“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homage to my Danish heritage…Danish Hearts and Cinnamon Rolls!

Stay funny Valentine…stay…

As the song says…

‘Each day is Valentine’s Day!’

Danish Hearts

Danish Hearts

So…even though Valentine’s Day has come and gone…I am posting some of my favorite things that I made for this Valentine’s Day. 🙂

I had some challenges with my new laptop and photo program and was unable to get it all worked out by Valentine’s Day.

But…every day is a good day to express love and make goodies, right?

I have been so intrigued with my heritage (both French and Danish) and have been exploring recipes and traditions from France and Denmark (see last post…French Cookies).

About a year ago, or so, I came across the Danish Heart. I love them! These hearts are traditionally made at Christmas time. Children make them out of paper and they are hung on the Christmas tree. I happen to think they are suitable for Valentine’s Day as well. The heart is woven together with just two pieces of paper (or fabric) and creates a basket that can be used for a piece of candy or a little trinket.

I made mine from fabric. To make them more sturdy I first tried fabric stiffener and found the best result from using an iron on facing. To reinforce the structure I sewed the sides together at the top and reinforced just on one side on the bottom. Then I attached some ribbon and embellished with buttons or tiny roses.

"Heart Felt Greetings"

“Heart Felt Greetings”

I love Valentine’s Day! Love should be expressed every day…but it is one of those times we can make it seem even more special. It just makes saying…

“I Love You”…a little bit sweeter!

And, of course, making something sweet for someone sweet…makes it even better! So…bring on the Cinnamon Rolls! I know…Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day for chocolate, right? Well…we had that too but the weekend before Valentine’s Day…Poppy helped me try out a new recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.

Yep…we had a week of Valentine’s treats! See…there are so many reasons to love the celebration of love!

Cinnamon Roll...Love!

Cinnamon Roll…Love!

I have been a lover of Cinnamon Rolls…forever! And…I have tried many recipes.  I am told that my Danish Grandmother made some pretty fantastic Cinnamon Rolls. Sure wish I had her recipe! I found this one in my Southern Living Homestyle Cookbook….and it is definitely a keeper!

My husband (Poppy)gave me a hand with these because I had sore, cracked fingers from this frigid Kentucky weather. He was needed for the kneading!. He did a great job! The rolls turned out to be tender and delicious!

'Cake Like' frosted goodness!

‘Cake Like’ frosted goodness!

Such simple things…make me smile!

The comforts of Home…nothing better!

Here is a link that will take you to the recipe for some of the best Cinnamon Rolls..ever!…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/buttermilk-cinnamon-rolls

‘Til we meet again…

Wishing you a happy heart each and every day…

 filled with tender moments, sweet treats,

the comforts of home to make you smile… 

And forever love!

~Blessings!

Vee

Poppy...rollin' in the dough!

Poppy…rollin’ in the dough!

Mad about…Madeleines! Plump and tasty, delicate little Madeleines!

Here it is already…2014!! Happy New Year!

I have been gone for so long again. Doggone it!! I miss this place…called blog!

I won’t go into long detail about my absence…only try to get up to date with some shares of some of my favorite things since I last checked in.

One of those very delicious favorite things is this tender little sponge cake that they call a cookie! They are called Madeleines.

Fan Shaped Cookies...Madeleines!

Fan Shaped Cookies…Madeleines

I know I’ve heard of them before but when I saw them on a ‘Best Christmas Cookies’ and also a ‘Favorite Christmas Cookies’ list I had to try them. And this was, in part, in honor of my French heritage. I am also part Danish. Is it any wonder I have an attraction to all things pastry? I’m doomed!

These ‘cookies’ do require a special pan. After doing an online search to find a Madeleine pan I went to two stores that were supposed to carry the pan and had no luck. Nobody seemed to know what they were either. Now I am doubting the popularity of these so-called favorite ‘cookies’. I wasn’t willing to give up just yet though! Surely…Bed Bath & Beyond would have this specialty pan! I went to BB&B and could not find what I was looking for. I asked an Associate if they carried the pans and she looked at me with a very confused look on her face. Luckily…another customer, near by, explained what they were and said…’oh yes, those are delicious’! Ah hah…I said…I must have this pan! The Associate understood what I needed after the very helpful customer explained that they look like little fans. I was then directed to the right shelf where there was but one remaining Madeleine pan!  The cashier was just as excited about my purchase as I was, thinking that he now knew where to direct the other customers that had been asking about this very special pan! But..ha I say…this pan is mine and there are no others!   I felt blessed and I now believed the Cookie list to be accurate! OK…does this story sound at all like the narrative in A Christmas Story yet? No…I cannot shoot my eye out with this pan!

As I was doing some other Christmas shopping (yes, for others, now that I had my very special pan in hand), I was again lucky and blessed to find yet another pan, in fact two, at another store. The BB&B pan (a Wilton pan) definitely had a different shape than the other pans that I found at The HomeGoods Store. After trying them both I have determined that my preference is the pan that I found at The HomeGoods Store. The Wilton pan is deeper, narrower and my Madeleines turned out like little flying saucers…not the desired result. The Madeleines baked in the other pans…perfect! I wish I could tell you what brand the other pan is. I threw out the packaging and it isn’t marked on the pan. The HomeGoods Store carries them.

I’ve now made two batches. One batch makes about 22 cookies (even though the recipe says 24). I think the pan design has something to do with the yield.I am reluctant to confess…but I shall anyway…my husband and I can eat all 22 cookies in less than 24 hours. OK…he does eat most of them. And just in case you’re wondering if that was a fluke…nope! Second batch…gone in 24 hours!

I tested two recipes. I will share a link to the first recipe that I tried…

Ina Garten’s Coconut Madeleines:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/coconut-madeleines-recipe/index.html

And this link will take you my Google Sites recipe site where I’ve added my adapted recipe…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/madeleine-cookie-cakes

I'm a Fan of the Fans!

I’m a Fan of the Fans!

I am truly glad about being mad for these things! A new recipe for the New Year!

Wishing you a very blessed and Happy New Year…

a Year full of new and wonderful,

a Year that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Vee

Winter Wreath

Winter Wreath

A wreath is a symbol of growth and of the continuous circle of life.

It is a symbol of God’s Love…Everlasting, yet ever new.

Each new day…His Love is there! Happy 2014! May God bless you and yours!

A Cup ‘O, Cup ‘O…times ten…and BOOM, Ten Cup Cookies!

Remember Dolly Parton telling how to make a fruit cocktail dump cake in Steel Magnolia’s?

Hmmm…well this post isn’t about that!! But in the future I will do a…

Cup ‘O, Cup ‘O, Cup ‘O post on that yummy cake and share some photos of those beautiful Magnolia trees in bloom.

Nope…this post is about Ten Cup Cookies. Delicious cookies! I think of these delights as a ‘my cup runneth over’ cookie and they are a new fave at our home!

A Cup 'O, Cup 'O.....

A Cup ‘O, Cup ‘O…..

I have been absent for a while…again! Life has been quite full for several months. It hasn’t been so ‘Easy like Sunday Morning’ for some time now! It has been full…ten cups full and more!

One constant in life is change! I’ve had a change of job and industry which has required a lot of learning. A LOT of learning! My cup runneth over! I remind myself to see all of this change in that very light. I am thankful! I am grateful!

I am on a crazy diet now also…ANOTHER diet! My love for baking has been shelved for a while. But…oh no…where are the goodies? Ah…I made some of Poppy’s faves and some of mine as well…before diet day one! So…I have pictures. What…am I crazy you say? Hmm…yes, must be! Looking at these pictures makes me yearn for these scrumptious cookies! Ah well…can’t have my cake AND eat it too! Wait…what about a cookie?

I have made these Ten Cup Cookies several times now for Poppy and I and for co-workers and their families. They are addictive! Everybody loves them!

One of my fellow bloggers, Christie McGuire, awarded me this great Cookbook…Southern Living Homestyle Cookbook. This recipe was a definite winner and so…I share!

Southern Living Cookies

                                                 Southern Living Cookbook Cookies

Remember…life gets full of…life! Enjoy it…each and every ten cup cookie at a time!

And when life gets scary…’high tail it and run!’

High Tail It!

I never quite knew what that expression meant or where it came from. After seeing White Tail Deer on our property…I have a good idea! When they sense danger (life gets scary) they raise their tails and run. They ‘high tail it’ outta here!

Until we meet again…

may your cup runneth over

and remember to ‘high tail it’ and run…when life gets scary!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Vee

Take a bite...and high tail it!

Take a bite…and high tail it!

An Irish Blessing and my first go with Royal Icing…a Royal Pain!

Ahhhhhhhhhh…..

The luck of the Irish must not have been with me during my first go with Royal Icing!

Well, after all, I am Danish and French! My children are part Irish…but they weren’t here helping me make these cookies!

Shamrock Cookies

Shamrock Cookies

One of my goals for this year….try new ingredients, products or gadgets for the kitchen.

My first new product, dehydrated buttermilk….a success! (See January post…http://wp.me/p2e6iL-sz).

Second new product…

Meringue Powder

Hmmm….

I think there is plenty of room for improvement. I’m sure it was baker error!

The purpose of this kitchen adventure was to find a ‘travels well’ frosting.

I am quite fond of sugar cookies and have made hundreds, if not thousands, of them over the years. In all of those years, however,  I have never sent frosted sugar cookies to loved ones. I have been experimenting with ‘travels well’ cookies since moving faw away from kids and grandkids. Standard, frosted cookies have not been in the goodie boxes yet. I have never frosted my sugar cookies with anything but cream cheese frosting or a simple icing (always preferring the cream cheese frosting).  As I understand it, ‘royal icing’,  is a good option for cookies that need to travel or for a crunchier cookie, as the icing that I usually make has a tendency to make a cookie soft after a while, due to the fat content in the icing (butter and cream cheese).

After searching numerous recipes and tutorials available on the internet I decided on using meringue powder. The result was not what I wanted or expected! These cookies did not disappoint in taste but I will go back to the drawing board on the royal icing. The royal icing was a royal pain!

You may notice that my cookies are not perfect!

Luck 'O The Irish Cookies

Luck ‘O The Irish Cookies

What I learned from my research…you need two bowls of frosting. One bowl must be a thicker consistency for outlining the cookie.

Outlining Cookies

Outlining Cookies

When outline is dry… ‘flood’ the cookies with a thinner icing.And the end result…

'Flooded' Cookie

‘Flooded’ Cookie

Some of the cookies that I found online…

All Recipes Easter Cookies with Royal Icing

All Recipes Easter Cookies with Royal Icing

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/royal-icing-iii/

had a consistency similar to that of the frosting that I made.

And…:)

All Smiles...with Royal Icing

All Smiles…with Royal Icing

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-cookie-icing/

these cute little smiley face cookies seem to be a different consistency . The recipe details indicate that the frosting dries hard and shiny.

These are so cute and I must make these to send to a friend out West. It will make her ‘happy little self’ (one of her expressions)…happy!

I will give the Royal Icing another go for some Easter cookies and hope for the desired result.

Meanwhile….

Until we meet again at The Range I leave you with…

Irish Blessing

Vee

Shamrock Cookie

Be Blessed!

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.