Posted in Baked Perfection, Easy Cooking, Eat the Good Stuff

Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie

 

Last week, Paul and I along with a couple our kids went down to the city (OKC) for dinner and movie night. We chose Kitchen 423 for our supper and they did not disappoint. I ordered Field Bean Soup and the Harvest Market which was made up of three of their signature side dishes. I enjoyed Crispy Cauliflower with Smoked Cheddar Fondue, Roasted Beet Salad, and Roasted Sweet Potato with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Burnt Honey. All I can say is yum. We finished with Buttermilk Pie. It was so good I made it again at home for a gathering of friends. It is one of the easiest pies you can make. Five minutes to oven. Creamy and sweet, it has a little crust on top that reminds you a little of Crème Brulee. Serve with a little whipped cream for additional goodness.

 


 

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients
• 3 eggs
• 1 ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup butter melted and cooled
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup of buttermilk
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• Pinch of salt
• 1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Melt butter and cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar.
4. Whisk in flour, buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon zest, ground nutmeg, and salt.
5. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40-45 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in refrigerator.


 

Cut my pie into four pieces. I don’t think I could eat eight.

Yogi Berra

Posted in Baked Perfection, Matters of the Heart

Fond Food Memories

https://thepartysinthekitchen.me/2017/09/30/fond-food-memories/

My daughter called today and requested a recipe this morning. “You know, that yummy cake you used to bake when I was little.” This one was a family favorite for sure. It’s from an old cookbook, The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook, that still resides on my bookshelf. It is without a cover, well used (especially the page with the applesauce cake), and reminds me of days gone-by. It was fun to pull it out and reminisce a bit.

Applesauce Cake

Ingredients
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
1. Mix oil and sugar well.
2. Add applesauce and remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth.
3. Pour into 8-inch baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
This cake is even better the next day so you might want to get started. Yumminess awaits. Enjoy!

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

Posted in Baked Perfection

There’s Something About the Aroma of Holiday Cheer

thumbprint-cookiesBaking has erupted in my kitchen. The fragrance of butter and cinnamon announce that feast day is almost upon us and it’s gonna be good.

I love when I am cooking up something yummy for my friends and family. There is a certain satisfaction in it all.  In years past, I have baked dozens of cookies to share with my husband’s co-workers. They were not just any cookie. They were one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted and have become my go-to when a gift of food is called for. I have had people casually mention that Christmas was coming as a reminder they hoped so were the cookies.

Our tradition for many years was to bake and package, then gather my  grandkids to make a delivery run. At first, they felt a little awkward greeting people they did not know. But once they received a gracious thank you from the recipients, they began to get the idea of what sharing the holiday cheer was all about. In a small way, they were learning the gift of hospitality and the joys of its actions.

Today, all I need is the smell of the kitchen on days when I bake thumbprint cookies to remind me of those good times. Such great memories surround the making and sharing of food. I hope your celebrations make some great ones to store up and cherish.


Here is that very yummy cookie recipe from Ina Garten. I’m sure they would be happy to join your Christmas feast. Enjoy your holiday!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

  • ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature [I use salted.]
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, for egg wash
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • Raspberry or apricot jam

Go here for instructions.


 

Grandkids at about age 12. Two are twins and were born when the other sib was just eleven months old. These Irish triplets are the same age about three weeks right around Christmastime.

carrie-nick-and-simon

 

Posted in Baked Perfection

Sugar and Spice, And Everything Nice

Oh, Autumn! You have arrived.

I love this time a year. The weather is very fickle. Hot one day, cool the next. Here in So Cal we long for New England color but our trees will not turn until sometime in December.  Sweaters and boots come out as we are teased that autumn is finally here. But the very next day, it is summer again with temps into the 100s.

But it is not the weather that makes me long for this time of year, although I do enjoy the cooler days (when we get them). It is the pumpkin. Or maybe I should say, it is the pumpkin spice that I desire. That luscious smell of cinnamon and cloves with a hint of ginger that we identify with being thankful and family celebrations can be found in various forms almost everywhere.

MCW8YNWO0DI have to admit the scent of Pumpkin Spice makes me feel cozy. I want to spend time with friends chatting. I want to slow down and enjoy life. It’s crazy how a little whiff of its sweetness can bring on the desire of simplicity, but it does.

This past week, I made our first pumpkin dessert of the season. I stirred up a dump cake and boy-oh-boy, the kitchen, well. . .the whole house for that matter, smelled delicious. I served it to a group of friends who were happy to be in on the yumminess. Needless to say, it was a hit. I hope it had the same effect on them as it did on me, storing up yet another cozy memory of friends, standing around the kitchen eating, and enjoying life.

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran


Pumpkin Dump Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 9×13 baking dish
  2. In large bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spices until well blended. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the batter. If adding pecans, sprinkle them over cake mix.
  4. Thinly slice/shave butter over the cake mix/pecans. You can also melt butter and pour over top.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes until pumpkin filling is set and top is browned. I usually give it a little jiggle to test the firmness but it can also be tested by inserting knife to see if it comes out clean.
  6. Cool. Serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip. Ice cream works, too. Yum.
  7. Enjoy.

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Posted in Baked Perfection, Coffee Time, Warm the Soul

Sunday Visiting

5811FEC469Over the past couple of weeks, I have found myself hosting impromptu gatherings on Sunday afternoon. Good thing the house was somewhat orderly. All that was needed was a quick swipe in the bathroom and a bit of vacuuming to make ready for company.  I’m so glad they came. What followed in the form of encouragement and blessing far outweighed the momentary inconvenience of its short notice.

We have long passed the days when people simply stopped by on a Sunday afternoon.  I can remember as a child it was a very pleasant happening when someone came to call.  There was no special fanfare needed. A pot of coffee was brewed and conversation was enjoyed. It was just simple and easy and extraordinary all at the same time. We found our lives elevated by the presence of guests.

Perhaps this is a custom that should return—this Sunday afternoon visiting. It’s not hard. There is no need to consult Pinterest to create perfect environment or food offering. A kitchen table with tea and cookies are quite enough for this event that pushes companionship to the forefront. The benefits of such a practice? They can be measured in ah factor of an afternoon made wonderful because friends stopped by.

Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Here is a very quick and easy brownie recipe I used last time my grandkids and their parents came by. It is very good recipe. So good, we have to double it every time.

The Best Brownies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix oil and sugar until well blended.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; stir just until blended.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into the oil/sugar mixture.
  6. Pour into greased 9 x 9 square pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until sides just start to pull away from the pan.
  8. Cool completely before cutting.

Note: I usually double the recipe and bake in a 9 x 13 pan. If you double the recipe, you will need to cook longer than 20 minutes.

Posted in Baked Perfection, Coffee Time, Involving the Heart

No To-Go Cup, Please

Along in the afternoon, my thoughts turn to a cup of tea and a little something sweet. It is certainly a very nice respite for a busy day. While visiting Germany, I found this to be the common practice. Whether we were out and about or happened by a friend’s house (Yes, people actually do that there.), coffee or tea was brewed and a cookie was offered without fail. And it was all enjoyed while sitting and visiting.

Coffee Time at a little bakery found on the square of Radeberg, Germany.
Coffee Time at a little bakery found on the square of Radeberg, Germany.

In our grab and go culture we miss this simple pleasure of refreshment around some small talk. If we actually took time to sit and enjoy each other’s company, we might find our lives a little less hectic and a little more meaningful.  You see, the refreshment does not come from the snack like we think.  You’ve seen in the old movies when they ask, “Would you take some refreshment?” Food was certainly was offered but I believe it was far more than that. Refreshment comes not from the eating of treats rather the time spent in sweet fellowship. And time is a key component to making it all work.  Friendship is not fast food. It a sit down occasion to be savored.

Life is better shared with friends. It’s just a fact. So take a break from the hectic and find refreshment.

“To be with old friends is very warm and comforting.”

~ Ian Ziering


My daughter gifted me Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food: From My Frontier cookbook a few years back.  I have used many of the recipes and all of them have been pretty delicious. It is my go-to reference when I want to take something to a potluck or share with a friend.  The following is a cookie recipe I used recently for a Bridal Shower.  I think they would also be the perfect thing to serve your friends while you sip tea and invest time in each other.

Citrus Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 Sticks) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, Separated
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest (approx 1 Tablespoon Each)
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And/or Lime Juice (2 Tablespoons Total)
  • Icing
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange, Lemon, And Lime Zest
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lime
  • Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
  • Dash Of Salt
  • Extra Zest, For Decorating

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add egg yolks and mix until combined (set whites aside for the icing.) Add the zest and the flour and mix until just combined, then add juice and mix until combined.

    Scoop out heaping teaspoons of dough, then roll them into balls between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep on the cookie sheet for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a spatula and allow to cool completely before icing.

    To make the icing, combine 1 egg white with the rest of the icing ingredients. Whisk thoroughly until combined, adding either more powdered sugar or more juice until it reaches a pourable but still thick consistency.

    Drizzle the icing across the cookies in several lines, then do it again in the other direction. Sprinkle with extra zest before the icing sets.

    *Check out her site for beautiful pictures of the step-by-step instructions.

    ENJOY!

    Table set for tea at a friend's home in Germany. It was a beautiful time of sharing our lives.  This created a memory that will stay with me for a long time.
    Table set for tea at a friend’s home in Germany. Beautiful.

    If you enjoyed reading this blog, take a look at another blog I write. Girl on Adventure is a collection of lessons God is showing me as I move through life.  I hope you enjoy it.

Posted in Baked Perfection

It’s the Icing on the Cake

I am known for my cakes.  If there is a gathering, it can be heard, “Let Patty bring the cake!”  In fact when my youngest daughter married a few years back, it was voted that we have a cake bar because no one could decide which cake to offer, so we offered a variety.  This just caused a frenzy among friends.  Now, what to choose?! “Choose them all,” I say. Life’s too short to pass on the sweet parts.

Isn’t that what cakes represent–the sweet moments of relationship?  Be it a wedding, a birthday, or a new baby, cakes seem to be involved. Cake shows up to funeral dinners to comfort and at doorsteps of a sick neighbors to encourage. Cake brings community together, not for the sake of cake, but for the pleasure of doing life side-by-side in good times or bad.  That is the icing of life–the sweet fellowship of friends.

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Cake bar at my daughter’s wedding. Cakes were created by a wonderful baker friend, Julia, and myself. Pictures above the table are family wedding pictures.

This is one of my most requested cake frostings. I first discovered it in Better Homes and Gardens years ago. It is called a Candy Bar Cake. It had a homemade cake to go with it but I quickly ditched it for a boxed mix.  The frosting is the star anyway.  The original recipe called for chopped candy bars to be sprinkled on the top. On occasion, we still include them but it takes it to an extreme level of richness. I use this recipe on yellow or carrot cake but please do try it on your favorite and let me know how you like it.  This is my version. It is slightly different from the original.

Browned Butter Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 pounds powered sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

  1. Melt butter over medium low heat.  Continue to cook, keep a close watch,  until butter becomes golden in color. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. In mixer, beat cream cheese until creamy.
  3. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  4. Pour in melted butter.  Beat until smooth.
  5. Continue mixing, adding powered sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beating briefly after each addition. Add a little milk to keep frosting at a mixable consistency.
  6. Add vanilla beating until incorporated.
  7. Get in on the cake before you eat it all with a spoon.
  8. Enjoy!

Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration,

ends with something sweet, a cake and people remember.

It’s all about the memories.

~Bubby Valastro

If you enjoyed this, head on over to another blog I write.

Girlonadventure.com