Key Lime Cake

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Tonight is the kids school concert.  After the concert we will come home and celebrate how well they did with a piece of key lime cake.  This is from Trisha Yearwood’s recipe with a few changes.  As you can see I was multi-task cooking getting our sirloin steak ready for tomorrow’s dinner while the cakes were baking.

I have about 30 minutes from the time I get home until the kids get off the bus and I head out to do afternoon feeding of our animals.  Knowing tonight is the concert and we won’t be home until later evening I used that time to whip up this cake for an after concert treat and prepare part of tomorrow’s dinner.

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I like to keep this cake light by serving with a tad of whipped cream.   I have also served it with french vanilla ice cream.  Of course I had to give the kids a piece when they came home.  They need their strength to sing 🙂

One 3-ounce package lime flavored gelatin
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cups lime juice from approx. 5 limes (you can use the little key limes but you will need quite a few)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour one 9 x 13 cake pan or 9×9 pans or 3 round pans

In a large mixing bowl, mix the gelatin, granulated sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir to mix well. Add the oil, lime juice, lemon juice, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour the batter evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the tops or inserting a toothpick. Cool.

You can frost with frosting of your choice or use the one under Trisha’s recipe here

Blueberry Pie

During season for fruits we make most of our pies and freeze them.  My daughter made this blueberry pie which we will be having for dessert tomorrow.  This was her first lattice crust she made completely on her own and she is proud to show it off at our little cookout tomorrow along with the Apple Pie we will have on Sunday celebrating Memorial Day.  We make crusts ahead of time and keep it in the freezer for when we need them.  If I do not have one, I have found the store bought crusts are just fine.

Making your own pie filling is so easy and so much tastier than canned!!  You also control what is in it so no preservatives. You can freeze your pies when assembled as we do and then pull it out and bake the same way you would for fresh listed below.  Make sure to assemble the pie and double bag it in very tightly sealed freezer bags.  It’s as good as the day you made it when you bake it.

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I guess when you turn 12 you have to make faces in every picture. We make crust and keep it in the freezer for when we need to whip up a pie

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lay first 5 strips then fold 2 back and add cross strip folding 2 strips over the top

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next cross fold the 3 strips you did not the first time and lay strip across bringing the 3 back over it

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Trim the edges and then seal by pinching them together

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all done and the house smell great. Can’t wait until tomorrow!!

Filling:
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons butter (to dab on before cooking)
 Mix all the above (except for butter) in a bowl
Crust  (you do NOT have to make a crust you can easily use a store bought one but make sure it has 2 crusts in the package)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 – 6 tablespoons cold water
Make crust:

In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and the salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
With floured rolling pin, roll one round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
Place pie dish on a foil lined baking sheet for easy cleanup!!
Fill with blueberry mix from above.  Dot with butter around the top of the pie
Roll out second half of crust and using a knife slice it into strips for a lattice crust or lay it on top and cut slits to vent while cooking.  Seal edges
**For lattice crust you put one strips on one way.  Starting at the top fold back 2 strips and lay a strip across the remaining ones.  Put the 2 strips back down and fold the 3 strips back that you did not the first time and lay another strip across.  Repeat procedure.  (if you do not understand, google lattice crust and watch the youtube videos.  They explain it well and you can see them doing it).
Bake for 20 minutes and then cover edges of crust with tinfoil or crust edge cover.  Bake another 25 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is bubbling. 
Let set for at least 3-4 hours before slicing.  Overnight is best  (that is why I cooked our pie tonight for tomorrow).
   
   
   
   

School Treats (Vanilla Cake Recipe)

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My daughter wanted to make ice cream cone cupcakes to take into school for her birthday treat.  I have a great recipe for vanilla cake so we ran to the store and bought the ice cream cones and then made our batter.  I had store bought vanilla icing and we dyed it blue and added a few fish sprinkles as that’s what she wanted…(can you tell which one is hers?)

Here is our vanilla cake recipe.  It’s as easy as making a boxed cake mix but has no preservatives or unwanted ingredients.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup milk (you can use almond or rice milk if you choose)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan (9×13 cake pan) or cupcake liners (about 2/3 full) or ice cream cones (filling cones just to the level where the cone stem ends and branches out).

Bake for 18-21 minutes — check by inserting a toothpick and having it come out clean.

Frost with homemade frosting or store bought and decorate.

**I have used this same recipe and instead of vanilla added orange, strawberry, almond or lemon extract.  Always great!!

Chocolate Eclair Cake (this is a good one folks!!!)

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Wow…is all I can say.  This was from a post on facebook and promised ease and deliciousness and it provided both!!

It is my friend of 23+ years birthday today.  Every year we get together and enjoy a dessert on our birthdays.  She ALWAYS wants Boston Creme Pie.  I usually request brownies (any type as I love them all!!).  After seeing this cake on FB I approached her carefully suggesting we try this as it’s close to the store bought pie we always have.  She reluctantly agreed.

So yesterday I made it.  It calls for a 9×13 regular cake pan so I made 2 smaller pans so we could have one for dessert last night as you know, we should probably try it before I spring it on her!!  My kids asked to help make this and it’s so easy and fit right into their realm of baking (because there is no baking!!). 

Here are the pictures of them making it:

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And that’s it!!  Refrigerate and wait to dig in.  This was light, rich, creamy, chocolatey, and wonderful!!  After dinner we all tried it and my kids and their friends (there’s always friends at my house it seems, I have somehow become the “Kool-Aid” mom!!)  LOVED this and are already begging me to make it again.  It’s impressive looking too which does not hurt when bragging how you slaved to make it!!

Recipe below:

Ingredients:

1 package (1 lb.) graham crackers (I bought 2 boxes and used a few from the 2nd package as I made 2 smaller containers)

2 small french vanilla instant pudding (3.4 ounces each)

3 cups milk (I used skim)

8 oz.  Cool whip (thawed)

1 prepared chocolate frosting (you can make your own too)

Mix pudding, cool whip and milk in a bowl.  Blend together for about 2 minutes (not more).

Place a layer of whole graham crackers on the bottom of a 9×13 cake pan (or use the 8×8’s like I did), then top with 1/2 the pudding.

Cover pudding with another layer of graham crackers, top with remaining pudding and another layer of whole graham crackers

Melt the frosting in the microwave for approximately 50 seconds, stir and pour it over graham crackers spreading gently to cover

Chill for 4 hours or overnight if you can wait that long!!!

Let me know what you think if you try it!!