Strawberry Shortcake Cake

For Father's Day, I made this cake:

It was superb! Not too difficult and worth every minute of work. For Pioneer Woman's detailed how-to, click here.


Homemade Oreos

I usually make these with a chocolate cake mix, but I found this recipe on smitten kitchen. I had everything on hand, bonus, so I made them. They were just as easy and tasted better than the regular version.


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour; 1/2 cup cocoa; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1/4 tsp baking powder; 1/4 tsp salt; 1 cup sugar; 1 1/4 sticks of butter, softened; and 1 egg.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, powder, salt & sugar). Add butter and egg. Mix until dough sticks to itself. It takes a while so don't give up if it stays crumbly longer than you think it should. Eventually it will look like this:

Next, form the dough into balls and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.

Use a cup to slightly flatten each ball. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes:

Let them cool completely on a wire rack and make the frosting. I used a different recipe than the one posted on smitten kitchen. It's the Creamy White Frosting from Cousin Brenda's Out of the Pan and into the Fire: A Cookbook for Missionaries.


1 cup shortening; 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar; and 3 to 4 tablespoons milk. {This makes a lot of frosting, you could easily half it}

Cream together the shortening and extracts. Add powdered sugar and milk.

Now sandwich the cookies together with the frosting and enjoy!


Bottle Cap Necklaces

I got together with some friends, last week and again on Thursday, and we made these cute bottle cap necklaces: k hick explains how to make them here. After the epoxy has hardened, just drill a hole and add a loop and chain. Very cute, pretty easy!


Oatmeal Wheat Bread

I love making this bread. It's delicious and {almost} always turns out just right. I've doubled the original recipe and I freeze three of the loaves {these measurements yield 4 loaves}. Here we go:
Mix 1 cup of warm water with 4 packets {10 teaspoons} instant dry yeast in a large bowl; set aside. Melt 1 cup of shortening in 3 cups boiling water:
Once the shortening is melted, add 1 cup of honey:
Let the mixture cool down to 115°-120°F {I use a candy thermometer to check}. Stirring speeds up this process:
Add shortening/honey mixture to the yeast and then add 4 eggs:
2 cups regular oats:
2 tablespoons of salt:
1/2 cup of wheat germ:
and 6 cups of wheat flour {to start, you'll need more later}:
Mix until dough is smooth. Continue to add flour 1 cup at a time, until dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl {I never keep count, but it's probably another 4 or 5 cups}. Dough will still be a little sticky, but workable:
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Pour a couple teaspoons of oil into a clean bowl and put the dough in, turning it so that it's coated in the oil. cover and let the dough rise {I cheat and put the bowl into a sink that's half-filled with warm water to speed up the rising process, 20 minutes, rather than 40}:Once the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide into fourths. Form into loaves and place in greased pans:Using a fork, poke holes in the tops of the loaves:Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush the tops of the loaves with it:
Sprinkle with more wheat germ, if you want. Then cover and let the loaves rise. Once they've doubled, bake them at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Let them cool on a rack. To freeze, wrap the loaves in cling wrap or Press'n'Seal and then aluminum foil. To thaw, leave a loaf out over night. You could also 'refresh' it by putting it in the oven for a few minutes.


Blanket & Pillows

Back in March, I finished my first quilt. It was just a 'simple' rag quilt. I wrote a fairly exhaustive post about the process here.

In April, I made some throw pillows for the living room. Read about them here.
I have a couple more sewing projects in the works and will post about their successful birth or mournful passing.