Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rum Cake

  It has been quite some time since I have posted. I've decided to come back and ramp up my cooking blog.

The winter has been long and cold here in Georgia. Spring will be here soon and once the weather turns hot here in the south it stays that way for a few months!  I've tried the last few weeks to cook labor intensive meals (I prepared tamales alone and what a job that was!)  and meals or recipes that require the oven.

Last Saturday I decided to bake my father a rum cake. While it wasn't fully from scratch, it was delicious and I or he couldn't tell the difference.

This cake has a definite rum flavor. But why make a rum cake if you can't taste the rum?
I've thought about using a coconut rum and topping the cake with toasted coconut. That would be
a nice treat for around the holidays.

I will be joining Miz Helen over at Full Plate Thursday.

A "soaking" glaze makes this cake very moist. I also used a white glaze with pecans that topped off the cake.

Rum Cake:


1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, save 1/2 cup for the top
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
Bundt Pan

For the soaking glaze:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup dark rum

For the top glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp dark rum
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Grease a Bundt pan with crisco and spread some of the pecans on bottom of the pan.

Add eggs, oil, water, rum into bowl and mix just until incorporated.
Add pudding mix and cake mix and beat on medium for about 4 minutes. Until mixture is smooth.

Pour into bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

At about 30 minutes into baking prepare the soaking glaze.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and water. Bring to a boil. When it boils, remove from the heat.
Add rum. Pour into a measuring cup.

When cake is ready, take out of oven and leave in pan. Prick holes into the cake with a skewer or toothpick.
Slowly pour half of glaze over the cake, filling in the holes. Once cake has soaked up the glaze turn the cake over onto the same plate you plan to serve cake on.
Gently prick more holes on the other side and slowly pour the other half of glaze over the cake.

Let cake cool and prepare the top glaze.
Combine the powdered sugar, rum and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
Add remaining pecans to glaze and pour over cake.

Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pickle Pots and a memory of Maw Maw

I remember Sunday dinner at Maw Maw's house. Usually, I would stay overnight and early Sunday morning (around 4am), I would hear my maw maw moving around in her kitchen and preparing the meal that she would cook for her family. She never knew which one of her children, grandchildren, son-in-laws or daughter-in-laws would stop by for a bite to eat that day.

 She liked to cook her food long and slow. Some of the dishes that I remember are: Swiss steak,Hash, chili (she used spaghetti noodles in her chili-my maw maw was a Yankee..haha and a great cook)supper would cook all day long and I also remember her shooing paw paw away from her stove. He would look at what was cooking and want to add his special touch.

 What brings me to this post is the table that maw maw would eventually set after a long, full day of cooking. She would completely fill the table with food. With the main course there would be; several vegetables to choose from, bread, soft butter, condiments of every sort, and usually two different desserts and the pickle pot. The pickle pot was full of crispy cucumbers and onions with vinegar and pickle spice.

 I had forgotten about maw maw's pickle pot until I happened to read a blog entry at Miz Helen's Country Cottage I can remember going back for seconds and even thirds. They were always crispy, tangy and delicious. After reading Miz Helen's blog about her pickle pots, I decided to make my own. Now the pots are sitting in my fridge for the required two weeks. It's VERY HARD to open the fridge and fight away the temptation to eat one of those crispy cucumbers!

I really enjoy reading everyone's blogs. I learn new ideas and techniques and sometimes a blog will bring back a long forgotten, special memory.

I'm joining Miz Helen over at her Full Plate Thursday .

Sadly, I do not have Maw's recipe for her pickle pot. Thankfully, I had Miz Helen's recipe! One banana pepper from my garden was added to one of the jars.
The Pickle Pot
Miz Helen's Kitchen
1 Quart Glass Container
1 yellow onion sliced
3 cloves garlic
3 cups cucumber slices
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons pickling  spice
White Vinegar to cover onions and pickles
Water to add to Vinegar
In a clean GLASS  container begin to layer with sliced onions, then sliced cucumbers. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 pod of garlic. Repeat the layer and add 1 tablespoon of the pickling spice. Repeat the layer again ending with the last tablespoon of pickling spice and the remainder of the salt. Fill the container 3/4 of the way full with vinegar and 1/4 with water until the cucumbers and onions are completely covered. Seal the jar tightly and shake up and down to distribute the seasons. Place in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before serving, (if you can wait that long). As the Pickle Pot empties just add more cucumbers and onions and your Pickle Pot is always full all summer long.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pork Chops with Apples

Autumn is in the air,it is here! YAY!

Today was really a lazy day.

I prepared pork chops with apples and stuffing. Yes, here in Georgia it is called stuffing if it comes out of a box. It is dressing if it is made by hand.

It was really a lazy day. I'm repeating myself. I enjoyed snuggling with a quilt and watched a few lifetime movies.HaHaHa

So instead of using fresh apples, I used canned apple pie filling. Not wanting the dish to be overly sweet; I mixed chicken stock in with the apple filling. The dish became sweet and savory. YUM.

The smell of apples filled my kitchen. Outside the air has a nice, crisp nip and the wind is blowing at the leaves, my kitchen smells like Autumn.

Pork Chops with Apples
4-5 Boneless Pork Chops
2 Cans apple pie filling
1 box cornbread stuffing mix
1 cup chicken stock
1 stick of melted butter
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Oil for browning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in skillet and brown chops. After browning place in baking dish.
Place apple filling in bowl. Add chicken stock and nutmeg and stir.
Pour apple mixture over pork chops.

Make a layer on top of apple mixture with stuffing mix.
Drizzle butter over stuffing mix.
Gently press the stuffing mix down onto apple mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

I am also linking up with these lovely parties this week!

It's a Keeper

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cornmeal Cake

I have a confession. I have never made a pineapple upside down cake. Well until the other day.

I remember eating this cake in my grandmother's kitchen and tasting it at church homecomings. Moist cake with a decadent topping of pecans, pineapple and cherries. YUM!

Not sure why I never prepared one.Maybe I was afraid Old Betsy (the iron skillet) would fail me? Now I have renewed faith in Old Betsy. She "turned out" the prettiest cake.

I tweaked an Alton Brown recipe. Pineapple Upside Down Cornmeal Cake (wow long title) Have I mentioned I am a huge fan of his? I enjoy all the scientific explanations and such. I'm such nerd. HaHaHa. There hasn't been one of his recipes to fail me yet.

The recipe called for coarse ground cornmeal. I live in the sticks,hill, boondocks and the stores here do not have plain,coarse, ground cornmeal. I adapted and used cornmeal mix and only added 1 tsp of baking powder.

The original recipe did not call for buttermilk.I added 1/2 cup and added to the cornmeal mix along with the whole milk to soak. I allowed the mixture to soak for 45 minutes and kept stirring it to ensure good absorption.

I was amazed  that there wasn't any hint of cornmeal taste or grit in this cake!

I did not chop the pecans. I wish I had. The whole pecans kind of just disappeared throughout the cake. Next time, more nuts throughout the cake!

Pineapple Upside Down Cornmeal Cake  (adapted from Alton Brown)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk (at room temp)
1 cup white cornmeal mix
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
6 slices canned pineapple in heavy syrup
6 maraschino cherries
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 tablespoons juice from canned pineapple
3 whole eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a microwave-proof dish, bring the whole milk to a boil. Remove the milk from the microwave and add the cornmeal mix and buttermilk. Stir and let soak at room temperature for 45 minutes. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully place 1 slice of pineapple in the center of the pan. Place the other 5 slices around the center slice in a circle. Place the cherries in the centers of the pineapple slices and sprinkle the nuts evenly over the fruit. Drizzle pineapple juice over top.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the canola oil and whisk. Add the cornmeal mix and milk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add this to the flour and stir just until combined. Pour the batter over the fruit in the skillet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes in the skillet. Set a platter on top of the skillet and carefully invert the cake. Serve.

 I am also linking to these lovely and fun linky parties!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

It's a Keeper

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Green Beans with Caramelized Onion and Red Potatoes

I have a thing with wanting a green vegetable with dinner.

It's not a rule.

Something green always looks better on your plate and is good for you too.

I love green beans.

Not wanting to take a trip to the grocery store, I dug around in the freezer and found a bag of frozen green beans.

Now what to do with the green beans?

I love onions.

So I decided to caramelize the onions and add them to the green beans.

The smell of the onions cooking reminded me of French Onion Soup. (YUM)

Red potatoes were added as the stock and beans cooked.They absorbed the flavor of the garlic and shallot very well.

The onions melted in my mouth, the potatoes were soft and the beans still had a slight fresh crunch.

Next time I think bacon or ham would be a nice touch too!

Green Beans with caramelized Onions and Red Potatoes:


1 pound frozen green beans
3 small red potatoes quartered
1 cup chicken stock
1 clove garlic minced
1 shallot minced
2-3 Onions halved then sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sugar

To prepare the green beans:

Add 1 clove of minced garlic and minced shallot to 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
Bring to a boil add potatoes, boil for 5 minutes then add frozen green beans.

Return to boil and cook until stock is nearly gone.
Sometimes I need to use a little more stock.

If any stock is left in beans. Drain beans and add your onions.

To prepare the onions:
Heat a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and butter..
Once the better is melted add the sliced onions. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Continue to cook on medium heat and cover pain for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and start stirring onions every few minutes. Add a pinch of sugar and stir more. You know its right when you hear a faint sizzle.

Continue cooking and stirring frequently until you reach your desired color.

Mix with cooked green beans and serve.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Meatball Stew

I saw this recipe in an email recently and decided to tweak it somewhat.

Stew is absolutely a comfort food and one that I usually prepare and let "stew" for

hours in the crock pot.

This recipe is an easier and much quicker stew. Meatball stew is also very frugal.

Served on buttered noodles it hit the spot on these much cooler evenings.

Less beef could be used. However, I made extra meatballs,placed them on a jelly

pan,froze, and placed them in a freezer bag. The next time I prepare this dish,

meatballs are ready!

Meatball Stew: (Adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots chopped
2 potatoes peeled and chopped
1 onion chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
½ bag (8 ounces) of frozen peas
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cans beef broth
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

In a large bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well and form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

In a medium to large Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, add the meatballs and cook, shaking the skillet often, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

I used a spoon to gently turn the meatballs, making sure to give ample time for the meat to cook and release from pan.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet and add the carrots, potatoes, onion and celery. Cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the reserved meatballs and caraway seeds, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve with buttered noodles.

I'm also linking to these wonderful parties:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Coconut Macaroons

The days have been so nice here in Georgia.

So nice that once again,the oven came back on.

This recipe for macaroons is quick, easy and satisfies a craving for something sweet.

The coconut for some reason, reminded me that Christmas is coming soon. Maybe it reminds me so because it resembles snow?

This recipe only makes 12. I think next time I will double it!

Coconut Macaroons:

2 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups coconut
Silvered almonds
Semi sweet chocolate bits
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup of milk

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
Add sugar, flour, salt and almond extract and blend.
Stir in coconut.

Drop dough by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto greased and floured cookie sheet.
Gently press a few silvered almonds onto each mound.

Bake at 325 degrees for 14-17 minutes or until set and light golden brown.
Remove from cookie sheet.

Place semi sweet chocolate chips and butter in microwave safe bowl.
Add milk and whisk.
Drizzle over macaroons. 

I am also joining in over at Delightful Country Kitchen's link party at:

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