Tuesday, July 7, 2015

This n That ~ Good Intentions Gone Awry

Good morning, Yankee-Belle peeps!

Are you awake now?


Okay, I'll have Ruthy put on another pot of coffee.

So how was your July 4th? Quiet? A day of celebration? Maybe you went to the lake or the beach. Did you cookout? 
Whatever the case, I hope you had fun and enjoyed your freedom to do those things in this great country of ours.

Like Jan, July is a month full of celebrations around our house. And the fourth wasn't simply a day to celebrate our independence, it was also my youngest grandson's birthday.
Elijah was one happy birthday boy. When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he said, "Candles." 
Well, he got those, along with an entire day of food and fun.

Since it was a birthday, naturally, we had to have cupcakes. Complete with star-spangled sprinkles.
**TIP**  One of my pet peeves when using sprinkles is that they scatter. I find them on the counter, the floor... To remedy that, try setting the cupcakes inside of a baking pan. I was able to fit my cooling rack inside. Then, simply sprinkle away and let all those little wayward pieces land in the pan, instead of scattering all over your kitchen.

Whenever I post pictures of my cupcakes, some of you ask how I make them look so pretty.
Here's  the key.
It's a large star-type decorating tip. All you do is slip it into the narrow end of a decorating bag (If you're using a disposable bag, you have to snip the tip off first. I prefer the disposable ones, so I can just toss them when I'm done), fill your bag with your favorite frosting, twist the top to prevent the frosting from squirting out the back end and then squeeze the frosting onto the cupcake.
Looks like it took all day, but it's SO easy.

After hamburgers and brats, cake and presents, Elijah was ready to swim. 
Don't you love the way his big brother, Caden, photo-bombed the pic.

Elijah challenged his Uncle Ryan to a diving contest.
I'm not sure who the winner was.

While the boys swam, grammy cranked out some more treats.
Like Dutch oven cherry cobbler.
Originally, I had intended to show you every step of this tasty treat, but then I forgot to take pictures. 
I was making this in a cast iron Dutch oven, the kind with legs, that you put coals under and on top of. A cool process I wanted to show the grandboys.
First, I generously rubbed the inside of the pot with butter. Then I added two cans of cherry pie filling and spread that over the bottom. Next, I topped the filling with a package of yellow cake mix. Yep, just the dry stuff. Smooth that around, then cut up one stick of butter (the real stuff) and dot it over the top, like I've done here.
Then you put the lid on, set the pot over approximately 8 hot coals, then add another 19 on top of the lid and let it go for about 35 minutes. That's when the magic happens. 
Between the pie filling and the butter, you get this wonderfully golden crust on the top that is to die for.
This recipe is sometimes referred to a dump cake and can be made in the oven. Again, pour your pie filling into a buttered pan, oblong is fine, pour on the cake mix, add the butter and bake in a 375 oven for 30-35 minutes.
On this day, though, doing it outside and creating a little fun for the boys was the way to go.

And what goes better with warm cherry cobbler than ice cream? 
Why, homemade ice cream, of course,
Just another event I wanted to share with grands, who'd never had homemade ice cream before. 
I'll have to share this recipe some other time. Like when I make it again and have some pictures. Just suffice to say that it was relatively easy.

Time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
See those golden bits of crust mixed in with the cherries?
This is heaven in a bowl, I tell ya.

But all good things must come to an end. After a hard day of swimming, you just want to relax and check out your new toys.
The bonding time with Uncle Michael was an added bonus.
In this pic, Elijah is channeling his inner Superman and Ninja Turtles. 

And to think, this is only the beginning of July. We still have four more birthdays to go!

Now it's your turn. I want to hear about your Fourth festivities.


  1. I love cherry anything and this look so easy! Will definitely try it...soonish. And I love your sprinkle containing tip. Must remember that for Christmas baking which is the only time I use sprinkles -- I'm so boring. LOL

    1. Kav, I use the cookie sheets for glitter and sparkles, too! It's such a help when little kids are looking for independence!

    2. Kav, I highly doubt that you are boring. I mean, you love cherries, for crying out loud. Cherries are not boring. You will love this recipe.

  2. Your party looks great! I love the rock wall around the pool, it's simply gorgeous! We had great food, but it was a farm "rescue the veggies" day, and then we had to trim out trees above the chicken coop, a job that's been waiting for oh... months... but now is done! So it was a working 4th in some respects, but that's okay... Then good food and cute kids at night! Perfect!

    1. Good food and cute kids. Isn't that what every holiday is about, Ruthy? Okay, except maybe St. Patrick's Day.

      So what's rescue the veggies? Those that needed to be picked before they spoiled?

  3. Fun post Ruthy. I went to a 4th poolside picnic with friends only it was the day before. On the actual 4th, I stayed home and watched Macy's fireworks on TV.

    1. Sandra, I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that I'm not the only one who watched fireworks on TV. It was great. Didn't even have to get out of my recliner. ;)

    2. Mindy, if it makes you feel better, those Macy's fireworks were visible out my back window, but I watched them on TV too. I really would have had to go up on the roof to get a prime view.

    3. Yes, Mary Cate, that does make me feel better. Like I'm not the only sloth in the bunch. ;)

  4. Mindy, what fun! I love that idea of baking dessert outside! Thanks for sharing the fun photos. We did absolutely nothing here. I cooked dinner, but that was about it. The boys didn't come home, so it was just the three of us (hubby and daughter). We were slugs that day. :) I read a book!

    1. Oh, Missy. That sounds like heaven! What a great holiday!

    2. I think the kids liked it, Missy. I'm certain they liked the cobbler, because even the dregs were gone.

      And reading a book sounds like a pretty good holiday to me.

  5. Happy Birthday, Elijah!

    My younger boys worked at Boy Scout camp during their high school years. One of them was appointed the judge of the Dutch Oven Cobbler Cook-Off on Thursday evenings. He loved it! And I've never heard of so many varieties of cobbler. Those scouts can get pretty creative.

    But this recipe, by far, is the easiest one I've ever seen. The next time we use our backyard fire pit, I'm getting the Dutch oven out :)

    1. I know what you mean, Jan. There are even variations on the one I made. Hubby asked me if I added a can of Sprite. I said, "Why would I do that?" He said, "That's what the troop always does." My response? "Then the troop is doing it wrong." :P

      If it ain't broke, there's no need to fix it, right?

      I bet your boys had a ball judging. It's tough work, but somebody's gotta do it.

  6. Woohooo, Mary here. I figured out how to post as Cate, so Mary's taking a hiatus from the cafe. :)

    You'll get my 4th of July recipes tomorrow, but your cupcakes definitely look tastier, Mindy.

    And now I want cherry pie. How lucky for me that I have cherry walnut crumb in the frig. :)

    1. Cherry walnut crumb? Oh, you must share, Cate.

      You know, I bet this cobbler would be extra yummy with some chopped pecans, maybe a little cinnamon. Of course, if I get too fancy, the kids will balk. Especially over the nuts. The heathens.

      Looking forward to your recipes in the morning.