Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Pound Cake.

I am a total sucker for pound cake!

So Friday – after a long, difficult week – I decided to do some baking therapy and teach my 16-month old granddaughter how to bake her first cake.  It was so fun to put her sweet little apron on for the first time that was a baby gift from a kind friend who knew it would surely get a lot of use.

We made this AMAZING pound cake from a recipe recently shared with me by a dear blog-following friend, Dena, who originally found it from Taste of Home.

The original recipe called for using 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Dena changed it up by using almond  and lemon extract.  I tweaked it a smidge further by using fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.  Dena makes hers in two loaf pans (which you surely can too – and adjust the baking time to 40-50 mins), but we made ours in a fluted Bundt pan and enjoyed with some fresh strawberries.

This recipe is so wonderful.  It is not super heavy like many pound cakes.  In fact, it is almost a bit light and airy.  But it is also dense enough to be super moist.  I love the way the edges turned out a bit crispy and the center moist and tender.

My granddaughter loved it too, so she got to take half of it home to share with Mommy and Daddy.

It snow flurried most of the day and was so cold, so it was the perfect day for us to hang out, have the oven on for an hour, and enjoy the aroma and taste of this delicious, comforting cake.

Thanks so much for sharing Dena!  This recipe is a real winner!

Buttermilk Pound Cake

  • Servings: approx. 16
  • Print


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Lemon – zest of whole, juice of half (approx. 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar left to sit for 5 min.)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting on top


Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Beat in almond extract, zest of 1 fresh lemon, and juice of half of a fresh lemon (approx. 1 Tbsp).  Add baking soda and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Mix just until incorporated.  Pour in half of milk, and beat just until combined.  Gently beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour followed by second half of milk.

Pour batter into greased and floured 10″ fluted tube (Bundt) pan.  Bake for approximately one hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 mins, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.


Cheers & Hugs,




Rain Puddle – Mars, PA – March, 2018


When the rain fell,
the sky was dark,
and the mood was somber.

But the droplets
gathered together
and created a beautiful puddle

that remained
for days after
the rain fell.

And though each raindrop
seemed clear and transparent
in and of itself,

when gathered together
in the puddle that remained,
they took on a new life.

When combined with the sunlight
and nature’s surroundings,
the clear water became a reflection.

A reflection
of the beauty
of it’s surroundings.

A reflection
almost more beautiful
than reality.

the rain fell.

Cheers & Hugs,

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread.

We all have those days….

Those days when we want something delicious, but don’t feel like fussing…

Well… what a great discovery I made a few days ago when I decided to throw some fajita toppings on a piece of Naan flatbread.

Well – maybe Hubby thought of this first…. but I gave it a name – so let’s call it a collaboration.

The plan was to have steak salads, but when Hubby discovered the Naan, well…..  the plan changed.

And oh YAY!

This Steak Fajita Flatbread creation is like a sandwich/pizza/wrap/salad all in one!

It’s a great, quick and easy, delicious meal that would be great with chicken too.

Here is how we made it.

Quick and Easy Steak Fajita Flatbread


1 Naan Flatbread (I found these at Aldi’s)
1 thin Sirloin steak, sliced into strips
1/4 sweet onion, sliced
1/4 sweet red pepper, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Lettuce (I used butter lettuce)
Italian or Balsamic Dressing
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar, Mozzarella, or Monterrey Jack cheese


Sprinkle all but 1 Tbsp shredded cheese on Naan Flatbread and place in toaster oven or oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and flatbread is warm.

Meanwhile, saute onions and peppers in a hot skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil until wilted and browned.  Salt and pepper to your liking.  Remove from skillet.  Add sirloin beef strips seasoned with salt and pepper, and saute until doneness you desire.

Place onions and beef on top of toasted flatbread. Top with lettuce.  Drizzle with dressing.  Top with remaining shredded cheese.


Cheers & Hugs,

Bluebird of Happiness

Snowy Bluebird – March 2018 – Mars, PA

Bluebird of Happiness.

The beggar man and the mighty king are only different in name,
For they are treated just the same by fate.
Today a smile and tomorrow a tear, we never know what’s in store.

So learn your lesson before it is too late.
So be like I, hold your head up high
’til you find the bluebird of happiness.

You will find greater peace of mind,
knowing there’s a bluebird of happiness.

And when he sings to you,
though you’re deep in blue,
You will see a ray of light creep through.

And so remember this,
life is no abyss.
Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness.

The poet with his pen, the peasant with his plow,
It makes no different who you are,
it’s all the same somehow.

The king upon his throne, the jester at his feet,
the artist, the actress,
the man on the street.

It’s a life of smiles and a life of tears.
It’s a life of hopes and a life of fears.

A blinding torrent of rain and a brilliant burst of sun,
A biting tearing pain and bubbling sparkling fun.

And no matter what you have, don’t envy those you meet.
It’s all the same, it’s in the game, the bitter and the sweet.

And if things don’t look so cheerful, just show a little fight.
Fore every bit of darkness, there’s a little bit of light.

For every bit of hatred, there’s a little bit of love.
Fore every cloudy morning, there’s a midnight moon above.

So don’t you forget,
you must search ’til you find
the bluebird.

You will find peace and contentment forever, if you will be like I.
Hold your head up high, ’til you see a ray of light appear.

And so remember this,
life is no abyss.
Somewhere there’s a bluebird of happiness*.

What a sight to find this beautiful blue bird on the back railing the other day.  A bright, beautiful spot amidst the blustery snow storm.  It made me think of the phrase, “The Bluebird of Happiness.”  A little googling led me to the song and the beautiful lyrics.  A lot of truth about life in this.


Cheers & Hugs,

Keep Searching

Snowy Rose of Sharon Seed Pods March 2018 Mars PA

Snowy Rose of Sharon Seed Pods March 2018 Mars PA

Keep Searching.

Some days
we have to

look a lot

to find
the beauty.

But it
is there.


Cheers & Hugs,

PS.  I watched a documentary yesterday that touched me deeply – Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.  It was recommended by an art blogger friend, Ann Christina, from Germany.  It also won an Academy Award this year for Best Documentary Short Subject.  It is a story of mental illness, depression, love, and the healing power of art.

Mindy Alper is a tortured and brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression have caused her to be committed to mental institutions, undergo electro shock therapy, and survive a 10-year period without the ability to speak. Her hyper self-awareness has allowed her to produce a lifelong body of work that expresses her emotional state with powerful psychological precision. Through interviews, reenactments, the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mache’ bust of her beloved psychiatrist, and examining drawings made from the time she was a child, we learn how she has emerged from darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and support.

I watched this on YouTube and originally shared the link, but then found that it was removed from YouTube for a copyright infringement.  I hope you have a chance to find and see this touching film.  If anyone can let us know via comment where it is available to view, I would appreciate.

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkle Cookies.

There was an old lady (well – let’s call her middle-aged)
who lived in a house.

She had so many sprinkles,
she didn’t know what to do.

So she poured them in batter
with butter and sugar,

and whipped them all soundly
and put them in the oven.

I found a recipe for Half Pound Sugar Cookies, which I slightly adapted to “normal” sized cookies, from Cookies & Cups.

These fun, buttery cookies just make you smile and are a great way to celebrate!  They kind of remind you of eating birthday cake in a cookie!

The family loved them.  They are just enough crispy on the outside with a tender, chewy inside to be the perfect combination.

Here is how I made them.

Sprinkle Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sprinkles


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix butter and sugar with electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda, and continue mixing until well incorporated.  Add in flour on low speed just until combined.  Stir in sprinkles with wooden spoon.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and bake on a baking stone or cookie sheet for 9-11 minutes until edges just begin to brown.  Cool on cooling rack.


Cheers & Hugs,

Finding Your Own Path

Finding Your Own Path.

Your life will…
find its own paths…

and that they may be good, rich, and wide
is what I wish for you,
more than I can say.

It seems to me
that everything has its proper emphasis…

keep growing,
silently and earnestly,
through your whole development;

you couldn’t disturb it any more violently
than by looking outside

and waiting for outside answers
to questions that only your innermost feeling, in your quietest hour,
can perhaps answer.

-Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

Stay true to your path.
Be confident in the deepest secrets of your soul
that make you… You.

Just like
make me… Me.

Cheers & Hugs,

My art of late has taken a different twist as I have been so greatly influenced by the on-line art class I recently took by Lendon NoeInspired by Lives and Letters.  Although the class is over, I am not ready to let go of the lessons it is teaching me – the lessons about myself and my feelings.  And this mixed media collage is a letter to my soul – written in the form of art.  It is a conversation between heart and soul.  I have no idea if it will mean anything to you, but this is for me, and I am so grateful for the venue to express it.

Products used for Mixed Media Collage:

Stonehedge Paper
Dr Ph Martin Ink
Ink-Dyed Tissue Paper
Photo on Velum Paper
Script Stamp
Stamp Seal Sealing Wax
Momento Ink Pad