Creative contemplations on the possibilities in life.
Gratitude Day 28: Great Aunt
I was pleasantly surprised by a visit from two of my nephews, their wives, and two of my great-nieces today. We had several hours together, just hanging out and talking. Well, you know me, that would be talking and taking pictures of the kids. I love all my nieces and nephews. Being an aunt is the greatest thing ever. Nothing brings me more joy than "auntie time." I'm grateful for wonderful nieces and nephews who generously share their lives and families with me so I have lots of family too. I am so blessed!
If I had to be a vegetarian I would be in big trouble because I'm not all that keen on eating veggies, especially those nutritionally important leafy green vegetables. I'll pass on plain wilted or steamed spinach over and over again, but I could sit down and eat all of this spinach casserole and smile. Yes, it's that good. Best of all, it's super easy to make. Portion sizes of the ingredients are totally forgiving, so if you use a little more or a little less of something, no worries!
Crunchy Spinach Casserole
1 pkg. (12 oz.) frozen chopped spinach 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, melted
1/2 pkg. (~7 oz.) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat an 8 x 8"ovenproof glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.Cook spinach in medium-sized pot according to package directions. Drain well and return to pot.Add cream cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir until com…
This was the featured image on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facebook page this morning. It's the perfect image for a Sunday morning, especially on Memorial Day weekend when we remember the lives of those lost in the service of our country. This weekend many of us also choose to remember the lives of family and friends that have passed on. And so the illuminating rays of sunlight over the Missionary Baptist Church in Cades Cove speak to each of us and to those no longer with us. It's not hard to feel the spirit and the peace portrayed.
This morning my friend, Bryan Nowak, noted that the sunlight looked like heavenly beams. I smiled knowing I had titled this image "Heavenly Light" shortly after the photograph was taken last June. The name is inspired by a sacred choral postlude I was introduced to by my nephew, Chris Plaas, who sings with a men's chorus called Brethren. The hymn, featured on the Brethren's CD Prayers and Praises, was written by the …
Another Saturday night and it's time for another pound cake! This time I went for a chocolate sour cream pound cake -- something I've not made before. I trust my vintage Southern Living magazine recipes (this one is from 1992) and this one is another winner. I tweaked the recipe just a tiny bit and added a glaze. Here's what I did:
For the cake:
1 c. unsalted butter, softened, plus additional to prepare pan
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 lg. eggs, at room temperature
2 c. all purpose flour (plus additional to prepare pan)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. cocoa
8 oz. dairy sour cream
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp. milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10" Bundt or tube pan and set aside. Sift together flour, cocoa, and baking soda and set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. …