Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tata' s Pound Cake

This is TRULY the most DELICIOUS, delectable, MOIST pound cake I've ever tasted... and it just so happens to be my grandmother's recipe.
(could she BE any more legendary?!)
James asked me to make this again, as it's been almost one full year since I had... my James isn't really a dessert person but by the third time he mentioned it, I knew he meant business. I don't know your experience with pound cake, but generally speaking, it's either dry, too spongy or the perfect consistency with no flavor AND not fun to make... well this one is perfect in every way AND it's so so so so SO easy to whip together quickly. SO, preheat your oven to 325, get out your bundt pan and let's get started!

here's what you'll need:
  • 3 cups Swans Down cake flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
First, combine your softened butter, sugar and baking soda and mix well. Next add in your egg yolks and blend until smooth.

Then beat in your sour cream.
Now add in the cake flour and blend.
Once that's smooth, add in your vanilla and lemon extract and mix well. Then clean off your beaters and begin to beat the egg whites slowly until they turn foamy and thick...
Next, gently fold the fluffy egg whites into the batter until just combined... don't over mix here, we want to keep it light and airy in there.
Now just pour it into your bundt pan (no greasing necessary) and bake it for 90 minutes. Ours was basically done at 80 minutes, but I really like when it gets a little bit of a bottom crust with that last 10 minutes. :) Just remove it when the surface of the inner ring sounds hollow when gently tapped and the top is golden.

 Happy Baking and enjoy my Tata's handiwork! (and yours, too) ;)
P.S. - life's too short to not eat cake, amen?!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

peach galette & blackberry mint compote

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN to 475. Yes, that hot.

First, the blackberry mint compote...
Start by placing a handful of frozen blackberries in a saucepan over medium heat, letting them become a little soft and create their own juice.
Then add in YOUR desired amount of mint.. we wanted it minty so minty it was... then break it up with your spoon... or make your life easier and add it in chopped.
Now it's creating it's own liquid and smelling really good...
Add in two heaping dessert spoons of powdered sugar and slowly stir it in, making sure to press down on each little clump to get it evenly mixed.
Add in the juice of ALMOST an entire half of lemon and stir it well. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, until it's thick and bubbly. (if it gets too thick because of your sugar amount, add 1 Tablespoon hot water at a time and stir in until it's pourable)
Pie crust time! Find my mother's recipe here, make it and roll it out thin and nice over your baking sheet. (just remember, substitute the crisco for BUTTER this time)
Now let's do the peaches! You'll just need 3 peaches, washed and SKIN ON! :) Melt 3 Tablespoons butter, sprinkle in 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar and a little bit of sea salt. Mix it all together and set aside.
Now we'll slice our peaches in nice, thin pieces and place them in the mixture.
 Now let's start spiraling them in a flower pattern over the pastry, starting from the center.. like this!
Now drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the peaches and let's start folding the dough...
Once it's all folded nicely, brush the top with 1 Tablespoon melted butter and lightly sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Pop it in your oven for 25-30 minutes.. until it's golden and bubbly out the top.
Slice it and serve with a small dollop of vanilla bean ice cream and drizzle with your blackberry mint compote... DELICIOUS and perfect for summer.. and SO easy right?
Happy July Days and enjoy, my friends!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

a peach galette for the faint of heart

Yes, that's right.

Tonight, James and I are taking a break from our liquid diet to have one last dessert and wine time with our friends Annan and Caleb before they move to Michigan. Sweet Carly and Chad have invited us over and I've been asked to provide dessert... how can I resist? :)

I have a beautiful bowl of fresh, Georgia peaches to work with and a load of flour that I'm DYING to sink my hands into.... (it's officially been a month since I've baked ONE thing)

Anyways, for some reason I'm thinking galette... flaky, moorish, sweet and tart... I might even throw in some mixed berries in one of them. Whatever the case, I'll photograph it, video it and share it with you here tomorrow so stay tuned... here's a little sneak peak of what it MIGHT look like...

Also you can bet I'll be using my mother's pie crust recipe... find it here if you want a head start. BUT, I'll be replacing the crisco with butter.
Hooray for a husband who lets us break for dinner and dessert!

Monday, July 15, 2013

liquid diet : week 1

Day 1:

mom made smoothies for us and the boys while they were out golfing... jordan, my cute, pregnant sister and I delivered them course side on the golf cart. all i know is that they were creamy, dreamy and chocked full of all natural goodness (no dairy, of course).
Day 2: we drove home to Nashville and made it in time for dinner.. which was soup.
yes, we're allowed red wine at dinner. (and a cup of coffee every morning) ;)

Day 3: breakfast was banana, peach, mango, avocado, spinach, almond milk and ice.
 Dinner wasn't great until I added corn and more seasoning... then it was great. San marzano tomatoes, garlic, parsley, sea salt and pepper, paprika, carrots, and sweet corn.
Day 4:
breakfast was awesome. tons of baby spinach, lime juice, fresh mint, basil and lots of watermelon. and ice.
 lunch was avocado, peach, banana, apple, almonds and almond milk and ice. delicious and thick.
James decided to make me dinner which was nice and it was pouring outside so he made a thick cozy soup. but i wasn't allowed to see what was in it until he was done... however i did see this sneaky ingredient...
classic james.
other than vegemite, all I know is this soup was tomato heavy and delicious... i think tomato paste, whole tomatoes, carrots and maybe some salt and pepper...? super easy.
Day 5:
a delicious start with peaches, watermelon, lots of spinach, a date, and some mint.
 our first coffee of the day at 4pm... who knows why we waited so long.
 then we had a cheat night... :) our friends nolan and nicole are the couple we are doing this with... they had a friend visiting that night from out of town and she was here for the weekend so they had planned to take the weekend off. we did too but, james decided he wanted to stick with it... but the bier garden called our name and we answered. :)
 cheers to the night off!
but then we felt a little guilty again and decided to stick with our liquid diet for dinner... corn chowder! i suppose we went off the wagon a little with the ingredients.. i added labne for creaminess and also i didn't want it to go off in the fridge before we could enjoy it.
Day 6:
 frozen pineapple, handful of frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, mint, lots of spinach and a date. and ice.
Dinner we went off the wagon because james decided we could. :) thank Heaven. Then breakfast yesterday was something similar to that juice above and so was lunch... then we had pad thai haha.

Back in the game today folks!!! We've already started with a coffee, banana, coconut, peanut butter smoothie... i'm thinking spinach and avocado for lunch.