Sunday, October 6, 2013

Old Fashioned Stacked Fruit Cake

Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains, this cake was as much a part of Christmas and birthdays as the presents that came along with the special occasion.  Legend has it, this cake was what was served at weddings here in the mountains.  Each guest would bring a layer to add to the cake. Very few people make this cake anymore because it is very time consuming.  It is not a pretty cake either considering all the labor that goes into it, but does it ever twang the buds.  The first step is to dry a peck of apples.  The apples have to be peeled, cored, and sliced.  My grandmother would then put them on a screen and leave them in the sun to dry.  I have the modern convenience of a dehydrator so that is where I dry mine.  Hers would take a week of warm dry weather to produce the dry apples needed, mine only a couple of hours. You could buy the apples at the super market, but that can be quite costly and who knows what chemicals have been added to them.  After you have the dried apples, you have to reconstitute them by adding liquid, sugar, and spices and cooking until it looks like apple butter.  Some people use apple butter as the filling, but its just not quite the same, there is a flavor very distinct in the dried apples. The layers are made of thin, spicy cake that 
resembles a cookie more than it does a cake.  Here is the recipe I use for my cake.
Mix Together:
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 1 cup shortening 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease and flour six 8-inch pans.
In a large bowl mix together white sugar, shortening, eggs, soda, baking powder, flour, salt, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Divide batter into 6 equal parts. Press into prepared pans.
Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for twelve minutes. Let cake layers cool completely before removing from pans.

To prepare filling:
For filling, mix together:
  • 2 pounds dried apples, cooked and mashed
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • Enough apple cider to cover apples
Spread the fruit between the layers.  I put the fruit on top as well, some don't but I think it makes the cake look finished.  Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 48 hours before eating.  Resist the tempation to slice into it sooner, the fruit has to permeate the layers of cake before it reaches its peak of flavor.  Enjoy!

Do you have a food that is indigenous to your area?  I would love to hear about it!  Share in the comments below.

Linking to:
Funky Polkadot Giraffe

Saturday, October 5, 2013

New Born Pants

I LOVE  to sew!  I have been watching The British Sewing Bee on YouTube.  It is soooooo inspiring.  I had to sew something.  I have been working on a T-shirt quilt that I will be posting on later, but I had come to a stand still until I got more supplies.  I found this great website Made by Rae that has great tutorials and patterns.  There is a Washi dress pattern that is at the top of my wish list.  These cute little pants took very little fabric and only minutes to whip together.  These are going to be a shower gift for someone very soon.

Linking at:
Tatortots and Jello

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Love to Bake!!!

 Butterscotch Pie with a homemade crust.
 Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins
 Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting.
 Orange creamsicle cupcakes.
Camouflage cupcakes with camouflage icing.

This is a sample of what I have been baking.  What have you been baking?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I am back....

Wow, it has been almost a year since my last post.  How time flies.  So much has happened over the last year.  Gray and Em have both had pretty sevre injuries.  Gray was hit in the face with a baseball and had multiple fractures to his face and the orbit of his eye.  After surgery and a couple plates in his face, you can't even tell.  Em dislocated her knee and has made a nice recovery after months of physical therapy.  Kaleb is a senior in high school and recently committed to play baseball at Mars Hill University, my Alma martar.

Hopefully I will be posting once a week sharing recent recipes and craft projects.

Happy Sunday!
This is a picture of the boys when they were in 6th and 7th grade.  Where has the time gone?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kitchen Color Change


I have always loved the color red, so much so that not long after moving into our home I painted the kitchen red.  You can see what it looked like in the picture above taken this summer at my sons birthday party.  Sorry guys, you where in the best picture I had of my kitchen before I changed the colors.  It looks fairly bright in this picture because it was a nice sunny day, but on days that the sun didn't shine, it was very dark and cavernous.  I also love the blue color that is not quite powder blue, not quite turqoise, not quite robin's egg blue, I guess it most closely resembles Tiffany box blue.  It is accented nicely by my ever favorite color red.  I made the curtains you see in the background of the above picture and was inspired to change the wall color of my kitchen.

I love how it turned out.  I ended up adding ric rac to the curtains (you can see it on the one on the left).  I had to purchase another roll to finish the other curtain.  Ric rac and polka dots are alot another passion I have, you can see the hand towel I made on the oven door from polka dot material.  I will show you how I made the hand towel soon.  I have one thing I want to change and that is the space between the cabinet top and the upper cabinets.  It shows every little splatter and doesn't clean up well.  I would like to put metal, tile, or something back there that will clean up nicely.  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful, blessed day.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookie dough?  But we all know it can be harmful to our health, but we eat it anyway, right?  Well I have a recipe that I am going to share with you that will allow you to eat all the cookie dough you want and not have of the guilt.  These delicous Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles have no eggs in them so they are perfectly safe to be consumed uncooked.  I am going to share the recipe with you and some pics of the ones I made for my family for Christmas.  ENJOY!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2c butter (one stick), softened
3/4c brown suga
1t vanilla
2c all purpose flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2c minin chocolate chip morsels
*You may use regular size morsels by running them throught the food processor.
White or Chocolate almond bark for dipping and drizzling and sprinkles for decoration

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, beat in vanilla until fluffy.  Gradually add flour althernating with the milk.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop cookies with a scoop onto waxed paper and chill for 1 hour.  Take out of fridge and roll into balls and chill for an additional hour.  Dip in chocolate and decorate.  Remember if you use sprinkles they need to be added while the chocolate is still wet.
This is what they look like after you have formed them in to balls to chill.

This is how they can look depending on if you choose white or dark chocolate and if you add sprinkles.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School

So....teachers went back to school today and students will start on Monday.  We found out that our school system is officially the first school in North Carolina to return to school, but then again we were the first school to get out in the Spring.  I am teaching a new subject this year.  I have moved from teaching Early Childhood Education to teaching Foods I and II.  I am very excited and look forward to a new school year.