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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

St. Louis

After we left Michigan we headed west to St. Louis. Drew was a good little traveler, although Megan did work hard to keep him entertained.

picture of low visibility

We started our trip in the pouring rain, but eventually the weather cleared and we had a pleasant drive. We arrived at supper time and went to Rob's Aunt Janet's house where she had prepared a very nice supper for us. We visited for awhile and then headed to our hotel for the evening. We were very thankful that Drew fell asleep without too much difficulty considering we were all sharing a room.

The next morning (Sunday) we picked up Aunt Janet and headed to Godfrey, Illinois, just across the river to Faith Baptist Church, pastored by Tom Olney. The people there gave us a warm welcome and we enjoyed a very good sermon on the importance of words in our lives. After the service there was a dinner on the grounds and we were invited! We enjoyed a delicious meal and met a number of people from the church, including the mother of a guy we went to college with.

After lunch we headed back to Aunt Janet's to change clothes and then drove out to her son, Jeff's house. When we last saw Jeff he was a young teenager. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Jeff's lovely wife, Donna and their two children, Joe and Danielle. Janet's daughter, Jody, and her husband, Karl, and their two children Makenzie and Connor also came and we really enjoyed seeing Jody again and meeting Karl and the children. The children kept Drew entertained and the adults were able to visit.

picture of Jody Jan Jeff

picture of Liebmans

picture of Schmitzes

Jeff grilled some meats and the ladies prepared some side dishes to make up a delicious supper for us. Donna prepared what we learned is a St. Louis favorite: Gooey Butter Cake. Here is her recipe:

Gooey Butter Cake
1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 egg
1 stick margarine, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar (remove 1/4 cup and set aside)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the dry cake mix, the egg, and the melted margarine and press into the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.
With a fork prick a line about 1/2" in from the sides of the pan to make a border and then prick the crust all over inside the line. (This enables the crust to puff up around the edges.) Set the crust aside.
Use the mixer to combine the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Pour this over the crust and then place strips of foil over the edges of the pan to prevent the edges of the dessert from getting too brown. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Sprinkle the reserved powdered sugar over the top. (I used a small sieve.)

picture of Gooey Butter Cake

This is a very rich dessert, so cut into small pieces. I made it last week for a ladies fellowship at church and added some blueberries to the filling. It would probably also be good with fresh berries served on top. The filling is sort of custardy after baking. I found some information about the origin of this cake on Wikipedia and I also found some variations on a Paula Deen website. Have any of you ever heard of this cake?

It was kind of a cool, rainy afternoon, so we stayed indoors until after supper when the weather cleared.
After we ate Jeff and the kids all went in the pool. Danielle, very graciously, took Drew in with her and he had a wonderful time playing in the water.

picture of Drew kicking in the pool

We had such a nice visit that we hated to say goodbye, but Drew was getting pretty tired. When we went back to the hotel he was thoroughly worn out and asked to go to bed!

The next morning on our way out of St. Louis we went by the Arch so Megan and Drew could see it.

picture of Gateway Arch

We didn't have time this trip to go inside, but we did stroll through the park and take some pictures of the Arch itself.

picture of Close up of Arch

picture of Meg Drew Rob at Arch

Then we got in the car again and headed for our next destination: Kentucky


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Cake Mix Doctor

Several years ago I saw a Cake Mix Doctor book at a local bookstore and perused it. I later checked it out of the library for some in-depth study. After this I decided to purchase a copy of my own. I have since also bought the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor and another book by this author called the What Can I Bring Cookbook.

picture of Cake Doctor Books

The author, Anne Byrn had a cooking column in a newspaper in Tennessee and in one column she asked readers to submit their best recipes for things made from cake mixes. Thus began the idea for the cake books.

My daughter Megan's friend, Kristen, bakes cakes for birthdays at her husband's office and she often uses recipes from the Cake Doctor books. She tried a number of the cakes and both she and Megan really like one called the Lethal Peppermint Cake. Here's a picture of the cake:

picture of Lethal Peppermint Cake

This cake is oft requested in our family for birthdays and I also made large two layer sheet cake versions of it for the groom's cake at both DD, Meg and DS-in-law Jim's wedding and at DS, Mark and DD-in-law Katie's weddings. Here's a picture of one of the groom's cakes:

picture of Groom's Cake

The cake itself is a deep, moist chocolate cake filled with a peppermint buttercream and then frosted with a chocolate ganache icing. This picture shows the peppermint filling:

picture of Peppermint Filling

If you like chocolate and mint you will probably like this cake.

I have tried a number of other recipes from these books and there are several that we really like. The author also has a web-site set up like a newsletter with recipes that are not in the books. One recipe that I found on the web-site that is one of my favorites is the Orange Marmalade Cake. If you have read any of the Jan Karon books you are probably familiar with Esther Bolick's famous Orange Marmalade Cakes (scroll down to the recipe--it's in the newsletter titled 4th slice, from 2006 under the heading Recipe Swap ). I tried several recipes for Orange Marmalade Cakes that I found in magazines that I did not care for, but this one is very, very good.

The first Cake Doctor book has a wide variety of recipes for white, yellow, and spice cakes, fruit flavored cakes, chocolate cakes, bars, cookies, etc. The second book has some of the recipes from the first book but nearly all the recipes contain chocolate or white chocolate. In the second book she has revised some of her recipes just a bit. At the front of both books there are small color plates which picture every recipe in the book. I find this to be very helpful.

So, if you like to bake or need ideas for an upcoming birthday or other celebration cake I would definitely recommend that you check out these books.


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