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Showing posts from July, 2014

Lucy Mae's Jam Cake

Jam cakes by nature are homey, uncomplicated and downright delicious.  These homespun cakes go all the way back to a time when hardworking ladies would put up jar after jar of glistening preserves from the season’s bounty in their kitchens, and use them throughout the year in desserts such as these.  Thought to have originated in the Appalachian region, there are about as many jam cake recipes & versions of them, as there are stories behind each one.   A friend has been talking to me for quite some time about a jam cake recipe her grandmother used to make for her & her siblings when they were growing up, which used to get baked quite often.  She remembers the cake fondly.  The heirloom recipe which has been handed down from the Tennessee branch of her family through four generations, comes with years of smiles, celebrations and special milestones.  When I found out about the recipe, I immediately asked if she would be kind enough to share it with me so that I could mak

A Birthday Luncheon

For my birthday I like to keep things simple.  All I really want to have on my special day is good food, good company, excellent music playing in the background, perhaps a sip of wine (or two) and, of course, a delicious cake to finish our repast.  This year I had a small birthday luncheon here at home which, to my mind, was beautiful and pleasing to the eye & palate, because of its simplicity.  Typical to the way I like to set a table for informal occasions, the china, linens and glassware where chosen and arranged with that effortless sense of calm that always puts guests at ease.  The menu was fresh, tasty and infinitely edible.  This is what I love: easy entertaining.     In terms of how I choose a menu, I always like to start with the vegetables.  I think of those I’d like to have that are in season and absolutely the freshest, then build around them.  As far as the main course is concerned, it too needs to be of the season and it must absolutely complement the flavors

Colorful Birthday Cookies

It isn't always my intention to style, edit and showcase what I do with my gift-giving here on Good Things by David, even if it's the all-too-familiar cookie decorating that I love doing.  Although my camera is always at the ready, there are moments and events in one's life when one needs to keep things simple and stress free.  As much as I wasn't planning on showing the cookies that I made for some dear family members of mine this past weekend, I couldn't resist giving you a peek. You see, my younger brother celebrates his birthday two days after mine. We're both Leos.  No matter what I send him for his special day, I always include a few cookies with his gift because that's what I do.  Well, as it turns out, I had some extra dough, some extra-delicious royal icing and some adorable cookie cutters that I wanted to use, so I got a little carried away. Moreover, the cookies ended up being iced and decorated with my niece and nephews in mind.  I figured i

Cleaning a Stand Mixer

Stand mixers are indispensable kitchen electrics that get a lot of use in our homes if we happen to be avid bakers.  Although they are pricey investments, you'll quickly come to realize their true worth once you start using one on a regular basis.  A stand mixer helps us mix, knead, grind, whip and combine just about any ingredient with ease.  I would be lost without my mixers, because I use them weekly to mix so much.  Regardless of the brand or capacity of one's particular mixer, it's a good idea to keep these machines clean and gleaming in our kitchens. Keeping and maintaining a stand mixer in prime condition is very simple.  A mixer is made to provide us with decades of use in our kitchens, yet if one wants to keep them looking as good as the day they were purchased, it's essential that we keep a few things in mind.  In my very own kitchen I make it a habit to wipe down and clean my mixers as soon as I'm done with the day's baking.  It's almost i

The Deer, The Fox & The Groundhog

Nature never ceases to amaze me.  With so much wildlife around our home, it's not uncommon to see various animals walking by our windows during the day.  Some of them have even become 'residents'.  It just so happens that we were given one of those special and rare occurrences that can only be believed if seen firsthand.  Thankfully my camera is always at the ready! A small miracle behind our house between a groundhog, a fox and a deer turned into something out of Peaceable Kingdom the other day.  It's almost as if these three characters decided to put on a show for us and behave quite civilly toward one another.  Yes, I was chuckling in between photographs, but really, it was rather jaw dropping to observe how mindful these creatures were of each other.   This is pure entertainment! You can see our resident groundhog, Henry, to the far left nibbling on some thick grass.  The fox who isn't fully grown yet, is right in the center and looks as if it'