Friday, May 29, 2009

Countdown to 30: Giveaway 4

Hope you aren't getting tired of giveaways! And have I mentioned how excited I am about Sunday & Monday's giveaways?! You'll have to stay tuned - no hints. :)

I thought you might enjoy some recipes today. These are for a couple of my favorite birthday desserts. The photo is of one of the coolest cakes my mom made for me! We were banished from the kitchen when she decorated cakes for us - such a fun birthday surprise!

(Better Homes & Gardens)

1 Baked Pie Shell
8 cups medium fresh strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Several drops red food coloring (optional)
Whipped cream or Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

1. Prepare Baked Pie Shell and set aside. Meanwhile remove stems from strawberries. Cut any large strawberries in half lengthwise; set aside.
2. For glaze, in a blender or food processor combine 1 cup of the strawberries and 2/3 cup water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1-1/2 cups. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended strawberry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. If desired, stir in red food coloring. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. (Do not stir.)
3. Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over bottom and sides of Baked Pastry Shell. Arrange half of the remaining strawberries, stem ends down, in the pastry shell.
4. Carefully spoon half of the remaining glaze over berries, making sure all berries are covered. Arrange remaining berries over first layer. Spoon remaining glaze over berries, covering each. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. (After 2 hours, filling may begin to water out.) If desired, top with whipped cream or ice cream.
5. Makes 8 slices


1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 eggs

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine together cake mix, oil, lemon juice and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To make the Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice and confectioners' sugar. Beat in the melted butter and 1 tablespoon water. Poke holes in the top of the cake and pour glaze over.

The giveaway for today is for book lovers. I really enjoy a good book and was an avid reader as a kid. I would devour sometimes 2-3 books in one day (on break, of course!). I don't read as much as I would like these days but I still enjoy wandering through book stores, adding to our library, reading something new or revisiting an old favorite. So the winner of this prize will have their choice of a $5 gift card to Half-Price Books, Barnes & Noble, or Borders.

You are all eligible to enter! Just leave a comment with a favorite book, favorite quote, or whatever you like (again, a simple 'pick me' will not work).

Just for a reminder, here are the rules (clarified a little):
1) 1 entry per person per giveaway - you do not have to live locally or even know me personally for any of the prizes (I will cover all shipping costs).
2) You can enter all drawings for the week - just leave a comment with the specified guidelines on each giveaway post.
3) Make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner (winners will be chosen randomly unless otherwise noted).

I will draw winners for all giveaways next Wednesday, June 3 and contact the winners via e-mail and list them here on the blog. And I'll try to get everything in the mail or delivered within the week. Thanks for joining in my birthday celebration!


Heather L. said...

Your Mom does such a great job with cakes!!!! Let's see, favorite novel read in recent months is by far "North and South." And the movie was terrific as well.

BRiehl said...

Those cakes your mom made are amazing! What a fun way to make your day special.
My absolute favorite books are the "Mark of the Lion" trilogy by Francine Rivers. I read them once a year at least and am always as enthralled as I was the first time I read them. Amazing. I too, have always been a book person. I used to ask to be grounded so that I could stay home and read.

Kim said...

Yeah - I love Barnes and Noble! Very cute picture, btw. :)

My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Jen said...

I have been reading these all week but this is the first time I remembered to comment. Darn.

Oh well---picking a "favorite" of anything is hard for me b/c that means like a dozen favorites. But one of my favorite books is An Arrow Pointing to Heaven. Love it!

liz nelson said...

it's hard to pick one favorite, but i think "1984" is an amazing book. and if i should win this, i would of course want the half price books gift card.:)

Elizabeth said...

Now I see where you get your love of baking. Your mom does a wonderful job. My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables.

Jenna said...

Ooh... good give-away! As I live in the middle of nowhere I usually order my books on-line through Amazon. I guarantee you this would be put to good use. A lot of the books I read are work-related... but since my job is my passion it is not a huge inconvenience! I read a lot of plays and a lot of books on acting theory... Lately I've been reading one woman shows in an attempt to find a piece for myself. I promise I'd put this to good use!

Smith Family Blog said...

Favorite series: Anne of Green Gables! LOVE.

stephanie said...

I've been reading like crazy lately! The last book I read was called "Bad Mother" by Ayelet Waldman. I was fascinated throughout much of it, but disagreed with her on many, many points. As you know, I love to read!

Brooke said...

I concur with Brihel. Anything written by Francine Rivers is awesome. The best was probably "Reedeming Love." Great idea- Everyone loves books. Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

Courtney said...

I love the Yada Yada Prayer Group series by Neta Jackson.

Catherine said...

Right now I'm reading "Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread." Quite interesting!

Leah said...

How I wish I had more time to read! Just finished Child 44...a little hard to stomach, being a mother and all, but a good page turner.

Jenny said...

My favorite book is "A Ring of Endless Light" by Madeline L'Engle. Really I love almost everything she wrote, but "Ring" is a touching story of dealing with death... written for young people... sad but not... A great book that always makes me want to wipe the tears from my eyes and then applaud.

Thad and Ann said...

I love books too & can't pick a favorite. :) I do have some favorite quotes though. :)

Funny(because I relate so well w/it LOL!)-
"My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." Erma Bombeck

Emerson, love his poems/quotes!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” R.W.E.

Raendra said...

Cute picture, Alaina. ONE of my favorite books- there are several- is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. Brian and I really enjoyed reading it together and we learned a lot.

Paula said...

Love your recipes, just wish i had the time to bake...maybe someday 20 years from now LOL
My recent favorite book, its kind of a downer, but its good. Its called "a child called it"

Melissa said...

I love the fact that you include recipes! Let's see...I guess my favorit book would actually be a series. It's the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I've been reading it since the second book was out and it's generally an excruciating 3-4 year wait for each book. A new one comes out this September!

Heather said...

Favorite quote, I have on my bedroom wall. "Love is the sum of our choices, the strength of our commitments, and the ties that bind us together" - Emily Griffin, Love the one Your With

Josh said...

The Fellowship of the Ring is prolly one of my favorite works of fiction.

Margaret said...

I've been loving the Pellinor Series a great Tolkien-esque series that's wonderful for fantasy lovers and Harry Potter fans.

Tammy Froelich said...

I love this series of books by Neta Jackson, called "The Yada, Yada Prayer Group. it is a fictional work of books, but they are amazing books. It made me think about my Faith and how I should rely MORE on Him instead of my own thinking.

Tammy Froelich

Charity said...

Since I just became Mom to beautiful Brynn, I am addicted to buying books for her. It's been fun to build her library and gives me a great reason to read all those great classics from when I was a little girl.

rubia said...

One of my favorites was Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. It's thick, but like many books was devoured in ~24 hours.