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Archive for September, 2011

This recipe was a tease for a few weeks on the Menu Plan Monday posts because I just couldn’t seem to get it made. Well, I finally did and it was very good!  The cake part is just a plain yellow cake made from a mix which is good, but the boiled icing made it great!  The cooked frosting sets up until it is almost fudge like in consistency, so work fast after you take it off the heat.

The story behind this recipe in the Southern Plate cookbook is so cute.  I won’t pass it on here since it is not my family story to share, but go get this book and read it!  It is really sweet!

1 box yellow cake mix

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

7 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbsp. shortening

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

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Prepare the cake mix according to package directions, baking it in a 9×13” baking dish. (Note: I used 2 square 8” dishes because I was taking this to 2 different places.)

While the cake is cooling, combine the sugar, milk, shortening, butter, and salt in a medium heavy saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Once it reaches a rolling boil, stop stirring and let boil for 1-2 minutes, or until it reaches the soft-ball stage.

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Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla and peanut butter.  Beat until smooth and quickly spread over the cake.

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Happy Labor Day to everyone!  I hope all of my readers have had a great long weekend and are looking forward to a great week ahead!  My little “staycation” is about over, but I have enjoyed every minute of it.  On Thursday, my nanny, Aunt M and I traveled to Bowling Green, KY to visit Jackson’s Orchard and do a little shopping.  I bought a peck of Jonathan apples, a basket of peaches, a seedless watermelon (or 2), and 2 jars of Apple BBQ sauce that I used on my shredded BBQ this weekend.  All of their produce is so good and I wished I lived closer so I could visit more often. 

On Friday, I began the garage clean-up and made some good progress.  It was getting pretty hot out there so I only was able to work for a few hours.  Hopefully, I will get more done today since it is supposed to be much, much cooler.  The office has been cleaned though, and so has the electronics closet in the living room.  Little by little, I seem to be getting rid of some of the clutter in our house. 

I did change last week’s menu a little bit.  On Thursday, I fixed a bubble-up pizza which was a new recipe that I will be sharing with you in the coming weeks and I changed my dessert recipe as well.  I had more time to cook on Sunday than I was expecting so I fixed an Apple Cream Cheese Bundt cake instead of the bars.  They will be moved to this week’s list so I can use more of those delicious Jonathan apples. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  Our little town has a main street committee and they hosted a gospel singing concert on Saturday night.  There was also a pie and cake auction with the money raised going to the local food pantry.  My co-worker, K, is on the committee so I volunteered to make an Italian Cream Cake for the auction.  It brought $55!!!!  I was shocked.  I hope the lady who bought it enjoys every last bite!

Shredded BBQ with oven baked fries (I made enough BBQ over the weekend to carry over to Monday.)

Italian Sausage Bake (like regular sausage bake but with Italian instead of breakfast sausage) 2 nights

Grilled Pork Chops with Butter Grilled Potatoes

Pizza night

Grilled pork loin with Butter Grilled Potatoes

Apple Butterscotch Brownies

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Blackberry Sauce

My nanny has some thorn-less blackberry vines growing on her farm and I have been diligently picking some every time that I am up there.  These berries are big and plump, and, yep, full of tiny annoying seeds.  I wanted a sauce to go with the dairy free vanilla ice cream that I posted about last week, and I found this recipe at delish.com. 

I tweaked it just a little and it was so good!  The color was out of this world, and the flavor went perfectly with the ice cream.  I bet this would also be great with angel food cake.  I might have to try that, too!  Angel food cake, homemade vanilla ice cream, and homemade blackberry sauce sounds pretty good to me.

2 cups fresh blackberries (You can also use frozen.  Just let them soften up a little.)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 cup water

1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

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Bring the blackberries, sugar and water to a simmer over low-medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  While this was simmering, I mashed the berries with a potato masher.

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Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Add the lemon juice.  Chill until ready to use.  I made mine the night before and the color really developed over night.

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Looking back over this summer’s blog posts, I realized that there were very few garden updates and I know why.  The HEAT!!!  I started out with grand plan for my little raised bed this year and most of them worked out to some extent.  Early on, my lettuce and carrots did great, and the cucumber plants were taking off.  That was before The HEAT, though, and, yes, I believe it deserves all caps!

The first generation of cucumber plants produced a few veggies, but not nearly as many as I would have liked.  You can see that second generation in the first photo below.  Again, there have been a few harvested but not many.  The third generation is coming along nicely, and there should be enough time before frost to get a few cucumbers.  I don’t know if I just don’t have enough plants or if I am doing something wrong.  I thought I would have so many that I could share them with family, but there are barely enough for C & I.  I think I need another bed so I can plant more.  Or maybe 2 beds?!!??

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One veggie that has produced like gangbusters is the sweet peppers.  I only planted 3 little plants, but they have done great and are still hanging full!  That means lots of diced frozen sweet pepper for soups, chili, and sloppy Joes this fall and winter.  Yay!

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I hope to add at least one more raised bed before next spring because I want to can my own tomato sauce and juice, so therefore I need room for tomato plants!  And maybe some herbs and cabbage and…well, you get the picture.  Heirloom seeds are something that interests me, too so I have started a pinboard over on Pinterest to save seed ideas for next year.  If you like what I have pinned, please follow me!!

I hope to have better luck next year. There are a few things that I should have done differently this summer and maybe I can correct those then.  I should have added fresh compost to the bed to enrich it and I should have mulched with straw so the ground would not dry out so bad.  Live and learn, people, live and learn!!

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