Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sunny Lemon Cake with Lemon Glaze

A little mid-week serendipity in a year that already seems longer than three months. Any amount of serendipity is a good anytime - but most especially now!

It has been one thing after another around here since January: 
  • two smallish car repairs for the Expedition - both times on road trips; 
  • one big car repair for the Beetle - new AC compressor for unusually hot spring;
  • several visits for dental work - all for one troublesome tooth; 
  • a broken weed-eater - just as the weed-eating season begins; 
  • a malfunctioning outdoor grill - admittedly, so old I remember picking it up in a minivan we owned six cars ago - and we keep cars forever! - see repairs above;
  • three visits from the refrigerator/freezer repairman - what began as a broken ice maker and a new seal on the refrigerator door, is still a broken ice maker plus a faulty thermostat and/or compressor for the refrigerator;
  • and, last night, a dying battery made the house alarm start beeping at 2 a.m. - why oh why do these batteries never die during the waking, daylight hours?
The alarm battery episode was the final straw! 

Calgon, take me away!

Today will be better - even if I have to bake something! So, while sifting through some recipes for a dinner club dessert, I came upon this oh-so-simple lemon cake in my grandmother's recipe box. She loved all things lemon and saved this recipe, handwritten on a check deposit slip. 

Just what I needed! - something to break this string of annoying little trials and tribulations of the past few weeks. I baked some lemony sunshine in my Williams-Sonoma sunflower pan and placed it on a heavy cut glass sunflower cake pedestal. Too much sun? I think not!  

Warm, sunny memories.

A comforting hug-in-a-cake.

Bright days ahead.


1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
1 small box instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1⅓ cups water
¼ cup cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together and pour batter into greased and floured 13 x 9-inch baking pan or Bundt cake pan. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes. Cool slightly. Poke holes in top of cake with a toothpick or fork and cover with glaze.

Lemon Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of two lemons
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
water to thin

Mix all ingredients together to pouring consistency and pour over cake.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Hello again!

Just look at these jolly pie birds! They're part of a small collection within my larger chicken and rooster collection. I just love the bold size and rich distinctive colors. I purchased several of these a few years ago, but lost track of the ceramic artist who made them. I saw some similar pie birds on Etsy the other day and I'm seriously considering a couple of new additions to this little chorus.

While I decide which birds will join the flock, here's a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie that's really easy to put together, with my favorite simple, no-fuss homemade crust. For convenience -- and a bit of a shortcut -- I mix canned cream of chicken soup with sour cream for a rich creamy sauce to go with the diced chicken and fresh frozen vegetables.

If homemade crust is not your thing, just roll out a good store-bought refrigerated crust and make a homemade sauce.

Or go for total convenience with the soup-sour cream sauce AND store-bought pie crust.

Or totally homemade with homemade pie crust and homemade sauce.

Any way you make it, comfort, thy name is Chicken Pot Pie, sung by a cheery pie bird trio.

EASY Chicken Pot Pie
2 pie crusts - homemade or store-bought
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
3-4 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1 small bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
--> Preheat oven to 350°. In a 9-inch pie pan, prepare one crust as directed on package.

2. Mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cooked chicken, frozen mixed vegetables and thyme; pour into the pie crust.

3. Cover pot pie with second crust; crimp to seal edges and cut six small slits in top with the point of a sharp knife.

4. In a small bowl, beat egg and water. Brush egg mixture over top crust.

5. Bake pot pie until top crust is brown, about 35-45 minutes.

6. Cool slightly before cutting to serve. Makes 6 servings.