Saturday, December 24, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

2-6 medium zucchini
1 chopped onion
3 cloves or garlic chopped
fresh parsley chopped
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 8 tablespoons flour
1 ts baking powder
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
olive oil for sauting

Grate the zucchini using a box grater or a food processor. Let the zucchini drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Some folks say to salt it, I never do. 

Chop the onions, garlic and parsley. Stir everything together. If the batter gets too thin you can add a few more spoons of flour.

Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and a spoon or two of olive oil. 
Drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven.

The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot with soup and salad.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Potatoes au Gratin

4 whole potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tbs butter, softened for pan
2 tbs broken up to mix in the potatoes
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbs flour
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated

I doubled the above recipe.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

Chop the garlic.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Toss the potatoes with the softened butter, then dump the milk and cream over the taters. Take a fork and make sure it's evenly throughout the potatoes, then cover with foil and bake for 20- 40 minutes. Time depends on how much you are cooking and the thickness/size/weight of the dish you are using.

Remove foil and bake for 20-40 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling.

Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sheet Cake, Angel Food

I snagged this recipe offline, (Southern Living 2008 magazine) and even though I made my own adjustments it still turned out way too dense and sweet, I mean way tooooo sweet! (although I have to say, hubby, brother in law, kids and neighbor all thought that it was lovely, it was just I whom didn't like it much) I had thought that it was too much sugar when I was making it, but instead of listening to myself and cutting the sugar in half I only cut out 1/2 cup =/, kinda upset, especially since I know better, but also because I was really looking forward to eating this thing! Oh well, I will have to redo it another day, but with half of the eggs it's called for, and 1/2 of the sugar it calls for. I will also have to sneak into Michael's this weekend to  invest in a tube pan with legs. I won't use a 9x13 again for this recipe unless I'm using two, I don't much care for really thick cake.

2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2  1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 ts cream of tartar
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ts lemon extract or 1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2  inches to extend over sides of pan. (Do not grease pan or the foil.)
Stir together the flour, salt, and sugar, set them aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.

Gradually fold in sugar mixture, 1/3 at a time. Fold it just until it's blended.

Fold in vanilla and lemon juice or extract.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. (Pan will be very full. The batter will reach almost to the top of the pan.)

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Hmmm, we must be the only household that doesn't keep toothpicks *note the large butterknive marks ;-)*

Invert cake onto a lightly greased wire rack; let cool, with pan over cake, 1 hour or until completely cool.

Remove pan; peel foil off cake.

Transfer cake to a serving platter. Frost with your choice of frosting or use my recipe below.
Lime-Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
2 ts vanilla extract
3-5 cups powdered sugar, or until it's the thickness you like

Beat the vanilla, cream cheese and butter until creamy.

Add lemon or lime juice, and vanilla. Beat just until blended.

Gradually add powdered sugar, a cup at a time on on low speed until blended and it's the thickness you like for your frosting ;-)

Frost, Cut, & Serve


Friday, December 16, 2011

Yellow Cake Studded with Sour Cherries

This is like the best yellow cake recipe ever, and I have tried a few! You can change the fruit, leave it out, add preserves instead, marble it by halving the batter and adding melted chocolate to it. Really this cake recipe is life saver and can be used with buttercream or chocolate frosting, etc. etc. you get the idea, use your imagination! Just use like any other yellow cake recipe and have fun.
Secret; I really don't like boxed cakes, I can tell from the first bite if a cake is homemade or boxed. I know, I'm a cake snob... but seriously, boxed cake? They really taste like a box if you ask me, and no matter how hard you may try to dress it up, it will NEVER take away that box flavor.

I would never say the above in real life to anyone who prepared a cake for me... just so ya know I have manners ;-)

3 cups flour
2 ts baking powder
12 tbs room temp butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 ts vanilla
6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 jar of sour cherries or other fruit in juice

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray or butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans or one large 14 inch (a new addition to my kitchen!)

In a medium bowl, separate the eggs, save the whites for a roll cake, frittata, breakfast or a smoothie (if ya like that sorta thing). Add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of the milk to the yolks and set aside. I accidentally (while chasing my soon to be 9 month old out of the kitchen) put the yolks in the mixing bowl, so later you will see I put them in a cereal bowl.

Combine the dry ingredients and stir together.

Add the room temperature soft butter and remaining 3/4 cup of milk and give a good stir.

Slowly add the egg and vanilla mixture to the flour and milk mixture and stir it together until it's a smooth batter, don't beat it, meaning don't overmix; this is cake, it's supposed to be soft and light, not thick and chewy.

Pour into prepared pan(s), spread evenly. Drain your cherries and sprinkle on top. Bake 25-35 minutes, depending on pan size. It will have pulled away from the sides a bit and be browned some.

Cool on a wire rack in pan if you can wait ;-) See the lines from the cherry juice that dropped off of my hand while dropping them? Kinda pretty. You can sift powdered sugar on top, or drizzle with icing if you like.

Since I used one large pan I cut them into squares, instead of classic slices.

Serve for tea, coffee, breakfast, snack or give as a nice holiday gift!