Friday, September 16, 2011


Tomorrow I am walking for Alzheimer's. If you can afford to donate; I would appreciate it so much! I am walking for my nanny who has been living with Alzheimer's for several years. 

Alzheimer's facts and figures

• Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – 5.2 million aged 65 and over; 200,000 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. By 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease.

• Two-thirds of those with the disease – 3.4 million – are women.

• Of Americans aged 65 and over, 1 in 8 has Alzheimer’s, and nearly half of people aged 85 and older have the disease.

• Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 69 seconds. In 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33 seconds.

• Most people survive an average of four to eight years after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but some live as long as 20 years with the disease.

• On average, 40 percent of a person’s years with Alzheimer’s are spent in the most severe stage of the disease – longer than any other stage.

• Four percent of the general population will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80. But, for people with Alzheimer’s, 75 percent will be admitted to a nursing home by age 80.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Skillet lasagna

I love lasagna but it's a messy process, one pot to boil the noodles, another to brown the ground beef, a pan to bake it in. So I thought I would try this Kraft recipe I had cut out of a Spring 2009 issue of Food & Family. It wasn't bad if you need a quickie dinner, not as good as the old fashioned way of course, but okay.

Skillet Lasagna

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 green peppers (I only used about 1/2 of one) chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 2/3 c. water
1/4 c. kraft zesty italian dressing (I omitted)
12 oven ready lasagna noodles, broken into quarters
1 c. kraft shredded low-moisture part skim mozzarella cheese

Brown meat in a large saucepan; drain.

Stir in peppers, garlic, spaghetti sauce, water and dressing; bring to a boil. Add noodles: stir. Cover

Cook on medium-low heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Let stand 5 min, or until cheese is melted.

Substitute: Substitute 12 regular lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces and increase water to 2 cups and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Sorry my picture doesn't look cheesy I forgot the picture until I was putting up the leftovers.

Please support me on my walk for alzheimer's. Today, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease – 5.2 million aged 65 and over; 200,000 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. By 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Poorman's cookies

I was looking through some recipes I had bookmarked and came found this recipe for old fashioned spice cake A.K.A Poorman's cookies. It looked yummy and it was! My dad in particular loved them didn't even complain that I had didn't put in nuts... until the next day at least.

I halved the recipe and left out the nuts and baked it 30 minutes in an 8x8 inch pan. I can see the reason it's called both a cake and a cookie. The batter was more like a cookie dough than a cake batter and it seemed like a slightly cakey bar cookie. The flavors were better the next day as they had melded together.

You could probably change it up some, cranberries instead of raisins or if I think about it next time I might toss in some diced apples.


Old-Fashioned Spice Cake

2 1/4c. water
1 1/2 c. raisins
1 stick unsalted butter or margerine
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

    Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
    Combine water, raisins, and butter in a medium saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the lid, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
    While the raisin mixture is boiling, combine the dry ingredients (through cloves) in a large bowl, whisking until thoroughly combined.
    Pour the slightly cooled raisin mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until mostly combined and moistened (the batter at this point will have the consistency of a paste). Add the beaten eggs and again stir with a spoon, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
    Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until deeply browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
    Cool to room temperature before serving. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap to keep the cake moist. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.
It would be great if any of my readers would support me in my walk for alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bad Granola

Cleaning out the cabinets I found a large canister of oatmeal I needed to use up and what better way to use up a lot of oats than to make granola? So I found a recipe for vanilla scented granola. So I mixed it all up and put it in the pan. I tasted a bit, not bad. As soon as I put it in the oven it started smelling great. The recipe says to cook it at 400 degrees for 30 min. About 20 minutes in I noticed it didn't smell so good anymore, opened the oven and found my burnt granola. I ended up throwing the whole thing away:-( It might be worth trying again but I will definitely check it more often.

Please lend your support and donate to me on my walk to end Alzheimer's Sept 17.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yum... Fudge Pie

I thought this was great with the one exception being that the outside edges of the graham cracker crust got very hard. The recipe came from a October/November 2008 issue of Taste of the South magazine. It was easy to make and didn't used a lot of ingredients. It called for a tablespoon of whiskey which I omitted and it was fine without it and is to be served chilled but it's good room temperature as well. Next time I will try it with a regular pie crust.

Miss Mary's Fudge Pie

1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 tbs Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey  (opt.)
1 9-in graham cracker crust (try a regular pie crust)
Garnish: sweetened, whiskey spiked whipped cream and additional cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add sugar and cocoa powder, stirring to combine. Add eggs, evaporated milk and whiskey. Pour into prepared piecrust.

Bake for 40 minutes or until set. Let cool completely.

Chill and serve. Garnish slices with whipped cream and cocoa powder, if desired.

I will be walking to end alzhiemer's on September 17. If anyone has a little spare money they would like to donate to this cause I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sloppy Joes and Homemade Hamburger Buns

The other night I made this recipe for sloppy joes and hamburger buns. The buns weren't bad but they turned out more like giant dinner rolls then hamburger buns. I altered the sloppy joe recipe a bit because I was using less meat  so I'll post the revised recipe. I took pictures of the buns but I completely forgot the meat mixture, that's okay I guess most everyone know what they look like anyway.

Sloppy Joes - revised from A Bountiful Kitchen

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped (if you are planning leftovers, might want to use less, taste was stronger next day)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 tbs Worcestershire
1/4 cup brown sugar (was way to much, should try halving)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
water 1/4 to 1/2 cup to thin sauce, if needed

Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain off any grease. Add chopped onion, green pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until onion is softened. Add tomato paste, sauce, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat. If mixture is too thick, thin with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Serve with hamburger buns, top with cheese, if desired. 

I'm walking to end alzheimer's on Sept 17. If anyone can spare a little bit of money to donate to a good cause, I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2011 Walk to End Alzheimer's

I will be participating in an alzheimer's walk on September 17, 2011 and would be grateful for any donations anyone can afford to give.

Did you know that alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death and every 69 seconds another person develops this disease. In America, there are as many as 5.4 million people living with alzheimer's disease.

One of the people currently living with this disease is my Nanny, which is what I call my grandmother. She was most often a stay at home wife and mother and until a few years ago she did most most of the cooking at her house. In the last few she didn't do any of it.

My grandfather died of cancer last year and towards the end I would come over a couple of days a week, the days the woman from hospice came and helped with his bath. I would keep Nanny distracted so she wouldn't get upset that some strange woman was with her husband and I would make her lunch, not my Pepa's because he had a tomato sandwich everyday and I couldn't peel the tomato to his satisfaction. lol. I would fix their supper for them. Nanny would sit in the kitchen with me.

Sometimes it was like having a child in the kitchen. "Don't touch the pot, it's hot." "I know" she would say. Perhaps she did know but she didn't comprehend. She can also be incredibly impatient. I was making a banana pudding and while I was standing at the stove stirring the custard she would point to the dish filled with cookies and bananas and tell me i was supposed to put the custard in the dish in a bit of a haughty, I know better than you tone of voice. "It's still cooking." We had that conversation at least thirty times... that was the slowest thickening custard ever!

Nanny is a nursing home now. It's not an ideal situation to have to do that but in some ways it's better. One of the family still sees her everyday, there is a doctor who comes in often enough that he was able to adjust her meds and she still gets her bad moods but in general she is much easier to deal with.

I've put a button below and in my sidebar linking to my donation page. I know money is tight and the economy is bad but if you can spare even a dollar or two I would be thankful. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too many cucumbers leads to strange things...

The fridge is full of cucumbers. I guess I could learn to make pickles but I don't like them. I do use sweet relish but not enough to go to the trouble of making them. Google blog search here I come! Cucumber bread... I like carrot cake and I like zucchini bread, why not a cucumber bread?

I found a recipe that looks good and I give it a try. I don't have any buttermilk in the house so I used 2 percent, no cream cheese so I left off the frosting and it didn't say if I should drain the shredded cukes, so I squeezed some of the liquid out, but not all. They looked okay but how about the taste? Cucumbers, it tasted like cucumbers. That should have been obvious but carrot cake doesn't really taste like carrots and zucchini bread doesn't taste like zucchini. The people who tried weren't really impressed and although I didn't think it was bad I couldn't get used to eating a sweet bread that tasted of cucumbers. It's not going to be a repeat for me but if any one wants to try it and you aren't feeding a crowd you might want to half the recipe.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crock Pot Jambalaya

If this recipe is anything to go one rice doesn't do well in slow cookers. I probably should not have even attempted this recipe because the blogger did not have rave reviews about this dish. Her review said the rice on the bottom was overcooked and the rice on top was not done. I figured since I always stir even when I'm supposed to set it and forget it everything would be alright, right? Wrong.

I halved the recipe just in case it didn't turn out, apparently I should have halved the cook time as well. Actually I did. I checked it after 4 hours on low and the rice was gummy and mushy and sticking to the pot. I didn't even bother adding the chicken. I ended up picking out the sausage and eating it on a hot dog bun.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dorie's not so perfect pound cake...

My mother loves pound cake but has never been able make them, so what she usually does is yellow cake from a mix baked in a bundt pan. I've seen the recipe for Dorie Greenspan's Perfection Pound Cake on numerous blogs and I thought I would give it a try. I followed the directions to the letter, used real Kerrygold butter, I'm pretty sure the batter tasted okay, not that I would recommend that anyone eats cake batter.

I was really hoping for the best but the flavor was unremarkable and the cake was dry. It was edible if it was covered in strawberries and whipped cream.  What a waste of butter this was. I'm not even going to link to the recipe as it's easy to find.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Never having eaten Irish soda bread I don't know how it's supposed to taste but I wanted to try it.  I was looking for something to make with buttermilk and decided to try this recipe. It didn't have the caraway seeds or raisins like some recipes call for but that okay because the complaint i had wasn't about the taste but the hardness of the crust.

Perhaps it was because I cooked it on a pizza stone but the crust was almost inedible. It was hard to cut through and almost impossible to chew. The middle was okay, kind of bland. It was slightly better the next day after it was toasted and slathered in butter but I don't think I'll be trying another for awhile.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Panko-Crusted Fish

I don't like fish. Let's get that out of the way. I don't like it but my parents do. At least fried fish, at restaurants. Instead of a plate full of greasy deep fried fish I was hoping I could find something a little healthier for them. Unfortunately this was not it. They said it didn't have any taste. I used frozen cod, maybe fresh fish would have been better. I guess if you like the looks of it you should try it yourself with the fish of your choice.

I found the recipe Mrs. Sac's Purple Kitchen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Deep Dish Pizza

I found this recipe over a A Matter of Taste. It made a really good pizza! The sauce didn't go over well, but I added italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the leftover sauce and liked it better.

Basic Pizza Sauce
Makes 2 2/3 cups
Adapted from Americas Test Kitchen Episode: Pizza Party

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Table salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cook oil and garlic in medium saucepan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza
Also from the Episode: Pizza Party
Makes two 9-inch pizzas serving 4 to 6

1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for counter
1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 teaspoon table salt

(3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni
1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil.

2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

4. While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.

5. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

Pizza Dough without a Mixer:
In step 2, mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then pour the milk mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and difficult to stir. Turn out onto a heavily floured work surface and knead, incorporating any shaggy scraps. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and proceed as directed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honey Cornbread Muffins

You've probably noticed a lot of cornbread recipes on this blog. I like cornbread. I keep trying new recipes even though I've tried plenty that I've liked because I'm on a quest for the perfect one. I actually made this one a few weeks ago so I don't remember my exact thoughts on it but I do remember that I liked it. They were very moist and the honey gave them a different taste. Here's the link to Confabulation in the Kitchen which is where I found the recipe.

Honey Cornbread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Pour batter into liners. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thin and Crispy Pizza Crust

It was thin and very crispy. I cooked it on the bottom rack for the first 10 minutes to ensure maximum crispiness. I found it at Brown Eyed Baker and I will be trying this one again.

Thin n’ Crispy Pizza Crust

1 package active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons yellow cornmeal

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Stir 1-1/4 cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt into yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with coil, turning dough to coat. Cover; let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.

Place dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Drizzle dough with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place pan on lowest oven rack; bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; top with desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust and cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Carrot Spice Muffins

Thia is a Dorie Greenspan recipe. I've seen  her recipes all over the food blogs and since I had some carrots that needed to be used I decided to try this one  that I found on the blog Sidewalk Shoes. The texture was nice, more cake like than muffin and I didn't think it had enough flavor to stand alone without frosting. I did forget the nuts which would have made it better and I thought it could use more raisins. I don't think I'll make these again but they were okay.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cake Mix Cookies

In had a box of red velvet cake mix that had just expired, so it was make something or throw it out, and I hate wasting food, so cake mix cookies it was. There are only 4 ingredient in these cookies, so they were pretty easy to make. They looked like cake inside and were a little chewy. Not bad, not in my top ten. I would have liked them better with chocolate cake mix, I'm not really fond of red velvet, tastes too much like food coloring.

Found the recipe at Abby Sweets

Cake Mix Cookies
1 box cake mix, any flavor
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
2 cups powdered sugar
     Mix the cake mix, egg, and cool whip together until combined. This will be thick, but not so thick that you can roll it into balls. Put the powdered sugar into a shallow bowl.
     Once you mix the dough, put the scoops of dough into the powdered sugar and roll it to coat. You can shape it once it is covered with the powdered sugar.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
The batter looks a bit like Play-doh.
Cookies are ready to be baked.

Baked up very pretty!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pink Lemonade

Another Cat Who... recipe. I really didn't car for this one. First I made a simple syrup, added the lemon juice and then added maraschino cherry juice. I thought it was too sweet and didn't taste much like lemonade, so I added extra lemon juice, which I think made it worse. Maybe it would have been better if I had used fresh lemons instead of bottled juice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mrs. Cobb's Legendary Lemon-Coconut Bars

I love cookbooks. I especially love cookbooks that relate to books or tv shows that I like, such as the Little House on the Prairie cookbook. There is a series of called The Cat Who... by Lillian Jackson Braun and there happens to be a Cat Who Cookbook, actually there are two. It's been hit and miss as to how I've liked the recipes. I'm on the fence about these bars, the crust wasn't as heavy and rich as some lemon bars I've tried which I liked, but I prefer plain lemon bars. Still these were worth trying. I also recommend putting parchment in the bottom of your baking pan, I haven't tried that myself, mostly because I forget until I'm trying to pry the sticky edges from the pan.

Mrs. Cobb's Legendary Lemon-Coconut Bars

3/4 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. bottled lemon juice
1 c. coconut
powdered sugar

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Stir in vanilla extract and flour. Press into 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Bake 20 min. Remove from oven. Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar and beat until thick. Add lemon juice and coconut. Pour on baked crust. Bake 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar when cool.
    Makes 24 bars.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Cornbread or corn cake?

I've been wanting some corn bread lately and since I had Bisquick on hand I decided to try a recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen. I halved the recipe and baked it in a 8x8 pan. It turned out really well! This recipe made an extremely moist, cake-like bread, a bit too sweet for my taste, I'll cut back on the sugar next time and maybe make it in a bigger pan because it was a bit thick.

Emily's Corn Bread for Dummies

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter. Mix with a large wooden spoon or spatula, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out clean.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Comforting Chicken Noodle Casserole

This recipe came from A Southern Grace, it was a simple dish to make and very tasty. The only complaint was that there was a little too much sour cream flavor. The recipe calls fro 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, but I used 4 tenders and that was more than enough. I don't have a kitchen scale to measure out 6 oz of noodles so I used about 2 1/2 c. of wide egg noodles. I served it with a side of steamed broccoli.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Casserole
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 ounces egg noodles
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper, and paprika to taste
1 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350F.
Poach the chicken in a large pot of simmering water. Cook until no longer pink in center, about 12 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Bring chicken cooking water to a boil and cook the pasta in it. Drain. Shred or dice the chicken and mix it with the noodles.
In a separate bowl, mix together the mushroom soup, chicken soup, and sour cream. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Gently stir together the cream soup mixture with the chicken mixture. Place in a 2-quart baking dish.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or the microwave. Stir in the crumbled crackers and sprinkle atop the casserole. Bake for about 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.

Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins

A relatively healthy choice for a snack, these muffins are filled with fiber and they don't taste half bad. I made them with half white and half wheat flour, some I baked up plain and some I added coconut and to the rest I used coconut and raisins. There were some changes I would make next time. I didn't think the coconut added anything so I would leave that out next time. I liked the raisins and was thinking nuts might be good and maybe a bit of orange zest to brighten them up. Cranberries instead of raisins would probably be good as well.

I found the recipe at Kate in the Kitchen

Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins
from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission
1 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. flour (AP or Whole Wheat, or both)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 T. ground flaxseed
1 c. cooked and mashed sweet potato
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
1/4 c. skim milk
1 large egg
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk oatmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and flaxseed. In another small bowl, combine sweet potato, brown sugar, oil, egg, milk and vanilla, whisking to blend well. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix until just moistened. Scoop into muffin tins and back for 15-20 minutes. Check at the 15 minute mark- these bake up quickly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The coconut carrot cake that wasn't...

I saw this recipe at A Southern Grace for carrot coconut cake. I love carrot cake and I love coconut cake and that picture looks great! I must make it, I thought. So on my next trip to the store I went armed with a list of ingredients, Cream of Coconut, not a problem it's right there in the liquor aisle. Coconut extract, that should be an easy find right? Wrong, there isn't even a place for it on the shelf. Seriously? Vanilla, almond even root beer extract but no coconut. That's okay I reasoned, I'm sure between the shredded coconut and the cream of coconut it will be good anyway.

I start to make the cake getting all my ingredients ready before hand. (something I don't usually do), the nuts are chopped and the carrots are shredded. Everything is going great. Except for peeling my thumb when I was peeling the carrots but if I took injuring myself in the kitchen as a sign, I would never cook again. Anyway, It's time to add the cream of coconut, I open the can to find a slightly brownish waxy looking layer when I dug a bit deeper a greasy looking syrup. Does anyone know what cream of coconut is supposed to look like? If that's what it normally looks like I think I'll be getting rid of any recipes with that in it. Anyway since everything else was mixed up and ready to go I just added extra oil and made it without the cream of coconut.

The flavor of the cake was lacking but the texture was okay. and since I couldn't make the frosting which is a shame because I think I wanted to try that more than the cake and I didn't have any cream cheese. I had to go next door and borrow a can of frosting. Maybe one day I'll try it again, but I would like to know if the cream of coconut was bad or if it was supposed to look that way.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Eve Coconut Cake

Dad wanted a carrot or coconut cake cake for New Years and since I was wanting to make this for Christmas and didn't because of the multitude of desserts we already were planning. I decided to make it last night.

It's really heavy. I don't know what happened. It was in the oven and started smelling yummy so I turned on the oven light to check it's progress. It was beautifully risen but not quite done. A few more minutes passed and it was time to open the door and check. It's done! I pulled the pans on put them on cooling rack and left them to it. When I came back to remove them from the pans they had fallen from lovely domed tops to flat tops. Okay...flat tops are easier to frost. I finished cooling it and frosted it and stuck it in the fridge. No one ate it last night. I should probably mention no one has been eating a lot, especially heavier foods because the entire family, except dad got sick at Christmas, a nasty stomach bug that was going around my grandmothers rest home. My grandmother and her roommate had it a week or so before and my mom got it then as well, my sister Christmas Eve which prevented her from even celebrating with us. Then my aunt and cousin on Christmas Night, Mom got it again the night after that as did I the next morning.

I kind of got off point. Dad tried some earlier and said it was kind of heavy. He wasn't a fan of the frosting either. I tried a small piece after lunch and It was heavy, honestly doughy might even be a better word. I'm certain it was done when I took it out. I tested with a toothpick and the top sprang back when I touched it. It isn't sitting all that well so I don't even know if I will have another piece. I tasted the batter and it wasn't bad. and the overall flavor is okay. I'll put the link so if anyone wants to see if they have better luck with it than me.

Coconut cake recipe