Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries
Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

VANILLA DREAM CAKE with Strawberries

1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/4 cup shortening 1-2/3 cups sugar4 eggs (room temp)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pkg. frozen strawberries with juice, thawed

1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a lighter yellow color; this is an important step, as the job of the mixer is to incorporate air into the butter mixture so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.) Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. (Again, the times will vary, and butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (The batter should be smooth and bits of flour should be well incorporated; to rid batter of lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour into a liberally greased and floured loaf pan. The bottom has a tendency to stick, so if you have a piece of parchment or waxed paper cut it to fit the bottom of the dish. Lay it in the greased bottom and grease the top of the paper too. It will help the loaf come out of the pan.

4. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Note from Nadia: This one of my favorite cake recipes. It’s dense, fine texture makes it especially good to use as for strawberry shortcake and in trifles. This version uses a little milk, but classic pound cake does not. I like this better because the texture “crumb” is superior to others I’ve tried. Roughly 200 per slice (approx. 60g).

Variation: Add a tablespoon of grated lemon peel, or 1-1/2 tsp. lemon extract to make lemon pound cake.


Sylvia’s Spice Applesauce Cake

Spice Applesauce Cake
Spice Applesauce Cake


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups applesauce

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices into a mixing bowl.

In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Mix in the applesauce and milk. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients until mixed well. Optional: Fold in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Delicious without frosting, but if desired, frost with:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Frost the cooled cake.

Note: original recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter and only 2 eggs. I cut back to only 1/4 cup butter and added an egg. This made a great cake lower in fat, without sacrificing flavor.

Quick and Easy KEY LIME PIE

Easy Key lime Pie

Quick and Easy KEY LIME PIE

For the filling:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of lime juice
1 – 2 teaspoons lime zest (one tsp. for the filling and one for garnish)
8 ounces of whipped heavy cream or Cool Whip

The crust:
1 cooked and cooled pie crust OR 1 graham cracker pie crust.

In a mixer bowl, add the juice with the condensed milk and whip until thick. Fold in the whipped cream or Cool Whip. Pour mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for an hour.

For a cheesecake dessert, add one 8 ounce block of softened cream cheese to the condensed milk and juice and mix well, adding the whipping cream after the mixture is smooth. Taste for sweetness and add powdered sugar by the tablespoon to the mix if you like it sweeter while you mix it all together. This version will make a higher pie—or use a 10-inch plate.

Rhubarb Crisp Lite

rhubarb with crisp topping in a  stemmed dessert glass
Rhubarb Crisp Lite

Rhubarb Crisp Lite

This lighter method of making crisp gives you a delicious and enjoyable summer dessert. The filling is baked separately from the topping which is served on the side, allowing you to control how much you use.

5 cups diced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
¾ c raw sugar for tart fruits (or ½ c for sweeter fruits)
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix together the raw sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Add rhubarb (or other fruit) and mix well. Spoon into an 8-inch baking dish, cover and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling. While filling is baking, make the topping as follows:

1/3 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour

Cream the butter and brown sugar. Blend in flour until evenly mixed. Spread on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet (about ¼-inch in depth) and bake separately at 400°F for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. (You can save time and slide this into the oven while the filling is baking, but watch carefully.) Remove from oven, cool and later, keep in a covered container. It will be a lot like cookie crumbles.
To serve, sprinkle topping over “naked” crisp and drizzle with milk (optional).

When using apple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches or other sweeter fruit, reduce filling sugar to ½ cup.

Makes 9 servings of filling, 58 calories per serving. The crisp topping is right around 60 calories per tablespoon, so use it sparingly. 1% Milk is 6.5 calories per tablespoon. a quarter cup is a little over 25 calories, and it works well with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is a surprisingly high source of calcium, potassium and manganese.

Sylvia’s Secret Pie Crust Recipe

rolled out pie crust dough
Rolled out pie crust dough


Sylvia shares her secret ingredient to making homemade pie crusts unfailingly flaky and light:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (Sylvia’s secret ingredient)
1 cup shortening, chilled
4, 5, or more Tablespoons ice water

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 4-5 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a teaspoonful at a time until the dough comes together.

Gently gather dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes before rolling. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate and finish your pie according to directions. For a baked shell: bake in the preheated oven approximately 8 minutes or until just turning golden around edges. Makes 2 pie crusts.

Sultana Raisin Pie

a pie made with raisins
Sultana Raisin Pie

2 c. golden raisins
2 c. water
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tbsp. butter
Pie crust pastry

To make crust:
I use store-bought crusts (comes 2 in a box) and I roll out one to fit a 9-inch pie plate. I roll it thinner that the average crust so I will have scraps with which to make decorative leaves on the top. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Make bottom crust, prick, and bake 5 minutes. Meanwhile make strips or decorative leaves with remaining pieces and set aside. Save the second crust, it will keep indefinitely if refrigerated.

Combine raisins and water. Boil 5 minutes. Blend sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Add to raisin mixture and cook about 1 minute, stirring until clear. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar or lemon juice and butter. Cool slightly. Pour into pie shell and decorate with pastry leaves. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: For a truly old-fashioned raisin pie, make this with dark raisins and and add a top crust (if you do this, don’t pre-bake the bottom crust).

Canned Salmon Burgers

a salmon pattie
Canned Salmon Burgers


1 can (14.75 oz.) canned pink salmon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 c. fine, dry bread crumbs
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp. Rosemary, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
Optional addition: 1/3 cup Swiss cheese, finely diced

Drain salmon and flake with a fork. Bones and skin are completely edible, but you may choose to pick out the large pieces. Mix together all ingredients, shape into 5 patties, and pan fry in olive oil until lightly browned on both sides. Serve on toasted hamburger buns or simply as patties with a vegetable side. I wish I could remember for certain, but I believe I first saw a recipe like this on the back of a can of salmon, or even tuna? I wish I could be sure.