Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Indian Chicken Curry


This recipe is another one from the Woodlawn Plantation Cookbook. An old one but really good one. I'm finding more and more interesting recipes in this old book. The picture does not do this dish justice. It doesn't look all that appetizing but it was delicious. My husband had asked where I found this recipe and I immediately thought he didn't care for it. Turns out he thought the seasonings and spices were perfect. I'd never cooked anything before with coconut milk so that was something new. I tasted the coconut milk before I added it to the dish and it was so so. But it adds a lot to this dish. Of course my son was not at all interested in this dish. So I just made him some fried rice with the white rice I used in this recipe and also added chicken to it. This keeps everyone happy!

6 Tbs butter
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
2 to 3 Tbs curry powder
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
6 Tbs cornstarch
3 cups diced chicken

Melt butter in large frying pan; add onion and garlic and cook over low heat five minutes. Add ginger, salt and curry powder. Combine coconut milk and chicken broth; blend in cornstarch and add to cooked onion. Stir over low heat until thickened. Add cooked chicken pieces. Heat well. Better if made a day or so ahead and reheated. Can be frozen. Serve with rice.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Berry Ripple Tea Cake


This is another cake that I saw while checking out the food blogs that I follow that I just had to make ASAP!!! I saw this on Coleen's food site and Ingrid's food site. It's a great cake. I remember Coleen saying that it lasted barely a day in her house. I can relate to that. It didn't last long here either. I will definitely be making this cake again. I used only strawberries for the filling but I would imagine you could use any berry or a mixture of them. I'm not posting the recipe myself since it was pretty recent that both Coleen and Ingrid posted it and they also have great pics with theirs. So just click on their site for the recipe....it's a great one!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer so far. The past week has been really nice down her in Virginia. The only bad thing about summer is that I tend to cook less because I spend more time outdoors and when I am inside most of the time it's too hot to heat up the kitchen! But I am going to try to get in more cooking and baking this week.....we'll see!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apple Pecan Cream Pie



When I saw this recipe over at Katherine's Smoky Mountain Cafe it was just screaming out for me to make it. My "to try" recipe folder is already bulging but I just could not wait to make this one. It was perfect to make with the weather we are having here lately. Very warm and it's great to have a good pie without having to turn on the oven. I would highly recommend this recipe to everyone. It it fantastic! This is a recipe you can also vary. In fact, I already bought a can of peach pie filling to try next. And I'm thinking also of turning this into a chocolate pie too! Just a great summer dessert. Katherine also has on her site some great step by step pictures of making this pie. Yours truly over here STILL cannot figure out how to post pictures in between paragraphs. I keep saying someday I will figure this out!!! Thanks for a great recipe Katherine!

1 graham cracker pie shell

1 21 oz can of applie pie filling
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all the above ingredients together in large bowl. Add half of mixture to pie shell and refrigerate the other half.

1 cup half & half
4 oz room temperature cream cheese
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups whipped cream (I used Cool Whip)

In another bowl mix half & half and cream cheese together and whisk until well blended. Add vanilla pudding and whisk again till blended. Fold in whipped cream (or Cool Whip). Pour mixture into pie shell on top of apple mixture. Cover and freeze at least 2 hours. Top with apple mixture, thaw and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Coconut Bread


Hope everyone has had a nice weekend and enjoyed Father's Day. I treated my husband to a boat ride over to Georgetown and a delicious lunch. We ate outside by the water in Georgetown and the weather was finally perfect! Warm but not humid! Afterwards we went to some nice stores in the area and took the boat back to Alexandria and had delicious desserts at a local bakery. Needless to say I am still stuffed...so much for dinner tonight!

I found this bread, which is really more like a cake over at Keeper Worthy Recipes. This is one bread that I know I will be making over and over again. Delicious! My husband and I both really liked it. My son didn't even try it....claims he doesn't like coconut. Well that's good, then there's more for me! Please check out Denise's blog for more great recipes....Thanks Denise!

(This will make 2 loaves, I used 8 x 4 in loaf pans)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tbs lemon juice)
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Do not use hand mixer for this recipe- use either a spoon or spatula, stir by hand.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
In large bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs and coconut extract. Mix well.
Alternately add flour and buttermilk to sugar mixture and stir only until moist.
Stir in shredded coconut.
Pour into 2 prepared loaf pans, place on middle rack in oven and bake for 1 hour.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My One Year Blogging Anniversary and Birthday!!


I started my food blog exactly one year ago today and cannot believe how much I enjoy this and look forward to baking (and cooking) new recipes. I discovered that I have a real of love of baking, probably because I love cake and cookies more than any other food. I still have many more (countless) recipes to try and definitely need to challenge myself more. Still have my fear of yeast and of making a 7 minute frosting (Katy I chickened out at the last minute!). But I know that if I push myself I can do it! I want to thank everyone for leaving all your positive and encouraging comments. I love when you all stop by and have a blast reading the comments. Thank you all so much. I want to also give a special thanks to my husband, Danny. He is my biggest supporter and gives me tons of encouragement, especially when I think I can't cook or bake!!! He always tells me how good a cook and baker I am. That means a lot to me.

Today is also my birthday and let's just say I am older than dirt. They say that age is a state of mind....well if that is the case I am 18 but when I look in the mirror....I am old!!!! Because it's my birthday, I have made my favorite cake....a chocolate layer cake with white frosting. I tasted a small sliver of the cake last night before I frosted it and it is good. This will be the chocolate cake I will make from now on. It's a rich devil's food cake. The frosting tastes like a marshmallow frosting which I love!!! It's cooked first mixing milk and flour. I think this is the way frostings were made years back but I'm not sure. I love cooked frostings like this. They are soooo good. Next time I want to make the popular 7 minute frosting. It just has me a bit nervous since you beat it on top of a double boiler. I don't know why I worry about that....maybe it's my nature. Anyhow I found this on Recipezaar and it is out of this world good!!!!!

THE ONLY CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE YOU'LL EVER NEED! (DEVIL'S FOOD) recipe #26370

CAKE
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

FROSTING
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar (I used powdered sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 F
In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, coffee and milk and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes. Expect batter to be thin.
Pour into a 9 x 13 greased and floured pan or 2 9" round pans. Bake 9 x 13 pan for about 45 minutes or 9" pans for about 30 minutes. Cool in pans for about 15 minutes and then cool completely on racks.

While cake is cooling make the icing: Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan and cook over low heat until thick, whisking constantly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
In a medium bowl, beat butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add chilled milk and flour mixture and beat for 10 minutes. Frost cooled cake and enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nova Scotia Blueberry Cream Cake


This is a very different cake. It looks like a cheesecake but it is not. It even had gotten a crack in it like a cheesecake! It's much lighter though. It had gotten rave reviews on allrecipes but I have to say that my husband absolutely hated this cake. One bite was all it took and that was it for him. I, on the other hand, did like it. I can't say it was my favorite cake, but it was very good and I'm glad that I tried it. I don't know if I would make it again. If I did I would use less blueberries. The recipe calls for 4 cups and that is alot, so I would try using only 3. The recipe also calls layering them on top of the cake layer and then adding the cream mixture on top. Most of the reviews stated it was best to add them to the sour cream and mix all together and then pour on top of cake. If you do plan to make this cake, I would recommend reading some of the recommendations the reviewers gave it on allrecipes. It's a cake to make when blueberries are in season (like now) and if you enjoy cream cakes and like to try something different.

Tomorrow is the last day of school in this area! My son is thrilled....he is so ready for summer! He's had enough of fractions and long division and I don't blame him!!!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups blueberries

2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, and baking powder. Mix in the butter by pinching between fingers or using a pastry blender (I used my fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pat lightly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour blueberries over the top. (I added mine to the sour cream mixture.)

In another medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks and 1teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Pour over the blueberries.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is slightly browned. Cool, then run a knife around the edge of the pan. Remove the outer ring of the pan, and cut into wedges to serve.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake


This is another great cake recipe that I found over at Smitten Kitchen. I've made several cakes and cookie bars that Deb posted and they have all turned out great. This is a very simple cake. Great to bring along to someone's house since it "travels well."

Did you all have a nice weekend. We went down to Richmond yesterday to an Italian festival at St. Joseph's church. The food was delicious and my husband had his first zeppole. I know....I can't believe he has never, ever had one. I had to explain what it was. Anyone that is reading this and is Italian is probably thinking "He's NEVER had a zeppole???????" My grandmother used to make them each September for the feast of St. Joseph. If you are not familiar with them they are very much like funnel cakes but smaller and rounded with powdered sugar. Yesterday's festival brought back many memories. They actually had a processional with the St. Joseph statue and all the dollars bills pinned on it! I hadn't seen something like that since I was a child. Of course I ate way too much. Sausage and peppers, pizza, pasta, cannolli, zeppole and it goes on.....Enough of my rattling on!!!!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbs sugar, divided
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest(optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 400F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a cake plate.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cherry Bars


I recently bought a Taste of Home New Potluck Cookbook. This recipe was in there and it is so good! These taste like little mini cherry cakes and are very simple to make. Enjoy them while you can because they will not last long!

I was in Wegman's grocery store last night. I love going into their bakery section because they just have the most beautiful cakes (for a grocery store). No other store aroound this area can even compare to them. But the prices! Wow....I told my husband I will never again complain about how much I spend on ingredients to make a cake. I know I had commented last week about the price of good chocolate for a frosting I was making. No more complaining here. The prices were sky high on the cakes. I'm not saying they are not worth it...their cakes are fantastic and I am a huge fan of Wegman's, bus it is just so much cheaper to bake a cake yourself.

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling

GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Combine flour and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix until combined.

Spread 3 cups batter into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Spread with pie filling. Drop the remaining batter by teaspoonfuls over filling. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bars.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Bread


Well it looks as if it's finally blueberry season. The supermarkets here have lots of blueberries and all at reasonable prices. I love anything with blueberries and this bread is no exception. Although it is really more like a cake. It's very moist and lemony too! I found this on allrecipes.

Did everyone have a nice weekend? I went to my niece's baby shower. I have not been to one in many years and would you believe I had been invited to 2 on the same afternoon? Very strange!!! Of course I attended my niece's. I had forgotten how much fun a baby shower can be. We played baby shower games and I even won one!!!! It was a blind taste test where you had to guess what each baby food was after you tasted it! The girl conducting this test was amazed that I guessed what each food was. She wanted to know how I knew that right away!!! Dare I say cause I am a foodie -- no! I just told her my youngest was 10 so I could remember quite well. Strange because I can't remember much of anything else these days unless it is written down!

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest, nuts and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack. (Cake can also be served without glaze, it's great just plain, too!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chocolate Cake


I made this cake for my stepdad's 75th birthday yesterday. He enjoys cakes that are not too sweet, especially the frosting. I searched high and low for a good chocolate frosting recipe and what I discovered was that there are lots of chocolate frosting recipes out there that are very expensive to make. One recipe I came across called for chocolate that would have cost me $5 for the two bars alone! I was almost tempted to pick up a can of frosting for a little over $1 but I held myself back!!! I did spend a bit on the chocolate and I'll use that for another time because I finally came across a recipe that was a 5 star one on recipezaar. It had tons of 5 star reviews and only used cocoa! I've made ones before that only use cocoa and found them all to be so sweet. Well I figured all these people could not be wrong plus it showed 3 ways to adjust the cocoa according to your taste. That sold me! Well, I will definitely give it 5 stars! It is excellent and my stepdad loved it. He said the frosting was perfect! I did have to adjust it after making the dark, rich version. It was still too sweet for me so I added one large tablespoon of cocoa and it was perfect. You just have to give this a try. It's excellent and inexpensive. You can find it here. It is recipe #89207.

The cake recipe I used was a basic yellow cake from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book. What intrigued me about it was that it was first published in 1930!!! Yet it is still popular and delicious today.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk

Grease and flour either 2 8 in or 9 in round cake pans or one large 13x9x2 inch baking pan; set aside. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating one minute after each. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into pans.

Bake in 375 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes layers in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Frost with desired frosting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mariniated Asparagus Salad and Awards!




It's Paula Deen time again here! My husband made this marinated asparagus salad that he found on the Food Network site. It is very tasty as long as you enjoy your vegetables marinated. I love marinated artichokes but found the asparagus just okay. My husband felt the same way. Don't get me wrong - this is a good recipe but you just have to enjoy having asparagus this way. This would make a terrific appetizer, especially for when the weather is warm. It's pretty simple too.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cooked, or 1 1/2 (15 ounce)cans whole green asparagus spears (I cannot eat canned asparagus - no way!)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (0.7 ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix, prepared according to package directions
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
Lettuce leaves
mayonnaise

Drain the asparagus and layer it in a shallow glass dish. Sprinkle each layer with some crumbled tarragon, pepper, to taste and garlic salt. Pour the salad dressing and vinegar over the asparagus, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled asparagus on lettuce leaves, topped with a dollop of mayonnaise flavored with a little of the dressing.

Over the past few weeks I have received two awards from fellow food bloggers. I am always so flattered to receive these awards. It really thrills me that people enjoy visiting my blog. I never would have thought I would enjoy blogging this much.

Anyhow, I would just like to thank Lynette from Netts Nook and Cassie from CassieCraves. Both of these ladies have wonderful food sites with great recipes and I urge everyone to go and check out their sites! Thanks again Lynette and Cassie!