced to this game a couple of weeks ago and she loved it, so we bought it. It is SO much fun. You have  to pick a card with some words on it and you have 3 minutes to see if you can get your team mates to guess what you are describing, by  putting words on the board. The top section is for words that are" Definitely" describing it, the second section is for 'Kind Of"' and the last section is for 'Not".  You have all kinds of little cards with describing words and you can't say a word while you are putting them on there, you just keep adding words until they guess it.  Like one I had was 'shark', so I put the color words for gray, then human on the not section and so on. Your team mates ask questions and guess while you are putting the words on there, so as you nod your head one way or the other, they figure it out.  It's sort of like the game Taboo, but instead of describing it by speaking, you are adding descriptive words to the board and not talking at all. This is definitely a fun family game!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Good News About CVS

I read here this morning that CVS is going to stop selling tobacco products. This is GOOD news. This company is going to lose a lot of money due to this decision.  The bible says the love of money is the root of all evil.  I am very thankful that CVS is doing this and I am going to write them a brief note telling them how much I appreciate their stand and their willingness to lose money to do the right thing. I want them to know that I appreciate this move!
If you too would like to let this company,  here is their address:

CVS Corporation
Customer Relations
One CVS Drive
Woonsocket,  RI  02895

Monday, February 3, 2014

Herb Corn

My oldest daughter tried this while out in OK a few months ago and she loved it, so she made it for us.  We really liked it. It's a new but simple twist on corn.
16 oz can kernel corn
2 TBS butter
1 TBS  parsley
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Drain the water from the can of corn.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and add all ingredients. Heat through and serve.
SO easy!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Very Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are literally THE best chocolate chip cookies I have ever eaten. I found the recipe on Pinterest and she gives all the tips for making these perfect, every time. They are soft and chewy, even the next day. You have to plan ahead though, because they have to be refrigerated for 2 hours before baking them. You don't even need a mixer! I just melt the butter in a large enough pan and mix it all up in there. I don't premix my flour, baking soda and salt either. I just put it in the pan all at once and stir. Make sure to melt the butter. My daughter made them with just softened butter and it makes them more cakey, than chewy.  And here is where the original recipe is posted, where you can read all the extra tips that make these, the perfect cookie.

  • 2- 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour, measured correctly
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup  light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup  chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
    Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
    In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
    Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
    Roll the dough into balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough each. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will allow the balls to stay intact. Roll the cookie dough balls to be taller rather than wide, to ensure the cookies will bake up to be thick. See this post for more clarity and a photo. Put 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips/chunks on top of the dough balls for looks, if desired. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and underbaked. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 whole days at room temperature. Cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months and baked in their frozen state for 12 minutes.

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    The Purpose of Making Money

    When I was a teenager, I worked for just one dollar an hour and I thought that was good! When I turned 16, I quit school and got a factory job and I thought that was really good money. But then I got married and  had to pay bills and then we had a family. For many years the goal of making money was just to get the bills paid before they were late. I was not raised in a Christian home, so I had never been taught the purpose of money and what God thinks about it. As long as I had the mind set of making money to pay the bills, well, there was just never enough. We always seemed to need more for one thing or another. But then, God did a work in my heart.  He showed me that it was not our money at all, but that it all belonged to him. Some people think giving 10% to God is a lot, but it's all his. If we had no money and we had to live off of someone else for a while, we wouldn't just go out and buy every thing we wanted at the spur of a moment. We would make sure we needed it and that we got the best price and that we asked the giver of the money what he thought. The money God gives to us, is his. We should ask him before we spend. We should  ask ourselves if God would be pleased with what we are buying. How many of us  waste so much money, that we could give to missions or a ministry or our church?  I have a totally different view of money.  Instead of eating out I think, "I could give that to a missionary!" What things could we do without, that we don't really need?  What things do we buy, that are just selfish indulgences? The way we spend our money, shows God where our hearts are. What do you spend your money on? Do you see it as God's money or yours?  When we stand before God, is he going to be happy with the way we spent the money he gave us while here? Will there be any eternal rewards because we sacrificed something we wanted to give to further God's kingdom? 

    Saturday, July 20, 2013

    Don't Waste a Good Problem

    I was listening to yet another sermon by Otto Koning and he made a good statement, that has stuck with me for several days now that offered me a solution  to handling some problems.. If you have never heard this man, please rush right over to this site and sign up. You can listen to the first one for free. It's an amazing story of what God taught him in a very bad situation. He has many such stories to tell. You will NOT be bored and God will speak to you through this man.  This particular one, he was talking about how to handle the hard problems that come our way. He said, "Don't waste a good problem."  God gave us his word, not just to show us how to be saved, but to help us solve every problem we have. So many times we worry and fret over something, but we need to go to the word of God and find the solution. Nothing is new to God and there are no new problems and there are no new solutions. The word has the answer.  A lot of Christians go to church and read their bibles, but they don't apply the scriptures to find the solutions to every day problems. God doesn't want us to just go to him for the big things in our lives. He gave us his word to grow by, to live by and to help us resolve conflicts. Got problems? We all do. God has the solution. You just have to read it and apply it. 

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    How to Deal With People Who Push Your Buttons

     We ALL have to deal with people who push our buttons. Some people try to make you mad, some try to get pity  ALL the time. There is all kinds of ways people push our buttons. Some people we can just stay away from or we don't have to see them that much, but then there are some people that we can't. Like a spouse, child, extended family member, co worker etc. These people we do have to be around. They can drive us crazy with it all, but we can't get away from them, so what are we to do? This book has the answer.   If every person read this book and applied it,  people could start having good relationships and people could really love each other. There is a deep rooted reason why people push others buttons, whether it's from past hurts or the need for love or for control. This book helps you to see that you can be part of the problem, keeping them in this button pushing mode. He also tells you how to handle it, in a loving way, to help the other one. I can't recommend this book enough. 

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Angry With God?

    For many years I would have NEVER admitted out loud that I was angry at God. I never even admitted it to myself.  This writer's grandmother went through some terrible things in her life, starting with the 
    Armenian Genocide where she witnessed her father and brother killed and then her sister died on the long, desert march. There's more to her story of sorrow. She was so bitter at God until right before she died. The granddaughter wants to find some answers as to why God lets such things happen to people and how they are to handle it. I think about the three girls who were taken and lived in that house for 10 years and 
    Jaycee Dugard, who was held for 17 years.  I think of people who suffer physically, every waking moment of their lives. We all know someone who has tragedy in their life. How many times have we heard that we just need to have faith and trust God? We do, but that doesn't quench the anger we feel. Anger is not always acting out, screaming or throwing things. As this author explains, we can be angry and no one will know. No one except God, that is. One statement the author makes is this: "To say 'don't worry, be happy' in the face of tragedy is not faith, but emotional anesthesia." How true!! But what do we do with the anger we feel towards God? This book has the answer. I've underlined more things in this book than any I've read in the past couple of years. There are examples of people who got angry at God in the bible. He didn't strike them dead or tell them to not feel anything. He gave us emotions. We are not to be bitter at God or angry either. But some times we need help in figuring out just how to get that anger out. If you or someone you know has been through something very hard, there is probably anger there, that is unresolved. This book can help. 

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    THE Best Garlic Bread

    A woman invited us over for a cookout a couple of years ago and made this garlic bread. She was worried that it was too much garlic, but it was just right!  I've been making it just this way ever since. It really is the BEST garlic bread I've ever eaten.

    1 loaf of French bread
    2 sticks softened butter
    1 rounded tsp. garlic salt ( Lawry's  is the BEST kind)
    1 rounded tsp. garlic powder
    1 rounded tsp. minced garlic
    1 rounded tsp. Chives
    Put the butter in a bowl and add spices. Mix together.
    Cut the French loaf into one inch slices, but not cutting all the way through. Put it on a baking sheet and spread some butter on each side. Bake at 450 for about 7-10 minutes, depending on your oven.
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