Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Making a House a Home

I wanted to treat my family to something special this weekend, so Friday night I made a cake. It’s called a Lazy Daisy cake. I got the recipe out of a magazine about 12 years ago. A friend of mine gave me a subscription to it as a wedding gift. It was such a great idea. As a new bride I was eager to cook anything and everything in my Very Own kitchen and Taste of Home Magazine was just what I needed for fresh ideas and recipes. I think I cooked my way through every issue for at least two years.

Rob and I got married in October of 1998. I was 24 and he was 26. We built our house, so when we moved in everything was completely new. The whole house had that “new smell” for at least a month. It was a weird feeling. During that time I burned a lot of Yankee candles. I vividly remember how nice and clean everything was. The walls were white-white and all the appliances were sparkling new. The place was so bright. The stove was spotless. So nice that I was afraid to use it (but luckily that wore off quickly).

A happy day was the day my mother and I unpacked my shower gifts. I remember washing all the dishes and putting them in the cabinets and how happy that made me. It was like playing house - for real. We organized the counter tops, set up the pantry, and made our very first pot of coffee. With all that work it was well needed.

Ever since I was a little girl I had always dreamed of having my own home. A place where I could cook, hang curtains, clean, and entertain. It had finally happened and the best part is that I had found someone I love to share it with. I stenciled a grapevine in the kitchen, spread a quilt on the bed, and started making our nest.

Rob, the hubby, was busy working in the yard. We had no landscape when we moved in, so everything was done in stages by him. He has done an amazing job. I love our yard and we spend hours on end outside in the summer time. He was busy outside and I was busy inside. Together we made an empty house a home. The greatest addition was one we made together. Three and a half years ago our son was born and our home was finally complete.

Looking back on that time I realize that my 24-year-old self had no idea what she was REALLY in for, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I still love cooking and decorating and even though the house isn’t so new anymore (especially with a three year old running around) it’s still our nest and the best part is still the fact that I have a loving family to share it with. The walls have fingerprints on them and I can’t burn as many Yankee candles anymore, but it doesn’t matter. Our home is filled with love. (and trains : )

On one of the first occasions I entertained, I made this cake. It was the spring after we moved in and I was trying to find my “inner 50’s housewife”. I had invited my aunt, my cousin, and my mother over for breakfast one Sunday morning. I made orange French toast, ambrosia salad, and Lazy Daisy cake (which by the way had been in the prior month’s issue of Taste of Home). I mailed out hand-stamped invitations and enclosed a written menu of what was going to be served. My mom says she still has hers, but I never kept one for myself. 

For favors, I got them each a bookmark and put it at their place setting. I tried to make the whole affair as old fashioned as possible (hence the “inner 50’s housewife” thing) because at that time, that’s how I felt. I had grown up watching reruns of my favorite shows on Nick-at-Nite and I tried to model myself after them – Lucy Ricardo, June Cleaver, Donna Reed – these women were my inspirations. If I had pearls at the time, I probably would have worn them.

Anyway, without further delay - here is the recipe for Lazy Daisy cake:

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter or margarine

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high until thick - about 4 minutes.


Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture. Beat on low just until combined.

Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter melts. Add to batter and beat thoroughly. (The batter will be thin.) Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly.

For Frosting:
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
2 tbsp half-and-half cream
1 cup flaked coconut

Blend all ingredients well and spread over warm cake.

Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Let cake cool before cutting.

  ~ Have a wonderful day ~

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