“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:



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,



2_angel roses   

picture import May 2015 to September 15,2015 087









New Year, New Recipe… Crazy Good Blueberry Ribbon Coffe Cake!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here we are…already nearly one week into the new year!

Do you have any resolutions for the year?


Adjective: Admirabley purposeful, determined, unwavering.
Synonyms: Determined – firm – decided – resolved – decisive

I have a month to month plan and…categories! I find that I am resolute in some categories and I will work on being resolute in others!

In my Creative Cooking and Baking Category…

I resolve to continue creating tasty recipes in my kitchen…possibly on the lighter side, this year!

I’m off to a great start! Maybe not on the lighter side of things yet…but I definitely came up with a new and tasty recipe to add to my favorite brunch recipes.

Coffee Cake Brunch

Blueberry Ribbon Coffe Cake …with brunch

I started the year in the kitchen…creating a fantastic new recipe that we enjoyed for brunch on New Year’s Day.  In my New Year Kitchen Adventures… I want to include new ingredients or use some new kitchen gadgets. I believe this will help me explore and develop new cooking skills. And I do resolve to try cooking and baking on the lighter side….uh…I think! There are, certainly, some tasty ways to prepare some favorites on the ‘lighter side’ that will fit well into my overall plan of enjoying the kitchen and maybe a smaller dress size as well!

My new favorite addition to the pantry…

Powdered Buttermilk for Baking

How many times have you wanted to try a recipe that included buttermilk…and you didn’t have any? I know the trick to make your own…use vinegar or lemon juice in milk…but I always prefer the real thing…buttermilk. It is not something that I always have in my refrigerator so I was happy to give this dehydrated version of buttermilk a try. It is great! The baked result was a delicious and moist coffee cake!

Vee's Blueberry Ribbon Coffee Cake

Vee’s Crazy Good Blueberry Ribbon Coffee Cake

This new recipe is crazy good! My husband loved it so much he was trying to come up with a marketing scheme to mass market the stuff! OK…new recipes…off to a good start. This delightful brunch addition was worth the weight …I mean wait…on my resolve in one of the other categories!

Here is a link to a printable version of the recipe:


I hope you’ll give it a try because it really is crazy good!

I hope the New Year has greeted you with great joy and blessings!

Until we meet again….

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply…

and simply blessed!

Happy Trails!



Go ahead…”Mock my day”….with some Mock Tapioca Pudding! So good!

Ahhh….the goodness and hominess of Cream of Wheat!


And…milk and egg, sugar and vanilla!

I have been meaning to post this little recipe for a while (see date on milk).  Go ahead, mock me…no…the pudding!

I know folks either love Cream of Wheat, can do with or without it…or maybe even hate it. Say what?

I happen to love the stuff! Around our house, raising kids…it was a staple!

On my trip up to Utah (see http://wp.me/p2e6iL-ih) I made some Cream of Wheat for breakfast for my Nieces and Nephews.

I got a big kick out of them asking me to make sure there were lumps in it! So….some of us…like takin’ our lumps! Remember the saying “if you don’t like it…lump it”? Well…we like to lump it…with Cream of Wheat, that is!

Since coming back to my home, here in the South, I have come across a fantastic recipe…I LOVE it! I was watching an episode of Sister Wives and they talked about the one dish that was most requested by the kids.  It was…Mock Tapicoca Pudding…of all things!

I had to try it…and I am a fan! It is surprisingly good…but no lumps kids…just rich and creamy and delicious!

I did question why one would make this ‘mock’ pudding versus just making Tapioca! I believe the answer to that is…the Cream of Wheat version is probably more nutritious with a higher protein value. I still love Tapioca…but this is a great alternative…and hey… you can have it for breakfast or any ole’ time!

It is quite simple to make and, I think it is very homey…and that, after all, is my passion!

I found this recipe at  Food.com.

Here is a link to their print recipe page:


Mock Tapioca Pudding


    • 2 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup uncooked cream of wheat
    • 1 egg, separated
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • prepared whipped topping, for garnish
    • maraschino cherries, for garnish
  • N0te: I didn’t use the whipped topping or cherries…and added a dash of nutmeg


  1. In a small bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat egg white until soft peaks form.
  2. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, mix together milk, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and egg yolk.
  5. Heat to a rapid boil, while stirring constantly.
  6. Slowly sprinkle in cereal, while continuing to stir briskly.
  7. Return to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  9. Transfer beaten egg whites to a medium size mixing bowl.
  10. Slowly pour hot mixture over egg whites, while stirring with a whisk.
  11. Stir in vanilla.
  12. Spoon pudding into 4 dessert dishes.
  13. Chill until serving time.
  14. Garnish with whipped topping and cherries if desired.

Enjoy…warm with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg…or chilled!

‘Til we meet again…

Remember…sometimes you can like the lumps….

and sometimes you can smooth it out….

and…don’t forget the puddin’!

Happy Trails!


I just discovered that someone took one of the photos from my last post! I do ask that anyone ask permission before using (or taking) my photos. It was a picture of my husband’s birthday cake….now….that takes the cake, as they say! So…if you missed it (and it was a beauty)….here is the cake! And…it is my own recipe that I share with ya’ll! Gee…I hope whoever took the cake liked it!

Poppy’s Birthday Cake

(Vee’s Italian Cream Cake)

Takin’ my lumps! 🙂

Mom’s Homemade Granola Recipe!

So…I’m feelin’ my oats (as they say)…or…eating my oats!


I made some granola for Poppy to eat while I was on my trip to Utah. I think that is all he ate…and time to make some more.

There are a lot of great recipes for Granola on the web…but I have always used this simple recipe. You can mix it up with different dried fruits and nuts…and it is always great! My kids loved it…and Poppy still does!

Mom’s Homemade Granola

(Select the following link for a printable version of the recipe).



 4 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (not quick cooking)

1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (or ½ and ½)

¼ cup (packed) brown sugar

1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or omit the pie spice and increase cinnamon to 1 ½ teaspoons)

 ¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 *1 cup dried fruit (for this batch I used 1/3 cup chopped dates, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/3 cup raisins).


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the oats, coconut, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and pie spice.

 In a saucepan heat the oil and honey together… just enough to melt the honey. Blend well. Add vanilla and mix well.

Pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Mix by hand if you need to break up any clumps.

 Spread the granola, evenly, on a large cookie sheet or baking pan (15 x 10).

 Bake 40 minutes, or longer if necessary, until granola is a golden brown, stirring carefully every 10 to 15 minutes.

 Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Stir in dried fruit of your choice. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag.

 Note: The Granola can be stored for one week in an airtight container or ziplock bag and up to three months in the freezer.

 *Other good choices for dried fruit are dried apricots, bananas, cherries or pineapple or blueberries.


 We added some sliced bananas…so good! I think I shall enjoy my next bowl with some fresh blueberries.

Enjoy…sow some wild oats (carefully…not too wild)!

Wishing you a day that is blessed simply, simply blessed (maybe with some oatie goodness).

Happy Trails…

‘Til we meet again!


Our Daily Bread…today…Southern Style Bread Pudding!

Give us, this day…’Our Daily Bread’.

I thought I would share some of  ‘Our Daily Bread’ that Poppy and I enjoy! Today we enjoyed bread pudding…Southern Style!

I make bread every week for  Poppy’s lunches.  I made too many loaves last week so I decided to make some bread pudding. What a great thing leftover bread is!

This is such a simple but delicious dessert and I can’t believe I didn’t like it when I was a kid!

What was I thinking?

I have made Southern Style bread pudding, many times, with whiskey sauce, but never with buttermilk (in the whiskey sauce). I am loving this one! It is wonderful! I am so happy that my Brother-In-Law left his Jack Daniels at my house! He won’t miss it, right? I might have to make him some of this when he comes back to get his whiskey! I made some oh so delicious gravy with it once too. Hmm…I might be in trouble!

Southern Style Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

The Recipe for Southern Style Bread Pudding…from the Range:

I used 11 cups bread crumbs…combination of  whole wheat/oat bread and a couple of leftover rolls from Easter.

5 cups milk (canned and whole milk combined)

4 extra large eggs

2  teaspoons vanilla

1   c. granulated sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

dash of salt

3/4 cup pecans, chopped (and additional nuts to sprinkle over the top…about 1/4 to 1/3 cup)

3/4 cup raisins

To Make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 in baking pan.

Tear the bread into medium and small pieces and place in a large bowl. Mix sugar, dash of salt and cinnamon together and mix into bread crumbs. In a separate bowl, mix together…milk, beaten eggs  and vanilla and pour over bread crumbs. Mix well, allow the bread to soak up the liquid for 5 – 10 minutes.  Fold in pecans and raisins. Pour into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with a light layer of pecans . Bake at 350 degrees…for 30 -40 minutes…or until lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm with Bourbon Sauce

Recipe for Bourbon Sauce:

1  1/2 cup Granulated sugar

9 T. Butter

3/4  cup Buttermilk

2 -3 Tablespoons Bourbon / Whiskey (I used Tennessee Whiskey)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1  1/2 T. white Corn Syrup

1  1/2  teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add all other ingredients and boil for one minute. Let set for a little while before serving (it will thicken up a bit).

Drizzle over bread pudding and…if you like, ice cream.

(I discovered a new flavor of  Breyer’s Ice Cream…Vanilla Caramel. It accompanies this dessert quite nicely!)

Poppy…and I…approve!