Tuesday, January 31

Raspberry-Lemon Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Lately, the thought of raspberry, lemon and sour cream just seems so delicious.  I've been wanting to combine those three flavors into some kind of  dessert.  We had a church potluck last week, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to experiment.  I think it turned out pretty good!  Here's what I came up with:

Raspberry-Lemon Cake
1 box white cake mix
1  c. water
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs
1 large box vanilla or lemon instant pudding mixed 
1 c. sour cream
Mix all ingredients together till smooth. Batter will be thick. 

1 jar of lemon curd
1 jar good raspberry preserves

Oil and flour and 9 x 13 pan.  Spread half the batter into the pan.  Drop teaspoons of lemon curd evenly on top of batter.  Pour the rest of the batter into the pan.  Drop spoonfuls of raspberry preserves on top and cut in using a knife, in swirling motions-- just enough to encorporate the preserves evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool completely.

Sour Cream Frosting
1 pkg soften cream cheese
3/4 cup of sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 + cups of powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.  Add the sugar, a little at a time, mixing well until desired consistency.  

Frost the cake.  Top with lemon zest and fresh raspberries.

Wednesday, January 25

Why Haven't You Made This Before?

When your 18 year old son asks that question he makes you feel like you've concealed his real identity from him all his life. "Well, uh, I used to make it all the time, but I guess that was before you were born, like 30 years ago."
So here it is folks, from the depths of my recipe collection which I just threw out. 39 years worth of scraps of paper, back of envelopes and index cards, newspaper and magazine clippings . . . gone! Some were so smeared and faded or covered with grease stains they couldn't be read anyway. Some were in handwriting of loved ones now departed or friends long since moved away. It was painful but I had to admit I hadn't looked in those little boxes for at least a decade. Easier to Google it than dig through that mess. But here is a lone survivor, resurrected in time to hear my youngest say after the first bite: "Why haven't you made this before?"

Applesauce Cake
( a good dessert for those times when you are out of eggs)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup craisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non stick coating on 9X9 pan. Cream butter and sugar together in mixer. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Measure the applesauce and stir vanilla into it. Then add to the cream mixture alternately with the flour mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack. Frost with Carmel Cream Cheese Frosting, a more recent addition since frosting Becca's Rolo Brownies.
Carmel Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. softened cream cheese
4 T. softened butter
2 T. carmel topping
1 cup powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add carmel and sugar. Frost cooled cake.

Keeping Me From Things I Really Want to Be Doing

Not a lot of sewing or crafting going on around these parts of late.  
I did try a new recipe for some very delicious cookies (you can find it here) and I've been tinkering with my tutorial for 12Squared, which will be up next month, but other than that, I've been working at my jobs that pay cash dollars and preoccupied with several church callings and and feeling frustrated that I don't have more time or energy for the things I really want to be doing.

Not that I'm complaining. 
Just contemplating.

 With my free time so seemingly scarce, I've felt the desire to use it more wisely.  There's no doubt in my mind that if I cut down on the things I like to do, I'd have the time to get at what I really want to be doing.  Even though Facebook, blogging, Pinterest, and tv are really enjoyable, I don't regret time not spent on those things.  I do regret time not spent with my babies, my neglected fabric stash, and the general disorganization of household chores.  

I guess this is a New Year's resolution of sorts.  A goal to spend less time on things that are good to make time for things that are better.  Something to work on through out the year.  
Wish me luck, because the things I like are habits that will be hard to break.  

 In other news: Lucy's hair is getting so long!

Wednesday, January 11

Finished Bottled Rainbows Quilt!

I just finished my quilt for 12Squared and it feels really good to have it off my to do list, especially since we are starting up again for 2012.  I don't know why I put it off for so long, but here it is.

 I backed it with a colorful Alexander Henry print of the States and bound the edges with a gray chambray. 
I had some trouble deciding on a backing, but I'm glad I went with this.  It makes it playful and I like how the white outlined shapes mimic the ticker tape applique of the quilt squares.

I'm excited to participate in the virtual quilting bee again.  I've already got some idea for my square.  I think I'm going to go in a completely different direction.  I've just to narrow it down.

Tuesday, January 10

Beach Dolls

7 year old Leah staged these dolls and took photos for the blog! Pictured here are some things we made over the holiday visit: leis, beach towels, a beach bag and a sundress.
Thanks Leah!
It was fun sewing with you!

Sunday, January 8

A Bear Named Pig

4 year old Jacob watched me make doll clothes for his sister while they were visiting over the holidays. I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to sew for him. "Pig clothes," he said.

Pig is a small Build-A-Bear bear he got when he was 2. Without a moment's hesitation he named it "Pig". His other bear is named "Horse".

So the night before they flew back to California I made bear clothes patterns loosely based on the 18 inch doll clothes and tracing the bear's body. Jacob was ecstatic when he saw Pig the next morning!