From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Pumpkin-Apple Cakes

PUMPKIN-APPLE CAKES

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup apple juice

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Bring butter or margarine and eggs to room temperature. Grease and flour ten 4-inch fluted tube pans or one 8 1/2-inch fluted tube pan; set aside.

In large mixer bowl beat the butter or margarine till creamy and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating at medium speed about 6 minutes or till light and fluffy and sugar is dissolved. add eggs, one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each; scrape the bowl frequently. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and ginger. Add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin and apple juice, beginning and ending with flour. Beat just till thoroughly blended. Turn batter into prepared pans, filling small pans about 2/3 full. Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes for individual pans or 45 minutes for large pan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes; turn out onto wire rack. Cool completely.

Stir together powdered sugar and enough of the milk to make a glaze of drizzling consistency; spoon over the cooled cakes. Makes 10 small cakes or 1 large cake.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

In Awe

I am in awe of my grandkids. They simply amaze me. I am blessed to have two grandchildren. One of each–a grandson and a granddaughter.

James is my 7 year old grandson. He is simply amazing. There is never a dull moment when he is around! He is very much like his daddy. I have to chuckle. James has a such a creative imagination! I absolutely love it! Never know what will come out of his mouth.

James started second grade this school year. He is so smart. Again, like his daddy. He was bored last school year when he was in the first grade. He needs to be challenged!

Ava Rose is my 6 month old granddaughter. She is smart and so observant! She watches everything and everybody, especially when people have food. Sometimes Ava stares at you and she doesn’t blink for a long time. It’s like she is looking into the depths of your soul!

She is beautiful and awesome and so amazing! I am truly blessed to have these two wonderful grandchildren in my life. I would not trade them for anything in world. As if I would!

I truly love being a grandma!

May you have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

I Am So Blessed!

I have many, many blessings! I can’t even begin to count them all. I have to begin with my loving wonderful husband, Alexander. I can’t begin to say enough about him. He has always been by my side. He has gone beyond–way beyond of caring for me. I mean that with the utmost respect. He is amazing. He slept on two uncomfortable chairs pushed together at the hospital. He refused to leave my side before, during and after my surgery. I felt bad for him because there was no one there with him when the surgeon came out to talk with him. Alex had to take the news alone. No one should have to take that kind of news by themselves.

He stayed with me the entire time I was at the rehab hospital. I was there nine long days. I suffer from anxiety issues. Being put into crowds or busy gyms was not helpful. I was grateful for my hubby being there the entire time. He watched over me while I was doing the different therapies. There was occupational, physical, speech and group therapies. Those therapists did not “play nice”. I have to say that they expected a lot out of the patient. I couldn’t have recovered so quickly without working hard. I received a badge and a certificate for completing therapy. I was so proud of myself. I, also, knew that family and friends were proud of me!

Paul, the guy who ran the group therapy, said to me one day, “Don’t give up!! Never give up!” He had been trying to help me recall something from the past and I couldn’t. I had been struggling. He was a pretty amazing teacher. He was pretty funny.

The hardest therapy for me to do was the mental part. It was so hard for me to recall a certain amount of words after a certain amount of time went by. The therapist distracted me with conversation. It was hard!

When I arrived at the rehab hospital, I couldn’t tie my shoes, or brush my teeth very well. I had trouble talking. I couldn’t get up by myself. Now, I can shower almost alone. I can brush my teeth really well. I can put my shoes on and tie them!

Oh, did I mention that I had brain surgery?

Enjoy the day!

Laurie Jackson

Bucket List

I have a bucket list. It doesn’t have much on it.

I already did zip-lining. My husband, Alex, did it with me. Bless him! We are both scared of heights!! We did it anyway. We had to admit we had fun. Haha. I’d do it again…in a heartbeat. I screamed, I love you, Alexander when I took the first step off the tower. It felt very exhilarating taking that first step.

I would like to go horse back riding. I’ve never been on a horse. I think it would be awesome.

I’ve already gone on train rides through Colorado. There were four trains. I have always found trains to be interesting.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Update on Laurie

First I would like to apologize for taking so long to post an update. It has been a week and a a half since Laurie’s surgery and I have been by her side the whole time.

The pathology report came back and it was as suspected. Laurie does have cancer. The tumor was a high grade glioma multiforme blastoma. It is the most aggressive of the primary brain tumors. The surgeon told us it will come back, the oncologist told us that treatment will eventually stop working. How much time we have it not known at this time. She will be seeing a neuro oncologist on Aug 8th at the Siteman Cancer Center in St Louis, MO. The doctor specializes in this type of tumor.

The tumor affected Laurie’s right side (causing weakness and some loss of direction from her brain to arm and leg). It also affected her speech and language area. She has aphasia (difficulty in finding her words and getting them out) – both spoken and written (texting and typing included). She has been at a rehabilitation hospital since last Wed night. She gets physical, occupational, and speech therapy. She is making amazing progress. I have no idea if she will ever be able to blog again, but I know she will try her hardest to. She loves to write and she loves this blog.

Below are some pictures of Laurie’s journey so far:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Alex – Laurie’s Husband

Prayer – Update

Laurie made it through the surgery without any complications. They removed a tumor just bigger then a golf ball. She had a good night. She has been talking, eating jello, laughing and crying. Her speech is still affected and will probably need therapy. The right side weakness showed some improvement then slid back a bit. She is still trying to sleep off the anesthesia.

We could possibly have the pathology report today. She has a long road to recovery but she is a fighter and will make it through this.

Alex

A Prayer

This is Laurie’s husband. I am writing this because Laurie is in the hospital and will be having brain surgery tomorrow (Thursday July 14th). On Monday a CT found a 3 cm mass on the left side of her brain. Over the last 2 weeks it has been affecting her speech, ability to text, write, type, and spell. It is considered an aggressive tumor because of how fast the symptoms have progressed. Yesterday weakness on the right side of her mouth showed up and has moved to her arm today.

She is a talented writer and this is devastating for her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We don’t know yet what type of tumor it is or what other treatments will be needed. We won’t know this until the tumor is biopsied tomorrow.

I will update this when I know more.

Thank you everyone

Alex Jackson (Laurie’s husband)

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE SQUARES

1 package Fleischmann’s active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115)

2 to 2 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened

2 packages (8 ounces each) plus 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Coconut-Pecan Topping (below)

Dissolve yeast warm water in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour, 1/4 sugar, the salt, 1 egg and the margarine vigorously until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Cover; let rest 20 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch. Press dough in bottom and up sides of pan.Beat cream cheese in large bowl on medium speed. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar and the cocoa until fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set, about 25 minutes, cool. Spread with Coconut-Pecan Topping. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour. Cut into about 2 inch squares. Refrigerate any remaining squares.

3 dozen squares.

*If using self-rising flour, omit salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in this recipe.

COCONUT-PECAN TOPPING

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup margarine or butter

2/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat sugar, egg, milk and margarine in 1 quart saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thick, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen —Peanut Butter Squares

PEANUT BUTTER SQUARES

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter

1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup regular oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting

3 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa

1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease rectangular pan 13x9x2 inches. Mix sugars, egg, margarine and peanut butter in large bowl. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Spread in pan. Bake until golden brown, 17 to 22 minutes, cool. Prepare Peanut Butter Frosting; reserve 1/3 cup. Stir cocoa and milk into remaining frosting until smooth. If necessary, stir in additional milk until of spreading consistency. Frost squares with cocoa frosting. Drop Peanut Butter Frosting by teaspoonfuls onto cocoa frosting; swirl for marbled effect. Cut into 1 1/2″ squares.

About 4 dozen cookies.

*If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

Note: Unbleached flour can be used in the recipe.

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:

Mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup Skippy super chunk peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Stir in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until of spreading consistency.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson