Thursday, October 8, 2009

Red Velvet Cake

For some reason my Mom made Red Velvet Cake for me and my twin brother every year on our birthday (even when he was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes she made two versions, one with sugar substitutes). It's still my favorite and I crave it every year around September. I finally got the recipe from her so I made a cake (a little belatedly) for my 35th birthday (Allen arranged the candy decorations). It didn't turn out quite as good as I remember but it was better than the Red Velvet cupcakes and cakes I've tried recently and I'll certainly make it again soon.

My Mom was a Home Ec teacher for a number of years and it turns out this recipe is from a '70s book titled "Favorite Recipes from Home Economic Teachers - Dessert Edition, including party beverages." Who wouldn't trust Home Ec teachers to come up with the best dessert recipes from the 70s! (I'll have to take a picture of the cookbook cover for a later post, it's vintage and classic.) I'd like to pull a Julie and Julia and make a butter laden recipe a day for the next year, though I'd skip the blogging in lieu of the eating. Anyway, enough with the's the recipe:

Red Velvet Cake (Waldorf)
1/2 cup shortening (stick margarine or butter)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 oz red food coloring
2 Tbs cocoa
2 1/4 cup plain flour
1 scant tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp butter flavor (if desired)

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Make a paste with coloring and cocoa and add to mixture. Add salt and flour with buttermilk and vanilla. Alternately add soda and vinegar and don't beat hard, just blend. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Bake in two 8" pans greased and floured. Layers may be split to make 4.

3 Tbsp flour
1 cup butter, oleo or shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar

Cook flour and milk on low heat until thick. Cool. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add to flour and milk mixture. (Be sure flour and milk mixture is cool first!) Beat until mixture is like whipped cream. Spread on layers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Apple Radish BBQ Ribs

I don't know what to say except that I love this pork rib recipe. I stumbled across it on a few years ago. The meat is so tender and falls off the bone. They're exceptional especially considering you don't need a grill to make 'em.

4 pounds pork spareribs
2 quarts apple juice
3 cups barbecue sauce
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
  1. Place ribs in a stock pot, and cover with apple juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic salt. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the apple juice from the ribs.
  3. Brush underside of ribs with 1/3 of the sauce. Turn them over, and place in roasting pan.* Brush tops with remaining sauce.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes, brushing occasionally with sauce.
*I use a large pyrex casserole dish and it helps to cover the bottom with a layer of aluminum foil so you don't have to spend a week scrubbing off the baked-on sauce.

Coconut Pie

I came home the other night thinking I wanted to make a red velvet cake and ended up making this coconut pie instead. I had the one sliver that's cut out in this picture and Allen ate the rest (to his credit he ate on it throughout the week). It's a super easy to make and it always reminds me of spring.

1/2 stick butter (melted)
2 cups sugar
2 tsps flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole evaporated milk
1 cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

Combine all ingredients. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

Pie Crust

I've been making the same pie crust for years. I guess I should branch out and try something new but this recipe is easy and good and it doesn't require a rolling pin.

Mix in pie pan:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp cold milk

Pat into shape.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

No recipe here. Just what I love to eat and drink on a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beef and Bacon Meatloaf

Oh, wow. I've never really liked meatloaf but this stuff is awesome. To Allen's credit, he made it and he follows recipes to a T so I hope when I get around to whipping it up some Sunday that I don't screw it all up. This isn't greasy (despite what you might think from the picture below) and it's moist and flavorful.

1 12-ounce red onion, coarsely diced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/4 pounds ground beef (10% fat)
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
7 slices thick-cut bacon, 5 coarsely chopped, 2 halved crosswise
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F. Blend onion and garlic in processor until onion is finely chopped. Transfer to large bowl; add beef, 1/4 cup ketchup, and next 3 ingredients.
Add chopped bacon and bread to processor. Using on/off turns, blend until bread is chopped. Scrape mixture into bowl with beef. Add parsley; stir gently to blend well. Transfer mixture to 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Arrange bacon-slice halves crosswise atop meat, spacing apart and tucking edges down sides of loaf. Spoon remaining ketchup between bacon slices. Bake meatloaf until cooked through and meat comes away from sides of pan, about 1 hour. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Slide spatula under 1 end of meatloaf. Tilt pan; slide loaf out onto platter. Slice and serve.
(This is from Bon Appetite...I really need to re-subscribe because I got several great recipes out of last year's subscription!)

Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

I've tried some real stinker recipes lately (Pasta with Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Gorgonzola and Pine Nuts comes to mind, as does Scampi Fra Diavolo...meh) so this was a pleasant suprise. I found it on which sometimes trips me up when I try and incorporate user reviews but I found a nice blend with the suggested changes and I've incorporated them in the recipe below. This is perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich.

1/2 pound (225 g) Swiss chard or kale, trimmed (I used Kale)
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional to taste
2 flat anchovy fillets
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1can white beans or drained and rinsed canned beans (I used Navy Beans)
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (60 g) small shell macaroni
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Coarsely chop the chard. Very finely chop anchovies together with the rosemary.

In a medium saucepan, stir together the oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is pale gold, about 10 minutes. Stir in the anchovies, rosemary and chopped chard/kale and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly coat it with the oil. Stir in the beans. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Pass Parmesan cheese at the table.