Ella and I did not do any baking this weekend.  Ten inches of heavy, wet snow with east winds gusting to 40 miles per hour altered a lot of plans this weekend.  By the time it quit snowing on Saturday evening and the wind continued throughout the night and into Sunday morning, it left a 2 – 3 foot drift of snow up against our garage door (which faces east and received the full force of the snow and wind for almost 24 hours).  And that drift was as hard as rock.  We were not getting any vehicles out of the garage for a while!  Add to that the 4 – 5 foot drift that was a bit further out from the garage door.

About 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, there were two trucks with plows working on the driveway.  They were able to remove most of the snow from the garage door and the approach.  But the driveway itself, which runs north to south, continued to drift in due to the sustained strong easterly winds.

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Yummy Cupcakes

After a brief break from our big baking adventure (the girls have been very busy the past couple of weekends), Ella and I are back in the kitchen.  This weekend we made cupcakes.  I found a recipe from Robyn on her add a pinch blog for The Best White Cake Recipe.  We decided to try the recipe but make cupcakes instead of cake. And are we glad we did!  The cupcakes are amazing.  Ella and I both agree that this is the best white cupcake recipe ever!!

Best Ever White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

½ cup vegetable shortening

3 cups granulated sugar

5 eggs, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup whole milk, room temperature

½ cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extractRead More »


Ella and I had a very busy weekend baking lots of cookies for our annual cookie sale at Church.  We made peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and of course my favorite, sugar cookies.  The recipes are available on the blog.  Check under cookies.

I was so busy that I did not take any pictures this time around, but have plenty of pictures of previous times when we made them!

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My grand-girl Ella is a very good baker for being only 10 years old.  She is very precise at measuring and extremely good at reading and understanding recipes.  And she really knows her way around the kitchen.  For the past couple of years she has been entering baked items in the Illinois State Fair.  I thought it would be a great idea for us to start the New Year off with a fun, learning baking challenge.  So, we have initiated the Ella and Grandma Pat’s Big Baking Adventure.  Our goal is to try a new recipe twice a month and to keep a detailed journal of each baking experience.

Our first recipe, White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Here is the recipe.Read More »