Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: Christmas Coconut Cake ♥

Found another great cake on FB! Took me awhile to find out who made this beauty! I hate it when people don't give credit back to the original owner. :( Thank you Gourmet Gallery for a wonderful holiday treat!
makes one 8-inch 3 layer cake

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely chopped
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra large eggs, separated
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
6 1/2-7 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, puréed
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick baking spray.

In a medium bowl sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Add the chopped coconut and mix until combined.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and egg yolks all at once and beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.

Combine the milk and coconut extract. Add 3/4 cup dry ingredients and 1/2 cup milk mixture alternately to the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed after each addition to incorporate.

In a clean medium sized bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand held mixer until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the coconut batter until no streaks remain.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Smooth the tops and make a small well in the center of the batter to prevent the cake from doming as it rises.

Bake the pans on the center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour and up to 48 hours.

When ready to assemble the cake, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on high for 1 minute using a hand held mixer, until very creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add the milk and coconut extract. Add the powdered sugar 2 cups at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the final 1/2-1 cup of sugar and beat for 2 minutes on high. The frosting should be stiff, but spreadable.

To assemble the cake, place a cake layer on the cake stand with squares of parchment or wax paper underneath to guard the cake plate. With a small offset spatula, spread 1/2 cup frosting1/4-inch from the edge of the cake layer. Make a dam by spreading more frosting toward the edge to hold the cranberry filling. Spread 1/3 cup of the cranberry filling inside the dam. Place the second layer on top and repeat the process. Place the top layer on and freeze for 1-2 hours. Cover the remaining frosting with plastic wrap.

Remove the cake from the freezer and re-beat the frosting. Use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer (crumb coat) over the entire cake. Evenly spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Use the 2 cups of coconut flakes to sprinkle on top and sides of the cake, gently pressing to adhere. Carefully remove paper guards. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Note: At room temperature the cake has more crumb, so use a very sharp knife to cut slices. Either way, it tastes good!

~~yummy recipe and photo from: From website: The Gourmet Gallery~~

Thursday, December 13, 2012

♥ Tutorial: Christmas table runner ♥

I have been so busy the past few months, I'm afraid my blogs have had to take a "back burner". I finished up the business class I was taking and I hope to get back into MY business now! ;) On one of my many "jaunts" around the web, I stumbled across this cheery Christmas table runner. I just had to share it here! I am just getting into quilting. Hope you enjoy this! :)

This lovely tutorial can be found at: From the Blue Chair.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: Lady Baltimore Cake ♥

One of my Facebook friends posted this recipe and I thought this would be wonderful for the upcoming holidays. I have added the link back to the website and who the recipe originally came from below.  Enjoy!

Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pans
3 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
Fruit and Nut Filling:
¾ cup golden raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried figs, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
½ cup pecans, broken by hand into ¼ inch pieces
Meringue Frosting
6 large egg whites
1¾ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350o degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract together. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.

With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.

  1. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Using a balloon type wire whisk or large rubber spatula, gently fold about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten the batter, and then fold in the remaining egg whites.

  3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

    Fruit and Nut Filling:
  4. In a medium bowl, combine raisins, cranberries, figs, and liqueur. Set aside to let the fruit soak for 20 minutes.
  5. By hand, bread the pecans into ¼ inch pieces. Set aside

    Meringue Frosting
  6. In a large mixing bowl and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  7. In a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup to create syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved and syrup is clear. Increase heat to high and bring syrup to a boil. Boil without stirring until syrup reaches 248 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. With the mixer at medium-high speed, pour the hot syrup slowly, in a thin steady stream into the beaten egg whites. Continue beating until the mixture is cool, thick, and shiny, 10 to 12 minutes. Frosting must be used immediately.
  9. Add about 2 cups of the Meringue Frosting to the fruit mixture, stir in the nuts. Using an offset spatula, spread the fruit and nut filling evenly between the cake layers. Spread remaining frosting on sides and top of cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

  10. In a small bowl, combine cranberries and golden raisins. Toss with sugar to coat. Arrange around base of frosted cake.

    Makes 8 to 10 servings.

    picture from TheBakingPan.com ~~
    Adapted From: Taste of the South Magazine, Christmas Cooking Southern Style, 2007~~

Friday, October 5, 2012

♥ Waffles Stitch Crochet ♥

photo from Suburban Jubilee
I found this lovely pattern over at Suburban Jubilee! I love this waffle stitch and it would be perfect for a winter time afghan. Many afghans are made with an open stitch that allows cold air to seep in when you're trying to take a nap! :( Not very good! But this is a nice closed stitch and looks like..well...a waffle! Find the how to on how to make an afghan or dish cloths with this stitch HERE.

Hope you're having a wonderful Friday!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: Moist Marble Chiffon Cake ♥


  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1-1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel


  • Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the cocoa, boiling water, 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons oil; cool. and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water and remaining oil. Add to dry ingredients; beat until well blended. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  • Remove 2 cups of batter; stir into cocoa mixture. To the remaining batter, add orange peel. Alternately spoon the batters into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Swirl with a knife.
  • Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 325° for 70-75 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.
  • For glaze, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, butter and enough orange juice to reach desired drizzling consistency. Add orange peel; Drizzle over cake. Yield: 12-14 servings.

~~yummy recipe and photo from: Taste of Home,  June/July 1998~~

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: Pumpkin Pecan Bites ♥


  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) spice cake mix
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 36 pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Ground cinnamon


  • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, cinnamon, baking soda and cloves; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Fill paper-lined miniature muffin cups two-thirds full. Press a pecan piece into each. Bake at 350° for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and mix well. Add enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Yield: about 6 dozen.

    Editor's Note:This recipe can be prepared in 2 dozen regular-size muffin cups. Bake for 22-26 minutes.

~~yummy recipe and photo from: Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook, Annual 2003~~

Thursday, September 6, 2012

♥ Tutorial: Half-Square Triangle Potholders ♥

I seem to always be on the lookout for tutorials involving quilting that I can handle. I don't have the time (oh who are we kidding? I don't have the patience) for long, drawn-out quilting lessons. I have the normal fantasies of any crafty woman, you know what I'm talking about...making my own quilts and giving them away at the holidays to friends and family members who oooo and ahhhh over them & tell me how amazed they are that I'm so crafty and talented. Yes, they envy my know-how. But no. It's not going to happen anytime soon. ;) I love the quilted look of these potholders and I think even I could make them! I have such a stash of fabrics I can imagine them now! Jeni at incolororder has an awesome tutorial on how you can make these too, so click the link and check it out. :)

Hope you're having a craft-astic Thursday!

Monday, September 3, 2012

♥ Doily Cookies ♥

Here's a great idea from blogger bliss in images! Imprint your lacy doilies onto cookie dough. The results are extra sweet! ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

♥ Tutorial: Gathered Round Basket ♥

photo from A Spoonful of Sugar
I found this cute fabric basket and had to share it! It's from A Spoonful of Sugar.  I could use about a dozen of these for sure. ;) It's such an easy pattern, even I can follow it. I love the strawberry fabric they used  I have tons of fabric, mostly with rose prints, as I readily admit I am a fabri-holic. :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

♥ CROCHET: Lotus Flower Cuff ♥

If you saw my post on Friday, I featured handmade wrist cuffs which I have come to love. Yes, I must try making these. I like the embroidery with beads, but I found a pattern for one that you can crochet. You know how I love crochet patterns! This is from CreativeYarn. Let's try it out! :)

photo from: Creative Yarn