Friday, October 13, 2017

Heritage Recipe: Grandma's Busy Day Cake





This recipe was one of the first I hand-copied out of my mother's recipe book when I was a young bride. I have made it many times over the years, and it always turns out beautifully!

You can read a bit more about my AMAZING, faithful, hard-working, inspiring Grandma Nielsen here. She was reunited with my loving Grandpa Nielsen in heaven in August of 2014. I treasure every memory I have of her, and that is one reason why this recipe is such a special one. I can picture her busy in the kitchen, baking this cake for her eight children, and then for her multitude of grandchildren.

Notice the words and artwork added by my son Lliam many years ago. He's now 21 years old.

Grandma Nielsen’s Busy Day Cake

{From Grandma Lawana Nielsen}

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 ⅔ c. flour
  • ¼ tea salt
  • 1 ½ tea. cinnamon
  • ½ tea. nutmeg
  • ¼ tea. cloves
  • 2 ½ tea. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ c. milk (@ room temperature)
  • ⅓ c. shortening

Topping Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbl. melted butter
  • 5 Tbl. brown sugar
  • 3-5 Tbl. cream or evaporated milk (regular milk will do in a pinch.)
  • ½ c. coconut and/or chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to dry ingredients.
  4. BEAT on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan.
  6. Bake in the preheated 375 oven for 25 minutes.
  7. Make topping.
  8. Remove cake from oven.
  9. Spread topping on top of warm cake.
  10. Return cake to oven on high broil-- watch it carefully!
  11. Remove from the oven as soon as the topping is brown and bubbly.
  12. Serve warm!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Homeschooling During Sickness




*PLEASE NOTE: This post does contain some affiliate links.

In a homeschooling family, there are days-- or weeks-- that are less than ideal, and we just so happen to be in the midst of such a time this past week.

The great thing about homeschooling is that learning can even happen in our pajamas, if need be. (Not my personal preference, though I know several people love homeschooling that way.) 

During this week of coughing and sneezing, we have been able to at least complete the bare minimums, but then also added a few things to fill in the time when we're all feeling pretty icky.

When mom and the kids are feeling sick and can't do much, we can supplement with audiobook listening, and a few extra science and history videos. 

When Mom is too sick to read loud, audiobooks can be life-savers!

Here are a few favorites we have enjoyed listening to or viewing together over the years:

Favorite Audiobooks


Favorite YouTube Learning Channels and Videos

Gathering Time


Below is the list of things we did in our daily homeschool Gathering Time for everyone yesterday. We don't always accomplish these things every day, but it is so good to have a list to follow and a goal to aim for.

(Find the full document below on Google Drive at this link.)

  1. Gathering Time
    1. Prayer
    2. Scripture Recitation and Memorizing: 2 Nephi 2:27
      1. “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”
    3. Copy Work: 2 Nephi 2:27
      1. Penmanship practice can be done during the scripture story reading and the music listening below.
      1. Pgs. 20-21: “The Nephites Separate from the Lamanites”
      1. Choose one or two pieces to play while the children finish up their handwriting.
      1. We have decided to read one section at a time of this epic poem.
      2. Paintings for visual reference during the reading:
  2. Read Aloud or Audiobook
    1. Little Men




During the time when we listen to audiobooks, the kids can color, draw, build with LEGO pieces, embroider, knit, crochet, or other crafting. 





My three year old LOVES coloring! I am pretty impressed with how well she does for her age.



As for me, I have made some real progress on a quilt I've been working on for years-- I actually finished hand-stitching the binding just this week! And yesterday I made a apron for a former Shakespeare student of mine who got married. It honestly helps my sense of well-being to accomplish some little things when I'm sick and can't do as much physically as I'd like to.

What is happening in your homes this October? Are the weather and the leaves changing where you live? How are you preparing for winter and the upcoming holidays?

I wish you all the best in your homemaking and teaching efforts this week.

Love,
Mama Rachel



Friday, September 15, 2017

Applesauce Muffins


These delightful muffins are perfect for an autumn breakfast!


What does a mother do when it's raining and the temperature outside is in the mid-40's? She bakes her babies applesauce muffins for breakfast!

I found this delectable recipe online, but had to tweak it slightly for my family. 


(And no, I did not partake, myself. I was good!)

I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as mine did! The recipe is below...


Love,Mama Rachel


Applesauce Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 c. quick oats

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add applesauce and stir until well incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients together. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients until just combined. 
  4. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. Divide the batter evenly between 24 muffin cups, filling each one 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a wooden tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 24 muffins.

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