Monday, May 22, 2017

Playing With My Food

Another entry for the flower show.  I wanted it to look like a parrot but it looks more like a buzzard!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Coconut Cake and a Welsh Flower Show

 I made this cake yesterday for my daughter to take to work.  She said it was so good that people were moaning as they ate it.  If you like coconut, you might want to give it a try:

  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract 
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 2 cups flaked coconut

  • Coconut Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • sprinkling of toasted coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and flaked coconut. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs and mix until mixture is light and fluffy. Add sour cream, baking powder and coconut extract. Mix well.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to creamed mixture, mix well. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Grease you bundt pan just before pouring in the batter.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 25 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Frost with coconut glaze.
  7. For the glaze: Mix ingredients together. Pour on top of cake and let the glaze drizzle down the sides of the cake. Top with coconut, if desired. I doubled the glaze recipe.
If you like to play with your food, hop over to Going Gently's blog and enter the Trelawnyd International Novelty Fruit and Vegetable Competition.  It's a flower show held in a small Welsh town. There were 80 entries last year and John is hoping for 100 this year. Above is my first entry this year.  Carrot Miranda....let the fun begin! Send your creation to:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Everything Cookies

I saw a cookie recipe I wanted to try so I baked these for my daughter to take to work yesterday.  I'm always looking for a recipient to take food off my hands.  My husband can only eat so much.  Though he does give it his best shot when it comes to desserts.
 These are loaded chocolate chip cookies:


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups  chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla in large bowl of mixer until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and beat well until fluffy.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Beat in the oats and coconut.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  8. Use a medium ice cream scoop and drop on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  9. Press the top of each cookie a bit to flatten
  10. Bake for 12 minutes or until just turning golden.
  11. Let sit on  on cookie sheets about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool.
 You just want to flatten them a bit.

I didn't try them but my daughter said they are very good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chicken Yakitori

I'm determined to cook outside as much as possible this summer.  I have a Big Green Egg which I haven't really mastered so I figure if I use it every day, I will finally figure it out.  Plus, it will keep my kitchen cooler if I'm not firing up my ovens and cook top.
I wanted to try a good yakitori and this recipe is great.  Start by pounding out 12 chicken thighs, trimming off the fat and cutting them in 2 inch pieces.  Make some teriyaki sauce:

4 minced garlic cloves
2 T grated ginger
2/3 C. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper
2/3 C. water
6 T. mirin (rice wine)
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. rice wine vinegar

Mix this together until the sugar dissolves and pour a few tablespoons of it in a ziplock bag along with the chicken.  Let it marinate overnight turning the bag occasionally.  Refrigerate the additional marinade. 

Soak some wooden skewers ahead of time so they won't burn.  Then pierce the chicken sliding it on the skewers in a zigzag fashion.

Heat the reserved marinade until it begins to boil and stir in 2 T. corn starch mixed with 1 T. water.  Stir and cook until it thickens.  Sorry for the blur.
Cook the skewers over hot coals brushing with more marinade until cooked through and slightly charred.

Brush with more of the sauce just before serving.

I served them with sticky rice topped with a knob of ramp butter. These sure are good!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Funeral Food and a Garlic Bread Recipe

 My friends were on vacation out west when they got the horrible news that one of their sister's had died suddenly.  I felt so bad when I got the news.  They had to drop everything and go to DC for the funeral.  When something like this happens, there is not much you can do.  I do think it is important to let them know how bad you feel for what they are going through.

 They were returning home after two weeks and I knew they would be emotionally exhausted so I thought a nice meal might help cheer them up.  I made them a big pan of lasagna thinking that they could freeze leftovers.  I made my kids some too.

 I made them giant chocolate and walnut cookies.

 And I made them garlic bread.  This recipe actually has the garlic and herbs mixed into the bread.

The recipe:

3 C. flour
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. marjoram
1 T. pasley
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1 C. water
3 T. melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour or until it doubles in bulk.  Split it in three pieces and braid it and let it rise again.  Bake it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.  Place it on a  rack and brush it with a mixture of melted butter and minced garlic and basil.
 I made them a big salad and some Italian dressing too.

 Funeral food is an old tradition.

But I think it is a good one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Scallop Chowder and a Mother's Day Gift

My daughter's boyfriend loves scallops.  He is a chef and works incredibly long hours so I like to make him food for when he gets home.  The last thing he wants to do is cook for himself.  I made him this scallop chowder on Sunday.

Click here for the recipe:

And what a surprise he gave me!  He made me a charcuterie board.  And when I say he made it...I mean he made all of the jerky, sausages and cured the meats himself.  What a treat!  It's so fun to have a chef in the family!  I've always wanted to learn to make charcuterie so maybe one of these days he can teach me.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Totem

 I made a garden totem for one of my friends.  These things are so much fun to make.

 I added a small clear glass bowl and glued a porcelain flower inside of it.  I always use outdoor glass glue for these pieces.

 This totem has 11 pieces of glass in it.

Whenever I give these away, the recipients are always a bit nervous to place them outdoors.  I've had my original ones outside for years and nothing has ever happened to them.