Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Ganache

It's birthday time...bring on the candles, cake, balloons and everyone to our house!!!  Oh, it's not my birthday, but that kind of makes it more special because it's time to make a cake!  And not just any cake, but a piece of chocolate heaven, layered with more chocolate and then topped with...you guessed it...chocolate.  Oh, and there's a little raspberry in there, too.




I find that cakes can be a little time consuming with the baking and letting it cool and then frosting, but once you take your first bite, all that time can be very worth it. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Garlic Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

What would your Thanksgiving be like without a biscuit?!   On second thought, let's not think about that right now and let's think of how wonderful your meal will be with one of these tasty biscuits on your plate. This biscuit was originally discovered when invited to a soup and bread dinner where it was bring some food to pass and I made beer cheese soup with cheddar biscuits. Although, the beer cheese soup was gone at the end of the night, the cheddar biscuits were a hit at the meal.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

My big Thanksgiving feast last year only added to my inspiration for creating the website.  The table looked wonderful, my cooking skills had improved enough to conquer a big meal and somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I knew these recipes would make it out for the for the rest of the world to see.  
The meal included the Cider Brine'd Turkey, warm artichoke dip, Sauteed Mushrooms in Collard Greens, Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese & Balsamic dressing, Candied Yams, Mashed Potatoes, chilled black olives and the log of cranberry jelly (some traditions stick).  I will review old pictures to see what I can post for your viewing pleasure. 
Now on to dessert...
Spiced Pumpkin Layer Cakes 
with Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients for Cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pur vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed pineapple (do not Drain)
  • 1/3 cup dried currants

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

It seems like just instinct...the weather starts getting a little cooler...or you look up and realize it is time to switch the calendar to October...and it's when you realize - it has become fall. Your weekends are filled with enjoying every last day that might be above freezing. Usually at apple orchards or vineyards watching others with the same ideas as you all in search of the perfect pumpkin and everyone in awe of the sun shining through the beautiful colors shining through the trees. For example...


That is where I was, enjoying every last fall day I could and wanting to do one last thing...make homemade chicken noodle soup. In true fashion, I have actually never made home made chicken noodle before, but once that pot started simmering and the smells filled my kitchen, I knew that it was going to be good. There really couldn't be much easier than putting together a combination of wonderful ingredients, like chicken, veggies, herbs and noodles.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cider Brined & Glazed Turkey

I had the pleasure of enjoying two Thanksgivings last year.  One in the Twin Cities and one in my hometown.  The one in the Twin Cities was a large pot luck with many people and LOTS of food.  The one in my home town involved me creating the menu and really getting to try some of the traditional dishes with some new flavors at the table...and what turned out to be a lot of food considering the number of people. 
 
The main event - aka - the bird - sang a different tune that year.  Adding the sweet and sometimes tart flavor of apple cider to both the brine and the glaze made this turkey one to talk about.
 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

Lazy weekend morning breakfasts always make me happy.  They involve no rush because you generally have no where to go and you can really take you time in the kitchen and sipping your coffee and letting the younger ones help with mixing, pouring and stirring.  Those mornings are perfect...they involve great, light conversation and lots of laughter and sometimes, it also involves a little batter on the floor.   Oops - man down! 
 
So, as you are all aware (I am sure) ---IT IS FALL!!!  The leaves have turned and most of them have left us, but the solid root vegetables and colorful gourds are still a plenty and the urge to create different things that taste of pumpkin has taken hold.  The hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and