August 2009 Archives
yesterday, i wrote a recipe for red velvet cake that should make delicious cupcakes. here is the icing recipe for them. it's different as it's cooked with flour and milk. you will need to have the flour mixture really cold before finishing the icing. i suggest using a pastry bag with no tip and swirling up to make a tall cupcake. classic white icing makes 8 cups whisk together; cook: 21/2 cups whole milk 3/4 cup flour cream; add: 21/2 cups sugar 5 sticks unsalted butter softened 1 t. vanilla dust with: cocoa powder whisk milk and flour together in a saucepan. cook over medium heat until thick and smooth about 5 minutes, whisking often. boil 1 minute to eliminate starchy taste of flour, whisking constantly. transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic, pressing tightly to prevent a skin from forming. chill until cold. cream butter and sugar in a bowl with mixer on high speed til light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. add vanilla and chilled milk mixture, beating to consistency of whipped cream, about 5 minutes. spoon into piping bag with large straight tip (or no tip) and pipe spirals onto cupcakes. dust with cocoa
soon after my daughter moved to nashville about 10 years ago, she started talking about a cake that different girls in her office were bringing to work. she asked me if i had ever made a red velvet cake to which i replied no. for her daughter's first birthday, she ordered cupcakes......she rarely bakes.....and said i should find a recipe and make them. she assured me that people here would love them. the baker here did find a recipe and we were surprised to learn that the icing was a cooked one with flour and milk. when i received the new issue of cuisine at home, i noticed they had printed a red velvet recipe. it's a bit different from the one we use, but sounds very good. whisk together 31/2 cups all purpose flour 3 T. cocoa powder 11/2t. each baking soda, salt, and instant espresso powder blend;add: 2 cups sugar 3 eggs 2 cups vegetable oil 2 oz. red food color 11/2 t. vanilla extract mix in: 11/2 cups buttermilk 11/2 t. white vinegar preheat oven 350 degrees; line two 12 cup muffin pans with papers. whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl, set aside. blend sugar and eggs in a bowl with a hand mixer until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. with mixer running, add oil in a stream until blended. mix in color and vanilla. mix 1/2 dry ingredients into butter mixture, followed by the buttermilk and vinegar, then remaining dry ingredients; blend until incorporated. fill liners, bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. cool and transfer to a rack. frosting on next blog.......
on friday, i took the defensive driving course. it was 8 hours of torture for me, as i am not used to sitting for that long a time. concentrating was a major problem, partly because i was constantly thinking about the cafe and business (or lack of). partly, my problem was that i had not had to "do" a workbook in many years and i found myself flipping to the last page and subtracting from where we were so i could know how much more! it was boring even with cute stories from the beleaguered teacher who professed to being 76. at the best, i was maybe the third youngest in the class of 30, which did make me feel superior, if i wasn't so agitated. at lunch time, i walked to the cafe and announced that i would probably jump out the window, this being the one on the 9th floor, before the afternoon was over. you see, i was not there to lower my insurance premium as most of my classmates, but because i had committed a criminal act. i had not heeded a pedestrian crosswalk, in fact, i drove straight through and when i was stopped and asked if i knew why i was stopped, i said i had no idea. now i could plead my case here, but it wouldn't do any more good than it did when i went to court. i was told to not say a thing, but was given two choices....pay 100 dollars OR go to class, and for the $12.00 fee, you know which i chose. so i had to accept the fact that i was there ordered by the court. maybe that's why i was so defensive?
at our cafe, we make pounds of dill potato salad, actually many many pounds. there have been more clients this summer than ever having cookout type events, including, of course, dill potato salad. we try to use farmers' market potatoes, buying from stevie stevens of argyle. there are eggs, celery, shredded carrots, red onion, mayo, dill, s&p and that's it. i'm very color-conscious and those colors work. personally, i add chopped tomatoes. yum. as a subscriber to food network magazine, i have found new joy in food, as well as new ideas. here's one for you, potato salad with smoked sausage. i happen to love smoked sausage, especially hillshire and this salad sounds like it could work. i would add 1/4 cup ranch dressing also. start with 21/2 pounds new potatoes (about 8 cups), 16 ounces smoked sausage, sliced, 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped, 4 green onions, sliced, 3/4 c. grape tomatoes, halved. for the dressing 1//4 c. vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. cook the potatoes, until tender, drain. in a skillet, saute sausage til browned, combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl. toss potatoes, sausage and remaining ingredients into dressing. serve immediately or refrigerate. makes 20 side-dish servings (about 1/2 c. each) . if more dressing is needed, add more ranch. note: when we make our potato salad (usually in the morning), we always all have some....we call it breakfast of champions!
my friend, pam, named my porch the other day, lemonade porch. i think she was suggesting that when i was spending time there that there is some work that needs to be done regarding the cafe. i wasn't thinking about what she was saying after the words lemonade porch. my mind went to an idea of a girlie tea-lemonade party with tiny cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad, lenon tarts, mini chocolate cupcakes and genuine conversation with lots of laughter. it (my idea) even stretched to croquet, but only briefly. back to lemonade, we use raspberry syrup when we make it at the cafe, and actually have fresh mint, for now, for our iced tea. it amazes me how much of those two summery drinks we sell in the other seasons. my rented house in bolton landing does indeed have a great front porch. because the house sits back from the street on a sloping knoll, i get a great view fo the "goings on" on the main street. i have planted flowers in front, actually leaving packed boxes still packed, since the important things needed to be done....the porch is completely ready, and was ready two days after my arrival. with our short summer season here, there was no time to waste. i have great old wicker furniture, real and silk plants, small tables and a very weird sculpture done by my son when he was a student at skidmore. now, if i can just get it together, not only in my head, to have the ladies' lemonade party..........
for 23 years, we have made the same chocolate indulgence cake, mostly cupcakes, and people have loved them. we can hardly keep up. now we put candied violets or sunflowers on the cupcakes as an added touch. and lately, we have made mini cupcakes selling for 75 cents. however, last week i was invited to my friend flo's for dinner. dessert was better than our chocolate cake and that's saying something. it was a chocolat cake from a recipe flo got from cooks.com. what a delicious cake. here is the recipe for picnic perfect chocolate cake. 2 c. flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. baking soda 3/4 c. cocoa 2 c. sugar 1 c. oil ( i would use 3/4 c. as i think this is a little much) 1 c. hot coffee 1 c. milk 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla mix dry ingredients together. add oil, coffee and milk. mix batter, add eggs and vanilla. beat for 3 minutes. pour into greased and floured bundt pan. bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. flo frosted with a cream cheese and real butter icing. again, have to say this cake gives ours a run for its money!
when i received the inquirer and mirror newspaper from my favorite place on earth, nantucket, i noticed one of the recipes was for chickpea soup. yesterday i decided to make it. begin with 4- 15 ounce cans of chickpeas, saute 1 medium onion, chopped, with 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 3 cloves garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. add a few saffron threads, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 cup tahini and 1/4 cup lemon juice. i added 1 tablespoon chicken base, but for vegetarians, add sea salt to taste, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. when onions are cooked, remove from heat. place chickpeas in batches in food processor with some of 4 cups of water. then process the vegetable mixture. add to chickpeas and rest of water. if too thick, add more water. taste for seasonings. can add chopped mint, or chopped tomatoes for garnish. if this seems like an unusual soup, it is, and it is delicious.
have to admit that i do not know much about radishes except that i love them wet with salt. a few years ago, we found a recipe for radish sandwiches and tried them on our menu. i think there were 2 of us who ate the sandwich. tried to peddle them as tea sandwiches, which i believe is a very english delicacy, but the client refused, choosing instead chicken salad. anyway, a radish sandwich is merely buttered thin bread with sliced radishes and a sprinkling of salt. i used sea salt. however, last week, i made a cracker spread that my fussy sister said was delicious. it was a bunch of cleaned radishes, with tops and roots removed, an 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (i used jarred), 4 tablespoons soft butter and 1/2 teaspoon adobo (you could use plain salt). all in food processor til smooth. yummy. radishes rule!