In the last several years though our family has begun to shift away from the typical view of seeing Christmas as the end of the year and January as the beginning of a new one. Now obviously we cannot escape using dates and calendars and national liturgy in a lot of aspects, nor is there reason to. Our practice though, what liturgy is used to govern our worship, is now determined by the Church calendar and the life of Christ.
I’ve always thought that the best way to tell how good a dish taste is by seeing how messy the recipe card is. Like a good book will have well worn pages I tend to think that an oft used recipe will be a little dogeared too. The recipe I share with you today, my friends, is a delicious cake. As proof I offer you this photograph:
The recipe was shared with me almost ten years ago and I have probably made it a hundred times. Not even kidding. One year around Christmas I made a bunch of them for people my Mother worked with. One year they were teacher gifts. My husband even went through a phase where almost every other night I was making a fresh one for him to enjoy still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What I love about this cake is that generally speaking you probably have everything you need to make it already on hand. Seriously, look back on that list…it’s pretty uncomplicated ingredients. The first time I baked it I only had to get some almond flavor but since we enjoy this cake so much even that is a staple in our pantry now.
Of course me being me means that I changed it a little bit from the original but only because I had no idea what a jelly roll pan was nor could I find one at any local stores. I have since learned that a jelly roll pan is essentially a baking sheet with sides but it was too late. We were hooked on a loaf style as opposed to a sheet cake. So I pour the batter directly into the greased loaf pans, sprinkle the top liberally with sliced almonds and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 to 50 minutes.
In these pictures I made a couple of cute little mini loaves in some pretty Thanksgiving ceramics that someone had picked up for me as a gift. They were pretty adorable and made lovely little take home gifts for some guest we had over Friday after Thanksgiving.
You really should try this cake…simple, great flavor and very moist. But beware that it could lead to a dangerous obsession.
We originally thought some very dear friends were going to come visit us for Thanksgiving but much to every one’s disappointment it wasn’t able to happen. So some other very dear friends invited us and our twenty-five and a half pound turkey to feast with them.
One the beach.
My favorite place.
And the weather was wonderful. The water was crystal clear and we were able to see a bunch of frolicking dolphins and a fever of stingrays. (I looked that up to see what you call a bunch of stingrays 🙂
The kids were even able to pick up a game of beach volleyball with some really nice people from Mississippi and they raced each other up and down the beach.
On your mark…get set…GO!
He’s in the lead!
It looks like he may hold onto his position…
But big sister pulls ahead…
He doesn’t like that; he must do something…
He’s going to take her down!
Please note Emily celebrating the victory in the background.
Little Miss Claire was pretty busy collecting shells and Abby went back up stairs to help make some homemade yeast rolls that were fan-tab-ulous!
All together it was a great day of relaxing thankfulness. Hope you enjoyed yours as well!
Portrait sessions can usually take anywhere from ninety minutes to two hours or more depending on how many locations I’m using. (And how much fun we’re having.) But sometimes I have time constraints that must be worked around and while this seriously cuts down on the amount of time I get to enjoy spending with my clients it doesn’t limit the wonderful pictures that can be captured.
Recently I volunteered my time to do 30 minute mini sessions as a fundraiser for my daughter’s Jr/Sr trip to New York in the spring. It was so much fun and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do it again.
There is something so fun about brothers and sisters.
Every session I find myself drawn to a particular image. Sometimes it’s series of images that clearly shows the bond between the subjects. With this family there were several images that I really liked but we did a few minutes with the father and son and every time I look at them I smile. It’s obvious that they have a wonderful relationship.
I love pictures like that, that just show people having a good time. The whole weekend was full of moments like that. It’s the reason behind why I love doing what I do.
Just in time for the cooler weather…a soup recipe! Straight from Taste of Home so you know it’s good. And simple. Which is what I like.
All you need is:
The original recipe calls for chopped zucchini but the first time I made it I didn’t have any and we liked it so I just leave it out. I also double the recipe to feed my crew and it is perfect paired with a pipping hot pan of homemade cornbread.
After browning the hamburger I mix everything together except for the tortellini into my dutch oven and bring to a boil. Then I turn down the heat to medium, add in the tortellini, and give it about ten minutes. I’ve also tossed it all into my slowcooker and put it on low for the day and it turned out fine.
If anyone tries the creamy version I’d love to know how it turns out.
My first try at subway art…the background is actually a mistake I made shooting something and not realizing I had the camera on manual focus. The words of course are from Proverbs 31.
Did you know that portion of Proverbs 31 was actually the teaching by a mother to her son as a way to teach him what to look for in a wife? Also, the word translated virtuous or excellent is the same word used in other parts of Scripture to describe a well prepared soldier or army?
In late spring I had the honor of photographing a wedding vow renewal for a dear friend’s parents. Forty-five years they were celebrating. So much love was present…the devotion to each other was beyond words…it was a visible expression of two who had become one.
She became a little emotional walking down the aisle and I’ll never forget the way he smiled and held his hand out to her. It was a practiced move…one that you just knew had happened before over the years when everything in their world would go a little crazy…he’d put his hand out to her…pulling her to his side offering comfort, protection, an anchor to withstand whatever storm they were facing.
Over six months later and I still get teary eyed looking at their pictures. And it’s not because I’m so close to them or know them so well. It’s that their devotion to one another is so clearly heard in every gesture and smile.
Yesterday he was moved to hospice. I just can’t imagine…and once again I am without words and overwhelmed by the beauty of their love for each other.
May God be gracious in mercy and may peace and comfort surround them.
Updated: Earlier this morning Mr. McShane passed away very peacefully with his wife at his side. He will be greatly missed but we rejoice knowing that he has been completely healed and is with his Lord.
I have. I think. Something about a change the color of your facebook. Suddenly I now have about eleventy billion blogs.
Notice something different about this week’s title? Yep, it’s missing the “pinterest” part. Apparently I cooked before I pinned. I mean, obviously I did but in the onslaught of all the new recipes I find I have sort of forgotten that fact. But this week I am going to share a sweet and simple treat with you that has long been a favorite. As an added bonus it is also gluten free, so yay! (Please do not mistake the gf-ness to mean healthy though…it is definitely a suh-weet treat.)
Actually it’s a near perfect blend of salty and sweet and I have found people either love it or hate it. Make it at least once before you decide though. The ingredients sound weird together but it really is quite tasty. Oh, what’s the name of this confection you ask?
It’s basically a layer of fritos glued together with a peanut buttery almost fudgey likeness. Intrigued? Here’s what you do.
Empty a bag of Fritos into a 9×13 baking dish.
Stir together one cup of sugar with one cup of light karo syrup over medium heat until it starts to bubble and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in one cup of peanut butter until well blended. Pour over the fritos making sure to coat them evenly. You will probably make more than one pass over them.
Allow it to set for at least an hour and a half before cutting into squares and enjoy!