Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A Cozy Tea Party!


I had the honor in mid- July to do something that became one of the highlights of my summer! I was asked to host a lovely “tea party” for the young women of our youth group as a part of a special weekend retreat they were participating in. There was no doubt in my mind that I would say “yes”.

I am passionate over few things more than:
(1.) loving on fellow women and young women who are the next generation of our church. 
(2.) Anything related to adding beauty in our lives by simple pleasures, such as tea parties, sipping from lovely china, eating delicious food and sharing in feminine and exquisite things. I firmly believe lovely things as this are a reflection of our Creator’s attention to the detail in our lives. 
(3.) Sharing our own home as a gathering place.
(4.) Greatest of all— serving Him wherever He calls me and bringing others into the light of His love!




This tea party was to reflect the effort and attention of our loving Heavenly Father has brought to each one of us!  I believe my part was more than just offering a space, but to prepare.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and throughout the Bible God gives us examples of how He loves us by preparing for us!…

David says in Psalms that God prepares a table before me in the presence of our enemies. 

Jesus Himself said before ascending that He is going to go and prepare a place for us in Heaven! 

We want to look like our Father, and so we too prepare! Our hearts needs to be prepared first and foremost. He wants a clean and pure heart after Him. Then I believe we prepare outwardly for others, out of love, as He does. Preparing requires planning, throughtfulness, and time.

Psalm 139, Psalm 23, John 14:3




So,  I prepared!

I began with prayer! I prayed over the whole evening weeks in advance and for the young ladies who would be there. I prayed for the leaders behind this special weekend retreat who were bringing them and pouring into them as Titus 2 women.

I prepared by deep cleaning my home—for after the many months of all of us living here together it was needing a good deep clean!

I sat on the floor for two hours and cleaned our Mahogany antique table and chairs. I first vacuumed all the crumbed in and around the cushions, and then I scrubbed the cushions and peeled off the play-doe and old food stuck in all the grooves. Carefully I washed the wood and then shined it with a wood polish. The chairs, the table top, and even the delicate legs until they gleamed! It was the first time in many, many years that I have deep cleaned this table and chairs, and they looked almost as good as new, despite some nicks and scratches I couldn’t buff out. 

It was ready for company and gleaming afterward!




Washed the tables cloths and ironed them.

Ironed the napkins and folded them, and I ironed them crisp again. They weren’t perfect, but I gave it my best! To bring out the iron these days is truly as occasion in itself. ;)

My wonderful mom and husband helped over a couple days time to get the kids out of the house so that I had extra time to get these tedious jobs accomplished in a much quicker time!

I went out to my flower gardens, and I picked lots of flowers that were distributed in vases for the tables and around the kitchen—all around the house. I also brought some flowers and greenery at Kroger that I mixed into some of the arrangements. 

Hydrangeas, black eyed Susans, and zinnias came from our property. My go-to decoration for years for any occasion is flowers! As you will see in the pictures, I experimented with where each arrangement would land, but I try to keep vases low, narrow or clear glass for the table which is the best for conversation. 




I got out all of my china dishes and washed them all. I also got out my crystal goblets and washed them. Same with the serving pieces. Most of these aren’t used enough to not wash beforehand.

I borrowed! Thankfully I was able to borrow some beautiful silver flatware from my mother-in-love and more cut crystal glasses from my mom. The pretty gold flatware and various serving silver utensils, tea pots, napkins and a few other things from church friends to complete the simply elegant look of this party. 

My husband helped me polish the silver until it gleamed!

There was not a paper product to be seen at this event! These girls deserved the best!

Next, I began to dress the tables. Such fun! It was like my house was playing dress up! I always do this the day before an event.




Three tables with three different sets of china. I thought it would be endearing and more like a tea room to have several tables all dressed differently while still coordinating.





It’s in the details!

Sweet napkins placed on the round table in old fashioned patterns of pastel flowers winding was a fun companion to my “Country Rose” china. 

Tiny creamers and candles twinkling. 

Cut crystal ready for strawberry lemonade.

Lemon and sugar bowls and honey pots were later placed around. 






Classic, elegant, simple and inviting. Nothing stuffy but everything planned and pretty.




This lace, though! 

My grandmother gifted me this delicately trimmed out tablecloth many, many moons ago. It’s just the perfect size for the small oak table we brought upstairs for the tea party!




This table cloth, I adore! It was ironed well but still pulled a bit, however the fresh green and cream combination is serene and soothing in the inky blue dining room. I knew the gold would be gorgeous in here! We went with gold accents in the dining room and silver in the kitchen. 




We rearranged our dining room furniture, and I am enjoying it much more this way. I think with the table extended everyone can get around it easier with it like this.

What do you think about the large new picture  above the hunt board? 

It’s very me! I LOVE it!! It looks like an old farmhouse you would see tucked away down one of the country roads around here. I think I could definitely live there!




Our wedding China is gorgeous— still the prettiest I’ve seen! It makes me wonder why I don’t use it more often. The soft creams and golds together remind me of our wedding.




I lit candles and turned on soothing worship music.. Kari Jobe on Amazon music to play through the house and set the tone for feasting in His presence. 

In the excitement of it all I missed taking a picture of the tea station…but what I did is I just rearranged my coffee bar to make room for an eclectic array of teas and boiling hot water in tea pots. It was easy to access and hopefully fun for the girls!




There was a spread of food from the best cooks and bakers in our church who dropped off their goodies beforehand. So many delicious treats that were a treat to plate up! I couldn’t wait for the girls to see it!

From perfect homemade scones with cream and lemon curd, to made-from-scratch macarons, crostini, French chocolate tarts, jam cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, pinwheels, and much more to name!!

I had yummy teas to choose from including English breakfast, Earl gray, Oolong, Paris, fruity teas, apple chai, peppermint, and more. I let the girls pick their own tea to steep in their tea cups, which was a first for most of them! I did my best to explain how to make a cup of tea and encouraged them to try more that one kind while they were here. I think they did!




I am so excited for it all to begin I had to capture the moment. 

Did I already say how much I love Jesus, I love girl time, and I love special moments like this??

Well, I’m saying it again!!! :)






I believe the Lord wants us to open our homes and let other people experience the refuge of our own abodes when we have the capacity to do so. There’s something extra special about being inside someone’s home for an experience—I know I love being invited! 

I believe he wants us to shower others with love, and while sometimes that’s taking the hand of a hurting person and walking through a storm with them, maybe it’s just inviting them over for a hot cup of tea and praying together before they leave. I believe the conversations that happen at the table are so good and can lead to relationships that deepen and memories that imprint the present chapter of our story to influence the future ones.

I experienced a beautiful thing at that tea party. I experienced the love of Jesus through this group of precious young sisters in Christ!! I was so blessed by them!  I met some of those young ladies for the first time that afternoon and through their hugs and genuine conversations, I can honestly say they are already being used by Him!

It was truly one of my favorite recent memories, hands down. 






Friday, July 23, 2021

There is Coming a Day When No Heartache Shall Come



Those who are friends with me on social media already know this, but let me elaborate to those of you who are my Cozy Little Kitchen friends. This is something you might want to grab a warm drink or an iced tea or coffee, because this is about my very personal life.

John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

As Jesus states in this verse, problems in life are inevitable. Trials will absolutely come, because we do live in a fallen world, but we can obtain peace through Him! Sometimes, the insurmountable trials we face will actually be used for the glory of God.

This year has been hard for me from the very start of it. I won’t elaborate on it all right now, and I don’t feel like I have to, because so many of the things are what most of us face in our life. The difference is there’s just been a lot of challenges happening at once. 

I have come up for air thanks to all the prayers and fasting of so many of my closest loved ones in my life!! I have had to reach out more than ever before these last 6 months in a plea for prayers over me and my family, and the Lord is answering!!!

Despite the chaos that the last several months have brought, there’s nothing as heavy as what’s happened this summer. Heath and I have had to say “goodbye” or “see you later” to two of our grandparents in June. Our family buried them a week apart.

I have never lost a grandparent. I say that with a heart of gratitude to have had all of my grandparents for over 37 years, but to say goodbye in exactly one week’s time to two of the best people I know was very hard on our families.

When Jesus tells us in that scripture that trials will come, He doesn’t end it there, instead He gives us great hope!! He says “but take heart! I have overcome the world!”. 

That means for us in Christ, death has lost its sting!!! 

Because of what Jesus did on the cross of Calvary, His death and burial and resurrection means that we as disciples of Christ have eternal salvation — we go from life into life! 

I have the blessed assurance that Nana and Grandpapa are indeed in Heaven in the arms of Jesus! They are with their parents and grandparents again! Nana has been reunited with her brother who died when they were children of a sudden illness. Grandpapa is with his brother who suddenly passed after a surgery several years ago. They are with our daughter Bailey Faith whom I’ve never met, but now they have! I know that I know they have sat her on their lap and Nana has probably sang to her. Grandpapa has probably found some wildflowers and make her a flower necklace to wear—just like he did for Kylie the very first day he met our oldest children. I’ll never forget how much that moved me to watch his aged hands pick the flowers and create a lovely necklace to place around her. That touched me so much!

Jesus has overcome the world by overcoming death on a cross, and His victory is our our victory!!!

I would like to introduce our grandparents that have graduated to Heaven to you and honor them in this space. Nana, was my husband’s mom’s mom and Grandpapa, my mom’s daddy.



Here is Betty Morgan, our Nana! Here she is a couple Thanksgivings ago with Pa, the love of her life, being married almost 70 years. 

Nana and Pa had a marriage to admire. They are beloved by all who know them!  Pa stayed right beside her in her final weeks and days and even hours, until the very end. In fact, he was at her bedside when she left this world. Though he hobbles around himself, he has been the one to cook for her and provide it all the last couple of years since her health has been in serious decline. The last few months she rapidly got worse, but we are never truly ready to say goodbye to our favorite people, are we??  

Nana exuded Jesus in her demeanor. As you can see here, she carried a warm light in her beautiful blue eyes that twinkled to make whoever she was with feel so very loved! Speaking of beautiful, she had the prettiest roses I’ve ever seen! She had a rose garden with different varieties and a couple different climbing roses that she carefully tended to so well. These weren’t stuffy gardens, but the kind that drew you in around her country home. She would bring me bouquets from time to time with all the colors in the rainbow, that smelled so fragrant and sweet! 

I will always remember how put-together and elegant she always looked, seemingly without even trying! Her skin so pretty and she always wore a nice coral shade of lipstick and nail polish on her arthritic fingers. I don’t remember her without nail polish on her fingers and toes. She wore color so well and loved wearing florals, too. I always said how I wanted to be like Nana when I grow up in the graceful manner and in the youthfulness she naturally exude!  She was not even 5 feet tall, and yet she always filled the room with her sunny disposition and endearing heart for her loved ones.

She was the best in the kitchen and taught me so much about how to bake! For many years, my favorite place to be was beside Nana in her kitchen and I have spent many times there over the course of being in their family over the last 20 years! She’s passed down to me her our favorite recipes like Nana’s Apple Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Derby Pie, and Strawberry Cake. She was known in our family for her famous fried chicken dinners, where she would invite us over and serve us her homemade fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, mashed potatoes, garden corn, and Lima beans. Always serving a delectable dessert or two with coffee afterward! I looked forward to that meal more than any restaurant. It wasn’t just about the food, but the way she made you feel when you sat at the table with her. She would always want you to get more food than a belly could handle and she loved telling stories of when she was younger or her kids were young. 

Though she lived most of her married adult life on the same small country road, she lived a full life. She proves that the very best and meaningful lives don’t have to be the most elaborate ones! Her life revolved around her family and her church, and the legacy she left is a very honorable one. We all miss her so much! There will only be one “Nana”!!!




This is hard to write, because there really aren’t earthly words to describe my beloved Grandpapa, Gerald Lowell Walker.

I’m crying as I type this out. 

I’ve been weepy lately.

Grandpapa and Granny. This picture below of them is just my favorite thing ever! If you can’t tell, they loved each other with such a deep love for over 6 decades. Granny was right beside him when he passed after she stayed there for weeks not wanting to miss a thing! 

Grandpapa’s world was absolutely God and his family and his farm and everybody knew it. The Walker family is very close-knit and loving, and I attribute that to these two and the example they set for us all. Grandpapa loved the Lord and it was evident! He loved people and would tell them about what Jesus has done for him. He wasn’t a missionary, he didn’t go to Bible school or even have a degree. He did ministry the organic, grass-roots, first church kind of way and that is simply that Jesus just exuded out from everything he did!! His body may have been slowly slipping away this year, but his spirit was very strong!  I just recently heard of how this past winter he literally gave a man he had just met the new coat off his back, because that man was cold and didn’t have a way to stay warm! That’s the kind of man I always knew him as, but he wasn’t always that way —here’s how the Lord turned a trial into something very good for His glory…

Grandpapa was a highly regarded certified welder for the pipeline, exactly like my dad is, and in fact he was the one who got my dad into welding in the first place! One of the very best, he worked on the “great Alaskan” pipeline in the ‘70s. Through his success in that job, he came back home and built his family a beautiful brick home. At this time, he wasn’t in church regularly and his life revolved around his work. In 1989 something happened where God got his attention. Tragically, his hand was blown off in an explosion on a job, and this required major surgery to repair and left him no choice but to retire from welding. If you don’t know, a good welder needs a steady hand like a surgeon. after that accident, his life was never the same! He would tell you how the Lord used that accident for His glory to turn his life around. Grandpapa saw the merciful hand of God in that accident, and his life became even more fruitful and blessed as he began walking everyday with the Lord. No doubt he would tell this story today if you asked him about it in Heaven! 

Grandpapa and Granny built the beautiful country home, we know today, on their farm land just after the accident, and he began to go into full time farming! Farming is all I remember Grandpapa doing. He would always be getting on or off a tractor or coming back from the hill where his cattle was. He was a cowboy at heart, and just a handful of years ago he built a small, rustic cabin on his property in the woods for himself. He built it with his own two hands and with lots of love! He was so proud of that cabin, and it’s such a serene place for solitude and rest on their farm! That’s where these photos of him and Granny were taken that capture him so well. That cabin will always be cherished by our family—Always!

We had a family fish fry almost one month to the date before his passing. It was at their house, and he was there with most of my extended family doing what we do best which is cooking, eating and laughing and playing together at the farm. I am so so glad he planned this fish fry! Oh, my. Little did we all know it would be the last time we would all be together like that and it was the last time I had a conversation with him. The Lord was good to give us one last time together. The next time I was there, was the day he passed we met back at the farm with Granny. The family met to surround Granny with love. We are, the cried a lot, and to remembered the ver best about him as we processed and released him to Jesus. He was already with Jesus, but sometimes our hearts take a bit longer to release. I will miss him with all my heart!!

So exactly to the very hour, these two amazing souls crossed over into Glory just one week apart. We went from barely recovering from one good-bye to the next. But they have no more ailments or pain in Heaven! They have brand new bodies so the loss is strictly ours. We will miss them, but we will continue to honor the legacy they build their life on and we will water the seeds of faith they planted to all whom they met along the way! The torch is passed down and we will proudly take up the eternal cause our grandparents left behind. 

This scratches the surface of them and their lives. I may write more in the future, but as you can imagine it takes an emotional toll to recollect it all. 

I want to honor my mom for a moment and say thank you to her and her siblings for caring for him and Granny at the end. They are still caring for Granny as she’s back at their beloved farm. 

Please pray for both my Granny and Heath’s Pa, especially as they mourn the love of their life and need the strength and resolve to move forward in the days ahead. They know and love the Lord so I know they’ll be alright, but I can’t imagine losing my favorite person in all the world.






I will be okay, and I am okay! The reflection of their beautiful lives have given me a perspective of truly appreciating and enjoying every single day—even the toughest ones. I am reminded that I am building a life that matters!!! What we do in our homes and in the lives around us everyday matters for generations to come and for eternity. It goes way beyond us, for this is Kingdom work!!

Thank you for the love and support you’ve shown and for allowing me to introduce you to two of the greatest people to grace the earth.




 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Easy & Delicious Grilled Corn on the Cob



Beautiful, golden grilled corn on the cob is the epitome of summertime food for me! What a perfectly easy side dish for any grilled meat. I paired this grilled corn with grilled chicken, roasted squash and peppers, and a salad. I was happy to remember the cowboy beans my mom sent home with us after out 4th of July celebration so that was delicious with it all! 




By the way, if you’re in the states, how was your 4th of July holiday?? I hope it was as good as ours was! 

We had the most mild temperatures, the prettiest skies in the world plus low humidity which made for a perfect weekend filled with celebrating, cooking and eating! It started with our favorite Freedom Fest parade (which we sorely missed after it was canceled in 2020). 

There’s nothing more Americana that a small town parade with floats, a pageant Queen, antique cars, shined up antique tractors and of course, horses. The American flags were waved, Veterans were honored, and popsicles and fans were passed out and gladly accepted!



Our annual big family “picnic on the grounds” at my parents house in the country is the highlight for me! My extended family came totaling almost 40 people, which made it wonderful!!! (We are taking back all the time lost last year..)  The food here was some of the best to eat. My family knows how to cook!





 

We ended the evening with a spectacular fireworks show. The weekend ended with me having a very thankful heart to God for my family and my church family and of course for the freedoms me have in our nation. I can honestly say whole weekend was busy but a very blessed one!!

Back to the grilled corn.. I’m sharing this with you because it’s not only fresh and seasonal but it’s very easy and simple! You can grill corn a number of ways, but this is easy as it requires no presoaking and when you unwrap it it’s basically done! The herbs add a little something extra, and I like to sprinkle those on just before serving. This requires just a few ingredients but you’re welcome of course to add whatever spice you would desire. If you love spicy, add Cajun seasoning instead of just salt. Have fun with it! 



 

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Fresh corn on the cob

Real butter

Salt 

Herbs, chopped (I used flat leaf Parsley and Basil)

Foil


Tear enough foil pieces to wrap each corn on the cob and you’ll use about 1 Tbsp. butter for each large corn on the cob. So this time I shucked 6, and I used approx. 6 Tbsp. Butter—probably just a bit less. As you know if you have followed me for a while, I eye ball this sort of thing!

Take your corn and lay it on the foil. Cut a pat of butter in half, place on the corn, and sprinkle with salt. Be fairly generous here unless you’re using salted butter. Wrap the foil around the corn on the cob really well and repeat with the remaining corn and ingredients.

I grilled the corn on med-high heat after allowing the grill to heat on high. I grilled it for about 20 minutes, turning a third of the way, a couple of times. Keep it in it’s foil packets until the very end of grilling. Don’t worry, you’ll still get some beautiful char even with the foil on. The butter and salt with distribute around the corn while it  gets nice and tender on the grill in the foil.

Take off the grill, unwrap the corn and place on a serving dish. Add some additional salt and sprinkle the chopped herbs over it all!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Fresh Watermelon Salsa


It has been so good for me to see all the life the season of summer brings! From the Farmers Markets to the lazy nearby lake towns packed with people and the local drive in burger joints staying busy! There’s an excitement in the air in the bustle of people—but it’s different than Christmastime—as this time it’s not coinciding with consumerism alone but with new experiences, adventures, nature, recreation, exercise, and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation! This bustle coincides with relaxation and rest. Man, those are two things I need these days…. who’s with me? 

What goes along with all the gatherings of people? Well, delicious and fresh food—of course!!


 I have to share this easy and freshingly delicious recipe I made for our family’s Memorial Day gathering we hosted this year. Watermelon salsa! It’s technically pico de gallo, but in this application I used it as a dip like salsa. It would be amazing on grilled chicken, I’m sure but the salty corn chips were perfect to soak up the spicy and sweet taste this salsa brings!

It was a hit!!! The watermelon was light and refreshing and the jalapeño spicy and the bell pepper sweet. So good that I’ve been craving it since. It would be perfect as a poolside treat to munch on all week long and it’s definitely special enough for the Fourth of July this weekend.

Let me know if you have tried this and what you think. I’m pretty sure my fellow salsa lovers will approve!


Watermelon Salsa, or as Ree calls it Pico de Gallo
Recipe: Pioneer Woman Cooks, A Year of Holidays


1 small seedless Watermelon
1/2 c. Red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
1 bunch of cilantro, shopped (I didn’t use that much)
Juice of 2 Limes
1/2 tsp. Salt, more to taste

Dice watermelon and add to a large bowl. Add the onion and all the peppers and jalapeños. Throw in the cilantro and the lime juice and salt. Toss the salsa (or pico, hehe, I feel stubborn to keep calling it salsa) and give it a taste. I tasted mine with a tortilla ship so I would have a good idea if it needed something else on the chip. This would be amazing served over chicken, too! She has a couple other varieties of this recipe I want to try using mango and also pineapple, but the watermelon is just so refreshing for summer and beautiful!


God Bless America!!! 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Easy Camping Recipes & A Peek into Our Camping Weekend


Heath and I took the kids camping! We rented a beautiful, new camper from some friends of ours. The site was already set up so comfortably and it was honestly the best way for us to camp since we don’t own a camper or even a truck. This was a quick getaway about 30 minutes away from home the first weekend of May, which meant beautiful weather here in Kentucky!






I’ve only been camping with my family in the fall, so late spring camping after the pollen count died down and before the humidity and mosquitoes get bad was so nice! It was perfect for cozy throws, coffee and campfires in the early morning and late nights, but hot enough for shorts, sandals, biking, watermelon and popsicles during the day.  Best of both worlds!






My favorite things about camping are the very quiet early mornings before everyone else in my camper—or in the campground— is up and moving around yet. 

It’s special to step outside with my first cup of coffee that I soooo very quietly made (not to wake the kids) and enter the fresh air as the sun is coming up through the woods. Then I usually make a small fire in the fire pit and snuggle with my coffee and soak up the fact that I’m surrounded by nature—God’s creation!







We enjoyed all the food that we made. I kept it very simple: roasted hotdogs with chips and queso dip (which was delicious!) and gooey s’mores the first night. 

S’mores are a must, especially for Rosemary!



So lets talk queso dip! This recipe was different than I usually make, and so very good! It had the best spice and smoky undertones about it. It was so delicious that I want to share the very easy recipe with you!



Smoky and Spicy Queso Dip

8 oz. pepper jack cheese, cubed

Half brick of Velvetta, cubed

Jar of salsa verde (I initially used just shy of a full jar and it was perfect for me.)

A few dashes of Cumin

Put everything together in a cast iron or another pot, and heat until everything is gooey and melted! Stir every few minutes so it doesn’t burn. 

I cooked ours in cast iron skillet I brought along with us, over a hot grill. It’s delicious with tortilla chips!




All outside cooking! Hearty meals to fuel days full of playing. 

For breakfasts we had pancakes cooked on the griddle, which was really delicious and fun, and sausage in the cast iron pan over the grill. 







Lunch was simply sub sandwiches with deli ham and various cheese with chips and pickles.

Dinner the second night was delicious! I made some chili at home the evening before we left and brought it in my red Dutch oven. I heated that up over the fire because why not!? We are roughing it after all! Lol!

( In hindsight, I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re using a cast iron Dutch oven that’s not glazed. I may have ruined that pot. I can’t get the blackness off and it still smells like smoke, but it was very inexpensive. I’ve used this pot it hundreds of times over the last 13 years. Lol.) You live and learn.





We had the hearty chili with some fried cornbread made on the griddle, and we roasted a few more hotdogs for those who wanted chili dogs and finished the cheese dip. Very cozy and perfect for camping!  

Dessert was the favorite of everybody’s though!.. I made a classic campfire cherry dump cake, except I cooked it over the grill! I have never made any dessert on the grill before, but I was improvising since I didn’t have a cast iron Dutch oven to make it in the fire, and the pan was too big for the camper’s oven. This grilled cherry dump cake turned out so delicious!!! Oh my word. I think we were all pleasantly surprised. It’s good enough the kids want me to make it at home, too. To serve with some vanilla or butter pecan ice cream would take it over the top!  

The beauty of this recipe is that it so easy and only requires the cake mix, cherries and butter! The cinnamon and almond extract are optional.  Like any dump cake, you simply dump or layer the ingredients.. no stirring required! This is my kind of food when camping!



“Campfire” Cherry Dump Cake

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix

1 Can Cherry Pie Filling

1 Stick of Butter, Melted (1/2 c.)

A sprinkle of Cinnamon, optional

1 tsp. Almond Extract, optional, I didn’t use this

-Spray or butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. (Sometimes I just rub the butter’s wax paper after I’ve taken the butter out of it.)

-Mix the almond extract, if using, with the cherries and pour the can of cherries into the pan and spread evenly. 

-Sprinkle the box of dry cake mix over the top of the cherries. Drizzle melted butter over the dry cake mix, although it won’t cover all the cake mix and that’s ok. 

-Lightly sprinkle cinnamon all over, if using. It’s as simple as that! 

-Bake in an oven for about 50 minutes or until light golden brown. Or bake it on a closed grill set on med-high for about 20-30 minutes. I don’t have an exact time for this because I just winged it. But I would say to check every 10 minutes or so and take off when you can start to smell it and it becomes light golden brown and bubbly. It took me about 25 minutes to bake!

-Let cool enough to eat and enjoy! We loved this super simple dessert!



I hope this gives you some easy, simple ideas for your next camping trip! We don’t always eat so rich, and we did have some fruit in there and lots of water, but overall we were doing a lot of biking and the kids were playing non-stop outside so this food fueled us well. Summertime is basically here, and my family is here for it! Let me know if you make either of these delicious recipes and let me know what you think.