Sunday, January 31, 2016

Madeira Cake

I have this weather app on my phone which I have selected different places. I check the weather for North Carolina and Maine. Also, I check Edinburgh, Scotland since my Dad travels there a lot. I have Sidney on my phone since I know it is Summer there. Also, I check the weather in Florida. Well, I kept telling my husband how warm it was in Florida and he said lets go. My oldest daughter was visiting so it was fun. We went down for a couple of days. When we arrived home, it snowed. How different my children dress in Maine versus North Carolina. In Maine, my children had snow boots, snow pants, hats, etc. In North Carolina, they didn't even put on a thick jacket. Since they had no school for three days, we really didn't go anywhere even to the store.
Winter in NC for my Maine kids!
When my oldest daughter was here, I wanted to make her something for her birthday. She asked for strawberry shortcake. To be different, I made this Madeira Cake. We topped the cake with whip cream and strawberries. My daughter really liked the cake. I had to make conversions for this cake. The cake doesn't have any liquids besides the lemon juice which is different. The cake isn't very sweet and is crumbly. It tasted good but I prefer pound cake.
Madeira Cake
8 oz. butter, softened
1 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling top
1 lemon
3 large eggs
1 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Spray a Bundt pan or a loaf pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  4. Zest the lemon and add to the butter mixture.
  5. Add one egg at a time to the butter mixture.
  6. Gently, mix in the flours.
  7. Add the juice of the lemon to the mixture.
  8. Add the batter to the prepared pan. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  9. Bake the cake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

One year ago................................I made White Chicken Chili.
Two years ago..............................I made Pepperoni Cheese Bread.
Three years ago............................I made Hash Brown Potatoes.
Four years ago..............................I made Baby Back Ribs.
Did you already know...............
-Madeira Cake is an English sponge cake similar to pound cake. 
-Madeira Cake's name was derived as a cake to eat with Madeira wine.
-Madeira cake has no wine in it and is traditionally flavored with lemon.

I am apologizing ahead of time for not blogging in February. I have made a commitment to a family member plus I will be watching the Superbowl-Go Broncos and baking a chocolate tart! Stay warm while I'm gone.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Chocolate Souffle

Souffle, anyone? I told my husband that I was going to make a chocolate souffle. He said, souffle? Souffle? Let's have souffle! I asked him if he had ever had a souffle? He said he associated souffles with the rich and he has never had a souffle. I always associate souffles with complicated. Well, I have now made a souffle. Was it hard? It had many steps. Did my souffle fall? It did fall a little. I should have filled my ramekins a little more to get more of a top. When it came out of the oven, it looked beautiful. This is when it should be served. Even if it falls, it will not affect the taste. We topped our chocolate souffle with vanilla bean ice cream. I will say this dessert did impress my husband. He told me that I spoil him.
Chocolate Souffle
4 eggs yolks
4 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar

  1. Allow the egg yolks and egg whites to be at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  3. Spray 6 small ramekins with nonstick baking spray.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the 3 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder.
  5. Coat the bottom and the sides of the ramekins generously with the sugar mixture. Set aside.
  6. Set aside the remaining sugar mixture to top the souffles for later. 
  7. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
  8. Whisk in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and the flour. 
  9. Add the milk and whisk. 
  10. Cook the mixture until it bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat. 
  11. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until combined with a fork.
  12. While whisking, slowly add a little of the milk mixture to the egg yolks.
  13. Continuing to whisk while adding the milk mixture to the egg yolks. Set aside.
  14. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 
  15. Gradually add 2 Tbsp sugar to the egg whites. 
  16. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. 
  17. Fold in 1 cup of egg whites to the egg yolk mixture. 
  18. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. 
  19. Equally distribute the batter to the prepared ramekins. 
  20. Bake the souffles for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  21. Carefully remove the souffles from the oven.
  22. Sprinkle the souffles with the remaining sugar cocoa mixture. 
  23. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking cookbook.

One year ago............................I made Thai Khao Tom.
Two years ago..........................I made Breakfast Cookies.
Four years ago..........................I made Orange Chicken.
Did you already know....................
-In the 18th century, souffles originated in France.
-Souffle means puffed up in French. 
-Souffles should be served immediately since it will begin to fall within 10 minutes once the heat escapes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Creme Anglaise

Since I knew I was going to make a chocolate souffle, I wanted to serve a sauce with it. I figured I would make this thin custard sauce. I figured I would try it over some berries. It was really good. Did I like it over the souffle? No. This sauce is served chilled so it needs to be prepared in advance. My son assisted in making this sauce. He had to try it warm. He liked it. Also, he liked using the cooking thermometer. To him, this dish was more like a Science experiment. My husband liked it. He thought it would have been a good topping for the Angel Food cake in which I had made the prior week.
Creme Anglaise
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and heavy cream. Bring to a boil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. 
  3. While whisking, drizzle about a couple of spoonful of the hot milk into the egg yolks.
  4. Continue whisking, slowly drizzle the remaining liquid into the egg yolks. 
  5. While continuing to whisk, heat the mixture until it thickens. The mixture temperature should reach 175 degrees F. 
  6. Remove the mixture from the pan and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl. 
  7. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. Refrigerate the cream until it is very cold then cover the mixture tightly. 
  9. Allow the mixture to chill for 24 hours so the flavor will intensify.
Recipe adapted from Baking cookbook by Dorie Greenspan.

One year ago..............................I made Chicken Pad See Ew.
Two years ago............................I made Baked Oatmeal.
Three years ago..........................I made World Peace Cookies.
Did you already know.............
-Another name for Creme Anglaise is English custard.
-Creme Anglaise needs to be kept away from strong odors so the flavor.
-Creme Angliaise is a cooked custard which can be served over fruit, crepes, pies, truffles, etc.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Angel Food Cake

Have you ever had Angel Food Cake? If so, what did you think? Well, I wasn't a big fan. I thought it seemed a little dry with no flavor. I really didn't think my husband would like it. Well, he loved it. I really loved this recipe. I would definitely make this cake again. I even had big plans to make a frosting with it but I didn't. My husband didn't care. He ate the majority of this cake. He had picked the lemon flavoring which I am glad. I wasn't sure if it would be a complicated recipe but it really was easy with a mixer. See you can have your cake and eat it too with this recipe.
Angel Food Cake
1 1/2 cups fine sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites at room temperature
1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp lemon extract
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.

  1. Lower the racks to the lowest position in oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, salt, and cake flour. Set aside. 
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water, lemon extract, and the cream of tarter until soft peaks form about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly, add 1/2 cup sugar to the egg white mixture. 
  6. Continue to whisk over medium speed until medium peaks.
  7. Using a spatula, gently fold in 1/2 cup of the flour mixture. 
  8. Gently add the remaining flour mixture until incorporated.
  9. Carefully, spoon the batter into an ungreased Bundt pan.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Cool the cake upside down on a cooling rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

One year ago...................................I made Quiche Lorraine.
Two years ago.................................I made Cookies and Creame Cookies.
Three years ago...............................I made Italian Ranch Dip.
Four years ago.................................I made Creme Brulee.
Did you already know...................
-Angel Food Cake originated in America.
-In the late 19th century, Angel Food Cake became very popular.
-Typically, the Angel Food Cake is topped with a glaze or fruit sauce.

Next week: I will be trying to make a Chocolate Souffle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nutella Chocolate Pudding

If you are going to make Angel Food Cake, you will have lots of egg yolks. I'm just preparing you. So, how do you use up a dozen egg yolks. You can make scrambled eggs with the egg yolks which my daughter loves. Why has my daughter had all yolks scrambled eggs? Because I wanted egg white scrambled eggs. I am not a big fan of egg yolks and she loves them so it is the perfect balance. With a dozen egg yolks, many other dishes can be made. So, I decided to make some chocolate pudding. This pudding is so good. I think I caught the children licking their bowls or maybe it was my husband? This chocolate pudding is really delicious.
Nutella Chocolate Pudding
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate powder
4 tsp cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cup milk, the sugar, and the cocoa powder.
  2. Over medium high heat, bring the milk mixture to a simmer. 
  3. Once simmering, remove from the heat. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch, egg yolks, vanilla extract, Nutella, and the salt.
  5. While whisking, add a spoonful of the hot milk mixture to the Nutella mixture. 
  6. While continuing to whisk, add another couple of spoonful of hot mixture to the Nutella mixture.
  7. Gradually whisk in more hot milk to the Nutella mixture. 
  8. Combine the Nutella mixture to the saucepan. 
  9. Heat the mixture over medium heat while continuing to whisk until the pudding begins to boil.
  10. Reduce the mixture to a simmer and continue to whisk. The mixture should begin to thicken within 2 or 3 minutes. 
  11. Pour the pudding into 6 small cups and cover with plastic wrap.
  12. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Recipe adapted by Tyler Florence

One year ago.................................I made a Tomato Basil Soup.
Two years ago...............................I made Bourbon Bacon Burger.
Three years ago.............................I made Banana Bread Cookies.
Four years ago...............................I made Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms.

Did you already know.....................
-In England, a savory pudding  are sausages like the black pudding. 
-In England, a sweet pudding is a similar to a sponge since it is steamed and thickened with eggs.
-In America, pudding is similar to a custard and a starch is used to thicken it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hello for a Monday

So, are you continuing to follow your New Years Resolutions? So far, I'm still becoming more organized. It is going slow. It is great that my husband has been helping. Keeping a menu plan is not always easy but we did better this week. I even ate leftovers for lunch. This is our menu plan for the week:
Sunday: Buffalo Chicken (I made it.)
Monday:  Soup (My husband made tomato soup from a can.)
Tuesday: Chicken Bake (My husband made it.)
Wednesday: Taco Dish (We purchased sandwiches to go.)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (My husband made eggs of choice.)
Friday: Chicken Dish (My husband made his Taco Dish instead.)
Saturday: Stuffed Pepper Soup (I made it.)

I think our three biggest obstacles about menu planning are:
  1. During the week, we are tired and just don't feel like cooking.
  2. We change our minds especially the kids. We don't want soup again.
  3. I will notice another dish that I would rather make than the one I have planned which is really no big deal since we didn't purchase the groceries yet.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Italian Cream Cake

I finally made this cake. I have been wanting to make it for awhile. When I suggested it, my daughter said sure but my two guys were not interested. I didn't want to make a cake for only two people. Then we went to the store. The store had samples of different cakes to sample. I had my guys try this cake. They both liked it. Then I told them the name. So, they agreed I should make the cake. They told me that my cake was better than the one they had tried at the store. I love my guys. They say the sweetest thing to me. My daughter like it a lot too. The recipe calls for coconut but you can't taste it. I crushed the pecans small for my husband. He isn't the biggest fan of nuts. Also, I limited the pecan decorations on the cake so he could take them off and give them to me. If you want a taller cake, then I would double the batter but this size was perfect for us. I used 2 pans instead of 3 since I didn't want to rotate pans during baking it. 
Italian Cream Cake
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well before adding the next egg.
  5. Add the vanilla and combine.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  7. Add a little of the flour mixture then alternating with the buttermilk. Combine well.
  8. Fold in the pecans and the coconut.
  9. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. 
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. 
  3. Beat until smooth. 
Recipe and frosting adapted from Taste of Home

One year ago...........................I made Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Two years ago.........................I made Sausage Wonton.
Four years ago.........................I made Burgundy Mushrooms
Did you already know........................
-Italian Cream Cake is a Southern Cake.
-Italian Cream Cake was published in the early 1900s.
-Italian Cream Cake tends to be three layers with a cream cheese frosting.

Next week: I'm posting Angel Food Cake!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mexican Chicken Casserole

So, I received a calendar with recipes. I decided to hang it up in the kitchen. Well, my son saw it and asked if I would make the January recipe. So, I did. I had to adapt it since I couldn't find one of the ingredients. Plus I omitted the beans. We liked the dish. Anytime I make a dish with rice, it normally is a success. We will make this dish again.
Mexican Chicken Casserole
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup (8 oz.) corn drained from a can
2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 can (10 oz.) Enchilada sauce
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped fine
2 cups Mexican style cheese blend
Toppings: lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, green onions, etc. 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, mix the rice, corn, chicken breast, and enchilada sauce.
  4. Mix in the green onions, bell pepper, and 1 cup of the cheese blend. 
  5. Spoon the mixture into the pie pan.
  6. Bake the mixture for 30 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the mixture.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Serve with desired toppings.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

One year ago.....................................I made Steak Fajita Quesadillas.
Two years ago...................................I made Winter Savory Chicken.
Three years ago.................................I made Bran Banana Muffins.
Four years ago...................................I made Lemon Frosted Cupcakes.
Did you already know..................
-Another name for corn is maize.
-An individual kernel of corn is a seed and the cob is the flower.
-The rows of corn on the cob should always be normal if grown in a normal environment.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. We did. We stayed home and relaxed. One of the things I noticed several blogs have started is posting a weekly menu. For the most part, I tend to compose a menu. Did you like how I wrote composed? Why? Because we never stick with it. 

Here was my menu for last week: 
Sunday: Meatloaf (My husband and I made it.)
Monday: Cheesy, Corn, and Kielbasa Chowder (I made it.)
Tuesday: Taco Bake (My husband did not make it so leftovers.)
Wednesday: Sandwich of choice (I made a BLT.)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner (We had takeout which was not breakfast.)
Friday: Chicken Dish (I made Mexican Chicken Casserole which I'll post later.)
Saturday: Spaghetti (I made it.)
Cheesy, Corn, and Kielbasa Chowder
As you can see, we start the week successful then it changes. We go grocery shopping every other day so it really is no big deal to change. Just some nights, we are tired and really don't want to cook. My husband is suppose to cook Monday through Thursday. Then I cook Friday through Sunday. I plan the meals on my days and my husband plans his meals. If you make a menu, do you stick to it? If so, what is your strategy so you make sure to follow it?