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Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar

A friend of mine just posted this link on Facebook, which I wanted to share. I have a few recipes that call for Apple Cider Vinegar, and I happen to own this very brand in 1/2 gallon jugs. I have not tried drinking it w/ water yet but I do drink a lot of coffee and wine so I'm thinking that I should start.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cake #14: Chocolate Pound Cake

That's right, CHOCOLATE! Finally. It took 14 cakes and a year and a half but I finally made it to the CHOCOLATE section. And, fittingly enough, on my birthday! And, fittingly enough, on page 77 on 7-7! It was meant to be.
Photo taken by a very tall man.
After giving her enough crap about making me bake my own cake for my birthday, my mother made sure to help with this cake. So she did all the grunt work.
It was a pretty easy cake to make, though. The basic idea with pound cakes is that they had a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and a pound of flour. And I  can't think of any other type of cake (or anything really) that calls for 3 cups of flour AND 3 cups of sugar AND 3 sticks of butter! Actually, make that 1 stick of butter and 2 sticks of margarine. I'm not sure why you use margarine in addition to butter. Guess I shouldn't complain. That's only 3/4 of a pound of butter. Oh, and 5 eggs. I think I've said before that you should read through the recipe BEFORE starting to make it. I know this. I usually do this. But, for some reason, it wasn't until the cake was all ready to go and we were pouring it into the pan when I noticed the part that said it needs to cook for 1 1/2 hours. Oops. It was after 10:00 at night, but we managed to stay up until the timer went off. Then it wasn't done, but it had risen about an inch above the pan and it looked good! Another five minutes. Still not done. Another five minutes. Nope. So we left it in the oven and turned the oven off. That seemed to work. I made a note on the first page "long cooking time!" so that I won't make that mistake again.
That dent in front? Somehow a kitchen drawer managed to gouge the cake. Not my fault this time.
The next morning we sifted some powdered sugar over the top. At home, I would use a tea strainer. At mom's, I used some kind of sifting device that she had. It worked, although we dumped a bit more powdered sugar on it than the picture had.

My cousin brought a Chinese candle which is displayed on top, and was pretty fun to watch (and blow out).

We ate it with vanilla ice cream, which turned out to be a good thing since the consensus was that it tasted similar to ice cream sandwiches. Only better. Much better. I said it seems like ice cream sandwich chocolate comes apart more, like it's more oily. Maybe it's made with oil and this cake is made with butter, part margarine. Maybe that's why the margarine is necessary. But it was a very good cake. And also very good several days later, cold from the fridge.

Then the neighbor next door brought over an amazing Coconut Cream pie. I can officially tell you now, after extensive experimentation, that the Chocolate Pound Cake goes well both with vanilla ice cream and Coconut Cream pie!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dyed Deviled Eggs

I have been trying for years to find decent ways to dye eggs naturally. If you are dying the shells, the flavor doesn't matter. But I like to dye the part you eat and make funky looking deviled eggs. This year, I tried for yellow on the egg white part. I read in a magazine to use carrot tops, which I cut up and brought to a boil in some water, then let cool and added vinegar before adding the eggs. I let them sit in the fridge for several hours. The result? Slightly off-white eggs. So I pulled out the old stand-by, and so far the only way I've found to dye eggs naturally: a chopped beet in hot water with a little vinegar. The longer you let the whites soak, the darker the color.
The photo here, taken this morning after the carrot failure, shows eggs that soaked in beet water for about 30 minutes. They are very hot pink and really don't look like anything natural at all, which is why they are fun to take to parties! I would have mixed some avocado in with the yellow mash, but my avocado went bad.