Monday, February 28, 2011

“Vintage” recipe for applesauce cake…

Sometimes the best recipes are the ones found in grandma’s recipe box or in the pages of an old, tattered and stained church cookbook…you know, the old-fashioned recipes, but I prefer to call the recipe vintage in order to appear trendy and chic.

This recipe came from my son-in-law’s grandma.  I first had it at my daughter’s and had to have the recipe for myself.  So here is the recipe for Grandma’s Applesauce Cake, with a few tweaks by yours truly.


Sift together :

2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice



two lightly beaten eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil (Grandma used shortening)

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce


Beat with mixer on medium speed for two minutes. 

Scrape bowl and add 1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) and lightly mix in.

(Look at the above photo, I don’t even follow my own directions…I added the raisins too soon.

This recipe seems to be very forgiving. Thank goodness.)

Pour into two greased and floured loaf pans, two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, or one 9x13 cake pan and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. 

(I made 12 of the jumbo sized cupcakes instead and they baked for 25 minutes.)

Insert a toothpick or cake tester into the middle of the cake to see if it comes out clean,

which means the cake is done.


Grandma’s recipe called for the cake to be served warm with this caramel sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine all in saucepan, bring to a boil, remove from heat.

Instead, once the cupcakes were completely cool, I frosted mine with my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe that a friend from church gave me:

With mixer blend:

1/2 cup room temperature butter

8 oz. of room temperature cream cheese

1-2 teaspoons of vanilla

turn mixer off and carefully add

1 lb. of powdered sugar

Mix with mixer until creamy and fluffy.


I served the cupcakes with a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top.




So moist, spicy, yummmmmmy.


Happy Baking!


All Things Heart and Home
Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Waiting, hoping, expecting, counting…


It was only last week when the air was warm with the promise of spring in it.

Buds and blooms of hope and promise were all around.

A few days ago cold arctic air came south and decided to hang around for a few days

bringing record low temperatures, snow, ice.

The news, it blows cold and icy too,

unrest here, earthquakes there…

a text tells me a friend’s mother just died,

on facebook I read of a beloved pastor’s death,

a blog asks for prayer for the family of a YWAM missionary whose husband/father was senselessly killed,

another blog asks for prayer for a 10 year old girl diagnosed with stage four cancer…

I feel the heaviness of the chill,

I hear creation’s groaning,

I hear my own spirit groaning,

waiting for, hoping for, expecting the Lord.

While I wait, I continue the counting, the gathering, the eucharisteo

“What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see

the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;

be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.

Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.” 

Psalm 27:13-14 Amplified Bible


My continuing gratitude list



-talking to my sister on the phone

-homemade soup

-the Living Word

-a dear friend’s good report-no new cancer spots on bone scan

-late winter snow


-crackling warm fire in the fireplace

-morning sun shining golden on the wood floor


-cooking a special pre-birthday dinner for Hubs and friends



-sunrise through the window on the stair landing

-a random memory about my daughters when they were small that brings a smile to my face

-blue eyes and pig tails


-a late February hike with a friend




-God working in us/through us

-my nephew and his family, the Hub’s nephew, and a group of young adults going out to lunch after church with us to celebrate the Hub’s birthday

-phone message from oldest granddaughter and only grandson singing Happy Birthday to Papa

Gratefully yours,



join the gratitude community here~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friends and family…


I’ve been thanking God for family and friends today.

My hubs who is celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

My wonderful daughters, sons-in law, grandbabies.

We really have stuck together in all kinds of trouble by God’s grace.

My siblings also, who mean more to me than ever now with Mama gone.

Longtime friends, new friends, our church family

and you too,

dear followers, readers, encouraging comment writers…

I thank God for you.

You are a blessing in my life.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

I simply remember my favorite things…Friday favs…a snow day!

We had snow this morning!



Yes, this is all the snow we got out of the “winter storm warning” that we have been hearing about all week long.

All the schools in the area were shut down today.

This is how we roll in Portland, Oregon…or don’t roll I should say. ..

we avoid driving at the sign of the first flake.

So, I postponed a scheduled meeting and stayed home.

Yes, I am a homebody.

I love days spent puttering around the house, nesting and cooking.

Since Mama died, I seem to be craving home even more than usual…I guess it’s a comfort to me.

I’m scaring myself that I could be becoming a hermit.

Anyway, back to the snow…

it was a good excuse to have my morning devotions with a fire crackling in the fireplace

and then, still in my pajamas, to do some baking for the Hubs upcoming birthday.

Spicy applesauce cupcakes full of raisins and nuts and frosted with cream cheese frosting.



I will share the recipe next week.

In the meanwhile, about my homebodiness (?), here are some little things around my home that make me smile…

White stoneware, beach-y touches, and a hint that Easter is coming…


A wooden rooster carved by my uncle, and Mama’s milk glass egg becoming a nest for another egg…


Antique trunk, that was a gift from the Hubs years ago, with Mama’s suitcase and handiwork perched on top…


Antique scale and rustic crate filled with my favorite dishtowels…


Mama’s old measuring cups and spoons…


Flowers in a French styled pitcher…


Rustic wooden box made by my handyman son-in-law, filled with French lemonade bottles…


A vintage area code ad from Maine in a barnwood frame.

Maine is the state Mama grew up in, and a wonderful place that I love to visit…


Well…the snow is almost all melted.

The roads are clear.

I guess I must forsake my homebody ways, get presentable,

and get down to the church office where I am supposed to meet the Hubs.

Happy Friday Everyone!


also linking to Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Primroses here, primroses there, spring-y primroses everywhere…

We are told that there is the possibility of snow tonight in the Portland Metro region.

In spite of that forecast, the signs of spring are all around.

One of those signs is the primroses for sale in front of every store,

from the grocery store, to the drug store, to Walmart…

primroses here, primroses there, spring-y primroses everywhere!

To bring a little bit of spring home for only a dollar is an affordable and cheery Simple Pleasure!







Still following,


Project Simple Pleasures2

Wasn’t it just yesterday?


Wasn’t it just yesterday that I wrote Mama a letter telling her I loved her and I’d miss her

and left the next day to move into that college dorm room a state away?

In a blink she was 85 and four weeks ago we buried her on a cold and windy day.

Time doesn’t march on, it really does fly, and it flies at supersonic speed

and life really is a vapor

and I can’t grasp it to hold it back and tell it Whoa! Slow down! Slow down!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a 19 year old bride saying “I do” on a hot, summer afternoon

wearing the dress that Mama meticulously sewed for me out of seventeen dollars worth of fabric and lace?

Now that dress lies folded up in the trunk full of memories, next to some wee, little dresses and bonnets worn by three little girls that filled our house with giggles and songs and squabbles and love.

Wasn’t it just yesterday?


Oldest granddaughter and only grandson were grafted into the family and filled the house with the laughter of children once again…blink, and they’re almost seven and almost eight.

Wasn’t it just yesterday I sang “You are my sunshine…please don’t take my sunshine away” to a bald, little baby girl and told the whole world “I have a grandson!” on the day he was born?

Baby granddaughter, miracle after 10 years of prayers and tears, infertility and loss.  I baked a birthday cake and brought it to the hospital and we all ate cake and laughed and cried happiness.

Wasn’t that just yesterday? 

Last week we watched as she blew out two candles and we all ate cake and clapped at the big girl who could ride her new tricycle.

Time it flies at supersonic speed, and it really is a vapor

and I can’t grasp it to hold it back and tell it Whoa! Slow down! Slow down!

If this life was all there was, I would be most miserable. 

It all goes so fast, too fast.

But my hope is built, and this momentary life, it’s but the dressing room for eternity.

When they lie down, when they get up, when we walk together and talk together

I talk about the forever life and the real place with the real God

and the One Way to get there

and I remind them that then there will be no more good-byes

and time will be no more.

This Truth is the Rock beneath my feet that doesn’t shake as time flies by at supersonic speed

and it’s a sure foundation, not a vapor, but Solid Rock.



Still following,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crockpot Apple Butter…

I’ve made lots of berry jams over the years, but one of the Hubs favorite spreads on toast is apple butter,

and I’ve never made it…until now!

When I found out you can make it from no sugar added, all natural, applesauce,

and let it cook away in a crockpot, I just had to give it a try.


The ingredients I used:

a little under 4-47oz. jars  (about 5 1/2 quarts) of no sugar added, all natural, Seneca applesauce

(I had used some of one jar for wholegrain applesauce pancakes for breakfast!)

3 cups sugar

3-4 tablespoons cinnamon (I used about 4)

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cloves (next time I will only put in 1/2 tablespoon. I think the cloves are a wee bit too strong, though the Hubs thinks it’s fine.)

Combine all in large crockpot and cook on high for one hour.

Stir and turn crockpot down to low. With lid askew, not on tightly, let it cook all day stirring occasionally.

You home will smell wonderful as it simmers away!

It is done when it is dark and thick and if you put a small spoonful on a clean saucer

no liquid should separate and be seen around the edges.

Sterilize pint or half-pint jars and lids in boiling water.

Carefully ladle hot apple butter into jars leaving 1/2 inch space at top.

Put lids on tightly and place jars in large pot with hot water covering the jars by an inch or two.

When water comes to a boil set timer for 10 minutes. 

Remove jars carefully with tongs.

Place on double thickness towel on counter to cool.

As the jars cool you should hear the ping as the jars seal.

The lid will have no “give” if it is sealed properly.






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