Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nutmeg Feather Cake

My daughter loves to bake and to try new cakes. This is a Nutmeg Feather Cake--truly light and simple and flavorful. I know this because she just came in and offered me a bite. Quality control, you know.

1/4 C butter
1/4 C shortening
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla
3 eggs
2 C sifted cake flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 t fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 C buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 pan.

Cream together butter, shortening and sugar, beat til light. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down the sides and pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 1/2 hour.

Topping--Cream together 1/4 C butter and 1/2 C brown sugar. Add 2 T milk and mix well. Stir in 1 C coconut. Spread this mixture over the warm cake and slide it into the oven. Broil for about 5 minutes until golden.

Happy New Year! Eat well in the New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Turkey Hash--Don't Be A Hater

My mother-in-law was all for throwing away the legs from the Christmas bird and offered them to us for our trip home. I had wrapped them in foil--tidy and fat packages of succulent delight.

We had turkey tetrazini our first night home. Sauteed onion, garlic, tender sweet peas and bits of turkey in a rich cream and Parmesan sauce, tossed into long pasta, more grated Parm on top, liberal use of the black pepper mill.

The second night we had masses of yummy vegetables--greens, zucchini, salad--and lean ham.

The silver turkey legs remained in their ziplock bag, waiting...waiting.

I was booked for a couple of tarot readings this afternoon and our sunny warm day started slanting toward a cooling evening. As I drove home, I started thinking about something hot for supper, doing a mental inventory of what was in the fridge, in the pantry.

Celery, mushrooms, greens, potatoes, turkey legs.

Hash. Delicious turkey hash.

Yeah, I know everyone looks down their noses at this wholesome and homely food. But think about all those ingredients and imagine them sauteed in olive oil and served piping hot.

It was very good--so good I didn't even take time to make a picture to post here.

Maybe it needs a better name or something.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Cheated Today

and bought pre-cleaned collard greens. In a bag.

Honestly, my dead relatives are all probably spinning in their graves.

Or maybe they think I'm pretty darned lucky to not have to chop and clean all those bulky greens.

In any case, I will par-boil them--steam them, really--until almost tender and then saute them in olive oil with minced garlic.

Salt and pepper.

Served with black-eyed peas, corn bread, Boston butt pork roast.

Gosh, I'm already hungry.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Success! A Note About Cheese

The faux ricotta impastata mentioned in the Oct 9 post has passed the sister-in-law test. I made a batch for her to check for texture and was worried it would not pass muster. But she checked it yesterday and the texture was right.

She had been concerned that the lemon juice used to curdle the milk would flavor the cheese, so I used less on this batch, which made it runny. Too runny for cannoli filling.

So I'll mess about with the recipe and I think it will work.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My cousin Evie used to make these yummy little bon bons about this time every year. I wanted a quick and easy candy to have available for both gifting and entertaining this season and ran across her recipe in my little recipe box. I have them listed as "Coconut Balls" but her daughter Kathy informed me tonight that Evie called them bon bons.

My cousin also opened a box of her mother's Rum (actually Bourbon) Balls and we tried those. String-flavored and very good, too. Evie is also the one who gave me the Cold Oven Poundcake recipe that I call the Old Coven Poundcake and which is, in fact, the best poundcake recipe in the world. I made two plain ones (plain! ha!) and one lemon one this season.

Back to the coconut balls...when I moved back here after grad school, I sometimes helped Evie get her candies ready this time of year and it was always fun. I remember those afternoons with great fondness every time I eat one of these fat delicious candies.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and here it is--

Cream together--

1 stick of butter
32 oz powdered sugar
1 can of condensed milk
1 ts vanilla

Add in 14 oz grated coconut.

Add in 1/4 finely chopped pecans (if desired)

Rolls into dime-sized balls and let dry out for a couple of hours. Dip them in melted dark chocolate.

I also added some prepared shopped orange rind--simply pressed it into the tops of some of the pre-dipped coconut balls and then dipped them.

My daughter and I are speculating some variations that include white chocolate for dipping.

Are you making seasonal candies or other yummies?