Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pat's GermanTorte

We recently celebrated a milestone birthday at our house
with one of our favourite cakes.

The first time my sister-in-law, Pat, made this cake we were all in awe!
We sometimes beg her to bring it to special family gatherings.
  This cake is a combination of white cake and chocolate cake which is sliced into alternating layers and iced with the most delicious icing!
Just make sure you have lots of eggs and butter on hand before starting.

The recipe below is for a large slab cake.
I cut the ingredients in half and made a smaller round cake.
Hint - don't cut the filling/icing part in half - it's just too good!

White Cake:
6 eggs - separated
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. water
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Beat egg whites till stiff - set aside
Beat egg yolks, sugar and water till fluffy and light
Sift flour, baking powder and salt and mix into the egg mixture
Add vanilla
Fold beaten egg whites into batter
Pour into a greased and parchment paper lined 9 X 13 cake pan

Chocolate Cake:
Same as above but with the addition of 1 Cup finely ground nuts and several scoops (4-5 Tbsp.) of cocoa powder or 1-2 oz. grated dark chocolate added to the flour (Pat always uses cocoa powder).

Bake both cakes at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool

Split both cakes horizontally and spread filling/icing between all layers – alternating the white and chocolate cake layers.  Use remaining filling to ice the cake.

6 Tbsp. Flour
2 Cups Milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Bring the above ingredients to a boil – stirring constantly till thickened.  Cool.
Cream together 2 Cups White Sugar
1 lb. unsalted butter – softened.
Add the butter and sugar mixture to the cooled pudding and beat till smooth.

Sprinkle with cocoa powder and chopped nuts (optional). Slice and enjoy! Cake leftovers should be refrigerated.

Till next time ......... now scoot and enjoy this last day of April 2015 - May here we come!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Favourite Marinade

Today is the farmer's 65th Birthday!
How can the years have passed so quickly?

On the weekend we purchased his birthday present
Something to replace the very old and tired BBQ that has served us so well for years (and years)...
It was time!

He put it all together and even read the instructions while doing so.

Have you noticed - he's camera shy to boot!

The steak was marinading in my favourite marinade
and just waiting to test out the new equipment.

Favourite Marinade

This is my “go to” marinade. I often cut the recipe in half when bbqing one large or two smaller steaks - just for the two of us.
½ Cup Soy Sauce
½ Cup Sherry or Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
2 Tbsp. Sugar
½ tsp. Ginger (I use 1 Tbsp. fresh ground ginger)
¼ tsp. Garlic Powder (I use 3-4 crushed cloves of garlic)
¼ tsp. Pepper
Wisk together above ingredients and then pour over steak.  Marinade steak for 8-10 hours in the refrigerator.  The recipe also suggests that after removing the meat for grilling – pour the marinade into a small saucepan.  Stir 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch into 2 Tbsp. Water.  Add to marinade and cook over medium heat until it boils and thickens.  Use this to baste meat during last part of cooking. We rarely do this part.

Here it is and no parts were left over - always a good sign.
What am I saying - he's a farmer and farmers know how to put things together.

The steak (it's a very large steak) looked a bit small and lonely on the grill 
with only a small packet of sweet potato and onion's on the side.

I think he loves his new BBQ and I can envision many wonderful feasts to come this summer.

Perfection! Just like him.
We are truly blessed with many good years and delicious food ...
(and a new BBQ that works)!

Happy Birthday Jim - love you!

Till next time ... enjoying the taste of Spring and Steak.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grammie Sewing Day

There's snow on the few daffodils that finally bloomed
sew so it's a great day for doing some more 
Grammie Sewing ...

I am not an expert sewer but these are made with all straight seams and are a great "wanna be" expert Grammie sewer project. Please don't judge - thank you!

With the lots of left over flannel fabrics from some of my other projects,
I decided to make some burp cloths. One can never have too many - right?

Cotton pre fold diapers .... 
I had no idea that these would be so hard to find!

After much sleuthing I found some at a sweet little specialty baby shop. Cheap they were not but I had my heart set on them for this project.

This is how I made them ...

The diapers and the flannel all need to be pre washed - an important step because otherwise they will shrink and not look so nice (not that it really matters in the end but I like to prewash my fabric).
Cut the flannel pieces 7 inches wide and approx. 22 1/2 inches long (the length may need to be adjusted a bit because all cotton cloth diapers are not created equal).

Fold under long sides by approx. 1/2 inch and press.

Fold over the top edge by 1/2 inch as well (leaving bottom end in case it needs adjusting.

Pin the top edge under to hold it in place, adjust and cut the bottom edge - pin into place as well.

Put a few pins in on either side of the long edges to hold them in place.
I just eye-balled where it should go to cover the center double fold of the diaper.

Now you're ready to go to the sewing machine!
I found it worked best (after breaking my machine needle on the first burp cloth) to use the walking foot on my machine to accommodate the varied thicknesses of the fabric.

Sew down both long edges with 1/4 inch seams - catching the folded under tops and bottoms as you go.

Now just sew across the top and the bottom.
Try to sew it straighter than mine - eek!

top view
back view

That's it .... easy peasy!

That was a fun little project on this snowy Spring day.

Till next time .....  packing them into the suitcase that's headed West in a few short days.
Can't wait to get there!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


It seems that Spring has finally found us here
on the farm!

the tulips are pushing ...

The moon flower plants are changing colour and it looks like I may have to move them - so much twitch grass has crept in there ...

Can't wait to soon be able to clip some of these sweet chives into my soup and salad ...

Oh, the rhubarb - my favourite treat of Spring (I think I can almost hear it growing) ...

A bundle of Pussy Willows gathered for the first bouquet of Spring!

What a delight to start gathering the baby's things,
to be packed into a suitcase and personally delivered for a prenatal visit in a few weeks!!!
The very best part of this Spring ... a visit with my daughter and son-in-law.

Is your Spring Springing where you are?

I heart Spring !!!!!!

Till next time - counting Robins and enjoying these first days of Spring.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Blessings

From our house 
your house!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend with friends and family.

Monday's Mood

  Today my mood matches the weather! Might it be because it is Monday, dreary, rainy and cold? Is it because the "naked lady'' ...