Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

The "kids" are going to the cottage this weekend
and this coffee cake is synonymous with "cottage" to me.

This is my go to coffee cake for many occasions such as,
cottage take along, carry-in meals, the guys fishing trips, and any make aheads for brunch or
overnight guests.

It always turns out, except for one time when I tried making it
in Grande Prairie, AB where my daughter used to live.
I made it in a bundt cake pan and used Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream
and it became very dense and almost inedible - weird!

This is one of those cakes that gets better after a few days - the cake stays
moist and delicious.

This recipe also appears in our church cookbook - one of my favourite books.
I think I usually submit this recipe whenever one is needed for a cookbook!

I checked my blog to see if I had posted this recipe before but couldn't find it there
(which surprised me since I almost know it off by heart) so here goes:

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

From my Betty Crocker Card Library!

3/4 Cup Butter Softened
1 1/2 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Cup All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cups Dairy Sour Cream (I usually use 5% MF although Full Fat works great too)

Mix 1/2 C brown sugar (packed), 1/2 C finely chopped nuts (I always use walnuts)  and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

Heat oven to 350F degrees.  Grease tube pan.
In large mixer bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then mix this alternately with the sour cream into the batter. I start with 1/3 of dry mixture, 1/2 wet mixture, 1/3 of dry, 1/2 wet and end with 1/3 of the dry mixture.

Spread 1/3 of the this batter into the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling - repeat twice.

First 1/3 layer - repeat two more times

Bake for about 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool slightly in pan before removing.

Tips: I've learned not to preheat the oven until I'm at the stage where you start mixing in the flour and the sour cream because I'm never ready to put the cake into the oven by the time the oven is preheated - especially on a very hot day like today!

Another trick, so to speak, is to turn your sour cream upside down in the fridge (this keeps it from getting moldy and lasts way past the expiration date). My dear friend Jan taught me this one.

This really works!!

Serve with butter and fresh strawberry jam!!!
Because I'm sending this to the cottage I can't show you how it looks sliced,
but here is Betty Crocker's picture and it really does look like this ....

Till next time ....... July is whizzing by and I still feel like I'm trying to catch up from May and June.
Our sweet little love turned one and we can't wait to celebrate this with the whole family (stay tuned).

Friday, July 15, 2016

Catching Up

How can it possibly be over one month since I've last posted???
My intention was to wrap up our Wild West trip
with "homeward bound" pictures and stories.
I hope I can recall some details as to document our trip.

We spent a few days in Grande Prairie, helping a little with packing
up the family there in preparation for the move back to Ontario.
It was nice to be there for the last time and get our fair share of hugs and cuddles
with this little beauty ...

We bravely hit the road for the long trek (3,800 km/2,360 miles) home,
knowing that our wee family would soon be following.

Our first stop was the Edmonton, Alberta area with a quick shopping trip
to the famous West Edmonton Mall - it's enormous!
The next day we drove into beautiful downtown Edmonton ...
enjoyed Dim sum for lunch and explored the beautiful City Hall.

Over the next few days we visited some friends and family.
It was delightful to pop in on my nephew and his wife who live in Vermillion.
There we met their newborn and 2 year old daughters.
Totally forgot to take a picture.
Soon we were in the next province - Saskatchewan.
There we stopped in on some wonderful friends.

First was a quick visit with Bill and Helen in Saskatoon.
I was Bill's administrative assistant for 10 years while he was the
principal at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate. 
Helen was a teacher at the same school and they were like family to us during those years!

It was so great to see these dear folks again!
That evening we rolled in to the farm yard of another couple of 
wonderful folks whom we had also met during my years at Rockway.
Les and Lil welcomed us with open arms.
The next morning they filled our trailer fridge with homemade bread,
cinnamon buns, sausage and steaks.
We weren't allowed to leave their yard until our gas tank was generously topped up as well.
Such amazing hospitality!

A very special couple!!!!

It was now time to "make time" and get this rig home!
Let's just say, when the farmer is headed home, there will be some long driving days ahead.

We managed to enjoy seeing some of the almost extinct grain elevators
before leaving this beautiful province.

Before we knew it - we arrived back home - 3 days ahead of schedule!
(not that we really had a firm schedule).

In the meantime here at home - the "kids" have successfully moved back to Ontario, are settling in nicely and live 10 MINUTES - again I say 10 MINUTES from our house!!!

Our hearts are full as we become accustomed to this huge change in our lives. A special little one will be turning One Year old in just a few short days!

Till next time ....... hope you are enjoying a healthy and happy summer so far. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Awesome Alberta

The Rocky Mountains in Alberta take your breath away!
The snow capped peaks, lush valleys, rocky canyons, and
turquoise lakes are simply magnificent!!

First stop - Banff National Park - what a beautiful place!

After a quick visit with some friends from our area who were vacationing there and 
with a dear childhood friend who works in Banff,
we headed to our rustic campsite near Lake Louise.

Lake Louise never gets old - it's always such a pleasure to see in spite of hoards of tourists.

From Lake Louise on to Jasper Park we used a very interesting and informative
tour app on our iPhone - "GyPSy - Icefields Parkway"
What fun to make many stops along the way as suggested by the app
(once we figured out how to use it .... )

In Jasper National Park we met up with some new friends that we met at the Osoyoos
Rally and they showed us around the park and took us to Jasper Park Lodge and to a great restaurant
where we enjoyed a gourmet dinner and drinks .... what a great day it was!

Picnic on the dock at Lake Maligne

Couldn't resist "Waterloguing" this store front in Banff!
After leaving these beautiful parks - we headed further North to see this sweet face!

Our little love!

Till next time ......... turning this rig around to make the long trek home!