Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking Back

One of the advantages of blogging is the ability to look back and see what you were doing on the same date the previous year.  Or years for that matter.  It cracks me up to see that often I was cooking the same thing on the same date.  This morning I decided to make caramel sauce.  I also was thinking of getting my blow molds out.  When I clicked on this date for last year, I had my blow molds sitting out ready to be arranged and plugged in.
And I had made caramel apples.  I am so predictable!                                                                 
I can also look back and see how I decorated. This is not always a good thing.
Suddenly, last years porch looked much better than this years.

 Rather bland looking this year.

 Last years had lot more details.

 Even teddy looked fluffier.

I had lots more pumpkins at this time last year.  I need to find more fast and add them out front.
Ten more pumpkins might do the trick don't you think?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Autumn Porch

I started decorating my front porch yesterday.  I need more orange pumpkins and the mums still have to bloom but at least it is a start.
 I started with a leaf garland.  Click for a closer look.

 I added life sized sunflowers.  I hope Teddy doesn't try to eat these leaves!

 I added some glittery leaves under the big pumpkins.

 Then some colored leaves.  I added Chinese lanterns and some decorative grasses.

 The small pumpkins need to be moved to the back garden and I need a bunch of orange ones for the steps.  To be continued!

 This is my favorite decoration. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Queen Elizabeth Cake

This sure is a good cake and you can whip it up in no time at all. I got this recipe from my friend at:  Thanks so much Laurie!
 Fresh from the oven.


1 C. boiling water
1 C. chopped dates
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. softened butter
1 C. sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1-1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Pour the water over the chopped dates and set aside to cool.  Cream the sugar and butter, add the egg and vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the dates and water.  Pour into a greased 8 X 8 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

 Topped with the coconut icing.


10 T. dark brown sugar
6 T. butter
4 T. cream
1 C. coconut

Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.  Pour over the warm cake.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I made the bread I showed the other day only this time I made it with apples.  The recipe is here: 

This bread is apparently so good that one of my friends said the she was doing cartwheels over it.  I highly doubt that though it does sound like she really liked it.  Just use apples in place of the pears.

And remember to let the apples and apple syrup cool before adding it to the recipe.  If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.

When it rises you get a bread butt.  Kim Kardashian?

I have an aversion to all cinnamon bread.  I think the nasty stuff with raisins did me in when I was a kid.  I hated that stuff. So I did not eat any of this.

But everyone who did said that it was some of the best they ever tasted.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 This is a sure sign that Fall is close.  The tree peony pods have opened.

 They look like they should be edible.

 Someone asked about Teddy yesterday.  I guess I haven't had her on the blog recently.  So, I went out this morning and asked her if she wanted to be on it today.

 She did not seem too excited about it.

 I almost got her to look at me.

 Then she immediately looked away.  This is typical chow behavior, they are very aloof. 

 But then I mentioned that a treat might be involved.  She jumped up so fast that she is a bit of a blur.

 She still holds her paw up like this when she is standing still.  She does not seem bothered by it at all when she runs or walks.

 The treat word sure got her attention.  She is watching me get her treat in the garden room.

 Watching the treat coming towards her.

 Patience and anticipation.

 The treat.

 Making sure she has a tight grip on it.

 Making the getaway.

 She will not eat a treat in front of anyone.  She needs treat privacy.

And there she goes.  I think she is afraid someone might try to take it from her.  Believe me, that someone would have to have a death wish!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Pear Bread

I am always looking for new bread recipes so when I saw this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog the other day, I had to try it.
 But first, look what I scored over the weekend.  Let the decorating begin!

 For the bread, begin by cubing 3 C. of ripe pears and put them in a heavy pot with 1 C. water and 1/3 C. sugar.  Cook them until the sugar dissolves and the pears soften.  Strain the syrup from the pears and let both of them cool.

 In the bowl of your mixer, mix 4 beaten eggs with 1/2 C. softened butter, 1/2 C. honey, 2 tsp. salt, 3 tablespoons of rapid rise yeast and 1 tsp. almond extract. Add the cooled pears.

 Mix in the pear syrup.  You should have 1-1/2 C..  If you have less, add a bit of water to measure 1-1/2 C..

 Gradually add 9-10 C. of flour and kneed until it forms a smooth ball of dough. Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled.

 After it has risen, divide it into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out to an 8 X 15 rectangle.  Brush with some melted butter.

 Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  You can make some by mixing 3/4 C. sugar with 1 T. cinnamon.

 Roll it up and place it in a buttered bread pan.  Cover the pans and let rise until the dough crests the top of the pans.

 Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.

 Cover them with foil part way through baking if they get too dark. 

This is a wonderful bread. I will be trying it with peaches and apples too.