Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Potato Cake

This recipe started with a search for baked sweet potato donuts.  Of course, you know me, the more of a process the less likely I am actually going to do it.  So, I decided to make it into a cake instead of baked cake donuts (I don’t have a deep fryer or vegetable oil in the house.)  These could also make excellent pancakes or waffles.

3 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potato (I used leftover mashed marsala sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving.)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper. Don’t forget to also grease the parchment paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a big bowl or your stand mixer.  Add each egg individually until incorporated.  Mix in the buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla and sweet potato.  In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in three installments.  Mix until combined.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan.  Use a spatula to get as much out of the bowl as possible; it will be very thick.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. 
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and mix together a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Remove the cake from the oven without turning off the heat.  Brush the top of the cake with butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.  Return to oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush again with butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Let the cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before depanning.  Serve with left over cranberry sauce.
Thanks for reading,
Sarah McTernen

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From Vine to Pumpkin Pie

This is not my first venture into making pumpkin is just the first time I am trying to document it.  I've made pumpkin pie with the stuff in a can and the stuff from a farm, but this year I am making it with stuff from my garden!   Anyway, I have cooked my orange lovelies and pureed them, and drained them (which no one ever seems to talk about when using fresh pumpkin, but it really does need to be wrung out a bit in my opinion).  Now it is time to figure out how I am going to make it into pie tomorrow.  I have been looking through recipes and picking and choosing the information that I need.  I do not use evaporated milk and I hate having egg whites left over.  You can try to tell me how much spice to use, but I know I am going to do that my sight/taste and I know I am going to use cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, mace, allspice and cloves.  I am also going to use as little sugar as I can get away is just how I am.  So here is what it is going to look like.

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour (its for stability but if you are not keen on flour you could always leave it out)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup half n half
Spices to taste (options:  cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, mace, allspice, cloves, black pepper)

All of this is going to be mixed up tonight and left in the refrigerator to meld. 

Tomorrow I am going to make ginger cookies and use them as the basis for a crumb crust (1 1/2 to 2 cups crumbs, 1/4 -1/2  cup butter and probably 1/4 cup crushed pecans pressed into a 9 inch pie plate).

I'm lazy haven't mastered pie crusts.  Mostly because I keep trying to make whole wheat ones and it never tastes like I want it to.

I will also make fresh whipped cream for Thanksgiving (whipping cream, pinch of salt, dash of vanilla)

I'll let you know how it turns out. 

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah McTernen

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cooking Magazine Clutter

I just finished going through a large stack of Cooking Light magazines.  I had them stacked up with all my cookbooks and figured it was about time to find the recipes I wanted to keep and get rid of the rest, because otherwise I was never going to get rid of them or cook any of the meals inside.  There were magazines from 2006 to 2011 in the stack.  As I was perusing the magazines, I realized two things:  One, my family doesn't have adventurous taste buds and some of the recipes I had marked oh so long ago will never be made because of that, and two, a lot of the recipes are the same thing revamped.  The problem is, food is food, and once you figure out how things go together, recipes are less necessary. 

I need to finish my cookbook, which is less about recipes and more about learning how to cook instinctually.  It started out as a big book of recipes with stories on where the recipes came from, and it still has that element to it, but I have started combining recipes and adding variations to show how knowing how to cook one dish can make a variety of meals with just a slight tweak of the ingredients.  I don't know, maybe it's been done, it's all been done (sorry song cue).

Well, I have set the stack of cooking magazines off to be recycled and now I have to go figure out what I need for Thanksgiving.

What unique dish do you serve for Thanksgiving?

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanks for reading,

Sarah McTernen

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