Orange Cake

 

Whew. I survived mother’s day. Our church hosted a tea for 120 ladies. We recruited men to serve, and I conned my husband into running the kitchen. Needless to say, the months heading up to the tea has been insanely busy. I have been doing school full time, I work full time, I’m a pastor’s wife, and at some point in all of the craziness, we had to eat. We’ve eaten a lot of pancakes and sandwiches. (I’m sick of them, lol)

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one of the tables

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The view from at the entrance

Today was operation: clean kitchen. It’s been sadly neglected in our many days of not being home, and the table somehow always manages to collect the odds and ends. Someday, I will figure out a better system for our mail! As I was cleaning, I realized I had oranges that needed to be eaten right then or dumped. I was going to dump them, but then I felt bad. (starving people everywhere scenario) so I decided to make an orange cake. 20160509_183753

I wasn’t sure about this recipe because it called to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and drop the yolks in one at a time, mixing well between additions. Then, it asks me to beat the whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold it in. I was hoping it wasn’t necessary, so I did some research. Apparently it IS necessary. I found some good information here and here.

The batter was very thick before I added the egg whites, almost like a bread. But once I added the whites, it was much easier to deal with. It made my entire house smell delicious while it baked!! I’ve also discovered the dollar tree carries parchment paper. If you’ve never worked with parchment paper, you’re missing out. Layer it in your pan, spray it, and pop it in the oven. When it’s done, you just pull the paper away. No scrubbing a messy pan. Just pop it in the dishwasher, and boom. You’re done.

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My cake is ready to go with his parchment lined pan!

This recipe gives a pleasant hint of orange. It isn’t overpowering, and it’s wonderfully light and fluffy.

Orange Cake

2/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 large oranges
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease an 8×8 pan, or line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed, until creamy and fluffy. (Should be about 2 minutes) Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well in between each addition.

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no…really. one yolk at a time.

With the mixer on a low speed, add the juice from the oranges. The mixture may look curdled at first, but that’s ok. It will smooth out as you mix it.

Slowly add the flour and baking powder beating on low speed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add them to the batter, folding in carefully to not break up the air bubbles. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.20160509_183743.jpg

Goodbye Apartment

Oh man. I honestly never thought this would happen…but guys…We are about to sign closing papers on a house. In less than 3 weeks, We’re going to own a home. I can paint, change the pull things in the kitchen, upgrade the appliances..or keep the old ones! It’s our choice!

I’m aware that home ownership has it’s own set of problems…but at least they’ll be my problems, fair and square! I look around my little apartment and as happy as I am to be leaving it, it makes me a little sad.

I mean…it took me 2 years to finally hang curtains. Make a gallery wall. Actually make my house look cute instead of like a college kids dorm. This is where I planned my wedding and made the decorations with my mom. Where I made 8 dozen cookies the week of the wedding. (I have no idea why I didn’t stop and ask for help, but that’s in the past.🙂 )

Soon I’ll be painting my kitchen-we already picked out the paint colors! I’ll be picking cute curtains and yanking out old wallpaper. The extra bedroom will be an office, and the master has 2 closets…2 for me, none for him… Just kidding! I might actually share.

But, here we go! A new phase in life, and a new set of opportunities. I can’t wait!

moving

Pb cookies and 21dayfix results

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It’s finally feeling like christmas. My tree is bursting with presents, my sister comes next week, we had our Christmas cantata, and I’m making cookies. We work in a nursing home and discovered that on Christmas day, some residents have no where else to be. Some it’s because they celebrated early, some because their kids have no way to accommodate their wheelchairs, the reasons go on and on. While some families bring christmas to them….it’s just not the same. On a whim last year, Scott and I took hot cocoa mix to them on Christmas day. They loved it! It even made a lady get all tearful we thought of her on Christmas.
So this year: cookies! I have to make enough cookies for 50 people. I got started last night with my first batch. I made 4 dozen for the nursing home, and 2 dozen for my husband. Can’t make his favorite cookies and not give him any! I modified a bhg recipe to tweak it to my personal taste. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are now in my freezer, ready to go.
Tonight I’ll make checker board cookies. They look fairly simple, but oh so cute!
Before I share my recipe for the cookies, I wanted to share my 21dayfix results. In 21 days, I lost 5.6 pounds and 7.5 inches! It’s so crazy!
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I didn’t stick to the plan as diligently as I should have, and I still lost weight and inches. It was easy! Dump tje.food in the containers, eat it, do the workout, drink the water, and just keep going! Take each day as it comes, and do your best. The best part was when my husband said you look even more fit than the day I married you.🙂 he’s right! I weigh less and have slimmed down.
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While that is a horrible selfie, you can tell my face is slimmer and believe it or not, my waist is. That particular shirt didn’t fit the week of the wedding.🙂
Enough about weightloss! Onto the cookies!
Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

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Yupp. 5 dozen cookies!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips.
With a mixer, cream the pb and the butter until incorporated. Add the sugars, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until it is combined. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix. Add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Use your machine as much as possible. Mix the rest in by hand. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough for 20 minutes, or until you can roll it. Roll each cookie into a 1 inch ball, set 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a fork dipped in flour, make a criss cross pattern on it. Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes.

Just a thought

Tonight isn’t about food, or trips, or…or any of that. It’s just a thought that’s been following me all day. If you died today where would you go? See, this week at the nursing home my husband and I minister at on Sunday afternoons, two of the residents passed away. I know without a doubt that I will see one of them in heaven when I die. But the other…I don’t know. She never spoke to us in the entire time she attended (5 months). But it bothers me. Will I see her again, free from the pain?
See, I believe that Jesus,  the Son of God came to earth to die for my sins. I believe that He died, was buried, and rose triumphantly from the grave on the 3rd day. He conquered death to give us life everlasting. I have personally prayed and asked forgiveness of my sins and am now a Christian. But..have you?
Seeing two people pass away so suddenly is sobering. It’s heartbreaking. And for some, it’s time to ask, “What about me? What happens after I die?”
Maybe you’ll simply move on from the post and look for more awesome recipes. But if you want to know more, click here for some answers.