Fruitcake Balls

November is here! Time to get your fruitcakes underway so they will be ready for the holidays. Seriously, you need to make them at least 3 to 4 weeks before you start to serve them. They need time to mellow and to…soak up the alcohol.

Now, I know your fruitcake is beautiful and just perfect. But…it may lack a little something when it comes to being a Pinterest worthy craft or gift project. Fortunately the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook from 1959 has the perfect answer! Fruitcake balls!

Prepare your fruitcake batter from your favorite recipe. (I do have some favorites in my archives if you don’t have a favorite yet!) Instead of baking it in your loaf pans–fill well greased custard cups 3/4 full. Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 hours or until cake is done via toothpick test.

To make into ball: Turn a cake out of the custard cup invert over a cake still in custard cup. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Tie with ribbons and decorate with tiny tree ornaments, jingle bells, holly, and a bow. Look how pretty!

Baking Up a Storm

Some weeks I feel like I never leave the kitchen, yet I know that isn’t true. I know this because the groceries don’t seem to diminish in some ways and well, there is pizza night and scrounge night and “we’ve been in the car all day” night.

However, this weekend proved an exception in some ways. I had a lot of car time. Really, I am moving walking distance to every kid activity and their jobs ASAP-be handy if they went to school, activities, etc somewhere near the Great Lakes Commissary. It would also be handy if it was somewhere with decent weather. Ah well, I will just plot my move to walking distance to activities instead. Add in a closer nursing facility for my sister as well. Hours free in my week.

In any case, I did manage to bake this weekend.

1. Lemon Cheese Cake My great grandmoth1er’s recipe, the birthday cake requested by the newly 16-year-old. I made it in a bundt pan and used the “filling” as frosting. This got a better reception from the rest of the family this time as the cheddar didn’t “candy” and instead was smoothly incorporated in.The cake stuck stubbornly to the pan so there was some ickyness to the final look–but it was tasty.

2. TWO horrifyingly bright Halloween Bundt Cakes. Unfortunately, the one meant for the Girl Scout meeting had an untimely demise on the asphalt on the way into the meeting.

3. Liquid Cinnamon Rolls that didn’t come out so liquid this time–probably because there was an accidental purchase of a nearly identical looking can of crescent rolls that were NOT Pillsbury. They were dry and soaked up some of the liquidy goodness. Also, no one was up when the bake time was done, so they had time to set, making them more like the “Sopapilla Cheesecake” of the original recipe title.

None of these things took too much time to make, though clean up was a disaster. Not my department though! 😉

I did make healthy food as well though–in particular one “Oh my, I need to use these veggies and now” creation.

I took:

green onions (3)
a head of cauliflower

3 yellow squash
1 pt cherry tomatoes
Fresh Spinach
1 pkg Sweet Italian Sausage

Sauteed it together, served it over whole grain pasta. It worked.




Banana Nut Cake

Banana nut cake seems like a good use of the overripe bananas in the kitchen. I am not in the mood for a smoothie and this sounds good. Now to decipher the recipe card.

Banana Nut Cake

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs minus 1 yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup pecans

Bake in 2 cake pans at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I am going to guess that the sugar can be cut to 3/4 cups and that is a hold sugar for icing…but I am not totally sure. I will likely just cut the sugar to 3/4 cups. I remember eating this as a child and liking it. It seems straightforward enough. Anyone out there who might be able to decipher more? (Betsy?)

Banana Nut Cake

I know the scrawl on this one is almost undecipherable. This is what age does to impeccable Palmer handwriting. Or speed. IN any case, this is an excellent cake that you get to call cake instead of banana bread. Don’t waste those bananas. You know that food prices keep going up, bananas are in danger of dying out and well, wasting food is a waste of resources in so many ways.

Banana Nut Cake

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar (I cut this down)

Hold for later. (Meaning cream it together while making the rest of the filling)

In separate bowl mix:
3 eggs minus 1 yolk
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup pecans

Combine and mix until smooth but don’t over-mix. Pour into 2 cake pans and bake in a 350 oven 25 minutes. (I find it takes me longer, so bake until cake is done in center) Cool.

Cream 1 stick butter, 1 egg white (you can skip the egg white or use pasteurized ones if you are squeamish) 1 box (10 oz-1 lb) powdered sugar and small amount of milk to make soft icing

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