Best. Gift. Ever.

March 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Bookshelf, Christmas, Cookbooks, Favorite Things | 3 Comments
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For a foodie like myself, particularly someone who bakes often and gets tired of leaning over the counter to check the cookbook, I present to you – the best. gift. ever.

For Christmas this year, my mom presents me with a giant “paper” box. You know, the kind that schools and large businesses buy full of paper. Although I go through a little paper, it’s less than two reams a year, so (to be honest) I’m thinking that there is no chance I’m ever going to use all the paper. And then I picked it up – whoa! – not heavy at all!

I opened the box, and voila! Here’s what’s inside:

This is what it looks like empty

This is what it looks like empty

That’s right – it’s a custom-made oak cookbook holder. Awesome! Beyond words! Now admittedly, my mom has one also, and the same gentleman made hers (and all her custom kitchen cabinets). From the picture, you can see that he filled in the screw holes from attaching the stand to the base. On hers, the screw holes aren’t filled in and I really like that look, too.

Here it is with a cookbook on it:

Honestly the best gift ever!

Honestly the best gift ever!

In the photo, you can see that it’s sized to perfectly hold the only cookbook I harp on regularly – the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition. It holds it perfectly and looks great doing it.

All that being said, if you don’t already own a cookbook stand, this one is exactly everything I could have hoped for … I highly recommend it.

Awesome! I Made the Top 100!

March 18, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks to CulinarySchoolGuide.org for listing me in their entry of “Top 100 Blogs for the Frugal Gourmet”

I am #19! And … #1 under Budget Recipes!

Go check out their site and show them some love … and thank you to the kind editors at CulinarySchoolGuide.org for the recognition!

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

March 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Cake, Chocolate, Desserts, Favorites | 1 Comment
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Okay, I admit … I don’t have a photo of this recipe. Because, to be honest … there’s really no way to make it look good, as far as I can tell. It was a dark brown blob in a white bowl. But, to quote Rob “On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 23.”

The neat thing about this recipe is that you make it right in the baking dish. There were very few dishes in the sink at the end of mixing this up, a fact I appreciated very much. Also, as it bakes, it separates into two “layers” – the bottom being the sauce, and the top being the cake. It’s really cool – and made me wish there was a window in the door of my oven.

This recipe came, again, out of my trusty Betty Crocker Bridal Edition Cookbook. So far, I haven’t tried a single recipe out of this book that was a failure. So far. I’m guessing they made these recipes as idiot-proof as possible. But all that being said, here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired (I left them out because I didn’t have any)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups very hot water

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. In ungreased 9-inch square pan, mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder, and salt. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla with a fork until smooth. Stir in nuts (if desired). Spread flat in pan.
3. Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water evenly over batter.
4. Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry-looking. Remove from oven (yes, it should jiggle like that). Allow to cool 10 minutes.
5. Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream if desired. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.

White Wine Cake

March 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Cake | 1 Comment
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Mmm ... Wino Cake

Mmm ... Wino Cake

Okay, so what do you do with half a bottle of really cheap white wine left over from your rendition of Kat’s Fast Fancy Chicken? Well, if you like to bake, like me … you look for a recipe that lets you bake it. And I found it! And it was fan-freaking-tastic!

I got this recipe from Cooks.com. I made it almost exactly like suggested and it turned out great! As you can see from the photo, it does get a little soggy with all the sauce poured on it, but it’s delicious and I wouldn’t change a thing about it! I do have some ideas for next time around though!

INGREDIENTS:
1 box yellow cake mix (I think I used Duncan Hines “Moist Golden” or something like that)
1 (3 1/2 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding (I used a small box of white chocolate pudding instead)
1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs (yes, 4 – really)
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white wine

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil, water, and white wine. Mix thoroughly. Batter will be thin and probably a little lumpy. This is okay.

Pour batter into well-greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. (Mine took 50 minutes)

After cake tests done (lightly browned, tester inserted comes out clean or nearly clean) …

SAUCE:
Stir together 1/4 cup white wine and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Bring to boil in a small saucepan. Pour hot sauce over hot cake and let stand IN PAN for 1 hour or more. Turn onto a plate and serve.

This cake was yummy! So that you’re aware, you can (lightly) taste the alcohol, so be aware of the audience you are serving this to. I think this would also be fantastic with red wine, chocolate cake, and chocolate pudding … or rum, spice cake, and vanilla pudding. There are probably a thousand variations … and I think I will probably try them all!

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