Friday, June 29, 2012
Hey guys :o) SP here today to share a fun FOOD post with ya! As many of you know – I truly enjoy cooking…I mean like REALLY love it! NOT the everyday, monotonous kind of cooking…rather, the FUN, yummy, happy kind of cooking & baking :o) Yes, there IS a difference (at least to me), lol! It’s one thing to cook because you WANT to…a whole ‘other thing’ because you HAVE to, know what I mean? Of course – there is no choice in the ‘have to’ cooking, lol…it’s something we can’t avoid and we grind our way through it. BUT, the fun cooking…for me, at least – it’s enjoyable from start to finish! I am a total foodie…and when I cook or bake – I like to have everything pre-measured and prepared so I can just dump along the way. I really crave organization and ‘pretty-ness’ in the kitchen, lol! Even then…things still become chaotic and a total mess (just see below, lol) - but just imagine how much MORE that would be true if I wasn’t all prepped? LOL! It would be a disaster (and probably take a lot of the fun and joy out of it, too, lol) :o) So, today – I am bringing you a family favorite…a recipe for the FUN kind of baking, lol…Kentucky Butter Cake!
I want to share this super simple (but incredibly DELICIOUS) ‘from-scratch’ cake recipe that we love! Please do not let the length of this post frighten you, lol! It really is no indication of the recipe’s level of difficulty, lol! Rather…the difficulty that I have being concise, LOL! Seriously…let’s just hope that my life never depends on my ability to be ‘to the point’, ha! Back to the recipe…I particularly wanted to talk about ‘gifting’ this cake…OR…making it to TAKE IT to a gathering, Church event, family reunion, 4th of July party, etc.! You get the idea! The reason that I LOVE this cake for gifting/taking is that it is appealing to just about everyone! Many times, when gifting or taking…we are not sure of the preferences of those we are serving. Do they have a nut allergy? Do they like chocolate? Maybe caramel isn’t their thing? Who knows what kind of fruit they like?! With THIS cake…there are no dominating or distinguishable flavors – no chocolate overload, no crazy decorations, no icing piled a mile high (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with any of this, LOL) – just good, simple…yummy cake! I’m not saying that there won’t be family and friends who will not like it…just that there is a REALLY GOOD CHANCE they will :o) Another great thing about this particular cake is that it travels well, especially in heat (no icing to melt and run all over the place…no refrigeration necessary, etc.)!
So, what is a KENTUCKY BUTTER CAKE?! It is a very moist cake with a yummy (and sweet) butter sauce/glaze that goes over the top and throughout! The moist, vanilla cake – combined with the rich sauce = PERFECTION :o)
We recently had a new neighbor move in nearby…and that is actually what inspired this post :o) I wanted to bake something to take as a WELCOME gift…but not knowing our new friends all that well (at all)…I needed something that would be generic (for lack of a better word) – but in a really good way! So, my idea was to bake this scrumptious cake and gift it to them in a new (and super handy) Wilton Cake Carrier (part of the gift)! I love gifts like that…they are personal and thoughtful – but also super practical (and generally well-received and quite appreciated)! Of course, I could have ran to the bakery and purchased a cake…but it just wouldn’t have been the same (again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and I know it would have still been a great and thoughtful gift…but I wanted to take the time to do it the ‘old-fashioned’ way, lol)! So, before we get to the recipe…here is a quick image of the final gift! After the cake had completely cooled, I transferred it to a cake board and then placed it in the carrier. I then punched a hole in the recipe card (which I am sharing as a free download at the end of this post) and attached it to the cake carrier with coordinating ribbons :o) VOILA…really easy!
So, how about we get started with the actual recipe?! As I mentioned above…I really like to prep everything first! So, I almost always pre-measure and have everything ready-to-go! It really cuts down on the chaos and clean-up :o) If you prefer to pull things out of the fridge and measure as you go…then stick with what works for you! One of the best things about this cake…SIMPLE INGREDIENTS! Most of which, we generally have in the panty and fridge…love that :o) Really, the only thing we have to plan-ahead for is the buttermilk (not something we always have on-hand)!
:::FOR THE CAKE:::
Now, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 325 degrees (F)…and grease & flour your 10 inch bundt cake pan (very well)! I like to use a nonstick cooking spray that is make specifically for baking (generally has flour in it). If I am baking a regular round or square cake – I just spray it and leave it at that (no flour). However, when it comes to bundt cake pans (which honestly, freak me out…it can be SOOOOO difficult to remove the cake!)…I spray AND flour them…just to give myself the best possible chance of a clean removal, lol! However, I will say that I really think this cake needs to be prepared as a bundt cake…just not sure it would be the same otherwise!
Now that that’s done…you can really see how EASY this cake is to prepare! You basically just dump all the ingredients in a bowl and blend them, lol (my kind of cake!)!
So, in a large bowl - mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda (I just dump it all in the mixing bowl and then use a whisk to mix it together). Then, blend in the buttermilk, butter, vanilla and eggs (best if you add the eggs one at a time). Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Once the batter is blended, simply pour it into your prepared bundt pan. Simple as that! Pop it in the preheated oven for about an hour – or until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean (I recommend that you start keeping a close eye on it at around 45 minutes…just so you don’t overcook)!
Remember what I mentioned above…about a total mess?! Yep…this was one of many, lol! I just look at it like it is all part of cooking/baking, right?! Yep…while trying to take pics of pouring the eggs in the mixer (with it going at low speed, lol)…my depth perception was completely thrown off by my 50mm lens…and instead of adding the eggs to the mixing bowl, I literally just dumped them straight on the floor (and rug), lol! Seriously, sometimes I think ONLY me! No biggie…a quick clean-up and we were back on track :o)
Soooo, while the cake is cooling for a few minutes…it’s time to make the glaze (yummmmm)! This is also incredibly simple and FAST. I tweaked the original recipe a bit to make 1.5x the glaze. We really felt like it needed a teensy bit more (as did many of the other reviewers)…and hey – I’d rather have too much than not enough, lol! So…if you want less – you can simply reduce it down…OR…just look at the original recipe here (the recipe listed below and on my recipe card include measurements for the 1.5x version)! Whew…now that that’s out of the way, LOL…here are the ingredients needed:
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat, until fully melted and combined, but do not boil. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla :o)
You’ll want to let this cool for a few minutes! In the meantime, you can start poking holes in the cake (this allows for the glaze to get all inside…trust me – it’s a wonderful thing, lol)! I like to use a long, wooden skewer – and make sure to go all the way to the bottom of the pan (or top, depending on how you look at it, lol). I think I ended up poking about 30-40 holes before all is said and done!
Now, while the cake AND the glaze are both still warm (not hot)…pour the glaze all over the cake, making sure to get it in the holes and all around the sides and inner rim! I typically save about 1/3 of the glaze for pouring on the top after I have removed the cake from the pan. Be sure to let the cake cool completely before transferring it to your cake plate! And, be patient and gentle :o) After you have the cake on a pretty plate…you can add your remaining glaze…and that’s it – YOU’RE DONE!
The final result is a super moist, wonderfully rich, bready cake! This is not like a pound cake…it’s kinda crumby…but still very moist. I guess it’s a little tough to explain exactly – so you’ll just have to bake one up and try it for yourself, lol!
Now, there are lots of variations you could try with this cake! My number one would be to add toasted pecans (or walnuts)…either to the top/glaze – or to both the cake and the glaze! However, I only recommend this if you KNOW that everyone you will be serving, LOVES (and can eat) nuts! You could also add all kinds of fruits…it would even be delicious with jam (if I were going to serve with jam…I would probably omit the glaze) – or fresh, whipped cream! That’s one reason I love ‘generic’ cakes like this – you can customize them to suit any taste! So, however you prepare it…just enjoy, and be sure to share it with friends and family (or not, lol)!
Finally, I created a printable RECIPE CARD for you to download and ENJOY :o) I hope you will make this cake for your own family…for a community or Church function…or as a gift! No matter the reason for baking it – I have no doubt it will be enjoyed! You can CLICK HERE to download the card…or simply click the image below :o)
Here’s another pic of the final and printed recipe card…
Please note that the original recipe is from AllRecipes.com (love that site) and by Suzanne Stull :o) AllRecipes is one of my favorite, go-to sites when I am looking for great recipes! I find the reviews to be sooooo helpful and generally, spot-on :o) So, if you haven’t been – be sure to check it out!
THANKS SO MUCH for stopping by today :o) Have fun baking AND eating, lol…XOXO–SP
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Hello, hello! it’s Kylie here, again! :o) This is a quick little post to share our free JULY desktop! YAY!! I really enjoyed putting this one together for you all and designed it with quite a few things in mind…a touch of casual summer sweetness, a little red, white & blue for July 4th celebrations…and for me (and other southern hemisphere folk) a little patchwork quilt action to keep our wintery july warm!! ;o) …a fun combination that I truly hope you enjoy the whole month through! Oh…and instead of adding a family pic to the blog example below I added a little July 4th greeting from the very cool Cottage Summer Seasonal Additions…you really can have so much fun with this little digi set!!
CLICK HERE to download the 1920 x 1080 version
CLICK HERE to download the 1280 x 800 version
Yes, our FREE desktop POLL for your preferred size has been finalized…you may (or may not, lol) have just noticed a slight change in the above download links?! We had hundreds of votes…so THANKS to everyone that took the time to vote…we truly appreciate it! Here is an overview of the final ‘top five’ results…
You guys have had your say, so that means that we will now design our desktops at 1920×1080 and 1280×800 from here on out…well, unless it changes again in our next poll, lol! If your computer resolution size missed out this time (mine did, lol!!), don’t forget that you could easily make your own edits in your photo-editing software while inserting your photo/s…just trim, reduce, or even add etc to the background…easy! :o)
If you are interested in our free desktops, but have no idea how to insert your own photos – please visit our TUTORIALS page and refer to the USING THE PIECE-A-CAKE .PNG FILES TO CREATE AN ALBUM titles :o) We offer this tutorial in both screen shot and video format, for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. And, while the tutorial is not specifically for the desktops – the concepts are very much the same…and should help out a lot!
So happy you stopped by!! :o) The lovely SP will be with you tomorrow to share a very special (& super-delicious) treat that’s sure to put a smile on your dial!!
Free Desktops, Uncategorized
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Hi everyone! :o) It’s Kylie here…and once again, I’m thrilled to share another GALLERY GIRLS feature with you! It is always an absolute joy for me to put these all-time favorite posts together for all of us to read & enjoy! As I’m sure you’ll all agree, there is something so special about learning a little about the very talented person behind all those wonderful pieces of gallery inspiration! And with this new post we are very fortunate to get to know a little more about the very-very talented and lovely Lisa!…or SparkysGirl2, as she’s known in our beloved little gallery.
Here at the Shabby Shoppe we soooo treasure our little digi-scrapping community…and Lisa has been a special part of our Shabby family since 2009. And, since then she has delighted us and inspired us beyond words with all the layouts she has posted. Her digi-scrapping skills are literally breath-taking…every page is quite simply stunningly beautiful!! Lisa has a definite knack in bringing out the very best in the paper combinations she chooses to layer…floral, plaid, stripes…genius! Put your hand up if you’re like me and in complete AWE of Lisa‘s clustering skills…seriously now, just take a peek at all those perfectly formed posies! And, she sure knows how to mix and match all our favorite Shabby Princess kits seamlessly! I’m certain we’ve all stared at a SparkysGirl2 page from time to time, totally fascinated, and just soaking up all that brilliant scrapbooking goodness – I know I have!! And it’s not just Lisa‘s scrapping abilities that catch your eye, it is her sense of family, her memory-keeping…the stories remembered and beautifully told. Her pages are heartfelt and, above all else, full of love!
(Be sure to keep on scrolling so you don’t miss all the brand new layouts – there’s bunches and bunches!! - Lisa created especially for this feature! She will also be uploading them to her gallery…so you can see larger images and more info about each there…Thanks Lisa!)
Let’s start with some inspiration! Lisa sent through so many new creations that it made the job of choosing which one to keep full-size and showcase first a very tricky thing indeed…I fell in love with all of them! In the end I chose this beauty…how could I not, really! Old photos of loved ones get me every time!!
Now, on with the interview…and heaps of inspiration along the way…
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF…
My name is Lisa, but I am known around digiland as SparkysGirl. I am married to my best friend, and we have raised three kids together – two girls and a boy. Our son still lives at home, but he has one foot out the door! He will be graduating from college at the end of this year, and he is planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him — sssshhhh! Depending on timing, I might be revealing a secret! ;) We have a dog named Tanner, and three cats: Grace, Suzy and Faith. At this point in our lives, my husband (also known as Sweet Baby Cakes) and I are officially “dating” again. We managed to navigate the waters of child rearing, and we finally have time to spend together doing things that we enjoy. We find time to see movies, peruse antique stores, take short road trips, and we share dinner out A LOT. In addition to working full-time as a systems analyst, I enjoy photography, reading, genealogy, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.
Here are two more lovlies! How fun is the angled background papers?!!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SCRAPPING DIGITALLY…AND DID YOU EVER GIVE PAPER SCRAPPING A TRY?
I have been scrapbooking digitally since April of 2009. At that time, I was looking for a way to create a special scrapbook for my husband’s upcoming “milestone” birthday. I also wanted to create a slideshow of photos. As I hunted the web for resources, I stumbled upon digital scrapbooking sites … like The Shabby Shoppe! I was intrigued, and I got started almost immediately. I had paper scrapped for years prior, but I was frustrated by the mess it created and the need to pack it up and put it away. With digital, there are no tiny scraps of paper, glitter or glue to clean up! I can scrap anytime and anywhere! Instant love and instant addiction! I am so thankful for the Shabby Princess, because she has those “freebies” on her site. I downloaded and used those to build my confidence in my ability to scrap digitally. Without those freebies, I doubt I would have pursued the craft the way I have. I was worried about investing money in kits until I was sure I could successfully use them to create layouts. I am eternally grateful to her for her generosity! It opened up a whole new world for me!
Now these are just PRETTY, PRETTY, PRETTY!!!!!
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR SCRAPPING STYLE?
My scrapping style is eclectic to say the least. Most of my layouts are the standard heritage or paper-look style. However, if the mood strikes I’ll create a page that leans more towards an art journal type layout. If I am going through a difficult time, I often use the outlet of scrapping to express myself. One fairly constant in my pages is clustering … I am an element-clustering fanatic! I love flowers, leaves, swirling ribbon and string, and stamps. I am in awe of the creativity of other scrappers, and when I feel my mojo going on the fritz I haunt the galleries or participate in a challenge. I love to look for new techniques to learn, and I’ll often incorporate them into my layouts – this adds to the random and eclectic style. One resource I use a lot to learn new things is Photoshop Creative magazine.
WHAT IS THE FIRST COMPONENT OF EACH PAGE YOU CREATE…OR DOES IT VARY FROM PAGE TO PAGE?
The first component of each page varies from page to page for me. Sometimes it’ll be a particular element or paper from a kit that inspires me. Other times I have a specific photo or topic that I am laying out, and I’ll start with it. Every now and again … it’s the title that begins it and I build from there. As I sit here pondering my typical approach to a page, I realize I’m a little scattered about it. But it always works itself out in the end.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LAYOUT (TO DATE) AND WHY?
Lisa says ~ One of my most favorite layouts is one that I created for the Amazing Digi Scrap Race last year. I love it, because it is a heritage page without a heritage look to it. It’s called, “Creative Women“. Some of the most special people in my life are on the page. I really, really, really hate photos of myself, so it’s odd that one of my favorite layouts includes a photo of me. I think it was a required element to the page. I love the colors and the topic.
…and here is SP’s pick(s)…
…okay, so SP had a hard time picking JUST ONE (I don’t blame her one bit!)…so there ended up being a tie for her fave SparkysGirl2 creation…
WHAT TIP/TECHNIQUE DO YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED SCRAPPING DIGITALLY?
The technique I wish I had known about right away was shadowing, shadowing, shadowing! It makes such a huge difference in layouts! I am always searching for cool shadowing techniques that create a more realistic look and that adds to the page creatively.
WHAT IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR SCRAPBOOKING?
Just like my eclectic style … my inspiration is random, too! I see layouts EVERYWHERE (this is now a family joke – they recognize the zoned look I get when I see something that is inspiring a page)! From the menu board at a restaurant, to a television commercial, to a magazine advertisement … I’m always thinking in terms of how it could be translated into a page. I am a Christian, and I am often inspired by my faith and the scriptures. I am also driven to document my heritage. After my Mama passed away, I received tubs of old photos. Some of the photos are labeled with who the people are in them. However, quite a few aren’t labeled at all, and I find this to be so sad! Each of the photos has people with a story … and, I’m nosey … I want to know their story. I’m on a quest to get them labeled and the stories told. I hope my children and grandchildren will appreciate having tons of family information at their fingertips.
What beautiful photographs…and stunning page designs to match!
TECH STUFF :o) Tell us about your camera and software!
I have a couple of cameras. I have a Canon Rebel T3i that I use as a backup. My main camera is a Canon 60D. My next investment will be in better lenses.
When I first started scrapbooking digitally, I used Microsoft DIP but only for a short time. I used Photoshop Elements after that, but I have since upgraded to Photoshop CS5. I recently purchased Photoshop Lightroom to organize and process my photos, but I haven’t learned how to use it yet. Sometimes it seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
These two layouts are sooo creative…and sooo cute!
FAST FIVE FACTS!
Favorite COLOR: Blue
Favorite FOOD: Chocolate
Favorite MOVIE: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (I love to laugh!)
Favorite SONG: What A Wonderful World … makes me cry every time I hear it!
Favorite MEMORY: The day I married Sweet Baby Cakes
And finally, this little masterpiece…it makes my heart smile!
So, now you ‘know’ Lisa a little better! She is such an inspiration for us at the Shoppe and I’m certain you are finding yourself completely inspired, too! Be sure to check out Lisa’s entire gallery for even more beautiful layouts and digi-scrapping inspiration!
THANKS AGAIN LISA, for being a ‘gallery girl’ and for allowing us to admire all your special pages – full of wonderful family photos and memories – right here at the Shabby Shoppe blog today! :o) It has truly been a pleasure & a privilege to work with you!
Thanks for stopping by…and I’ll be seeing you all tomorrow with the JULY free Desktop!!
Gallery Girls, Inspiration, Uncategorized
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Hello everyone! Kim here to share with you our next Product Spotlight. Sometimes I think I have given all of SP’s kits a try, but then I find another treasure in the Shoppe that I haven’t used yet. The Painted Summer kit is one I have eyed for a while and not given a try…until now! I must admit I was excited to see what I could do with it.
So what had caught my eye about the Painted Summer kit? Well, the part that gives it it’s name! I LOVE the hand-painted alphas and swirls! I would buy this kit for those elements alone, but they come with some unique papers and other goodies too. And right now this kit is ON SALE for a limited time for only $3.25!
The first thing I did when I got my hands on the kit was to create a summer-y layout with lots of those painted elements.
As with all of SP’s kits, this one coordinates well with so many others. The notebook paper made me think of school and I happen to have a new proud preschool grad. So I added in a few elements from the Hopscotch School Additions, and I got a bit of a different look.
And, here is a brand new layout from Shabby Princess herself! Such a treasure of a photo and the page is FULL of painted summer scrapping inspiration…and more!! - BEAUTIFUL!!
Rosy did a great job too of adding in bits and pieces from some other kits and creating this very cool tractor layout. I love the work she did on the title and how she clipped the notebook paper to the alpha. It was also a great idea to overlay the dots on part of the blue paper – really like that idea!
Kylie shared two lovely layouts with us. The first showcases one of her cutie-pie nieces. It also gives you a great look at how you can cluster the flowers, buttons and swirls from this kit!
Kylie’s second layout is completely fun and creative! I love how she’s clipped the swirls to the papers so they look like they are a part of the papers. And what cool journaling with the large title running through the lines of the story. PERFECT way to use this particular kit!
We’ll all be uploading these layouts to the gallery, so check there for more details. I hope they inspire you to give Painted Summer a try if you haven’t before!
That’s all for today, but you won’t want to miss stopping by the blog tomorrow as Kylie introduces you to our next Gallery Girl. Can’t wait to find out who it is and see all the inspiration! Bye!
Product Spotlight, Uncategorized
Monday, June 25, 2012
Hello fellow scrappers and happy Monday! This is Rosy, here to bring you the layout of the week!
I’ve chosen joelsgirl‘s layout entitled “3“.
Aren’t those photos absolutely precious?! I love the monochramatic color scheme and her use of the Darling Paper Collection is wonderful! Check out joelsgirl’s gallery for more beautiful layout inspiration!
Congratualtions joelsgirl…and thanks for sharing your layout with us! You have been emailed a $10 gift card to the Shabby Shoppe (be sure and check your spam folder if you don’t see it). Have fun shoppe-ing!
Thanks for stopping by! Tomorrow Kim will be here with a product spotlight post to inspire you.
Layout of the Week, Uncategorized