BUTTERMILK POUND CAKE

By |2015-02-17T11:43:09-05:00February 15, 2015|Cooking|

This might just be the best pound cake EVER.

I’ve made pound cakes over the years, but usually as a sort of default/fall back if I need a basic cake, or I know someone is allergic to nuts, or chocolate or another ingredient, or just to try out a new recipe. And, I’ve baked with buttermilk from time to time.

Recently a friend lent me some of the books in the “Savor the South” cookbook series. These are published by the University of North Carolina Press and are available here. After looking over many in the series I would recommend the Buttermilk and Pecans as the best…or maybe the most quintessential South.

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BUTTERMILK POUND CAKE
 
 
This is one delicious, outstanding pound cake! It’s moist with a slight crispness to the top.
Author:

MINI LEMON CUPCAKES

By |2015-01-25T17:53:06-05:00January 25, 2015|Cooking|

What’s easy to make and even easier to eat?

Mini Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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IMG_6889_wm Lots of lemon: grated rind, juice, and lemon extract.

 

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IMG_6892_wm I tried one batch in the greased pan, and another using papers. There really wasn’t a difference…I was trying to get a crisper edge but it just wasn’t happening.

 

IMG_5370_wm So sorry…it’s out of focus!

 

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MINI LEMON CUPCAKES
 
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert or Tea or Anytime
Serves: 6 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 package, 8 oz., of cream cheese, softened
  • 2¼ […]

SPICED COCKTAIL NUTS

By |2014-12-07T13:49:43-05:00December 7, 2014|Cooking, Food|

Want a great, simple, very tasty recipe for spiced cocktail nuts? Look no further. These are fabulous and so easy to make! This time of year we all need something new to try and to serve, right?

It’s from Giada DeLaurentiis: “Spiced Cocktail Nuts Recipe” 

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Oh I love my mortar and pestle! I must have bought it, what 25 years ago? It doesn’t see the light of day very often, but it’s always there when I need it. Marble is the only way to go!
This time is was for Cardamom seeds which needed grinding.

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I saw this recipe over at Classic Casual Home (take a look: you will love Mary Ann) and it now resides in my recipe notebook.

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IMG_3096_wm The finished product!

 

I’m also trying something new here, so let me know what you think. I have installed a plugin (that’s […]

ORANGE LAVENDER POLENTA CAKE

By |2014-10-21T17:19:22-04:00October 21, 2014|Cooking|

Time for a new recipe!

A friend of mine recently lent me the book,
“A Fine Romance: Falling in Love With the English Countryside” by Susan Branch.

My friend knew of my then-upcoming trip to England and thought this might be of interest. Yes! It’s a lovely travel story of Susan and her husband and their most recent two month trip to England. Her narrative of driving (on the “wrong” side of the road, of course!) touched home for me: I certainly did NOT consider driving during my recent trip for it would surely have been a recipe for disaster…

Susan has a few recipes in the book, but this one stood out for me right away:

Orange Lavender Polenta Cake

1+ cup superfine sugar (you can make this by putting regular sugar into a food processor)
1/2 lb. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. almond flour
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
zest of 2 oranges
1/4 c. orange juice
1 1/4 c. fine yellow cornmeal or polenta flour
2 tsp. culinary lavender (optional)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325
Butter & flour a round 9″ cake pan
Beat the sugar & butter together until light.
Stir in almond flour & vanilla.
Fold in orange zest & juice, cornmeal or polenta, lavender, baking powder & salt.
Pour into pan and bake 45-50 min. until […]

IN THE KITCHEN: COLANDERS

By |2014-11-27T20:49:26-05:00July 20, 2014|Cooking, Shopping|

A colander is defined as:

“a perforated bowl used to strain off liquid from food, especially after cooking.”
or, more specifically:

“a perforated bowl, made of stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic, that is used to drain the liquid from pasta, vegetables, salad greens, and other foods.”

I had been vaguely looking for a new colander. My old one, down below, seemed well…dated. The feet were scratching my white corian sink and it just seemed what?…clunky I guess is the best word.

Enter this gem from Cuisinart found at HomeGoods last week.
I love it. Lots of holes so the liquid really DOES drain. No scratching from the feet on my sink. It sits low. Nice, sturdy handles. Did I mention how it really drains well?

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These gorgeous gems I had found at a tag sale and, while they look beautiful, they DO NOT drain well as there are simply not enough holes either on the sides or the bottom.

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Here’s my old colander that I’ve had for at least twenty five years!

SUMMER BEAN SALAD

By |2014-06-19T11:36:20-04:00June 19, 2014|8 McDowell, Cooking|

I haven’t done a cooking post in quite a while so thought this recipe might interest all of you.

I’m not a big fan of bean salads, but they DO have their place and one huge advantage they have, in the summer, is the absence of mayonnaise or any dairy that might spoil. Oil and vinegar is what binds this one.

My husband was at Southern Season, grazing his way through the store… and actually picked up this printed recipe to bring home.

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Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white beans, same
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1/8 c parsley, chopped
1/8 c basil, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/4 c olive oil
1/8 c vinegar

To Do:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well, being careful not to break the beans. Serve chilled.

My Comments:

I used at least 1/4c chopped basil
Go easy on the onion: one small is plenty
I used course French sea salt
I used Balsamic vinegar:  I’ve started using only a really good i.e. expensive! one and think it […]

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