Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling and Lemon Butter Frosting

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk


Filling:

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten


Frosting:

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).

Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.

To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Honey Gingerbread Bundt Cake

3 eggs
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda (mix into coffee)
1 cup warm coffee
1 stick butter (room temperature)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
 

1.      In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract and honey until light and fluffy.

2.      Add the eggs and keep beating for another 3 mins.

3.      Pour warm coffee in a large (!) cup and add baking soda, let it bubble.

4.      In a large bowl, mix together the flour and gingerbread spice mix.

5.      With the mixer on low speed, add the coffee, alternating with the flour mixture.

6.      Pour into a small (8 inch) greased bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge October 2017

I've decide that this will be my last year documenting my items purged each month. I've been taking picture of my purges and posting them since May 2013. That's a long time. Although I've enjoyed it, it's time for me to move on to other topic. In January 2018 it'll be 7 yrs. on my journey to minimalism. I'm going to make a big push to see how many items I can get out of the house before the end of the year.

My purge was 22 items this month with a total of 390 items for the year.

My purge pile:







Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 2017 Reading List



















Virginia Brides Collection
Spoke of Love by Cathy Marie Hake
Spinning Out of Control by Vickie McDonough
Weaving a Future by Susan Page Davis

White Mountain Brides Collection by Susan Page Davis
Return to Love
A New Joy
Abiding Peace

Two-in-One (Bestselling Author Collection) 
Thanksgiving Prayer by Debbie Macomber
A Handful of Heaven by Jillian Hart


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Perfect Pound Cake


3 sticks Butter
3 cups Sugar
5 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
2 teaspoons Lemon Flavoring
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sprite, 7-UP, Or Sierra Mist

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly. Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out. Slice and chow down!

 


Thursday, October 19, 2017

My Frugal Five- The Project Edition


We've done a few bigger projects together over a couple weekends the last month. It's fun to spend time together without spending any money and our home benefits by looking better.  

We used to think that we didn't have money to do things to the house that we wanted. We have found over the last couple years that we have more money to do stuff like paint and do repairs since we aren't buying as much stuff. In some situations we're using stuff we've collected but didn't get around to using. And some repairs take a bit of time but not much money. Some things like the camper renovation or if we're completely doing a room in the house does cost some money but not as much as we had expected while we were procrastinating.  We bought a fixer upper home and it looks better every year.


1. We spent an evening washing/scrubbing the camper. We used supplies that we’ve had a long time to detail it. My husband bought and installed a new toilet in the camper.





  










2. Our DS25 moved out in March. We painted his old bedroom with paint we already had from previous projects. It took us a weekend to do. Thankfully I had started this project in June by filling holes in the walls and sanding, putting wood putty on the window trim holes and sanding, washing the walls, and priming. I hadn’t gotten to the painting until now because of doing the camper renovations before our trip in June.

 















3. We painted the inside of our camper back in June. We have leftover paint so I painted the camper bathroom this week. Not sure why I didn’t think about doing it then, but instead 4 months later. 


4. We purged and organized the shed.  This was a big project to do. We sorted out all the camper renovation leftovers that we didn’t need and put them away. We put the extra cabinet door, cushions, and stuff in the trash. We put things that were out of place back onto shelves. I sorted the big red tool box. My husband sorted his electronics. My husband purged a few of his things. We swept the floor.























5. I purged and organized the garage. This wasn’t that hard to do but took a bit of time. I put the weights that our son left behind when he moved out in March in the basement with the other weight bench and supplies. I swept the floor. I stacked wood and picked up stray debris. I hung up the yard games. I basically straighten up.






Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Basic White Cake


1 cup white sugar
12 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 12 cups all-purpose flour
1 34 teaspoons baking powder
12 cup milk

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.

2.      In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.

3.      Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Frugal Five- The Organized Edition





I did a bit of organizing over the last month. The best part is that I didn't spend any money.

1. I organized and purged unneeded or expired items in our basement food stock. I brought a few things upstairs that were needed.

 















2. I organized my grandkids toy closet.  My husband hung a shelf and I put books into it. I brought the last of the toys from the shed to the upstairs closet. I washed the totes too. 

 
















3. I organized my sewing supplies in the basement. This involved carrying items that had been in the toy closet to the basement along with putting everything onto a shelf.
















4. My husband sorted, purged and organized his closet. I sorted, purged, and organized my closet.

My husband's closet. 






















My closet.

 



















5. I sorted and organized my papercrafting supplies. I sorting a big stack of scrapbook paper that I bought over a year ago at a thrift store into piles based on color and put each color into my crate with the other sorted colors. I organized 2 of my totes on my shelves that have embellishments. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Coloring Book: Color Your Happy Home

I bought this adult coloring book in August at Wal-Mart. I really like how it has common household topic along with bucket style lists on each page. I plan to add the finished pages to my Notebooks under the relevant areas. The adult coloring books are very fun and relaxing. I'm happy that I found one that I really like that will be useful to me once completed.












Friday, September 29, 2017

Clutter Busting Challenge September 2017

This month I don't have as many pictures of my purge. My husband and I cleaned out the shed and forgot to take pictures and once we realized it we didn't feel like doing it. We purged leftover parts from our camper renovation and he purged a few of his things. I would guess overall we purged 50 items not pictured from the shed, plus the 22 items pictured, my 54 yard sale/donate items, and my husband's 11 sold yard sale items with a total of 137 items for the month. That's a big amount compared to the rest of the months in 2017 with a average of 30 items per month.

My purge pile:

















































We decide to collect some stuff to sell at the Community Yard Sale. I collected about 54 items and I'm donating all my leftovers. The guys are keeping their things to sell later on ebay or something.













Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cleaning the Camper

Shawn and I have had a great time with our camper this Summer. On Saturday, it was a nice warm day so we decided to do a bit of cleaning on the outside of our camper.. Shawn put the tire rimes back onto the camper. I scrubbed mildew/mold/gunk off the awning on the front end of the camper and removed sticker residue from all the outside windows. We removed tape residue from the front and back corners of the outside.  We washed the camper with soapy water before spraying it off. We did Rain-X on all the windows of the camper and our vehicles. We put Armor-All on the tires of the camper and our vehicles.

As we were starting to wash.
















This was after I scrubbed mildew/mold/gunk off the front end awning.



















After we finished washing. The pictures doesn't show as much difference but it was definitely dirty before we cleaned it. We bought the 1984 Foxfire camper and had it delivered to us on November 1, 2016. It's hard to tell when the last time someone has cleaned it.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 2017 Reading List

















The Treasured Brides Collection by Grace Livingston Hill
The Big Blue Soldier
Found Treasure
The Patch of Blue

Texas Charm by DiAnn Mills
Country Charm
Equestrian Charm
Cassidy's Charm
Compassion's Charm



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


·         1/2 cup butter, softened
·         4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
·         2  teaspoons vanilla extract
·         5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Yield: About 3 cups.

Change up the flavor. Prepare the recipe as directed making the following substitutions:
Almond:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon almond extract instead of the vanilla.
Chocolate: Use 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup baking cocoa and 6-7 tablespoons milk.
Lemon: Use 5-6 tablespoons lemon juice instead of the milk and 1 teaspoon grated peel.
Orange: Use 5-6 tablespoons orange juice instead of the milk and add 1 teaspoon grated orange peel.
Peanut Butter: Use 1/2 cup peanut butter instead of the butter and use 6-8 tablespoons milk.
Peppermint: Use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract instead of the vanilla.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mandarin Orange Cream Pie (aka Jello Pie)


·         1 package (3 ounces) orange or sparkling mandarin orange gelatin
·         1/2 cup boiling water
·         1-1/4 cups cold club soda
·         1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
·         1/2 cup whipped topping
·         1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, well drained
1.      In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in soda. Set aside 1/2 cup at room temperature. Refrigerate remaining gelatin mixture for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened; pour into crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
2.      Whisk whipped topping into reserved gelatin mixture. Slowly pour into crust. Arrange orange segments over the top and press down lightly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until firm. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Frugal 5 – The Entertainment Edition

1. I went on a book buying ban 3 yrs. ago and haven’t needed to buy a book yet. I read the books on my bookshelf that I already own. I had bought all the books at yard sales and thrift stores for $1 or less over the years.  I donated tons of books that were no long of my interest to a local thrift store charity that gives everything away for free. I donate the books after I finish reading them to someone who enjoys the same genre as I do.


















2. I listen to music on YouTube instead of paying for music services or buying CD’s. My favorite music is praise and worship. I’ve listened to music from my birth year of 1972 recently for fun. I’ve listened to 80’s music too.  I watch interesting videos on many topics. I’ve heard a few inspiring TED Talks lately. We’ve used YouTube to find how-to video’s to do repairs or projects around our home including sanding floors, renovating a camper, and repairing our cars. 

3. I listen to free podcast’s on topics of my interest such as finances, homemaking, and organizing.  I’ve been listening to a lot of Organize 365 over the last month. My favorites are episodes 144, 145, 147 (3 stages of organization) and a few from the productivity series (110, 112, 114, 116, 118, 120, 124). I did the Back to School Blitz week that was featured on the facebook page last month too. It was focused on preparing for fall whether you have kids in school or not.

4. I don’t watch much TV, maybe a movie once or twice a month. I like to spend a Saturday watching Hallmark Channel movies on cable every couple months.  I've recently watched Summer in the Vineyard and Eat, Play, Love. I’ve watched a couple series/movies on Netflix recently like the Grace and Frankie series and the movie series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.  I must have gotten bored with my normal routine. LOL 

5. I like to craft and I try to do a project 1-2 times a month.  I went on a craft supply buying freeze 7 yrs. ago. I had bought most of my supplies at thrift stores, yard sales, and occasionally Wal-Mart. I use what I have instead of purchasing more. It takes some thought and creativity. I find project ideas for free using library books or on-line. I painted and redid my little craft/office 2 yrs. ago. I donated all the supplies, crafts, and project that I no longer want to do. I donated all the kid science and craft kits since my children are young adults. Our 3 yrs. and 5 yrs.  grandkids love to craft and it’s the first place they head to upon entering our home.