Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Cherries Please - CCC Cake

I'm on a roll! As you know our fam was in town.  I had promised a special someone some baked goodness and since we have an abundance of cherries I wanted to make her something using them.
I decided upon a CCC cake - Cherry Crumb Cake
Its SO good that you won't want to give it to a neighbour - trust me! 
If you don't have a mixer don't worry, my mother in law doesn't either - old fashion wooden spoons and some arm power and you're golden!
Here's the recipe:

CCC Cake
6 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine (I use I Can't Believe it's not Butter)
3/4 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. sour cream (low fat)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pitted cherries
6 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350, grease 4 mini loaf pans (or one 9 in round pan if you want a traditional cake)
Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time.  Beat in vanilla and sour cream until mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients.  Once combined add to wet mixture and stir until blended.  Fold in cherries.
Pour into pans
Mix all Topping ingredients together and crumble over cake batter.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
Trust are going to LOVE this recipe!!

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Beans Beans the Musical Fruit....

Ok you win, I am ready to relate my recent concoctions.
We've been busy, we had family visiting from Las Vegas this past week and in true form we had a pot luck BBQ/pool PARTY!!  I had decided to bring something other than the traditional so I thought long and hard....BAKED BEANS, that isn't something we normally have. 
Now I have only ever eaten beans from a can and there are many different types (Bush's, Hunts, No Name...) Actually I was referring to pork n molasses, maple, BBQ, spicy etc. smarty pantses!  I did some online research and came up with 2 recipes that I liked so hmmm what about just combining some of each? Why not? That makes it MY recipe doesn't it?  YES IT DOES!

First and foremost I should tell you that while cooking my beans I had to Google "why are my beans still hard" (told you I had never done it before) Do you want to know the answer?? Huh? Do ya?  Apparently you shouldn't put any salt in the mixture until the beans are already um hi Food Network where were you on THAT one?  They turned out to be a hit anyway and did end up being softer after a little more than the anticipated wait time (just not quite like canned ones)  I should also tell you that you aren't going to get any pictures on this portion because, well, I already mentioned they were a hit - and....I forgot to take some.
So without further ado
Betty Martha's Best Ever Baked Beans

4 cups navy beans
Enough water to cover them by a few inches
1 large onion diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 c. brown sugar (approx.)
1 c. molasses
2 tbsp. yellow mustard
3 c. ketchup
2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
6 strips bacon - cut into small pieces
3 tbsp secret spice (which I guess I should divulge to you below)

Rinse and drain beans, you don't want to chip your tooth on a stone that looks like a bean do you?
Place beans in your crock pot and fill with enough water to cover by a few inches (these puppies will expand!)  Soak overnight.
In the morning drain and rinse again.  Return the beans to the crock pot and fill with about 5 cups of water - you can always add more (I did)
Next add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the secret spice - and if you read my "Google" episode you'll know that one part of the secret is it contains salt.
Mix thoroughly and place bacon randomly, or in a pattern of a happy face like I did over the top.
Turn your crock onto high and leave it be...about 6 hours in, (guesstimating here as I put EVERYTHING into the pot on my first try) throw in the spice and stir, continue cooking for another 2-3 hours.
Just before you are ready to serve I read that you should take out some of the beans, (about 1/2-1cup) mash them and put them back in - so I did.  Is it ok to NOT do it?  Sure then you can say its YOUR recipe!
Serve :)

BM's Secret Spice - can be used for dry rubs on  meats/potatoes as well
1/2 c. paprika
1/4 c. kosher salt (fine)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. chili powder
1/4 c. cumin
1/4 c. granulated garlic (not salt)
3 tbsp. mustard powder
3 tbsp. curry powder (omit if you don't like curry)
2 tbsp. ground black pepper (fresh is best)
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
Mix and store in an airtight container
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pork Sliders with Cherry Chutney

YESSS Cherries are ready!!

Yesterday I decided to pick some cherries from the inlaws' tree. It is possible that some may have ended in a short trip down my watering windpipe, but that cant be proven so don't judge me!

I did however feel that the birds got the better deal in all of this.
The most amazing ones, you know the ones - ruby red, shiny and gigantic, were out of arms reach!
I did contemplate shaking the tree however the thought of shaking not only cherries out and onto my head where I couldn't see what was crawling around in my hair, down my clothes and into orfuses (c'mon, you've heard those stories, some insect laying eggs in ears) didn't appeal much.
I also thought about climbing the tree or getting out the ladder from the garage but those too seemed to lack positive outcomes.
I did however manage to gather about 3-4 cups SCORE!!

Ok, so now I have all these cherries...what to do...what to make... I guess the first thing that comes to mind is pie, cobblers or jam but I wanted something edgy (don't worry, I still will be making tarts and jam)


Me calling the other half: "So I was thinking of making cherry chutney and I think it will go well with pork and I know I promised you sliders so.... that's what we are having"
My loving other: "Uhhh, ok, what's chutney?!? I guess it sounds good?"
Well, since I am not technical I start off with "uhhhh, its like....ummm.....don't worry, you'll like it." (or at least you're going to eat it)

Its actually a condiment made from fruits or vegetables, cooked in vinegar, sugar and spices. I've never made one and come to think of it I don't think I have ever eaten any, that I remember anyway....but here goes nothin!

Chutney Ingredients: Makes approx. 1/2 - 3/4 of a cup
1 tsp. minced onion
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (more if you like it hotter)
1 c. pitted cherries (man, that's a whole other blog!)
1/4 tsp. ground sage

In a small saucepan combine everything except cherries and sage. Bring this mixture to a boil. Once boiling, throw those tasty red goodies in along with the sage, lid it, and lower the temperature to allow a slow simmer for about 5 minutes. (to soften cherries)

Remove the lid and increase the temperature to bring back to a boil for another 5 minutes. This should allow the mixture to thicken, almost jelly like (but I make no promises, it worked for me)

VOILA! COMPLETE - now place it in the fridge (I put the whole darn pot in because I am lazy and didn't want to make more dish mess to clean up) to chill before serving.

Now everyone has a different way to prepare burgers so please feel free to use your own method if you feel yours are the best of the best but if not, then use my best of the best recipe!

Pork Sliders:
1 lbs ground pork (or whatever size the packages in the store come in because honestly I don't really look)
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp. ground sage (just to keep the flavors consistent here)
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked pepper (oh and I use fresh cracked in ALL my cooking)
pinch of seasoning salt
Mix together and form in small palm size patties. Grill on a hot grill 4 minutes per side.
Once complete, top slider with herbed goat cheese and spoon over the chilled chutney

I have to say that even the "ugh guy" said that it was AWESOME and wayyyy better than just ketchup and mayo


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello Fellow Followers and Blog Creepers

Well, well, well.... I have begun!
On the advice of friends and family I decided to see if I could create, understand, import; umm what is another fancy word for "trying to figure out this cyber world of blogging nonsense"???
because I have been told that my creations are "YUMMY"

I don't claim to be good at the Blog thing, infact, I generally use my computer to check emails, do my monthly banking and of new recipes so dont expect much from me here - you are going to get raw material my friends...god I hope I can figure out how to upload photos!

I wish I took pictures of last nights dinner - you'd love it, maybe I should make it again, although, not for about a month because its pretty high in fat (aren't most fantastic foods?)

I guess I should also let you know that I dont often cook with Beef or Fish. I dont eat anything out of the water, and yes, there is no need to comment, I have heard the fatty acids/omegas, brain food mumbo jumbo (mmmm gumbo sans seafood) for years, you arent the first and wont be the last. As for beef, well, I guess its just because other than a good steak, I can pretty much use chicken or pork to compensate.
OH and because I get yelled at when I eat my beef WELL DONE. I prefer the leakage of fluids to be from marinades not from flesh

So with all of this being said, HI! I always look forward to cooking and baking, but NOW I am going to look foward to seeing if anyone other than my family and my stomach will enjoy the recipes
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