Monday, May 24, 2010

Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe

This cake is a favorite of my younger brother, I cannot bake it without thinking of him. My sister-in-law Michele used to make this often, making it a family favorite. I appreciate her sharing her recipe, so now we can enjoy it often at our house! I baked this cake to be served at tonight's Mission 1250 meal, a new Feeding Ministry in Willard, Ohio.

Mandarin Orange Cake

2 eggs
2 11oz. cans mandarin oranges, well drained
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup brown sugar
3 T milk
2 T butter

Beat eggs. Add oranges & dry ingredients. Beat 4 minutes with electric mixer on slow speed until oranges flake through the batter. Pour into greased 9" x 13" cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cake will get quite dark. Before removing from the oven, press top with finger tip to see if it bounce back. If it doesn't, bake a bit longer, taking care that it doesn't burn.

While cake is baking, prepare topping by combining topping ingredients and bringing to a rolling boil.

Remove cake from oven. Pour topping over. Return cake to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Kielbasa Recipe

This is a recipe that is so simple to put together and is perfect for freezer cooking. Over pasta, potatoes or rice this can make a super main dish, and would also make a nice appetizer or tailgate party recipe. The sausages make a yummy sandwich on a hearty roll with a bit of the sauce drizzled over them, too. Choose the sausage of your choice...kielbasa, polish sausage, smoked sausage, turkey smoked sausage or kielbasa, summer sausage, etc. I heard a German sausage can be quite yummy too? :-) Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Kielbasa

2 pound Kielbasa Sausage, smoked
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Spicy mustard
1/3 cup Onion, finely chopped

Cut sausages into 1 inch lengths. Combine brown sugar, mustard & onion in an electric crock-pot or slow cooker and stir well to combine. Add the sausages and stir well to coat them with the sauce. Cover the crock pot with its lid and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally to re-coat the sausages with the sauce.

To Freeze:
cool the sausages & sauce. Store in freezer containers or freezer bags and freeze. to serve, thaw & reheat in the microwave, on the stove on low heat, or in covered dish in a 350 degree oven for about 350 minutes. Since the dish is already fully cooked, you just need to reheat it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine's Day Banner Tutorial & Giveaway!

Hurry on over to The Polka Dot Chair to check out this sweet tutorial for a "Be Mine" Banner for Valentine's Day! While you're there, don't forget to enter to win their giveaway for a banner like the one pictured! Also, be sure to check out their Etsy shop, May & Mae...great stuff!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fabric Easter Egg Tutorial

I know it seems early to be thinking of Easter, but I found a great tutorial for making fabric eggs over at Retro Mama! Get a head start on making them for Easter, or make them in colors to match your decor for in baskets or nests for Spring! A nest filled with some of these eggs and a folk bird would be great, maybe even under a glass cloche or on a beautiful cake stand.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup Recipe

These wintry Ohio days call for cozy soup & homemade bread! I like to use my crock pot to make soups as often as possible, and this recipe was a huge hit at our house and SO easy! Found the recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking, where you will find a ton of recipes to try in your slow cooker, and the blogger's reviews of the recipe, too. So gather the ingredients, bake some fresh bread or cornbread to go with it, toss a colorful salad together and you've got a budget-friendly delicious meal for your family! Just you, or too many leftovers? I think this recipe would be a great one to freeze in individual servings! (we didn't have ANY leftovers at our house!)

Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup
--1 pound chicken
--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)

--4 cups chicken broth
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
(I omitted these, as they weren't on hand)
--1 cup frozen corn
--1 jar prepared salsa (16 oz)

--1 1/2 tsp cumin
--1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)

--shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)

You will need a 4 quart or larger crock pot.

If you know you are going to make this the night before (yay for meal planning!) soak the black beans in enough water to cover and another 2 inches overnight. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the beans. (I used canned beans)

Drain and rinse the beans.
Add to the slow cooker. Put in the chicken, and add the broth and salsa. Pour in the corn and mushrooms, and add the cumin. Stir, but don't disturb the beans---let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.

Cover and cook on high for 9 hours. Yup. High. For 9 hours. It took a crazy long time for the beans to soften, but they did.

If you are using beans you soaked overnight, canned beans, or pre-cooked beans, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5--similar to normal soup-cooking time.

If you'd like to thicken the broth, you can use your immersible blender to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in your traditional blender. Stir the mixture back into the crockpot.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese and avocado slices.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


2010...a New Year, new beginnings, new opportunities, new challenges, and best of all--new life!

I am looking forward to what this new year holds for me, counting the blessings one day at a time.

We've been cleaning, re-organizing, simplifying, and preparing for changes.

I am so blessed to have my dear little family, and also am thankful for the friends in our lives.