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There is nothing as “sweet” as home!

Last week I received the wonderful phone call from Rebeka asking “Mom can I come home next weekend?” Since she has been “down south” in school since the beginning of August those were welcome words to my ears and my heart melted. So of course I went and purchased her a ticket to come home for the weekend. I should tell you being her “senior year” she scheduled her classes this fall around “football season” so she has no classes on Monday’s or Friday’s so she can go to all games should she want to home or away, that is just how “nuts” this state is for football. But this time it was used for my advantage so I was happy.

Usually I have her take a shuttle home from the airport because I “hate” driving on highways. But I thought this time I would surprise her and actually show up at the airport. Of course the day I decide to do this her plane has a 3 hour delay, which upset us both. Her because she just wanted to get home to her “home,” and me because it was smack dab in the middle of the day which became “rush hour” on a Friday, not the best time for driving on highways.

When her plane “finally” landed, which according to the Arrival Board took at least 20 minutes, and then another 10 or so to arrive at the gate, she was so surprised to see me waiting when she walked through baggage claim.

Of course I started cooking the minute she told me she wanted to come home so I had prepared enough food for an army. Our weekend menu was:

• Gazpacho
• Coconut cornbread (a favorite of both Geoffrey and Rebeka)
• Cesar Salad with homemade dressing (of course!)
• Pasta salad (a favorite of Rebeka’s)
• Brisket with Portobello Mushrooms (I can’t even tell you how wonderful this is!)
• Marinated Bar-B-q Chicken
• Garlic Mashed Potatoes
• Crispy Wanton Cookies (made for my mother-in-law who is lactose intolerant)
• Paula Dean’s “IS IT REALLY BETTER THAN S*X? CAKE” (which is actually the name, embarrassing to write but oh my goodness it is one of the Best cakes I have ever tasted, and EVERYONE loves it!)


There are so many wonderful recipes to pass on here but I thought everyone has to try and make Paula Dean’s cake at least once. It is like a slice of heaven, or the Caribbean…


• 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
• 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

Rebeka, Geoffrey and I spent Saturday walking around Georgetown and than it was “back home” for another family dinner.

All cooking aside it was wonderful to have Rebeka home for the weekend! Let me know if you make the cake and just how much you love it!

About shelley

Shelley Kramm is the founder and editor of I'm Still Standing and The DC Ladies. Learn more about her and her inspirational family here and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and on

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  1. That looks yummy. Can I come and visit. I lovebeing home, I get panic attacks if I am away from home to long. to long being more the 3 days. I cry and can't breath it's crazy and i'm weird.

  2. How exciting@! I'm from the South, but I've never scheduled my classes around football season. LOL. I just don't like it, but I do understand what you're saying.

  3. You sound just like me, and I too found out I will have two-night guests near the end of the month — gotta do the cooking strategy now. Doncha just love the Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa cookbooks! I get raves on the roast chicken every time.

  4. Can I come home, too, Shelley?!! ;0) That feast sounds awesome!! And oh my goodness, I have made that coconut cake before and it is to DIE for!!! She'll never want to go back to school! ;0)

    You're a good mommy. She's lucky to have you.

  5. Hi Shelly! Found your blog through Creative Bloggers. I truly enjoyed this post! My oldest son is in the Navy, and I love those weekends when comes back home! And this recipe has made it to my "to do list"
    (got your button too!)

  6. I'm glad she made it home safetly! Looks like it was a good weekend!

  7. Petergaye S. Kisielewicz of Yahgie says:

    That recipe looks very yummy. I will just have to try it.

  8. I'm so happy she is home for you Shelley!
    Such great recipes and photos as well.

    Thank you very much for your encouragement and kind support on my latest blog post.
    I really appreciate having sweet blog friends like you. You're the best!

    ~Blessings my friend, Melissa :)

  9. What a wonderful day you had and how nice to have your daughter home. I can't imagine I have a college son too and thank fully he went local.

    Looks like a really yummy recipe. I'll have to bookmark and come back;
    STOPPING by from the SITS come by to say HELLO

  10. oh how i would not make it if my college girl was so far away. we talk daily as it is and she can come home a minutes whim
    thank goodness
    hope you have a super wonderful fantastic weekend

  11. Look at that awesome food! Glad you were able to share some quality time with your daughter!

  12. i am glad she is home safe!!

    what yummy recepies!

    i just came to grab to your button after seeing your message at mbc!


  13. Hi Shelley,
    I do hope you all are having a great time this week!
    I mentioned you in my post tonight. Just wanted to say thank you for the idea for it.

    ~Blessings my friend, ~Melissa :)

  14. You're such a great mom!!!

  15. lululu says:

    wonderful photos! wonderful meal!