Traditional and New Holiday Cake Recipes

It’s that time of year when holiday cake recipes are cooking, baking, and taste of the holidays making in the Places In The Home test kitchen.

Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg is tradition on a cake plate, and Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake is a newly developed recipe worthy of center stage on the holiday dessert table.

grandmothers-pound-cake-with-nutmeg-1

The warm and inviting colors, textures, and patterns found in this house of the year kitchen by Susan Burns Designs offers holiday cake recipes baking inspiration.

Susan-Burns-design-house-of-the-year

Reflecting on holidays past brings back memories of recipes baked with love and taste traditions.

Crammed between the pages of a beloved cookbook inherited from an aunt is a collection of handwritten recipes cooked, baked, tested, and penned in the kitchen of my paternal grandmother.

grandmothers-pound-cake-with-nutmeg-recipe

Truth in baking disclosure:

The cupboard was bare of mace, and most importantly, what is mace?

Mace is a spice native to Indonesia.  The flavor is sweet and woody reminiscent of nutmeg, however, not quite as sweet. Some describe the taste of mace as a blend of cinnamon and pepper.

Nutmeg stands as the spice I have plenty of, and so 2 teaspoons found its way into the batter.

grandmothers-pound-cake

Grandmother’s Tennessee Pound Cake with Nutmeg

Ingredients

3 cups granulated sugar

3 sticks salted butter

6 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour; sifted

2 teaspoons nutmeg or to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 300° F.  Using a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar together until mixture reaches a fluffy texture. Add eggs one at a time to creamed butter and sugar.

holiday cake recipesReduce mixer speed to low; slowly add sifted all-purpose flour and nutmeg to wet ingredients.

creamed-eggs-butter-sugar

Using a wooden spoon or cake spatula, spoon batter into greased and floured tube pan.

floured-greased-cake-tube-pan

Bake at 300° F for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Grandmothers-Tennessee-holiday-cake-recipes

Remove cake from tube pan and transfer to cake stand or platter of choice.

Thanksgiving-table-cake-plate

Building upon a traditional holiday recipe, this next cake highlights the spices, fruits, and nuts associated with the taste of the holidays.

Wilshire Walnut and Spice Cake

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1  teaspoon nutmeg

1  teaspoon ground cloves

½  teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 ½  cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup golden raisins

1 Tablespoon candied lemon peel

holiday-bundt-1

floured-greased-cake-tube-pan

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease and flour Bundt pan.

Peel and chop apples; sprinkle with lemon juice.

sugar-eggs-oil

Mix together sugar and oil; add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.

Add vanilla.

Using a whisk, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves together.

Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.

fruit-nuts-coconut-apples-lemons1

Next, add chopped apples, walnuts, candied lemon peels, coconut, and golden raisins.

Stir until incorporated.

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Using a wooden spoon, evenly spoon mixture into a greased and floured Bundt pan.

cake-batter

Bake in 350° F oven for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

holiday-cake-1

Meyer lemons are pucker power packed with bright flavor that complements two of my favorite fall spices– nutmeg and cloves.

boiling-lemon-peels

Candied Lemon Peels

Ingredients

6 lemons

6 cups cold water, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided

2½ cups sugar

Directions

Peel lemons by taking off long thick strips.  In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and lemon peels. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, strain mixture and reserve liquid.

Return liquid and lemon peels to pan.  Add in ½ teaspoon salt and bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, strain mixture, and reserve lemon peels.

Add 2 cups water and sugar to pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally  until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to low.  Add lemon peels. Gently simmer for 45 minutes being careful not do let the sugar caramelize. Remove from heat and drain.

Place lemon peels onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Allow candied lemon peels to dry for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Store candied peels in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

holiday cake recipes

enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall with Apples and Pumpkins

Fall deliciously places the baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining emphasis on apples and pumpkins, appropriately planting a seed of inspiration.

apple trees picking

Palettes o’plenty are in place under the pines awaiting a pumpkin haul for this year’s local pumpkin patch picking.

pumpkin-patch-2019

I’ve been in  fall baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining with apples and pumpkins development for a week or so.

Introducing hints of fall finery and a new or improved recipe to the troops here at Places In The Home is part of the fall of it all.

apples-and-pumpkins

Flickr

Baking & Cooking

Those of you who get into fall baking and cooking and taste testing know apples and pumpkins are the stars of the show.

Sprinkles and dustings of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg deliciously dress cored, chopped, sliced, minced, cubed, grated or diced apples.

bag-Gala-apples

In the Fall Kitchen with Apples and Pumpkins

One small apple measures 2 ¼ inches across.

One medium apple measures 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches across.

One large apple measures 3¾ inches across.

types of apples graphic

How many apples are there in a cup?

apple-shaped-measuring-cups

1 medium apple equals:

About 1 1/3 cups sliced or cubed.

About 1¼ cups diced.

About 1 cup finely sliced, minced, or grated.

red-apple

How many apples are in a pound?

4 medium apples equals approximately  1 pound.

2 large apples equals approximately  1 pound.

1 pound of apples equals approximately 3 cups sliced or cubed apples.

apples and pumpkins

Coring and Peeling an Apple

Carefully cut the skin off the apple using a paring knife.

Cut the apple into four wedges.

Remove the core out of each wedge.

Cut, slice, or chop the apples according to recipe preference.

fairy tale pumpkin

One 2½ pound pie pumpkin equals 1¾ cups pumpkin puree (which is equivalent to one 15 ounce can pumpkin).

A 3½ pound pie pumpkin equals 2½  cups pumpkin puree.

Did you know that the pumpkin is really a squash?

Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin sangria, and the big daddy of fall desserts, pumpkin pie, is in the fall tastes and treats spotlight.

traditional pumpkin pie recipe

Traditional Pumpkin Pie Recipe

How to Prep and Puree A Pumpkin 

You can substitute homemade pumpkin puree for any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin.

With that fall baking fact in mind, let’s check out how to make homemade pumpkin puree.

Here we will be using a sugar pumpkin (also called a pie pumpkin), the best for cooking and baking.

sugar pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Carefully cut off the top of the pumpkin.  Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and the “strings”.

Cut the pumpkin in half.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place the pumpkin halves cut side down onto the baking sheet.

Generously rub the outer skin of each pumpkin half with olive oil.

Place in a 375°F preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes or until a fork easily inserts into each pumpkin half.

Allow to cool for twenty minutes or until cool enough to handle without risk of burning your hands.

Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the softened pulp.  Place the pulp into in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

staub-ceramic-pumpkin-cocotte

Staub Ceramic Stoneware Pumpkin Cocotte

Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients

2 Sugar Pie pumpkins (each about 2 lb.)
Substitution: 4 cups  of canned pumpkin puree

Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing and drizzling

6 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 shallots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme, plus whole sprigs for garnish

¼  cup  Marsala

5 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed

3 Tbs. maple syrup

1 cup half-and-half

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the grilled cheese croutons:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 slices artisan white bread or sourdough bread

1 ½ cups grated Gruyére cheese

Directions

To make the soup, using a sharp knife, carefully cut off the top of each pumpkin to remove the stem, then halve each pumpkin vertically.

Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and any stringy fibers and discard.

Brush the flesh of the pumpkins generously with olive oil, then place them, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until the pumpkins are very tender when pricked with a fork, about 50 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes, then scoop the flesh from the peel into a bowl; discard the peels.

You should have about 4 cups of pumpkin.  Set aside.

In a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter.

Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the Marsala and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.  Add the pumpkin and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Add the broth and maple syrup.

Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes.  Stir in the half-and-half.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. (Alternatively, working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour back into the pot.)

Add the remaining 3 Tbs. butter to the soup and stir until the butter is melted.  Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in more vegetable broth, if desired, to achieve the desired consistency.  Keep warm over low heat while you make the grilled cheese croutons.

To make grilled cheese croutons, spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread, dividing it evenly.

Heat a large fry pan over medium heat.

Place 3 slices of the bread, butter side down, in the fry pan.  Divide the cheese evenly between the 3 slices in the pan, then top with remaining bread slices, butter side up.

Cook until the bottom of bread is golden brown, then carefully flip each sandwich and continue to cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes, turning down the heat if the bread is browning too quickly.

Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and let cool slightly while you ladle the warm soup into 6 individual bowls.

Drizzle each serving of soup lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper.  Cut the grilled cheese sandwiches into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes and divide them evenly among the bowls of soup.

Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately.  Serves 6.

-Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

Decorating

1100 block of Rue du Belier

Country Living

Never underestimate the visual impact of the simple yet elegant seasonal decor accessory.

apple-wreath-supplies

Gorgeous is in the eye and the glue gun of the beholder.

Faux apples, a natural grapevine wreath, and several yards of burlap ribbon  is all you need to DIY your way to a lovely fall wreath.

apple-wreath

In the case of my fall wreath DIY project, I chose to go with a Styrofoam wreath.

Using burlap ribbon from the dollar store, I wrapped the entire wreath to conceal the Styrofoam.

Using a hot glue gun, I glued various sizes of red faux apples and green mini pears from Michaels around the top and sides of the wreath.

Spanish moss serves as an excellent filler and gap cover, and as in the image of the grapevine apple wreaths, burlap ribbon (5½” wide) with a finished edge completes the look.

There’s a bevy of pumpkin decorating ideas out there.

This DIY pumpkin project from Proven Winners utilizes late summer/early fall blooms and foliage to create a Mod Podge magnificent botanical pumpkin.

pumpkin-blankets

We Heart It

Simple makes a simply beautiful statement.

Entertaining

Part of the fun of entertaining is coming up with festive and creative ways to put a seasonal spin on the presentation of drinks, snacks, entrées, sides, and desserts.

“I try to greet my friends with a drink in my hand, a warm smile on my face, and great music in the background, because that’s what gets a dinner party off to a fun start.”

-Ina Garten

apple shaped cheese balls

Better Homes & Gardens

Our Canadian snowbird son and daughter-in-law have mastered the art of the charcuterie board.

I wish they would master the art of prepare it, shoot it, send a photo of it this way, but I digress.

fall-board-cheese

pumpkins-rosemary

Charcuterie | shahr-ku-tuh-ree  refers to the art of preparing and assembling cured meats.

Charcuterie boards feature an array of dried meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts, crackers, breads, jams, preserves, marmalades, olives, pickles, and the like.

bread-butter-pickles

A recent conversation on the topic included a rundown of their charcuterie board essentials.

Great entertaining minds think alike, and we all agreed a gathering of friends or/and family on a crisp fall late afternoon into evening is an excellent entertaining opportunity to bring on a fall cheese or charcuterie board.

pumpkin board

Wood Pumpkin Serve Board

Natural Horn 3 Piece Cheese Set

Natural Horn 3 Piece Cheese Set

There’s no wrong way to do a cheese or charcuterie board.  I put together a small with fall in mind cheese board this afternoon.

It’s meatless, so it doesn’t officially qualify to be referred to as a charcuterie board.

fall-cheese-board

Crisp apples, fresh dates, red grapes, assorted nuts, blue cheese, white cheddar, cream cheese with fig preserves, and dried cranberries fill the board.

A quick walk around the yard later I had fresh rosemary sprigs and mint leaves to use as garnish and filler.

The aroma is spectacular.

fall-pumpkin-cheese-board

What’s in the little vintage creamer?

Honey.

Honey drizzled over a slice of cheese topped with an apple is the taste of fall.

apples-grapes

marmalade-preserves

I love these carved wooden spoons for spooning up preserves and marmalades.

Hand Carved White Oak Wood Snowflake Spoon

Hand Carved White Oak Wood Snowflake Spoon

Ciders, seasonal wines, and apple flavored sangria are all excellent beverage choices to serve at a fall gathering.

Cinnamon water is a recent fall perfect beverage discovery that’s as tasty as it is easy to make.

This stove top method brings out the flavor and color of the cinnamon.

Begin by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Allow concentrate to cool before adding to cold water and ice.

cinnamon-water

Baking, cooking, decorating, and entertaining with apples and pumpkins on a crisp fall day or evening is part of the tradition and pure fall fun.

love your style

Big Flavor for a Small Supper: Ranch Quick Bread

The hotter it gets in the dog days of summer, the less time spent in the kitchen cooking and baking the better.

Yes, I know we live in the modern age of central air, but the excuse of it’s too hot to cook gets me out of many a late summer what’s for dinner dilemma.

That’s where this recipe for Ranch Quick Bread comes in.

This easy to mix, quick to fix, and deliciously filling Ranch Quick Bread recipe hits the spot with big flavor for a small supper.

ranch quick bread

Ranch Quick Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 package dry Ranch seasoning mix- 1 ounce size

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk**

½ stick unsalted butter, melted

1 cup cottage cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

dry-ingredients

Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in a medium bowl until combined.

** How to Make Homemade Buttermilk:

Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.  Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes.

eggs-butter-milk

Add the cottage cheese and stir to combine.

wet-ingredients

Pour mixture into the flour mixture.

mixing-dough

Gently fold ingredients together until the flour is incorporated.

quick-ranch-bread-dough

Spoon batter into loaf pan.  Bake 50 minutes until golden brown or until knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

bread-doughAllow bread to cool in loaf pan for 10-15 minutes.

ranch-bread

Transfer bread from pan to bread board or wire rack or serving tray. Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

sliced-bread

Wrap any leftover bread in waxed paper and store in airtight container.  I added fresh rosemary sprigs to canister for good seasoning measure.

bread-storage

Signs and Sounds: Fall or Autumn Wishfall Thinking

Signs and sounds hinting at an early fall or autumn leads to wishfall thinking.

Concrete proof of fall’s preview peppers the Places In The Home driveway, sidewalk and patio with yellow leaves intermingled among summer’s last holdouts.

As I blog and type “Dancing In The Moonlight” by King Harvest is currently playing on Music Choice.

Now “Night Moves” by Bob Seger is playing.

Two songs played back to back with the lyrics everybody’s dancin’ in the moonlight and with autumn closing in.

Changing colors, temps and tastes.

Oh yeah, this is happening.

yellow-fall-leavesWe crazy Louisianians grab hold of the slightest hint of a fall weather preview and hold on for dear life.

Hey, speaking of crazy Louisianans

britney-ellenLouisianians Ellen DeGeneres and  Britney Spears

Dave and I stood on the front porch for a few minutes Friday night listening to the high school bands playing during the local football Jamboree.

Humidity and mosquitoes crashed our party, making me wish for fall even more.

Hope springs or falls eternal, and I can testify to sure signs of wishfall thinking- shorter days, a changing sun that casts a bright white light through the windows, and wind chimes that play a North wind lullaby.

roux-gumbo

The first gumbo feast of fall is soon to be cooking in the big blue pot.

flour-sifter

Okay.

I couldn’t wait until the official arrival of fall for a gumbo feast.

No respectable Louisiana cook can talk about gumbo and not break out the big blue pot, make some roux, chop up the Cajun trinity, and whip up a pot of chicken and sausage gumbo.

C’est si bon!

gumbo-for-fall1

The hunt is on for Sportsman’s Paradise activities to do.

Fall festivals of pecan, tamale, meat pie, and funktoberfest are on our fall calendar of events.

black-lab

A new to me vintage mixing bowl is ready for fall recipe duty.

vintage-mixing-bowl

A bag of fresh and faux apples and a dash of wishfall thinking leads the inspired charge to create delicious apple themed recipes and diy projects.

guide-to-apples

A Guide to Apples from Williams-Sonoma


1.  Cortland – Crimson in color with a sweet flavor and crisp texture.  Best for:  applesauce and apple butter.

2.  Red Delicious – Softer in texture with a mellow, not-too-sweet flavor. Best for:  apple cider

3.   Braeburn – Reddish-orange with green and yellow streaks and a unique sweet-tart flavor.  Best for:  cooking and baking

4.  Gravenstein  –  A juicy apple with a finely-grained texture and a light yellow or red skin.  Best for:  applesauce and apple cider

5.  Gala  –  Sweet, aromatic and crisp with a light-red color.  Best for: eating raw and applesauce

6.  Fuji  –  Crisp texture and dense flesh with a sugary-sweet flavor.  Best for: eating raw

7.  Pink Lady  –  Crisp in texture and bright pink with a tart-sweet flavor.   Best for:  eating raw

8.  Golden Delicious  –  Very sweet to the taste with a golden yellow color.   Best for:  applesauce and apple butter

9.  Granny Smith  –  Very tart and crisp with a bright green color.  Best for: baking


fall-craft-apple-wreath

Wishfall thinking exhibit A as in a fall diamond in the summer rough.

The seasons they are a-changin’.

 Fall Autumn Wishfall Thinking

There is nothing like a good fall preview or autumn sneak peek to build the anticipation of seasonal things to come.

By all accounts, it’s fall y’all!

Love your style!

A Most Fetching Friday 11: The Tasteful and The Decadent

This week’s Fetching Friday 11 accentuates both the tasteful and the decadent.

ff-mantleHGTV

Taste, tastes, style and impressive decor accents come together to create  beautiful homes.

ff-Thibaut_Heritage-Houndstooth-dining-chair_s3x4_lgThibaut

ff-fall-dessertsCountry Living Magazine

ff-traditional-BedroomLonny

Chocolate-Pear-Loaf-Cake-via-BHG1Chocolate-Cinnamon Pear Loaf Cake

ff-wallpaper“Zebras” in Safari Brown from Scalamandré as featured in Traditional Home

ff-hot-cocoa-brownie-cakeHot Cocoa Brownie Cake with Pumpkin Marshmallow Frosting

I hope you have a most fetching Friday.

Love your style!

The Southern Dinner Table

The Southern dinner table tells a story.

Gathered in regional reverence, devout worshipers of the dining divine keep time to culinary tradition-nourishing the soul as well as the body.

Taking a meal at the Southern dinner table is a multi-layered celebration weaving through generations, tradition and culture.

A sudden wave of news copy on the popularity, rediscovery, and dare I say it, appreciation of Southern foods, has not only resonated with my taste buds, but my memories of times spent gathered around the Southern dinner table.

honey-biscuits

I surely don’t believe nor make the claim that the South holds the patent on dinner table philosophies, but sitting down to the Southern dinner table is an intended event.

It doesn’t matter if the table is set for cornbread, red beans and rice, or chicken fried anything with all the fixings, eating is far from simply a practice in sustenance.

From Southern farm, garden, market or waterway to the Southern dinner table, the prepping, cooking, baking, frying, boiling or grilling is a culinary event.

the-fondest-memories

Culinary tastes, rituals and traditions of cooking and dining vary from state to state, dining table to dining table across the South, but the core principles of preparing and sharing good food is uncomplicated, simple and basic.

If you cook, bake, fry, roast, barbecue, boil, grill, can, preserve or pickle it, they will come.

Beverly-Hillbillies-vittles

The differences between the ways of my Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana relatives always seemed to warrant a they don’t do it like this in whichever two states you were not breaking bread in.

The shared commonality between the Texas, Tennessee, and Louisiana masses boil down to simple dining vocabulary.

Dinner is the meal eaten in the middle of the day.

Supper is the meal eaten in the evening.

belton-tx1

Breaking bread with the Texas family came with rituals and a throwback vibe all its own.

The dining room table was for the adults, and the kitchen table was for the kids.

Soft white bread on a porcelain bread and butter plate was as close to a bread basket as you were gonna get.

My Aunt Sis was as full of sass as she was wit, and lightening quick with an answer and a serving spoon.

This firecracker’s table came equipped with its own GPS system.

Grease.

Preserves.

Salt.

Grease was the answer for everything, a pressed glass compote dish filled with homemade pear preserves never left the center of the table, and salt was not an acquired taste.

It was a required taste.

compote

The ladies of both my Texas and Louisiana family subscribed to the take down the china, fill the crystal to the rim, and put a hint of silver on the situation school of thought.

When questioned why a middle of the week dinner called for a fine lace tablecloth and a china pattern worthy of royalty, Aunt Sis would shoot back with a, “Well, hon, what’s the use of having the stuff if you don’t use it?”

I knew there was wisdom in her words, and they resonate with me to this day each time I open the doors to the china cabinet.

Life is too short not to use the good china, crystal and table linens every day.

You can quote me and Aunt Sis on it.

dinner-bell1stdibs

Does any of this ring a familiar dinner bell with you?

In continuation and reflection of the traditions and tastes of the Southern dinner table, my Tennessee family round the Southern dinner table traditions is the subject of my next post.

Love your style!

 

 

 

Delicacies, Dishes and Desserts: Malted Buttercream Frosting

Good morning, afternoon or evening!  I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. For those of you beginning your spring break week enjoy your well deserved holiday.  For those of us beginning the work week let’s pretend we’re one of the ones beginning our spring break week.  Dave the Builder’s brother sent me a video he filmed while he and his family were having lunch at one of their favorite restaurants last week.  Floridians with their ocean liner afternoons way of life need not rub it in.

ship

My Easter weekend went from cooking, baking and casual entertaining to full blown extravaganza somewhere around late Saturday afternoon. That’s what happens when two family members tell two family members and they tell two family members. Get where I’m going with this?

bhg

Let me tell you something about going into full-on double and triple the recipes, come up with another dessert mode – it’s not exactly my kind of bunny hop. Grabbing the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens and turning to the dog-eared page I somehow knew I would need this holiday, inspiration stared me in the face.

Malted-buttercream-frostingvia

This is the result of that inspiration.

malted-vanilla-cake

Over the summer months I’ll periodically be featuring a summer recipe series, Delicacies, Dishes and Desserts.  This Malted Buttercream frosting recipe kicks it off because it’s a summer is coming share worthy favorite. With summer comes get togethers of the family reunion, 4th of July and dinner on the grounds kind.  Delicacies, dishes and desserts come to the buffet table not only to celebrate, but to comfort and to impress.  This particular frosting, complete with a generous measure of malt shop goodness, has the flavor of summer whipped all over it.  The coconut nest and malted milk eggs topped off the Easter theme, but I topped a second cake I prepared for our neighbors with fresh strawberry and lemon slices.  How’s that for a preview of summer delights to come?  I didn’t get a picture of that cake, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I have a reason to make another one.

Malted Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

2 cup (4 sticks) butter, softened

6 cups powdered sugar

1 cup vanilla-flavored malted milk powder

4 tablespoons evaporated milk or milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

¼  teaspoon salt

Directions

In a very large mixing bowl beat the butter on medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 6 cups of the powdered sugar and the malted milk powder.  Increase speed to medium and add 4 tablespoons of the milk, the vanilla, and salt.  Beat for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Add enough of the remaining powdered sugar or milk to make a frosting that is spreadable.

Frost top and sides with frosting. Decorate as desired with cotton candy and Easter egg candies just before serving.

recipe via Better Homes and Gardens

Some may be thinking and asking, “six cups powdered sugar?”  The malted milk powder keeps this frosting from being overly sweet.  Into everyone’s life a little sugar will fall, and realizing that fact is why I don’t shy from posting and developing dessert recipes.  From the measurement of an ingredient to the measurement of interior decorating and design, balance is key.

enjoy-hydrangea

 

Strawberry Orange Jam

All things house that make a home can be a less than glamorous gig at times- like when it’s cleaning out the refrigerator day.  On the upside, I did find the pint of strawberries I bought over the weekend and have overlooked thirty times between then and now.

strawberry orange jam

A rediscovered pint of strawberries connected the culinary dots straight to let’s make something very berry recipe development.  An easy Strawberry Orange Jam recipe it is.  In case you didn’t know, strawberries are my jam.

strawberry-jam1

 

Strawberry Orange Jam

Ingredients

1 16 ounce container fresh strawberries

1  small carton frozen strawberries

2 oranges

juice of one large Meyer lemon

2 cups water

1 Tablespoon orange zest

½ teaspoon allspice

3 Tablespoons orange juice

2 ½ cups sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1  3 ounce box orange jello

Directions

First, zest both oranges and then cut into wedges.  Remove peel and white membrane from fruit and discard. Place peeled oranges wedges and allspice in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook oranges for approximately 10-15 minutes or until softened. Drain off water.  Meanwhile, slice fresh strawberries in quarters and place strawberries in food processor, pulsing until crushed. Add crushed strawberries to the cooked oranges in saucepan.

strawberry-orange-jam

Add sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, honey, orange zest and frozen strawberries and mix well.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and stir in jello. Boil uncovered for 25-30 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Skim off excess foam before carefully spooning mixture into jars.  Place lids on sealing tight for optimum storage freshness.  The mixture will continue to thicken once refrigerated. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Enjoy!

Sweetly Summervia

Southern Living, the holy grail of southern recipes goodness, has done it again. This Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake screams spring, summer and strawberry goodness.  My maternal grandmother could rock a strawberry cake like no tomorrow.  I would love to be able to turn back the hands of time and be standing next to her in her kitchen right now whipping up this cake.

strawberry-lemonade-layer-cake-lvia

Creole Cream Cheese Crêpes with Strawberry Compote.  Need I say c’est si bon?  This recipe from Louisiana Cookin’ is on my recipe card radar.

StrawberryCrepesLouisiana Cookin’

It’s one of those lazy afternoons spring is so well known to host.  I went with it and kicked off my shoes, turned up the music and proceeded to jam.  I popped over to our next door neighbor’s with a spring share of strawberry orange jam. She’s my Meyer lemon connection and official taste tester, and she gave my latest creation an enthusiastic thumbs up.  I returned home to this sight.

kitty cat

That about sums up this spring afternoon.  Hope you enjoy yours!

Love your style!