Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Using up the Ricotta


(Yum number 1, a darling Easter basket)
If you remember, last week I made a Ricotta Cheesecake.
Mister and I were pretty happy with it, and we'll serve it again at Easter.

But I had about a cup of ricotta left over. I checked on allrecipes.com, and tried to come up with something that would only require one cup of ricotta.

Nothing doing. I leafed through one of my favorite cookbooks, The Cake Mix Doctor, and, inspired by the Basic Yogurt White Cake, I came up with this:



One Recipe, Many Cakes (Yums 2, 3, and 4)
one box white cake mix
one box instant vanilla (sugar and fat free) pudding
one cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
one generous tsp or more of vanilla
(I love vanilla, so just tip it in!)
about 1/4 or a little less sugar
(I just drizzled it in the bowl a bit)
4 eggs

Toss it all in the mixer and blend it up for a while. Two or three minutes.

Divide between 3 smaller loaf pans that have been oiled and floured.

Then,
In one pan I mixed in some mini chocolate chips.
In one pan I zested an orange and mixed it in.
In the final pan I added nothing, but as you see, the possibilities are endless.

Bake at 350 degrees until done. The ricotta makes it bake a lot slower. Mine took about 30-35 minutes. I kept checking.

The beauty of this recipe is that for Mister and I, 2 empty nesters, we end up with 3 smaller cakes rather than one big one. We can freeze the extra ones and have them later.

Hopefully this will also help me, with my passionate sweet tooth, to control how much cake I am eating at once.
I'll have to let you know on that one!




(Yum number 5, a bone china cat mug just given to me)

Have a wonderful day!

Joining Laurie for Yum-Top 5!
Carol

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shiny and Sparkly



I am attracted to shiny sparkly things. I wash my rings every day so they sparkle. I've blinged up my stethoscope with sparkly beads on a wire. I like to wear "important" (long, dangly) earrings.




Why the attraction? I came up with this answer. These things of beauty sparkle as they reflect light. Even the word sparkle, sparkles!




And light is attractive. Sunlight, firelight, candlelight, moonlight. Our eyes "light up" when we behold something delightful.

God is our Light! His Light shines in our darkness. His Light reveals His Truth. His Light is where we want to dwell. These earthly sparklies are but a dim reflection of His wonderful Light!

Believers filled with His Light are attractive to unbelievers. His Light is good and desirable.

And then I read this:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful Light.
1 Peter 2:9 NIV


His Light is beautiful! Jesus is the Light of the world! We can dwell in His Light!
Hallelujah!

Join Charlotte and Ginger to celebrate Spiritual Sundays!

Have a wonderful day,
Carol

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday Springtime Favorites



Let's begin the day with some Fiesta ware to drink from.




What a lovely cup of coffee. Do you want yours black?




Not me. Half and half every time. The real thing, not the powder, thank you!




We'll serve it up with some ricotta cheesecake. This cheesecake was a pretty successful attempt to copy some that Mister and I shared at a lovely restaurant last week.
I got out the food processor to ensure a creamy texture and blend in the orange zest.
Topped it with a no bake meringue, enhanced with vanilla extract. It's better the second day.
It will be making a repeat appearance for Easter dinner!




Tastes and looks like spring!

Have a most wonderful Spring weekend!

Make sure to visit Laurie for Saturday Favorites!

Carol

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Favorite Flag



Every year I wait with bated breath to fly my favorite seasonal flag. I wait til Saint Patrick's Day is over.

Then up it goes.

A sign of Spring....Hope....Redemption....
LOVE.

Wishing each of you a wonderful Thursday, filled with simple pleasures!

Thank you, Dayle, for hosting each week!

Carol

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hallelujah!



The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Psalm 28:7 NIV

Joining Ginger and Charlotte for Spiritual Sundays!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tea Time



The first sun tea of the year.
Making sun tea is a pleasure. First of all, it requires sun. And who doesn't enjoy a sunny day?




And what a more pleasant sunny place than a sunporch?




Maybe I should call it a tea room....




This is one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love looking at all the old beadboard, and watching the cats sun themselves. The old glass is wavy, the colors of the paint are vintage, the whole thing a bit chippy.
What's not to love about this room?




Our sunroom. Sun tea in an old canning jar. A sunny day. Wonderful things!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Join me as I visit Debra for Vintage Inspiration Friday, Laurie for Saturday Favorites, Cielo for Show off Your Cottage Monday!

Carol

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simple Lunch



I don't take breaks at work. So to pack lunch or dinner, it's usually cheese and an apple.

The type of cheese and apple are very important.




A sharpish cheese. A (no compromise here!) Gala apple.




Take a little bite of cheese. Add a little bite of apple.
Taste the sharpness and creaminess of the cheese alongside the sweet tang of the crisp and juicy apple.




Repeat until gone.

Joining Dayle for Simple Pleasures Thursday!

Carol

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Hyacinth



Aaaahhh....A hyacinth.
I can only wish I could blog the scent of it along with its beauty!




I treated myself to this little white lovely today. I thought - now that I believe the snow is really gone for another year, and the daffodils and naked ladies are showing leaves through the soil - that I'd celebrate Spring.
Join me, won't you?!




As usual, Bubba showed up to check things out. Let's pretend he is enjoying the fragrance, although obviously he just wants to bite on the flower. (NOT allowed - it's poisonous, don't cha know?!)

Have a most wonderful White Wednesday, join me as I visit Kathleen, and enjoy the transition we are experiencing as Winter turns to Spring!

I was waiting til I received the first issue, but I think I'll just share with all of you today.



I won Marcia's giveaway!
A one year subscription to this beautiful magazine! Marcia describes it herself,

"The magazine was such an inspiration and a confirmation of how I wanted to portray this blog. It shares the joys of homemaking, including decorating, cooking, parenting, and crafting, but my favorite part is how it incorporates the Word of God and Biblical teaching throughout its pages."

Thank you, thank you Marcia for this sweet giveaway and for the blessing of your blog!

Carol

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Psalm 119




33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.



Thank you, Charlotte and Ginger for hosting Spiritual Sundays.

Wishing every one of you a Blessed Sunday.

Carol

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nap Buddies



Take one old dog that doesn't have to be a spaz any more around a cat.




Add one young adult cat who is unflappable and knows he's "all that".
Who also happens to be fascinated with the aforementioned dog.



Add a soft place for a nap.




While the old dog sleeps, the young cat moves in closer and closer!

And so, today's simple pleasure. Friendship between pets in the household!

Linking with Dayle today for Simple Pleasures Thursday!
Carol

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sunlight



I don't have a window in my kitchen, per se, but I do have a door and sun porch.




The sunlight today transformed the room. The red wreath and the red of the pendants stood out.




Sunlight. Spring!

Linking with Sue for Rednesday!

Hope your day is sunny, too!

Carol