Thursday, February 28, 2013

Friday's Favs...I'm lovin' Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting!

The Hubs had a birthday this week!
Though he's watching his sugar intake, I still made him a birthday cake 
and he enjoyed a wee sliver of cake with some sugar free ice cream.
All the family came over for a roast beef birthday dinner and they enjoyed Papa's cake, too.

The recipe is one I've had for years.
It is supposed to be the recipe for the Cracker Barrel restaurant's carrot cake.
The batter has carrots, coconut, crushed pineapple, walnuts and raisins in it.
It's dense and moist and delicious...everything a carrot cake should be.
(The nuts and raisins are optional if you're not a fan, or have allergies.)

Of course carrot cake must be topped with delicious cream cheese frosting!
I was afraid a single batch wouldn't be enough so I made a double batch of frosting.
There's a lot left over...looks like I'll be making the grandkids some cupcakes soon!

I also made a whole batch and another half batch of the carrot cake recipe. 
 I wanted the nine inch cake pans to be nice and full.  
It made enough for a small loaf pan cake as well as two nicely full nine inch rounds.
You can see that the cake is nice and tall in the photos below.

If you are a carrot cake fan,  I hope you give this recipe a try!
It's a keeper!

Here is the original single batch recipe.

Carrot Cake:
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups finely shredded carrots (I shred mine in the food processor)
1- 8 oz. can crushed pineapple with the juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins soaked in hot water until plump, then drained
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk together dry ingredients.
In mixer bowl beat oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs until smooth and fluffy.
Add pineapple, walnuts, coconut, carrots and raisins and blend well.
Add dry ingredients and mix until blended well.
Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or 2 - 8 or 9 inch round pans.
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
When completely cool frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter ( one stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powered sugar

Soften cream cheese and butter until room temperature.
Beat with mixer until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting is light and fluffy.

Well, it's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a BLESSED weekend!

I'm Lovin' It at TidyMomvintage inspiration button              1aaadoveladygfairy006

Shabby Art Boutique                
Adorned From Above

Also linking to Jennifer Rizzo's Fabulously Creative Friday

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Speaking Mama's love My Freshly Brewed Life today

It was a frustration to me growing up,
the fact that Mama and I spoke two different love languages.
My love language is primarily words of affirmation.
Spoken words are great, but write the words out for me to savor, and I'm in heaven!
Mama's love langage was acts of service.
She cooked, cleaned and stitched her love for us....

(to read the rest of this post,
 I'd love you to click over to My Freshly Brewed Life
where I'm honored to be Barbie's guest blogger today.)

Still following,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I do two types of dreaming,
there are the dreams of my heart,
prayers really,
the kind of dreams that are eternal,
to touch this world for God's kingdom,
to see our descendants serve Him passionately
to see the greater things that He has promised.
Then there are the dreams of my imagination,
the creative dreams,
I'd like to paint this,
redecorate that,
make this,
learn to do that,
the I'd like to do this or see that dreams,
go to France,
see Paris preferably in the spring,
go to Great Britain,
see Scotland with my Scottish husband.
These dreams are fun, but not life or death important, I know that.
So, I hold these kinds of dreams lightly,
whereas the dreams of my heart,
prayers really,
you will never be able to pry those dreams out of my heart.

Still following,

( photo processed with one layer of Kim's cherish texture, hard light mode, 80% opacity)

Monday, February 25, 2013

More spring touches...

Nothing new going on here...

 except that my anticipation of spring is popping up in more places here and there.

"I glanced out the window at the signs of spring. 
The sky was almost blue, the trees were almost budding, the sun was almost bright.” 
― Millard KaufmanBowl of Cherries

So, are signs of spring popping up around you, too?

Still following,


Sunday, February 24, 2013


He's the same God, yesterday, today and forever, and He still does miracles! 
The Hubs, my daughter and son-in-law, and the team arrived safely back from Ghana on Friday, 
It was a trip filled with miracles:

the team-
 7 people from our church and 5 engineers, 12 people, some who had never met each other before, 
but who went through two weeks of unforeseen obstacles in the project,
 more hours without power and running water than with,
 in horribly hot and humid, dusty and dirty conditions, 
and yet they got along fabulously and made the best of every delay, every struggle, every situation

the obstacles-
-our shipment of supplies for the project was held up by red tape at the port for almost a week creating a delay for the team in getting started, yet they were still able to complete the project
-the well, not dug to specs by the well digger we hired and who was not willing to rectify the situation, 
so it was not producing enough water for the project,
then prayer and the next day when they measured the water had miraculously risen above and beyond expectations

So, for you who read here about the project and who prayed,
God heard and answered!
Thank you and thank God!

In 2012 I followed the prompts in Ann Voskamp's Joy Dare in counting my thanks.
In 2013 I'm going back to the way I did it in the beginning,
just noticing and recording the many extraordinary blessings in my ordinary life.
And so I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of them via my camera or iPhone)

-fun President's Day off with my oldest and youngest daughters and all four grands at the outlet mall

-cute new Easter dresses for the two youngest granddaughters
-the grands love of rice and beans when we went out for Mexican food for lunch

-driving home the back way down country roads

-a good night's sleep
-beautiful morning as I drove the two oldest grands to school
-sweet phone call from the Hubs

-another beautiful morning drive
-the feeling of the breeze in my hair on my walk/run and the feeling of a few achey muscles too

-the Hub's voice on the phone on his daily call from Ghana
-lunch with my brother at my favorite middle eastern restaurant-good food and great conversation
-jumping rope with the grands
-the grands help cleaning the house

-getting the house deep cleaned
 -leading a new Precept study on the book of Ruth

-Wendy's Frosties with the grands on the way home from church
-oldest granddaughter's good grades in Latin at her new school

-safe trip home from Ghana for the team
-the Hubs and I, together again
-good heart conversation with him
-dinner with the family at Red Robin, (except the youngest who had to work)

-a big Saturday morning breakfast together

-quiet time with Bible and journal in my home office

-hot chocolate in one of my favorite cups

-hearing the team share about the Ghana trip at church
-lunch out at oldest granddaughter's favorite place-Old Spaghetti Factory
-a Sunday afternoon nap (is there anything better?)

Gratefully yours,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Psalm 84:6...

This verse has meant a great deal to me through the years.
In our late twenties, with three little daughters at home, 
we felt God tell us to leave the wonderful church where we had been youth pastors for five years.
They loved us and we loved them.
They took good care of us.
There was no earthly reason to go, yet we felt it was time.
So, we resigned and packed up and moved.
 But for four months no other doors opened for us.
We ended up having to stay with family.
We wondered if we had made the biggest mistake of our lives.
That's the first time I remember really noticing this verse.
The valley of Baca is also known as the valley of weeping.
When you walk through the valley of weeping,
you dig a well and wait expectantly for God to send rain.
I still have the little journal from those months in the valley.
We dug and we waited.
We saw God send the rain of miraculous provision.
Looking back, those four months are full of precious memories of God's blessings raining down on us.
A door to pastor a church of our own eventually opened.
But, there have been other valleys since that time.
Deeper valleys, longer valleys, more painful valleys.
Yet, I never read this verse without remembering the first time it became real to me.
The lessons I learned then have sustained me time and again.

Still following,

Scripture and Snapshot