My Grandma’s Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Many memories of my grandmother revolve around food.  Her fried chicken, vegetable beef soup, mustard greens, pecan pie, and especially her pound cake.  I have to say that her pound cake is like none other. It has the perfect crumb with a slightly textured crust.

The featured image is my grandmother’s actual recipe in her handwriting with a few edits. I also added some clarity to the recipe below that she forgot to note in the recipe.

I know this recipe does not fit into my normal plant-based vegan and vegan recipes, but I wanted to share this recipe with the world in her memory.

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar (My grandmother always used Domino Granulated Sugar.)
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 cups sifted flour (My grandmother always use Swans Cake Flour.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, blend sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each.
  3. Add lemon extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together (flour, salt, and baking soda).
  5. Alternate mixing dry ingredients and the buttermilk into the larger bowl with blended sugar and shortening. Begin mixing by starting with the dry ingredients and be sure to end with the dry ingredients as well.
  6. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
  7. Carefully fold egg whites into batter.
  8. Pour batter into a well greased and floured 10-inch tube/bundt pan.
  9. Place cake in a cold oven on the bottom rack.  The over should NOT have been preheated.
  10. Turn oven on at 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  11. Once done cooking remove from oven and allow to cool.  To remove from pan take a knife around the inner and outer circle edges. Place plate or serving dish on top of the pan, then turn pan over quickly.

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This Is Me: Help, I am an indoor plant killer!

This is me and I am an indoor plant killer.  Sad and oh so true.   No matter how hard I have tried I can’t get a plant to live in my home.    I really want to bring plants inside but have continued to struggle for years.  I have tried aloe plants, cacti, succulents,  orchids, bromeliad, lily plants, waffle plants, bamboo, philodendron, and golden pothos.  No luck at all keeping any of them alive at all.

I love plants and when it comes to gardening outdoors I’ve got a green thumb.  There are benefits to having plants indoors and I want them…

I want them bad!  

  • Air Purifying
  • Added Air Moisture
  • Added Oxygen
  • Decreased Stress
  • Increased Creativity
  • Better Mental Health

I want to be the woman in the picture below.  My hands in the dirt with the ability to look at an indoor plant and give it exactly what it needs.  Sure, I would love to have several like her but I will settle for one.  Just one, please!!! I would really love to overcome this challenge and could use your help.

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If you can recommend books, have ideas, thoughts, or simply encouragement please comment below. 

I will do almost anything to keep one alive in my home.  Nonetheless, I am going to buy another plant this weekend in hopes that I can keep it alive.  It is also important to know that plants have been known to die within 48 hours under my care.  So please share your advice ASAP!!!!

What is the Deal with Dr. Seuss?

Recently, I have been seeing signs around with the infamous Dr. Seuss hat.  Then realizing Dr. Seuss day is just around the corner I began to reminisce.  Growing up I always loved looking at the pictures in Dr. Seuss books; and I would be ecstatic when one of the movies would come on TV.    The wording in the books would be tricky but fun.  And to this day, when I read his books to my kids I still stumble on the unique words sometimes.

The books are about nonsense…

However, a few years back a friend of mine mentioned that she hates Dr. Seuss books, refuses to read them to her children, and will not allow them to read them…EVER.  She said this with such clarity and boldness that I knew she was serious.  So I asked her why because they just seemed like fun books to me.  She then replied with a list, rattling them off with her fingers one by one.

  1. He doesn’t use correct grammar.
  2. He uses made-up words.
  3. The books are about nonsense.
  4. The books lack storylines.
  5. The books don’t help the development of language skills.

As the conversation continued, I kind of tuned out and began to question my parenting skills.  Am I being a bad parent for reading his books to my kids? Moreover, should I be concerned that I actually enjoy the books for myself every so often?  I immediately felt guilty, worried, offended and slightly judged all at the same time.  I was saying to myself, “what is the deal with Dr. Seuss?”  Come to find out, many people have a grudge against his writing style – a mean a lot of people.  Google it and you will see.

but it doesn’t really matter!

Well, it has been about six years since I had the encounter and I have to say… it doesn’t really matter. Both of my kids are school age now and doing just fine in the world of academia. What matters is that you read to your kids. Now that I think about it all the more… I wasted too many brain cells, back then, worrying about someone else’s opinion.

Special thanks to Tamarcus Brown for the photo.

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Uncertainty is Like a Pimple

Last night I was thinking about someone in particular who is dealing with uncertainty.  Having to deal with anxiety myself I understand its close cousin “uncertainty”.  Nonetheless, I realize uncertainty is almost just like a pimple.

Sometimes you feel it coming on and then other times it just shows pops up out of nowhere.

Yup, that is my simile.  The day can be going great and you walk by a mirror and with a quick glance, you take a double take.  With a step closer to the mirror you have a pimple.  Also, there are times when you can feel one growing right under your skin and you know that in a few days you will have a pimple.  I believe the same to be true about uncertainty.

Even if you used all of the planning and prevention in the world things can still go wrong which can lead to uncertainty.  And uncertainty can show up anytime without your permission just like a pesky pimple.  You may want to pop the pimple of uncertainty with a quick fix to help things look more normal and get things to be smoother.

What are you saying?

Uncertainty is a sure thing that everyone will encounter.  It is a tough thing to deal with.  Not knowing where the money is going to come from.  Not knowing how you are going to make it through the day.  Or not knowing how long you have with a loved one.   There are tons of other forms of uncertainty and I am sure you have some of your own.  However, I want you to keep going in the midst of your uncertainty.  You may have several pimples of uncertainty that you wear every day.  I want you to wash your face and do the best you can each day!  Because just like pimples uncertainty about a situation won’t last always.  Love yourself and own who you are with kindness and empathy.

Disclaimer: As the author of this blog, I have based my writings on my own experiences and beliefs regarding the topics covered in my blog. However, I am not a medical doctor, nurse or professional nutritionist or otherwise formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. Quotes are based on the opinions of this author and others who contributed to this blog. All diet and health decisions should be made with the approval of your healthcare provider. This blog is intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions after consulting with a qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, please read my blog and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk.

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Tasty Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad Recipe Review

Oh, my freaking tasty goodness! I think this salad changed my life.  Tasty’s Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad was simple yet had a complex flavor.  I did make some minor changes to the recipe for my liking but certainly didn’t stray too far.

 

I first saw this recipe on my Facebook feed.  I was a bit cautious because in the past I was not a bit fan of peanut butter mixed with sauces let alone pasta.  But the video kind of got me going.

The recipe certainly was flavorful.  It only had a little bit of heat from the siracha but not enough to even tingle your tongue.  As mentioned, I have made variations, however, I do find that the cucumbers do play a key roll in making sure the salad remains moist.  Without those, you may need to add a bit more water to help make sure the sauce is not too sticky after it has sat for an hour.  Other adjustments I have made:

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Replaced Raw Ginger with 1/4 tsp of Ginger Powder – The fresh raw ginger does have present a strong crisp peppery flavor.  With the ginger powder, the taste was a bit more subdued.

Replaced Linguine Noodles with Fettuccine – First, the linguine noodles taste better on the palate than the fettuccine noodles.  If the mouthy density of the noodles doesn’t make a difference to you then as the recipe states, any noodle will work.

86 the Cilantro – I have made this salad several times and sometimes I do and don’t have cilantro.  Either way, the salad still turns out great.  Knowing some people have a real aversion to cilantro having it on the side is a great option too.  But to other lovers of cilantro like myself, it brings the flavor that only cilantro can offer.

No Peanuts, No Problem – I like the crunch that the peanut offers in contracts to the soft noodles.  However, the fresh peppers also provide a crunch but it does not pack a punch.  So no peanuts no problem…you will still have a great salad.

Tasty has done it again! Try the recipe for yourself!

This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained.

The Spruce Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Review

I have been searching high and low; all over Pinterest and the internet to find a decent vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe with practical ingredients.  Because you never know when a chocolate chip cookie craving is going to hit!  In my search, came across The Spruce Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie in my search and I am so glad I did!

 

I had all of the ingredients in my pantry with the exception of the Ener-G-Egg Replacer.  So for the two eggs that it called for I added what I like to call the Baking Powder Egg Replacer.

PBC Blog Recipe ReviewsTo make the baking soda egg replacer all you need to do is mix 2 TBSP, 1 TBSP and 2 TSP Baking Soda in a small bowl.  Then add it to the appropriate step in your recipe.  This mixture will be the equivalent of one egg.  So for The Spruces Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, you will need to double the mixture for the replacement of two eggs.

I follow the recipe in detail. In addition, I also made sure to use vegan chocolate chips stirring them in with a wooden spoon at the end.

Using a small ice cream scooper I placed them on a baking sheet.  However, I think you could readily roll these into perfectly shaped circles with your hands.  I popped them into the oven for the allotted time.  With my first batch, they were soft and chewy in the middle but also did have that nice brown color – they were kind of light.  So for the following batches, I left them in the oven for about two minutes longer.  This made them nearly perfect with crisp edges and a soft center.

Over the next couple of days, my kids, husband and my mother munched on them.  In fact, as I type this post I am eating one now and they are still so soft; not a dry crumb or brittle cookie in sight.  To The Spruce, thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained.

 

This Is Me: Why I Became Vegan

2017 was a year that changed me in ways to this day I still don’t even know. One change was my path from Paleo, to vegetarian and finally to plant-based vegan. So what pushed me to make this change? The answer is my husband and mom.

PBC ERIn early 2017, my mother had a major stroke that impacted her cognition and caused her to lose sight on the right half of both of her eyes.  And within the same month, she was diagnosed with a highly aggressive cancer.  Today she is a cancer survivor and is doing well given all of what 2017 threw her way.  Nonetheless, the first six months of 2017 shook me to my core and led me to a lifestyle change.

Moreover, during the summer, my husband experienced a cardiac event that led to the ambulance rushing him away from home to the hospital in the dark and early hours of the morning.  Long story short there he is ok but he had to make changes to his diet as well – doctors orders.  I was surprised that I didn’t have a heart attack myself considering all of what I had encountered – but my husband was the last stray.  I had to make a change that would increase my chances of living a longer and healthier life.

In years past, I had sprints of pescatarianism and lacto-ovo-vegetarianism.  In 2016, I completed a Whole 30  which led to a paleo diet that I followed until my mother had a stroke in January 2017.  Over the next few months, traveling between home, work, kid’s school, radiation treatments, doctor offices and hospitals my eating habits when into the “trash”.  I ate whatever was easy and convenient.  Lot’s of pizza, fast-foods, ice cream, burgers and chicken nuggets.  To be honest I was in survival mode and food was comforting me instead of nourishing my body.

So on July 12, 2017, I became a vegetarian…”cold turkey”.  Then 90 days later, I completely transitioned to a plant-based vegan diet.  My skin has never looked clearer, my “numbers” are what they were 10 years ago and the boost of energy is REAL!  However, the energy element didn’t really kick in until about 6-8 weeks into me being vegan.

Now as a wife, mother, daughter, caregiver, full-time employee, blogger, and a crafter who is also vegan I still get tired – but who wouldn’t.  But I feel better about my food choices and in greater control of my health.  Overall, I became vegan because I wanted to increase my chances of living a longer and healthier life for not only myself but my family.  Though I must say I am beginning to develop personal feelings and convictions towards the treatment of animals in our food industry…but that is a blog post for another day!

VAVA Desktop Diffuser Product Review

While I featured VAVA Desktop Diffuser in my Cortney’s Favorite Things from 2017 I was so impressed that I wanted to share more about this particular item.  I mean I ended up buying a total of four of them – so it is safe to say, I think I am in LOVE!

Overview

When I order my first one I was a bit skeptical.  I liked the sleek, modern and minimalist look of the diffuser but was unsure about how it would perform.  After conducting much research on diffusers I knew I wanted it to have an auto-shutoff and an intermittent setting.  This had both and was so compact and cute… I took a chance!

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It arrived in sturdy packaging and include a users guide, cleaning brush, USB cord, and a black travel tote.  I initially purchased it for my bedside but the light would not go off while it was running (You can set it for the light to be off while it is still defusing. I just didn’t figure that out until a month later… SMH) So I took it to work instead.  And this proved to be so helpful while in the office.

After a couple of days, I felt like a ninja when I added my essential oils to fight off the germs that floated around the office.  And besides, it made my office smell pretty darn good!  I have enjoyed this diffuser so much because of its compact size and ease of use that I ended up ordering a total three more for my two kids and mother.  Now my kid requests me to turn it on at night to help them rest and it helps my mother get some additional rest to ease her anxiety.

Use, Settings & Cleaning

Since it only holds 30 ml it only leaves you the opportunity to add about 1-2 drops of essential oils.  So you could add your favorite single essential oil or a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil blend.  As I mentioned earlier, the diffuser will work with the lighting off.  Check out the guide below:

  • Continuous Mist = Press On Button One Initial Time
  • Intermittent Mist (30 secs on/30 secs off) = Press On Button One More Time After Initial
  • Turn Off Light = Press On Button One 2X During Continuous Mist or Intermittent Mist
  • Turn Off Diffuser = Holding Down On Button

Depending on the settings you use, the time of diffusing can range from 3 – 6 hours.  Also, the machine is easy to clean but I think the brush for the machine could be better. Lastly, it is not silent but only emits a very soft bubbling sound that is actually kind of soothing.

This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained. The purpose of this blog post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various products. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Peaces by Cortney Product Review

Ever wonder what people think about Peaces by Cortney?
Shay Danielle  says, “The quality is incredible!”  Check out the review below.  You can visit her YouTube page to view the full review of other Etsy shops and more videos.

Cortney’s Favorite Things from 2017

I am feeling like Oprah right now!  In 2017, I came across some pretty awesome things.  Also, this not a sponsored or affiliate post – just a few of my favorite things I wanted to share. Enjoy!

  1. Lemons Tote – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This was my mantra in 2017.  And I think Beyonce or any members of the Bey Hive just might like it too.
  2. Sleep Mask –  Believe it or not, I sleep with my eye just a wee bit open.  This mask has been a lifesaver in keeping my eyes closed and more moisturized as I sleep.
  3. Desktop Diffuser – I have been doing a bit of aromatherapy with essentials oils at home.  And this allows me to take the benefits of it to my desk at work.
  4. Bear Shower Curtain – This shower curtain is like none other.  The colors are mesmerizing.  It sets off my kid’s minimalist bathroom.
  5. 2018 Calendar –  I searched high and low for a calendar like this.  Compact, beautiful artwork and sleek design.
  6. Plaid Green Scarf – I eyed this for a while and finally bought for the winter.  I mean one of my favorite colors is green and I couldn’t resist.
  7. Clip-on Sunglasses –  I bought these originally for my mother but loved them so much I bought a pair for myself.  Lightweight and light blocking.  I couldn’t as for more.
  8. Pill Case – This tiny case is often used in emergencies.  It can slip right in my pocket and has been a staple in my tote and purse.
  9. Herbivore T-shirt – When I went Vegetarian on July 12, 2017 I wanted to let the world know but not be crazy about it.  This shirt is super soft and works for me now that I am vegan too.
  10. Octopus Mouse Pad – This just makes me think of the ocean.  I get an underwater, swirling, mermaid feeling whenever I look at it.  And mermaids make things happen!
This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained.