Archive for June, 2008

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Recipe of the Day: Italian Cream Cake

with Cream Cheese Frosting. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) or 4 (8 inch) round cake pans.

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour or 2 cups plus 2 TBSP cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 5 egg whites, beaten stiff
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Cream sugar, butter and shortening. Add egg yolks and mix well. Mix flour, salt, baking soda in a bowl. Add this flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix well. Add vanilla, pecans and coconut. Mix well. Then gently fold in egg whites. Divide evenly between your pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out on a rack to finish cooling. Frost when completely cool.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter until light. Add vanilla and mix well. Add confectioners sugar a cup at the time and when all in incorporated beat on high until light and spreading consistency.

Rachel did the frosting and it looks lovely!

She also whipped up Dear Old Dad a pan of Butterscotch Blondies. I will get her to post the recipe later.

How about that! Got it done! Please read over it before you start and if you have any questions let me know. Back to work!


Things are looking up!

The phone woke me up at 5 this morning with a very familiar voice.  “Get up girl!  Today’s a big day!”.  Whose the one person on Earth allowed to call me “girl”.  Yep.  Husband was in Paris and would leave there (if all goes as scheduled) in about and hour and a half headed to Atlanta.  Things actually did get fairly straightened out.  Enough that he made is flight in Tunis with ease and now he is headed home.  So yeah, today is a big day.  Finishing up house cleaning, fresh linens on the bed, Italian Cream Cake to bake.  Oh, and I will put up the recipe with pictures later today if at all possible.  One of you lovely people emailed me and ask for it so it is forthcoming.   I won’t have to leave for the airport until 8:30 tonight so I should have time.

I always feel so much more at ease when I know that he is actually on the way home.  And even more so when he reaches Atlanta or Houston or where ever he is landing in the US.  One simple reason.  I can retrieve him from where ever that is!  No matter what changes a schedule after he is here, we can fix it!  He could rent a car and drive home or I could go get him.

Thanks for all the encouragement on my decision.  Some have commented here and some have emailed me.  I appreciate you all for taking the time.  It was a difficult decision and I didnt make it hastily.  It has been coming for a while.  Now I just have to let my local shops know.  That will be the hardest thing. Face to face saying “I quit”.

You all have a wonderful day and I will be back later with the recipe.  Thanks again for the time you spend here.

And now a picture for your pleasure:


Is it really you!?

Yeah, it is really me. Finally. I know you are going to find this hard to believe but I have been sick this whole time. I am just now feeling a bit better. Not great. Better. Though it might not have been the opportune time to decide weighty matters, I did it anyway. I am shutting the doors completely on my little business. Not to say I will never open it again. Or some form of it. Burnout is an understatement. After long phone conversations with Husband, and him finally convincing me that he will not be disappointed in me and think me a quitter, I have come to this conclusion. In fact not only does he not think me a quitter, he is relieved. Happy even. What started out as therapy and a hobby 20+ years ago has taken over three rooms of a very small cottage. Soapmaking is something my BonDon (my dad’s mom) taught me. Her handwritten recipe is framed, along with a picture of her, and sits on my kitchen cabinet. After she passed, I found the recipe in her cookbook, that I also have, and decided to make it again. I was coming off a LONG run catering for the public and was tired, had a 10 month old and needed a change or two.

Long story short, the hobby/therapy snowballed. At my busiest I have made upwards of 2500 bars of soap a month and not had enough. I rocked along for 15 years not ever even considering product insurance because anyone I called had never insured a soaper and would have to get back to me…and never did. But as more and more soapers came out of the woodwork, and they have, it became necessary. And available. And expensive – if you are not doing a great volume. And I guess it all boils down to this: I dont want to do the volume I have to do to justify paying what I would have to pay for insurance. There I said it.

A year ago March I sold the internet part of my business and kept Farmgirl Clean™ products and planned to make products specifically for MaryJanesFarm. I have told them of my decision and am confident that they will quickly find someone to do these things for them. To those of you who have been faithful customers for all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And never fear there is homemade soap out the ying-yang out there. Every store, every farmer’s market, ALL OVER the internet…its there. You will find some you love just as much, if not more than, mine.

I have sold some ingredients that have a shelf life, some containers and I am keeping just enough here to make a batch or two for family every now and then. I am putting the rest in storage. I am keeping my website The Soap Maven and will eventually put a tutorial or two up there for all of you who care to give soapmaking a whirl. In fact I hope to eventually make it a pretty comprehensive “learning” website complete with recipes, tutorials for all kinds of soaps, lotions etc. I will let that me my contribution to the world of soap. My etsy shoppe…thinking about what all I want to do there. But it will be a while. I am going to enjoy my Summer and lesson plans and such done for next fall.

Well, having been sick now for going on 5 weeks, I have so much to do in the next couple of days. Husband is supposed to be home Thursday but I hear it might be later in the week…maybe even weekend. Some flight mix ups and such. I would sit and cry like I want to but it wont make him come home any sooner and my nose is already stuffy enough. So instead I will try to use my time wisely and get all this soap stuff to the storage building and get the house spotless and bake him an Italian Cream cake.

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