Watch the episodes. I would be interested in what you have to say.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup light cream
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 3/4 cups hot water
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, optional
Sunday, March 28, 2010
After a week of indulgence during Spring Break, I need to get back on track with some lighter fare. With Easter weekend coming up, and the celebration foods that I’m sure will be prepared, I also need to work in some extra exercise time.
This is a short week for me at school due to scheduling conferences on Thursday and Good Friday holiday on, well, Friday:) We plan to spend the weekend with the Perfect Babies, so my menu plan is short as well.
I pray you have a blessed week. Be sure to come back and join me for Crock Pot Wednesday. I can’t wait to see what you have to offer.
Monday: Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad
(Penne pasta, basil pesto, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumber, feta cheese, sliced ripe olives)
Tuesday: Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Crema Mexicana (Bon Appétit, June 2009) These are really tasty!
Wednesday: Dance Lesson and Date Night
Thursday: I have scheduling conferences until early evening, so we will probably eat out or have leftovers.
Friday: off to see the Perfect Ones:)
Join me for dessert this week from the crock pot! Mister Linky will be up and ready for you Tuesday evening.
Recently, my Sunday School teacher shared what I thought was a very interesting bit of information about what the Lord is called throughout the books of the Bible. I’m not sure where she got the information, so I can’t give credit to the original author. Since I had not heard this quite this way before, I thought that you might not have either, and I decided to send it your way. This week, we will take a look at the Old Testament.
In Genesis, Jesus is the Ram at Abraham’s altar.
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb.
In Leviticus, He is the High Priest.
In Numbers, He is the Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.
In Deuteronomy, He is the City of our refuge, and
in Joshua, he is the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window.
In Judges, He is our Judge.
In Ruth, He is our Kinsman Redeemer.
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is our Trusted Prophet, and in
Kings and Chronicles, He’s our Reigning King.
In Ezra, He is our Faithful Scribe.
In Nehemiah, He is the Rebuilder of everything that is broken.
And in Esther, He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate.
In Job, He’s our Redeemer that ever liveth.
In Psalms, He is my Shepherd and I shall not want.
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is our Wisdom.
And in the Song of Solomon, He is the Beautiful Bridegroom.
In Isaiah, He is the Suffering Servant.
In Jeremiah and Lamentations, it is Jesus that is the Weeping Prophet, and
In Daniel, He is the Fourth Man in the midst of a fiery furnace.
In Hosea, He is my Love that is forever faithful.
In Joel, He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
In Amos, He is our Burden Bearer.
In Obadiah, our Savior, and in
Jonah, He is the Great Foreign Missionary that takes the Word of God into all of the world.
In Micah, He is the Messenger with beautiful feet.
In Nahum, He is the Avenger.
In Habakkuk, He is the Watchman that is ever praying for revival.
In Zephaniah, He is the Lord Mighty to save.
In Haggai, He is the Restorer of our lost heritage.
In Zechariah, He is our Fountain.
And in Malachi, He is the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings.
Linked to: Spiritual Sundays
Saturday, March 27, 2010
So this week I’ve been sharing some new favorite dishes with you that I have recently tried. Before sharing today’s, however, I have to show you my #1 FAVORITE PINK PRINCESS.
While this isn’t her Easter outfit, you can bet that whatever she wears this Sunday will be pink! The girl just can’t have too much pink.
I keep canned PINK Alaskan salmon in the pantry at all times. It can be used in so many more ways than fried salmon croquettes (although I have a delicious version of those that I will share at some point). The February 2010 edition of Eating Well featured four recipes with canned salmon; so far, I have tried two of those.
These black bean and salmon tostadas are easy to prepare and have such great flavor which makes them my New Favorite #5. Plus, they are healthy for you – just don’t tell the kids or Hubby:)
Photo and recipe courtesy of Eating Well magazine.
Linked to: Pink Saturday. Thanks to Beverly for hosting.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
(photo by: Lisa Hubbard)
Yield: Makes 6 servings
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 small garlic clove, pressed
6 4-inch-long baguette sections or one 1-pound loaf ciabatta, halved horizontally
2 ears of corn, husked
2 small red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise
1 large red onion, cut into 1/3-inch rounds
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut crosswise into 6-inch pieces
Olive oil (for brushing)
Prepare barbecue (high heat). Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside. Pull out some of inside of bread, forming thick shells. Brush corn, peppers, onion, cut sides of bread, and steaks with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until charred and just tender and steaks until charred and cooked to medium-rare, about 15 minutes for corn, 8 to 10 minutes for peppers, and 5 to 8 minutes for onion, turning occasionally, and 3 minutes per side for steaks. Let steaks rest 5 minutes. Grill bread, cut side down, until charred, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Cut corn from cobs; add 1 cup to bowl with mayonnaise mixture and stir to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I used thawed frozen corn that I grilled in the skillet. I will try the fresh corn when it comes in season locally.)
Cut steaks diagonally against the grain into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick strips. Arrange steak slices, peppers, and onion over bottom halves of bread. Spoon corn mayonnaise over. Top with bread, pressing slightly to compact. (If using ciabatta, cut into 6 sandwiches.) only 377 calories!
Courtesy Bon Appétit, September 2009.
And new this week: New Friend Friday Go on over and meet a new friend today:)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly is hosted by Elina at Healthy and Sane who chose these Moroccan inspired Spiced Chicken and Grape Skewers as our recipe of the week.
It comes from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy cookbook and can be found on the Food Network site as well. In her book, Ellie chose to serve these with a garden lentil pilaf. It looked so good that I decided to prepare that as well.
I can highly recommend both:)
I thought you might be interested in watching this video
of Ellie preparing the skewers. While this really is an easy dish to fix, it never hurts to watch how someone else does the preparation. Unfortunately, you will have to watch a short ad before the video begins.
Garden Lentil Pilaf
1 cup green lentils
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons diced shallots
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender but still retain their shape, 30-35 minutes. Drain any excess water from the lentils and set them aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cooked lentils, basil, mint and parsley to the pan and stir to combine. Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve.
Also linked to: Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
In celebration of my week at the beach! This is soooo good and easy. I hope you enjoy it. You can substitute surimi if you want. Personally, I just can’t do that.
10-12 ounces fresh crabmeat
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chilies
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Low fat sour cream, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine 2 cups Spicy Tomato Sauce, crab, corn, 1 cup cheese and chilies in medium bowl.
Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges. Place one-third of the tortilla wedges in bottom of a shallow 3 to 4-quart casserole, overlapping to make a solid layer. Spread half of crab mixture on top. Repeat with another layer of tortilla wedges, remaining crab mixture and remaining tortillas. Spread remaining 1 cup Spicy Tomato Sauce over top; cover.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake uncovered 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Squeeze lime over individual servings. Serve with low fat sour cream, if desired.
Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt added stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine tomatoes with liquid in food processor or blender; process until finely chopped. Set aside.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, red pepper and cloves. Cook and stir 1 minute.
Add tomatoes; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 3 to 31/4 cups.
Dietary Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 lean meat, 2 vegetable
Courtesy of Light Cooking: Mexican (1994)
Monday, March 22, 2010
I probably own more cookbooks than any one person should. And you know about my addiction to cooking/food magazines. I really do love to read them. Honest, I do.
I recently made a commitment to myself that I would set aside some time each month to try new recipes or preparations, and I am happy to share some of those new favorites with you.
We pride ourselves on our biscuits here in the South. There’s the King of all Biscuits, the buttermilk biscuit. Not to be outdone, is the sourdough biscuit, and then, of course, the divinely inspired (I’m sure.), sweet potato biscuit.
I’ve always loved sweet potato biscuits, but I don’t prepare them on a regular basis enough to really be good at making them light and fluffy. Recently, however, I came across this recipe in Cook’s Country that made my mouth water just reading it.
Don’t EVEN think about changing this recipe. As far as I am concerned, it is the best-tasting sweet potato biscuit that has ever crossed my lips! They need nothing more than a pat of sweet cream butter, but you can add on some homemade strawberry or blackberry freezer jam to make a dessert:) It is also suggested to eat them slathered with mustard and a slice of baked country ham. Nirvana!
Sweet Potato Biscuits
You can substitute a combination of 2 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 7 tablespoons cornstarch for the cake flour. If you halve the recipe, in step 1 reduce the microwave time to 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 16 biscuits
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (4 to 5 medium)
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
3 1/4 cups cake flour (see note)
1/4cup packed dark brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled; plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1. MICROWAVE POTATOES Prick potatoes all over with fork. Microwave on large plate until potatoes are very soft and surface is wet, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. Immediately slice potatoes in half to release steam. When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into bowl and mash until smooth. (You should have 2 cups. Reserve any extra for another purpose.) Stir in vinegar and refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
2. MAKE DOUGH Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chilled butter, and shortening in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to bowl with cooled potatoes and fold with rubber spatula until incorporated.
3. CUT BISCUITS Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 times. Pat dough into 9-inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Using 2¼-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out biscuits and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Pat remaining dough into 1-inch-thick circle and cut out remaining biscuits.
4. BAKE BISCUITS Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve. (Biscuits can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 days.)
STEP BY STEP: Doubling the Sweet Potato Punch
Our recipe calls for twice as many sweet potatoes as most others.
We microwave the sweet potatoes to concentrate their flavor and release their moisture, making for lighter, more flavorful biscuits.
Our recipe uses a full 2 cups of sweet potato puree and no buttermilk whatsoever.
Courtesy of Cook’s Country, Dec. 2009
Crock Pot Wednesday will be back next week in full swing. I hope you will come back with your entries for that. You can even post multiples if you desire.
While I’m not cooking this week, plenty of others are and have some great suggestions for you over at I’m An Organizing Junkie. Check them out.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
It’s my Spring Break this week, and I won’t be doing any cooking except to toast a bagel or English muffin:) We are leaving (hopefully) on Monday for the beach. I say hopefully because we are currently snowbound following a surprise 12+ inches of fresh powder since last evening. Welcome to spring in Arkansas:)
I have taken lots of pictures but I cannot locate the USB cord for the camera I was using. AAAARRRGGGHHH! The ones from my Iphone will have to tell the story.
The weathermen were predicting a POSSIBLE accumulation of 4 inches. They weren’t even 100% sure that anything significant would fall.
This is mid-afternoon on Saturday shortly after the POSSIBLE snow began falling. It was a white out, of course.
Some time around 10 p.m. we actually did have 4-5 inches of POSSIBLE accumulation.
By 7 a.m. the POSSIBLE accumulation had reached around 6-7 inches, but Mother Nature (with her springtime sense of humor) was NOT finished.
By the time it finally stopped late afternoon on Sunday, we had been gifted with an unofficial POSSIBLE 12 inches of fresh powder.
Honestly, other than the havoc it creating for Perfect Daughter and Perfect SIL trying to get home from Arizona, it was a picture perfect snowfall. Huge, wet flakes that danced across the air made for great snowballs and snowmen.
Yep. Welcome to Spring Break in Arkansas. Today it’s pushing 60 degrees:)
Crock Pot Wednesday will be back next week in full swing. I hope you will come back with your entries for that. You can even post multiples if you desire.
While I’m not cooking this week, plenty of others are and have some great suggestions for you over at I’m An Organizing Junkie. Check them out.
Linked to: Menu Plan Monday
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Last Sunday we spent the afternoon at Garvan Gardens checking out the beautiful daffodils that are blooming now. This Sunday…well we are playing in the snow and building snowmen. Go figure. Mother Nature is a constant source of surprise in Arkansas.
One thing we can all count on to be a source of strength and consistency is our God. He is always there; He will never fail.
I still have all of the love letters Hubby sent me while he and I were in separate colleges and when he was away with the Army. He has mine. We should both pull them out and reread them. I’m certain that the “springtime” of our relationship would be as refreshing as the daffodils from last Sunday. And yet, the “winter” of our relationship is warm and inviting and familiar. Who is to say which is best?
God’s relationship with us is the best of all seasons. How do you not look out upon the daffodils and the snowfall and not know He is in control?
Enjoy this Love Letter from God whether you are basking in the sunshine or marveling at the miracle of a snowflake. I’m glad He keeps sending them to me. (Let it load completely. Click Start.)
Have a beautiful Sunday wherever you are.
Friday, March 19, 2010
This is the final installment of this year’s Irish feast; I promise:) Thanks for indulging the Irish in me.
I adapted this beef stew recipe from my VERY old (1968) Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook to use in the classroom with my students when we were making “Irish” stew. This has been a favorite of ours ever since we got married, so I can vouch for its delicious flavor.
Irish immigrants who came to America during the Great Potato Famine began using beef as a substitute for the more difficult to find lamb or mutton to which they were accustomed. Vegetables might vary but potatoes were always in the pot. Carrots, parsnips, turnips were also great tasting additions and a way to stretch the stew pot.
OLD-TIME BEEF STEW (aka IRISH STEW)
Serves 6 - 8
2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, sliced
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (I usually omit this.)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash ground allspice or cloves
6 carrots, peeled, pared and quartered**
4 Irish potatoes, pared and quartered (I don’t peel mine.)*
1 pound small white onions (optional)
2 cups hot water (I use beef stock or broth.)
Optional ingredients: 2 turnips, peeled and quartered, 4-6 peeled and quartered parsnips
* I usually use halved small potatoes or whole fingerling potatoes.
** Those “baby” carrots work just fine. I put them in whole.
In a Dutch oven, thoroughly brown meat in 2 Tablespoons hot shortening or oil, turning often. Add 2 cups hot water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, sliced onion, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and allspice or cloves. Cover; simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Remove bay leaves and garlic (I don’t.). Add vegetables. Cover and cook 30-45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Crock Pot Adaptation (for the classroom and at home):
Brown the meat as directed. Place in the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. I sometimes add in a bottle (start with about half of a bottle then taste) of Guinness stout with the broth. I just judge the amount of liquid needed by the amount of meat and vegetables I use. Cook on HIGH 6-8 hours. I usually turn it to LOW or KEEP WARM when I get home from work and let it sit until we are ready to eat.
This is a very forgiving recipe. Some people will add in tomato paste, basil, red pepper flakes and even thyme. I don’t. Personal taste should be your determining recipe:)
If I’m in the mood, I top bowlfuls of the stew with squares of phyllo and bake until the dough is puffy and browned. If you want to know how I do that, let me know; I will be happy to send you the directions.
Serve with cornbread, cornbread muffins, Irish soda bread or Irish Brown Potato Bread. YUM!
So, until next year, this is my wish for you…
(Let it load. Click Start.)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This is a basic recipe for Colcannon that I like and have used with my students for our Irish feast. At home, I use sautéed kale in place of the cabbage. I have even used leftover roasted Brussel sprouts. Both add a greater depth of flavor, I believe, than the cabbage. Just remember, butter…butter…butter. If you can find Irish butter (and can spare the expense), you should give that a try. Oh, my!
You don’t have to wait around for St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy these dressed up mashed potatoes:)
(adapted from Cooks.com)
3 cups cooked and mashed potatoes
2 cups chopped, boiled cabbage
4-6 slices lean bacon or pancetta
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, washed and chopped
4 tablespoons butter (or 1/2 butter-1/2 olive oil)
7/8 cup bread crumbs
This dish is best made using lean Irish or Canadian bacon, or pancetta may be substituted. (My students just used regular bacon.)
Combine potatoes and cabbage together in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sauté bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to drain on clean paper towels; sauté onion, garlic and leek in same skillet.
Add half of the butter/oil to the skillet and stir in potato and cabbage mixture. Crumble/chop bacon and add half of it to the mixture. Mix and heat through.
Transfer to a buttered oven casserole dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with remaining butter.
Place in 425°F oven and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining bacon.
Whenever I have leftover mashed potatoes, I like to use them to make Colcannon croquettes. This is a basic recipe for potato croquettes that can be adapted for those:
4 c. cooked, mashed potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
2-4 tbsp. buttermilk
3 tbsp. chopped chives
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 1/2 c. crushed buttery cracker crumbs (approximately 40 crackers) (I use panko instead.)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. paprika
Combine first 6 ingredients; mix well. Divide mixture into 8 portions and shape into croquettes. Roll in cracker crumbs. Place on lightly greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Combine butter and paprika and drizzle over croquettes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with chives if desired. (These can also be pan-fried in a combination of butter and olive oil.)
NOTE: These freeze nicely. Just bake a little longer.
Colcannon Croquettes: Add some sautéed kale, cabbage or chopped roasted Brussel sprouts to the mashed potatoes along with the remainder of the ingredients and cook as directed. I like to substitute sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for the buttermilk. Depending upon the water content of the potatoes, I may add in a tablespoon or two of all-purpose flour. You will need to adjust the amount of the ingredients according to the amount of mashed potatoes you have.
Let me just start off by saying that I think I should rename this cake “Miracle Cake” because it is a miracle that it got baked today! Ever have a miracle day?
Reason 1: So I was late getting home after school…the Yard Guy was already waiting on me to give him instructions on pruning the shrubs…bless his heart. He was patiently waiting. I normally do this myself, but this year I opted out. I was really wanting to get the cake started but kept getting interrupted by Yard Guy who was just wanting to make sure he was doing things as I wanted. As I said…bless his heart. Please God. Give me patience.
Reason 2: I get out all of the ingredients and the mixer (heavy sucker, but I love it)…well almost all of the ingredients. I head to the basement garage to get the Guinness Stout from the downstairs frig and more semisweet chocolate from the big freezer. Oops! There’s water on the floor of MY storage room. Not a good sign.
I follow the trail to the hot water heater but determine that it is not the source of the leak. PANIC. The walls next to the HWH are damp as are the shelves as is the sheetrock. THIS IS NOT LOOKING GOOD. NO WAY. NO HOW.
Text Hubby. “LEAK IN MY STORAGE ROOM. WHAT TO DO?”
The butter is being creamed. CALL THE PLUMBER. The chocolate is being chopped. HUBBY COMES HOME TO SOOTH MY PANIC. Sift the dry ingredients. Simmer the stout and molasses. Did I butter the pan? HUBBY IS NOT INTERESTED IN CAKE… CONCERNED…SHORT OF PANIC WITH LEAK. Where am I in this cake thing? HUBBY SAYS TO TRY CALLING THE PLUMBER AGAIN!!!! Maybe I should just forget the cake??? PLUMBER CALLS. ON HIS WAY. WHEW! Eggs in. Dry ingredients alternated with stout and molasses. All done. PLUMBER ARRIVES. HELP HIM TRACE THE PATH OF THE LEAK.
Meanwhile back at the cake. Have I included everything? I’m losing it. I promise, I am.
PLUMBER TRACES THE LEAK TO THE UPSTAIRS FRIG! Whew! At least the leak isn’t between the kitchen floor and the basement ceiling. There’s damage. Hardwood, sheetrock to be replaced. But…it’s covered. THANKS, GOD! I appreciate miracles in whatever form I can get them.
So for now, this cake is to be called “MIRACLE CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE!” It’s a dang miracle that it got made:)
And, it’s even more of a miracle that it tastes delicious! Give it a try.
I could use a few:)
For the cake
1-1/4 cups stout, such as Guinness (don’t include the foam when measuring)
1/3 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
7-1/2 oz. (1-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed); more for the pan
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for the pan
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
For the glaze: (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan (or twelve 1-cup mini bundt pans) and then lightly coat with sifted cocoa powder. Tap out any excess cocoa.
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the stout and molasses to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand while preparing the cake batter.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and stout mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Stop the mixer at least one last time to scrape the bowl and then beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (or pans), spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Run a knife through the batter to eliminate any air pockets. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 45 to 50 minutes (about 35 minutes for mini cakes). Set the pan on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and remove the pan. Let cool until just barely warm.
Make the glaze, if using:
Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and then whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Drizzle the barely warm cake with glaze and then let cool to room temperature before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
Wrapped tightly in plastic, the cake keeps for up to a week, or you can freeze it for up to a month. If you’re making the cake ahead, wrap it while still barely warm without the glaze. If you plan to freeze the cake, don’t glaze it until you’re ready to serve it or give it away.
From Fine Cooking 61, pp. 46
December 1, 2004
Okay. Maybe my catastrophe doesn’t officially qualify for a miracle…actually I know it doesn’t. But it sure was close to one! This is one yummy bite of chocolate deliciousness!
Come join the party!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Linked to: Tasty Tuesdays and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I was recently asked by our local paper to be featured in its Grits and Grace special that appears each week. The columnist had heard that I have a love for all things Irish, especially authentic (or not so much) Irish foods. Apparently, she was aware that I had previously cooked Irish dishes with my students at this time of the year following their study of Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff. For a variety of reasons, I had not included that in my plans this year. So, I begged off and told her that I would commit to it next year so long as the focus of the piece was on the students, not the teacher:) We’ll see. I really miss getting to do those fun things with them.
I’m featuring some of those Irish dishes that my students have made on my menu plan for this week. If I can do these with a classroom of seventh graders, anybody can make them!
Monday: Irish Potato Brown Bread (recipe follows), Irish Stew (posted Wednesday).
Tuesday: Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage, Chocolate Stout Cake
Wednesday: HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Dance and Date Night (We haven’t learned the Irish Jig. Sorry. But my Assistant Principal and former teaching partner, Dian, can and has agreed to perform for my students. Go Dian!)
Today’s student recipe: colcannon
Thursday: Seared Salmon with Raisin and Caper Butter, Colcannon croquettes
Friday: Travelling to see the Perfect Ones. Friday’s recipe: Chocolate Stout Cake
Saturday: Perfect Boy and Perfect Girl get to pick:)
Sunday: Travel Day
Nory Ryan’s Song takes place during the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and tells of the villagers of Maiden Bay as they face the catastrophes of starvation and poverty during the potato blight. It is also a story of a young girl’s courage and loyalty to her family and friends. I cried the first time that I read it. My students always seem to enjoy it, and several of them are already reading the sequels.
IRISH POTATO BROWN BREAD (Bread maker)
1 1/2 pound loaf
1 1/4 cups water
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
2 pound loaf
1 2/3 cups water
4 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3 Tablespoons honey
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup instant potato flakes
2 Tablespoons gluten
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 1 Tablespoon bread machine yeast
Place all ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions. Set crust on medium and program for the whole wheat cycle; press Start (do not use delay timer).
When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.
Note: Whole grain dough should be sticky to the touch; do not add extra flour.
Recipe courtesy of: The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (Hensperger)
I’m a big Max Lucado fan. I’ve read most of his children’s books and am enjoying Cure For the Common Life right now. I plan to finish that over Spring Break and will be sharing my review with you. The next one on my list is this one mentioned by my pastor, Rick Grant, in his Encourager newsletter message this week.
One of my favorite authors is Max Lucado. In his book, When God Whispers Your Name, he shares several maxims worth considering. Lucado tells the reader to keep the ones you like. Forgive the one's you don't. Share them when you can.
* Pray all the time. If necessary, use words.
* “Sacrilege” is to feel guilt for sins forgiven.
* God forgets the past. Imitate Him.
* Greed I've often regretted. Generosity - never.
* Never miss a chance to read a child a story.
* Pursue forgiveness, not innocence.
* Be doubly kind to those who bring you food or park your car.
* Don't ask God to do what you want. Ask God to do what is right.
* Nails didn't hold God to the cross. Love did.
* We treat others as we perceive God is treating us.
* Sometimes the most godly thing we can do is take a day off.
* No one is useless to God. No one.
* Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.
* Succeed in what matters.
* God doesn't keep a clock.
Max Lucado summed it up this way: As soon as you can, pay your debts. As long as you can, give the benefit of the doubt. As much as you can, give thanks. And always remember, He's already given you more than you deserve.
I just loved this! I’m putting this list where I can read it every day. My day will be better for it, I know.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
This strawberry granita recipe comes from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. I got this book last summer and have really enjoyed using it. My grandchildren love ice cream, especially Nana’s homemade ice cream when they can get it. This granita has such a light, fresh strawberry taste. I just know you will really enjoy it.
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
few drops freshly squeezed lemon juice
I hope you will join me this week for Crock Pot Wednesday. Enjoy your weekend.
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