Monday, July 29, 2013

Awesome Easy Pasta Recipe

Allow me to suggest something for your meal planner: this creamy artichoke pasta.

No matter what the prep time says, every meal takes me at least an hour to make. However, this one was really quick, and I actually had everything on hand for the most part. And it was surprisingly delicious.

You'll need artichokes. (All the cool kids love artichokes.) And I'm newly committed to using purple onions in everything. They are lovely.

I didn't have quite enough cottage cheese, and I had no sour cream. So I threw in some heavy cream, which never hurts. If you make it, let me know how the texture comes out with the cottage cheese and the sour cream.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Finally! The Blueberry Cake and an End to Cake Week

This Cake Week has turned out to be the longest week of my life—sort of. Many good and time-consuming things have happened to delay this final cake post, but here it is.

Super's cake for spring finals was a Blueberry Breakfast cake, from the Cake Blog.

Sadly, our verdict on this cake was that it was good, but it turns out that what we really wanted was a blueberry cake, not a breakfast cake.

The maple flavor, the cinnamon, and the browned butter really overpower the cake. So if you're really committed to those flavors, this is the cake for you. If not, maybe reconsider.

I didn't make any alterations to the recipe, except we added a lot of fresh blueberries to the finished cake. Turns out this is what it really needed. With the extra blueberries, it was considerably more tasty. To cut down on cost, I used a tiny bit of maple extract with normal syrup in the cake, since pure maple syrup was much more expensive.

If you're looking to make the same cake, I recommend this site on how to brown butter. The butter didn't behave like I expected, and this was really helpful. The recipe says it takes about ten minutes to turn an amber color. On my stove, it took three minutes. So, be aware of the cues.

I'm already very excited to make the next cake. Super has definitely earned it: yesterday his first midterm lasted four hours and forty-five minutes. Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Is Not the Cake You Were Looking for, But It's Chocolate Cherry Cake

I'm still a few days away from having a completed cake of awesomeness, which will be Super's official spring term cake. In the meantime though, Super and I have been enjoying a lovely chocolate cherry cake, made by our kind friend, Miss Berry.

She kindly shared with me the recipe, which I now give to you. It comes from a very old magazine, which means it's legit. According to her, the frosting always comes out grainy, meaning you can feel the sugar granules still. I don't mind though. This is one of my favorite textures. I love unabashed sugar.

1 pkg. Fudge Cake Mix
21 oz. can of cherry pie filling
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs, beaten

1 c. sugar
5 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. milk
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9x13 pan. Combine cake mix, cherry filling, almond extract, and eggs. Stir by hand until well mixed. Pour into greased pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. While cake cools, prepare the frosting by combining sugar, butter, and milk in a small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth. Then pour over cake. 

Speaking of cherries, we spent the morning at a U-Pick cherry farm in Payson, Utah. It was fantabulous in every way imaginable: great cherries, amazing prices, lovely company, beautiful trees, and tall, sturdy ladders for the climbing. I highly recommend going. Their last day is Monday, July 8th, but they are open Monday (and the rest of today) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can still make it! It's 75 cents for a pound, which is a great deal. More info here.

I'm making Super's cake for real today; pictures will be up on Tuesday. But all these cherries are tempting me to make this cake instead . . .

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July!

I'd like to take a time-out from cake to wish you a happy Fourth of July. I really like this holiday for many reasons.

I should probably be celebrating by saying something meaningful or at least posting pictures of my handsome Marine brother. But there are celebrations calling and buttermilk syrup to be made. (Why do I have buttermilk on hand, you ask? It has less to do with syrup and more to do with me finally having ingredients for Super's cake!)

So, I give you three of my favorite Fourth videos. The first, one my co-worker and I used to sing at work.
The second, from the musical 1776, which I love deeply. Mr. Feeny is my John Adams. And this man is so much my Ben Franklin, I can't even remember the actor's name.

And the third from the West Wing, which is self-explanatory and makes me cry every time.

God bless America; my brother, who stands up for it; Mrs. Thompson, who taught me to love it; and Aaron Sorkin, who made me less worried about how it all runs.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Unfortunate Cake Delay

In great news, this Cake Week will not end yet! (Why yes, I have all kinds of power when it comes to extending weeks. Seven days is highly relative.)

The sad news is that the delay on making the cake is happening because our car broke down (that makes three times since our engagement, if you don't count the flat tire). So, alas, I have not yet made it to the store for ingredients.

I think this waiting is making me more pumped though to get started. I've got cake pans anxiously anticipating their next huggable friend.

Anyone want to guess what kind of a cake it will be?

I'll give you a hint: it involves Super's favorite kind of berry. Feel free to guess away in the comments.

In other news: in addition to the car dying, there was another demise in our household—Devin, the stormtrooper spatula, who melted to my mom's pan (so three demises if we count the pan; we must like the number three).

Don't worry though. We've replaced him with a clone spatula from Williams Sonoma. It's like Devin was never even gone. Honestly, he is a great spatula. He's even a better spatula than he is a stormtrooper.

Next to Devin, these people are my favorite stormtroopers.

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