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. 

Serendipity!
  
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.


BEEMA’S LEMON CAKE with LEMON GLAZE

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.

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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
1. 
--> 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.