Lemon Lime Poke Cake

What a crazy summer we’ve been having. I’ve enjoyed every adventure we’ve had but I do love it when we get to have a moment at home. I’m a baker by choice. I love to bake bread, cakes, cookies, anything really. I forget about the simple, easy things I can make sometimes but when all I have is a day here or there I’ve got to do what I can do.

My mom made poke cakes when I was growing up. We loved them. The cool, refreshing flavors were perfect for our hot summers. So I decided to make one, a lemon lime one.

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Lemon Lime Poke Cake

  • yellow cake recipe
  • 1 3-oz pkg lime jello
  • 1 8-oz container Cool Whip
  • 1 3-oz pkg INSTANT pudding
  • 1 1/2 c. cold milk

Make a yellow cake from scratch or box, your choice. Bake in a 9 x 13 pan. Let it cool. Dissolve 3 oz of lime jello in 3/4 c boiling water. Stir in 1/2 c cold water and set aside. Poke lots of holes in the top of the cake, using a fork. Twist the fork slightly when you poke, so that the holes are wide enough to absorb liquid. Slowly and carefully, pour the lime jello mixture over the top of the cake, making sure that most of the liquid ends up in the holes. It’s ok if some of it ends up running off the sides of the cake. Allow to cool completely. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set. Meanwhile, whisk lemon pudding with milk until thickened. Fold in whipped topping and use this mixture to frost the cake.

Enjoy!! Make sure you put any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

 

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Last week week was super busy with Kids Crusade and a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. Most of this week was spent at the hospital with my mom. We have ate so much take out and junk food ya’ll! When I mysteriously ended up with a quiet evening to myself I went for comfort food, chocolate chip pancakes. The combination of chocolate and maple are heaven. Seriously!! If you’ve never had chocolate chip pancakes, you’ve got to try them.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium high heat. Pour the batter onto the griddle, making pancakes the size you desire. Sprinkle chocolate chips onto the batter. Flip pancakes when bubbles start to appear. Remove pancakes when lightly browned.

All I can say is Yummm!!!

Family Time

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This year has been so busy. This summer, even crazier. Today we decided to have a down day. A day to relax and enjoy our family. Gram came over and we swam half the day away in the pool. We had hot dogs and chips for supper, so easy, followed up with homemade chocolate frosties. After dinner we didn’t want to just sit around the TV so we we decided to play flashlight hide-n-seek in the house. It’s really dark in our house people! The only one with a flashlight is the seeker, and Ripley, the three year old, because he’s scared of the dark. It’s been forever since we played this game but it won’t be long before we play again I’m sure. It has been a good day.

Chocolate Frosties

  • 1/2 gallon chocolate milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-ounce carton whipped cream

Mix all the ingredients together in an ice cream freezer. If needed, milk may be added up to the fill line. Freeze as usual in your ice cream freezer. Enjoy!

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No Bake Cookies

Nathan walked into the kitchen and asked me if I could please, please, please make his favorite cookies. Considering it takes roughly five minutes to whip out a batch I knew I would be able to make my fella happy.

No Bake Cookies

In a large pan boil for one minute:

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c milk

Remove from heat then add:

  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c oatmeal

Mix well. Drop by a teaspoon onto wax paper. Let set until firm.

These are at the top of my list for favorite cookies so I have to be careful how often I make them. I have been known to eat more than I should once or twice 😉

Perfect Shortbread Cookies

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You know how I said how much I love sugar cookies, well these shortbread cookies are right up there with them. They are the simplest, perfect vanilla shortbread I’ve made. Roll them about 1/4 of an inch thick for the perfect softness or just a little thinner for slightly crispy cookies, my favorite. What could be better I ask you? Drizzle a little chocolate on top, that’s what. I had to get a pic quickly because those things were going fast.

Vanilla Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add flour. Mix until just combined. Add the vanilla and mix one more time to make sure everything is mixed in.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick with your favorite cookie cutter. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack. They are a bit delicate until they cool. You can put sprinkles on them, frost them, drizzle chocolate on top, or dust with powdered sugar once cooled.

My kids rave over these and they are quick to make since the dough doesn’t have to be chilled. These nostalgic little cookies are definitely a keeper.

 

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I’m not sure what it is about theses people who like plain vanilla cake but Bethany has declared that vanilla cupcakes are her favorite. For her birthday she wanted vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting so I searched in all my favorite stashes for a delicious cupcake recipe. Everyone oohed and aahed over them so I would say this recipe is a success.

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Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup oil (I used vegetable oil, but you can use canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together buttermilk, egg, and oil. Add in the vanilla. Stir in the sugar. Slowly stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. Don’t over mix or the cake will be dry. Pour the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Put butter in a bowl and cream for 2-3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar in, 1/2 cup at a time, until combined well. Add in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy. Frost the cupcakes once they are completely cooled.

If your feeling real energetic you can make cupcake liners like the one in the picture using parchment paper cut into 5-inch squares. Reserve this step for birthday girls turning 20 so the cupcakes are extra pretty.

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You can also add sprinkles for an extra festive touch, plus the littles love sprinkles.

 

Bethany swears she’s going to have a cupcake bar when she marries her sweetheart Lee. Wedding dreams are being planned out even though they are not officially engaged. We’re just waiting, not necessarily patiently, for the time to come. I love my happy little love birds.

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Super Simple Vanilla Cake

I’m not a plain vanilla cake kind of girl but I always make the kind of cake the birthday person asks for. This old fashioned cake is a bit dense but it turned out delicious, except for the fact that there was no chocolate involved. I will stop complaining about the lack of chocolate and let you know that this really is an easy, delicious cake to make. If your looking for a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting this is the way to go.

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Vanilla Cake

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 2/3 c shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Measure all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Pour into two prepared round layer pans and bake for 35-38 minutes. I always cut out parchment paper for the bottom of the cake pans. I hate it when the cake sticks!

Vanilla Icing

  • 2/3 c butter, softened
  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk

Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp milk to softened butter. Beat with mixer until desired consistency. Add more milk if needed. Frost the cake once it is completely cool.

That’s it. I told you this was easy. I hope you don’t get tired of birthday cakes, we don’t. It’s a good thing too because we have a lot of birthdays around here with the size of my family.