Friday, May 28, 2010



May ' 10  

Esther's Orange Marmalade Cake

For the Cake~

1 C.  butter, softened, more for greasing the pans

3 1/4 C. cake flour, more for dusting the pans

1 T. baking powder

1 t. salt

2 2/3 C. sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2/3 C. vegetable oil

1 T. grated orange zest

2 t. vanilla extract

1 C. buttermilk

For the Orange Syrup

1 C. freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 C. sugar

For the filling

1 (12 oz.) jar orange marmalade

For the Frosting

1 C. heavy cream, chilled

4 T. sugar

1 C. sour cream

For the Cake~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter three 9-inch round cake pans and line them with parchement paper, then lightly butter and flour the parchment, shaking out any excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into large bowl.  Sift a second time into another bowl.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light in color, about 4 minutes.  Add the 2 2/3 C sugar in a steady stream with mixer running.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Be sure to stop at least once to scrape down the sides of mixing bowl.  After all eggs have been added, continue to beat for 1 minute.  In small bowl combine the orange zest, vanilla and buttermilk.  Add 1/2 the dry ingredients to the egg and butter mixture along with half of the buttermilk mixture.  Fold to incorporate.  Add remaining dry ingredients and remaining buttermilk mixture.  Fold to incorporate, scraping down sides of mixing bowl.

Pour cake batter evenly into the three prepared cake pans, smooth surface, rap pan on countertype to remove air bubbles.  Place in oven.  bake 30-35 minutes until cakes test done.  Let cakes cool in pans for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

For the Orange Syrup~

In small bowl stir together the orange juice and 1/4 C sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  While cakes are still in the pans, use a skewer or toothpick to poke holes in tops of cakes.    Spoon syrup over each cake top, allowing syrup to be completely absorbed before adding the remaining syrup.  Let cakes cool completely in pans before frosting.

For  the Frosting~

In chilled mixing bowl using a wire whisk, whip the heavy cream with 4 T. sugar until stiff peaks form.  Add the sour cream, a little at a time and whisk until the mixture is  of spreadable consistency.

To Assemble the Cake~

Invert one of the cake layer to  a cake plate and careful peel off parchment.  Spread 1/3 marmalade mixture over top smoothing into and even layer.  Repeat with second layer.  On third layer spread marmalade mixture to within 1 1/4 inch from side, leaving a border of plain cake.  Frost sides with cream frosting, frost the top border with cream frosting.  Chill cake two hours before serving.


Chili Pie

to any homemade or canned chili....

In prepared casserole dish spread chili,  top with (thawed)frozen hashbrown potatoes dot with 2 T. butter, cover potatoes with 1C. shredded cheddar.  Bake35 minutes until hot and bubbly.


Confetti Crab Salad

1/2 C. mayonnaise

2 T. lemon juice

1/2 t. mustard

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 T. fresh chopped dill

1 T. fresh chopped tarragon

1 T. fresh chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound lump crab meat

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, peeled, diced

8-12 lettuce leaves for presentation and serving

*Mix together first 8 ingredients in medium large bowl.  Gently fold in crab, and vegetables.  Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.


Asian Peanut Noodle Salad


1/2 C. smooth peanut butter

1/4 C. soy sauce

1/3 C. water

2 T. rice vinegar

2 T. toasted sesame oil

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. minced, peeled, fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced fine

1/2 to 1 1/2 T. red pepper flakes

Puree all ingredients in food processor.  Set aside.

*For Salad

2 pounds , boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cooked, and shredded

12. oz. thin spaghetti, cooked, drained, slightly warm

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced

1 C. red grapes, halved

1/2 C. fresh cilantro, for garnish if desired. 

Toss all ingredients together in bowl.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serve.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Thursday!

Outside My Window~  It is so much cooler today than it was yesterday!  About 25 degrees cooler!  I love this is hoovering around 70, feeling just right. 

I am thinking~ I am thinking and dreaming.  Having dreams for a later date.  What does Beth think about?  This...

and this....

or maybe this color??


 and this... 1997 Dutchmen Duck 801 (If we owned this little guy, we'd mount it on a flat bed trailer and make it a dirt bike hauling, tent trailer.)

From the kitchen~  Hoagies are on the menu.  Not sure if we'll have those.  I was going to make the hoagie buns.  I cooked yesterday expecting company for dinner before church.  My company couldn't make it and my house was so very hot.  I made Spaghetti, green salad and rosemary bread.  I am not wanting to heat the house up again by having the oven on.  I am too lazy to go to the store for buns!

I am thankful for~   My yard.  I am enjoying puttering around the flowers and my small garden.

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(They may look like weeds but they are supposed to be wildflowers from seed.  The roses to the left and to the right of the feeder are knockout roses.  In two years they should fill most of this bed and be full of flowers.)

I am wearing~     A purple tee with a flower design, green capri's and bare feet with no toe polish!

I am creating~   NOTHING!!

I am going~ Not going anywhere.   I am thankful that piano lessons are almost over for summer break.  We are trying to go see Alison and the girls tomorrow afternoon. 

I am reading~  In This Mountain by Jan Karon... The Mitford Series  I also found the Mitford cookbook at my library!  It has the recipe for the Marmalade Cake!  Wasn't what I was expecting it to look like!  (I love this series!)

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I also found another recipe book.  Not sure I have read any of this gals books however.  (Click on the cookbook to take you to her web sight)

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I am praying~ Just Praying.  Praying for Marie,  April Jo and baby Sam, My Mom and my sister.  Praying for wisdom.  Praying for church.  Praying for the bachelors.

I am hearing~ Sand blasting from the driveway.

Around the house~ My laundry days are messed up from our trip last week.  I did laundry today, Monday is my usual laundry day.

A Few of my favorite things~ Watching movies on my portable dvd player in my california king sized bed with homemade popcorn at my side.  We've been watching this series.  It seems good... maybe not for the little people to watch.

(click on the picture to read a description of this series.)

A few plans for the rest of the week~  Manly man is working all weekend.  I am guessing we'll not see much of him.  Maybe I'll go on a walk along the canal with my boys this weekend.  The bachelors are supposed to be coming over Sunday for a breakfast lunch.

Something to Share~   Sharing pictures from my yard.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend.  Thank you to all the veterans who help keep us free!  Praying for their safe return!

May ' 10 073 month earlier

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Catnip (above)

May ' 10 074 month earlier

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Terrific Tuesday With Recipes!!


My husband enjoyed a salad similar to this one while we were at the resort.  It seems perfect for summer!

Waldorf Salad

  • Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and 1 TBS. lemon juice. Refrigerate until salad is prepared.
  • Soak cherries or cranberries in 1/2 cup boiling water until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
  • Add chopped apples to a large bowl. Add 1 TBS. lemon juice and toss apples to coat. Add celery, cherries or cranberries and nuts to the apples and mix. Add dressing, folding gently to coat all the salad ingredients.
  • Chill salad for a few hours before serving.
  • Serve on lettuce leaves.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Monday


Menu Monday

Monday-  Grilled Hamburgers, Macaroni Salad, Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Tuesday-  Grilled Pork Kebabs (pork, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, peppers) served with brown rice

Wednesday- Spaghetti and big green salad... (rosemary bread?)

Thursday- Hoagies (on  homemade whole wheat rolls) chips, pork and bean salad

Friday-  7 Layer Dip,  with chips, cranberry salad

Saturday-  Some kind tuna salad stuffed pasta over a bed of greens

Sunday-  (Bachelors coming for lunch after church...on the phone this morning, I was given a huge list of things bachelor #1 ((the 80 year old)) DOESN'T like so I am adding biscuits and gravy for him.)  Waffles, Biscuits and gravy, patty sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, potatoes o'brien.

**With the heat and humidity picking up at our house, the menu will be a bit lighter for summer.  My house gets pretty hot if I run the stove and oven.

**It's fleet week in NYC and my manly man has been volun'told' to work.  He'll be very busy this week.

**Filling for #2 son tomorrow morning

**Summer class for #1 son starts tomorrow.  He is taking Physical Geology for the next 6 weeks and then will be taking Math 125 for 6 weeks later in the summer.  In the fall, he will only be required to take 3 classes.  Still not sure how he did on grades this past semester...His hard class was Spanish.  We'll probably go and purchase books today for the geology class.  The flower nusery I LOVE is right next to his school.  I need to go and purchase a couple bedding plants, a zucchini and cucumber.

**A few more papers and some reading for #2 son this week.  We'll be going to the library...maybe today.

That's all for now!  Have a blessed day!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

~~It's Sunday~~


Outside My Window~  Dreary, rainy but humid.  I AM thankful that the rain REALLY makes the grass green and things in the garden grow!

I am thinking~ I am thinking that I am glad to be home after my few days away.  I'm glad I got to go away with my manly man and #2 son. 

We were discussing a few things in the van on the way to the 'training conference'  I think #2 son is finally realizing  that his big brother is not going to be at home  forever.  He was quite sad.  (And  #1 son hasn't even left home yet!)

From the kitchen~  Sloppy Joe's, oriental cabbage salad and tator tots.  I bought a can of sloppy jo mix from Aldis' it wasn't my favorite.  Now I have a whole crock pot full of ground turkey sloppy joe  mix.  I have to think what I can turn it into that will be more palatable (??). 

I am thankful for~   I am thankful for my home and that it is so...homey.  I missed my bed.   This past week we were on a double bed.  After my California King, the little double seemed so small.

I am wearing~     An orange tee shirt,  straight denim skirt, bare feet but will slip on sandals when it's time to leave for church.

I am creating~   My brain is working.  We are planning to make a surprise visit to the bachelors to clean and organize their apartment.  I'll keep you updated on that at a later time.

I am going~ We have a dentist appointment on Tuesday for #2 son who will be receiving treatment for a cavity between two of his baby molars.

I am reading~  A New Song by Jan Karon... The Mitford Series, Book 5  (I love this series!)

Cover Image

I am praying~ To be a truthful witness... wisdom, for myself, my husband, our Pastor's, our church.

I am hearing~ John Denver's Greatest Hits playing upstairs.  Other than that, it's a pretty quiet afternoon.

Around the house~ Needs a bit of TLC after being gone a week.  I have managed to wash, dry and put away our laundry for the week.

A Few of my favorite things~ Scented Vanilla candles... bubble bath...  hot, fresh, homemade popcorn...reading a good book.

A few plans for the rest of the week~  Play date with Alison, Sienna and Ariya on Wednesday.

Something to Share~   Sharing pictures from our week.  Enjoy!


(Thankfully Billy never made an appearance while we were swimming!)




(Yes that is the manly man pretending he is still 17.  He fell and hurt himself pretty bad after this pic was taken.  That is a wave rider where you can boogie board or surf.   He really doesn't do either one very well )








(This last picture was taken yesterday while #2 was helping Dad with his Toyota girlfriend.  He is sure a hard worker!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wildlife..and other stuff


 Happy Birthday to my handsome, manly, man.  I  you!  I appreciate you.  I thank God for you.  I pray this year brings many blessings your way.

Happy Birthday!




Late October B

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In the wildlife side of this post... the HUGE spider that was camping in our bathroom.  It totally freaked me out.    Good thing I never saw it jump!

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That is my 6 foot 1 inch son's hand in the picture so you get an idea how big that spider is!

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May ' 10 037  

My silly dog tore his paw sometime yesterday.  He got four stitches and some good pain killers.  (This is his third set of stitches!)  

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All that excitement from a house in the suburbs!!


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We are thankful for Banjo's doctor who is also our good friend, Sharon.  She is a special lady!



Thursday, May 13, 2010

~~It's Thursday~~


~~It's Thursday~~

Outside My Window~  It's cool this morning.  But the sun is shining.  Maybe it will be a nice day.  More rain comes tomorrow. 

 I Am Thankful For~    My job. 

I Am Wearing~  A green robe, my nightshirt...bare toes.  Will be changing soon to a pair of capri's and a short sleeve tee and my tennis shoes.

  On my Prayer List~  Our bachelor friends.  Wisdom.  The future.

I Am Creating~ German Chocolate Cake for my birthday boy.  I think we will make a trip to Sam's Club for a book I spied ~







That book and a nice blue, short sleeved shirt will be his birthday presents.  We may go to dinner and a movie tomorrow night.

I Am Enjoying~ sealedbygrace has been reading and recommending The Mitford Series.  These books have been my chosen reading for over a week.  I have devored three books in the series so far.  What a great read! 

book cover of These High, Green Hills  (Mitford, book 3)byJan Karon

From The Kitchen~   Verticle roasted chicken and spaghetti salad.  A summer type meal!

 From The Learning Room~  Reading, Reading, Reading!  Only a few pages of actual work left!

   I am looking forward to~  Monday morning!!  We'll sleep in a bit and head out to this place.  I think we are going to stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and take our sweet time arriving.  I am looking forward to swimming and leisurely walks by the lake.  I don't think there will be too much activity here as school is still in session in the area and it's during the week.

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Leaving You With~  An easy recipe I saw in a magazine this morning, a couple blogs for you to look into.

...and a website, sign up for their free catalog!  I love the things in there.  (there is a free recipe section on this website also.)


Mom's Casserole

1 lb. ground hamburger, browned and drained

1 pkg. egg noodles (8-16 oz.) cooked just under al-dente and drained

1 can creamed corn

1 can chicken with rice soup, undiluted

1 onion, diced fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place ingredients into prepared casserole dish, cover with foil, bake 45 minutes.