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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Desert Anyone?

As the winter months have been mild, it nevertheless has catapulted me into the kitchen as cooler weather always does. My husband has been on a "behavior modification" but this does not deter me from preparing sumptuous foods and deserts. I have a couple to share and a few more which I am still in the process of testing. Enjoy!

3 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 pound brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dark rum (plus 2 T more)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Sweetened whipped cream 
Sliced berries (add 2 T rum and let them sit for 30 minutes)
Preheat over to 325 degrees F.  

Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.  

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; and set aside.  In mixer bowl cream butter until light.  Gradually add sugars and continue beating until very light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one  at a time, beat well after adding each additional egg.  Combine milk, rum and vanilla.  Add to batter alternately with dry ingredients.  Fold in nuts last.  

Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour 45 minutes, or until toothpick  inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes; remove from pan and cool.  

Wrap and store at room temperature 24 hours before serving.  Before serving combine 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 T rum and stir till smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and sliced berries.  

Makes 20 servings, ~ 400 calories each without sweetened cream.

Fast and Dirty Lava Brownies

1 Box your favorite brownie mix
3 eggs, room temp
3 egg yolks, room temp
3 Tablespoons coffee or coffee liqueur
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped chocolate, good quality (you may substitute Toll House)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put butter in microwave bowl and nuke for 1 minute in your microwave. Stir mixture well and melted and creamy. Set aside.  

Using an electric mixer add eggs and egg yolks to a medium bowl. Beat for 6 minutes. Add brownie mix to the eggs and mix, add coffee and stir in the chocolate mixture. Grease 12 muffin cups and add mixture 3/4 full. Bake for 12 minutes.

Brownies should be soft, warm and gooey in the middle. Serve with ice cream and more chocolate.

Soup fundraiser

What have I been doing lately???
In January I've been working on pulling together recipes for my next cookbook, that being based on delectable cupcakes. I have a friend helping me with photos and have had my writing groups (NM and TX) review sections as well as my editing muse feeding me ideas. The book undoubtedly needs to be a COLOR cookbook. The photo shoot will be sometime in the next few months as this month I am finishing up the cook-booklet for the Assistance League of Birmingham.

Last month was a whirlwind of testing multiple recipes for a soup fundraiser in Alabama. Below are a few southern basic recipes along with AL's rendition of Chili. In testing these recipes I have determined the palate of the southern people in the US is much different than the palate of the Southwestern people. In AL Pork is a favorite, beef is not as much a favorite and Turkey is found in stores but not really used in many restaurants or cafes.

Peppers, hot or not. That could be considered a bad word in the southern states. Where as in NM and Texas it was not uncommon to use plenty of peppers and1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and 8 or 9 chopped Medium Hatch chilies to spice up the chili - in Alabama I can barely  use 1/4 teaspoon for a batch of Chili and only MILD chopped green Chile.  What a difference it makes here in AL, they also like Chile a little sweeter and their cornbread has no sweetness to it (the other bread served in the south is biscuits). I myself prefer a sweet cornbread as is served in Texas and in NM.

The first two recipes come from a friend who came by these recipes through family members in AL, the last one is a hearty health conscious heavily laden veggie chili recipe adapted by yours truly.

Corn Chowder
Saute 1 cup chopped onions and chopped celery in 2 T. butter.
Add:  1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream style corn
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked diced potatoes
1 T. parsley flakes or fresh parsley

Create your flavor base by sauteing onions and celery in butter with drizzle of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with Hot Cornbread.

Indian Hash (never heard of this before but it was tasty)
2 pounds of ground round
2 cans cream style corn
1 can regular kernel corn
1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
1 lg. bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
Salt and pepper
Worcestershire Sauce to taste
Tabasco to taste
A pinch of Cayenne to taste
Brown meat, add pepper, onion, celery and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes. 
Serve with Cornbread.

Hearty "Skinny" Calorie Conscious Chili
10 oz Turkey, ground
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28 oz) cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz) cans of Black beans, rinsed
32 oz Turkey broth, low sodium
1 onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 yellow squash, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1 Green bell pepper, diced
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Yellow bell pepper, diced
2 Carrots, diced
1 Teas Coriander
1 8oz can Tomato Paste
3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 T Paprika
1 Teas Cumin
1/4 - 1 Teas Cayenne
2 Tablespoons Cornmeal or Masa Harina

Brown onion, celery and peppers in Olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a fast boil and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes adding the cornmeal the last 30 mins of cooking. Stir occasionally.

Serve in big bowls with a large side salad. This makes over 20 once cup servings or 10 generous servings. Great for football crowds.