Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hummingbird Cake

This is from her book Paula Deen Celebrates! My grandmother made this cake-it is so moist and wonderful. You have to try it.

3 Cups self-rising flour

2 Cups granulated sugar

3/4 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 very ripe large bananas – mashed

1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 large eggs, beaten


1 pound box confectioners’ sugar

8oz package cream cheese- room temp

6 tbs butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbs milk, more if needed

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325*

Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, 1/2 cup pecans, bananas, pineapple, vanilla, cinnamon and beaten eggs. Stir well until smooth.

Pour batter into the 3 pans and bake for 26-28 min, or until tops spring back. Let cool in pans for 10 min. Then cool on racks completely.

Make the icing by mixing the sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 tbs milk in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. If needed add more milk, 1 tsp at a time for proper spreading consistency. Ice between each layer and on the top and sides. Sprinkle the top with pecans. Keep refrigerated.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The beach, the boys and the fig bars

We are home from a great trip to Daytona Beach. This was the first time in several years we went away as a family for more than a weekend. Six beautiful, fun days at a ocean front condo. Tony and I laughed at how Eli was bursting with excitement as we drove into Daytona Tuesday. Zach and Logan were all smiles -we all knew this trip was going to be special. We ate out every night, but took advantage of our small kitchen for breakfast and some lunches. Tony bought 2 big boxes of fig newtons along with some other snacks. We laughed about them being old people food. Secretly we all liked them. The condo was basically 2 rooms and worked out great. I don't think I could have endured the one tiny bathroom for more than a month-but for six days it was alright. The resort had a spa and I enjoyed a massage on our second day. Somebody needs to tell that massage chick that she doesn't have to talk the whole time about her issues. Good grief. Another highlight was that the boys went para sailing 1000 feet in the hot humid air. Elia and Zach were simply beaming for the entire rest of the day. Now that Logan is nearly two, he has learned the fun one can have splashing in the kiddie pool. One cute little girl proclaimed to her daddy "this is Logan-he is gonna be my best friend forever". Logan just looked at her like she was nuts.Back and forth we went from the beach to the pool to the room. Logan would cling to Tony or me on the beach-it was a bit overwhelming for the little guy. The pool was more his speed. There were 4 pools and 2 hot tubs. A kiddie area with the fountains and shallow waters suited him just fine. As I watched Zach and Eli play in the waves or slid across the shore on thin boards, I again was reminded how quickly they grow. From the baby pool's shallow cool water to surfing the waves-well, it ain't far my friend. After a Father's Day brunch at Cracker Barrel we came back to real life in Tville. Which, by the way, is pretty good.

sorry for the dark pic-I would remove it but I cant seem to for some strange reason..oh well. If you look closely-you can see the parrots on the boy's shoulders-they are real.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Peachy BananaBerry Muffins

This is my own recipe that I created a yesterday. I had bananas that were on their last leg (well if they had legs) and leftover peaches I had cut up the night before to top ice cream. I also had about a cup of fresh blueberries. Eli wanted blueberry muffins, so I thought I would combine all my fruit to make a new type of muffin. A Taste Of Georgia is one of my favorite cookbooks, so I found a good banana bread recipe and adapted. If you know me, you know this is very typical of the way I operate!! The result is a moist, sweet and very good muffin. The nuts are optional-but I really like the crunch and protein they add.

Amy's Peachy BananaBerry Muffins
Oven: 350 for 20 min

1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (2% or whole)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 med or 3 small peaches-cut up and topped w/ 1 T. sugar-let them sit to soften
1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries (blackberries also would be good)
2 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tea good vanilla-don't buy that imitation crap
1 /2 cup nuts-I used sliced almonds-pecans would also be good

Cream butter and sugar, Add eggs and beat well. Add mashed bananas and peaches, flour and milk, vanilla and nuts. Gently stir in berries. Spoon into paper lined (and Pam sprayed!) muffin tins.
Top with a few extra nuts on each. these look pretty and are so tasty.
bake until golden on top ans springs back when top is touched.
mini muffins-about 11 muffins 20-22 min..large muffins..27-29 min.
* these freeze well *

Monday, June 8, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend....

Today a good friend from HS was laid to rest.
Her name was Celeste. She and I were in choir together, we shared classes, we shared friends. She was warm and wonderful. Incredibly smart, she was an awesome lawyer in Atlanta. She was the kind of person who brought people together. A matchmaker who loved to see others happy. I wish we had stayed in touch. I wish she didn't have to suffer with cancer for a year. The little girl in the picture is her god-child who she loved. Goodbye Celeste. We will all miss you. Our lives were better because you were our friend.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


My dad and Eli had a special bond. Daddy just "got" him.
Eli is a big-hearted kid with enough energy for 10 kids.
He is rough, tough and wonderful.

Logan hugging Julio kitty in the back yard


What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we deeply love becomes a part of us. ~Helen Keller

Eight summers ago, my wonderful father left this world. Although I can no longer eat a Dove ice cream bar(with almonds) with him, or laugh with him at something funny one of the boys said; he is still a part of my life. I think about him almost daily. then there are some days it just hits me. The "he really isn't gonna come walking in the door,is he" feeling. Today is one of those days. Maybe because I was reminded yesterday how precious life is. How quickly it can be taken away. How we have very little control over the when, the wheres, the hows. Hopefully, when my times comes, I will be surrounded by people I love. My friend Celeste was. She passed away peacefully yesterday with her husband and parents beside her. Celeste was an amazing young would have been her 40th birthday. I wish we had stayed in touch. From what I have learned from our mutual friend, Laura, she was a wonderful attorney , a loving wife and a great friend to many. She was the kind of person you were lucky to have on your side. Someone who went out of their way to help others. Many will miss her~ she will be a part of us now~and we are better for knowing her.

I know my dad lives on in me, in my brothers, our kids. My younger brother sometimes makes faces that look just like my dad. It is comforting yet breaks my heart a little. As much as I long for him to walk in the door, I do know that I will see him again one day. Until then, I am going to try to live my life in a way that would make him smile. I am going to love these wild children of mine and cherish each day I am given. Growing older with my family is a gift to be appreciated. Goodbye Celeste, if you see my daddy today-tell him it is your birthday-I bet he gives you a Dove bar.