Lemon Cake

I can't cook. Period. Whatsoever. I used to be able to kind of "experiment" in the kitchen, but the last few years I've just lost all interest in even doing that. The only time I enjoy cooking, or baking, is when it's not planned. As in, spur of the moment type cooking or baking. One of those times was to make lemon cake. It went well, but there's a few things I would change in the future. I love lemon and the recipe I followed didn't give the lemon cake enough lemon taste.


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter , softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon zest from about 4 medium lemons
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Prepare your cake pans with vegetable grease (I use Spectrum brand). Be sure to get in the corners. Set aside.

3. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk to combine all together. Set aside.

4. In an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar and lemon zest. Add the whole eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla. 

5. Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients alternating between the dry mix and the sour cream as you add them together. 

6. If making one large cake, pour cake batter into prepared pan, if baking two separate cakes, divide the batter into each pan evenly. 

7. Bake about 20-25 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

8. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Lemon Frosting:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4-6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Mix butter with electric mixers for about 1 minute, until creamy. 

2. Add the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until creamy. 

3. For a thicker icing, add more powdered sugar, for a runnier icing, add more lemon juice.

4. Poke holes in the top of the cake in random places and drizzle your icing over the top. If a thicker icing issued, you don't have to poke any holes, just ice the cake normally.

Five Simple Things (May 14)

Hello.

What a week! We did some great things this week and are glad to see the sun, too. Skylar and I have had the windows open almost every single day and have enjoyed the sun peaking through. We mowed the grass, repotted some plants, and even have plans to give our deck and front walkway a new coat of paint. We also saw signs of life in the garden boxes, too. Some sunflower seeds made it through the wildfire season last year and buried themselves deep into the dirt. They are barely peeking the surface, but maybe next week I can share their progress. We aren't sure about our planting plans for this season, but we may do a few things, we are still deciding. Mother's Day was Monday and Skylar and Jeff surprised me with a metal lantern and a new doormat. The doormat was an extra, but I wanted the metal lantern. It's unusual and the more unusual the better when it comes to me. I like oddball things and this lantern is perfect! The doormat will be great for after the new coat of paint on the door step. I've also been looking into which protein drinks are the best. Since my surgery last year I've been using protein drinks to get the nutrients and vitamins my body needs. I've taken a liking to this brand for ready-made protein and this brand for powder to add to almond or oat mils, or even add to smoothies. It's the only brand I've found that doesn't disagree with my stomach. But, with that said, Here are five things this week.

1. This Radio.

Skylar and I watched Ghostbusters this week and we stopped on this radio and went on a hunt to try to find one. Unfortunately, we did not find this exact one, but we are not giving up hope. We are going to try to hunt one down. It's a Panasonic tape/am/fm jam box/boom box. Hopefully, we can locate it, or one like it. 

2. This Display.

Still loving my little F-it Village by The Little Red Door ceramics. She is so talented and even the tiny white house is awesome. 

3. This Kitty.

Just washed the bedding and a lot of clothing this week and Eleven found a comfortable place among the warm sheets and clothes. 

4. This Day.

The City of Raleigh has proclaimed May 25, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, as a Day of Enlightenment. Even though, George Floyd had a criminal record and was on drugs at the time of his murder, he didn't deserve to die in the dirty street the way he did. It's good to know that the former policeman who took his life will be paying for it for the rest of his life. George Floyd's Day of Enlightenment is a good reminder that no matter what, you can't just take a life and it be forgotten. I wish Rodney King had been treated as fairly and could see this now. The Day of Enlightenment should travel through all cities, worldwide, and every black, Hispanic, Asian, Native, and even whites taken out unjustly by law enforcement, should be honored. 

5. These Trees.




Spring always is a pleasure here, especially in front of the house we live in. The Hawthorn trees are always a beautiful sight. This variety of Hawthorn is named 'Crimson Cloud' and since the wildfires last year, it struggled a bit this year, but still looked lovely. 

One last thing:
Did you enter the IKEA Tiny Home Giveaway this week? It was a lot of fun and the scavenger hunt they sent us on to enter was a blast! You got clues that lead you to certain pictures on their Instagram page and those clues lead you to someone else's Instagram page, where they sent you on a scavenger hunt on their profile. Once you found the right image they gave you a letter. Once you had all of the letter, you enter the six-letter word and an small essay. Our fingers are crossed that we win. We would love to have the IKEA tiny home, but whoever is the winner, it is definitely a great prize. 
 The clues they gave are below:
 




 
My essay I submitted:
My family has been downsizing and minimizing our life for the past two years. We've changed our thoughts from items, such as plastic, Styrofoam, and even particle board, to more sustainable items. Items that are made with the environment in mind. We used to be the type of family that just bought things because others were buying them. Now with a more mindful approach to our purchases we feel healthier, and a bit better about helping the planet. We currently rent and are looking for land outside the city. Our dream is to own our own land and place a tiny home on the property. We would also like to downsize a lot more to live a more simple life. With land as our home base, this IKEA tiny home could definitely help us achieve our goals. Sustainability is something that we don't take lightly. Every purchase, every item, and every moment of our lives, we can live more sustainable for the planet. Change of habits is all it takes. And, if we can do it, anyone can!

We thank you for the opportunity to participate in the IKEA Tiny Home Giveaway.

Also, did you catch the moon near Venus this week?


Positive affirmations this week: "What's a positive quote that's helped you?"
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what could be. 

Have a nice weekend.