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Archive for March, 2009

Rainbows are for SPRINGTIME!

I recently made a spring inspired cake (with Tyler’s help) to take to a special dinner.  It’s rather unassuming on the outside, but the inside is a different story!

Taste the rainbow!

Taste the rainbow!

The frosting is just a simple whipped cream with powdered sugar and vanilla to give it a bit of flavor.  Some coconut sprinkled on top to give it a bit more aesthetic appeal, as well as a bit more texture made the outside  unassuming!  As for the inside, going top to bottom:

  1. Raspberry puree from frozen organic raspberries, put through a fine strainer to remove seeds
  2. Blood orange zest, with a little blood orange juice
  3. Meyer lemon juice, and zest
  4. I thought I had limes at home, but was mistaken!  A sprinkling of green apple jello saved the day here.
  5. About 1/2 cup of frozen organic blueberries, same method as #1
  6. Same as #1 and 6, only blackberries were used!

Some of the colors weren’t as vibrant as we would have liked, so a very  minimal amount of food coloring was used just to make the colors more distinguishable.  Just a couple drops at most!

We didn’t taste any of the batter before baking, and just kind of hoped it would turn out, and did it ever!  Each layer was crisp and distinguishable, and didn’t compete with the other layers.  It was a nice, fruity and creamy cake!!!!!  I can’t wait to make it again with fresh fruit from the farmer’s market.   Oh, and I’ll need another pan.  I only  had one, so I had to cook each layer individually…. which took a long time.  But it was WELL worth it!

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Second Life Fashion Cake

Second Life is a Crazy Life

Second Life is a Crazy Life

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Snickerdoodle Blondies!

I saw this recipe on Tastespotting and just couldn’t resist!  You know how it is with Snickerdoodles, they always get dried out.  They don’t get dried out in bar cookie form, that’s for dang sure.  These are rot-your-teeth sweet with sugar and are NOT for the faint at heart!  Go here for the recipe from The Crepes of Wrath.

The fudgy-ness of a brownie with the spicy-ness of a Snickerdoodle!

The fudgy-ness of a brownie with the spicy-ness of a Snickerdoodle!

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Masa Harina Corn Cakes

I have an anthropology professor who has done most of his fieldwork in Belize, and he often shares stories from his times there.  Since he is interested in food studies, most of his stories revolve around indigenous foods and the introduction of non-indigenous foods and the influences this has on culture.  We’ve talked at length about corn and its global influences, and how cultures have adapted to having corn as a staple in the diet when corn was indeed not treated as such before colonization.  It still baffles me, to this day, how someone figured out that treating corn with lime makes niacin more nutritionally available and the corn easier to digest.  In honor of these thoughts, I made some corn cakes, although these are more Spanish in origin (so a nod to colonialization, too!), and then slathered them in local honey.  That’s not so traditional, but it was damn good.  Recipe follows.

Masa Corn Cakes with Honey

Masa Corn Cakes with Honey

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Golden Masa Harina Corn Flour
1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat, but all purpose white works too!)
1/2 tsp
1/2 cup boiling water
Slathering of your favorite honey (I used a local clover honey)

Thoroughly combine corn flour, flour and salt in bowl.

Add boiling water to the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until dough is formed.  Might need to add a bit more water if dough won’t come together.

You just poured boiling water into the dry ingredients.  It’s gonna be hot for a minute or so, so don’t go sticking your hands in the dough.  Be patient, you will have corn cakes soon enough.

Roll into balls; you’ll get about 8 balls/cakes out of this batch.   Flatten the balls until they fit in the palm of your hand, so about 1/2″ thick or so.

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add cakes and fry until  golden and cooked through. I cooked these on a grill pan to give them pretty marks, and to cut down on the fat.  Drain on paper towels.

If you want, you can top these with honey,  jam, goat cheese, bleu cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil—the sky is the limit!

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Biscuits and Jam

Homemade biscuit, local mixed berry jam.

biscuit-jam-2

Life does not get better than this.

That is, until you pour gravy over it.  Local pork sausage seasoned with salt and pepper, and heart-stopping gravy, and more of those delicious homemade biscuits!

Heart-stopping NOM.

Heart-stopping NOM.

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Yes, it is a cake, but it tastes nothing like spaghetti and meatballs!  The cake itself is a basic white cake, the recipe cut in half and hazelnut extract in place of the almond flavoring, with ground hazelnuts and nutella swirled throughout.  Topped with a hazelnut-flavored buttercream for the noodles, and Ferrero-Rocher chocolates (both the classic flavor and the Rondnoir flavors) rolled in Dillman Farm’s Raspberry Jam for the sauce (give me a spoon, I’ll eat the entire jar).  I shaved some white chocolate on the “sauce” for a parmesan cheese look.  And here she is!

On top of old Smokey......

On top of old Smokey......

....all covered with white chocolate that looks like cheese.....

....all covered with white chocolate that looks like cheese.....

...you won't lose any meatballs when somebody sneezes!.....

...you won't lose any meatballs when somebody sneezes!.....

Overall, the taste was great.  The raspberry jam really complemented the hazelnut flavors and the richness of the chocolates and buttercream icing.  The dense, but still light and fluffy, texture of the cake helped even out all of the complicated things that were going on on top! I give it 5 NOMS!

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