Archive for the ‘baking’ Category
The sisters, kids & bf all recently loaded up in a car in Denver and headed back to my small hometown in Nebraska to help celebrate my mother’s 50th birthday. Mom knew right away what she wanted me to bake for her birthday cake. Grandma K’s spice cake. I didn’t know that there was a recipe out there but apparently Grandma used to make this cake when my mom and her siblings were growing up. Thanks to Aunt Karolynn for giving it to us!
What you’ll need:
- ¾ cup mayo
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tsp soda
- 1 tsp powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup cold water
- 3 tablespoons Karo syrup (dark)
Trust me when I say the frosting is what makes this cake and brings out all the spices in it.
Buttercream Frosting – what you’ll need:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (do not melt!)
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar, SIFTED
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- up to 4 tablespoons milk
- Beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed and mix fully with the butter.
- On medium speed, add and mix the vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Beat for approx. 3 minutes.
- Add remaining sugar if needed or add more milk if thinning out is needed.
**I used some extra cake mix to bake my nephew’s 1st birthday cake since we were doing a joint party that weekend. My sister wanted Cookie Monster – I did the best I could.**
I hate making things from a box. Cake mixes, cookies, brownies – they will never compare to baking them from scratch. The one exception? Angel food cake. I refuse to attempt this from scratch when the boxed version reminds me of so many good things from my childhood.
When I lived in Denver angel food cake was the one baked good I really missed. I could never get the cake to cooperate with the high altitude even after making the suggested adjustments. (If any of you out there can help out with this or have some tricks of your own, let me know!)
This was our first 4th of July in Phoenix so I ran to the store and picked up a box of angel food cake mix and was ready to go! Here’s my version:
What you’ll need:
- 1 angel food cake mix
- fresh or frozen strawberries
- whipped cream (made from scratch or not – it’s a holiday for crying out loud!)
- Follow instructions on the box to make the angel food cake, letting cool upside down on a bottle as shown.
- In a small sauce pan add strawberries, sugar (I don’t really measure this, just sprinkle a good amount on) and heat until bubbly.
- Stir in vanilla extract and 1-2 spoonfuls of cornstarch and mix well. Simmer for a bit then remove from heat and let cool until thickened.
- Cut the cake very carefully in half, letting the sawing of the knife do the work for you. Spread the bottom half with whipped cream, top with strawberry sauce & put the top of the cake back on!
- Finish off with whipped cream on top and around edges and remainder of the strawberry sauce.
Don’t worry about it being messy – it’ll be gone quick!
The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).
I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).
It’s easier than ever to make something quickly and inexpensively from a box or mix. I don’t care what anyone tells you, they are no competition for my family recipes I’ve collected over the years. I’d rather torture myself and make everything from scratch. I’m a control freak with a lot of things, so there’s something about being able to choose what goes into whatever I’m baking that I love.
“No easy buckets!” is a phrase the boyfriend and I often yell out when we’re watching our beloved Denver Nuggets play basketball. It’s fitting for my baking habits, too.
“Unfortunately for me, like the famous Ms. Stewart, I rarely take the easy way out. I have been known to torture myself with mile-long to-do lists, and short cuts just aren’t my style. Because of this persistent (some might call it annoying) personality trait, I mainly gravitate toward recipes that rely on pantry and refrigerator staples. Buttermilk biscuits? Forget it. I’ll scour my cookbooks or do an online search until I find a recipe that uses regular milk — and I’ll stick with that recipe loyally.”
Check out the rest of the article here.
(article from NPR’s series Kitchen Window)