Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray. Set aside.
Sift flour. Mix Splenda, flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until ingredients are blended. Add softened butter. Mix on low speed until butter is very finely distributed (about 2 to 3 minutes).
Add egg whites. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl. Mix on medium-high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until batter is light and well blended. Scrape sides of bowl. Add buttermilk and extracts. Mix on medium speed until blended.
Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until edges of cake appear slightly dry. Allow cake to cool in pans 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks until ready to ice.
For the frosting: Beat softened butter and Splenda briefly in a medium sized mixing bowl (until SPLENDA is just incorporated). Add cream cheese. Mix until lump free (about 1 minute) Scrape sides of bowl and add vanilla. Mix well. Assemble cake. Slice cooled cake layers in half. Using a serrated knife slice cakes in half horizontally, to create 4 cake layers.
Place 1 cake layer on cake stand or plate. Spread 1/3 of the preserves over the cake layer. Top with 1/3 of the strawberries. Repeat process until all layers are assembled.
Frost the cake. Makes 18 (1/2-inch thick slice) servings.
Nutrients Per Serving: Total Calories 280, Calories from Fat 110, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Sodium 340 mg, Total Carbohydrate 35 g, Dietary Fiber 0 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 10 g.
Pie! Ok, so the quote is cake...but at this time of year I love pie! Delicious, homemade pies bursting with delectable, mouthwatering ingredients encased in a light, flaky pastry. What could be better on a warm spring or summer day?
Early pies were mostly meat pies, and it wasn't until after the Crusaders returned to Europe in the 12th century with a taste for Arab confections that honey, sugar, and fruits began to be incorporated into pies.
The first all fruit pies became popularized in England during the 1500s, and it's known that Queen Elizabeth I grew very fond of them. She also loved tarts highly sweetened with sugar. Numerous recipes for pies were developed by chefs employed by the nobility, and pies and tarts eventually became a pleasurable treat enjoyed by all.
Great care should be taken in heating the oven for baking your pastries. If you can hold your hand in the heated oven while you count to twenty, the oven has just the proper temperature and it should be kept at this temperature as long as the pastry is in; this heat will bake your little lovely to a light brown and will give the pastry a fresh and flaky appearance.
Here are a few vintage tips for you that will be sure to help you have a successful pie baking experience.
Apple pie will have a new flavor if you grate a little orange rind into the sugar and sprinkle over apples in usual way. Or, sprinkle the sliced apples with a few drops of lemon juice and dot with butter. This gives your pie a little something extra. I like to pre-cook my apples on the stove top to soften them a bit before putting in the pie shell. It ensures the apples will be perfectly baked when the pie is done.
Cream pie or custards will not become watery if milk is scalded before using. When a custard pie shrinks from the crust, it has been baked in too hot an oven. The oven should be hot for the first eight or ten minutes, in order to bake the pastry so that it will not become soaked with liquid. Then reduce the heat or the custard will boil.
Meringue will always stand up high and perfect if a generous pinch of baking soda is added to beaten egg whites. Here's a tip for your meringue...add four or five marshmallows cut into pieces or 1/2 cup miniature ones, to meringue just before spreading. These marshmallows give both flavor and body to the meringue. The latter is important if your pie is to stand for sometime before serving. Keep those portions of your meringue pie unbroken and fluffy by cutting with a knife dipped in cold water.
Have quick and thrifty cream pies anytime. Use the flavorful packaged pudding powders. Prepare as directed on the package. You can vary with nuts, coconut, fruits, or by layering or marbling different flavors.
If a flaky upper crust is what you love, before putting the pie in the oven, brush top crust lightly with cold water. The result will melt in your mouth.
For a nice shiny appearance to your top crust, brush before baking with milk or with milk mixed with a little egg.
Egg wash for glazing pastry: the yolk of 1 egg and 1/2 cup evaporated milk or sweet cream. Beat the yolk of egg, add the milk or cream to it and use to brush over the surface of your pastry, applying it with a soft pastry brush. This mixture can be refrigerated for a few days.
To keep your fruit or pumpkin pies from becoming soggy, brush the sides and bottom crusts with the beaten white of egg, then sprinkle lightly with flour and add the filling. This prevents juices from soaking through the crust.
To keep juice in the pie, mix the juicy fruit filling with sugar and 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca. I especially love this tip for my blackberry pies.
For well filled custard pies without spilling: Pull rack part way out of oven. Set pastry-lined pie pan on rack. Pour filling in clear to top. When pie’s filled, slide rack back into oven.
If you love lattice crust on your fruit pies, weave strips of pastry on waxed paper. Slip hand under paper, then quickly flip lattice top over onto fruit. Much less mess than attempting to weave your crust on to a the fruit itself.
After crimping the edge of the pie crust, lift the edge of the crust gently all around with your fingers. This keeps the dough from sticking to the dish while baking and makes it easier to take out the pieces of pie.
To keep “shells” (crusts baked before filling is added) from bulging or shrinking during baking, fit the sheet of dough carefully into the corners of of your pie pan. Do not leave any air spaces between pan and dough. Prick the bottom with a fork. Of course, you can purchase pie weights or use beans to keep your crusts down as well.
Fasten the upper and lower edges of two crust pies together tightly. Brush the lower edge with water. Press the upper edge down with a fork or fold into scallops with the finger tips.
Don't forget...prick or slash the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Once quoted by Winston Churchill that there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man (or woman/child). As far as I'm concerned, truer words were never spoken! I have loved horses since childhood and have been lucky enough to have been owner/caretaker of a few fine specimans. It appears that my granddaughter has inherited that trait from me! Finally, the moment I have been waiting for, another horse lover in the family! She has been looking forward to her 4th birthday so she could finally ride, and the moment has come. Happy Birthday to my granddaughter and many happy, healthy years of riding. The love of horses is something that one just doesn't outgrow!
These scones are wonderful and since I was craving them this morning I baked a batch for breakfast. They are quick and easy so double the recipe and tuck some in the freezer for later.
Ingredients: 2 cups all purpose flour - sifted 1 cup rolled oats - uncooked 1/3 cup sugar (I suppose you may be able to substitute Splenda but I did not) 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (As always I used "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Cube) 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. (I just use my hands. I find them the best tools) Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board and knead 10 to 12 times. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into rounds with biscuit cutter, or pat dough into circle and cut in to wedges (for some reason I always like wedges).
Place on baking sheets and brush the tops with a bit of buttermilk. I sprinkle the tops of mine with a wee bit of sugar.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool.
The O’Sullivan MacCragh Sept is an ancient family. It is universally agreed upon, by all credible annalists and historians, that it represents the most senior bloodline of the Gaelic families. The royal family of the Gaelic Celts in Ireland was known as the Eoghanacht (pronounced Owen-noct), the descendants of Eoghan (pronounced Owen). The most senior branch of the Eoghanacht was the O’Sullivan clan. The O’Sullivan MacCragh, in turn, was the most senior sept of this illustrious family. The significance of this can only be appreciated by comparing the status of the old Irish aristocracy with that of the rest of Europe. If the Irish had followed the English system of royal descent by primogeniture, and if Ireland had maintained its independence from England, an O’Sullivan MacCragh would be king of Ireland today. Interested in more? Click Here!
Irish and British Dvd Mysteries. My collection is becoming quite extensive and I never tire of watching them. Do you enjoy them as well? If so, you may fall in love with this series as we have. If you're not quite used to the Irish accent it may take a bit to understand it at first, but you will quickly acclimate yourself to it. If you love the Irish countryside you are in for a treat there as well, as the scenery will surely make you long for a visit. Click here to visit Amazon and click on VIDEO underneath the main photo for a preview of the show.
What is the aroma wafting from Our Scented Cottage today you ask? It is the sweet smell of molasses and spices wafting amongst the very crevices of our abode. Dark, delicious and moist, these molasses cookies are delectable with milk, tea or coffee. They are best if not overbaked so they are still chewy even after cooling. These cookies freeze well and warm up nicely in the microwave.
Molasses Cookies 3/4 cup shortening 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1/2 cup molasses 2 1/2 cups flour 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsps baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg granulated sugar for rolling cookies
In a mixing bowl mix shortening and light brown sugar. (an electric mixer works best) Beat in egg and molasses until well blended.
Add flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Stir until well blended. Chill for 1 hr or until firm. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet. Shape dough into small balls about 3/4 inch in diameter and roll in granulated sugar. Place on baking sheet leaving 1-2 inches between each cookie. Bake 8-12 minutes or until set. Cool. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
*I like to put vanilla ice cream between 2 of these and make ice cream sandwiches. I wrap them in saran wrap or waxed paper and freeze. They are wonderful!!
Is your garden riddled with slugs and snails? When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, slugs were the enemy. Here in Southern California, it is the snails I battle in my garden. I have attempted to be humane and pluck them off of my delicate plants by hand and relocate them to other areas but to no avail. Them or others like them, always find their way back to my lovely flowers. I have had to resort to other measures, and at times, for this I have felt evil. There is no choice however, if your desire is a lovely flower or vegetable garden. Here are a few ways to control snails and slugs and keep them from feasting on your plantings.
Spray 1/3 To 1/2 c. nonsudsy ammonia 1 c Water Combine ingredients in a spray bottle; squirt on slugs. I will try this on snails too, but with their ability to retreat inside their shell, I'm not sure how it will fare.
Sand Distribute playground sand around young plants early in the Spring. Be generous with the sand. Slugs hate it as it's not conducive to their underside.
Mulch Mulch around the area to be slug-proofed using pine needles. The pine needles are acidic and slugs and snails prefer alkaline environments.
Copper Strips While these are expensive, they are also a good alternative for protecting small areas or individual plants. They react electrostatically with the slug or snail slime. The pests dry up.
Egg Shells Place broken egg shells in a circular perimeter around the plants you are trying to protect. The snails and slugs will not cross the line.
Also, to keep your garden as slug and snail free as possible, practice these tips:
Pull the weeds from your garden, as you pull each weed, you remove a potential slug and snail outpost.
Keep all decaying matter cleaned out of your garden beds. While leaves make a good mulch, once they begin to compost they become food and shelter for slugs and snails.
Prune the branches of any shrubs which are laying on the ground. Keep the old leaves and such cleaned out. By doing this you will have destroyed yet another haven for these eating machines!
Cultivate your soil regularly to keep the dirt clods broken up, and unearth any slugs which may have burrowed under the surface.
The shaded areas beneath decks can be a slug and snail arena: keep them weed and litter free.
Just about anything can become their home. Boards, rocks, pots etc. should be kept out of the garden.
Keep the lawn edges trimmed. Slugs will congregate under the umbrella of unkept grass.
We've had rain here in Southern California this past week, and I can't wait to see my flowers burst forth in happiness from it! I have spring fever and luckily, here in our area, I won't have to wait until May to start working in the garden. My little roses are already forming buds and the aphids are already attacking them!
In the past I have not used sprays on my plants. I feed the birds year round and had hoped they would each choose at least one insect to eat per day to repay me for my kindness! This has never happened however, as everything in my little garden lives in harmony, year after year after year. If I didn't know better, I'd think I had the same grasshopper (it's size is a testament to how much he likes my plants)the same snails, the same aphids etc. I know I have the same birds and they all have names. When I attempted to grow tomatoes the caterpillars were such that they prompted their own post on my blog! They were gigantic!
This year, I have to get these insects under control. I want lovely plants but not the toxins. I want to persuade the insects and even Jiminey (the cricket) to visit other gardens in the neighborhood. I'm hoping this recipe for a natural garden pesticide will do the trick.
In a blender puree: 4 onions 2 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper 1 quart water (1 liter)
Blend ingredients and set the mixture aside. Dilute 2 tablespoons soap flakes in 2 gallons (7.5 liters) water. Pour in the contents from your blender, shake or stir well, and you have a potent, environment-friendly solution to spray on your plants.
Did you know that bananas are a wonderful anti-wrinkle treatment? Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy. Spread all over face and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water followed by a dash of cold. Gently pat dry. This also does wonders for acne.
This is a wonderful granola to use as a topping for yogurt and so easy to make. It also makes a great homemade gift.
Ingredients: 3 cups rolled oats 1 cup shredded coconut 1 cup chopped nuts 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup melted butter 2/3 cup raisins Optional: Add a handful of sunflower seeds, chopped dates or other dried fruit after baking.
Combine all ingredients (except raisins and optional ingredients) in an ungreased 13 x 9 inch pan. Mix well. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in raisins and any optional items. Cool and place in a tightly covered container or snap top jar.
Store in a cool, dry place. Serve with milk, as a snack, or with your yogurt.
If you are an Alder sign within the Celtic tree astrology system, you are a natural-born pathfinder. You’re a mover and a shaker, and will blaze a trail with fiery passion often gaining loyal followers to your cause. You are charming, gregarious and mingle easily with a broad mix of personalities. In other words, Alder signs get along with everybody and everybody loves to hang around with you. This might be because Alder’s are easily confident and have a strong self-faith. This self-assurance is infectious and other people recognize this quality in you instantly. Alder Celtic tree astrology signs are very focused and dislike waste. Consequently, they can see through superficialities and will not tolerate fluff. Alder people place high value on their time, and feel that wasting time is insufferable. They are motivated by action and results. Alder’s pair well with Hawthorns, Oaks or even Birch signs.
Do you see areas in your lawn where you need to reseed this spring and summer? Here is a helpful tip...the next time you spread grass seed, mix the seed with ordinary white flour. You'll be able to see what areas you missed! This also works with flower seeds.
Here is a recipe of the most important kind. I'm not sure where I found it, but it is worth saving and passing on. Make this recipe and you are destined for happiness!
4 c Of love 2 c Of loyalty 3 c Forgiveness 1 c Friendship 5 Spoons of hope 2 Spoons of tenderness 4 qt Of faith 1 Barrel of laughter
Take love and loyalty, mix them throughly with Faith. Blend it with tenderness, kindness and understanding. Add friendship and hope, sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake it with sunshine. Serve daily with generous helpings
A better idea than using mothballs to store amongst your beloved sweaters and coats during the warmer months, is to take your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. (I like lavender soap, use your favorite scent) Tuck the bag in with your seasonal clothes before packing them away and not only will the scent prevent them from moth harm, but they will also smell great when you pull them out! This is especially nice for sweaters, which can be difficult to get the odor of mothballs out of.
If you like treating your skin to a spa day every now and then you might want to give this mask a try. Masks draw impurities to the surface of your skin and tighten it while stimulating circulation. They nourish and cleanse, giving the face a restored, fresh appearance. After mask is removed, always wash face with warm water, followed by cool water to close the pores, then apply a thin layer of moisturizer.
Ingredients: 1/2 Cucumber (peeled & chopped) 2/3 cup Sage leaves 2 Egg Whites 1 t. Lemon Juice
Puree all ingredients in blender, pour into glass jar. With fingertips, apply mask to face (avoiding lips and eyes), leave on for 10 minutes (maximum), then rinse with warm water.
My daughter makes these wonderful biscotti cookies and lately I have been craving them. I'll have to hold off a bit in making them though, as I've been indulging a bit to much of late on other homemade goodies. This was one of the first posts on my blog and as I've had a few requests for the recipe, I'm doing a repost on it. I think you'll agree that they are one of the best biscotti cookies you will taste. They're not as hard as some, which makes them easier to enjoy.
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup white sugar 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3 eggs 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon anise extract, or 3 drops anise oil
DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and anise flavoring until well blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough. Divide dough into two pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each one crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back onto the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Slices should be lightly toasted.
You can dip the biscotti cookies into melted chocolate and let harden for a nice variation.
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler
Kittens believe that all nature is occupied with their diversion. ~F.A. Paradis de Moncrif
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Are You In My Clan? Researching White, Sullivan, Fergusson, Cole, Morris, Crist, Sexton, Johnson, Sharp, Montgomery, Armstrong, Stewart, O' Dooley and more...
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Welcome! Please pour yourself a cup of tea and settle in and relax with me awhile. As you'll notice, I am captivated by ancient times, a soul misplaced in this modern day. I have a love for my ancestry and I believe people who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today, are unlikely to have a strong sense of how today affects tomorrow.