This week marks the beginning of the official holiday season. Like many of you, my calendar is filled with holiday commitments, most of which require a carry-in dish or baked treat to bring along to the party. I really enjoy this time of year and I do my best to take advantage of a few stress-free tips that can really simplify things. One such tip would be to choose recipes that are easy yet flavorful. The recipe below includes ingredients that are nearly always on-hand in my kitchen. It’s adapted from a recipe that I found in an old community cookbook many years ago. This one’s a no brainer for me… It always turns out perfect. A few simple ingredients bake up a moist and flavorful, good ole’ fashioned, pound cake.
Easy Peasy Pound Cake
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
3/4 cup milk
Grease and flour a Bundt pan (take your time with this step, getting all of the softened butter and flour into all the nooks and crannies). DON’T PREHEAT THE OVEN.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla/almond extract and continue mixing well.
Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Place cake into the oven, set the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
At a recent holiday party, one of my co-workers was kind enough to demonstrate the assembly of this adorable sock snowman craft. You won’t believe how quick and easy this no-sew project is to assemble. A simple white sock, some string, and a few sewing notions make for the cutest of holiday projects for any age to enjoy.
Years ago, as I was rummaging through the craft section of a local area garage sale, I stumbled upon a box of beads, sequins, golden threads, and patterns. I scooped it up and asked the owner how much was needed for the treasure. To my delight, she said $1.00 would fit the bill. I gathered up a few more crafting trinkets (some sewing and embroidery supplies) along with the box of sequined treasures, paid the kind lady, and I was on my way.
Shortly after arriving home, I took out a heart shaped cookie cutter and traced several small hearts on a light gray felt square. I carefully cut the heart shapes out and stitched on enough sequins and beads to cover the entire surface of one heart shape. On another heart shaped felt piece, I secured a pin back so that eventually, my project would become a pin. I then used a tiny blanket stitch (gray thread or monofilament) to sew the two felt heart shapes, wrong sides together, leaving a small opening to stuff in a bit of batting. After closing up the opening, I would plump up the heart shape by using my fingers to evenly distribute the batting tucked inside. Voila, the pin is complete!
I then used printable business cards to create a message, printed a sheet and punched two holes in each card to secure the pin back. I used small cellophane bags to envelope the pin/card and tied a bow for a sweet finish.
I have given these pins out at weddings, for Valentine’s Day, and for Mother’s Day. They are quick and simple and require very few supplies. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Over the years, it’s been a holiday tradition in my family to prepare lots of holiday loaves to be given away throughout the season. This year we chose the Cinnamon Swirl Loaf to pass on to others. It’s the perfect loaf for the busy holiday season. Most years, I spend hours in the kitchen rolling out a cinnamon yeast loaf that is delicious but a bit time consuming. This year, to save time in the kitchen, I made a semi-homemade loaf that uses a cake mix for the base. If you love fresh baked cinnamon rolls, then this loaf is for you! As a bonus, the recipe makes two loaves at once. This really speeds up the baking process helping to make more loaves to give away for the holidays!
Wishing you the very best this holiday season. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
1-15 oz box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients. Pour half of the batter into both loaf pans. Thoroughly combine the cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle half of the dry mixture over the batter in the loaf pan. Pour the remaining batter into each pan, carefully spreading evenly into the corners. Finish by sprinkling the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter. With a butter knife, swirl the cinnamon mixture throughout the batter making large swirls with the knife. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.
Here’s a moist and flavorful recipe that is sure to put a smile on your face for the holiday! One of the main ingredients is mayonnaise. I have made this cake for years and it’s one of my most requested recipes. You can find the full recipe here. For this cake I used cream cheese frosting and holiday sprinkles but you can use anything that you like. Enjoy!