DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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7 May 2009

Choice, confusion and cake

You would think that being able to freely choose from a wide variety of things would make a task easier. In fact, for me, I found it very difficult. Yesterday I spent almost all day rebuilding my blog template to make it easier to manage. The template I chose before didn't allow me to do certain things, so I thought I had to bite the bullet and set it up for ease of use. I went looking for a new template, found many hundreds of them, but was confused by having so many choices.

I tried a few, and if you were here while I was doing that, I apologise, but kept discarding what I had because I thought the next one would be better, or what I chose was not as good. In the end I deliberately went back to what I knew and made sure the template I chose had all the bells and whistles I need. I started at 8am, finished at 5.30pm, taught myself a little html along the way and ended up with a page very similar to the one I discarded. I still have a lot of additions to get it back to where it was, but at least the choosing part of the process is over. That, my friends, really stumped me. I am by nature a simple soul and don't like too much fuss. I like plain and simple things but most of the templates are very fancy, with lots of widgets. Anyhow, I found one I like, it has everything I need to facilitate long term, easy posting, so I'm happy.

Having all that choice is a lot like recreational shopping. You go into the store looking for 'stuff' and the choice is so overwhelming, you don't know what to buy. In the end you grab a few things, not really knowing that what you have is what you need or want. I'm glad I'm over that phase of my life.

So today I should be able to finish off the blog and get down to some other work. I have a bathroom to clean, bread to bake, floors to sweep and general tidying up on my agenda. Tasha, I smiled when I read your comment about buying a broom, I understand completely. There are certain tasks in the home that represent a break from your old life. A broom is symbolic of that change for me too.

I'm happy to be able to tell you that Shane got a job in Brisbane! Sarndra is still looking but I'm sure she'll find a job soon. At least Shane is working so he will look after them both and when Sarndra gets her job, they'll be able to save. We've been sharing the house with Shane and Sarndra for a few weeks so I have a little bit of reorganising to do today. They still have a lot of their things here but Sarndra is such a good housekeeper, the room they were in is pristine. :- )

I was really pleased to read that so many of you are tending or planning vegetable gardens. If you have a blog with photos, I'd love to see what you're doing. Please leave your link in the comments and I and a few others might come along to see your handy work. I love looking at vegetable gardens.

And finally today I have recipe for you. It's for a delicious lemon yoghurt cake I made last week. The cake started off being a finely textured light fluffy cake but as I had yoghurt in the fridge I added that for extra flavour. Instead of a fluffy sponge-like cake, it was slightly dense in texture, but still light and intensely flavoured with lemon. I will definitely make this cake again. Even after four or five days, it was still very moist and tasty. If you like a very sweet cake, add other ¼ cup of sugar to the mix.



LEMON YOGHURT CAKE
  • 6 small to medium eggs OR 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 180g (6.5 oz) melted butter, cooled
  • ¾ cup plain yoghurt
  • juice of 3 lemons - take out 3 tablespoons for your icing
  • rind of 3 lemons
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
ICING
  • 3 tbs fresh lemon juice (reserved from cake)
  • 20g (4½ teaspoons) butter
  • 2 ¼ cups sifted icing sugar
METHOD
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together. This is not just mixing, you are beating air into the cake. Keep beating until the mix is a light colour, thoroughly mixed and falls like a ribbon from the beaters.
  • Add the yoghurt and mix in. Take the cake mix off the mixer.
  • Add half the flour and fold in. When you fold, you do that by hand with a spatula or large spoon. Fold the ingredients, don't beat.
  • Fold in the lemon juice and butter.
  • Add the remaining flour and fold in. What you're trying to do with the folding is to keep the air that you beat in the mix, in it. The more air, the lighter it will be.
  • Just before you finish, after everything else is done, add one tablespoon of boiling water to the mix. This will keep your cake moist if it's not eaten in the first day.


Pour the mixture into a round normal sized cake pan and bake in a moderate oven 180C (350F) for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick you insert into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool on a rack and then spread the icing. The icing is made by combining all the ingredients and mixing until they're smooth.

I used a slab pan for my cake but it should be cooked in a round pan. I hope you enjoy it.

45 comments:

  1. I love reading your blog,I can't wait till the next one.I'm trying to put a garden in but the rain will not stop.I too have a blog that you inspired me to write and would love for you to follow or anyone else who wants to.
    http://stayathomemumlivingthesimplelife.blogspot.com

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  2. I love lemon. Thank you for the recipe. :)

    I know what you mean about blogs and their templates. It can be very time consuming and tedious when trying to decide on "The" blog. And can easily wisk away many hours in your day.

    But, you do learn a lot of html in the process and could soon have a profession in web design. haha.

    Good luck on achieving the finishing touches of your blog. As for mine, it has morphed probably a handful or two since I've had it. So, I totally understand what you are going through.

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  3. I love your blog! Its spring here (SW WA state) so vegetable planting is in full swing. I have a blog here:http://simply-lally.blogspot.com/ and its funny but I just did a post about our spring garden a few hours ago. lol

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  4. that is the problem with blogging, it can consume your life.
    that yoghurt cake sounds delish, i have a similar one using sour cream.

    when I come back to blogging, I will take some photos of my brassicas, they are doing really well.. and by then my espalier apples maybe in.

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  5. MMMMM! The Lemon Cake smells delicious! I bet it is no cal too?!

    I do hope that you are able to put the pics back on that when clicked on gave directions...like soap making.

    Blogging is fun, but oh so time consuming!

    Wendy

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  6. Rhonda What Happened to your blog picture and the pictures on the side?Debra Butler

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  7. I actually prefer the simpler blog pages without too much 'clutter'. Some of the ones with fancy templates can take a long time to load, that is why I chose to keep mine very simple.. sometimes just photos and inspiring words is all one needs. On my most recent post there is a photo of my children in our first ever veggie garden in NZ in the year 2000, they had just picked the biggest, juiciest strawberries... can't seem to grow them that big here. The post is about our journey into health as a family. You may find it interesting to read, gardens, home cooking and breadmaking were all part of the journey.

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  8. It won't stop raining...my tomatoes are wearing water wings...waaaahhhhh!! So on to cooking and incorporating lemons too! Check my blog for this delish pie...Lemon Sour Cream pie, yummy! Thanks and I make take a pic of my garden if I can find an umbrella for my camera, lol, Elaine

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  9. Your cake looks delish! I love lemon anything and am looking forward to trying this.

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  10. Ooo I have to try this cake. I made your coconut cake recipe, your quark, picklets and cordial and they were all delicious and I make them all over and over. Can't wait to try this one!

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  11. I sympathise Rhonda. I went on my blog this afternoon intending to update a couple of things and ended up spending four hours playing with designs and settings.

    Funnily enough, I blogged yesterday about how my veg garden was coming on http://steelkitten.typepad.com

    I think I'm going to hit most of my harvest targets this year if this lovely weather continues.

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  12. The cake sounds wonderful and I might go make it for a sweet treat after our evening meal. I have some photos of my vegetable garden on my blog and I am always posting more. I love my little garden and am so excited by the thought that I will be feeding my family well this summer.

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  13. that looks lovely! I adore lemons and I think that I could give this cake I try by substituting the sugar with honey (can't have refined white sugar.) Not sure if it would work, but it is worth a try. I LOVE reading your blog, by the way, and have it linked on my blog--I hope that is alright. If you would prefer, I can remove the link, however.

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  14. Hi Rhonda,
    Like you I get overwhelmed when faced by 26 different versions of something I need. I have found myself buying something that really didn't suit me because I just panicked and grabbed the closest thing. That seems silly but it's just the way I am. I prefer very simple things. I have no problem making decisions in my every day life, but I would dearly love to go back to the Woolworth's of my childhood and shop there. I could spend hours considering how best to spend my 15 cent allowance. I almost always bought the same thing every week, but it gave me such pleasure.

    In the last weeks I've been "campaigning" for the resort park where we live to set up a community vegetable garden, and it's happening! Such excitement! We set up the site yesterday and this morning and have started moving in the frames for the 4 x 4 raised beds.

    The excitement around this project is palpable, and many neighbours pitched in to help shovel and level an entire dump truck load of gravel so we wouldn't have to walk on muddy paths. And except for our youngest son who is here for a visit, we're all 60+ folks, so this was real work. Come see how we are progressing at: http://suresimple.blogspot.com/
    I'd be honoured by a visit from you!

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  15. Thanks for the recipe Rhonda - my wife (kimchi) loves lemon...she'd really love this cake for mother's day.

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  16. Hi, Here's a link to the corn in our garden that's near ready to harvest. We also have cucumbers, green beans, onions, tomatoes and field peas growing out there. http://brunosmom.blogspot.com/2009/05/chickens-in-our-back-yard.html
    You always have something goood to read, and I'm definitely going to try that cake! Looks delicious.

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  17. I've found such inspiration in your blog. I read it daily to give me a boost in morale for the work I try to do for my family. In the end it is all worth it.

    This year is my first garden, so it is small and in the trial and error stage. But anyone can follow along here: http://fieldsofsage.blogspot.com/

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  18. Oh this cake recipe looks scrumptious Rhonda Jean...
    Thank you so much for always being so generous and giving us so many wonderful recipes!

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  19. I have been spending more time tending my vege garden recently. I have always had a vege garden (even when I was a young child) but am now starting to get back to looking after and nurturing it rather than just exploiting it.

    I have had a rotten flu the last few days - and after spending a few hours in the garden yesterday afternoon I feel better. I seriously believe it was the time in the garden that healed me :-)

    You can see pictures of my vege garden and a recent harvest of mushrooms from under my house here: http://littleecofootprints.typepad.com/little_eco_footprints/garden/

    That lemon cake recipie looks wonderful thanks. Will definately give it a go.

    Cheers,
    Tricia

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  20. I agree with Ann of 8 . . .

    I prefer the look of a simple blog. But yours is so very lovely & i'm always so interested in what you have to share.

    I read a few years ago that there had been a study indicating that people actually prefer few choices.

    They did a taste-testing table with 4 or 8 kinds of jam (i don't remember which) & another table with 20 choices or more. The one with fewer choices had more people stop. They didn't find it so overwhelming.

    Whatever you end up with will be lovely, i know. :)

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  21. Hi Rhonda. Love the lemon cake. Now I know what I am going to do with so many lemons off of my tree!

    For those who want to have a look at my veggie garden, have a look at The Greening of Gavin.

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  22. So much to say,
    I love your blog!It has kept me going on our quest to become Urban Homesteaders.
    My Mom loves Lemon so I think I will try your cake for Mothers Day.
    I am posting my blog.I just updated the garden photos.We planted in Hay Bales this year to try something new.
    Keep up your excellent work.
    Rois
    Hrafinstaad.blogspot.com

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  23. I'm in the processes of setting up my first ever vegetable garden, and really have no idea what I'm doing. I just posted about the current progress of the garden this evening (have been meaning to for several days now, but your post got me to finally do it).
    http://houseywifey.blogspot.com

    On an unrelated note, I would also like to thank you for the detailed bread-making tutorial that I found over in your side bar the other day. I have just started making bread for the family instead of buying it, and your tutorial helped me immensly. For one thing, I found out that I wasn't kneading nearly long enough. I did it for the full 10 minutes today, and was astonished at what a difference it made! I would like to put up a link to it on my blog, if that is okay with you.

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  24. Hello Rhonda,

    i really enjoy your blog. I'm walking a very similar path to simplicity and it's like having someone walking with me :)
    Anyways, here the permalink to the latest pics of my vegetable garden(at the end of the post ). At the beginning there is the recipe for strawberry jam, but i wrote in Italian and i'm not sure the translator is really effective, i'm sorry for that.Then if you want to take some time and give a look at my april posts you'll see the work in progress of the garden and some pics of my young trees ( cherry,apple,apricot,peach)
    Have a good day !
    Flavia

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  25. Hi there Rhonda, you sure can come and look at my garden!
    enchantedmoments@blogspot.com

    Suzanne...

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  26. sorry rhonda , make that
    enchantedthingsprimitives@blogspot.com

    x

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  27. I have a blog but I always seem to spend more time reading other blogs then writing my own. Yours gives me so much inspiration that I don't know what to do first (speaking of choices...
    http://artsandherbs.blogspot.com/

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  28. Rhonda thank you for your very kind warning about the tyres. I had read that and I did a little research and I think I am pretty safe.

    I use my tyres like pots I change the soil once whatever I am growing in there is finished (in the case of potatoes you have to or they don't produce - as you know) so the soil isn't in them for very long, the things I grow in them don't have extensive root systems that will make contact with the tyre wall itself. And I use a lot of organic matter which mitigates the cadmium transferance somewhat as well.

    If I were using the tyres over and over again with same soil I would expect some cadmium (and other heavy metal) take up but as they are a short term thing i am not concerned.

    i also move my tyres they are Never in the same place two season running Or three for that matter.

    Most of the research was in fact done on soil under tyre dumps where tyres have been sitting for decades and indeed plants grown in these soils did in fact take up a high concentration of heavy metals.
    And there were almost no earth worms (I have heaps when i move the tyres)

    So I guess what I have decided is - as in all things - moderation is best.

    I am truly honoured and humbled that you have the time to stop by and read my blog. Thank you

    Daisymum

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  29. Oh dear, now I also want to check out all the veg plots in the comments.
    Such hardship... :-)

    My blog/plot can be found at
    plot101.wordpress.com/category/english/
    And it has a very recent photo of my plot as I made one yesterday. It's spring here, so not everthing is planted up yet.

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  30. Rhonda thank you for your very kind warning about the tyres. I had read that and I did a little research and I think I am pretty safe.

    I use my tyres like pots I change the soil once whatever I am growing in there is finished (in the case of potatoes you have to or they don't produce - as you know) so the soil isn't in them for very long, the things I grow in them don't have extensive root systems that will make contact with the tyre wall itself. And I use a lot of organic matter which mitigates the cadmium transferance somewhat as well.

    If I were using the tyres over and over again with same soil I would expect some cadmium (and other heavy metal) take up but as they are a short term thing i am not concerned.

    i also move my tyres they are Never in the same place two season running Or three for that matter.

    Most of the research was in fact done on soil under tyre dumps where tyres have been sitting for decades and indeed plants grown in these soils did in fact take up a high concentration of heavy metals.
    And there were almost no earth worms (I have heaps when i move the tyres)

    So I guess what I have decided is - as in all things - moderation is best.

    I am truly honoured and humbled that you have the time to stop by and read my blog. Thank you

    Daisymum

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  31. Thanks again Rhonda,

    Good luck with redesigning your blog! Mine gets a change of background colour, but not much else.

    Congratulations on Shane's job though! I'm sure it must have been lovely to have them both living with you.

    My gardening at the minute seems to consist mostly of counting things that have been eaten by slugs... :)

    My blog is:

    daffysgarden.blogspot.com

    some gardening things on there, and plenty of other stuff too.

    That lemon cake looks fab!

    Jenni
    xx

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  32. Love your blog! Read at least three times each week and I always look forward to your next post. I especially love the detail and the photos.

    Bless you!

    Eunice
    homeschoolblogger.com/ivleague

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  33. We love your blog... any way you set it up!

    Have you read or heard of the book by Barry Schwartz called The Paradox of Choice? It addresses what you wrote of, too many choices lead to unhappiness because one questions their choice. It is a great read. Less is more in SO many ways!!

    Thank you for the recipe.

    cathy c

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  34. I am so glad that I purchased a set of measuring cups - that lemon cake looks dreamy!!!!
    Thank you for all the helpful comments and tips on your blog. Over here in England, things are getting pricy in the supermarkets and as my husband has retired early on ill-health grounds, we have to be very careful with our money. Because of stress/work related issues, I am a stay-at-home wife. I love being at home and having time to care for my home, but it does make being frugal a priority. We live in the most south-westerly county of England, that's Cornwall. Cornwall is an area of outstanding natural beauty, but also a very financially deprived area.
    However, we are enjoying learning to be frugal, and although I know only the absolute basics of knitting, I am starting to knit dishcloths. And enjoying it very much too!!!
    Have you produced a book yet? I'd love to have one!! ;-)

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  35. I also have a hard time choosing things! Especially blog templates. I tend to just leave mine alone a lot, so I don't end up fixing what's not broken, but I really would like to add more things to my sidebars like you have, with links to past posts. But it can be so time consuming!

    We've been putting our garden in a bit at a time this spring, in between the rain and wet. I built a small raised bed from some old shipping pallets and planted carrots in it yesterday. That's in my latest post. My blog is www.beppycat.blogspot.com Have a lovely day!

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  36. My husband will enjoy this cake. I'm always looking for lemon baked goods recipes. :)

    Thank you for giving the American measurements, as well as metric.

    We planted tomato plants and rhubarb this past week from the area where our compost pile used to be. (Rhubarb on one side, tomatoes on the other.) That is some rich soil.

    We plan to start building raised beds next week. I know that seems late but in our part of the U.S., they suggest not planting most items until American Mother's Day (leafy greens are planted earlier and watched carefully).

    Thanks again for the time you put into your blog (more a website). I not only have a link to the blog but a couple of great posts on my sidebar.

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  37. I used your advice to add a tablespoon of boiling water to the cake mix after reading about it in a previous post and the cake came out beautifully. So thanks for that.

    My husband has planted our garden here in the UK and I'm looking forward to home grown produce. I also have tomato plants in pots and plan to add some lettuce. Hopefully, I'll remember to take photos, unlike the cake!

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  38. Rhonda I gave cheryy hill cottage your blog address she love your blog. I tell all of my friends and family in the us about your site thank you for your great work and tips you provide. Debra Lynn

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  39. Lovely as always, Rhonda. I just made some lemon curd this morning as a gift for a friend. I was rather hoping there would be more left over for myself :-) but, oh my, I do love lemon cake, and I might have to make that now.

    You make me miss Australia so much. Love the blog, love it, love it. Your new template looks gorgeous, very professional. Well done.

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  40. Thank you taking the time to keep a blog. I appreciate the thoughtfullness you put into every post. You have inspired me to try new things and acknowledge the many things I am doing. (I have been reading for almost a year now.)

    All the best,
    Deb in the Pacific Northwest

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  41. Ops, i just noticed the link didn't show. Here it is :
    http://mamaf-theappletree.blogspot.com/2009/05/marmellata-di-fragole-ed-altro-ancora.html

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  42. Dear Rhonda Jean
    Thank you for all your hard work and effort on your blog. It is looking better today than it did the last couple! But I must say IMHO it isn't as good as it was to begin with. I did enjoy it just as it was. Are you keeping all the information on that was there before? I didn't quite get to it all as I've just discovered you recently! I hope you iron out all the kinks and it's back to top notch so I can learn where everything is again. Taken a copy of the Lemon Yoghurt Cake and will take a stab when we have some lemons. Hope you have a great day.

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  43. Sammy, try it and see if it works. I think it will. It's fine to link here. :- )

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  44. Hi Rhonda,

    I love reading your blog. You are such a breath of fresh air and inspiration. Thank you for all of your thoughtful posts.

    We live just north of Boston, MA and our growing season is just getting going. I've posted some photos of the raised beds we put in last year on my blog www.mervindervin.blogspot.com.

    The cake looks delicious!

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  45. Hi from Scotland.
    I made this!

    But I messed things up. I read the cake recipe on screen and thought yep - got that. And went away and did everything the wrong way round. I creamed the butter and the sugar, then added the yoghurt, then got totally confused and bunged everything else in and just hoped for the best. It turned out lovely just the same.

    I've never made cake with yoghurt in it. I think it gives it a lovely tangy lemon meringue pie flavour.

    Thanks for this recipe. It'll be a fav. - even if I did get it completely wrong. I always say cooking isn't an extact science. :-) Just as well.

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