*strawberry ripple teacake*

DSC_0312Let love and faithfulness never leave you…write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3

Today I have a delicious recipe to share with you.  It is a cake that I began making many years ago, when I was a teenager.  I am forever grateful to my Mom for giving me free reign in the kitchen to learn to bake before I was married.  This recipe is special to me because everyone who tries it loves it.  It is a very simple, quiet cake to make by hand; no mixer is necessary.

The cake itself is an uncomplicated butter cake with a surprise thickened fruit filling in the middle.  The original recipe suggests raspberry filling, which is delicious, but I typically make it with strawberry, my favorite.

It is beautifully cream colored and golden, buttery, with a layer of pink, perfect for any time and perhaps Valentine’s Day, which is four days away.  Men love cake.  My dear husband Rich loves this cake, especially.  Your man might be similar to my man and prefer this cake over any other.   I am sure he would love this particular cake as an edible Valentine’s gift from his loving (and devoted) wife.  Maybe for dessert after a juicy steak dinner?

If your man does not like cake, might I suggest baking it for the children?

S T R A W B E R R Y   R I P P L E   T E A C A K E

1 10 oz package sweetened berries in juice (from the frozen section at the grocery store)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch or flour

For the Filling:  In a small saucepan, stir undrained fruit and cornstarch till combined.  Cook and stir until thick.  Remove from heat, set aside to cool.

For the Cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup salted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup sour milk (1 T.vinegar, add milk to measure) OR buttermilk

Grease and flour a 10 by 12 round tart pan.  You may also use a round cake pan.

In a large bowl stir together flour and sugar, cut in butter.  Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.  Into remaining flour stir Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt.  Make a well in center for combined egg and sour milk.  Stir until just moistened.  Spread 3/4 batter in bottom of pan.  Spread filling on top of batter, spoon on remaining batter and crumb topping.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

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This is what the unbaked cake looks like after dropping batter on top of the filling.  The cake will spread and come together when it bakes, so don’t worry about covering the filling entirely.

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The crumbs also cover the filling.  This is what it looks like after sprinkling them on top, right before popping it into the oven.

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Oh happy day, the cake is baked.

DSC_0298Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing..
for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

DSC_0308Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6

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Baking a cake for a sad/lonely or happy/celebratory person/family would also be a good idea.  This is a great cake to give away.

Enjoy.

*****

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life…It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”  Melody Beattie

“Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

happy valentine brunch

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Beloved,
let us love one another,
for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God
and knows God.

1 John 4:7

This morning I had a little brunch for a few of the ladies from my Bible study and used Valentine’s Day as a theme for decorating.

My friend Christina recently sent me three handmade buntings that I was so thrilled to use today.  I put one on each fireplace mantle, and I used one as a garland for my seasonal tree.  Thank you, Chris!  xoxo

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Sarah loves this tree and spends a lot of time taking everything off it and then putting the ornaments all on one branch, making up little stories all the while.  (I adore 3 year old girls!)

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Sweet little ornament from Dawn.

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I collect fiestaware and took out all of my red, pink, and white dishes to use.  This round platter is black with cherries on it.  I love cheerful cherry things, and have a cherry apron and placemats, too.  (also perfect for Valentine’s day decorating!)

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I always light candles when company is coming.  This one was from a shop downtown.  The gold leaf is charming.

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This candle, from anthropologie, is orange scented and the red jar is thick and lovely.  I’ll be able to use the jar again when the candle is used up.

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Whole cloves are like tiny pieces of wood.

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I put a 7 pound ham in the oven at 8 so it would be done by 10, when my friends were to arrive.

I scored the ham and inserted a whole clove in each cross section.

I used a glaze recipe from my old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and it was delicious.  You take a cup of orange juice, two teaspoons of finely grated orange zest, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of ground mustard, and 4 teaspoons of cornstarch, and whisk together in a pot on the stove.  Cook until thick and bubbly and brush on the ham in the last 20 minutes of cooking time.  The resulting Ham was delicious, simple, and elegant served on a big white platter.

Just be sure to remove the cloves as you carve.  Not many people enjoy eating whole cloves.

(they are like tiny pieces of wood)

(actually, cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum, native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia)

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We had an assortment of coffee, hot chocolate, and tea to chose from.  The sugar and creamer were served from rose fiesta ware.  (but of course!)

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One more beautiful heart, made by Dawn.  Dawn loves me.  🙂

The ladies and I had a fun time gabbing at the table while eating ham, pasta, apple slices, and scrumptious muffins.  We talked about everything from our children’s mischief to the problems of internet, with lots of laughter.  Thank you Kate, Diane, and Paula for a wonderful morning!

“If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”  1 John 4:12