Monday, March 2, 2015

Let There be Cake(s)

I finished up the Family History Writing Challenge on Saturday. If you are interested, you can find my blog posts over at Write Formation. It was definitely a challenge this year, but for the first time in the several year history of my participation, I actually wrote every single day. My final word count was 16,125 - not too bad! I think the accountability of posting my daily writing on a blog made the difference for me this time. I have to say that it felt good, but I am glad that the month is over. It was very time-consuming, but it forced me to take all my years of research on John Murdoch and bring it together in what I hope is an interesting and informative story. Now I can get back to the graduation quilt that someone has commissioned me to do.

My husband's birthday is today, (Happy birthday, Jim!) but we celebrated on Friday because the weekend was crazy busy and he is off to Joplin today. We tried a new Mexican restaurant in our town, and it was good but not great. He wanted an angel food cake for dessert, so I had made one earlier in the day. I found an interesting recipe on the Internet to change the plain cake into something a little more interesting. You simply add a can of crushed pineapple to the cake mix instead of the water that is normally used, and bake it in a 9" x 13" pan instead of an angel food cake pan. That was fine by me, as it always seems to be a little tricky to get a cake out of the angel food pan, and it is no picnic to clean either. You can serve the cake as is, or frost with a container of Cool Whip. I followed the suggestion of a reviewer, who added a little yellow food coloring and a small can of crushed pineapple to the Cool Whip.

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Our review of the cake is that we liked the taste and texture of the cake, and in fact it was better the second day. We would not do this frosting again next time. Instead, I would either dust it with powdered sugar or use a small amount of traditional vanilla frosting. If you are interested in trying the cake for yourself, you can find the recipe here. This is one of my favorite sites for finding new recipes.

On Saturday I had lunch with my niece and great-niece at Pantera's Pizza in Edwardsville, Illinois. I don't get to see them often enough, and it was nice to just have some girl time. Unfortunately the snow started before I left her home in Cahokia, so it was pretty treacherous driving home. I find that the older I get, the less I like being out on the roads in inclement weather. Jim was supposed to go to an overnight poker party at his partner's lake house, but they canceled that due to the road conditions. Good thing I brought leftover pizza home with me. Instant dinner!

Yesterday some friends had us over for dinner. They made an amazing southern-style meal of pulled pork, cole slaw, corn bread and collard greens (those were a first for me, and likely a last.) We brought a sparkling wine (a Prosecco, which we had never tried before - yum!) and dessert. In keeping with my angel food theme, and the fact that our host is a diabetic, I made another angel food cake. This time I substituted a can of pumpkin for the water and added pumpkin pie spice to it. I lightly dusted the cake with powdered sugar and a little cinnamon instead of making the frosting in the recipe. I have to say, I liked this cake better than the one with pineapple. It was good on a cold, snowy night with the hot tea our hostess provided. The recipe for this variation is here. Even though it calls for using a 9" x 13" pan, I used an 8" x 8" pan since we were taking it to our friend's house. I put the remaining batter in a small bread pan and baked the two together. This recipe did not rise like the one with pineapple, so I think I could have put all the batter in the 8" x 8" pan and been okay.

Pumpkin Pie Angel Food Cake

Funny story about making the second cake - As I was getting ready to pour the teaspoon of what I thought was pumpkin pie spice into the bowl containing the angel food cake mix, I noticed the color seemed a little bit off. I had grabbed the poultry seasoning instead of the pumpkin pie spice! Oh my gosh, I can only imagine what the cake would have tasted like. There was an old saying my mom used when teaching me to sew - measure twice, cut once. Apparently I need one for cooking as well. Read the label twice, pour once?

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

Oh my gosh, now you are becoming a dessert chef! With your photography skills--especially with cake--you could be launching another new career.

I stick by my perception that no one has more fun than you!