Friday, November 23, 2012

Grandma Bailey's Baked Apple Cake



Hey Everyone, today I have a special treat for you. Being that it's Thanksgiving and all, I was thinking I would like to introduce to you one of the people I'm most thankful for in the world...I would like to introduce you all to my Mom! She and my Dad came up for the holiday and we went to town in the baking department. Two pumpkin pies, cherry pie, baked apple cake, and banana pudding...and that's just for dessert! We go all out every Thanksgiving and make a ton of pies and food and can never eat all of it. My momma taught me all about baking from scratch so I owe a lot to her for teaching me how simple it is to create something from some flour and sugar and a few other ingredients. She is most definitely an excellent baker and I'm proud to share her with the world...I just hope she doesn't mind...lol. This cake is always a staple for holidays and always will be.The recipe has been in our family for quite some time passed down from my great grandma (a West Virginia hillbilly:) ) Naturally I thought that since she was visiting for Thanksgiving, it'd be nice for HER to tell you all about it!  So, without further adieu...meet my Momma....


Hey, everyone!  Baking has always been a love of mine and I am glad to pass that down to my two daughters, Jessica and Samantha.  I remember watching my grandmother Julia Bailey baking when she'd come to visit us in Michigan where I grew up.  We lived on an acre of property surrounded by farmland, in the middle of fields with nothing much to do, so I would pre-occupy my time with reading and watching Julia Child's cooking show.  I saw my grandmother make her delicious apple cake one time and was fascinated with how she diced the apples right in the palm of her hand.  Ever since then I fell in love with baking things with my own two hands.  I loved putting things together from a little bit of flour, sugar, and butter and create something everyone loved to eat.   I remember my brother Bill would sneak a stack of peanut butter cookies that were cooling when I wasn't looking.....so he wouldn't get yelled at for taking them.  I really didn't mind, I just knew to make a double batch whenever he was around. :)  I started baking when I was about 13 years old.  I started out with peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, banana bread,  then went on to make my grandmother's apple cake, which I named Baked Apple Pudding Cake because it was like a baked pudding texture when still warm, but then cooled to a cake texture.  It is topped with brown sugar topping and is similar to warm bread pudding. 
  
Julia Bailey
Ingredients
For the cake:
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
5 tart apples (diced small) Granny Smith

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T. margarine (softened)
1 T. flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. First you add the dry ingredients together, the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, and the cinnamon.  Then you cut in the softened margarine, and add the egg. 




Then you peel your apples, one at a time and slice it all around while holding it in the palm of your hand.  Turn the apple sideways and slice it all around again.  Then take the paring knife and slice across the apple.  It will cut off little dices of apple that will fall right into your bowl.  Do this for 5 large tart apples--- I like McIntosh best, or Granny Smith apples.  



 Once you've diced all 5 apples, mix together.



Here's my granddaughter helping out. 


And here's the youngest wanting to be a big helper. 
  
 Pour into a cake pan that has been greased and floured.  Bake for one hour in a 350 degree oven.  

 


For the topping, mix together the margarine, brown sugar and flour with a fork. 


It should resemble coarse crumbs. 
 
 
Ten minutes before the cake is done add the topping. Bake for the final 10 minutes. 

 

Enjoy this cake warm or cooled.  I like it warm the best. Microwave ovens are our friends.  :) 



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

The day is winding down...the kids are in bed, the kitchen is cleaned, tables put back together, dirty linens in the hamper, leftovers in the fridge and I'm exhausted. Mom and I were cooking all day and we ended up with a delicious Thanksgiving meal which we enjoyed with my family and in-laws. So before I close my eyes for the night I thought I'd share (along with every other blogger out there) what I am thankful for.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ who died to redeem me from my sins, which I fail him daily for.
Second, I must say I am most thankful for my Prince Charming. He is seriously my other half and I am so blessed to live beside him every day. Did you know he cleaned the whole kitchen including mopping after the meal tonight? Oh, how thankful I was to be able to lay on the couch in pain from stuffing my face in peace knowing I didn't have to worry about cleanup! He's amazing. He loves those girls of ours and I can't believe how lucky I am to have him.

Third, I am thankful for my beautiful princesses and how smart they are. I am so blessed with three healthy and adorable children and am amazed by them every day.

Fourth, I am thankful for my family..Mom, Dad, and Sis. Love them so much and wish we didn't live so far apart. :( So sad...

Fifth, I am thankful for my amazing mother in law...She really treats me like her daughter and I love her like a mother (though she'll never replace mine:) ) 

Okay, so now I will just list my random thankfulnesses...

My Freedom
Being born an American citizen
Having a home and food to eat
My Pastor
My Youth Pastor Mike (even though we aren't in touch often...you have meant more to me than you'll ever know)
My minivan..yes the sexy green one...lol
Starbucks Mocha Frappucino!
My nook..lol
Online learning
My Iphone...what did I ever do without you!
Once Upon a Time...ha ha...LOVE that show!
My amazing boss/bff 
SKYPE so I can chat with my family and friends when we aren't nearby
Chocolate!
Chocolate covered marshmallows and York Peppermint patties...mmm...
My DVR so I can fast forward parts of XFactor which I don't feel like watching...lol..and the commercials :) Choe Kardashian gets on my nerves a little
Oh yeah, and I'm thankful they got rid of that host from last year and Nicole too!
Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Bradley Cooper and Bruno Mars...lol...had to put them in...

Okay, so I know that some of the list is superficial. But in all seriousness, I have a lot of things to be thankful for. Especially those who are fighting for our freedom and have fought for us. 
God Bless American and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hiding From Your Kids?


So, tonight was like any other night. Princess6 and Princess3 were finishing dinner at the table....taking FOREVER....as per usual. I was cleaning up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Princess8 was downstairs in the playroom and Prince Charming was upstairs vacuuming (yes he vacuums...I know... I'm a lucky gal). And my parents were in the living room watching t.v. (They're visiting from FL). While putting away the leftovers into the fridge, I noticed a little jello pudding with sprinkles and oreo crumbs that the girls' MomMom brought for them all the way in the back of the fridge. It was like a light shone on that spot with a choir singing..you know, the way it happens in movies? lol.. Well, somehow it was never eaten in all this time and since I'm such a chocoholic...I decided that it was now mine. (Sorry MomMom). I checked for the coast to be clear and opened it up! Quickly pouring the sprinkles on I contemplated for a split second getting some whipped cream, but scratched that thought because there was NO TIME! I knew that any minute one of my princesses would walk in the kitchen and catch me eating their pudding which they didn't even care about because they forgot it existed. I heard Princess6 coming and quickly hid my pudding cup and went to see what she wanted. She asked if she could be done and I nodded since my mouth was full. Taking her plate I told her to go finish her milk...which was really my effort to get her out of the kitchen so I could finish my dessert, which I did...swiftly. It made me laugh because I was thinking...I hide from the girls a LOT. Whenever I have some type of dessert that I love...a little selfish streak takes over. For instance when we buy those Little Debbie's Chocolate Cupcakes...you know, the ones with the white swirls across the middle, they usually end up on top of the fridge out of kids' view. If I eat ice cream, it's usually when they're in bed or somewhere else. I don't like to share. BUT, if they ask me, I'll never tell them "no" because how can I tell my sweethearts "no"? So instead, I just hide like an addict keeping their addiction 'in the closet'. I sneak York peppermint patties, brownies, cupcakes..etc.. For one, I don't want them to eat it..because I'm being unhealthy, and two..I want it ALL! LOL. If I give them one bite, then it's one less for me. So it's easier to keep the 'out of sight out of mind' aspect. So, my question for you is...Do YOU hide from your kids? My Prince Charming never does, he's such a good dad. Me on the other hand, yeah, I'm a little bit selfish. (Only when it comes to dessert).

How can I say "no" to these lovely faces?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Southern Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes!




With Thanksgiving coming up, I'm sure everyone will be in the kitchen cooking up a storm...I know I will! So in honor of the day here are two recipes you're sure to enjoy! They are family favorites in my house. They also are great year round, not just for Thanksgiving!


I LOVE mashed potatoes! They are one of my favorite side dishes. And I must say it is one of those dishes that I feel I've perfected over the years. The key? Heavy cream, garlic, an electric mixer and drying out the potatoes before mashing. If I skip any of these steps, the results are never the same. I decided to use Country Crock this time around though. It's saving us some cholesterol and calories without sacrificing flavor! So here ya go! Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Ingredients

6 medium russet potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
1 cup heavy cream
6 Tablespoons Country Crock Spread

Directions

1. Dice potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Place in a pot and cover with water. Add salt and put the lid on to help speed up the boiling process. Cook on med/high heat. Once the potatoes reach a boil remove the lid to prevent water from overflowing.

2. Once the potatoes are fork tender (meaning you can mash them easily with a fork) drain and place back into pot. This will help to dry up any excess moisture. We want creamy, not watery. 

3. Next, mash up the potatoes with a masher. Then using an electric mixer beat the potatoes to help break up any more lumps. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

4. Melt the Country Crock spread in the microwave and warm the heavy cream also.

5. Add the Country Crock Spread to the potatoes and mix with the electric mixer. Next slowly add the heavy cream until the potatoes reach desired consistency.

6. Serve and enjoy! Oh, and lick the beaters...they're delicious!




My mom has been making these green beans for years and for me, there's nothin like the taste of fresh green beans cooking in bacon drippings. Talk about delicious! I hope y'all enjoy these as much as I do!

Ingredients

3 strips of bacon
2 lbs. of green beans, trimmed and washed
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, melt the Country Crock Spread. 

2. Add the bacon and fry until it is cooked crisp.

3. Next, add the diced onions and saute until translucent.

4. Add green beans and 1 clove of minced garlic and stir together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add 1 cup water then turn heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook on low until tender, about 30 minutes unless you prefer al dente, then cook for only 15 minutes.

6. Serve and Enjoy!



Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stay

Five Minute Friday


1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back to Lisa-Jo and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Ready? The prompt is Quiet…


Five Minute Friday (on Saturday)

Stay...

Well, being today is the 10 year anniversary of my grandmother's Home Going...I feel it most appropriate to honor her memory. When I first read the word Stay I thought, "I wish my grandma had stayed." More than anything I wish to hear her voice on the other end of the telephone. She was always short and sweet and to the point. We talked often even after I moved from NC to PA and when she ran out of things to say she'd just say "Okay, goodbye." CLICK. It didn't matter if I was still talking, she'd never even wait for me to say "bye". LOL...It'd always make me laugh because I'd call her immediately and say "Grandma! I wasn't done!" "Oh, sorry." :) "I'd chat a few more minutes and she'd say "Okay, goodbye" in her high pitched sing-song melodic Canadian accented voice. CLICK. Grr...."Grandma! Seriously? I am not done!" Laughter..and "Oh sorry. What do you want?" LOL...she was a mess. A cute little Canadian woman who was named Citizen of the Year in our little podunk town. She brought clothes to the needy on a weekly basis. In her downstairs, she had a pool table that was ALWAYS covered in trash bags filled with clothes from the thrift store that she'd gather to bring to those in need. She took me more than once to a little blind couple and brought them some home-cooked food. There were so many things she taught me. But most of all, she taught me to love Jesus. She would stop us in her tracks to pray for us or whoever was visiting her for the moment. (She was always taking in 'strays'...human ones..lol). Being a kid, I'd roll my eyes and then hold hands with them and pray. I miss hugging her petite little body while she was forcing me to take some food with me, no matter whether I was hungry or not. She loved to serve. Loved to feed her grand-kids or whoever came in her path. I still hear her sweet voice tell me "Jessi, you found a good man. He loves Jesus and that's all that counts." She was so right. I found a good man, and I am so glad she was proud of me for sticking with my walk with the Lord. We connected in that spiritual way because it was real for both of us. I am also so happy she met my husband and loved him dearly. It's just a shame she wasn't around long after we were married. She has two name-sake great-granddaughters that I wish she'd have met and a whole brood of great-grandkids that are following. I miss her but thank God that she helped to teach me about Jesus and wasn't ashamed EVER to speak the name of the Lord. Well, I went over my five minutes...oops! I could talk about all my memories forever.

I may just have to start a "Miss Emma" series...lol...I've got a few pretty good memories to share.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wanna Swap Ads??

Hey Y'all!

With some great advice from my blogging buddy Reese over at The Importance of Being Reese...I decided to start swapping ads. Gotta start somewhere right? If you'd like to have your blog featured on my sidebar please email me at jess {at} theredheadedprincess {dot} com. I'll give ya the FREE code. Thanks! Looking forward to working with ya!

Jess

Sunday, November 11, 2012

{Repost} Sweet Potato Casserole



With Thanksgiving coming up I thought I'd repost my Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. Per my "rules" there are no nuts in mine, but you can put them in if you like. :) Actually, I don't mind the pecans in the topping but Prince Charming isn't a fan.

Enjoy!

Okay, so here's a recipe that is a Thanksgiving staple in my home. It's a MUST-MAKE no matter what for my DH. He loves this recipe. Most sweet potato casseroles have a marshmallow topping and while I do like those, I really love this brown sugary crust much better.

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup butter softened
1/3 cup milk
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans (optional....I don't ever put them in. I did once and it was delicious but DH didn't like it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. So first thing is first peel your sweet potatoes. I used these two huge sweet potatoes and they were plenty. If you see my cutting board it's about 15 inches wide and the one was almost that long. Then cut the potatoes up small. The smaller they are the quicker they'll cook. Don't boil the water first. Rinse the potatoes and put them in the pot. Fill with water till just covered. Add salt and cover with a lid. This will help to quicken the boiling process. Cook over med-high heat. When the water begins to boil, take off the lid so that it doesn't overflow. The water is pretty starchy so just like with pastas, water will boil over if a lid is on the pot.

Next drain the potatoes and put back in the hot pot. This will help dry them out so that there is not too much excess moisture. Mash potatoes but don't over mash unless you like it to be pretty smooth. I like my sweet potatoes to have lumps (but not my mashed potatoes). Add the milk, butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir gently.

Next we want to temper the eggs. Since the potatoes are hot, if we add eggs now then we'll have scrambled eggs mixed in our potatoes. Gross. SO first put your eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork or whisk. Next add a tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture and mix. Do this a couple more times to bring the temperature of the eggs up slowly. Now add the eggs to the sweet potatoes. Mix together gently.

Place in a casserole dish.
In a small mixing bowl mix the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives until resembling coarse crumbs.

Pour brown sugar evenly over the potatoes. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the brown sugar forms a crust.


 Hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Five Minute Friday: QUIET


Five Minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back to Lisa-Jo and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
Ready? The prompt is Quiet…

Quiet.

Hmm...that word doesn't exist in my life. I know it should. I should have some time in the morning for just me. Just me and Him. Or a backup time at least..one that I actually make it to. It seems like the minute I wake up there's noise. Sometimes I hear the sweet melody that is my life, but other times, the times when I am feeling the pressure (which is a lot lately) it becomes noise. It's kinda like when you're driving your car and you have the radio on and you're listening to some pretty good music but then you realize you're lost and you need to concentrate. Well, the music somehow magically transforms into noise. It's getting in the way of what you have to do. That's what my life is like often. I lose my patience when I need to have some. Sometimes I wonder, is it all really worth it? I know it is, but I feel terrible for my babies and my sweetie. And the problem always comes back down to this....Quiet. I don't ever have it. Not the literal quiet in the house at all times, although that would help. But I mean the quiet that is just being able to sit down and have peace. The minute I lay my head to that pillow my mind doesn't stop. My mind isn't even quiet because all the thoughts of the things I need to do or WANT to do are running at high speed until I enter the land of Nod. Then...I wake up, and it all begins again.

Quiet.

That's what's missing in my life. To feel the warm hands of my Father surround me and give me peace. To tell me that it's going to be okay and that no matter how much chaos is in my life, I will be okay and I can handle it. He loves me and I love Him and know that without Him..all the beautiful melodies of my life become noise and I don't enjoy them the way he wants me to. Lord, help me enter into your Quiet presence and show You the gratitude I should for all my blessings.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Momma's Banana Bread


For the record I must confess that I am a snob......Yes...... It's true....Surprised? Yes? No? You knew it all along? :)
Okay, well maybe I'm being a little dramatic...I'm a snob only when it comes to dessert...especially banana bread. I do not eat anyone's banana bread except mine or my Momma's. That's the truth. As I am sitting here typing this I am trying hard to think of the last time I ate banana bread made by anyone else and I really can't think of even once in the last couple years that I have. I could be wrong, so forgive me if I am. But the only reason I'd ever eat someone else's banana bread is out of pure politeness and if I have, the experience obviously didn't stick with me. Anyone else's or even store bought loaves never taste right to me. Not enough bananas? Bananas not ripe enough ? Not moist enough? I don't know what it is. My mother in law loves the banana bread that a friend at church makes....so I may have to break down and try it one day, but even still...she's made those muffins multiple times for bake sales and I just can't seem to go there...and she's an excellent baker...lol..I know, I have problems...Just to be clear, I have had other banana bread in the past. Most of the time I can tell by looking at it if their recipe is similar to mine and will usually try to politely pass. I've been disappointed too many times... My sister in law made a banana CAKE with chocolate icing...which was incredible..but that was a cake..not bread..lol...So, why such strong feelings? I told you. I'm a snob. ha ha...Well, I am one of those people who can eat almost anything...as long as it's not dessert related. Once you get to the dessert category though all bets are off. I have too many RULES. 

Rule # 1. Usually it has to be chocolate or have chocolate in it. (no lemon merengue for me)
Rule # 2. There can never be any nuts in it. (no banana nut bread...ever)
Rule # 3. Definitely no raisins either. (Raisin bread is never spoken in my house)
Rule # 4. Absolutely NO coconut! (No coconut cream pie...no way no how)
Rule # 5. Water ice should never have actual pieces of fruit in them...especially cherries.
I know there are a few more but can't think of them this minute. lol
Okay...a little dramatic I guess...

So...that goes for banana bread, fudge, ice cream. Anything really. Anyway...I can't help being me right? Cause who else am I gonna be? lol...(inside joke) Honestly, I feel like if I'm going to indulge in that many calories, it had better be doggone worth it! Otherwise, what's the point? Either enjoy 660 calories of Chocolate Silk Pie (or whatever else) fully or don't bother:) (btw that was a guesstimate for the silk pie...lol) 
SOOOO....What do y'all think? Do you indulge no matter what? Or are you picky like me?
Okay...getting to the point...My mom has been making this banana bread forever and me after her. The only adjustment I have made though is I discovered (after years of snobbery) that I DO like chocolate chips in my banana bread! Duh! I'm a chocoholic and I would never add them before. (I keep hearing "I DO!..I LIKE green eggs and ham!...I DO! I LIKE them Sam I Am!" in my head..lol) Prince Charming doesn't like the chocolate chips so I usually add them in after I split the batter. So without further rambling here is my Momma's recipe:

Ingredients

2 cups mashed bananas (the darker the skin the better, as long as it's not moldy)
1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 Tablespoons margarine (or butter, I usually use margarine)
4 eggs

Okay, so first preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour two loaf pans. Set aside.


Next..mash the bananas in a medium mixing bowl. Add the eggs and melted margarine. 


 In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix together. Next, add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly with a large spoon.


If you would like chocolate chip banana bread then add however many chocolate chips (or heaven forbid...nuts...) to the batter. Or do like I do and pour half the batter in one greased and floured loaf pan and then add the chocolate chips to the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or till a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't over cook the banana bread or it will be dry. Not fun. I usually will warm mine in the microwave and add some butter for a delicious breakfast. 

**Tip: Wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap and put in a large freezer bag. Freezes well for  a few months. To thaw just put in the fridge  or set it on the counter for 24 hours.



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