“Playing By Heart“…Book Review! My dear readers. I am going to stray just a bit from my usual “Confessions – Over the Hedge”, to post a book review. I am an avid reader….and dabble a bit in my own fictional […]
St. Petersburg….The Captain’s Alumni Banquet! I have yet another confession to make. Yes, there was the usual pomp and circumstance, such as the raised swords as alumni entered the building. The tables were set beautifully with little blue airplanes marking […]
Round Robin! We made a Round Robin! What a whirlwind this past week has been! I am dizzy from it! What? you say…. As many of you know who know me…..we have children scattered hither and yon with none of […]
“She” ????? It is confession time…again! The Captain came home from one of his “tours”…in other words flying, (working) and he brought me a present! Well, sort of a present! He had heard a song…an old song, but he loved […]
Fall Decor Can Be Easy… I have a dear friend….(I call her Queenie)….and she was asking me the other day for a few ideas on simple decorating for Fall. (Click on the original post at Turn a Cake Plate into […]
Pumpkin Sheet Cake is a wonderful recipe that I found back in the Fall of 1991.
The recipe was in a home made church cookbook that has since been tattered and torn, but it is still readable.
I loved that little church in the New Mexico Manzano Mountains….and we ladies got together to put a small recipe book out with lots of great recipes.
I personally typed up the gathered recipes, while our ladies group punched holes and added colorful green construction paper covers with gold brads.
I will never forget the wonderful afternoons spent working on this little cookbook as well as many other activities,… such as making the forest green cushions for the pews.
Aren’t the old recipes from church members simply the best?
I hope you like this recipe….I did modify it a bit by adding applesauce and reducing the canola oil.
If you don’t have applesauce in your pantry, you can increase the canola oil to a cup….and we always seem to have a can of pumpkin sitting on a back shelf don’t we?
I believe the applesauce makes for a cake that is so moist it melts in your mouth.
The sheet cake can be served plain (soooo good, reminds you of pumpkin bread) OR you can serve it with whipped cream.
However, the Captain and I love it with the cream cheese frosting! Simply Yummy!
So dear readers….do you have favorite recipes made with canned pumpkin?
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- (IF you do not have applesauce, increase the canola oil to 1 cup)
- 6 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Using an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, canola oil, applesauce, and pumpkin.
- Add the baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking soda and mix well with the pumpkin mixture.
- Pour into a lightly greased and lightly floured sheet pan...15 X 10 being sure to spread the cake to the corners of the pan.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean...and cool completely.
- Cream the softened cream cheese and butter using your electric mixer
- Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until the desired consistency
- Add the pure vanilla extract and spread the frosting on the cooled cake.
- This cake is good without frosting or you can use whipped cream. But if you really want to be decadent....use the cream cheese frosting. Yummy!
- Top with any nuts or little pumpkins....or just eat it as is. :)
St. Petersburg….The Captain’s Alumni Banquet!
I have yet another confession to make.
Yes, there was the usual pomp and circumstance, such as the raised swords as alumni entered the building.
The tables were set beautifully with little blue airplanes marking the table numbers. Military uniforms and Aviation memorabilia everywhere.
There was even a huge board with all the airlines and many of the airplane models that were of course interesting to me, considering my previous career….you will note TWA right in the middle….and the other airline I supported…American.
Yes, I do like aviation.
And yes, this was all very interesting.
Our friend Jeff, introduced the speaker, (also an alumni) LTCol Chad Schwarm, USMC (ret) who spoke of Afghanistan and 9-11…and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
Yes, very, very interesting.
Now, my confession.
Just before the festivities began….and wine, drinks and appetizers were being enjoyed by all……I became a little bored listening to my husband and his classmates “talk” aviation.
That was because I spied a separate set of rooms in this St. Petersburg Museum of History…that was calling to me!
I excused myself from the banquet hall and explored the wonderful rooms inside the arched doorway proclaiming Little Cooperstown!
OK….you know what a sports fan I am and with the Kansas City Royals uppermost on my mind…I just had to investigate further.
After all! The World Series of Baseball starts the 21st of Oct and this was the 18th of October.
I mean, …I really had to explore those rooms, didn’t I?
And explore I did…..What a great experience!
Being with the Captain at the Alumni Banquet AND being able to browse Little Cooperstown!
It doesn’t get any better than that!
Red Candy Apples!
When you think of Autumn, you can’t help but think of all the goodies associated with the cool crisp weather.
From hearty soups and stews bubbling on the stove, to a fresh apple pie (or pumpkin pie) cooling on your kitchen counter.
Next week is Halloween and all the little ones will be dressed in their costumes, either going to parties where they will be bobbing for apples or playing pin the tail on the donkey, or going door to door calling out trick or treat.
As a youngster, I always looked forward to those activities…especially the hay rides on wagons pulled by a team of draft horses…. or sometimes they were pulled by a tractor.
I also loved the big bon-fires and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick, until the marshmallows were all black and goo-ey.
And there were state and county fairs with all the wonderful smells and aromas drifting towards our noses…drawing us in to the food booths !
Of course I would love the food part of the Fall activities!
Near Kansas City, there are apple orchards and pumpkin patches and mazes in the corn fields…that we visited many times.
Believe it or not….we have pumpkin patches here in Florida and yes, there are mazes in the corn fields too.
Whether it is called Harvest time or Autumn or Fall….it is a good time of the year for me.
Come to think of it…I love all the Seasons…and all the foods associated with each one!
The recipe below is for Red Candy Apples, which was always a must for me.
Our family loved corn dogs and caramel apples, but my favorite was the bright, Red, Shiny Candy Apples!
Look at the simple steps to making your own red candy apples!
This printable recipe has red hots to give it the flavor and coloring I feel is necessary for a good tasting candy apple, but if you do not want a cinnamon flavor, just add red food coloring to your syrup.
Do you have a favorite Harvest/Fall/Autumn food that triggers your memories as a child?
Have a great Tuesday…and to make eating my Red Candy Apple even better…..I will be watching the Kansas City Royals playing baseball in the World Series tonight.
Perhaps I should have made the red candy apples…blue candy apples… to match the Royals shirts and the team jersey I have on right now.;)
What could be a better Autumn activity?
- 10 small to medium sized apples
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pkg red hot candies ( use 14-15 drops of red food coloring if you don't want cinnamon taste)
- First insert craft sticks into each apple and set aside.
- Try to use a deep medium sized saucepan (I like to use a non stick for easier clean-up)
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, red hots and water and heat over medium high heat.
- DO NOT STIR once the mixture is over the heat.(very important)
- Please use a candy thermometer..they are very inexpensive and make candy making easy.
- Heat the syrup to 305 degrees (or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads). This will take about 20 minutes of gentle boiling.
- Remove from heat and begin dipping your apples.
- Holding the apple by the stick, tilt the hot pan and dip the apple into the syrup. Carefully swirl the apple to coat evenly.
- Place the coated apple on parchment paper and allow to harden (do not put them in the fridge).
- I like to use a medium sized apple ....not too large and when dipping them, tilt the pan to one side to make dipping and coating a lot easier. Always being careful of the hot syrup....it can cause quite a burn to tender skin.
- DO NOT add any water to the syrup once it is boiling or you will have hot spatters all over you and your kitchen.
- If you do not like the red hots taste...just use about 15 drops of red food coloring.
- To easily clean your saucepan, add about two cups of hot water and bring to a boil. The remnants of the sticky syrup will dissolve in the water making for easy clean up with hot soapy water.
- If you have extra syrup, you can make lolly pops or simply pour the syrup onto parchment paper and allow to harden....if you don't want to do that, be sure you pour the extra syrup into a Crisco can or something disposable...(NOT DOWN YOUR SINK DRAIN) :)
Round Robin! We made a Round Robin!
What a whirlwind this past week has been!
I am dizzy from it!
What? you say….
As many of you know who know me…..we have children scattered hither and yon with none of them in Cape Coral, where we live. ;(
Most people who live in Florida complain of having too many guests, but that is not the case with the Captain and Me!
We love having guests and especially our children, but it has been a desert of late…..with the kids I mean.
Sooooo when our grand daughter gave birth to our new great grandson….The Captain and I decided to fly to Kansas City to begin what turned out to be the most ill-conceived, short-sighted, trip we have ever taken.
Of course it all turned out in the end and begin to come together the closer we got to home.
Because the Captain was flying a tour,…I boarded a plane by myself (in Florida) with the intentions of meeting up together in Kansas City, Missouri.
That didn’t happen!
So, I rented a car in Kansas City and drove the 45 minutes to Leavenworth, Kansas to visit Twin #1 and his family…. who kept looking behind my shoulder for the Captain…who at that point was a no-show.
I told them he would be arriving later.
After my Leavenworth overnight visit with the Twin #1 and his wife and our 3 grand kids, (one is missing from the above pic)….I jumped into the rental car about 10:a.m. and drove the 3 hours to Salina, Kansas to see the other kids and grand kids.
The Captain arrived finally in Kansas City, Missouri (10 hours later), met up with the Leavenworth part of the family at a restaurant for a late, late dinner (9:30 p.m.) and then he jumped into his rental car and drove the 3 hours to Salina, Kansas…arriving at our hotel room about 1:30 a.m.
By now it is Sunday….so we spent the morning with Only Daughter and of course grand daughter and her husband and the brand new great grand son.
We then spent the afternoon with Oldest Son and that side of the family…which included Only Grandson and his intended (getting married in February) and 1st Granddaughter, her husband and their two beautiful Great Grandsons.
Totally confused yet?…
There is more.
The Captain and I are now in TWO rental cars, as the big metropolis of Salina, Kansas does not have an AVIS! (Nearest place to return one car is 90 miles in the opposite direction at Wichita, Kansas)
So on Monday, we are a caravan of two…driving back to Kansas City! Plus we made three side trips to visit loved ones laid to rest in two different cemeteries in two different cities… and we also stopped to see my sister and her husband living in Topeka. Kansas.
A whirlwind visit for sure!
Then came the typical Midwest weather….it was at-this-most-inopportune time….for rainy weather to cause plane delays and cancellations in Kansas City.
And yes, you guessed it….the Captain and I ended up on different planes with different destinations. He flew into Ft Myers, Florida…picked up our car that I had parked at the airport and drove the hour and a half to Sarasota, Florida to pick me up.
Luckily, I only had to wait 30 minutes for him to get there as he arrived in Ft. Myers, ahead of my flight to Sarasota.
BUT…the story is not over, altho it does get better.
Two days after arriving home, we drove 3 hours to St. Petersburg, Florida for the Captain’s Alumni festivities, which lasted for about 3 days.
On the 3rd day, after having breakfast with friends in the beautiful, historic Vinoy Hotel (more pics later)… we drove the hour and a half near Orlando, Florida to see Twin #2, his wife and their 3 children.
We spent most of the day with them before driving home to Cape Coral….another 2 and 1/2 hours.
We got to see all the kids, 10 grand kids, and 3 great grand kids in one fell swoop or as I call it…a Round Robin!
AND we are home to stay…for awhile at least!
Next trip will be better planned with longer stays…..which means more rest for me of course!
Have you, my dear readers, ever had ill-conceived or short-sighted trips…or have your plans gone according to clockwork?
I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz...as I click my little red slippers …(ok…my Royal Blue Flip Flops)… together and say:
“There is no place like home…there is no place like home!”
Have a great week! I am going to take a nap! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
It is confession time…again!
The Captain came home from one of his “tours”…in other words flying, (working) and he brought me a present!
Well, sort of a present!
He had heard a song…an old song, but he loved the lyrics and thought they were appropriate to/for/about ME!!!
The melody is haunting….which might explain why he thought of me….;)
Sometimes I have been known to “haunt” !!! Ha Ha!
OK…I am going to get serious, I am a bit embarrassed, but flattered too ….I think.
The Captain doesn’t know I am sharing this with you my dear readers…but I won’t tell him if you don’t tell him.
If you would like to play the song while reading this post…it is in the upper right corner (Featured Video)…just click on the little arrow!
Because the lyrics are so apropos…and would fit most women, as we can be complex creatures…can’t we?
Women are many things to many people, depending on what is happening on any given day.
Women can be strong or vulnerable, happy and sad all within a 30 minute period …or less.
Women are beautiful and unique….Daughters, Mothers, Wives.
And most of all…and I speak for myself….unpredictable!
Perhaps that is why the Captain thought of me when he heard the lyrics.
Is that a good thing? I think it is…:)
This particular version of the song “She” was recorded by Elvis Costello (stage name), a British singer-songwriter.
If you are not familiar with this song…and would like to hear the melody…and read along with the printed lyrics…please click on the featured video in the upper right corner of my home page.
“She (Tous Les Visages De L’Amour)”
(originally by Charles Aznavour)
A trace of pleasure or regret
May be my treasure or the price I have to pay
May be the chill that autumn brings
May be a hundred different things
Within the measure of a day.
May turn each day into a heaven or a hell
A smile reflected in a stream
She may not be what she may seem
Inside her shell
Whose eyes can be so private and so proud
No one’s allowed to see them when they cry
May come to me from shadows of the past
That I’ll remember till the day I die
The why and wherefore I’m alive
The one I’ll care for through the rough and ready years
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes I’ve got to be
The meaning of my life is She… She… She
CrockPot Dump Cake…Yum!
Fall is in the air and it is World Series Time…and this year Kansas City fans have lots to cheer about!
But I digress….Lets talk about the ease of making a dump cake.
Have you heard of dump cakes?
The meaning is simple…you dump in the ingredients all at once … and Prest-O! Change-O! 3 and 1/2 hours later, you have a dessert!!!!!
There are apple dump cakes and pumpkin dump cakes….just about any kind of cake you would like…all dumped together in one crock pot.
The recipe I am sharing with you has been called pudding dump cake as well as rocky road dump cake in a crock pot.
Years ago, I found the recipe in the Southern Living magazine and it was called Rocky Road Cake in a Crock Pot.
I made the recipe and it was delicious!
I have since modified the recipe a bit and call it the CrockPot Dump Cake because you actually just dump in all the ingredients and set it and forget it for 3 1/2 hours.
The original recipe called for German Chocolate Cake Mix…but I like to use a fudge cake mix… you can use Devil’s Food or whatever your choice is.
I guarantee it will be good.
I made this a lot for our church potlucks or for Holiday potlucks at work…when I was working.
I never took any home as my crock pot was always empty at the end of the meal….sometimes sooner!
I made this a few weeks ago and the Captain and I just about ate it all by ourselves…..:(
It is that good.
Please try it if you haven’t already and let me know your thoughts!
This would make a great dessert for any Fall or Winter Holiday dessert!
And if you just happen to be watching the World Series of Baseball on this coming Tuesday evening…and you just happen to be cheering on the Kansas City Royals…This is comfort food at its best!
- 1 (18.25-oz.) box of Fudge cake mix
- 1 (3.9-oz.) box vanilla instant pudding mix
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/4 cups milk, divided
- 1 (3.4-oz.) package chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or your choice of nuts)
- 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Beat cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, butter, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups milk and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour batter into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker.
- Cook the remaining 2 cups milk in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil); remove from heat.
- Sprinkle cook-and-serve chocolate pudding mix over batter. Slowly pour hot milk over pudding. Cover and cook on LOW 3 1/2 hours.
- Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cake with pecans, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted.
- Spoon into bowls
- This cake will look like it needs to cook just a little longer, but by the time the topping is set, it's ready to serve.
- If you want this rich, great tasting dessert to taste even better? Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream when serving. :)
World Series…The Dream is Real!
If you have been following my Blog…you will note my enthusiasm for Sports…particularly Kansas City sports, ie; The Kansas City Chiefs (Football) and the Kansas City Royals (Baseball) and the Kansas Jayhawks (College Basketball)! (If you missed my posts on this journey…you may click on the below posts)
Yesterday, a miracle happened and the Kansas City Royals won the play-off games by winning the best of seven games!
Actually, they won the first four games, which meant the Baltimore Orioles did not win one game!
Please forgive my ‘bragging’ a bit….but you see, the Royals have not been to a play-off game, let alone, the World Series for 29 years!
But now it is happening…
Last week, I was in Kansas City and the whole city has turned “blue”….meaning of course that everyone you meet (met) had the colors of the baseball team somewhere on their bodies.
There were the jerseys, the blue hair, the tattoos….anything and everything to support this young team.
And yes, I was right in the middle of it all….wearing my old blue jerseys….and I do mean old, as I have supported this team for more years than I care to mention!
The World Series starts Oct 21st…right there in Kansas City in Kaufman Stadium… and I am so excited!
The Captain is looking at a new larger screen television for our great room, which has a little to do with the fact that our old 52 inch set is having issues with color tones AND me being able to see the upcoming games clearly!
I do have my “stand-by” television in the bedroom…but for the World Series of Baseball….if one can not attend the games in person…one definitely needs 60 inches or bigger!
Congratulations to the Boys of October….our Men in Blue…they have earned the title of men in blue, as they have certainly made the play-off games exciting.
They started with the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics which ended 9-8 in one of the most thrilling games in baseball.
This game would either make or break them and Ned Yost, the Royals Manager stated “That’s the most incredible game I have ever been a part of” .
Then they went on to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels, where they did a clean sweep (3 games) of the top team in baseball. (They had to win the best of 5 games)