Monday, January 31, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake

Ok, so its a well known fact that I have some sort of hyperactivity when it comes to baking. How, you ask? Well, I can never stop with just one recipe for a particular item. If I see a new recipe, I have to try it, even if I already have a "favorite, go-to" for that kind of food. I mean, how many times does a person need to try a new pound cake recipe, right? I know, I really don't know. How many times is enough, until you say "Ok, I think we really nailed it this time." Well, I guess if I reach that point, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I'll keep on baking. Why am I telling you this now? Because, I think I am up to recipe # 8 or #9 for trying out different kinds of pound cakes. I like how pound cakes are basic and simple (no egg seperating here!), and you can easily switch them up by adding some chocolate chips or a cinnamon swirl. Pound cakes even make a great batter for a birthday cake. So here is my latest pound cake, and I am happy to say that I am pretty sure we are reaching the end of my pound cake journey. But I can't say that for sure, I never know what pound cake recipe is lurking around the corner, waiting for me to discover it. What? I should stop now before they cart me off to the looney bin? Ok, here's the recipe:

Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Cinnamon Swirl:
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

  • Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° F . Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter or margarine, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Let the batter beat on high for 20 minutes. (Its really important to let it beat for a long time- it gives the crumb a great texture) With the mixer on low, mix in the 1/3 of the flour mixture. Pour in half of the milk mixture, another 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and the remaining flour. Don't over mix the batter- mix just until everything is combined. Pour half of the  batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture, and spread remaining half on top. (The batter is slightly too much for a 10 inch bundt, so I filled it to the top, and made a few cupcakes as well.) Bake in the preheated oven for 80 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Mix together 1 cup powder sugar, and approximately 2 tablespoons milk- just enough milk until the mixture is pourable ( it should look like Elmers glue) . If its too thin, the glaze will be transparent. Pour over cake when cool. 

For a chocolate chip pound cake, skip the cinnamon swirl part and fold in 1 cup mini chocolate chips.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Really Exciting News!!

No, I did not locate a recipe for fat free chocolate cake that tastes amazing. Sorry! 
 I got an award! Ok, maybe its not a real award with a ceremony and everything, but its still REAL. Ok? Good! Anyways, I am super excited that Laura from Pragmatic Attic ( you may remember her from my babka rant) nominated me with a....

This is a really cool award that works kind of like a game of's how it works: 
  1. Make a post and thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award!
  2. Share 7 things about yourself!
  3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers so we can share the love!
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they've won!
Here is my list:

1. I have three adorable little boys who I call Z-Monkey, Little D, and S-Monkey.
2. They provide inspiration for a lot of my posts.
3. My husband is referred to as Big-D, although he likes to refer to himself as Fiddy.
4. I love, love, love to eat cake with lots of cream.And cookies too. Or cookies with cream. Whatever.
5. Candy- not so much. Unless I am craving sugar- then anything goes. Sadly.
6. I am perpetually on a diet. Why perpetually? See points #4 and #5.
7. I am so excited to get this award. Now I feel like a real blogger

And here are the blogs I would like to nominate:

( Sorry, they aren't all new, they are more kinda like my favorites. Hope thats ok! ) 

1. The Girl Who Ate Everything- She has so many new recipes that I have never seen before- and I want to make every single one of them! 
2. Sweet Pea's Kitchen- Her recipes are always amazing, and reliable. Each one I have made have come out delicious!
3. Barefoot and Cooking- I just found this blog today,and I love her style of writing. So cute and fun! Her food looks great too!
4.  I Am Baker- Most beautiful cakes and cookies, hands down.
5. Cookies and Cups- She may not know it, but she has been an inspiration to me. When I started my blog, I said "I want to my blog to be just like hers." ( I know I sound like I am 6 years old, that tends to happen when you hang out with people age 6 and under. )
6. A Tender Crumb - I just made her Brooklyn Blackout Cake and wow, on that alone she deserves to be on this list. 
7. Sweetapolita - Every time I look at her posts I feel the urge to bake a cake. Its terrible
8. LilaLoa -  Absolutely gorgeous stuff, and the colors she uses are magnificent. 
9. Allison Eat- Stunning pictures, amazing food- keep a tissue handy for drool!!
10.Bakingdom - another one of my favorites. Delicate, dainty, beautiful and delicious pictures.
11. That Really Frosts Me- amazing tutorials for beginners- and gorgeous cakes!
12. Confessions of a Cookbook Queen- amazing writing, and yummy pictures!
13. Annie's Eats- a wealth of recipes! 
This list would not be complete without the following two Queens of Food Bloggers. Really.
14. ThePioneerWoman
15. Bakerella
 I am almost embarrassed to email them about this little award, but I feel like they are big parts of the food blogging world, so they must be on the list!

 Have fun browsing through the blogs I listed, be sure to check them all out- they are really good!

Thank you Laura! I had such a fun time with this post. I am really honored, and excited to pass it on.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Angel Hair Pasta Salad

Colorful vegetables are really cool. Really. Purple and green? Love it.

Angel Hair Pasta Salad
1 pound angel hair pasta, or extra thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 bag shredded red cabbage
1 bunch scallions, sliced

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup oil or less
slivered almonds and/or sesame seeds (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cabbage and scallions. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and toss with the pasta and cabbage. Cover and refrigerate. Sprinkle with almonds and sesame before serving.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fan Tan Rolls

I love a challenge. Although I am sure you know that by now. And I can never say no. You probably know that already too. So when I got this innocent looking email from Mrs. M. asking : "Do you have any great recipes that would mimic (almost duplicate) Mezonos rolls?  Preferably cinnamon?", I bet you know what I was busy doing...
Mezonos rolls are basically another term for Fan Tan Rolls, and when I grew up "Mezonos Rolls" were a staple item in the story called "My Childhood." So, of course I was up for the challenge! I can't say these are exactly the same, but man are they good, so who really cares, right? 

Fan Tan Rolls
  • 1 cup warm milk or apple juice
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup margarine, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

  • extra melted margarine or butter margarine for stacking

  • Pour milk into a large bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Let sit for a few minutes until the yeast begins to bubble. Add the flour, eggs, margarine and salt.  Knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about an hour.  Roll out the fan tan rolls as indicated in the video below. For cinnamon rolls, sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar, mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon before stacking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


There's a rumbling in New York and New Jersey, and no, its not a snow storm. (Although now that I mention it, there is a snow storm in the weather forecast.) There's a certain team, which shall remain unnamed (due to The Cover Jinx) which up until a few weeks ago was relatively unheard of in the ears of the uneducated sports fans, such as yours truly. But I did mention there was a rumbling, so whats going on? The question is, does said team belong to New York or New Jersey?
 Ah, the age old philosophical question. 
Luckily, we have three reputable authorities to help us out in our quest for the truth:

New Jersey: Governor Chris Christie has a message for Jets fans.  
They're New Jersey's team. 
"Today when they're practicing, where are they practicing? New Jersey. And when they play their home games, where do they play? New Jersey. And where do most of their players live? In New Jersey," 

Well said Gove'na

New York: Next up we have Senator Charles Schumer. 
"It's the New York Jets and that's how the Jets want it. That's how the country wants it and New York is New York. Sorry Jersey,"

Wow, that was deep. Let me take a moment to let that sink in.

New York: And now we have our green-blooded Jets representative who lives in New Jersey, Big D from Prime Source NY: "The Empire State Building glows green and white in honor of the New York Jets, so I would say its pretty obvious who the Jets belong to." for thought.

 Well, no matter if you are from New York,New Jersey, or Wyoming and you couldn't care less about the Jets, let alone football, here's some cupcakes for you. And let me tell you, they taste good no matter who the Jets belong to. 

Actual conversation overheard between Z-Monkey and Little D:

Little D (pointing to picture above): "Whats that?"
Z-Monkey: "Oh, thats called a pom-pom."
Little D: "What do you do with it?"
Z-Monkey (in his big brother knowledgeable voice): "Well the Jets wear it on their heads so they don't get hurt when they play football."
Little D (pondering this): "Oooooh."

I think these guys need to have a little chat with their father. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Philly Meatball Subs

This was definitely a change of pace around our house, but all the same it was delicious. 

Sweet and Spicy Philly Meatball Subs
                                                                                                             Makes approximately 4 servings
2 lb. ground meat
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp ginger (optional)
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano*
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of black pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
2 tbsp. mustard
1/4 cup breadcrumbs or matzoh meal

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 large onions, sliced into strips
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

sub sandwich roll

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape golf ball sized meatballs and place them onto your prepared cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake for 17-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Saute the tomatoes and onions on medium-high heat for about five minutes. Add the BBQ sauce and let the onions and tomatoes cook down in sauce for another 4-5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. When the meatballs are done, assemble the sub sandwiches. Place a few spoonfuls of the sauce on each side of the sandwich. Place 4-5 meatballs in the center, cover and enjoy!

* If all the spices scare you, you can skip them, except for the garlic powder, salt and pepper. But keep in mind that the spices balance out the sweetness of the barbecue sauce very well. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The week that didn't stop baking....part two

Back to last week's baking last week I posted the Chocolate Chip Cookie Torte, now moving on to Cake Truffles and Fourteen Layer Cake. Yes, that was fourteen

Cake Truffles
Many of you may know them as Cake Balls, but come on,  the word Truffles just gives off this aura of rich, creamy, chocolatey goodness. Balls-not so much. Anyways, for those of you who already know how to make Cake Truffles, bear with me- I have this cool new technique I just learned from ThePioneerWoman. Shall we begin?

Recipe has been removed by author. For more information on this recipe please see ordering information here

Now for the new technique- I saw this on The Pioneer Woman, and I can't believe how nice it turned out. It worked out great because first I dipped about 2/3 of the balls normally in chocolate. At that point, there is always lots of chocolate left in the bowl, but its too goopy to dip in . So then I used her technique, and it worked out perfectly for the last third. 

Moving along....

Fourteen Layer Cake

Its worth it to make this cake, just to drop casually " Oh yeah, last night I made Fourteen Layer Cake." Try it, its fun! Just kidding, it was fun, but its much more than that. This cake exceeded my expectations beyond my wildest dreams. I saw this cake on Bakerella about a year ago, and I was just biding my time, waiting for the perfect oppurtunity to present itself. Well, it did, so I made it! Oh.My.Goodness. This cake had the perfect, moist crumb balanced with a sweet and creamy chocolate glaze. It was heaven. I will be perfectly honest with you- somewhere between the eighth and the fourteenth layer, I was seriously doubting my sanity. But sometimes, losing your sanity is worth it for a cake. And please don't quote me on that. Anyways, I am not going to go through all the steps here- I followed Bakerella's links, and it worked out fine. 

A few notes:
1. Bakerella's chocolate frosting looks delicious, but if you want a  non-dairy recipe, this one is great.

2. Is anyone wondering where to get non-dairy evaporated milk? I was, and I am pretty sure there is no such thing in the stores.  I found a really cool recipe for evaporated milk online, and it really worked: Pour 3 cups soy/rice milk into a small saucepan. Simmer on medium-low for approximately 2 hours, until the milk is half in volume. ( 1 1/2 cups) Refrigerate until use.

3. For some reason, in Bakerella's pictures, she seemed to have much more chocolate to spread on the sides. I didn't have that much on the sides at all, but it was fine because it was all covered with chocolate frosting at the end.

And the inside....
Again.....when you bring a layer cake to a party make sure to bring a normal knife!! Its really too bad, I feel like I am looking a the mangled wreck of my cake. It was really delicious, but much prettier when cut with a normal knife!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hearty Beef Stew

So, last night was the big snow storm. I've said this many times before, and I'll say it again. We moved here about three years ago. That would be three long, snowy winters. Three long winters that bring mountains of snow that block all the good parking spaces.Three long winters of shoveling out your car, only to have someone steal your spot while you are at work. Three long winters that burst in and cancel school without even apologizing. Three long winters of snow falling inside your boots. Three long winters of salt and snow tracked all over the house. ( Need I continue?) And yet, every year, The  People Who Have Lived Here Forever, shake their heads and say "Wow, what a terrible winter. We never have such bad winters. Such an unusual year! We never get any snow!" Helllooooo are you people dreaming? Call me crazy, but when you have three crazy winters in a row- I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you guys have bad winters. No two ways about it.  Anyways, enough of my ranting and raving. Make this stew today- it will make you feel better and your house smell yummy. I promise.

Hearty Beef Stew                                                                                Makes 6-8 servings
2 pounds stew meat (short ribs, or flanken are great for this)
6 carrots, diced
4 potatoes ,cubed
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon salt
dash pepper
onion powder- to taste
garlic powder- to taste
dash paprika
8 ounces egg noodles

Combine all ingredients, except noodles, in a 6 quart crockpot. Fill with water, just above the vegetables. Set on high, and cook for 6-8 hours. Add egg noodles 30 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Now start choppin'

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Week That Didn't Stop Baking...Part One

I tend to express my love through baking. I think it runs in the family. So when  my sister-in-law celebrated her son's Bar Mitzvah last week, guess what I was busy doing? As soon as I finished one cake, I thought of another cake that I absolutely must make. This sister-in-law is really special to me, so I really wanted to make her extra special cakes. I think my goal was accomplished. The cakes were a huge hit! This Chocolate Chip Cookie Torte was created by my mother ( Thanks Ma!), that was inspired by a cake made by Quality Kosher Catering. The concept of 6 giant chocolate chip cookies stacked, held together by a rich chocolate cream may seem daunting, if not exceptionally rich, but trust me- it really works. The result is a fudgy layer torte, that is eyecatching, and delicious. Anyone want to venture to try it? Its really much easier than it looks!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Torte
Recipe has been removed by author. For more information on this cake please see ordering information here

And the inside....
Moral of the story...when you bring a cake to a party, make sure to bring a proper knife to cut it- it was really pretty when it was cut properly... 

Stay tuned for part two....coming next week...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

This recipe is incredibly deceiving. At first glance it looks basically like a salad. How can you possibly have salad for dinner? Well, check out the list of ingredients and you'll see that it really is much more than that- by the time this salad is finished in our house, I am fuller than after eating a shawarma. Trust me, that says alot. 
Grilled Chicken Salad

1 chicken breast, whole, and flattened
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 can chick peas (15 ounces)
1 can baby corn ( 15 ounces)
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 plum tomato diced, or 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber diced
15-20 sugar snap peas ( I didn't have any, but they are really good if you can get some)
Lettuce of your choice

3 cloves garlic, crushed, or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup sugar

Drizzle chicken breast with soy sauce. Broil at 500° for 4-5 minutes on each side. Let cool, and slice into chunks. Toss salad, dressing and chicken in a (very) large salad bowl. Serve with a fresh roll, or whole wheat bread. (Hey if you're going healthy, you might as well go all the way!) Enjoy!  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cookies and Cream Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the nice things of being part of a large family is that there is always some nice happenings going on. A few weeks ago, my brother in law had a baby boy. You know what that means don't you- Shalom Zachar time! Of course the baby was born Thursday night- I wouldn't expect anything else. But in all seriousness, I love these kind of things. So I was looking for something to quickly throw together to send over. This cake totally fit the bill. Its pretty, fast, and tastes delicious. It was ready and out of the house in 2 hours.

Here's what you need to put this together:

Cookies and Cream Buttercream
1/2 cup margarine/butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups powder sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream or rich's whip
12 chocolate sandwich cookies

Combine margarine/butter, salt and powdered sugar until crumbly. Add cream until creamy. Beat in mixer on high until it is creamy and fluffy. Put sandwich cookies in a ziploc bag, and crush until they are coarse crumbs. Stir crumbs into frosting. 


Prepare chocolate cake and bake in 3- 9'' pans. Bake and cool completely. Put first layer on a nice plate, frost with cookies and cream buttercream. Add the next layer, frost and top with last layer. Frost and smooth sides of cake. Now, officially you can use ganache for the chocolate drip, but I wanted to keep the cake dairy free, so I used chocolate glaze.
This video from cakesandcupboards is amazing at teaching how to make those cool chocolate drips:
Its really easy and lots of fun. And guess what- it was even more fun to take pictures of. I come!!

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