Dear Sally Blake,
I’ve never met you before but I eat your pumpkin cake every year. Somewhere along the road of life, you met my sister, fed her some of your yummy pumpkin cake, and she wrote down the recipe. Eventually, I tried that pumpkin cake and thought it was worth adding to my recipe book.
Sally, I made your pumpkin cake for my family last week, like I do every year at about this time, and they fell in love all over again. They tell me I should make it more often, even when it’s not pumpkin season. They tell me it’s the best treat I could make on cold fall evening.
Thanks, Sally Blake, wherever you are.
And here’s Sally Blake’s Pumpkin Cake Recipe:
1 3/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup oil
1 16ox can of pumpkin
2 Cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Combine wet ingredients. Then fold in dry ingredients. Pour into an ungreased 9×13 pan and bake for 30-45 minutes. Sally’s recipe says to bake it for 30 minutes, but I’ve always needed 45 with my oven. Remove from oven when the cake springs back when you touch the middle. Cool completely.
3 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
a tiny bit of milk
Frost the cake with your cream cheese frosting and enjoy! Thanks again, Sally Blake. We love your pumpkin cake!
This year, I was just
procrastinating waiting for the right time. The downpours have started, and the kids are asking for hot cocoa, so I figured it was time. There are a few remnants of summer on the front porch.
(Can I even call it a porch, or is it just a landing? There is a chair and a built in bench, so I’m allowing myself to say I have a front porch.)
I still have the leftover petunias from my home’s summer look. I bought those in the “plant hospital” section at the garden center at the beginning of summer. They looked horrible, so I brought them home, gave them a huge haircut, and started fertilizing. Not bad for a $1 plant! They have lasted all summer, and then some.
The pumpkins will be part of Front Door Fall-ification Phase 2. I can’t jump the gun too soon on that one. Plus, my kids want to spookify the house when we decorate for Halloween. I really dislike spooky Halloween! Pretty fall decorations are great, and spooky is just not fun and inviting. My kids beg to differ and I’m not really looking forward to the battle.
They are the perfect outdoor pillows for fall!
On a lighter note, I needed a little pick-me-up after one of our days at the hospital. I asked my hubby to get my fall boxes down so I could do a little decorating. The front door was my first stop. I’m trying to add a bit more yellow to the front of my house. I love black-eyed-susans and mums, so those were the obvious pick. I wasn’t quite ready to change to my burlap pillows, but summery stripes just didn’t cut it anymore.
My hanging baskets are still all about summer, but I’ll be changing out a few plants to yellow or orange mums as the petunias start to die.
The leaves are even starting to blow onto the driveway. I love fall, but I’m always sad to see summer slipping away.
I wasn’t feeling very creative this year, so I just went with basic wreaths, garland, and mums. My old milk crate gets to stay, just because I love it.
We went with a rainbow theme, which thrilled my kids to no end. I’m not a huge fan of dyes and food coloring in my kids’ food, so when my daughter saw the bright colors, her eyes lit up. It was certainly a special birthday treat for her.
We made rainbow cupcakes, with rainbow cupcake toppers.
My kids were excited to tell everyone that their mom decided to do a plain old white cake this year. The little rainbow bunting was a hint of the surprise to come.
I won’t lie. The cake, cupcakes, and decorations were a lot of work (and dishes), but nothing more than I usually do for my kids’ birthdays. The result and “happy” birthday girl were worth the work!
Happy baking! (And Happy Birthday to my big 8 year old!)
I was reading a book to my kindergarten students today. It’s called In November, by Cynthia Rylant. One of the pages in the book talks about how food tastes better in November. Homes smell better. Of course, my mind drifted to my favorite smell of fall. Is there anything yummier than the smell of warm gingerbread cookies coming out of the oven?
The invention of the gingerbread cookie is right up there with the invention chocolate chips, in my book. This is one of those recipes that has been part of the Holidays for as long as I can remember. My mom says the recipe came from a newspaper many, many years ago.
Beat 1 cup of room temperature margarine until light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup of sugar.
Add 1/2 cup molasses and 1 egg.
In a separate bowl, sift the following ingredients.
3 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP cocoa powder
1 TBSP cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cloves
Gradually add the sifted ingredients.
Chill dough for at least 3 hours.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch.
Cut with cookie cutters. Here’s an important hint: Do not bake gingerbread cookies on a Silpat baking sheet. The Silpat absorbs the the cinnamon, clove, and ginger flavor.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Let cool and frost.
The kids love to frost their own cookies.
Enjoy! Happy baking!