Friday, June 23, 2017

Berry Filled Angel Food Cake

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Now that the warmer weather has hit I'm sure there will be a few parties and cookouts to attend. Most of my friends and family make it pot luck and we all bring a dish. I usually opt for dessert cause I love making desserts. I don't always love making complicated desserts though. Sometimes I'd like to keep it simple. Simple doesn't mean it can't be delicious.

We decided to have a few friends over for dinner. No big, just throw some corn and steaks on the grill, bake a few potatoes, easy peasy. I wanted dessert to the be same way so I made this little beauty.

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I made an Angel Food Cake but you can buy one from your local grocery store as well. I think the local stores produce really small cakes compared to making it yourself, plus, you know what you put in yours when you make it yourself.

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Easy Berry Filled Angel Food Cake
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 Angel Food Cake (I used this recipe without the sauce!)
1 pint fresh blueberries, washed
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed
16 oz  heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons confectioners sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bake the cake and let cool completely. Once the cake is cool, cut it in half horizontally. Remove the top portion and set aside. Using a sharp knife cut a little tunnel into the bottom layer of the cake. Use your fingers to pull some of the cake out. Don't cut too close to the edge.

Slice the strawberries into bite size pieces, add to a large bowl. Add in the blueberries and 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar. Let the berries sit for 10 minutes.

Using a stand of hand mixer whip the heavy whipping cream on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks. Add in the vanilla. Whip for just 30 seconds more. Using a spatula, fill in the tunnel with the whipped cream and top with half the berries mixture. Place the top back on the cake and cover it with the remaining mixture. Place the remainder of the berries on top and chill until ready to eat!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sesame Ginger Dressing

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I've been at it again. Tinkering with vinegars and oils and all things delicious in the kitchen.

I eat a big salad every day for lunch. Yes, every day. I know to some folks that might seem boring, but I mix it up and make a really delicious salad filled with all different kinds of nuts and veggies and fruits and it always contains 1/2 an avocado cause I'm kind of a wee bit addicted to avocado. I admit it.

I don't usually buy store bought dressing because I love making my own. It's so easy to make your own dressing and it' not loaded with preservatives and a buncha of stuff you really don't want in your body in the first place, so why not make your own right? Right.

My trusty transcriber Evan (my son) will often sit at the kitchen table while I shout out what I'm adding and how much until I get the perfect balance of tartness. That's another great thing about making your own, you make it the way you like it.

Grab a mason jar, throw a bunch of ingredients in it and make your own!

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Sesame Ginger Dressing
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoons Asian seasoning (optional)

Put everything in a mason jar and shake! This makes a good amount so use a quart size jar.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Simple One Bowl Chocolate Cake

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Contrary to what some people might think, I don't make sweets every week, sometimes not even one in a month.

If I go too long without making something sweet my kids will eventually start asking. "hey Mom are you going to make any cookies sometime soon" or I'll get Evan pointing something out in a magazine and saying "you could make that for me mama". Oh why thank you.

I'm happy to make sweets, but I admit it's hard to stay away from them when you have a sweet tooth like I do. So I don't make too many just for us, but I'm always happy to make them and take them (somewhere).

This chocolate cake was a "just because" cake. Sweet were requested and I didn't want to make a big mess in the kitchen so this One Bowl Chocolate Cake was on the menu.

I have to admit I didn't have any cake but I might have licked the spatula after I made the frosting. It smelled like chocolate fudgsicles.

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Simple One Bowl Chocolate Cake
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting: 
3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon or more milk

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Add the eggs, the milk, the vegetable oil and the vanilla, and whisk these ingredients into the dry ingredient until the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the boiling water, whisking constantly until the cake batter is runny and smooth.

Pour the cake batter into a greased 9­x13­ inch rectangular pan and bake at 350 degrees 
about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you make the frosting. For the frosting, whip the butter on high speed using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer until the butter is
pale and smooth. Add the cocoa powder and the powdered sugar and continue to whip until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, a teaspoon or 2 of milk to loosen up the frosting until it reaches a consistency that is spreadable. Spread on cooled cake.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Roasted Garlic

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I don't know if everyone knows this about me but I'm a yard saler. You might call them tag sales, or garage sales, or even car boot sales as they call them in England. Once the nice weather hits here in New England my husband and I have our ritual. I go over the local paper Friday evening, writing down which ones we'll hit in order of time and distance. I grab my "yard sale" change purse, my cross body bag and off we go.

I love all things vintage. I'd much rather find that perfect piece of antique furniture and restore it myself before I'd buy something new.

We hit one particular yard sale and the first thing we noticed were the huge trees in the yard. I mean these suckers were massive. I snapped a pic with my cell phone.

Old Tree

We started talking to the elderly couple and the wife told me that she has lived on the land her whole life. She was raised in the farmhouse out back and bought the house they were in now for $1 from her grandparents. She told us she had the local college come to try and age the trees but the drill bit wasn't long enough. University of Rhode Island estimated that they were somewhere between 500 - 600 years old! Isn't that amazing?

We chatted away with them while I browsed around the garage and spotted a beautiful piece of pottery. I scooped it up the moment I saw it. Arthur Lavoie, the homeowner told me that he made it back in 1975. Sure enough when I flipped the pot over, there were his initials and '75 etched in the back. I asked if he was a potter and he said "no just a tinkerer" and I thought what a great thing to identify as. A tinkerer. I said "Arthur, I'll think of you every time I use it and Mrs. Lavoie said "oh how sweet". I love yard saleing, but I think I love the people and the stories I hear even more.

So I bought that beautiful pot from Arthur and I came home and I immediately roasted garlic in it cause roasted garlic don't need no reason.

Here's to old trees, sweet people and tinkerers everywhere.

Roasted Garlic blog

Roasted Garlic
recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE

Full heads of garlic
olive oil

There really is no recipe I roast garlic like this quite often. It's great in sauces, smeared on crusty bread, added to sandwiches, in masked potatoes, stirred into soups, in salad dressings. It's just good stuff. Roasting really mellows the flavor and gives it a real earthy, nutty taste.

Oven to 350. Place the garlic heads in a ceramic pan, or you can just place them in a pie dish that you cover in aluminum foil. Chop the tops of the garlic off and drizzle a bit of olive oil into the center so it falls down into the cloves. Top it with a cover or cover with aluminum foil. Bake 25 mins then uncover and roast for another 10 - 15 minutes or under the cloves get soft and mushy. Let cool enough to touch then squeeze those babies out into a jar and keep refrigerated until you are ready to use them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pickled Eggs

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I love almost all thing pickled! I'm not a fan of beets so I'd have to say those are out, but pretty much everything else that can be soaked in vinegar is a win for me.

We eat a lot of eggs in this house. I'm talking like 4 dozen a week. I hard boil them for the week and we eat them for breakfast AND I pickle them for snacks! A pickled egg is a wonderful little snack. They are also great chopped on a salad or added to a tuna sandwich.

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I often add some onion to mine but I have picky eaters in my house who are not fans of onions so I left them out of this batch. If your craving pickled onions, I have a great recipe for Quick Pickled Shallots. They are also a great addition to a salad and oh so yummy! Click here!

You can certainly half this recipe if a few dozen eggs is too much for you. They do keep nicely in the fridge for about a month though.

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Lisa's Pickled Eggs
PRINTABLE RECIPE
24 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 large empty sterilized glass jar
4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spices

Hard boil 24 eggs and place them in a large glass sterilized jar. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over eggs. Allow jar to come to room temperature then refrigerate. Recipe can be halved.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Nourishing Custard

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I know the word custard just made a whole buncha people leave. I get it. Custard, Flan, Cream Brulee, it's not for everyone. It's a textural thing for lots of folks. I understand. I happen to love all things custardy.

I get in a breakfast rut. I eat a lot of eggs for breakfast, and try and stay away from carbs which is so hard cause almost all breakfast food is delicious carbs!! There are only a few kinds of breakfast cereal I'll eat because most are just a bowl full of sugar and GMO ingredients. When you think about it, not the best way to start the day off! So in my never ending quest to mix it up and not have the same 4 things for breakfast every morning I did a little online research and found this Nourishing Custard.

This is not a sweet custard that you'd have as a dessert, although if you wanted it to be all you would have to do is add more sweetener to it. I make up a batch of this on a Sunday so I'll have breakfast (and sometimes a snack) all week. For breakfast I'll mix in fresh fruits to really make it a meal, so a snack I'll add a little sweetener like a touch of maple syrup or a sprinkling of Truvia. It's enough to satisfy my sweet tooth and not send me into a sugar coma.

This has become a breakfast I look forward to! With all the fresh fruits that will be available soon I've already decided that I can cook some of them down and make a fruity syrup to mix into the custard. Possibilities endless! You could even call this pudding and I bet your little ones would love it!

This recipe makes a lot of custard, but you can easily half it. I like to make a big batch so I have it at the ready all week. Mix up your breakfast and try this silky custard!

Nourshing Custard

BASIC NOURISHING CUSTARD
slightly adapted from a recipe at Eat Outside the Bag
PRINTABLE RECIPE
6 eggs, from pastured chickens
1/4 cup organic maple syrup or local raw honey (double this for sweeter custard)
2 teaspoons vanilla or 2 vanilla beans
4-6 sticks cinnamon
5 cups milk
dash of salt
ground nutmeg or cinnamon for top if desired

Preheat oven to 325 F for a dish or 350 for cups.

If you want extra healthful and flavorful custard, steep milk with vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. You can skip this step but it makes the custard pretty darn tasty. Whisk eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla if using in bowl, stir in milk. Pour into a glass baking dish or six custard cups. Sprinkle top with nutmeg or cinnamon if desired. Set the baking dish(es) in a pan of hot water.  Containers nested in a rectangular glass baking dish for large single servings. Bake large dish at 325 degrees for 1 hour; bake cups at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Custard is done when a knife inserted off-center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold, add an extra drizzle of maple syrup if you want it sweeter.

You can also make this even more healthful by adding some pumpkin to make pumpkin custard. Essentially all you need to do is swap out half the milk for pureed pumpkin. What a wonderful way to get a serving of vegetables first thing in the morning.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Swedish Almond Cake

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I love a cake that can be make with everything that you have in your kitchen. A cake you can whip up in the morning when you have an unexpected guest over, or just because you want a little sweetness to end your day.

I have a Swedish Almond Cake under my belt already. One that I quite frequently. That recipe was given to me by a dear friends mother, Marion Bird. You need a special little pan to make that one in, but boy is it delicious! Click here for that recipe.

Back in the late 80's I worked with a Swedish woman named Ferrell Dewell. What an unusual name huh? Ferrell was a sweetheart and she kind of took me under her wing when I first started working. She shared quite a few recipes with me over the years. She even knit a giant stocking for my first born son back in 1995 just before she retired.

Ferrell passed away many years ago. I still think of her every year when I pull out that giant stocking from my Christmas decorations. I stumbled upon a recipe for Swedish Almond Cake that she gave me many years ago. Whenever she would bring a treat into work, she'd type up the recipe to pass out with a piece of whatever goodness she brought.

I'm so glad I have this recipe to share with you and that I still have a little piece of Ferrell with me through it.

This gorgeous little cake has a crispy outer crust and a soft, tender cake in the middle.

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Swedish Almond Cake
recipe from Ferrell Dewell via Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
PRINTABLE RECIPE
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs,beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon PURE almond extract
Slivered almonds for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a glass pie plate with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together sugar and flour. Add in the butter. This won't be like most cake batters. It's almost like you're making a strudel topping, so add the softened butter and then get in there with both your hands and keep crumbling it until it starts to come together. The mixture will be crumbly and that's ok.

Mix the eggs and almond extract together in a separate bowl. Add to the batter and stir to combine. The batter will be almost dough like. Spread evenly in the pie plate. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Let cool. Cut into wedges to serve.