Something-For-Everyone Cake

This is the second dessert I made for the family.  Everyone seems to like a different type of cake so I set out to please everyone and came up with this.  It’s a decadent dessert and no where near as healthy as my latest attempts at dessert but now and then, you just need to blow all that healthy eating out of the  water, am I right?  It isn’t for everyday so that’s okay.  Plus, I did substitute eggs for egg whites, that’s something, right?

from what I remember for the midnight cake: 2c brown sugar, 1/2c butter, 2 eggs, 2 oz chocolate, 1c coffee, 2 c flour, vanilla... I think...

from what I remember for the midnight cake: 2c brown sugar, 1/2c butter, 2 eggs, 2 oz chocolate, 1c coffee, 2 c flour, vanilla, 1/2c milk with soda dissolved in it… I think…

It’s a layer cake, one white and one chocolate.  It’s also a cake of something old and something new.  The white cake is the recipe from a previous post, so nothing new there.  The bottom layer is a cake recipe from one of the period cookbooks we use on the farm at Greenfield Village called Midnight Cake.  I can’t remember if it is from the Buckeye or Mrs. Owen’s, but both are free on Google Playbooks, and I recommend adding them to your library.  It’s a dense, rich farm cake, so beware of that and I usually use it as a ‘brownie’ when at home (since I get the dense/heavy complaint when I mention it’s a cake).  I’d post the recipe but I worry about copyright, so I’m just going to point you in the direction of those two books and if you MUST have it, let me know and I’ll try to privately message you about it.  It is, basically at its heart, a chocolate cake.

I did put quite the layer of frosting on this puppy

I did put quite the layer of frosting on this puppy

Now the center, I used my pudding/cool whip mix and made it up in the sugar free white chocolate style to use in the center of both of these cakes.  Next time I might use it for the whole of the cake as well since I’m liking it better than buttercream these days…which is what the rest of the cake is frosted in.  Good news is that a whole recipe of buttercream frosting is more than enough to cover a two layer, round cake.

You can see the density of the two types of cake: the modern verse the victorian

You can see the density of the two types of cake: the modern verse the victorian

It’s definitely a cake you only need a small slice of but it does hit everyone’s sweet spot.

The Koolaid Pie Everyone’s Talking About

Technically, these two posts were baked yesterday so that there was a new recipe each week but we couldn’t eat them until today.  Besides, I was stuck in bed all week with the flu and wasn’t allowed anywhere near the kitchen, which seems reasonable.  It was quite the bummer since I did have a few things I wanted to try.  I guess I’ll have to make up for it this next week.

Anyway…

Looks rather impressive but thank goodness it's easy.

Looks rather impressive but thank goodness it’s easy.

This first post is the kool-aid pie that has been floating around Pinterest and probably a few other sites and while I was skeptical at first, I was proven very, very wrong.  It’s a delightful, zippy pie and I’m really looking forward to making this in the summer when baking can get a bit irritating what with the heat and all.  Plus, it tasted like those push-up popsicles I had as a kid (I made the orange flavor) and that’s just a nice treat.

It looks fresh and it's just as fresh on your tongue

It looks fresh and it’s just as fresh on your tongue

It’s extremely easy to make.  All you need to do is combine a package of koolaid, whatever flavor you want, with a can of condensed milk (a 14oz to be exact) and a small tub of cool-whip, which I tend to favor in the fat-free, ‘lite’ version just to make myself feel a bit better about it all.  Add to that a homemade graham cracker crust and you got a yummy, colorful dessert.

my first homemade graham cracker crust... and without a food processor...

my first homemade graham cracker crust… and without a food processor…

It does need to set for about three hours before eating and is actually really good fresh from the frig with a bit of cool-whip on top or some fruit.  If you have kids, give this one a go, or if you just like something creamy, rich and almost ok for you, make this.  I certainly will… cause I always have koolaid on hand and the other two ingredients aren’t too bad on the wallet.

A Trip to King’s Landing

Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan and really?  Who isn’t?  If you haven’t seen it or read the books, I highly recommend.  I also highly recommend the official cookbook even if you aren’t inclined to take my previous advice.  It isn’t just for fans but fans of period cooking in general.  The writers of the book have painstakingly searched for period recipes matched in the book’s feasts and translated them for us, even made up modern equivalent for those less inclined to try an ancient roman recipe.

They're petite and just ready for some tea

They’re petite and just ready for some tea

This recipe comes from 1690 for little lemon cake style cookies that are mentioned in the book.  I do like the fact that they provide the original text of the recipe, a translated version (for our modern cooking measurements) and instructions, that way you know for sure you are doing something quite old world.  It’s a pretty straight forward recipe but what I noticed as I made it up was how dry it became.  Maybe it’s a user error but I didn’t form a dough following the exact instructions and measurements, therefore, I added a bit of buttermilk, barely even 1/8 cup to help bring it all together.  Next time I might just cut down the flour and a bit of the sugar.

The end result?  Oh, these are sweet little things, almost candy like in their sweetness so I didn’t add the glaze to it but very lemony.  It’s the zest that does it and bonus?  The house smells deliciously like lemon as you make these up and you really will want to consume vast amounts of them.

While I can’t share the recipe with you, since it’s a book and all that jazz, I will suggest you pick it up.  There’s all sorts of recipes from duck, to salads, to drink recipes (not all alcoholic) to breads.  All meals are represented and almost all seasons so grab it up.  I think it’s a must have for those ‘rustic’ type days.

Green!

This is just a little green appreciation post, which is to say that these are not new recipes so it doesn’t count in that regard but it’s worth a share.

Are they adorable in green?

Are they adorable in green?

I made some green cupcakes (how can you not?) from one of those instant mixes but switched out the veggie oil for applesauce which is my new favorite trick.  It’s a great substitute, not only because it is healthier but because veggie oil isn’t always in the cupboards but the love of applesauce means that there is always, always applesauce.  Of course, I nixed all this healthy alternative by dropping some white chocolate chips into the mix.

I'm not the best froster out there but I cover that up with little lucky charms on top

I’m not the best froster out there but I cover that up with little lucky charms on top

Top all of that off with a bit more Irish flavor, this is St. Patty’s Day after all, with some Bailey’s Buttercream frosting.  It’s basically the same recipe I used for the vanilla buttercream frosting but instead of milk, I put in 4 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream.  The result is yummy but very sweet, so beware of that… then again, this is frosting and that’s alright in my book.

See?  Aren't they adorable?

See? Aren’t they adorable?

Then, as if a green goodie isn’t enough, I made up some Irish Soda Bread.  It’s one of my favorite quick bread to make so I do whip it up often.  The twist to this: green food coloring!  Yes, I was in a green making mood.  I made the bread into little biscuits and making them green just makes them adorable.  Same taste, just a fun twist.

Add to all of that and I passed this bug onto my mother who made up some green rice, and green beans.  I half expected green eggs and ham.

One Minute Buttermilk Mug Cake

Just as promised, here is the second post of the day.

I have a dessert problem and I have no intention of fixed it, though I have every intention of making it as healthy as possible and thus my search begins.  For a quick dessert without a ton of it left over, I went to Pinterest and found myself a one-minute mug of cake recipe to give a try and the good news?  It was fairly healthy, yay!

My little cake pancake

My little cake pancake

The original was made for a chocolate version, and then I found one that added some instant coffee which I will be trying very soon.  I, however, was not in the mood for chocolate.  Shocking!  So, trying a little experimentation, I decided to forgo the cocoa powder in this recipe and substitute it with flour, and then use low fate buttermilk instead of 2% milk, which according to their labels, is the same about calorie-wise.

The result is a tasty little treat that’s dense (I find that buttermilk cakes are like that but that’s alright with me) and pretty flavorful.  I’d like to try this out with flavor extracts and see what happens but for a one minute, microwave cake?  I’ll take it.  Plus, it allowed me to play with applesauce as a replacement for oil/eggs that’s so popular on pinterest right now.  The applesauce flavor is ever so faint in this and I almost wonder if I can’t make it more pronounced.  Hmmm.  Food for thought.

Oh, and I’d probably make it in a smaller mug so it didn’t end up so pancake flat like…

This is my modification of the original:

4 tbsp + 2 tsp flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
3 tsp applesauce
3 tbsp low-fat buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients well, then add in the wet and stir.  Bake in the microwave for about 40-50 seconds depending on your wattage.

Cheesy Fish

It’s a two for one today!  But we’ll start with the main course since it’s so yummy.

Now and then, Rachel Ray will make it onto my television screen.  I kinda like her show but it’s always at a time when I’m busy doing other things so I default to The Chew instead but that doesn’t mean I don’t try her recipes now and then.  The Parmesan-crusted Tilapia being a fine example.

Just before hitting the oven

Just before hitting the oven

We eat tons of tilapia in my house.  I’d prefer salmon personally, having an extreme fondness for it and given half the chance in a restaurant, will order it above any other selection of protein and meat.  Sadly, my pleas go unanswered and I have to search about for interesting fish recipes and here is a good one.

Flaky, parm covered and oh so good.

Flaky, parm covered and oh so good.

It’s super easy and requires very little in the way of ingredients and that’s always a good thing.  Most people have these ingredients already in their kitchen and that’s a big bonus with quite a few of her recipes.  If you don’t, they aren’t too expensive to get.  We didn’t have any parmesan handy being fresh out though we usually have it for our pastas.  This time the shredded was picked up verses the grated which worked out just as well.  It isn’t as ‘crusted’ as it probably should have but it tasted just fine.  I might not even ever try this with the grated since I liked the shredded well enough.

Since it is a quick recipe, I’d say it’s pretty ideal for those on the go and those wanting to be a bit more health conscious.  Thumbs up from me and the whole family on this one.

Stuffed Pretzels

After a bout of baking, I decided to switch things up a bit, partly because there were several boxes of Girl Scout cookies that needed to be consumed first and consumed they were.  (Also, if you mix pudding instant mix, about 3/4 cup milk and a thing of lite whipped cream topping and then crush a couple thin mints in a little serving of that, it is delicious).

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

Pretzels were on my mind lately, and requested by the family since the last time I made homemade German pretzels during the fall.  I didn’t just want to make those again since it’s a big batch and we couldn’t eat them fast enough which was horribly sad for all involved since they are so yummy.  Therefore, I came across this recipe for pretzel bites that uses a different pretzel based recipe.  I’m always up for a new version of a loved yummy, so I set about making it.

I do love that there’s no butter or egg involved, better to say those ingredients for baking goodies, and lucky for me that we had left over ham from the night before.  It is a time consuming project, just to beware of that with the rising and the resting and then finally the baking, but I’m used to making bread and foods that take time so I was able to set things up and do a few other things around the house.

You can see how I got carried away with the size.  Whoops but yum.

You can see how I got carried away with the size. Whoops but yum.

The directions are very straightforward, though you should follow the whole one inch rule about how big to make these bites.  I’m not the best gauge of that when it comes to food (oddly, I am with fabric, huh) and I tend to make things a bit big… and yes, I did that this time.  They expand both in the resting and in the boiling process so these pretzel bites are more like pretzel biscuits but they sure are yummy.

The pretzel is fluffy and light and the ham to cheese ratio is nice.  It isn’t overwhelming for those who don’t like that sort of thing (I’d put way more cheese in there but that’s just me).  And they stuck to the pans but I have a feel it is the pans.  They have done that consistently with just about everything placed on them.  Sad news, but yay for shopping for replacements.

Definitely give this one a shot and I’m already looking forward to putting chocolate chips inside instead of ham and cheese for a bit of salty/sweetness.