One of my favorite things in life is making a meal for those I love and watching them dive in!  Preparing food is so much more than just a routine daily chore.

It is mental physically and yes even spiritual. I love the table and all it represents. It is the great equalizer. We all come to the table to be fed in so many ways. There is beautiful magic that happens as we sit together.

We  begin to see each other. Really SEE one another.

We share, connect and in those moments we feel a bit of what we were created for.

Connection and community. Belonging. 

Hospitality is such an amazing gift. It is a message we give others about their value. It is not about impressing someone but rather bringing comfort and care.

What a relief. 

So in that spirit last night I made the most delicious easy Lemon Cream Cake (yes it starts with a box cake mix!) with raspberry and strawberry filling.

One of the things I love about this cake is you can make it days ahead (even weeks) and freeze the cake portion

Simple tip:  Did you know freezing cakes before you serve them actually makes them more moist? 

With summer at our door this is going to be one of my go to recipes. Lemon. Berries. Divine.

“Home interprets heaven; Home is heaven for beginners.” Charles Henry Parkhurst


Lemon Cream Cake with Raspberry and Strawberry Filling

1 lemon cake mix 

1 small chocolate instant pudding mix

1 small vanilla instant pudding mix
5 eggs (4 for regular altitude)
1  cup milk
1/2 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup chopped nuts (if desired) 
shredded lemon peel from two lemons
½ cup flour (if high altitude)
Pint of fresh berries (strawberry or raspberries)
One small jar of berry jam (I like to use blackberry)

Mix first 10 ingredients for one minute on med speed.
Pour into 2 round cake pans (8 or 9 inch) greased well and floured if necessary.
Bake 325 for aprox 40 minutes.
Remove cakes on cooling rack, and bring to room temperature. Cool. You can make this cakes ahead of time and they freeze great. I always keep some made in my freezer.

Cream Cheese Frosting
P1100915 CC Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
Zest from one lemon
Beat frosting until firm. 
Put fern greens or fresh mint around the cake plate. Add one of the cakes on top.
Add jam and then a layer of berries over jam in the center of the cake.
Add next layer of cake and frost all the cake with the remaining frosting.
Feel free to add a bit of the jam to the frosting and make swirls.
Top with  strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and lemon slices.  Put directly refrigerator and let chill.

I make this cake in the morning for an evening dinner.


Start Simply Cooking: Eighty of our best loved recipes to get you started!


Now available for only $15.00

A perfect gift for the Foodie in your life!


Dear friends we are so glad you have joined the Start Simply Movement!   Cathy and I feel strongly the table is a great place to connect with people on a deep level. In everything we do we often talk more about the “why” than we do the “how”. Why we cook, why we feel faith is important, why friendships are essential in our lives, and why we should embrace a healthy life style. Both Cathy and I were blessed to grow up with the power of connection through food. We have many memories of wonderful shared meals and beautiful connections. Our parents gave us a legacy of doing life and food well! We have lived it over and over again with our children and now our many precious grand children. We are simply inviting you to come do life with us . . . and share your table . . . simply.

For years I have believed and taught on the reality that people hunger to live a more connected life with their families, and their friends . . . for life to be simple again. The yearning to share ourselves with others is part of our nature as life giving women, something easily lost in the busyness of our culture. We’re so busy caring for our jobs and our families that we just can’t summon the time or energy to think about much else. Especially hospitality and cooking!

What many of us need is to simply be set free. I believe for some it will take a miracle —the miracle of a changed perspective. And that’s what we offer to those who are hungry to lead more beautiful lives and to share those lives with others . . . but also to those who feel inadequate, unprepared, or just too busy to do so. Together we invite you to rethink what it means to begin living simply in everything you do; faith, food, family, friendships and healthy living.

START SIMPLY, but SIMPLY START!!!!! This is our most important message. We are not just about information, but transformation. Keep it simple, keep it real! Remember friends hospitality is giving someone a message about their value it is not about impressing people but rather giving them comfort and care. What a relief!

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and read though these amazing recipes. I think you will find as we have the best way to start is to simply start. To just begin. And enjoy those you love alone the way with a piece of Maltby Cake in hand!






Our July cooking class is going to be AWESOME! 

Cooking class May

Several months ago my dear friend Cathy Gries suggested we host cooking classes. She loves baking and I love cooking so we thought it was a great match! Though I have spoken to thousands of women on hospitality and co-hosted a national TV show featuring lots of great food I had never done personal cooking classes. Boy was I missing out!

Well the classes have been amazingly fun, delicious and lively! I have met some really wonderful women who are passionate about great food and also practicing the wonderful gift of hospitality. They are committed to finding new ways of loving others with their lives without wearing themselves out. Sound like a plan don’t ya think?

If you are in the Denver /Colorado Springs area I would like to invite you to our class this July 24th at 6:30. We will be hosting this class in Cathy’s home. If you live away you can still join us on Facebook  Start Simply but Simply Start when we post recipes, upcoming classes and lots of helpful tips on making hospitality work for you and those you love.

Here is a sample Menu of our upcoming class! Tell me your mouth isn’t watering!??


Watermelon, Blue Cheese & Prosciutto Wrap Drizzled with Honey (A great recipe that my friend Sandy shared on her blog www.
Avocado-Bacon Toasts with Lime
Fresh Peach and Tomato Mozerella Platter with Basil Vinaigrette 
Strawberry Mango Salsa and Chips
Buffalo Chicken Appetizer Cups


The Maltby Cake with fresh whipped creme chocolate dipped strawberries raspberries and blackberries.
Simple Lemon Cream Cake
Berries with Merigine (low carb and glutton free)
Summer Plum Peach and Blueberry Crostata
A 3 minute dessert (and yes you can time us!)

Please register under the ABOUT section of our page! Cooking Classes Bring a friend daughter or a sister. It is a wonderful night out!

Email Cathy if you have any questions.

“Hospitality is a message you give others about their value. It’s not about impressing people but rather giving them comfort and care.”


Photography by the amazing Beverly Bender


Women today are more stressed out, burned out, and defeated than ever before. The more they seek to better themselves, the farther they fall toward despair. The key according to Tammy Maltby is to become less self-centered and more other-centered. Tammy encourages the reader to be the one who gives life to others! In Lifegiving, she provides sound biblical teaching on what it means to be a lifegiver and how this flows out of a rich inner relationship with God. Lifegiving Discovering the Secrets to a Beautiful Life

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