I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Granny Tess' Lemon Pound Cake

I'm not sure if Mom has already posted this recipe or not. If it's a repeat, I apologize. ;o)

Ukrop's had strawberries (red, ripe, gloriously smelling strawberries) for $1.50/box today and I decided we would have strawberries with fresh whipped cream over lemon pound cake for our Valentine's treat. This recipe works best if you have a stand mixer as you have to beat it for 15 minutes.

Granny Tess Lemon Pound Cake

3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 t lemon extract

Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat, scraping bowl as needed. Alternate adding the flour and milk (1/3 each time), beating between each addition, again, scraping bowl as needed. Add vanilla and lemon extracts and beat for 15 minutes. <--This step is especially important as it makes the batter smooth as silk and quite fluffy. (I added a little lemon zest today, just because.)

Bake at 350 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, checking often after one hour. (I usually use my nose to tell me when it's getting close to done. Once you've made the cake a few times, you get the scent of it.)

Turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

This next step is optional (Jessie's not a particular fan but B and I LOVE it).

1 cup lemon juice and 2 cups confectioner's sugar and mix well. Pour over cake after cake is cool. I do this by putting the glaze back in the bunt pan and putting the cake back in the pan and letting it soak in.

This cake is an excellent picnic/church function/bake sale/office surprise cake. It's quick, easy and SOOOOO delicious.

Enjoy! :o)


Quest For Craftiness

A few new acquisitions from the last several months:

Reader's Digest New Complete Guide To Sewing

Simple Gifts To Stitch by Jocelyn Worrall

The Salvage Studio by Amy Duncan, Beth Evans-Ramos, Lisa Hilderbrand

French General Home Sewn: 30 Projects For Every Room In The House by Kaari Meng

Stitched In Time by Alicia Paulson

Quick and Easy Slipcovers by Gail Abbott

and last but not least,

101 Crochet Stitches by Harmony Guides ...

I can finally crochet more than a double stitch! Woohoo!

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