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!
It's not often that I love a recipe straight out of the cookbook. Typically I make it the way the recipe says once, then fix it to my satisfaction the next go round. This pound cake is no exception. The first one was good but not quite perfect. This time I nailed it. It's about ingredients, the way I mixed them, and having the perfect pan for the desired result. Here's the finished recipe, modified from the original I found in the November 1990 issue of Southern Living magazine.
Kristina's Eggnog Pound Cake
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3 c. granulated sugar
6 lg. eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 c. commercial dairy eggnog
3 c. all-purpose flour (spooned into dry measuring cup and carefully leveled off; sift if necessary)
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, place on baking sheet and set aside.
Using a heavy duty mixer, beat butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy. Gra…
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…
Persistent (adj): lasting or enduring tenaciously.
Every year at the time I take my camera out to find wildflowers. I look for them everywhere, but I have specific locations where I know I will find the flowers. One of those locations, a nature trail through old growth forest, was one of those places affected by the Chimney tops 2 wildfire last fall. The fire, once small and well-contained, was whipped up by hurricane-force winds to wreak much devastation in the Smokies. All winter wildflower lovers asked themselves, "What about Cove Hardwood, what will happen to the wildflowers?" In my first foray up the trail after it's reopening this week, I found the flowers. They were small and many were a bit bruised and banged up from recent rains and storms, but they were there. Persistent, against the odds, despite fire's wrath -- they rose up. I admired the tiny blossoms, doing what I am afraid to do at times, and said to myself: "Be like the wildflowers -- be persisten…