Monthly Archives: April 2010

Home Made Angel Food Cake

Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!

My little ladies in the chicken coop are in peak production right now and at last count I have 10 dozen eggs in my fridge – with at least another dozen being laid as I type.

It’s time to dig out every recipe I can that uses an abundance of eggs!

Our all-time favorite is home made angel food cake.

But then – it’s been a family favorite for years! My mom would make an entire fresh angel food cake to take on the picnics she and dad used to go on when they were dating.

And their wedding cake was angel food! She baked the bottom layer in the wash tin with a jar in the middle! (I can only imagine how many eggs that one used!)

If you have never had an angel food cake  “from scratch” – you are in for a treat! It is very moist with a  light, fresh taste – so worth the effort!

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
1- 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1- 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12)
1- 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar

Lay out 2 sheets of waxed paper on the counter.

Measure the cake flour and the powdered sugar into a sifter and sift it on one of the waxed papers.

Pick the waxed paper up and pour the sifted mixture back  into the sifter and sift it on to the other waxed paper.

Repeat one more time. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract until they have soft peaks but are still glossy.

Beat in the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed.

Sift about 1/4 of the flour mixture over the egg whites and slowly mix it in. Repeat until all of the flour is mixed in.

Pour into an ungreased  10 inch tube pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and invert the pan immediately. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.

My family also loves this in the chocolate version.

You might notice there is no frosting on this cake – I’m a purist like that!  I’ll frost the death out of every other cake – but a home made angel food is best adorned with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Now – you ask – what do I do with all those egg yolks? Stay tuned!

I’ve linked this post up at Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

Fragrance

Have you ever noticed that when you step outside in the winter all you smell is cold?

Lilacs

That’s why I really love all the smells of spring.

Fresh cut grass.

The lilac bush in full bloom.

The apple trees bursting with blossom.

The lily of the valley hiding in the grass.

The hyacinth that perfumes the garden.

There’s a tantalizing fragrance in the air that excites us! It draws us outside, compels us to open the windows and breath deeply.

It’s a fragrance that we quickly recognize as spring – it smells alive.

I was reading in 2 Corinthians the other day when this verse caught my eye:

Apple Blossoms2 Corinthians 2:14-15  Amplified

But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph as trophies of Christ’s victory and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,

For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ which exhales unto God, discernible alike among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing”

How incredible is that!

In Christ, we’re walking in a never-ending victory parade! And – everywhere we go we give off a sweet fragrance that is full of life!

Now that’s how I want to live.

I want a life that is open to Him and fragrant with His knowledge.

I want a life that is a beautiful aroma that will draw people to the Lord.

I want to be  an enticing perfume that compels people to open the windows of their hearts and drink deeply of the the sweetness of my Savior.

I want to be that sweet fragrance that people recognize as salvation – the exquisite scent of life.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese?!

I’m a Food Network junkie and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Normally it’s just the girls and I who enjoy it – but yesterday was different.

Maybe it was the time of day – late afternoon.

Maybe it was the weather outside – cold and rainy.

Whatever it was – the boys stayed through the entire cooking show.

At first I thought it was a good thing – now I’m not so sure. The show was all about cheese and on the menu was a gourmet mac and cheese and a pretty upscale grilled cheese sandwich.

My kids were drooling…and asking for supper.

Our traditional Sunday evening meal is popcorn and sandwiches. So I set out the sandwich stuff and was starting to pop the popcorn when the kids starting coming in with their sandwich ideas. The first three were quite normal and achievable – a simple grilled cheese. No surprise there.

The fourth was something totally different.

Matt waited till everyone else was done – then he grabbed the cutting board, and the skillet with a strange look on his face.

I asked him what he planned to make. He answered, “I don’t know yet – but I feel like creating!”

And create he did.

He ended up with a grilled chicken, cheese, onion, banana and Louisiana hot sauce sandwich.

Yes – banana and onion. And hot sauce.

He ate it. The whole thing. And declared it pretty tasty.

Budding chef?

I don’t know – time will tell.

But I do that mac and cheese has been requested for supper – and Matt will not be making it!

Don’t Forget the Forgotten Things!

As we cleaned up after the fabulous Golden weekend – we discovered that several family members left things behind.

I guess I wasn’t really too surprised – but it was a rather interesting assortment of items including:

3 sleeping bags
1 dirty wash cloth
a pair of pink tennis shoes
a necklace
a pair of jeans
a headlamp
a sweatshirt
a glass baking dish with lid
3 tubes of toothpaste (which we have been using – thanks for the donation!)
1 travel size bottle of Head & Shoulder’s (I’m still wondering if this one was a hint!)

Since we live almost 2 hours from the closest family – I wondered how long it would be before we could make connections to return these items.

But then things started falling into place.

Jan bought a used plow on Craig’s list that had to be picked up several hours away. He asked me if I wanted to ride along. Of course I said yes! After almost 20 years of marriage and five kids I’m always glad of a little alone time with my sweetheart –  especially if it involves traveling back roads!

Since we would pass within a few miles of one of my sister’s house – I made some phone calls to make arrangements to meet them in route to pass off the pile of forgotten things. I threw together some snacks, had Pedro pack up the big pile in the van, and I headed to town to meet Jan.

So far so good – right?!

I wanted to make a quick stop at the library to pick up a couple of books – but alas none of the books I wanted were there. But I did see a good friend and had a nice chat – which salvaged the trip! (Hey Caroline!)

Then I ran to the grocery for 2 things – yes just 2! I grabbed them and headed to the check-out where I got behind a mom with several little ones. They were just the cutest little things driving the special grocery cart with the car in front!

Of course they had to “help” mommy – which took twice as long. But I didn’t complain – I just stood there smiling because I remember the not-too-distant past when I was that Momma!

But it did put me behind schedule.

Then I realized that I would be riding in a car for 2 hours – which made me need to use the bathroom – so I ran over to Pamida which had the closest public restroom in town – before jumping in the van and heading out to meet Jan at work.

I was about 10 minutes late and a little flustered when I arrived and saw him waiting outside for me!

He had the Suburban and trailer there – so all I had to do was transfer the stuff from the van into the Suburban and we would be off on our “date”.

I grabbed my books, jacket and the food, jumped in and we took off.

We were halfway to the interstate before I remembered the forgotten stuff in the back of the van.

Yup – I had totally forgotten it.

Fail!

Jan even asked before we left if I had gotten everything transferred. Of course I did – I had the food and my books !

It was quite embarrassing – after all the trouble to arrange things – to call my brother-in-law and tell him that he didn’t need to meet us because I had forgotten the forgotten things.

He thought it was quite humorous.

He might still be laughing.

I know Jan is!

It took a few more miles to laugh at myself – but we did go on to have a wonderful evening together.

And the forgotten things will remain forgotten – at least for now.

I’ve linked this post up at Friday Fails over at My Blessed Life.

Golden Memories!

It was an amazing weekend!

As you know, my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year – and my siblings and I wanted to honor them.

But what do you do with a Mom who hates Open Houses, and a fun-loving crazy bunch of kids and grand-kids?

You create a Golden Event!

So all 34 of us met here – at my house – last weekend for a unique celebration full of food, laughter and memories.

Unique describes it well!

Family started coming in on Thursday – with Saturday being the day of the Event (which we kept a surprise from Mom and Dad.)

Okay – a word here about trying to surprise my mom – she has been known to open presents early and re-wrap them because she can’t stand the suspense! Mom quizzed one of my sisters so much that my sister finally had to say, “Mom – I am not a present for you to shake for information! And no fair shaking my children either!”  🙂

It may be hard to surprise Mom – but we pulled it off in a really big way!

After lunch the grand kids decorated the car before we all got “dressed up” in our fancy attire for the big Event which we dubbed “The Golden”.  Since playing with dress-up clothes has always been a favorite activity – we had a lot of fun with this.

We had everything from the glamorous to the outrageous! One of my nieces came as a cowgirl, one nephew wore a bright plaid suit coat with a pink tie and holey jeans while my brother wore plaid shorts, a striped t-shirt and a Hawaiian shirt!

My costume? I actually found an ecru (almost golden) lace dress at the thrift store for 10 cents. Score!

Why the fancy attire? We were heading to a “Red Carpet Premiere”!

That’s right! My brother – in his eye-numbing ensemble – led our caravan of vehicles to the newly renovated Princess Theater in town – which we rented for a few hours to show 3 amazing homemade videos.

My youngest sister made two of them.

The first showed Mom and Dad’s courtship, marriage and our growing up years. The second covered everything since then – including all the grandchildren.

Together they covered 50 years of memories.

Let’s just say that we went through a lot of Kleenex.

The third video was made by all the grandchildren – it was a crazy documentary full of family humor and inside jokes. We laughed so hard we cried!

Mom and Dad loved it!

Everybody loved it! I can’t tell you how amazing it was to sit in that darkened theater holding Jan’s hand and watching Mom and Dad’s love story play out on the big screen. Tears flowed as picture after picture reminded me of the rich heritage I have – a heritage of love and laughter.

The kids just thought it was pretty cool to see themselves on the screen in a real movie theater.  🙂

From the theater we went to the local REC where we had rented the community room for the evening. We sat the entire family around one extra – extra long table and served a nice meal (nothing fancy – just good home cooking!).

The rest of the evening was spent dancing, singing, playing games, eating, and reading mom and dad’s love letters (Dad will never win awards for his poetry – but  gets lots of points for being very romantical!)

It was such a special time – and so much fun!

I feel so blessed to be a part of this crazy bunch – to have grown up surrounded by all this love and support – to be able to call my siblings my best friends – to have parents who are still crazy about each other after being married for 50 years.

It was an amazing week-end.