“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!

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!

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

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

A Matter of Life,Death….and a dessert ‘to die for’…Pecan Pie Bars!

No crisis….no emergency….just a bit about one of the ‘not so odd…ities’

in the South!

Here in the South….

Cemeteries are in the Church yard! Something that, at first, creeped me out!

Now…

I find it appropriate, thought-provoking and …bittersweet!

Come to the Church in the Wild Wood….

When I first moved to Kentucky, last December, I noticed that cemeteries reside in the Church yard.

It made me feel a bit uneasy….kind of like how I feel about burials, in general. I get pretty upset (who doesn’t) at a gravesite. Aside from the loss and the heartache, I also deal with the whole burial in the ground thing. I wrestle with that in my mind and in my heart. I can’t explain it very well and even writing about it…I feel that gut wrenching feeling of loss.

The location of a cemetery in most small towns out West…is the very edge…the very farthest edge….of town.

Growing up in a small town presented opportunity to have to find fun things to do. One of those ‘fun’ things was running around in the cemetery in the dark and getting scared half out of our wits while somebody told some obnoxious spooky story. I never quite knew why I went along because I really did get scared! I think that is part of the reason I have just never liked cemeteries!

It is definitely unique, for me, to see all of the cemeteries in the Church yards here. I told my husband that I didn’t like thinking about death when I went to Church! He always gave me a look…like….say what?

So over the past several months I have pondered this practice (of cemeteries in Church yards).  I drive past a little Church with a cemetery on the grounds, quite often. It is just around the corner from our house. I have grown to love this scene…and love the meaning that it has for me now.  What better reminder? We live our lives….in Jesus’ love. We should live our lives according to Our Father’s Will…and he does bring us home…to our peaceful rest…our Heavenly Home. How very sweet…to be resting near a place of worship. I quite like the idea of that now. At least…today I do!

Time for Revival!

This is the sign outside the little Church around the corner. Ironic if you ask me! Revival? I see a lot of head stones! Please….don’t be offended…it’s funny!

What do you see…on the streets where you live?

Our street…just around the corner from the little Cemetery.

So…now for that

‘to die for’ dessert….and they are so Southern and so yummy!

Pecan Pie Bars

Here is a link to a printable recipe…

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/pecan-pie-bars

These are gooey, nutty and delicious. I hope you’ll give them a try…or maybe be inspired to make a batch of your own favorite cookie bars.

By the way…

a note about the last post and Mock Tapioca Pudding.  Out of One Hundred Seventeen views,

I had….

drum roll….

6 ‘likes’! Six?

Wow….I had no idea there were that few of us who like Cream of Wheat! But the proof, as always, is in the pudding. Ya’ll really should try it! But if pudding isn’t your thing….give these Pecan Pie Bars a try…they’re great!

Until we meet again….

Happy trails….on the street where you live!

Vee

We Whooped it up…and Whipped it up! A Celebration…and Vee’s Italian Cream Cake!

Well…Poppy’s birthday came and went. There was celebration of another year…along with celebrating a Great Niece’s visit and our Brother-In-Law’s race victory. He competes in the NMCA (National Muscle Car Association).

So we Whooped it up…and Whipped it up!

Whoopie…Whoop it up!

There was Victory…

Les’ Beautiful Camaro!

And there was cake…

Top it off with coconut and pecans…how Southern is that?

And there was cake!

We celebrate…a birthday, a visit and a race victory!

My husband loves coconut…

coconut cake…

coconut cream pie…

and he loves that Paula Deen Coconut Cake (it is a poke cake), but it is a bit too sweet for me. For his birthday cake this year…I decided I would make an Italian Cream Cake. After looking up a recipe and then making an assessment of the ingredients that I didn’t have on hand I came up with this alternative. There are only a few recipes that I make using a cake mix…but I did happen to have a cake mix on hand. So…I went to work on creating a semi-homemade version of Italian Cream Cake, a Southern favorite (which has to be about the coconut and pecans).

This cake is…the Bomb! It is so moist and creamy…it is out of this world…really! Poppy wanted me to keep this recipe a secret…but I am sharing…and I hope you’ll try it! Those that we have shared the cake with have also said that it doesn’t get better than this! One of my co-workers said that she buys Italian Cream Cake for special events from a Gourmet Bakery…and THIS was the best she had ever tasted! I love making things that others enjoy as much as I do! That is sweeter than the sweet! 🙂 It is a Victory!

So…

Here is a printable version of the recipe:

https://sites.google.com/site/recipesfromhomeandtherange/vee-s-italian-cream-cake

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The slideshow will give you a bit of a tutorial for preparing…Poppy’s new favorite coconut dessert!!

As far as Victories go….

They are always the result of faith, dedication, determination, talent and skill.

Celebrate your Family…

your Victories…

and always remember….

It’s always just…

A Piece ‘O Cake!

Wishing you Victory and Celebration in your life today…

and ’til we meet again (and I promise it won’t be as long next time)

Happy Trails!

Vee