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Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Today’s dessert is special because it commemorates my 86th birthday – a White Velvet Cake with Caramel Frosting made by my younger daughter. She made her first county fair prize-winning cake as a teenager and made this Best-of-Show cake as a young mother. It’s the cake I always request for my birthday. From my 2008 post, two wonderful cake recipes:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/county-fair-white-cake/

My youngest daughter’s adventures with baking award-winning cakes for our county fair started in 1983 when she was a 13-year-old 8th grader and never that interested in fairs – to attend or to exhibit. But her older sister and her mother were immersed in getting things ready for the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair and she decided to enter the cake division.

Cakes were not allowed to be frosted, so all of the attention was centered on the attributes of the cake itself. She made the cake, I took it to the fair and she won a Blue Ribbon and even got her recipe printed in our community newspaper. Here is the recipe:

Blue Ribbon White Cake

2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
4-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
5 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add one cup milk and Crisco. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1/3 cup milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9?x1-1/2? round cake pans. Bake approximately 25 minutes until cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted near the center.

Cool in pans for 15 minutes, remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Frost as desired.

The years passed by, she married, had two children, and out of nowhere in 2006, 23 years after her first blue ribbon, she decided to enter again. But this time she was adamant that she was going to get a Best of Show Rosette. Her sister and I, seasoned fair exhibitors, tried to tell her it was very difficult to get the rosette which would represent the best cake out of all kinds of cakes – white, chocolate, spice, layer, sponge, angel food, pound, etc. She said the Rosette was all she really wanted and she would retire from fair competition after winning it. In spite of a broken oven, coping with two young children and taking the cake to the fairgrounds on a day so hot that we were afraid the cake itself would dissolve – she did it. She won the blue ribbon and the Rosette for Best of Show.

The cake was a favorite she had been baking for quite a few years as my birthday cake – White Velvet Cake from the Cake Bible cookbook.

4-1/2 large egg whites (4 full liquid ounces)
1 cup milk, divided
2-1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
12 Tblsp. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth surface with a spatula. Pans will be about 1/2 full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.

Let cakes cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so the tops are up and cool completely.

Frost as desired.

Note: Two 9×1-1/2-inch cake pans should be greased, bottoms lined with parchment or wax paper and then greased again and floured.

Can be frozen for two months. Texture is most perfectly moist the same day as baking.

The fair exhibit rules called for a single layer with no frosting, but I’m including the recipe for the luscious caramel frosting that she always uses for my two-layer birthday treat.

QUICK CARAMEL FROSTING (Fannie Farmer Cookbook)

6 Tblsp. butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and blend. Cool in the pan. Then beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick enough to spread.


Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Dessert this week was Brown Velvet Cake from a 1988 recipe clipping. I won a ribbon for the cake at the Harvest Home Festival (Cincinnati area) and still agree with my notation from then: “My favorite chocolate cake.” From my 2010 post: https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/brown-velvet-cake/

Brown Velvet Cake

  • Servings: 8-10 slices
  • Print

The Cake:

1 cup of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate)
1/2 cup boiling water
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tblsp. white vinegar in a standard measuring cup with milk to equal one cup)

To Make the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease well and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine the chocolate chips and boiling water. Let stand, stir and cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter. Gradually add brown sugar and granulated sugar, creaming well. Add 2 unbeaten eggs and 2 unbeaten egg whites, plus vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture, mixing well.

Add dry ingredients to this batter alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition.

Turn into the two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake @ 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Let cakes rest in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and let cool on the rack.

The Filling:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 Tblsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 Tblsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

To Make the Filling:

In a medium pan, combine the brown sugar and cornstarch. Add evaporated milk, water and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat, stir in all but 2 Tblsp. of the chopped peanuts, the peanut butter and the vanilla. Set aside to cool.

The Frosting:

2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4-5 Tblsp. evaporated milk, undiluted

To Make the Frosting:

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the melted chocolate chips and vanilla. Blend in the confectioners’ sugar alternately with the evaporated milk to spreading consistency.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one cooled cake layer on a plate and spread the top with the filling. Place the second layer on top of the filling and frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the reserved 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts over the top of the frosted cake. 

This makes a tall (3-1/2 inches) impressive cake …. and it’s delicious.

Also served: A 1940s era Tuna Casserole, like the one my Aunt Mabel used to make. I didn’t have any cheese crackers on hand this time and used a topping of buttered breadcrumbs. Old-fashioned goodness.  From my 2010 post:  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/a-snowy-day-retro-meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Since we’ll be having a big cookout lunch for Labor Day tomorrow (with apple pies), dessert for this Sunday was simpler and lighter. These pineapple cups are from a 1940 Better Homes & Gardens reader and she describes the dish as, “ Double surprise! Comes cake, then custard hiding pineapple!” It’s easy to make and is a great light dessert. Note: The recipe is for 3 servings – it would be easy to double all ingredients and make 6 servings. From my 2010 blog post:  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/summer-lunch-for-the-ladies/

Pineapple Cups

8 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1/3 cup juice drained from an 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits
1-1/2 Tblsp. lemon juice
1 Tblsp. grated lemon peel
1 Tblsp. butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
2 egg whites, beaten stiff

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Have 3 small ungreased individual baking dishes at hand. Boil water to pour into a flat pan with a lip that will hold the 3 dishes.

Drain juice from pineapple can into a cup – should measure approximately 1/3 cup. Set aside

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour and salt. Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, cooled melted butter and milk, whisking until smooth.  Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Place tidbits in the bottom of three individual casseroles. Divide batter among the three dishes and pour over the pineapple. Place the dishes in a pan with a lip containing an inch of hot water.  Bake @ 325 degrees F for 45 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Pineapple cups are best served warm or at room temperature.

Also served, as in the original post: Corn-on-the-cob and Pecan Spinach Toss Salad from my post of 2010.  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/summer-lunch-for-the-ladies/

 

 


Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Our Sunday dessert this week is another version of an easy fruit kuchen, made this time with fresh blackberries and pears.  The cake layer is thin which lets the good fruit really shine and the flavors are wonderful.  From my 2017 post:
https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/blackberry-pear-kuchen-cake/

Blackberry Pear Kuchen

  • Servings: One 8-inch cake - 6 servings
  • Print

3 Tblsp. sour cream
3 Tblsp. milk
3 Tblsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 cup blackberries
1 cup pear slices

Cinnamon-Ginger Topping: 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
and 1/4 tsp. each of cinnamon and ginger, mixed together

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan

In medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, oil and sugar.

Mix together the salt, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and gradually stir into sour cream mixture. Place batter in greased pan. The dough will be stiff and somewhat sticky. Dampen your fingers with water and then press the dough into the pan.

Arrange the blackberries and pear slices over the top of the cake.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Sprinkle Cinnamon-Ginger Topping over top of cake and continue baking for 5 more minutes.

Place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 servings. 

Also served: A great crunchy chicken salad which features veggies (snow peas, green onions, red/yellow peppers, coleslaw mix and romaine) plus an interesting dressing.  From my 2012 post:  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/crunchy-oriental-chicken-salad/


This recipe goes back to 1997 when I found it on the back of a cornstarch box. I adapted it to my family’s tastes and we all loved it. 

DILLED CHICKEN MEDLEY

  • Servings: 2 generous servings
  • Print

3 medium potatoes, quartered

1 cup green beans

14.5 oz chicken broth, divided

2 Tblsp. cornstarch

1 Tblsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried dill weed

1 Tblsp. oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken breast

 

Precook potatoes and green beans to fork tender. Reserve

Stir together in a small bowl:   ¼ cup  of broth, cornstarch, dill until smooth. Set aside

In large skillet: Heat oil, add onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook until heated through.

Add remaining broth, potatoes and green beans to skillet. Simmer covered about 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to skillet. Stirring constantly, bring to boil, boil 1 minute.  Serve immediately. 


Hershey’s makes delicious salted caramel chips which are available in our area only during the Christmas season. I buy three or four bags and squirrel them away for use during the year. This is a blonde brownie that I have made in various ways,  made even more delicious with these chips.  Of course, any kind of chips would be fine – dark or milk chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc., but the salted caramel version gives a special flavor to these easy-to-make bars.

Salted Caramel Bars

  • Servings: 12-16 bars
  • Print

2 eggs, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of Hershey’s Sea Salt Caramel Chips
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

9 inch square pan, lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla. Whisk in the baking powder and salt. Stir in the flour, chips and pecans just until blended.

Spread in prepared pan. Dampening your fingertips will help spread the batter in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F until top is light-golden brown – don’t overbake.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove by lifting parchment paper and cool on wire rack.

Tip: Before cutting, remove parchment paper and place it under the rack for easy cleanup of crumbs.

 


Tuesday was a bitterly cold day here in southwest Ohio, the second of two heavy snowfalls imminent, and I was craving macaroni and cheese.  I normally make a reduced-fat version (https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/shannons-macaroni-and-cheese/) but on a day like this, I wanted all of the cheese I could get. I came up with this version which my daughters and I really enjoyed.

Lillian’s Macaroni and Cheese

1-½ cups dry macaroni, cooked in boiling, salted water al dente, drained
4 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
A few grindings of black pepper
½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In the bottom of a microwave-safe baking dish, place the cream cheese and microwave for 45 seconds, until cheese is very soft. Stir in the grated cheddar, milk, salt, dry mustard and black pepper.

Add cooked, drained macaroni and stir to blend. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

The macaroni was served with chicken breast which had been sprinkled with olive oil and herbs, and baked a covered pan at the same time as the macaroni casserole. We also had some steamed broccoli and carrots. Delicious snowy-day meal.