Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Of course I can't let you go without recommending that you take advantage of the post Christmas sales. Stock up on toys, decorations, wrapping paper and other Christmas themed items.  Children's clothes should also be on sale.  Wait for electronics though; they should go on sale at the end of January.

God bless,

Friday, December 20, 2013

Frugal Christmas Gifts: Free Books

Of course we all know that the library is the best place to get free books, but the librarians frown on us wrapping up their books to give away as gifts.

If you have access to your family's e-readers you can load free books into their library.  One of the best reference sites for free books is FreeReadFeed.  You can search for free books by setting your preferences.  It also shows the book's Amazon rating.


God bless,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good Read: A Christmas To Remember

A Christmas to Remember (Chaos, #2.5; Lucky Harbor, #8.5; Last Chance, #5.5)A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've tried to come up with an adjective to describe A Christmas To Remember and came up with several: warm, comfortable, uplifting and sweet. This group of Christmas themed romance stories are written by some of my favorite authors. Each one of them wrote a heart warming story.

This is a perfect book for the holidays when our days are so busy. Each story is just the right length for an evenings read and a couple of hours of enjoyment. I strongly recommend this book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Frugal Christmas Gifts: Everything Seasoning

Homemade food gifts are always a fun gift to make and receive.  This is the seasoning sprinkled on the top of everything bagels.  It is also good on meats and potatoes.


1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Mix thoroughly and placed in a decorative container.  Can be doubled, tripled, etc.

Look at the dollar or thrift store for a decorative shaker.  Place the spice mix and shaker in a basket with a pretty ribbon and Ta Da a frugal Christmas gift.

God bless,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Frugal Christmas Gift: Teeth Whitening System

I am at the age where I like to receive useful gifts.  Today a friend told me about a great online deal on a tooth whitening system.  Smile Bright is offering their $99 system for $25 if you use the coupon code kit19.

I don't know how long this code will be valid.

God bless,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Good Reads: The Last Clinic

The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah MysteryThe Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery by Gary Gusick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a Southerner that spent her life working in public safety I can tell you that this well written mystery novel was right on the money. The characters, no matter how eccentric and racially biased, ring true.

Darla is a detective that has been transplanted from Philadelphia to Jackson, Missippi. While on leave after her husbands death she receives an early morning call from her boss, the Sheriff. A prominent local minister has been found murdered, hanging from a cross, in front of an abortion clinic.

Forced out of her mourning Darla is tasked with solving the murder case while burdened with being a Yankee in the South and being partnered with the mayor's nephew, an Elvis impersonator and right wing bigot. The investigation is intriguing and the suspects fascinating.

This isn't Southern noir, but comes close. Sometimes I found myself laughing at the extreme situations while also shaking my head in disgust. I was never bored with this book and I think it is well worth reading.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Good Reads: Heartache Motel

Heartache MotelHeartache Motel by Terri L. Austin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Heartache Motel is a kitschy, Elvis themed motel in Memphis. Run by drag queens and suffering from neglect the Heartache has somehow managed to attract three of Henery Press's most entertaining female detectives.

The three stories (almost novellas) take place at different times, but always during the Christmas holidays. They are well written, well edited, and entertaining.

I can definitely recommend Heartache Motel if you are looking for a fun Christmas read.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

The Frugal Kitchen: Cornbread Stuffing Flavored Cornbread

It has been frustrating trying to come up with a name for this recipe.  Basically, it is cornbread that tastes like cornbread stuffing/dressing.  We didn't have Thanksgiving at our house this year and I was hungry for the taste of my cornbread stuffing, but didn't want to do all the work.  I came up with this recipe and it is a pretty decent substitute.


Use your favorite cornbread recipe add to it:
1 small can creamed corn
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
3 Tbsp. fresh minced sage
3 Tbsp. butter

Saute in butter the celery and onion until translucent.

Add the sage (substitute 1 Tbsp. dried sage if you can't get fresh) and saute for 1 more minute.

Add everything, including the butter from the pan and creamed corn, to your cornbread batter.  Bake as you normally would.

I made up a quick gravy to serve with this and some baked chicken.  It definitely satisfied my cornbread stuffing cravings!

God bless,

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Good Reads: My Holiday Favorite

A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving VisitorA Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A unique group of holiday stories set in the deep South amongst Capote's eclectic mix of relatives and neighbors.

A Christmas Memory is a personal tradition for me. Every year I get it out to read after Thanksgiving. It never fails to touch me and get me emotionally ready for the Christmas holidays.

God bless,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Walgreens Christmas Deals

Almost every holiday season I end up buying many of my baking supplies at Walgreens on sale.  This week there are coupons in their weekly add for 5 lbs. of all purpose flour for $1.89, 4 lbs. of white sugar for $1.89 and spices for 79 cents.

I'll also be keeping an eye out for sales on other baking goods.  I often get vanilla, canned milk products  and baking powder there.

Walgreens also has some terrific sales on Christmas wrapping supplies and decorations.  I have found that their cosmetics section has some terrific stocking stuffers for less than $2.

I'll be stopping by my local Walgreens every week during the holidays with my coupons in hand.

God bless,

The Frugal Kitchen: Apple Crisp

Every year I order a 1/2 bushel of apples and enough pecans for holiday cooking from my local 4-H.  We picked up our apples at the end of October and have been enjoying them ever since.

My original plan was to make some apple butter, but in looking at the pantry I realized that I still had plenty of jars left over from last year.  So I have been adjusting some old favorite recipes to make them fast, frugal and easy.  Here's a quick and easy apple crisp.


granola (I used Cascadian Farms brand)
5 large apples (firm cooking apples)
1/4-1/2 cup of white or brown sugar
2 heaping Tbsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Peel and core apples.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices.

Grease an 8 inch pan with butter then layer apple slices in the bottom.

Mix the sugar, corn starch,salt and cinnamon together, then sprinkle over the top of the apples.  Dot with butter.

Layer granola over the top.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake until the apples are soft and the granola is nicely browned.

Serve in a bowl with a dollop of whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream.


God bless,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Visiting Relatives

Well, you didn't hear from me for awhile because I was quite busy with visiting relatives.  My dear brother and sister in law came to visit with us from California.

Now that our parents are dead my brother and I have decided to visit with each other at least once a year.  Since we live on opposite sides of the country we can't see each other as often as we would like.  In a perfect world we would live next door to one another.

Brother and sister are great guests and I like to give them the space to spend time alone along with the time spent with family.  I invited them to stay with us, but we have a very small home, so they asked me to find them a B & B nearby.

I chose a unique B & B that used to be on my husband's mail delivery route.  He always raved about how nice the owners were and the lovely facilities.  The Park Circle B & B is located in Redington Beach, Florida and is across the street from the gulf beaches.

One of the Cottages

View from Front Porch of Cottage 4
We spent a wonderful week together visiting, sharing meals and some site seeing.  They are the perfect guests; grateful for the little things and appreciative of your efforts.

I miss them so much and have spent much of the last week in a funk, but I am getting back to normal now.  I have much to be thankful for, especially my wonderful family.

God bless,

The Frugal Kitchen: Leftover Chicken Mexican Casserole

Since only my daughter and I eat meat, whenever I bake a chicken there are plenty of leftovers.  I needed something I could make easily and economically, so I mixed up this casserole.


Pre baked chicken torn into bite size pieces
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1 onion chopped
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups of cooked rice
1 jar salsa
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 Tbsp. oil

Cook the frozen vegetables in the microwave.  Saute the onion, vegetables and chicken in a small amount of oil.

Mix the soup and salsa together in a bowl.  Add about a half can of water to thin it to a sauce consistency.  You may not need to do this if your salsa has a lot of liquid.

Begin layering the ingredients in this order:  sauce, rice, veggie/meat mix and cheese.  Finish with a layer of cheese,

Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.  The cheese should be golden brown.  You can make this casserole in advance and hold it in the refrigerator, but add 15 minutes to the cooking time.

A super simple and nutritious meal.  You can substitute based on the leftovers you have on hand.  Enjoy!

God bless,

Good Reads: Diner Impossible

Diner Impossible  (Rose Strickland Mystery, #3)Diner Impossible by Terri L. Austin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just love the Rose Strickland Mystery series and Diner Impossible, the third book in the series, did not let me down. It is a very well written and well edited mystery with a romantic element.

My favorite thing about this book and the whole series is the heroine, Rose. She is a strong, intelligent, empathetic woman with a strong need to discover the truth in any situation. The truth is important to her because she grew up in a upper class environment where nothing is as it seems. She has left that fake existence behind, at great personal sacrifice, and is forging a new life for herself. I want Rose to be my BFF.

The secondary characters are eclectic and interesting. They have integral places in the plot and are not just in the story to create a distraction.

The mystery was exciting, frightening and kept me guessing. I didn't have any idea who the perpetrator was until the end.

Speaking of endings this one was very unexpected and is not a cliffhanger, but creates the expectation for more fun books in the series. Diner Impossible can be read as a stand alone, but I think you need to read the series to fully appreciate the story.

I highly recommend this book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Good Reads: Chasing Serenity

Chasing Serenity (Seeking Serenity, #1)Chasing Serenity by Eden Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, there I was searching about for a book that had some of the things I love which include: rugby, The South and romance. I saw Chasing Serenity listed as being on sale at Amazon and snapped it up. I am so glad I did! It ended up being one of those unexpected gems that come my way when I take a chance on a new author.

The story takes place in a small university town in Tennessee that is a bastion of naturalized and expatriate Irish. A rugby loving town with a rich history, surrounded by the beautiful Smokey Mountains. I fell in love with this town and was heartbroken when I couldn't find it on the map. I so wanted it to be real because the author made it real for me.

One of my pet peeves is weak heroines, so imagine my joy when I met Autumn. She has had a rough life of great loss, yet she persevere with amazing grace. She is educated, self supporting, independent, loves rugby and is a survivor. Her personality quirks and occasional defensiveness are understandable and normal.

The Hero, Declan, originally comes off as a big lug rugby player on a sports scholarship. He begins to expose the layers of his personality to Autumn as she learns of his sensitivity and intelligence. Their eventual love almost becomes an unrequited love.

Secondary characters are well written and interesting. I believe the second book in this series, Seeking Serenity, will involve two of them, but this is a stand alone novel.

There is a satisfying HEA.  This is a heart warming romance and an amazing first novel.

*Warning -  Does include some sex acts.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Good Reads: Far Horizons

Far Horizons: Across the Great DivideFar Horizons: Across the Great Divide by Andrew Earnshaw
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an American it was so interesting to read about the journey of a Scottish motorcyclist and his experiences on his road trip through the United States and Canada.

The author was surprised and pleased to discover that Americans are friendly, outgoing and tolerant people (there are always exceptions), the smaller cities are clean and well maintained and the countryside is breathtaking. His fears of guns toting citizens and bears were understandable, but unfounded.

I enjoy reading travel books, but Mr. Earnshaw's storying telling abilities and great sense of humor made Far Horizons particularly fun to read.

Recycled Materials Art

Last year the art teacher at my daughter's school requested that we save plastic bottle caps.  After collecting for awhile the middle school children began an art project using paint, plywood, screws and bottle caps.

They started by painting the back of the elementary school to look like a field.  Green for grass below and blue above to represent the sky.

Plywood was cut out in the shapes of flowers and insects, then painted using exterior paint.

Using screws the bottle caps were applied over the surface of the plywood shapes, taking advantage of both the color and texture of the caps.

Now what was a plain walkway between buildings is filled with color.  The children had a great time and now they enjoy their artwork every day.

God bless,

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Frugal Kitchen: Potato or Pasta Salad

This salad is an all time favorite at my house and I am often asked to bring it to gatherings.  You can use either potatoes or pasta and it is about as simple as a recipe gets.


Boiled potatoes (six large) or cooked pasta
10 sweet gherkins
1/2 sweet, mild onion
celery seed
4 hard boiled eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 heaping mixing spoons of good mayonaisse (I use Duke's or Hellman's)

I used potatoes this time and I prefer a waxy potato such as red bliss or yellow Yukons.  Boil peeled or unpeeled 1 inch potato chunks in highly salted water until a knife point easily passes through them.  Drain and rinse with cold water until they stop steaming.

Cut sweet gherkins into a large dice.  Finely dice sweet onion.  Eggs should be cut into large chunks.  Mix these ingredients into the potatoes.  Mix gently to avoid breaking up the potatoes.

Add several pinches of celery seed, salt and pepper.  Mix, then add mayonnaise and again mix well.  Taste to see if you need to adjust seasoning.

Enjoy!  We had this with grilled hamburgers last night.

God bless,

Good Reads: Buried Leads

Buried Leads (A Headlines in High Heels Mystery #2)Buried Leads by LynDee Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Buried Leads is the second book in the well written Headlines in High Heels mystery series. It is a highly enjoyable romp through the adventures of Nichelle (Nicey) a crime reporter for a Richmond, Virginia newspaper.

The twists and turns of the mystery kept me guessing, while Nicey's personal interactions with her coworkers, police officers, politicians and witnesses kept me entertained and amused. The developing romance between Nicey and Joey, her Mafia connected friend, is surprisingly sweet and gentle. Kyle, the love of her life ten years ago, appears in her city as a newly transferred ATF agent, which added tension to Nicey's romantic life when he declares his interest in her.

Nicey is a great heroine. No overdone baggage, no hysteria; just an intelligent, well rounded, independent woman living her life and working hard on her career. It's a refreshing change from the desperate, insecure heroines that seem to dominate in books nowadays.

I highly recommend Buried Leads. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Good Reads: Pharaoh

Pharaoh (Jack Howard, #7)Pharaoh by David Gibbins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pharaoh is the seventh book in the Jack Howard series. It is a well written, well edited novel and can be read as a standalone, but I think it would be better enjoyed if read as part of the series. There are a large number of characters from previous books and my lack of background with them led to confusion.

This book is a combination of history and modern mystery. There are two stories being told: One the history of the British in the Sudan during the late nineteenth century and the other the modern story of archeological discovery. Archeology is the unifying factor between the two.

The two main characters, Jack and Costas, are trying to discover the artifacts and history of an ancient Pharaoh. They are endearing characters with a lively style of interaction. Secondary characters are equally interesting, but not well fleshed out.

While much of the story was slow moving there were parts of Pharaoh that had me glued to the story they were so beautifully written. I could have done without the detailed descriptions of equipment and scientific procedure. It was like reading a science textbook rather than a novel.

If you enjoy history, archeology and mystery you will like Pharaoh. The ending of this novel is a cliffhanger.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Frugal Kitchen: Easy Flatbread

While this is an easy recipe I would not call it a fast recipe.  However, it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.


1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. yeast
unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In water dissolve sugar and stir in yeast.  Wait ten minutes for it to proof.  It should be foamy, but if it isn't stop here, discard and buy some fresh yeast.

Add yeast mixture to the mixing bowl.  Add salt and oil and mix together for a second.  I used my Kitchen Aide mixer with a dough hook, but you can do this all buy hand.

Start adding the flour one heaping mixing spoon at a time.  Mixing it thoroughly until the dough is no longer sticky.  Knead until a smooth ball forms.

Add an additional teaspoon of oil to a gallon plastic bag and smear to thoroughly cover inside of bag or oil a bowl.  Add dough to the bag and seal.  If using a bowl turn dough to ensure it is covered with a light coat of oil, then cover securely.  The dough can now be refrigerated until it is to be used.

To bake, first heat a cast iron pan or griddle on medium heat and turn on the broiler in the oven.  Move oven rack to a high middle position.  Flour a flat surface and roll out a handful of dough to make a round the size of a commercial pita bread.

Lightly oil the pan with an oil saturated paper towel.  Place bread on pan and cook until it begins to brown on the bottom and small bubbles form.

Then transfer pan to the oven, under the broiler.

The dough will puff up.  When it is lightly golden brown with darker spots remove and place on a heated plate.

Melt some butter and lightly brush on both sides of bread.

Here is the finished product:

This flatbread dough can be cooked in other ways.  You can cook both sides on the stove (will not puff as much) or on the grill.  Place 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet and fry both sides of the dough to make a Navaho fry bread.  Use as a pizza dough or place a filling inside two rounds of dough and bake.  The options are as endless as your imagination.  Enjoy.

God bless,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Good Reads: Nearest Thing To Heaven

Nearest Thing to Heaven (Maverick Junction, #2)Nearest Thing to Heaven by Lynnette Austin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nearest Thing To Heaven is a simple, endearing, well written love story with a small touch of suspense. It is the second novel in the Maverick Junction series.

The romance takes place between a big city girl and a widowed rancher with triplet boys. The location is a small town in Texas filled with delightful secondary characters.

This is a perfect book for a weekend read, especially with the Christmas holidays coming. It is an easy, uncomplicated read.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The OTC Dosage Scam

Manufacturers have become so creative with their attempts to get more money from consumers.  We all know about the Amazing Shrinking Volume/Weight.  Just look at the small size of dish washing detergent.  The bottles are the same size, but instead of the 13 ounces of two years ago they are now 9 ounces.

Recently, I have noticed the OTC (over the counter medicine) Dosage Scam becoming more common.  It works like this:  You buy a package of 24 tablets and when you get home and read the instructions you see that you need to take two tablets to equal one dose.  So the package actually only contains 12 doses of medication and you have paid twice as much for the medicine than you originally thought.

Of course the manufacturer will argue that all the information is on the back of the box for anyone to read.  This is true, but they are depending on buyers being too busy, too sick, too elderly and too distracted to read the fine print.

It all comes down to consumers beware, but I am just fed up with that attitude.  We should start pushing manufacturers to be transparent with their packaging.  Put your money where your mouth is and only buy products that are clearly and honestly labeled.  Send an email to manufacturers whose products you decide not to buy and let them know why.

Frankly I'm tired of needing to be Sherlock Holmes when I go shopping, just to make sure I don't get ripped off.

God bless,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Good Reads: Play By Play

Play by Play (A Play Makers Novella 1)Play by Play by Kate Donovan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This well written and well edited novella is the first in the A Play Makers series. Despite the steamy looking cover, it is a light, G rated romance.

The Hero is a humorous sports blogger and much of the story is told through his blog posts and his POV. He is just an all around nice guy that loves sports.

The heroine was raised in a professional sports family and is convinced that she doesn't want to have a relationship with someone in the business. As a result the H hides his involvement in the sports world while dating her. This results in "the big misunderstanding", which isn't really that big and is resolved pretty quickly.

A HEA and non challenging plot makes this an easy light read.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Living Life Fully and Other Musings

Yesterday I was watching a slideshow on my husband's computer of photographs taken of our DD when she was a young child.  In every photo her exuberance and obvious love of life had grins on our faces.  My favorites were of her dancing on the beach at the edge of the water.  Her feet seemed to be barely touching the ground.

The majority of adults lose this ability to love the moment.  We live for some day in the future when we will fulfill our life's dream of life on a farm, traveling the highways or whatever retirement plan we have nurtured.  I wonder how many people work for a retirement goal only to find themselves facing illness or financial loss after they reach retirement age?  Their dream unfulfilled because it was delayed.

Are you waiting to lose ten pounds before you treat yourself to a new dress?  Dreaming of hiking in Montana next summer?  Do you work all year to enjoy two weeks of vacation time?  It's time to buy the dress in a larger size, walk today with a loved one in a local park and schedule a date night every week with your spouse.  Let's enjoy ourselves.

I remember a quilting friend of mine.  We used to tease her that she was always ecstatic each day that the sun had risen again.  She was happy with the little joys God had given her and trusted that He would help her face her problems.  We loved her and she brought joy into the lives of all she touched.

Let's get living shall we?

God bless,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Reads: The Spirit Keeper

The Spirit Keeper: A NovelThe Spirit Keeper: A Novel by K.B. Laugheed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Spirit Keeper is a well written, thought and emotion evoking read. Frankly, it started out slowly for me, but began to weave me into it's spell a quarter of the way into the book.

This is the story of a journey made by two American Indians, a spiritual man and his friend, searching for the woman one of them has dreamed of. She ends up being a young Irish immigrant living in Colonial America with her dysfunctional family. An unlikely alliance is formed between her and her two captors when she and her family are kidnapped by a local tribe. They begin to travel west to return to her captors' home and the journey becomes not just a physical one, but is a journey of spiritual and emotional growth and awareness.

This is also a romance between two people that originally have little in common. It is fascinating to watch the personal growth they go through as their relationship evolves.

The author has managed to avoid the trap of overemphasizing the heroine's Irish Colonial language. It could have been distracting, but was handled with subtlety.

This is not a mainstream book, but well worth reading.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Good Reads: Wyoming Bold

Wyoming BoldWyoming Bold by Diana Palmer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Wyoming Bold is the third book in the Wyoming Men series and continues telling the story of the Kirk brothers, focusing on the youngest brother Tank. The mystery is centered around the rogue DEA agent that attempted to kill Tank when he was serving in the U.S. Border Patrol. The agent/assassin is trying to tie up some loose ends and Tank is one of those ends.

The heroine in this book is a psychic neighbor of the Kirks that shows up one night during a snowstorm to warn Tank that his life is in danger. She is the standard Palmer heroine, virginal and a bit of an outcast. The usual conflict between the Hero and heroine are missing in this book.

Diana Palmer is an accomplished writer with a good editor which is evident in Wyoming Bold, but she is a formulaic writer. Her books tend to have similar plots and characters. Fortunately, for me, her formula is like a familiar old robe; comfortable and reassuring. I found this to be an enjoyable, easy book.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Due to be released on October 29, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Good Reads: Hijack In Abstract

Hijack in Abstract (A Cherry Tucker Mystery, #3)Hijack in Abstract by Larissa Reinhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hijack In Abstract, the third book in the Cherry Tucker Mystery series, is another hilarious romp through southern, small town America. Cherry has two murders to solve, plus a variety of people to "help" whether they want her help or not. This is the type of well written and well edited novel that I have come to expect from Henery Press and their writers.

This is not a stand alone book. I recommend reading the first two books in the series in order to fully understand the action and character relationships in this one.

I would like to see the characters' personal relationships evolve in upcoming books. They have remained static in the last two books with the same conflicts appearing and reappearing.

If you enjoy fast moving, humorous mysteries you will love Hijack In Abstract.

ARC provided by Henery Press via Netgalley.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Frugal Kitchen: Basic Vanilla Cake

This is a simple, basic cake that is very versatile.  The recipe makes one layer, but it can be doubled to make a traditional layer cake.  Add a crumble to the top and it is a coffee cake.  Cover with macerated strawberries and it is strawberry shortcake.  It is moist enough that we eat it plain or with a light glaze.


1 1/2 cups cake flour or cake flour substitute (see previous post)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan.  Sift the first three ingredients together into a large bowl.  Beat in the butter a little at a time at low speed on your mixer, then beat in sugar one tablespoon at a time.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla and milk, then beat on medium speed until it is blended.  Do not over beat.  This will not look as smooth as a packaged cake mix.  Bake 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool.


God bless,