Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holy Cow Cake!

I planned to make this Holy Cow Cake for my coworkers.  I had all the ingredients, or so I thought, and I started preparation.  Where is my boxed, chocolate cake?!  Oh no.  I forgot to buy it.  I also didn't have any cocoa so I decided to prepare, FROM SCRATCH, a yellow cake.  I am so glad I forgot the chocolate cake because it was fun to make a cake without using a mix.  The yellow cake recipe I found was quick, easy and delicious.  Next time I want a cake I will follow this recipe, including the cream cheese frosting. 

For the caramel component I used a bag of caramel balls.  I can never find the caramel topping (I think it is by the ice cream and I try and avoid that aisle!) so these balls are perfect.  I think this is a new addition to the baking aisle because in the past I would have to remove the plastic wrappers from the caramel squares.  The bag of caramel balls is perfect for baking!

This cake received rave reviews from my colleagues plus two requests for the recipe!  I think the yellow cake is better than using a chocolate one because it cuts through the sweetness of the caramel and butterfingers.

October 20, 2013

Janet hosted in her new home and all were in attendance except for Carol and Teresa.  Janet's friend, Natalie, was not able to join us but she did send over our appetizer.

Angie:  Cocktail, Evening in Kingston
Natalie:  Appetizer, Squash Casserole
Janet:  Bread, Sweet Cornbread Muffins
Tonya:  Salad, Orzo Salad
Mary:  Side, Parsnip, Potato, and Turnip Purée
Janet:  Main, Chicken Marsala
Angie:  Dessert, Roasted Pear Crumble

This cocktail, Evening in Kingston, was potent though tasty.  We added some agave syrup to not only sweeten but also dilute. 

For our appetizer, Janet's friend Natalie sent over a squash casserole.  It had a crunchy topping with squash mixed with a cream.  This dish would also be an excellent side dish.

Janet whipped up some cornbread muffins for the bread course.  This was a good recipe that equally balances the sweet with the corn meal so it does not taste like a cake.

A perfect side dish for the Chicken Marsala was Mary's Parsnip, Potato and Turnip Puree.  It was a fancy take on mashed potatoes and the fresh dill not only looked pretty but made a huge flavor impact.  Mary cautioned that the vegetables do not cook at the same rate so you may want to do them separately.

Tonya's Orzo Salad had chick peas and tomatoes mixed with a vinaigrette along with fresh herbs.  This was a refreshing and light pasta salad.

The chicken Marsala was delicious.  Mary expertly flattened the chicken breasts and the rest of us assisted with chopping, slicing and stirring.  If I were to prepare this again I would use much less prosciutto and more mushrooms than called for.

To finish our meal we had Roasted Pear Crumble.  This was a simple dish to make and it can all be done ahead of time.  I simply warmed up the pears prior to serving.  The granola is delicious and I added some cinnamon to it as well as used both almonds and pecans..  The mascarpone cheese is sweet and creamy.