GOOEY BUTTER CAKE. THE RECIPE.

You’ve heard of this, right? It’s a Paula Deen thing.  Butter on top of butter, I mean who else?  I found this recipe abut 10 years ago and make it for special occasions.  It’s the most requested thing I make. Someone’s birthday – what do they want?  GBC.  Dessert for Christmas? GBC.  The traditional recipe calls for toffee bits in the topping, which I sometimes add if I have them.  Leaving them out makes for no difference from my peeps.    I’ve adapted it for the chocolate peanut butter people (a/k/a US) and made a pumpkin spice version this year for Thanksgiving.  It’s ALL GOOD.  I call it crack for sugar addicts.

I’ve made it so much I have developed some adaptations to the procedure of the recipe.  Follow along and let’s make some crack!

First, the ingredients.  I am irritated when I have to scroll all the way down past all of the pictures to find out what I have to buy (or what I’m really looking for is do I have to go to the store for this or can I make it with what I have here).

For the bottom gooey layer:

  1. 1 butter cake mix
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 stick butter, melted

For the top gooeyness:

  1. 8 oz. package cream cheese
  2. 16 oz. Confectioners Sugar
  3. 2 eggs, separated;
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract

 

The first thing I do (after spraying the baking dish with Pam) is to get out the cream cheese and put it in my pocket to start to soften. You may be one of those people who remembers to put things out an hour or so before you start to put everything together, but I’m not one of those people.  It’s cool.  Then melt the butter.  I like to put it in a small pan on the stove to melt, one stick at a time, but sometimes I’ll cut it up into tablespoons and put it in a glass measuring cup to melt in the microwave, at 15-20 seconds at a time.  Wait until the butter is melted, then empty the cake mix in your mixing bowl.  Start the mixer at low speed, and add the egg, immediately followed by the butter.   Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until totally incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl a time or two.   Empty the dough into the baking dish and spread until mostly flattened.  Set aside.

Now for the top gooey layer.  Place the stick of butter in your pan at melt.  Take the cream cheese out of your pocket and put in the mixing bowl.  I wash neither bowl nor beater for the filling because the bowl comes clean when you take out the dough and the beater MOSTLY clean.  I mean after I’ve scraped off the excess with a spoon and placed in my mouth.  So just take that cream cheese and place it right in that bowl and mix on high for a minute or two until it becomes soft.  The beauty of this time saving method is that the fast mixing does most of the softening.   Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s all soft, then add the confectioner’s sugar, starting to mix on low.  Increase the speed to medium when incorporated, and add the eggs.  Scrape again to get all the goo off the sides.  Mix until completely blended together and smooth.  Add the melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Pour over the dough.  Place in 350 oven for 40-50 minutes, depending on your oven.  It’s done when a toothpick comes out almost clean.  The top should be a golden brown but not dark.  I like to turn off the oven when almost done, leaving the cake in the oven to cool.  I find that this creates a wonderful chewy gooey crust around the edges and a smooth, creamy, yet dense center.  CRACK.

Thanksgiving 2017

It’s here!! With my departure from work today, well, after a luncheon where I almost fell asleep in my chair, the Thanksgiving weekend has officially begun!  This strange, nervous frenzy comes over me this time of year.  It’s excitement and urgency to make sure all preparations are done: the shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning, and decorating.  It’s a lot to plan for, to do, and hopefully, to delegate.   We’ll see about that last one.  So off to the congested busyness of Costco, then to 1st Place Sports to pick up our race packets for the Thanksgiving Distance Classic.  It’s a fun race we’ve done a before with lots of participation and people dressed like pilgrims, Indians, and turkeys.  Good times!

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HURRICANE DAYS

Hurricane Matthew hit us last year with minimal, mostly fence damage with the water barely coming up to our door.  At first I was so very thankful that it wasn’t worse but rethought that after our neighbors got new floors and windows.  Just kidding!!  This year I’m not even there, so Michael is riding out the storm, or what will be left of it by the time it gets to our part of Florida, by himself with Jimmy and Theo, below, blissfully unaware of the impending tempest.

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Instead, here I am in Seattle helping Maddi through hip surgery with a lot of time on my hands.  So here is where I share some of the internet while I’m here.

  1.  I’ve always wanted know what fruits are in season right now and eat them.
  2. Best yoga blog ever!
  3. I want to make this salad.
  4. Working on this one.
  5. Currently listening to – Hurricane Songs:  #1, #2, & #3
  6. And thinking about getting caught up on this.

Missing my bestie:

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10 Sure Signs of a Cycling Addiction

  1. Picture taking during every ride to post to Instagram to get the picture on Strava.

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2. The Bike Room:

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Bikes and more bikes

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Trainers set up and ready!

3. Riding the ride we met on:

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4.  Your most anticipated package arrivals:

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5.  What your shower looks like on any given day:

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6.  And at least one kitchen cabinet . . . .

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7.  Watching Paris-Nice with a friend:

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8.  Podiums!

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9.  Your bedroomIMG_2904

10.  Lots and lots of time on the bike, but especially with your bestie!

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The Inner Life

I used have time to think more, to explore my inner thoughts and desires, hopes, dreams, and goals, to have the luxury of mind space. I find that there is less and less of that in my life these days, and am less of a better person because of it. Am I so “busy,” or do allow other things to crowd my brain, and my time to push out the valuable – nay, essential, space I need to have that space and time – that peace?  Let’s get this back, me. Let’s go back to quiet time with God, thinking, brain space, the essential time to create, to pursue, to know what it even is that you want. How do we get this back once lost?  The key here is time, plus plan, plus execution, and deliberateness.  As in making and taking the time to unplug and ignore the tyranny of the urgent to focus on the timeless, intangible, ephemeral.  That which cannot be taken hold of but which is essential to the soul.   One must not be great to start, but one must start to be great!

Cozy Days

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Winter comes to Florida like a roving marauder, doing his damage and moving on up the road.  He has visited us the end of this first week of the new year with temperatures cold enough to freeze the bird bath in the back of the house, but not the front.  These are the days we complain and layer, wear our boots and make a fire, and stay inside and make soup.  Cozy days!  We were planning to have our grandson this Saturday, but ended up not, and felt like a couple of prisoners set free from bondage.  We made a fire in the fireplace, curled up on the sofa, and were generally lazy.  It was fabulous!

Our coffer pickings were pretty slim, but I really wanted to make minestrone – the perfect soup for coffer raiding.  I love this soup because there is no set recipe – it’s a peasant soup traditionally made from whatever you have.  Perfect, because I didn’t have much.  I just started taking stuff out of the fridge and pantry – a can of diced tomatoes, a can of cannellini beans, a couple of onions and the rest of a bulb of garlic (about 5 cloves – hey, I like garlic, don’t judge!), 4 celery stalks, 5 carrots, a cube of vegetable bullion, some water, salt pepper, and Tuscan Sunset spice.  The meat layer in our family insisted upon the addition of a few slices of bacon, so that went in at the end,  plus a bit of romano cheese rind (just a Tbsp. or so) and a thawed container of frozen spinach.  It was just the right proportion of everything.  Hot, steamy, and just right on this cold January evening.

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And then we had some Cole’s garlic bread in the freezer that we didn’t use at Christmas and added some cheese and salami for dipping deliciousness.  Heart and soul warming coziness!!

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Tomorrow the temps will be back up a bit, and up in the 70’s by Wednesday.  So long for now, Mr. Winter, give me back my flip flops and tanks tops!

WEDNESDAY ON THE WEB

  1.  I would like one of these Dutch Sea Eagles.
  2. This is very helpful if you’re into essential oils.
  3. This is a great story!
  4. Italians having opinions about American food.
  5. This diet is my eating life goal.
  6. BOY do I miss these ladies and their podcastios!!  This is one of my favorites.  Mos Def!
  7. I’m making these rolls for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.
  8. I just ordered these comfy looking slippers.
  9. This planner is one of the reasons I can’t wait to get my winter FabFit Fun box.  Join me!
  10. This run is my first of the new year.  How about you?

Thanksgiving 2016

Yesterday, we were recipients of a momentous occasion – my daughter’s boyfriend called us to ask for our blessing to marry her. We were stuck in traffic in South Carolina on our way to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family when he texted and asked if he could talk. Guys know guys – Michael knew what he wanted before he started talking.
The plan is for our families to get together and meet when he asks her.