Tag Archives: cake

Spice Cake Drenched in Cream Cheese Frosting

I obtained this recipe, after suffering its wonderous, moist, frosted phenomenon, from old family friends.  They deserve credit for this amazing cake I continue to make at least once a year. It’s perfect for that rich, Christmas or Thanksgiving dessert you were assigned to bring to the party.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (cream cheese substitution is okay)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 heaping tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 heaping tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.  Grease and flour either a 13″ x 9″, 2 round cake pans, or a bundt cake pan (these would also make excellent cupcakes). 

Beat all ingredients with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds.image  Beat for a remaining 3 minutes on high.image

Pour batter into your pan.  imageBake for approximately 40-45 minutes for a rectangular pan or 30-35 minutes for the round pans or bundt cake.  When a toothpick comes out of the center clean, the cake is finished cooking.

While the cake is cooling, whip up the frosting.image In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, milk and vanilla together on low-speed with a hand mixer until smooth. image In doses of about one cup, add in the powdered sugar. image Cream together until frosting is smooth and spreadable. image

Spread cream cheese frosting over cake. Enjoy.image

I doubted the fridge’s holding of unexpired sour cream, and used cream cheese in the cake instead only to find out the next day we had not one, but TWO fresh cartons of sour cream. Whoops. The only difference I noticed was the dense cake was less moist than its sour cream compromised counter-part.  It was still enticing, then again, what, covered in cream cheese frosting, wouldn’t be?

I made a mini sampler size for taste testing, just in case the cake didn’t turn out using cream cheese inside the cake. Andrew refused to touch it, so I gave it to my mom and Dave first. They all agreed it was well-prepared and delectable, despite my impatience for both the trip to the store to buy sour cream and to allow the oven to fully heat up to 300 degrees Farenheit.

The spices remind me of sipping on a gingerbread latte from Starbucks, or slurping up some Pumpkin Black Bean Soup (minus the cayenne), not to mention it makes the whole house smell like a lit Yankee Candle.  Each bite is dribbled in luscious cream-colored gobs of icing.

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Filed under Dessert, Food

Quinoa Veggie Cakes with Red Pepper Almond Sauce

A wonderful addition to girl’s weekend and the BBQ at Dani’s.  These are a vegetarian’s dream food, including all of the daily nutrients in one small “cake”.

For the cakes:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. tahini or almond butter 
  • 1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup finely grated sweet potato
  • 1/2 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. finely diced onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar

Start by pre-cooking your quinoa and pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking pan to keep the lumps of quinoa from later sticking to the pan and breaking apart.

Next, in a large bowl, mix together the egg, flour, red wine vinegar and tahini or nut butter. I chose almond butter because it was in the cabinet, but feel free to experiment with different flavors. Peanut butter is acceptable, but may be a little too much as it tends to overpower anything it’s added to. If you use peanut butter, I’d also use Asian spices like soy sauce, 5-spice powder, chili pepper or hoisin sauce instead of going the Indian spice route I took.image

In the same bowl, add the remaining “cake” ingredients.  If you don’t have frozen spinach, do like I did; take fresh spinach leaves, add a tsp. of water, cover with a paper towel or plastic wrap and microwave for 20 seconds. It will wither into a similar fashion as the frozen spinach making it easier to blend into the hodgepodge of vegetables and grains.

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Take a handful of the medley and create a hockey puck like shape, placing the final result on your baking pan repeating until all the mix is gone.  Place the cookie sheet in the oven for 25 minutes or until the tops of the “cakes” are brown and creating a crusty outer shell.image

While the main part of the dish is cooking you can quickly blend together the sauce ingredients. Combine everything in a small blender or Magic Bulletimage I left out the almonds in mine, but they would pair nicely with the almond butter in the quinoa cakes.  Blend until smooth.

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When your entree is fully cooked, remove from the oven and either drizzle the roasted red pepper almond sauce on top or serve next to the “cakes” for dipping.  I tried the sauce both cold and hot. Either way works because the quinoa vegetable “cakes” are served piping hot, warming the sauce when it’s mixed together in your mouth.

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As Dani’s stepbrother stated so well, “It looks like bird food.” And it does, but it the taste trumps looks in this recipe. 

The acidity of the sauce and watery nature soaks right into the absorbent quinoa.  Bursts of cumin and curry tango with candied sweet potato, green spinach, nutty flavors and sweet onions.  The bitterness often associated with spinach is drawn out with the acidic red wine vinegar and these both evenly pair with the nutty aspect of the almond butter, toasted almonds in the dressing and walnuts (which add a perfect amount of crunch). This dish is a vegetarian’s dream, carrying protein in the quinoa and so many vitamin-rich vegetables mixed in one “cake”.  You’ll never know you’re eating healthy the way everything rounds to a patty-like conformity melding with each bite.  The sauce is a must as it smooths all the spices to a consistent sapidity.image

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Filed under Appetizers, Food, Gluten-Free, Lunch/Dinner

Kennesaw/Atlanta Restaurant Review

Georgia is such a gorgeous state to visit. We hadn’t even landed yet, and all I could see from the plane window was cloves of trees surrounding circles of houses followed by more forest green tree tops.

Kennesaw, Georgia is home to the Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria.  We all decided on the daily lunch special, $5.00 for a slice of pizza with two toppings and a drink.  Now, you may be thinking, “Okay, that is manageable.”  Then your slice of pizza arrives.  It was served on a pizza pan, not a plate. The kind of pizza pan you’d cook a 20″ pizza on.  The slice fits nicely in the middle of the pan, with just enough room on the sides to move about a half-inch or so.  The crust is decent for a thin crust pizza, and the toppings come in so many varieties, you would have to eat 66 different combinations to try them all at lunch.
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You may have seen Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria’s Carnivore Challenge on the Travel Channel with Man vs. Food live.  The Carnivore Challenge is 11 lbs. of meat and pizza. The challengers (two of them) have to eat the entire pizza in under an hour without puking or leaving the vicinity.  Winners receive $250 (cost to attempt the challenge is $50). Looks intense. If they had a vegetarian version, I’d totally be down to try it!

For the bachelor/bachelorette dinner, we drove down to exit 249 to check out Engine 11 Firehouse Tavern.  Eileen’s extremely nice co-worker offered her $300 in gift cards so we could celebrate.

The inside decor of the place is adorable.  Everywhere you look there is a mixture of cherry wood, leather and red brick. Huge chandeliers hung down from the ceiling offering just the right amount of lighting, like an old-fashioned saloon jazzed up.

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Interested in ordering drinks? They have more to choose from than you can imagine. For our celebration purposes, the bridal party took a shot of choice together, and we each got to pick a different brew. The Gorilla Fart, which the boys tried, actually smelled really awful. The beautiful women cleverly ordered the chocolate cake to pair with the actual chocolate cake and Georgia peach cake.  Surprisingly, our drinks were clear liquid.  It tasted more like one of those chocolate oranges you find at Christmas time.  Each slice has orange liqueur in with the chocolate for an extra sweetness and a tad sour.

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The restaurant leaned more towards supplying meat to its customer’s than vegetarian friendly, so I ordered the Blue Cheese Chips appetizer to share with a few others (leaving the bacon off). The blue cheese was slowly melting down the massive pile of chips and was topped with diced tomatoes and scallions.  Each homemade chip had that perfect cooked crispness most of us crave when chomping down.  The tomatoes helped pull away from the potent blue cheese.  Excellent food, drinks and company. I would recommend the restaurant to anyone in the area for a weekend.  Us girls followed up the night with an improv sketch comedy act while the boys went to a concert.

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Filed under Food, Restaurant Reviews

Blueberry Streusel Cake

This easy to make recipe will have your co-workers begging for more.

For the cake you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup blueberries or blackberries or any other berry

For the topping you will need:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and grease an 8×8 baking pan.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to throw the ingredients to be cooked together, just enough time to get the oven nice and hot.
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In a mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients for the cake: flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: oil, egg, milk and brown sugar (okay this isn’t a wet ingredient, but it is heavy and when combined with the egg and oil will diffuse into a liquid).

Gradually combine the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients adding in a tablespoon of cinnamon.  I used a fork to get a gentle whipped texture keeping the cake nice and light.  The cinnamon will incorporate with the sugar creating a sweet spice.  Stir until everything is blended.

Carefully fold in the berries to you mix.  If you are too rough, the berries will break open staining your cake.  My mom likes to freeze berries when they are cheap and in season in individual sized glad freezer wrap.  These turned out excellent for the cake because they are solid enough to not break open, but still fresh.  Pour your mixture into the 8 x 8 pan making sure it evens out and set aside. image

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar and cinnamon.  Add in the softened butter and mix until they are equally incorporated and form into small crumbles.  You really want softened butter and not melted to get the correct form and texture of the topping.  Sprinkle the sugary morsels onto the top of your cake mix in the 8 x 8-inch baking pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  The cake will stop jiggling when lightly shaken from side to side when it’s ready. Stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before cutting into the sweet morning treat.

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The cake holds the perfect amount of moisture so every bite holds together and melds into your taste buds.  The best part is the topping, so make sure to get some with every forkful.  It brings more of that sweet spice from the sugar and cinnamon into the cake and when you get some with a berry, your taste palate is complete.

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Filed under Breakfast, Food