I Love Summertime

I love summertime for the songs the birds sing,  the brightly colored flowers we can see and smell, and the warm sunshine that touches our skin. 

Why do you love summertime?

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Farm Country Cinnamon Oatmeal Cake

I was just thinking about food staging and the pictures I take for my blog.  And as much as I’d like to spend hours staging my food with cute little props and scads of backgrounds I seldom do.   Heck, some days I’m lucky if I remember to place a fork next to the food I make if one is required – like this cake for example.  I really hope this doesn’t deter my readers from drooling over the things that I make from time to time, but truthfully, not being able to spend hours perfecting my photo’s with the perfect backgrounds makes me feel slightly inadequate as a blogger.  Maybe it’s because blogging can be (regardless of what other bloggers will admit) somewhat competitive.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that everyone wants their blog to be liked.  Right?

Have you ever made a cake that is so moist that you can actually hear it when you are cutting it?  Well, this is happens to be one of those cakes.  I found this recipe digging through my mom’s recipe box.  I’m not sure that I ever remember her making this cake, and there was no mention on the recipe card of where it originated from, but this much I can tell you – it’s moist and delicious. One thing that I found odd about this recipe is that it didn’t suggest what kind of frosting the cake should be topped off with.   I opted to keep it simple and made a confectionary sugar glazed icing that I drizzled on top, but I’m also thinking a nut or coconut frosting, or even just a dollop of fresh whipped cream would be a tasty on this too.

Farm Country Oatmeal Cinnamon Cake

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 c. boiling water

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. margarine or butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. raisins (optional)

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Generously grease 10”x14” cake pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place oats in a separate bowl and pour boiling water over top.  Let set 20 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream together sugar, margarine, and eggs.  Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flour; mix thoroughly.  Add in prepared oatmeal and vanilla’; beat until all ingredients are combined.  Fold in raisins and/or nuts.  Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.  Cool and top with your favorite icing.

I shared this cake with friends and family and their feedback has been great.  A definite must make again!

All you food bloggers out there, how much time do you spend working on food staging for your photographs?

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Sunset

Hot and muggy summer days require a trip to one of my favorite state parks on Seneca Lake.

The park was surprisingly quiet on this particular evening, and the sunset was beautiful.

The seagulls even congregated to watch the sun drop after an extremely hot day.

Just like the lyrics in the Zac Brown Band country song – “toes in the water”

The sailboats begged for admiration.

Lodi Point State Park

The hot hazy day made the lake mysteriously alluring.

The sun finally decided to rest after a long day of working overtime.

What do you do to cool down after a hot summer day?  Do you have a favorite state park you like to go to?

TGIF – In Case You Missed Any of Them

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I thought I’d recap this week.  Just in case you didn’t have a chance to catch one of my posts, here is what you might have missed. 

A  recipe for Frozen Vanilla Peach Yogurt, and photo’s of pretty little flowers.

The start of a new baking project featuring a sourdough bread starter recipe.  And hopefully, I’ll be sharing my an update on the sourdough adventure with you this weekend.

And one of the best darned Kahlua Hot Fudge recipes that your ever going to get your hands on.

Happy Friday everyone! 

It’s That Time Again

I’m going to make it my job to get you stop and smell the flowers every once in awhile.  Even it it’s just virtually.

I actually started out taking pictures of my Frozen Vanilla Peach Yogurt when I got side tracked and became enthralled with this little milk bottle containing wildflowers that I had just picked.

Stop, smell, breath, relax, enjoy, refresh, carry on! 

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Star Bright

I was digging through my baking cabinet the other day when I happened upon these pretty little star decorations.   I had just finished taking pictures of the Sweet Chocolate Cupcakes that I’d made but something told me not to put my camera away.  These pretty little stars were begging me to take their picture.

And since they were begging me; I obliged.

Do you enjoy taking the pictures for your blog, or do you dread it?  And do you think your mood at the time you are taking pictures helps or hinders your creativity?

Homemade Raised Yeast Doughnuts

I’ve got to tell you that I’ve never met a doughnut that I didn’t like.  So, I decided to try my hand at making homemade doughnuts. But my little doughnut making endeavor started out as a complete failure. I followed a recipe that I found on Pinterest for baked yeast doughnuts.  While I was a bit reluctant to bake raised yeast doughnuts, the photos looked good so I thought the recipe would be too –  WRONG! To put it (not so) nicely –  the recipe for the baked doughnuts – sucked…  I wasted my ingredients and time to get what turned out to be a cross between a rock and a burnt bagel.  Don’t believe me?  I ended up breaking the failures into pieces and feeding them to our chickens. At least someone was happy with them. Refusing to accept failure, I decided to make another batch.  This time I turned to McCall’s Home-Baked Breads (vintage) cookbook for a recipe.  I also decided  that raised yeast doughnuts were not meant to be baked and I dug out the shortening, thermometer, and big cooking pot. Fortunately, I had success with the second recipe.  The doughnuts were light and airy and tasted delicious just like doughnuts should.  This is the first time I’ve ever made raised doughnuts so I was considerably happy with the way they turned out.

What’s your favorite doughnut?

For a great picture tutorial (and a similar recipe) on doughnut making check out  this post at The Pioneer Woman’s site.