Strawberry "Poke" Cake

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I posted this picture of the strawberry poke-cake I made and served on Easter, to my Facebook page… and received many requests for the recipe after doing so. I wish I could take credit for coming up with the idea, but it’s been around for some time and is already pretty well known.

For those who have never been introduced, here’s the basic gist. A light, moist, refreshing desert with fresh strawberries as a bonus! I am always one to improvise based on what I have on hand, or if I think I might like to change things up a bit, and I encourage you to do the same.

Cream cheese frosting is a departure I made from the recipe when it was given to me. I think whipping cream is what’s traditional. Do what you think you’ll like best!

CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 box white, yellow (butter,) or even strawberry flavored box cake mix

  • eggs, oil and water as called for on the box

  • 1 (3 oz.) box Strawberry Jello

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • cream cheese frosting

  • sliced strawberries, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Prepare cake batter according to the packaging directions:

  2. Pour into greased 9x13 inch baking pan and bake, again, according to box directions.

  3. Remove from oven. Let cool 30 minutes.

  4. Using the handle of a large wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.

  5. In a medium bowl, stir together jello mix and boiling water until jello dissolves completely.

  6. Carefully pour mixture evenly over the top of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 2 hours or until Jello is firm and set.

  7. Remove from refrigerator and ice with cream cheese frosting (recipe below,) garnish with sliced strawberries.

  8. Serve immediately, or return to refrigerator until served.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 8oz cream cheese

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine softened butter and cream cheese in medium bowl: beat on medium speed until well blended.

  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

My Mother's Day Bushel of Blessings

My Mother's Day Bushel of Blessings

Click, share, and follow this link - then enter to win My Mother’s Day Bushel of Blessings!

Zucchini Fritters

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I recently hosted a cooking demonstration on a big boat in a bigger sea.

It was a cruise ship actually, and I was in the middle of the Caribbean, chatting away to a group of Delilah enthusiasts about my kids, my life, my farm, and my love of cooking!

I shared my Zucchini Fritter recipe with everyone, and then we taste-tested the result! Mmmmm.

Perhaps it was the excitement, the sea air, the energetic participants… but oh my, they were delicious if I do say so myself!

It will soon be zucchini season, so here’s the (easy!) recipe if you feel like giving them a try:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium zucchini, grated

  • 1 small to medium onion, finely diced

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)

  • salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika to taste (or use about 2 teaspoons of seasoning salt)

  • 4 tblsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place grated zucchini and diced onion in middle of a square of cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze to drain as much moisture from the vegetables as you can. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, Panko, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika (or garlic powder and seasoning salt,) then add the zucchini and onion and stir well.  

  3. Add the 2 beaten eggs to the batter just before frying, and mix until evenly combined.

  4. Working in batches, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Gently drop mounds of the zucchini batter into the skillet, about 2 heaping tablespoons at a time; flatten slightly with the back of a spatula.

  5. Fry until cooked through and golden brown; approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels, then to serving dish.

  6. Serve warm as an appetizer, side, or light lunch/brunch. Use your favorite aioli sauce or plain yogurt for dressing.

April Book Club | Deep Harbor

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Visit Fern Michaels Author Page  HERE  (Obviously a dog-lover like me!)

Visit Fern Michaels Author Page HERE (Obviously a dog-lover like me!)

The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels has a new book out, delving into the remarkable ways in which moments of crises can lead to our greatest acts of courage… I’ve chosen Deep Harbor as my April Book Club pick!

CJ (Carol Ann Jansen) has not had an easy life. First, she lost her parents at a very young age, and as we know, there is nothing that can truly make up for that in the life of the child who has been left behind.

CJ’s older brother, Kick however, did what he could to shelter and protect her, becoming her life raft. Sadly, as a young adult, she is faced with loss once again, when Kick dies in a boating accident.

Moving into her brother’s home to feel closer to his memory, she pours herself into her career as an administrative assistant to a powerful member of Congress. Many who have experienced profound grief in their personal life, as CJ had, might relate to this job focused energy - something one feels like they perhaps have more control over than the lives of those they love.

But CJ’s carefully constructed world begins to unravel when she finds information implicating her boss, someone she’s grown to admire and respect, in less than legal activities - and then he too, goes missing.

Without giving too much of this fabulous, stirring, somewhat suspenseful, novel away before you get a chance to read it yourself, let me just say that CJ finds herself uprooted from everyone and everything she’s ever known, and placed (for her own protection) into a small New England town - on the water that took Kick from her…

There are so many layers to this story; as each is peeled back and reveled to the reader, it’s the heart, soul, and resilience of CJ, a strong female character, that endears Deep Harbor to us.

Pick up your copy today HERE!


My Easter Basket of Good Things

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Enter by writing to me HERE

So very soon my friends, Ole’ Peter Cotton Tail will be hoppin’ down the bunny trail (hippity hoppity, Easter’s on it’s waaaaaay) and we’ll be celebrating the day in a myriad of ways.

For many it will begin with sunrise church service, celebrating the highest of Christian holy days (I’m in!), for others it may mean a walk on a spring day, or time spent in prayer or meditation.

Certainly, no one will be immune to the gladness, and goodness, and joy of spring! This time of rebirth, of sights and scents that fill our senses, and creep into our bodies, our bones, our cellular structure… promising hope and renewal.

There will be Easter dresses, Easter bonnets, Easter bow-ties, Easter eggs, Easter baskets, and Easter dinners. There will be an abundance of Easter blessings.

I want to help: I’m going to be give away a basket of Easter goodness to one lucky listener. All you must do to enter is to send me a note. Tell me what you’ll be up to on Easter. Maybe you’ll share your beliefs, your traditions, your hopes… I love hearing from you and getting peeks into who you are and what your lives are like.

In my Easter Basket of Good Things you’ll find:

MUSIC!

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Burn The Ships, the latest from
for KING & COUNTRY

From Christian singer/songwriter brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, comes a compilation honoring the many extraordinary changes and transitions the brothers have experienced since their last album.

A marriage for one, a new baby for the other, celebrations, struggles, and all the magical mundane moments in between. Burn the Ships is their personal soundtrack to the seasons of life. 11 songs capturing all the hope, perseverance, and love that a life well-lived involves.

It’s a perfect soundtrack for the Easter season, and calls to all of us to Rise.

Be sure and watch their heartwarming video of how one recent “Make a Wish” projected touched their lives. 

 

AND, Bridges, Josh Groban’s Newest

A very full album with 12 singles - 9 of them co-written by the man himself! It’s an album of gratitude, opening with the single Granted, and following with many personal and touching songs. There is an impressive guest line-up on Bridges as well, such as Sarah McLachlan, on Run, Andrea Bocelli on We Will Meet Again, and Jennifer Nettles on 99 Years. But I think my favorite is his collaboration with Flamenco musician Vicente Amigo on Musica del Corazon! Wow. Just wow.

I recently caught up with Josh in New York City; a kind, lovely, man who remains grounded and true to his authentic self - he’s matured for sure, but still the 19 year old I met for the first time many years ago. We recorded our time together for my LOVE SOMEONE podcast! Give it a listen, and pay close attention to the information shared on his Find Your Light Foundation!

BOOKS!

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The Beloved Christian Daily Devotional,
Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.

With it’s beautiful new on-trend foil and fabric botanical cover, this recently released edition of Jesus Calling has a rich, elegant feel, along with large text and written-out scripture verses.

This devotional is a much used, much enjoyed, important member of my personal library, and I want you to have it too. Experience a deeper relationship with Jesus as you savor the presence of the One who understands you perfectly and loves you forever.

MY book, One Heart At A Time!

A memoire of big and small moments in my life, that led me down the path to the place I’m at today. Granted, the path looks a bit like one of those Family Circus cartoons… it’s not a very strait passage from Point A to Point B, but as the kid in that comic knew, there are so many more interesting things to see and do when you take the road less traveled! I hope you will find One Heart At A Time to be a blessing and an inspiration to change the world, One. Heart. At. A. Time.

CANDY and FLOWERS!

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Delicious Brown & Haley’s Almond ROCA

No Easter basket is complete without candy, and I’m including the BEST!

A perennial favorite of my families my entire life! No holiday was without Almond ROCA

, and no basket should be either! Brown & Haley are still operating from their large brick building in downtown Tacoma, Washington, making delicious confections from fresh ingredients since 1912!

A Lovely Balsam Hill
Provencal Lavender Swag

Speaking of perennials - ‘tis the season for gorgeous blooms and blossoms! None more so than the everlasting offerings from my friends at Balsam Hill! , the sway is part of a larger collection of lavender blooms which takes inspiration from the sunlit French countryside.

The incredibly realistic artificial foliage features long lavender stalks in shades of purple and pink, accented by silver-gray leaves for added depth. Let it grace an entry door, a table top or wherever you’d like a sprig of spring in your home or office.

*****

It makes my heart so happy to be able to bless one of you with this gift basket of very very good things, and to be able to share the news of all the products included so that you may try one or all at your convenience.

This is a sweepstakes, which means the winner will be chosen at random.
All you must do to enter is write to me HERE.

Entries must be received by midnight, Monday, April 15th,
(Thank you for understanding that I can only ship to address located within the United States)  

Of course, when you write, I’d love it if you share something of yourself with me.
What’s your story? I want to know!

HAPPY EASTER!