“In a Jam”… with Kentucky Jam Cake for Derby Day

It has been such a long time, again, since I’ve been here at Home and The Range! I truly don’t know why I stay away so long! Except for life interruptions that come along, just can’t think of a good reason! The day of Kentucky Derby seems a good day to come back for a visit, a share, and hopefully a longer stay and not just a visit!

All things Kentucky, I thought, would be fitting. I thought to myself, ‘self….this would be a good time to make Kentucky Jam Cake’!

I have been in Kentucky for nearly 4 1/2 years . It’s about time I make Kentucky Jam Cake! Why have I waited so long? It was a hit with Poppy. He said…”I will miss this cake when it’s all gone”. It’s a new fave! 

I would describe this cake as…

A surprisingly tasty spice cake with an ever-so slight hint of sweet blackberry, resembling gingerbread, with a twist.

The caramel frosting is a complimentary flavor, although a bit tricky to get the texture right for spreading consistency. I adjusted the caramel frosting recipe to make it more spreadable. The result…penuche frosting, which I thought appropriate because it reminds me of a southern pecan praline. Pecans on top would be a nice touch and I will do that next time. April 2016 039

 

While the cake is a nod to The Kentucky Derby I could not help but think of the song….”Friendship”, because, of course, it begins with…

“If you’re ever in a jam”..

Remember the I Love Lucy episode with Lucy and Ethel singing the song?

Play the video below for a laugh and a smile!

Love, love, love….the laughs and humor that crazy redhead gave us!

Okay…back to Derby and Cake talk!

The cake was quite easy to make. One tip I would give is to be careful not to add too much air.  Fold the jam in gently and after pouring the batter into the cake pans, be sure to tap the bottom of the cake pans against a counter several times to release the air bubbles before baking.

There are many recipes online for Kentucky Jam Cake. The recipe that I used can be printed from my recipe site at this link:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/kentucky-jam-cake-1

 

The crafting of Kentucky Jam Cake…

Although I will not be going to see the race today I did take advantage of the opportunity to see the making of the “Run for The Roses” garland that will be placed on the  Kentucky Derby winner. There will be more than 450 roses in the garland. It was great to see the start of the process and see how each rose is placed in the garland. It is wonderful that they allow the community to take part by being invited to view the crafting of this beautiful part of the Kentucky Derby.

The crafting of the “Run for The Roses” garland for the Kentucky Derby winner!

 

To close this post…

My thoughts are of ‘the win’for each of us…

in a treasured friendship and in each moment of our lives that makes us feel like a champion!

Until we meet again…

If you’re ever in a jam….

Wishing you the blessing of friendship,

 a garland of roses,

and…cake!

    ~Vee          

2_angel roses   

picture import May 2015 to September 15,2015 087

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to ‘Tie One On’ (or two or three)….fleece tie blankets, that is!

Silver White Winters….

and comforters (blankets) for comfort!

March 2015 050

Wow! One week ago we had over a foot of snow. Today, there is no snow and Spring-like weather!

Winter gave me some good hobbies. Making some cozy comforters to provide winter comfort for my loved ones!

First was the blanket for Dad. Something to give him comfort as he sits in his recliner each evening, missing Mom.

Hey...somebody put the afghan over Dd!

Hey…somebody put the afghan over Dad! It’s…on the chair!

I love making crochet afghans! I browse online and through pattern books for new patterns but I still love some of the old standards that are tried and true! The chevron pattern is a favorite. I like the ‘design as you go’ color combinations that you can create from leftover yarn. For this afghan that I made for Dad I came up with a simple crochet chain edging instead of the tassels that you would usually do for the edging. It makes a clean and simple…fuss free, no fuzzy tassels in your face finish!

And my daughter enjoyed the blanket too…

What.....??? Grandpa said I could sit here...and eat here...and use his blanket! :)

What…..??? Grandpa said I could sit here…and eat here…and use his blanket! 🙂

Chain Edge

Chain Edge

draped afghan detail

A nice simple finish.

Comfy and Cozy...for Dad!

Comfy and Cozy…for Dad (and Amanda)!

Okay…so you may be wondering…did somebody pull the fleece over my eyes…or wasn’t this post about fleece tie blankets?

Ah…yes…it is!

One Fleece Blanket

One Fleece Blanket

And another fleece blanket...

And another fleece blanket…

And…there were more. I think I made 6 fleece tie blankets. The blankets for the grandkids were the cutest…and no pictures of those!

One of the greatest little tools, ever, made cutting the fringe SO MUCH EASIER! I made a couple of blankets without this handy dandy little tool…and it was very time intensive and back breaking! If you ever make one of these blankets you’ll want to have this tool. I got mine at Hancock Fabrics.

Fringe Cut Express Tool

Fringe Cut Express Tool…life simplified!

Fall and winter 2014-2015 256

This tool + a rotary cutter will make this project quick, precise and easy!

Once you have all of the fringe cut you simply tie the front and the back layers together. Tied right you’ll have each side showing fringe from the opposite side…a nice look (see above).

So now that our Silver White Winter is melting to Spring…time to pack up the blankets and get on with Spring!

With Spring approaching I’ll get back to work on some of my art projects…like this pastel painting…my boys. I saw a picture, in a magazine, of three boys in a field of flowers. It warmed my heart and I loved it so much! It reminded me of Spring, my boys…and now my grandsons. So…Spring brings opportunity for me to finish this up. I will pass it along to my daughter one day.

Brothers 001

Brothers Three…by Victoria

I have been thinking of all that brings me comfort. For me…there is great comfort in creating something for my loved ones to enjoy…and loved ones…that is comfort all by itself. To be blessed with wonderful parents, family, children, grandchildren, spouse and extended family…I am truly blessed! What great comfort that brings!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you…

The promise of Spring,

The comfort of home and family…

All that warms your heart!

Vee

Easy like Sunday morning….and Kentucky style french toast!

Kentucky Style French Toast

Kentucky Style French Toast

Sunday has always been my favorite day of the week!

When I was a young girl Dad and Mom helped each other make breakfast on Sunday. My brothers and sister and I scoured the Sunday Funnies while we waited for breakfast. We went to Church and then came home to the smell of Mom’s pot roast.  In my mind it has always been a day for worship and for family.  Even if I don’t go to Church…I feel gratitude and count my blessings. It’s a Sunday thing!

There is just something about Sunday! The words in the song, Easy, that Lionel Richie sings (easy like Sunday morning) strikes a chord with me.  Just hearing those words makes me feel like it is Sunday…or makes me long for Sunday! It reminds me of days spent with Dad and Mom, my kids and grandkids and those easy peaceful Sundays that I spend now with Poppy (my husband).

Sunday breakfast and dinner traditions remained a constant while raising my family. Even when some of the kids had grown and moved away from the nest, for many years Sunday dinner was still at Mom’s! empty nestGrowing and ‘grown’ children with their own families have busy lives. Sunday was generally the easiest day to get everyone together! I loved those days!

Now…my family lives ‘out West’ and Poppy and I are living in Kentucky.

Sunday is our day. We enjoy easy, peaceful Sunday mornings here in our empty nest and I enjoy making us a special breakfast.

Let me see if Poppy enjoyed it….

Kentucky Style French Toast

Kentucky Style French Toast

A bit like bread pudding.

A bit like bread pudding.

Didn't like it..one bit!

Didn’t like it..one bit!

Inspired by an item on a restaurant menu here in Kentucky, I created some Kentucky style french toast this morning. It is delicious! It’s texture and flavor remind me of bread pudding. A bit of bourbon is added to the egg and milk mixture. I made a bourbon butter sauce last weekend for my hummingbird cupcakes and had some leftover that I froze.  It made an outstanding syrup for the french toast.

The following link will take you to a printable version of the Bourbon Sauce…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/vee-s-kentucky-bourbon-sauce

It was an ‘easy like Sunday morning’ breakfast!

I thought of my brother-in-law this morning. He makes french toast for his family every Sunday!

I think each of us must have a favorite day of the week and a favorite family tradition that goes along with it.

‘Til we meet again…

Wishing you a day that fills you with that …

‘Easy like Sunday morning’ feeling,

A day that is blessed simply….and simply blessed with

family and tradition!

Happy Trails!

snoopy

Vee

Mamma Robin…and a lucky place for her nest!

Mamma tends her nest.

Mamma tends her nest.

I have not participated in a photo challenge in a while. This…I couldn’t resist! UP is the subject matter.

I opened the garage door one day last week and a small bunch of straw and debris fell on my head.When I looked up…this nest is what I discovered! We have been watching this Mamma Robin and her nest since then. We are hoping that all goes well for her and her little ones! This Mamma built her nest above the door of one of the barns here on the property. It is at the top of the rail that the barn door (aka the garage door) slides back and forth on. It is a very precarious place for her to be. We are being so careful and gentle when we do have to open the door. This poor Mamma gets so upset when we have to be anywhere near…taking care of the yard, walking the dogs or going in and out of the barn. Poor Mamma!

My thoughts…

Mamma’s Nest

 It happened one day…while we were away,

Mamma Robin built her nest.

I am concerned, little Mamma,

About your choice…

It seems unstable, fragile, subject to circumstance.

 With every uninvited movement, unsettling noise…

Mamma bird flees the nest.

Watching….

She frets…

At every thing that seems a threat!

But she returns and waits…

As do we!

 

How often we build our nest…

Home for our families, uncertain of the foundation,

Hopeful of the outcome; our parental mission…

We anticipate and desire only the best;

No matter…our surroundings, circumstantial things;

We pray for shelter, provision…

Courage and strength in our little ones’ wings,

A bright and promising future,

Fulfillment of their dreams.

 

As I watch Mamma Robin, ever near;

Always watching, protecting, she frets…

I think of my own worry, fear,

Wonder, regrets!

Did I do everything…

To give my children the best?

 

When every stick and straw has blown away…

Will they still remember the nest?

Will they remember comfort and shelter?

Will they remember my watchful eye?

Will they know that they were pushed gently…

 

To learn, on their own…how to fly?

Another view…

A Lucky Home!

A Lucky Home!

Perhaps this little Mamma Robin thought this had to be …

the luckiest place on earth!

It has to be…there is a horse shoe!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you good luck for YOUR home!

Happy Trails!

Vee

The Empty Nester's!

(The Empty Nester)

Remembering Honest Abe….his Kentucky home and favorite almond cake!

Today was the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday!

I thought this would be a good day to post some pictures of Abe Lincoln’s Kentucky home. Poppy and I went to see Abe’s birthplace last fall. The grounds and surroundings are beautiful and we could imagine Abe running in those woods as a child.

Abe's Stomping Grounds, KY

Abe’s Stomping Grounds, Hardin County KY

There is a small log cabin, kept in a building for preservation, that was once believed to be the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln.

The building is home to the little log cabin from Abe's era.

Home to the little log cabin from Abe’s era.

The staff explained that the log cabin is no longer thought of as Abe’s birthplace but is, rather, a log cabin from this area in Kentucky and from the 1800 era.

Log Cabin from the 1800's.

Log Cabin from the 1800’s.

Poppy reads the plaques outside the monument.

Poppy reads about an idyllic frontier.

Idyllic Frontier

Hey Poppy….who is that with you on the porch?

Poppy and Lincoln on the porch!

Poppy (Bud) and Lincoln on the porch!

Well….Southern gals find a recipe for every topic of conversation! So…to honor that tradition, and satisfy my curiosity, I looked up Abe’s favorite cake recipe…of course!

This is a deliciously moist, tender cake and has a delicate almond flavor…not overpowering.

Abe's Favorite Cake,Mrs. Lincoln's White Almond Cake

Abe’s Favorite Cake,
Mrs. Lincoln’s White Almond Cake

Here is a little bit of history ….an excerpt from LINCOLN HOME, National Historic Site

http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/exhibits/liho/printVersion.html

Food  and Entertaining Mary loved entertaining.

Mary’s main homemaking interest appeared to be cooking, especially  making sweets.  The  cookbooks she purchased after getting married are in the Presidential library  in Springfield.  Her white almond  cake was one of Mr. Lincoln’s favorite desserts.  She had brought the  recipe from her favorite bakery in Lexington, Kentucky.  Mary baked the white cake for Abraham Lincoln when they were  courting, as a Springfield housewife, and when she was First Lady.  Today, there are many versions of it,  including the one listed below.

The Lincolns purchased macaroon pyramids  (macaroon cookies stacked in a pyramid and covered with caramelized sugar  drizzle) from local confectioners when they had a big party. Mary often  served strawberries and cream, probably with cookies.  Oral tradition had it that the neighborhood  children were guaranteed a cookie or donut from Mrs. Lincoln when they played with  the Lincoln boys.  With Mary’s copious  amounts of sugar purchased, there were plenty of cookies.  During the course of one week in 1849, Mary  purchased 13 pounds of sugar!

Abe’s favorite cake…
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake 

(Recipe from Lincoln’s Table by Donna D. McCreary was adapted by Janice  Cooke Newman)

1 cup blanched almonds, chopped in a food processor until they

resemble a coarse flour

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

6 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

confectionary sugar

  • Preheat  oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan.
  • Cream  butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder 3 times. Add to creamed butter  and sugar, alternating with milk. Stir in almonds and beat well.
  • Beat  egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Pour  into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted comes out  clean. Turn  out on a wire rack and cool. When cool, sift confectionary sugar over top

A basic white frosting sprinkled with  almonds was also popular.

I made this cake with a few changes….I used toasted, slivered honey almonds, added 1 teaspoon cardamom (goes well with almond), buttermilk , instead of milk,  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  I frosted the cake with an almond cream cheese frosting.

A tasty slice of the past!

A tasty slice of the past!

We stopped in at the gift shop and visitor’s center and I purchased this very cute country style sampler.

Country Bear Sampler

Country Bear Sampler

Only after bringing it home did I see that on the tag it read…Made in China!

I’m sure we could find some Kentucky folk to make these! It just doesn’t seem to fit into the whole ‘Idyllic Frontier’ theme…does it? Oh well…such is life on the new Frontier!

Until we meet again….

Happy trails on your Frontier…wherever that may be….Kentucky, China…wherever!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply….

and simply blessed!

Vee

Barn in the mist

Snow and Yoberry (Yogurt Strawberry) Muffins…What a great Saturday!

We have had some very strange weather this winter in Kentucky! It has gone from cold to high 60’s, back to the teens, tornado weather and….finally….snow, beautiful snow!

A peaceful winter morning.

A peaceful winter morning.

We have waited for the snow since the last snow just after Christmas!  The snow we had then didn’t stay on the ground for long. Our weather has been crazy! After the tornado like weather last week we had snow flurries but nothing stuck to the ground. The snow flurries were fun though. The snow flakes were large feather-like flakes and the wind swirled them around in circles. I heard someone say that it looked like being in a snow globe! I thought that was a great way to describe it and I quite enjoyed watching the big flakes swirl around throughout the day…in the snow globe! I was overjoyed when the snow started up again and actually started sticking to the ground at about 12:00 a.m. on Friday morning. I want to take in every minute of it that I can. I went for a walk in my P.J.’s…at midnight!

P J's, snow boots (not tied)...and snow...yes...snow...at midnight!

P J’s, snow boots (not tied)…and snow…yes…snow…at midnight!

The snow was nearly all melted away by Friday night. What a wonderful surprise to wake up on Saturday morning to a soft falling snow…sticking to the ground!

I LOVE it!

Snow Love!

Snow Love!

OK…never mind where I got a little off balance…it’s still a heart! And…next time this old gal is going to make a snow angel!

I love the peace that the new snow brings. The sweet, peaceful calm is so welcome and so beautiful!

The quiet of nature.

The quiet of nature!

What a great Saturday morning…watching the snow…and baking some muffins!

Yo...berry muffins!

Yo…berry muffins!

I wrapped these fruit filled, tasty muffins in some wintery fun…

Wintery muffin liners.

Wintery muffin liners.

Poppy and I enjoyed the day…and the muffins!

The dogs enjoyed the snow too!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Nella enjoy the morning walk in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Poppy and Bear in the snow!

Pogo and Snow...he loves it!

 
Pogo and Snow…he loves it!

Until we meet again…

Wishing you peaceful, sweet moments to treasure…

with a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Happy Trails!

Vee

Simple treasures.

Pray a Latte’! A recipe for happiness!

Saturday morning was a misty morning with a light soft rain. A perfect day for a homemade latte’!

Misty Morning Latte’

This luscious latte’ was every bit as good as the expensive coffee shop variety! It is quite easy to make, less expensive and you can stay in your pj’s! What a way to enjoy a misty morning!

To make:

Brew some strong coffee…or espresso. This was the coffee that I used for my latte’…Cafe Goya.

Rich Bold Espresso

Heat some 2% milk in a pan…till you see a layer of ‘skim’ and it starts to bubble.

Funky Milk…perfect stage to whisk into a foam!

Then whisk into a bubbly foam….

a Perfect Foam!

Fill a coffee cup 1/2 or 2/3 full of coffee,  add sweetener of your choice if you like, pour hot milk, holding back the foam, into the coffee, top off with some foam…sprinkle with cinnamon or your favorite spice. ENJOY…on the porch, in your jamms…or…wherever your morning takes you! It is yum-huh delicious!

Second cup!

While enjoying my latte’ I remembered the cutest coffee cups with the phrase…Pray a Latte’ on them…and a scripture.

I saw these in a catalog that my sister-in-law had…Catalog Favorites.

Prayer and Latte’

I searched for the cups. They are no longer available! I think I shall pray…a latte’…for them to come back. Should have ordered them before!

I Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

I thought about that scripture while enjoying my latte’.

I thought…

Pray a lot

To The Father Above

His love and mercy

To bless those that I love…

Friends and Family,

Those I hold dear….

I pray The Lord to hold them near.

I gave thanks for my loved ones, the morning, the soft falling rain…

Until we meet again…

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and a day that is simply blessed….

with…a latte’ to be thankful for!

Happy Trails!

Vee