Strawberry cream

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In my effort to make the perfect jelly roll, I made this strawberry cream on Sunday! This is not featured in my cookbook but will be highlighted in a book of old fashioned desserts.

What is your favourite old fashioned dessert?

 

My book is available on Amazon or directly through me.

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Babysitting, birthdays and family

This past weekend was spent traveling to Spokane, celebrating my youngest daughter’s birthday and babysitting. Osama and Jacki took a little trip that had been planned months before and then forgotten. With their busy life I can see where it would easily be brushed aside! Foof decided she would babysit and I agreed to help her for part of the time. My younger children went with their oldest sister out shopping, to dinner for the birthday girl and in the end they stayed in a comfy hotel. Meanwhile we did crafts, made a fort and watched the usual movies.

Later that night Ben arrived to help and I retired to my room where the boys both tucked me in and Aiden showed me his Halloween costume.

The next morning the kids came from the hotel, bringing coffee and some breakfast sweets. We decided to leave soon after so that the kids could get home at nap time. We drove in to see Great Grama and Grampa who had purchased a cake for the birthday girl. img_0792Both of my parents and my sister, were excited that the kids made a surprise visit.

Gifts were opened and then cake was served, all of which the kids enjoyed taking part in.

We discovered that Alayna does like carrot cake and insists on feeding herself! She has also become a strong little girl even at this age. Watching her deal with her brothers gives me insight into my own daughters. None of them will let their brothers, from the oldest to the youngest, get away with anything!

I wondered where this sweet little baby would fit in among identical twins, but it is easy to see she truly is the boss!

I hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend as well.  Here’s to a great week ahead!

Family time

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Family time for our large group is not a special time that is set aside for anything in particular. Having a large family means every moment is basically family time. College kids coming and going, people dropping in for a quick bite to eat or taking me out to get groceries. I value this time and it makes me so happy to have these drop in visits.

It has been brought to my attention by wonderful  people who have entered our family, that there might be 5 or 6 conversations taking place all at once, and while everyone in the family unit follows what is going on, others can be a little lost. It takes time and eventually they come to understand our unique way of communicating!

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Little brother hugging his big sister

The younger kids had no school Thursday or Friday and so that time was spent going to various appointments and making our way to Spokane for my skin check. We stopped over to pick up a special custom birthday cake that Yusuf ordered for Grama who celebrated her 83rd birthday on the weekend. thumbnail_IMG_3512

We took the cake and drove a few miles to Osama and Jacki’s house and spent time with the precious boys. Jacki is doing well but very tired and ready!

Mom and Dad arrived, we surprised mom with the cake, they visited for a bit and then took the cake for a celebration the next day at the lake. We said our goodbyes and headed back to our little town. Both boys waved and sweetly spoke the words Byyyyyeeeee

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The next morning I took Heme to get on the bus for a cross country meet, we followed awhile later. The little town we went to is nearby and sits in a valley. The landscape was amazing.

Heme had a good run and did his best which for me is always what I hope for. We jumped in the car and drove two hours to the lake. Mom and Dad do not really need anything and so we hate to burden them with more stuff that they will not use. So in the past few years we bring lotion, chocolate, nuts, basically items that they really like and use. We helped put away the kayak, tied up the dock and made sure everything was up from the lawn. Mom made hot dogs, salad and we sat and ate.

The cake from Mom’s favorite place was taken out and served.

We kissed and hugged, got in the car and drove through the Palouse back to our sleepy college town where the gentle touch of Fall can be seen everywhere.

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Basbousa

The following recipe is a middle eastern cake/bar cookie called Basbousa. This dessert is easy to make as well as being a little different than the average cake. It is made with semolina which can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores. A light and sweet syrup and toasted almonds top this tasty and different cake!

 

Ingredients

2 cups semolina- found in the baking section of most grocery stores

3/4  cup white sugar

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. baking powder

20 almonds, blanched and toasted

Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

lemon juice-optional

rose water- optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix  Semolina, sugar and butter. Add baking powder, yogurt and milk and mix well. You can also add 1/2 cup of coconut if you like. My kids like it plain but it is tasty with coconut. Spread in a round cake pan. Flatten this out as much as possible.

For this dessert you will be using a butter knife and cutting the bars before you bake them! It was hard for me to get this batter to smooth out using a spoon or knife so I wet my fingers with water slightly and it helped. I smoothed the batter out and then cut lines all the way across the batter to the end. Continue doing this until you have finished the whole pan. Then slice the other way to make diamond shapes. Place a toasted almond in each space where a portion will be.

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Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.

When cake is done, remove from the oven and cool slightly. Place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan on the stove. Let this mixture come to a boil. Turn heat to a lower temperature so that it is still boiling but a low boil. Cook for ten minutes watching and monitoring so it does not boil over. It is common to add rose water and/or lemon juice at the end of boiling, for a few seconds. This is where I have changed the recipe and I leave my syrup plain.

Let syrup cool slightly and then pour warm syrup over cake. You can use all of the syrup or the desired amount. This is something that you can experiment with. Cool before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gail’s Easy Chocolate sheet cake

My mom had many friends during her nursing career and she still has lunch, coffee and birthday dinners with some of them. I remember them fondly and they were a big part of my growing up. There are several that I still see including my dear KayK who I mentioned in the Carrot cake recipe I posted. Another one of Mom’s long time friends, Gail, gave her a recipe for a chocolate sheet cake years ago. This recipe has been passed from my mom to me and down to my kids as well. When mom visited Saudi she taught my kids to make it and I still have the typed up recipe card she gave us.  It is easy and has always turned out great with no hassles!  The batter is runny and you frost it while it is warm.

Ingredients

4 Tbs. baking cocoa

1 cup butter

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 beaten eggs

1/2 buttermilk

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon-optional

Frosting

6 Tbs. milk

1/2 cup butter

4 Tbs. cocoa

1 box powdered sugar

Optional-1 cup chopped walnuts

The recipe calls for a box of powdered sugar so I looked it up and it should be around 3-4 cups.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Grease a 9X13 baking pan that has sides.

Mix first 3 ingredients from recipe (butter, water, cocoa)  in a sauce pan on the stove. Stir on low heat until everything is melted and well mixed. Turn off heat and get other ingredients ready.  Put flour and sugar in mixing bowl, pour cocoa mixture over this, add eggs, buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, basically all of the other cake ingredients.  Start mixing, make sure all ingredients are mixed in well. Batter will be runny.

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Pour into greased pan

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Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until done. Do not over bake.

Remove from oven.

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Frosting

Place butter, milk and cocoa in a sauce pan on the stove on low heat. Mix and melt butter and other ingredients together.  Place powdered sugar into mixing bowl. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Spread over cake while it is still warm.

Optional– When frosting is done you can add chopped walnuts if you like.

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Lady Finger Mousse Pie

Years ago I found the basic idea for this dessert in an old cookbook and as usual I changed things and made it work for me. You can fool around and add other ingredients but this is the basic idea for this beautiful and fun dessert.

Ingredients

1 -2 packages lady fingers

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup water

1 small container whipping cream plus 1/2 cup white sugar to sweeten

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

2 eggs

Strawberries for decorating

Chocolate syrup for decorating

Directions

Using a small spring form pan, line bottom and sides with lady fingers. You will need 7-8 lady fingers for the middle layer so reserve these.

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Melt the chocolate and water on the stove on low heat until smooth. Turn off heat. Crack 2 eggs and separate them.  Whisk egg yolks well. Add 3 spoons of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and mix. Return this mixture to the sauce pan and bring to low boil whisking constantly. Let cook for 3 minutes. Remove from stove and cool. Put mixture into refrigerator to completely cool. When it’s ready, mix chocolate with whisk or mixer if needed so that it becomes smooth.

Whip cream and sugar until firm but not too stiff, reserve some for decorating. Gently fold chocolate and whipped cream until well incorporated.

Put this all together

Pour some of the chocolate mixture over the lady finger crust, enough to make a nice _DSC0011layer, (this depends on your pan size)  place reserved lady fingers over chocolate making a middle layer. Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over lady fingers.Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Chill until set and remove ring from pan. Serve.