Archive for May, 2008

Recently baked this cake for a Cinco de Mayo party.

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Cake

Here’s the recipe (courtesy of Recipezaar!)


1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose white flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ground mexican chili powder)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

Up to 6 tablespoons water

About 10 or so fresh strawberries

Baking Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Lightly coat an 8″ round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. Combine all cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour into a pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes (until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
  5. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and cool completely.
  7. When the cake has cooled mix together the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until glaze-like
  8. Dip each strawberry into the glaze and set aside.
  9. Pour the remaining glaze over the cake and arrange the strawberries on top.
  10. Set aside to dry- about 30 minutes.

My guests requested a bottle of hot pepper sauce as a condiment, for those who like a little extra spicy kick!  ENJOY!


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Missing Italian Food

I think it’s finally time to talk about the wonderful food Tyler and I had while we were in Italy.  We’ve been back from our trip long enough that I’ve started craving noodles and sauce again.  I will say that nothing that I’ve ever made or can buy in the store remotely compares to true Italian food (Tuscan being my favorite!)  The sauces are perfect, not too sweet (a bit salty for my tastes, but that’s Italy for you), lots of spices, and the sauce sticks to the noodles like it’s about to stick to my ribs.

Giglio Rosso

So, the first restaurant we went to was called Giglio Rosso.  It is located in Firenze (Florence) just a few blocks west of the train station.  We went rather late in the evening and were the last patrons there when we left.  We enjoyed a half bottle of Ruffino Chianti with our meal, which consisted of typical Tuscan bread (eh, not a fan) and bottled water.  Tyler had the Pappardelle al Cinghiale (Pappardelle and Wild Boar) ……

Pappadelle and Wild Boar

….and I had ricotta cheese-filled homemade ravioli with a delicious basil pesto sauce.  I think it was the best dinner I had in Italy!

Ravioli with Pesto

Interested?  Food Network got it right with this recipe: Pappardelle al Cinghiale and find a basic recipe for ricotta and basil ravioli and make a fresh pesto and you have our meal.  Just remember to keep it fresh and local–the true intent of Italian cooking!

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