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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Double Delight Coffee Cake

I have always been a fan of coffee cakes, made various ways, all I have tried are so good! I am not a coffee drinker, but a cup of milk also fits perfectly with any coffee cake!! From the gooey soft cake, to the cinnamon taste, to the crumbly toppings and so much more, all coffee cakes are so deliciously yummy!!

Coffee cake takes me back to my childhood. I remember occasionally getting ready and heading out to feed the cows and horses with my dad. Before we headed to the pasture, we stopped at grandma's and grandpa's house and had breakfast, sometimes having coffee cake.

I make a few different recipes for coffee cake, this one is one of my favorites!

Double Delight Coffee Cake


For the cake:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp Clabber Girl baking powder
1 1/3 water
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 small boxes of Instant Butterscotch Pudding

Topping, mix in a separate bowl:

1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Blend the cake ingredients all together in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Sprinkle about half the topping mixture on top of the batter in the pan. Then somewhat stir in the topping mixture in the batter so it will bake within the cake. Sprinkle the remaining half of the topping mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool. Drizzle a powdered sugar glaze on top. Taste delicious warmed or cool.



 This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl Baking Soda but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own.

Corn Bread: A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

Reading through the Rumford Complete Cookbook, a reprint of the 1908 original edition by Lily Haxworth Wallace, has been fun to see the different recipes and how they were written for that time period.

I am excited to work on a project to visit some of these recipes and try them out. The first one I worked with is the corn bread on page 122. Below is a photo of the recipe in the cookbook.

Here is my version of the corn bread recipe with some updates:

Corn Bread


2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 cups yellow corn meal
2 tsp Rumford Baking Powder


Combine the eggs, salt, milk, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer. Add the flour, baking powder, and corn meal and continue to mix. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Cool somewhat before serving.


We enjoyed this corn bread with a bowl of hearty chili and it was delicious! It had great flavor and I think it would be a great bread to serve with soups, especially chili or ham and bean soup.

I look forward to my next Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe to try.

 This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl Baking Soda but my
 thoughts/opinions are always 100% my own.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cream DeMint Cake

There are just some desserts that remind you of Spring! This Cream DeMint Cake is a great kick off to Spring and is perfect for St. Patrick's Day as well.

I always remember my mom making this dessert and taking to work on St. Patrick's Day. We worked at the same facility for several years so it was always a nice treat I looked forward to her making. She also took it to our Easter get togethers with family. 
It's a nice blend of flavors of mint, chocolate all together in a cake with a gooey and fluffy topping.

As St. Patrick's Day arrives, we are also reminded that Spring is well on its way and coming soon. We have our one cold frame planted with transplants and have seeds growing. We have been wanting to put up a second cold frame, so we have been working on that. Our larger cold frame is housing early cold crops. We have lettuce, spinach, arugula, green onions etc planted in there to give our growing season a head start. This new cold frame, a little smaller, will house our peppers and tomatoes to give us a head start to growing them only outside. By growing some tomatoes and peppers in the cold frame, it gives us tomatoes ready to pick about a month or two ahead of planting them just outside. We are looking forward to getting it up and planted.

Cream DeMint Cake
White cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
Creme de Menthe
Hershey s Chocolate Fudge Topping
12 Oz container of cool whip
Sprinkles or chopped Andis mints for topping.

Mix cake batter as directed on box with the mix, eggs, oil, and water. Add 1/4 cup of Creme de Menthe to the batter. Bake cake as directed on box.
After cake is done, pour 1 can of Hershey chocolate fudge topping over top of cake and spread evenly while cake is warm.
Let cool. 

For the topping, mix 1 12 Oz container of cool whip with 1/4 cup of Creme de Menthe and spread evenly over top of cooled cake and chocolate. Add sprinkles or crushed mints to top. 

Keep refrigerated.

Take to work to share with coworkers or keep at home for yourself and family. It's a great dessert to enjoy anytime of the year, but especially in the Spring and definitely for St Patrick's Day!

Enjoy a piece this Spring (or anytime of the year really!!)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Easy Cold Weather Vegetables to Grow

Garden season is right around the corner and here at the beginning of March we are anxious for that Spring and Summer weather. I know I am anyway. Well even though you think of garden season not to start for another month or two, it's is a good idea to know when you can start your vegetable seed.

You can extend your growing season by planting these cold weather crops in early Spring (as well as late Fall). The nice thing about cold weather vegetables is that they can be planted outside as soon as the ground can be worked. Cool weather vegetables are meant to be planted in cooler weather. So Spring and Fall. Plant in early Spring for spring harvest and late Summer for Fall harvest.

Several cold weather vegetables can be direct sewn by seed:

  • Collards
  • Kale 
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Carrot
  • Cabbage
  • Turnip
  • New potatoes
  • Lettuce/Salad greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Green Onions
An early garden harvest with radishes, green onions, spinach, lettuce, arugula, and kale

Other vegetables do better having a head start planted as a transplants
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
There are lots of benefits to gardening in early Spring and late Fall. It's not as hot and humid as in the summer, making working outside a little easier. You don't have to water as much. There are less bugs, especially mosquitoes. Plus there are a ton of great vegetables to grow during this time! Some take a little more work, but today we are going to talk about some of the easier ones to grow. I am in zone 5, but believe these would be fairly easy to grow in any zone with the right conditions. Look at the map to find your zone that you are in. 

We have a cold frame, where we start our earliest seeds in the greenhouse, then we plant them in the cold frame soil to grow. This gives us about an added month to our growing season. But here usually end of March/beginning to mid April (depending on the weather) we direct sow these cold crops outside in the garden. 

The crisp leaves are perfect for every salad. It is wonderful to grow your own lettuce for salads and other meals. There are so many varieties to choose from loose-leaf, butterheads and bibb lettuce, romaine lettuce, and crisp head lettuce. Also, plant a mix for blend of mixed greens. 

Lettuce can be directly seeded as soon as the soil can be worked. Lettuce grows best when the soil is moist and outside temperatures range from 40 to 70 degrees F. Sow lettuce seed about a quarter of a inch deep and roughly and 6 inches apart in rows or a broadcast the seed in a square area for leaf lettuce. Leaf lettuce is ready to harvest in 45 to 55 days. For head lettuce, plant roughly 12 inches apart. It is ready to harvest in about 80 days. 

Spinach is packed full of nutrients and great to add to a variety of recipes! Spinach is fast growing. 

Spinach can also be direct sown in early Spring or late Summer and plant about half an inch deep.

Spinach leaves are ready to harvest as soon as the leaves are ready to eat, usually in 3 to 5 weeks. To harvest simply cut the outer leaves off about 2 inches from the ground, and let the inner leaves grow until the next cutting. This will allow for longer production. For larger spinach leaves, simply let them grow a little longer. You can harvest leaves and it will continue to grow and provide more. Spinach does tend to bolt when temperatures get warmer than 75 degrees F, so try to harvest as much of your spinach in the cool temperature. 

There are also so many kinds of radishes! Round, long, white, red, mild taste, or stronger taste. We mainly use radishes for salads or to snack on, but there are also some delicious looking recipes you can use radishes with as well. I prefer the mild tasting radishes, while my husband enjoys the ones with more of a bite to them. 

Direct seed radishes in early Spring and late Summer by planting 1 inch apart in rows. By doing the spacing at planting will save time of thinning out as they get growing. Radishes need the amount of space to develop. 

Radishes are ready to harvest in about 30 days. Be sure to not leave them in the ground too long or they will split, become too hot in taste woody texture. To harvest simply pull the radish out of the ground at the base of the plant, this way the stem shouldn't break off. Radishes store for a long time in the refrigerator in a sealed container so you can enjoy them for a long time. You can also eat the radish leaves. 

Green Onion 
Green onions are great in salads, to add a little sweet oniony flavor to any dish, and to cook with. My husband likes to also eat them raw. 

Green onion can also be direct seeded to the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. Green onions plants can be grown from seed, sets, or transplants. The seeds are very small and take a little longer. We like to use onion sets! They are bigger and so create a little bit of a head start with your green onions. The onion sets, or bulbs can be planted in early Spring or late Fall as well. Actually we plant them all garden season long! But they are a great cold crop vegetable. For the onion sets, we dig a trench then place the onion sets about an inch apart and bury them in. 

Green onions are ready to harvest when the plants are at least 6 inches tall. Green onions are ready to harvest in as little as 30 days. If temperatures are right, let them continue to grow to form a little of the round onion ball at the end. Use the green onion plant as well as the white onion bulb for cooking. 

These are consistent plants in our garden that we plant and enjoy every year! Its very nice to start the growing season with easy crops and also to end the season. There are other great cold weather crops to plant as well (in the list above), but I find that these are the easiest and most commonly eaten. 

You might like a new seed sower and garden gloves to kick off the start to the garden season! 

Do you grow any of these in your garden? 

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