Seven Minute Frosting

Seven Minute Frosting

My Aunt Sara has always been an excellent baker. Her kids always had the prettiest homemade birthday cakes when we were growing up. The cakes that mama made for John and me were equally delicious, but that’s not what stood out to me as a kid.

On a recent visit with Aunt Sara, I left with a box full of goodies. I left her house with cake decorating tools, cookbooks, and a variety of cake pans, cupcake papers, and decorations and a few handwritten recipes. One of the recipes that she shared with me was this super easy Seven Minute Frosting that her daughter-in-law gave her.

I used the Seven Minute Frosting on a chocolate cake that I recently made for a baby shower. It turned out beautiful and delicious. My cousin, who happened to be the honoree, compared it to the hostess cupcakes that she has been craving!

 

Seven Minute Frosting
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar, eggs whites, and water in a double boiler. Beat with a electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add the marshmallow creme and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Frost 3-layer cake with frosting.

 

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Nutella French Toast

nutella-french-toast

 

When I sat down to write this article, I did not plan for it to become so personal. I mention friends and family a lot because they are part of what makes me who I am. Sometimes not all that great, I still need a lot of work, but mostly okay. Today’s article gives you a glimpse of just how ordinary my life is. I hope you don’t mind that I shared this with you.

Valentine’s Day, the day of love and romance, is just around the corner. Valentine’s day has certainly changed for me over the years. As a young married couple with limited funds for extravagances, Greg and I tried to make the day special. There were never any fancy meals in the budget, but we could usually swing a card, and Greg would always come home with a single rose for me.

Fast forward ten years and it became all about the kids. Buying Valentine’s for school and decorating shoe boxes. Making heart shaped pancakes and buying stuffed animals.

After 29 years of marriage, with grown kids, what will Valentine’s Day entail for us this year? I would say we are as romantic as the next couple. However, when I tell you how we will most likely spend Valentine’s day, you may wonder about that. We don’t usually buy cards or gifts. We will wish each other a Happy Valentine’s Day as I hand Greg his coffee, give him a kiss, and he walks out the door for work. We will probably use the day as an excuse to have dinner out if Greg gets home from work early enough. It will be nice and quite, and we will enjoy spending time together, whether we make it to a restaurant for or if we sit at home and watch a few Andy Griffith show reruns. It’s life, it’s not fancy, in fact, it’s mostly downright chaotic. It’s learning to be content and happy in those “not so fancy” times that has made this marriage work for 29 years, though.

So, Greg, if you happen to read my article (or blog) this week, I want you to know I love you and I love our life together. God blessed the kids and me by giving us you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you want to make more than a cup of coffee for your Valentine, this Nutella French Toast is a wonderful way to start any day. It is certainly simple enough to make on a weekday morning, but it’s fancy enough for a wonderful weekend treat as well. This French toast is delicious topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or bananas.

Nutella French Toast
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 8 (1/2-inch) thick slices brioche or challah bread
  • 8 tbsp. Nutella spread, divided
  • Powdered sugar, divided
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and salt. Working in batches, melt some butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and quickly transfer to the skillet. Cook 2 slices of the bread until golden brown, and then flip over and cook the other side. Spread approximately 2 tbsp. of the Nutella on 1 piece of bread and place the other piece of cooked bread on top to enclose the chocolate spread. Gently press so that the pieces stick together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

 

 

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Gingerbread Loaf

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gingerbread-loaf-1

 

Christmastime for most of us is filled with traditions. Traditions are a big part of what makes the season so special to me. Many of those traditions revolving around food. When the kids were small, we always baked cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are older now but I still bake cookies on Christmas Eve. Christmas candy is something my mama always made, and I have continued that tradition at my house.

My kids decorated a gingerbread house every year when they were younger. Wes stopped doing helping with that in his early teens, but Savannah continued, and we had a gingerbread house in the center of the table every year. That is, until last year. With Savannah’s busy schedule she just could not find the time to decorate one last year. I’m not going to lie. The table looked a little lonely and sad.

This year I have decided to change up the tradition a bit. We will have gingerbread at the house but in a different form. I will be making this delicious gingerbread loaf to snack on during our time together. This loaf fills the house with a wonderful aroma as it bakes. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a snack, or even for dessert. It also makes a great gift for neighbors and coworkers.

In testing this recipe I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup sorghum syrup. Sorghum is not quite as strong as molasses, and therefore a better choice for my family.

Gingerbread Loaf
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ c. molasses
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk (more if needed)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice,and cloves.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. (Mixture may look curdled.)
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. For glaze: Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
  7. If desired decorate the top with chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or whole fresh cranberries.
Notes
In testing this recipe, I used ½ c. molasses plus ¼ c. sorghum syrup.

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Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake

applesauce-cake

I have always been more of a pound cake baker than a layer cake baker.  I’m not sure exactly why.  Maybe it’s because they are just so darn easy and they tend to get better with time.  My favorite pound cake recipes seem to get moister the longer they sit.

Here’s a wonderfully moist cake that I love making this time of the year.  I prefer to use my homemade applesauce but any applesauce will work.  It is not only delicious but it is lovely when sprinkled with powdered sugar and would be beautiful on a holiday dessert table!

Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 c. no-sugar applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan well and place it on a large baking pan, set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking pan/bundt pan onto middle rack in preheated oven. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely before inverting on a cake plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

 

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