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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Scroll down for pic's of Ashley,Summer & Ariana.... And speaking of cake.....

Looky,looky below! Ashley has some new pictures up of her, Miles & growing tummy! And, if you've missed them, Summer &Ariana have some beautiful photo's up also!
Just a quick thought about making cakes,inspired by my blog friend at Freda's Hive.Sometimes people buy a cake mix because "it's quicker"....well,my friends, I'm going to show you that homemade can be made fast!!!
It's the simplest thing in the world-make your own mixes with pre-measured dry ingredients! Label with the page # the recipe can be found on, to add the liquid ingredients; bake temp. & time.Voila'!!There you have it-Fast & Good!!!Dan's fave pick-
Starlight Cake-
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Mix dry ingredients & store in airtight ziplock bag or container.And LABEL it !!!
When you're ready to make the cake,add this:
1/2 c. shortening (Can be 1/2 butter)
1 c. milk
1tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

Mix on low speed for 30 seconds,then,beat on high speed for 3 minutes.Pour into greased,floured pans.
Bake at 350* . 40-45 min.'s for 9 x 13 pan. 30 -35 min.'s for layers.Cool. I use a toothpick to check if they're done.Frost. Celebrate!!
There's another thing I notice about my baking,I have some sort of sense that smells when things are done!! I still rely on my timer because I can get easily distracted but my nose has become pretty accurate through the years!!!

Onto ORGANIZING!!
"LESS IS MORE" The LESS"stuff" you have to push out of the way,clean,move,sort,store, the MORE space & time you have to enjoy life.It's true!! Shoving things aside,searching in cupboards,drawers &closets takes time.The old adage of a place for everything & everything in it's place(Thank-you,Mrs. Beeton!) is still excellent advice!
Let's take a look at organizing your baking center- Are all the things you need & use in one area? Or is the flour half way across the kitchen,the 3 opened bottles of vanilla in different places, spatula on the counter & beaters in a drawer?? When task related items are stored together it makes your work efficient & pleasurable. No hunt &search.No stale ingredients, because you know what you have with a glance.Maintenance becomes super easy.
Take a look at what you have-how many mixing bowls do you actually use at one time? 1? 2-3? Then why store & move out of your way 5 ? Know what you use & use what you have.Put your most frequently used items in the most convenient places.
I've been blessed with a "Home Comfort" baking cabinet that was my Great Grandmother's,then, my Grandmother's,who gave it to me, when Dan was building our house next door,& my Mom refinished it for me. It is one of the most treasured things I've been given! Most all of my baking things are stored in that one area,from ingredients to utensils, to baking dishes-it's all there. I do have space elsewhere designated to replacement ingredients.You know,like when sugar is on sale & you buy 2-3 because it's a great price,you have room to store it & you'll use it up before it can go bad. When you buy new,put it behind what's already in the cupboard & you'll never face the lurking bag of 3 yrs.old stuff that was opened & then,displaced to the back of a dark cupboard & now is only fit to be tossed out.
Being organized saves time,money & nerves!! It's a peaceful way of doing & living!! So, go through those cupboards-get rid of or pass on the things you don't use that are still usable .Toss out the things you don't & would never use,the broken mixer,the utensil that still"works"if you hold it a certain way.... You're wasting valuable space for something you never use,so toss it!! Don't pass on items that are no longer useful to someone else.Deep breath
IT IS OKAY TO THROW THINGS OUT.
REALLY.
Enjoy your day!! & I hope you'll make a little more space in your life with these organizing tips!!!

1 comment:

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Oh Jill thanks for mentioning me. I'm not sure my thoughts are that inspiring. But you have fantastic advice here. When I'm tempted to buy something that I know will just sit around I've gotta remember this advice. I end up getting rid of those things at sometime anyway. When I cleared out my living room and got rid of EVERYTHING that was just 'sitting out' the room seemed so much better to me. I'm drawn to it now. I have some cute things I move around from month to month in my entry way and lovely things in the sewing room but other than that I hate lots of things just laying around.