Am trying to write blog from new phone and cannot figure out why it will not post the picture
Am trying to write blog from new phone and cannot figure out why it will not post the picture
Cookies that I posted on Wednesday! Delicious but next time to get more of a caramel flavor I will use caramels instead of caramel filled kisses!
I have been baking for more years than I care to reveal but have just learned something about cocoa. Being a true Paula Deen follower and a admitted chocoholic, I thought I knew more than I ever wanted to know about cocoa. It just goes to show you that there is always something to learn in the world of chocolate. Our daughter, Christi had just brought me a couple of new magazines from Orlando a few weeks ago. One of the magazines is Amazing Cakes & Cupcakes and I have had a ball finding new recipes that I had not seen.
In the back of the recipes I found a section called, “What’s The Difference?, where it gives info between unsalted butter vs salted, etc. The cocoa vs Dutch Processed caught my eye immediately. The author says that the two are not interchangeable. Here are the facts:
“Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder-is made from cocoa beans that have gone through a treatment process to neutralize acidity. This process darkens the color of the powder and leaves it with a milder flavor/ It should be used in recipes that call for baking powder because they have both been neutralized.
Natural Cocoa Powder-is made from beans that have not gone through the acid-stripping process. It has a lighter color but a more intense flavor. It should be used in recipes that call for baking soda because the cocoa powder helps balance out the acidity in the baking soda.
Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder and Natural Cocoa Powder should never be substituted because the acidity levels in each need to be balanced out with the proper leavening agent-baking powder or baking soda. Use the ingredients called for in the recipe.”
Our friends back in California sent us home with this blessing last week, “we are so glad you are going home before we all sound like Paula Deen”. Seems that our friends there pick up the southern words of ya’ll and all ya’ll quickly. Stopping back by Phoenix to break up our trip, (who am I kidding, we stopped to see the grandkids)I found myself leaving Arizona sounding like I was 4 yrs old again. Randy looked at me kind of funny when I ask him if he wanted me to pack some “sammies” (sandwiches) for the woad. The first 100 miles driving out of Phoenix I was humming “hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog” from Mickey’s Club House. Of course, Randy picked up a few of the grandkid habits also. He wanted to know how old is too old to run around the house in underwear, but I assured him he pasted that age many moons ago.
We did gather quite a bit of wisdom on this trip. Here is some that you might want to print up to take along on your next adventure around the states.. We traveled another 3600 miles in the last 25 days so we feel that we are almost “travel experts” after having now put about 9000 miles on the car since February. Of course you don’t have to take our advice, but if you don’t you might just be very “sowwie”.
1. Do not spill M&M’s in your car. They might not melt in your hand, but trust me on this, they do melt in the car.
2. Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT, eat spicy green chiles while on the road, the trip home will take double the normal driving time.
3. Use your grandkids as needed,. I had a chocolate craving while on the road so into Wallyworld we went. When the cashier was checking us out, she stared at me as if to think, “lady, your shorts are already to tight, I don’t think this is really what you should be buying.” To take the focus off me I causally mentioned that we were on our way to see our grandkids, she smiled and said, “of course you don’t want to show up there without candy, do you?” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that that candy, plus another stop for candy would never make it to Phoenix. It wasn’t my fault that she thought the candy was for the precious little darlings.
4. Be sure to pack the next larger size of clothes that you have in your closet. We learned that eating fast food 3 times a day, plus all the snackies that we brought along, does tend to put a few ounces on our well tuned bodies…
5. When staying with our kids/grandkids, you need to remember that the television will never be tuned to anything but cartoons so have your favorite TV shows recorded at home. You will NEVER have the opportunity to watch them until you return.
6. Eat at all the restaurants that you have been dying to try while driving. Once you get to the grandkids house, you will need to buy TUMS to help digest McDonalds or Taco Bell that completes their daily diet plan..
7. Increase your data plan on your smart phone before leaving. The little sweet darlings only love us for our phones and thus, every game app has now replaced all my exercise and health food recipes app.
8. Take lots of plastic zip lock bags. Because several tubes of cosmetics “blew” driving from 6000 ft down to 1000, we had such fun cleaning up shampoo out of everything in the bag.
9. Be sure you have lots of Kleenix on hand as you walk out the door to head home. No matter the different life style that you have to adjust, it is just never easy to leave grandkids, twust me on this. Maybe singing a little song will help, “hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.”
While we are here in California friends here are being so thoughtful to fix us dinners and have us over, which blesses us so much! The other evening some friends, Barbara and Ray came to dinner at the Welches home, where we are staying for a few nights! Before we dug into Bonnie’s cherry pie, we dined on steak and salad, which Barbara brought!
The salad was scrumptious! Very different and even Randy who is not a big salad that has fruit in it person, are every bite on his plate!
The salad consisted of:
Mandarin oranges, drained
Bacon which was broken up into pieces
The dressing was a mix of mayo, a little sugar, sour cream, crushed onion and blueberry balsamic vinegar!
As soon as I can I will get exact measurements and post the recipe! Thanks Barbara for introducing us to blueberry balsamic vinegar! What a treat! Am loading up on healthy California food before going home to chicken fried steak! Hopefully our bodies will absorb more of the salad than the steak!
We are here visiting friends here in LA LA land where Randy is getting treated to his favorite cherry pie. The friends house where we stay is home to her famous cherry pie. Last night, Bonnie went to the kitchen to make the pie so we would have it for dessert tonight so I followed her into the kitchen to see what her secret was. I learned that she uses tapioca instead of cornstarch to thicken. So now I have the secret ingredient which I will share with you. It makes so much difference. Between the 4 of us, in the past, we have just cut it into 4 slices and have eaten the whole pie in one sitting. It is that good. Thanks Bonnie and Arnie for the great meals, the hospitality and especially the pie. Randy is exited that he is getting his fruit for the month tonight as he downs the cherry pie.
2 cans cherries (not cherry pie filling), drained, reserving juice
1 teas almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tables tapioca pearls
1/3 cup of the cherry juice from can
2 unbaked pie crusts (she uses the Box of Betty Crocker pie crusts which I have started using. Great pie crusts. Much better than the frozen ones. Flakier and has more flavor. Follow directions on the box for using two crusts.
In a large bowl, combine the cherries, tapioca and sugar. Stir until well combined. Stir in almond extract. (tapioca pearls will dissolve when pie is baking)
Pour the cherry juice in and stir before pouring into unbaked pie shell. Top with top unbaked pie crust. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Thanks Bonnie and Arnie for your friendship, hospitality, and especially the cherry pie.
*She sprinkled a little granulated sugar over the top crust before baking, It makes it so good.
We are traveling again back to California to see friends, stopping at our kids home in Phoenix, AZ. As soon as we walked in the door my SIL(son-in-law) met me with,”when are you going to bake and what are you going to bake?” I bypassed him to grab my sweet grandchildren and trying to sit and catch up on their latest episodes of Spongebob, SIL walks over to tell me he had the oven ready for baking. I have been in their house for 10 min, but know that if I’m going to get a minute to sit with my babies, I’m going to have to go bake something if for no other reason than to stuff it in SIL’s mouth. When I discover that their brown sugar is as hard as a piece of iron and there is no flour or granulated sugar in the house, I quickly pull out a chocolate cake mix.
Realizing that I need to bake something quick and something that will hopefully enable SIL from making any more demands, I remembered that the kids always have peanut butter in the house so I throw Noah off my lap (anything for SIL to keep him happy as we told him that since he got Jodi on discount (she was, after all, over 25)she could not be returned thus, making it necessary for us to keep him happy so we don’t open our front door one morning and find Jodi standing there with 3 little hellions, oops I mean precious little grandchildren waiting on our front porch! So off the couch and into the kitchen! I made the chocolate cake according to directions for the 2 layer cake! After the layers are cooled I sliced them in half horizontally making 4 layers! Setting layers aside mix up the following:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup of peanut butter
1/4 cream or half and half ( 1 tables at a time)
Mix these ingredients until well blended. Spread between the layers but not on top ( making 3 layers of peanut butter filling). Frost top and sides with chocolate frosting:
1 1 lb box of powdered sugar
1 stick softened butter
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teas vanilla
Cream to make desired spreading consistency
Mix all frosting ingredients together and mix until all limos are gone and mixture is well blended. Spread over sides and top of cake. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
Taken from Gourmet 2009, this cake has to be healthy because of all the Yogurt! Refreshing, light with just a hint of sweetness. Since I got the recipe out of the gourmet magazine I thought I had better make the description sounds a little bit gourmet!
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self rising) * shift before measuring
2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs warmed in shell and Warmwater for 10 minutes
2 cups well stirred plain whole milk yogurt not Greeks style at room temperature for 30 min.
3 cups powdered sugar
3 table light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teas vanilla
preheat oven to 350° butter a 9×13 pan;
then line bottom with parchment paper and butter parchment.
dust with flour knocking out excess.
sit together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with mixer at high-speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Beat in eggs one at a time at medium speed. At low speed makes in flour mixture and three batches,
alternating with yogurt beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until just combined.
spread batter evenly into pan and rap pan on the counter to eliminate air bubbles.
bake until cake pulls away from pan and test done when pic is inserted in center and comes out clean;about 35 to 45 minutes.
cool in pan about 10 minutes then run a knife around edge and invert onto a rack and discard parchment. Call completely about one hour.
sift together powdered sugar, corn syrup, cream, and vanilla until smooth.
place cake on platter and poor icing over-the-top, allowing the icing to drop over the side.
allow to sit for 15 minutes before cutting
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