Mar. 24 – Italian Wonderpot – Lori in Pittsburgh
Mar. 31 – Chocolate Lasagna – Katherine
April 7 – Chicken Stuffed Shells (Pryde)
April 14 – Hot Cheese Biscuits (Pryde)
Whenever we get around to it, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Strawberry Cheesecake Poke Cake, a recipe Fred requested. It was originally posted here on Buzzfeed.
Fred spotted this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago, and requested that I make it. I figured, since I was going to be making it anyway, why not ask Nance if she’d be willing to make it too, and kill two birds with one stone? She was up for it, so off to the grocery store I went.
I was immediately irritated by this recipe. Why buy a cake mix and then make half a cake? What the hell am I going to do with the other half of the cake mix? That is just sloppy and lazy and stupid recipe creation, if you ask me. So I trolled through the comments and decided that I’d just make the damn cake in a 9×13 pan. A lot of commenters (shut the fuck up, spellcheck, commenters IS SO a word) mentioned that there was way too much of the topping, so I decided not to double it (which was my first instinct), and I’d buy two containers of Cool Whip just in case.
Like all poke cake recipes, it starts with making the cake.
While the cake is mixing, spray your cake pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom with graham crackers, like so.
After the cake is done mixing, tell Betty Crocker to kiss your ass.
What is the point of making a cake if you can’t eat the batter? I’ll take the chances of salmonella poisoning, thank you very much.
Cake’s ready to bake!
While the cake is baking, cut the tops off your strawberries. I went one step further and cut the strawberries in half, because that’s the kind of exciting life I lead.
About ten minutes before the cake was done cooking, I figured I’d get the topping ready to go. Instead of following the original instructions, I thought I’d be smart and mix up the cream cheese, condensed milk and milk before adding the strawberries. A lot of people complained about not being able to get the topping completely smooth the way the recipe demanded, so for some reason I thought my way would work better.
I ended up throwing all that shit in the blender and blending the hell out of it, and I think that’s what you should do, too. If you don’t have a blender, try a food processor, but I think a blender would be way better.
Hey! How about an affiliate link? This is the blender I have, a KitchenAid blender in red, and it kicks ass every time I use it.
This is what my topping looked like after I’d blended it to hell and back.
Yes, I took a sip and yes it was pretty damn good.
When the cake was done, I immediately poked holes in it with my wooden spoon.
Those holes are way bigger than I would ordinarily make in a poke cake – usually I’ll use a big fork. But I was (kind of) following instructions, so I did what the recipe said I should.
While the cake is still hot, you dump your topping as evenly over the top as possible while trying to take a picture with the other hand.
A lot of people in the comments to the original recipe bitched about how much topping there was, and I’m with them. I don’t have any idea how this much topping would have worked on a 9×9 size cake. It would have overflowed the pan, is what it would have done. As it was, I still ended up with about 1/2 a cup of topping I didn’t use. I mean, live your life how you want, but I wouldn’t recommend using the entire batch of topping.
At this point, Alice – who was trying to take a nap on top of the cupboards – woke up and gave me hell.
Lucky for her, I was done with the loud portion of the cake-making.
This is what it looked like after I’d added all the topping I was going to add.
Though I was messing with my camera settings – it was a much paler pink than that in real life.
Once it cooled down a bit, I stuck it in the fridge until it cooled completely. You don’t want to put Cool Whip on a warm cake, or it’ll melt. IMPORTANT LIFE TIP FROM ROBYN right there.
This is what it looked like when it was cool.
Obviously, the topping kind of pooled around the edges, but that happens with pretty much any poke cake. I was very glad I hadn’t used the entire batch of topping.
And here it is after I put the Cool Whip on top.
Aren’t I fancy, with the swirls on top like that? The one 8 ounce container of Cool Whip was plenty. Again, I’m not sure what kind of drugs the original recipe maker was on.
Cool Whip will always and forever remind me of Fred’s nephew. At Thanksgiving one year, we were cutting the pumpkin pie, and someone brought out the can of Reddi-Wip. Fred made a joke about “Oh, the REAL whipped cream, we’re getting fancy this year!”, and his nephew informed us that Reddi-Wip was NOT real whipped cream, that REAL whipped cream came in a tub. Do we tease him about it every year? I think you know the answer to that.
Sprinkle crushed graham cracker crumbs on top, and serve.
The verdict? Fred really liked it a LOT, I thought it was okay. I think it actually would have been improved with real whipped cream (not the Reddi-Wip, the kind of whipped cream you make yourself with the heavy whipping cream and sugar and the bowl and beater straight from the freezer). (Yes, I know that Amanda is weeping happy tears and preparing me to welcome her back into the fold of pretentiousness. But Cool Whip has a plastic aftertaste to me, and real whipped cream is 1000% times better, so SHUT UP AMANDA, NO ONE ASKED YOU.)
Fred liked it so much that he asked me to make it again the following weekend, using cherries instead of strawberries. I did (used frozen cherries, thawed), and it was okay, but we both think the strawberry version is better.
Will I make it again? Yeah, when it’s requested. I’m not a huge fan of this cake, but I’ll eat a piece or two if it’s sitting around. It would be good at a cookout or large gathering, I think.
My other note: The second time around, I used a cake mix we had in the cupboard (Duncan Hines Classic Yellow, which is our favorite) instead of specifically buying a vanilla cake mix, and it was fine.
Robyn’s husband, Fred, picked out this recipe for us to try. I am guilty of just looking at the picture and saying yes because damn, that cake looked good and I was hungry. But when it came time to make the damn cake I thought that maybe Fred was trolling us. Half a cake mix? WTF? Who does that shit and way to make it more complicated. I went and read all the comments to see how this worked and decided based on comments alone that I would make the cake a normal 9×13. Robyn probably made it the right way. She’s a rule follower, that one. Me? Rebel. No half cake batters for this bitch.
As you can see, I felt that graham cracker placement was really important. Important enough to practice it before I did anything to the pan.
I decided to grease and flour this pain (a huge pain in the ass) because I didn’t want graham crackers sticking or any messes. Not that I know for a fact that they would stick. I have no idea what they would do because who bakes with graham crackers? Not me, that’s for damn sure.
The Big K stayed by my side the entire time. She loves being in the kitchen for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, there will be no pictures of her trying out this cake because she’s a bit of a hog and I have yet to be able to snap a photo of her actually eating anything. The food is there and then it is GONE. Her big mouth is faster than my trigger finger.
Separating egg whites is apparently something that I can’t do right even when I use an egg separator. I said fuck it (of course I did) and let the yolk in there. Fortunately, it wasn’t enough to change the color of my cake.
I just let the camera do its own thing which is why it’s focused on the beaters. This is the cake mix all ready to go.
Action shot of the cake mix going over the graham crackers. About those graham crackers…you don’t need them. In fact, they made the cake weird. You had this wonderful cake with filling, etc., and then you have a weird texture on the bottom. They don’t stay crunchy, they just get weird. Skip the graham cracker part altogether. Trust me.
Cake baked with holes poked in it.
I made an executive decision to not try and whisk motherfucking strawberries. Who has time for that shit? I got out my handy dandy chopper.
My camera once again focused on the wrong thing, but just pretend it’s an artsy photograph. At least my strawberries are chopped and ready to go.
Surprise addition to the DCEP family. This is Charley. She has a sister…
Clyde. I’m sure the girls will be seen on DCEP more often, but they haven’t really figured out the whole camera thing yet so I need to give them a minute.
The strawberries with the condensed milk and cream cheese added. I skipped the regular milk because this seemed pourable enough and I didn’t want it all runny and messy.
This is the last picture I have of this cake. The filling, poured over the top, reached the top of the pan. It was so high that I couldn’t add the whipped cream. I put it in the refrigerator and hoped that it would soak down in. It did fill the holes that I made, but never went down far enough for me to put whipped cream on it. I should have taken the time to get the flour off of the rim of the cake pan, but I couldn’t be arsed.
We ate the shit out of this cake. No lie. Even without the whipped cream it was delicious. Rick was in Missouri so he didn’t get to try it, but my mom and I did it up. We tend not to eat real meals when he’s not around so trust me this cake made a fabulous breakfast, lunch and dinner. My only complaint, as seen above, was that stupid graham cracker bottom. I ate everything but the bottom of the cake because of the weird texture. Just skip the graham crackers and you’ll be fine.
Whenever we get around to it, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes, a recipe that Nance spotted somewhere and that we both thought sounded tasty; it was originally published on Damn Delicious.
First things first: someone mentioned in the comments to the previous post – and they are right – that we aren’t correctly informing y’all that when we link to things on Amazon, they are affiliate links. This means that whenever you click on that link and then buy something from Amazon, we get a tiny percentage of your purchase. I need to put something in the sidebar and will be posting at the top or bottom of each post, so everyone knows that we’re pulling in the big bucks.
We’re saving up for a beach house – so far, we’ve saved nearly enough for a pack of gum!
Now, the recipe. Nance sent me the link at some point and said “Doesn’t this look good?”, and so when it was time to choose our recipe for this month, I suggested we just go ahead and make the potatoes. I mean: potatoes, cheese, bacon. What’s not to like, am I right?
Bacon, red potatoes, cheddar, ranch dressing mix, chives. First up, make your bacon. The recipe says to preheat your oven and bake the bacon at 400ºF. Instead, I made the bacon using my very favorite oven-baked bacon recipe – put bacon into a cold oven, set it to 375ºF, and bake for 20 – 30 minutes (depending on how thick it is and how well-cooked you prefer your bacon). You don’t have to do it like I do, you could pretty much cook it however the hell you want, even ::shudder:: pan-frying it.
You do you, is what I’m saying. I made mine in the oven.
And while your bacon is makin’, you can get the other shit ready – line your crock pot with foil, chop up your taters.
Before you know it, your bacon is ready!
Doesn’t it look tasty? I was a little grumpy that it hadn’t occurred to me to make extra bacon to shove in my face.
Let your bacon cool, and crumble it up. Or use a knife and chop it up while it’s still hot, if you’re the impatient sort.
Coat your foil with cooking spray, and put a layer of potatoes in the crock pot. Top with cheese, ranch dressing powder, and bacon. Repeat it two more times, setting aside half a cup of cheese.
Fold the foil down over the whole shebang, put the top on the crockpot, and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4.
Then go confer with your chef kitten.
That’s Chef Barnaby, who I was babysitting (along with his sisters Bubble and Squeek) for a couple of weeks while their regularly scheduled foster mom was in Uganda. They’ve gone back to her, but they certainly were fun while they were here with us. Chef Barnaby told me that my knife skills were for shit. What does HE know?
When it’s been 3-4 hours (or 7-8 if you’re cooking on low), remove the lid, unfold the foil, and sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheese on top. Put the lid back, and cook until melted, which should only take a couple of minutes.
Then serve that shit!
We had our potatoes on Memorial Day weekend, along with burgers and coleslaw, because it seems a very cookout-friendly side dish.
What was the verdict? Well, before I can tell you that, I have to tell you this: I am a dumbass. I am such a dumbass that I see a recipe, and I think “Oooh, that looks good, and I LOVE everything I’ve ever made from Damn Delicious, so this will be a hit!”
The problem is that although in THEORY I really like potatoes (and in actuality I DO like bacon and cheese), the reality is that I’m just…not that crazy about potatoes. I’ll eat them if they’re put in front of me, I like a nice scoop of potato salad, I’ll eat one or two of your french fries, every now and then I like a baked potato, and mashed potatoes are okay, but for the most part I have no desire or craving for potato products, and I’m happy to skip them. So these would have had to be laced with the crack cocaine* to get my interest. I ate them, and was pretty much “meh” about it. Fred said they were good, but he also wasn’t super crazy about them, and we gave our leftovers to the chickens.
So we give this recipe a resounding “meh” with the caveat that we are weirdos, and if you’re into potatoes in a big way, your mileage may vary.
*Also not into drugs or drinking. I might be the most boring person you’ve ever met.
Once again, I saw this recipe on my Facebook wall. I have no idea who posted it because that would involve me having to pay attention to something for more than 30 seconds. I saw potatoes and a crockpot and I was ready to roll. I figured this was going to be an easy winner.
I had to change the recipe right from the beginning because my bacon was frozen (I buy a 3-pack at Sam’s) and I don’t like to bake my bacon in the oven anyway. Thankfully, Shirley (aka: mom) was around so she fried the bacon for me. There is nothing worse than a woman with ADD standing around waiting for bacon to fry.
Krissie was on high alert while that bacon was frying!
The recipe seemed easy enough. Throw a bunch of shit in a foil-lined crock-pot and rock ‘n roll. That is an affiliate link over there.
My potatoes were so old that they were growing eyes. I think they’re called eyes. That’s what we always called them. If I’m wrong (gasp!), feel free to tell me in the comment section. Oh god, I hope they’re called eyes and I haven’t been stupid for 40+ years. Anyway, those sections had to be cut out and then the potatoes had to be chopped.
As usual, this recipe called for fresh chopped chives of which I had none. Who keeps chives in the house on the regular? I sure as hell don’t. Luckily, I had bought chives one day and I have until 2018 to use them up. As it was, the recipe never said when/where to add the chives so I didn’t even use my dried ones. I predict this bottle of chives is going to be thrown out in 2019 when I need them and realize they’re too old to use. Sigh.
My first layer of potatoes turned out perfect! I’m a real food blogger! Look at those potatoes, man. Look at that photography. I am ALL THAT.
I decided to not mess with that twee one tablespoon of ranch dressing. I just sprinkled it over all of the potatoes and hoped for the best.
All layered up and ready to go. Note the pretty bacon. Did I mention I had high hopes for this recipe?
This is the day that we found out what food Krissie doesn’t like. Raw potatoes are not for her.
All sealed up and ready to go. I pretend that I’m off to work and returning to a fabulous meal when I use my crockpot. But I’ll be honest…I never leave the house when it’s on. Shirley’s neurosis has wrecked my nerves so now I worry about fires and such. Thanks, mom. Keep spreading The Crazy.
I let it cook for 7-8 hours (leaning more towards 8 hours).
This is what I ended up with. Note: My husband and mother liked it. I thought it was terrible. The potatoes on the top weren’t cooked, the cheese was steamed and rubbery. The bacon was damp from being enclosed in the foil with the potatoes. Damp bacon. Rubbery cheese. Hard potatoes. Yuck, yuck, yuck. When you look at all the work that went into this, making the bacon, cleaning/chopping the potatoes, grating the cheese and layering everything this recipe is a big fuck you to anyone who tries it. On the box of ranch dressing there was a recipe for making potatoes in the oven. You chop them up, coat them with oil, sprinkle the ranch, throw them in the oven and call it a day. That’s my kind of recipe!
The paparazzi almost got a shot of the elusive Felina, but she wasn’t about to cooperate.
Rick (aka: the husband) likes thin and chewy oatmeal cookies and the only ones I know how to make are too fluffy for him. Truth game: My oatmeal cookies are thin and crisp. The husband is obviously smoking the wacky weed.
Because I am a good wife I try to find recipes that will make my man happy. I snorted at this and then realized that this was how I found the recipe below and I need to shut my piehole because it appears that I have some kind of Stepford situation going on. Or, it could be that I’m just a considerate and kind person (shut-up, it could happen).
I googled around and found this recipe. I tried it based solely on the photo of the finished product that was on the site. Oatmeal Lace – there’s no way to lose. Those fuckers have got to be thin enough for the husband.
This is not your one bowl type of cookie, but it’s not hard to make either. I just measured out my dry ingredients so that I was ready for the whole shebang to happen.
Here’s a really bad picture of the dry ingredients. Seems like old times, no?
The butter and brown sugar goes in a saucepan and after the mixture has been cooked smooth, you add the rest of the ingredients. It reminds me of making no-bake cookies except you bake these. No shit, Nance.
I scooped them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have a cookie scoop you’re not really happy. I went years without one then one day I broke down and got one. I will never make another cookie without it. It’s that nice. But I cringe every time I use parchment paper because it cost real money and I’m just going to throw it away. Robyn uses fancypants parchment paper sheets. I don’t know why I care because I sure as hell don’t mind rolling the hell out of the aluminum foil. Maybe I’m a tree-hugger and just don’t know it. Maybe I secretly hate metal. Maybe I’m just a nutbag with issues about particular things. I think the last one is it.
Then I baked them until they were golden brown. I showed my filthy oven because I want Amanda to appreciate the fact that I cook like a degenerate. Some of us are not as precious as she surely is. Sigh.
This is what I ended up with. My mom (Shirley) and I did not like them. Rick loved them. Too bad he’s never getting them again because I sure as hell am not making something I don’t like. I have no idea if you’ll like them or not.
Try this recipe at your own risk.
Pierogi ; also spelled perogi, pierogy, perogy, pierógi, pyrohy, pirogi, pyrogie, or pyrogy; are dumplings of unleavened dough – first boiled, then baked or fried usually in butter with onions.
I’m going to show you two ways of making cheese and potato pierogies. By hand and by using a simple Pierogi mold. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of the page. I’m telling you now that I’m horrible with using detailed/technical terms about cooking. I’m counting on everyone that tries this recipe to have had at least one home economics class under their belt (or spent some time in the kitchen with an aunt like I did). You can use all different types of fillings (Google that shit), but around here we stick with the one we know and love.
Some quick points.
Mix together the flour, margarine, salt and sour cream. I use a pastry cutter because I’m fancy that way, but you can use a fork if you’re not a fancypants.
Hollow out the mixture and pour in the beaten eggs. Add milk last.
DO NOT USE A MIXER. Use your hands. This is the part I hate, but it has to be done. Make sure you just mix it (don’t knead it) – add flour as needed, but don’t go nuts.
When it’s all mixed together (so that it forms a nice ball) place a wet paper towel over it and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
While the dough is resting make your mashed potatoes. If you’re using real mashed potatoes you should have them finished (with cheese added) before you start making the dough.
Mix the cheese in while the potatoes are still hot because you want it to melt.
Cheesey Potato Heaven.
Take a small amount of dough (leaving the rest covered with the wet paper towel) and roll it out. Use a goblet (1970’s, baby) or another wide mouth glass/mug to cut out circles. Yes, I have a mess here. It happens.
Drop a heaping spoonful of the mashed potatoes in the middle of the dough.
Lightly brush water around the edges of the circle.
Fold over and pinch closed with a fork. Make sure they’re sealed or you’ll have a mess when you go to boil them. When we make pierogies we usually lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper as we go. Then we put the entire cookie sheet in the freezer. Rumor has it this is called flash-freezing. Heh. After they’ve hardened up, put them in freezer bags and freeze until ready to make. The following steps are used whether you’re cooking them fresh or frozen.
In a skillet, fry sliced onions with butter. You can skip the onions if you’re like me and just melt butter in the skillet.
Drop the pierogies into boiling water – they’ll float to the top when they are done. Strain. You CANNOT skip the boiling step.
Add them to the skillet with the butter and onions. Again, you can skip the onion part if you want, but don’t skip frying them in the butter.
A favorite meal at our house. These bad boys are Eastern European peasant food and I love them!
Using a pierogi mold is a helluva lot faster than doing them by hand.
Flour your mold. Roll your dough out a little bit bigger than the size of your mold.
Lay the dough over the mold.
Fill with the cheese/mashed potatoes. Brush water all around
Roll out another layer of dough and place it over the mashed potatoes in the mold.
Run your rolling pin over the mold.
Lift off the excess dough (which can be used again).
Turn the mold over and plop them out onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Once the cookie sheet is filled up flash-freeze them.
I boiled these for lunch one day – straight from the freezer.
And it only took me a couple of minutes to fry them up.
And then I had a fabulous lunch. Did you notice how half of the pierogie is missing in this picture? I couldn’t wait.
Pierogies re-heat in the microwave really well so don’t worry about making too many at one time (as if).
I have been meaning to write this post for ages, but as usual the time just got away from me. Now with Easter less than two weeks away, time is of the essence. Y’all have to know how to get perfect hard-boiled eggs, so you can make deviled eggs! And color eggs for the Easter bunny! But most importantly, make deviled eggs!
I usually only have deviled eggs a few times a year, not because I’m not “allowed” to make them (Fred loves them as much as I do), but because I just don’t think to make them. You better believe we’ll be eating deviled eggs on Easter day!
By the way, “hard-boiled” is not an accurate description, because you’re not going to be boiling them in water – you’re going to be steaming them. I happened across this post on HenCam a few months ago and was skeptical because haven’t we all seen posts swearing up and down that the “perfect” hard-boiled eggs are done this way or that? For the past several years I’ve been making my eggs by adding a little olive oil to the water, boiling the eggs for 12 minutes, then adding baking soda to a bowl of water, putting the eggs in the water, and filling the bowl with ice to cool down the eggs.
If this were an infomercial, we’d be cuing the picture of me surrounded by containers of baking soda and bottles of olive oil and dirty dishes everywhere, my hair all frizzy, and looking disgusted and overwhelmed. I’d probably have flour in my hair, too – you know how those infomercials are.
The first time I did this, I took eggs that were less than a day old – some of them only hours old – and gave it a try.
You don’t need to rinse your eggs – I only did because a couple of them had nasty stuff on the shells, so I went ahead and rinsed them all.
I put the steamer basket in the pot, then added water ’til it came almost to the bottom of the basket. Then put the eggs in it. By the way, there are lots of different steamer baskets out there. This is the one I’ve had for years and use all the time. Can’t beat that price!
Put the lid on, place the pot on the stove, and then turn the heat on high.
Once the water starts boiling and things get all steamy, set the timer for 20 minutes.
It doesn’t hurt to check the water level a couple of times during that 20 minutes just in case, because you don’t want the pot to boil dry, but I didn’t have any problems.
Once the timer goes off fill a bowl with water, add the eggs, and then fill with ice. Give it half an hour or so before you try peeling the eggs, though you could likely do it sooner.
As you can see, the eggs aren’t completely perfect, but considering that they’re only hours old, that’s much better than I’ve been able to accomplish in the past. I made egg salad with those eggs, because we love eggs around here (which is a good thing, given the number of chickens we have.)
Though I don’t have pictures, I then “aged” some eggs for a week, and gave it another try. They were completely perfect, with no pulled-off spots, and I made deviled eggs with them.
Since the eggs that you get at the store are about 10 days old by the time they make it to the store (or so I’m told), you should do okay with eggs that you just bought. It doesn’t hurt to let them age for a week, though.
So, to recap: age your eggs about a week, steam them for 20 minutes, cool them down, and peel. The printable recipe is below. Happy Easter if you celebrate it – and happy deviled eggs if you don’t!
When it comes to DCEP Robyn said it best, “It’s become another pain in the ass obligation, and I am beyond done with pulling out the camera and taking shitty pictures of food.”
Look, we’re both incredibly busy and keeping up with making regularly scheduled recipes has become a major hassle that we just don’t want to deal with.
So we’re hitting the brakes on DCEP. I’ll eventually put the pierogi recipe up as promised and I may even do more recipes as time permits (it won’t be a step-by-step, but yunz already know how to cook). I will post it all on the DCEP Facebook page when I do.
PS: Robyn and I remain BFFs and our Internet shenanigans are far from over. Don’t slit your wrists over this, Amanda.
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Irish Soda Bread. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe was found in the Cooking With Pryde cookbook by Pressley Ridge.
PLEASE NOTE: NANCE’S PART OF THIS POST WILL BE UP, HOPEFULLY, LATER TODAY. Since it’s an Irish-themed recipe, we wanted to get at least part of it published today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
This week’s recipe was another one that Nance found in that old cookbook she’s got, Cooking with Pryde. I’m in charge of scheduling the recipes, so I scheduled it for today, figuring this would be the perfect day for it.
HAPPY ST. YOU DAY, PATRICK!!!
I’m pretty sure that I’d never heard of Irish Soda Bread before, but in the last few days, I’ve gotten two recipes for it in my email. Neither of those recipes resembled the other – or the one I’m doing today – much at all, aside from the name, and the fact that there’s baking soda somewhere in the recipe.
If I were the sort of gal to have my act together, I’d have made a New England Boiled Dinner (corned beef, cabbage, assorted vegetables) and served this bread with it, to get the whole Irish experience and to have excellent pictures to tease y’all with. However, we only have corned beef and cabbage once a year, because Fred is some sort of freak who thinks that boiled meat is “gross.” (And then he elbows me out of the way to get to the corned beef, because he is strong in his beliefs.) So I will be making corned beef and cabbage for dinner later today, but I will not be taking pictures of it, unless I decide to do so for a post for NEXT year. (Don’t hold your breath.)
So, Irish Soda Bread. Here we go – your ingredients:
Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda (THUS THE NAME), eggs, buttermilk, melted butter. The recipe lists raisins as an optional ingredient. I opted O HELL NO, because I am no fan of raisins. In my life, there are very limited areas where raisins are acceptable. These places are: cereal. And that’s it. I don’t want raisins in my bread, and I sure as shit don’t want raisins in my cookies. Haven’t we all thought we were getting a chocolate chip cookie, only to realize that those were NOT chocolate chips, they were RAISINS? Blech. That right there is a scarring experience. Scarred FOR LIFE, I was.
If you want to put raisins in your bread, you feel free to do so. Just don’t invite me over for dinner.
First, grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Usually I use baking spray on cake pans, but I decided to go OLD SKOOL, and actually greased and floured the pan.
This is one of those simple recipes where you sift your dry ingredients together, mix your wet ingredients together, and then dump your wet ingredients into your dry and mix ’em up.
I imagine that you COULD use a hand mixer to mix everything, but I used a big spoon to do it, and just when I thought that the dough was going to be too dry, all of a sudden it came together.
And I thought “That’s kind of a wetter dough than I was expecting.”
My first reaction was to think of adding more flour to the mix, but I decided to just go with it as it was, and see what I ended up with. I dumped it into the cake pan.
You’re supposed to cut a cross into the top of the dough, but – did I mention that it was a pretty wet dough? I cut a cross the best that I could, not that you can really see it.
On a side note, I read that cutting a cross in the top of the dough wards off evil spirits, but since I feed and scoop the litter boxes of a dozen evil spirits every day, I didn’t think a cross in the top of the bread would do much to banish them, so I wasn’t too hopeful.
The bread was supposed to bake for an hour, but when I glanced at it after 55 minutes, it already looked a little overdone, so I took it out.
Fred thought it looked like a giant biscuit.
I let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then put it on the wire rack to let it cool completely. Then I cut it in half and cut a wedge to give it a try.
The verdict? It was a nice chewy, dense bread. If I were in the mood for a slightly sweet bread, I’d likely make a loaf of this because it was really easy to make. I think it’ll be good sliced and toasted, with a little butter on it. Fred agreed with my assessment. I might even start making it every year to go with the corned beef and cabbage!
Edited to add: I made this again for St. Patrick’s Day 2015, baked it for 45 minutes, and it was even better!
TO BE ADDED LATER TODAY.
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Pistachio Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe was provided by reader Alison G.
This week’s recipe was submitted by reader Alison, who said:
This is a recipe I got from my friend’s mother over 10 years ago. I am pretty sure it is one of those recipes that is as old as the dawn of time and can easily be found if you do a search on the internet. I don’t believe it was her mom’s original creation, maybe something she found out of a magazine. It has become a family favorite and a cake that must be made every year on St. Patrick’s Day (I guess because it is green?). Anyone who has tried it loves it and asks me for the recipe and it is really so stupid simple to make (Amanda might not even call it a recipe!).
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up next week, we figured now was the perfect time to give this cake a try – Alison actually submitted this recipe LAST JULY. Who says we’re quick and organized?!
(The Amanda-baiting part of the recipe is just a bonus.)
Your ingredients for the cake part:
White cake mix, pistachio pudding mix, eggs (5 of them!), water (not pictured), vegetable oil, and milk.
Throw all your ingredients into a bowl and mix it with a hand mixer or a stand mixer ’til well combined. I mixed mine for about three minutes, scraped down the side of the bowl, and mixed for another minute.
Then dump your batter into a greased Bundt pan. (You could also use two 8-inch cake pans, or cupcakes, according to Alison.)
I was kind of taken by surprise that the pistachio pudding actually had little bits of pistachio in it. Did not expect that AT ALL, for some reason.
While your cake is baking, go off and hang out with some kittens. I did my level best to get the current litter of kittens to pose whilst wearing the tiny chef hat, but they weren’t having it. So enjoy this picture of me making a kitten with bunny ears.
When the cake is done baking (mine took 40 minutes), let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let it cool completely.
I have no pictures of this particular part of the recipe, because I am a flake and didn’t even think about it. Imagine a Bundt cake. On a rack. I know you can do it!
When the cake is cool, make your frosting.
Cool Whip, Pistachio pudding mix, milk. Throw it all in a big bowl, and mix with a spoon or fork or whisk or your hands or whatever floats your boat.
Could it be simpler? I think not!
Frost your cake. Try not to be jealous of my brilliant cake-frosting skills. I am a professional. Obviously, yours won’t look this good.
If you’re serving the cake right away, you won’t need to refrigerate it. If, on the other hand, you’re in a household of two, store in the fridge or you’re going to end up with melted frosting.
The verdict? I really liked it. I mean, REALLY liked it. Fred, on the other hand, said that it was okay and he’d eat it if I made it, but he’d never request it. I am a huge fan of pistachios and pistachio-flavored things, and I think he’s less so.
I think part of the issue for Fred is that he’s not that much of a Cool Whip fan, whereas I kinda am. DON’T JUDGE ME.
This is a great idea for St. Patrick’s Day. I think that next time I make it (and I WILL be making it!), I’ll sprinkle the top with roasted pistachios. You can never have too many pistachios.
Thanks for the submission, Alison!
A little over a week ago my uncle and aunt (husband and wife) ended up in the hospital at the same time. We cooked up some food (haluski, pierogies and this bundt cake) to take over for my cousins since they were obviously going to be busy. A few days later my mother and other members of the clan were going over to visit so I thought I would make this cake to send along.
Instead of making another bundt cake I decided to use my new cake pan.
I was a little concerned about the five eggs and using my different cake pan, but the dumbass part of my head said to shut the fuck up and I listened.
It wasn’t hard to mix up because it was only a damn cake mix, Amanda.
I used Baker’s Joy for the pan, threw it all in the oven and walked the hell away.
I had set the timer for 23 minutes and it wasn’t quite done when I checked it. Rather than just stand in the kitchen and wait I decided to guesstimate it. Those edges are HARD.
I whipped up the frosting and since the recipe mentioned refrigerating overnight I walked away from the entire mess.
The next morning I had the brilliant idea to trim off all the hard edges and put the cake in one of those plastic containers you get when you buy things at the grocery store (my mother saves everything).
It was just a little too big for the container that I had. This would be when the heavy cussing started.
So then I decided to make it a square-ish layer cake. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but hindsight tells me that this is where the shit-storm really took off.
Of course The Beagle was all up in it because…food.
I didn’t even have frosting on it and it was already taller than the lid. GODDAMMIT.
OHHELLNO. There was no saving this catastrophe so I didn’t send it out with Shirley. I do have some pride. The cake itself was very good. I’m keeping the recipe with a note to only use a bundt pan. Lesson learned.
[box type=”info”] Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Imperial Chicken. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe was found in the Cooking With Pryde cookbook by Pressley Ridge.[/box]
This week’s recipe was another one that Nance found in an old cookbook. I’m all about finding something to do with chicken, though since I hadn’t made this recipe before (and didn’t know if we’d like it), I opted to use chicken from the grocery store rather than our own chicken.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bread crumbs, Parmesan, milk, melted butter, lemon juice, garlic and paprika. Note: the recipe calls for seasoned bread crumbs; I used plain ol’ Panko bread crumbs (unseasoned), because that’s what I had on hand. Also, the recipe calls for 6 chicken breasts, but LIKE HELL was I going to make that much chicken for just the two of us, so I made 3 chicken breasts.
Put the milk in one (large-ish) bowl and mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs in another. Then mix the lemon juice, melted butter, and garlic in a small bowl – I used a glass 2-cup measuring cup, because I read ahead and knew I’d be drizzling the lemon juice/butter/garlic over the top of the breaded chicken. Which is not to say that I didn’t slop it all over the place anyway, but I didn’t slop it as MUCH as I would have if I’d used a bowl, so there’s that. The less slopping going on, the better.
Dip the chicken in the milk and then in the bread crumb/Parmesan mixture.
Please note that I always do whatever I can to make sure that my fingers don’t touch raw chicken, because it ooks me out. And yes, we have chickens, and YES I touch them with the fangers, but that’s a different situation entirely, so SHADDUP, YOU.
The bread crumbs didn’t want to stick to the chicken, so I basically grabbed up a handful of bread crumbs and kind of mooshed them onto each piece of chicken until there was a decent coating.
Then I carefully moved each piece of chicken to the baking sheet.
Yes, those chicken breasts are on parchment paper. In 2011, I bought 500 sheets of parchment paper from The Baking Queen. That $32.99 for 5 – 6 years’ worth of parchment was, y’know, a HUGE EXPENSE that I know not everyone can swing, NANCE, but not having to scrub crap off the baking sheets every time I use them was worth having to take out a second mortgage on the house.
Drizzle the lemon juice/butter/garlic on top of the chicken breasts, then sprinkle with Paprika.
My big gripe with the original recipe is that it says “bake at 350 degrees covered for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional minutes.” Well.. HOW MANY additional minutes? Proofreading is your friend, Pressley Ridge (says the woman who never bothers to proofread ANYthing). I ended up baking it for an additional 10 minutes. At that point, the chicken was golden brown and cooked through, so I figured it was good enough.
There ought to be a picture of the chicken on a plate, looking all pretty and stuff, but there isn’t. Because I was having a scatter moment and completely forgot to take that picture. Hopefully Nance will do better.
The verdict? Nope, nope, and nope. This chicken didn’t appeal to me at all, in the slightest, not one teeny tiny little bit. Fred didn’t care for it much either, but due to his frugal nature ate the leftover piece for dinner the next day (I would have been happy just to toss it out). I’m not saying that if this chicken were served to me that I’d barf on the plate or anything – I could eat it, and probably wouldn’t even gag while I was doing so – but I wouldn’t be happy to find out that that’s what was for dinner. I wouldn’t request it, and I’m sure as hell not making it again.
[box type=”info”] I’ve been tied-up with work lately so Shirley (aka: Mom) stepped up and made this recipe for me. She also took the pictures. Consider yourselves warned.[/box]
I told my mother three things before she made this recipe.
I went into the living room and proceeded to work while keeping my ears on the kitchen in order to count the swear words. The amount of swear words I heard would determine the difficulty of this recipe. We call this Cooking With Love. I also knew my mother would be sure to tell me all about this recipe if it were a pain in the ass because this family loves to beat a dead horse.
My mother swears like a sailor, but does not say the f-word. She’s a big fan of dramatically saying Jesus Christ or Goddammit. But the f-word is a horrible thing that she finds appalling. You figure it out because I can tell you that her daughter and grandchildren don’t understand. And no, this does not stop us from throwing around f-bombs. It does, however, allow us (especially Alex) to riff on her about taking the Lord’s name in vain much to her chagrin and our hilarity.
Here’s a lovely picture. I’ve learned not to ask, but it perfectly sums up the relationship between my mother and I. We definitely see things very differently.
I hadn’t heard any swear words yet, but I did notice that she was bitching at the animals more than usual. My mom is the person that feeds the dogs. She usually stands at the counter, cutting up people food and making sure that everything is equal and fair. The dogs get regular dog food, but Shirley feels they need a little something special (people food) to go with it. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched my mother make the dogs eggs (sometimes with toast) when we didn’t have any leftover meat.
She was bitching because they had her surrounded thinking it was their dinner-time. Moving back and forth was a huge pain in the ass with them in the way. Not my problem, Shirley. You’re the one that spoiled the dogs.
She was probably dying about now because my mom is the one that likes to hurry up and get shit done. I have banned her from the kitchen at times due to her trying to rush me around when I needed to stop and take pictures for DCEP. So yeah, she was probably ready to shit bricks by now.
That butter in the bottom of the pan concerned me. And I would have probably left it in the oven longer so the coating would get brown, but she stuck with the recipe and added only enough minutes for the chicken to be baked through.
The finished product. Everybody ate it, they said it was okay, but nobody raved about it. This might have been made better by the use of shredded parmesan cheese (hopefully Robyn used it so we can see). My mother said that she ate it cold the next day and it was delicious so she thinks the next time we make it we should do it a day ahead.
The dogs enjoyed the hell out of the leftovers.
Since she didn’t take any pictures of the animals I leave you with a grainy selfie of me (with my bleach blonde hair which is now back to brown) and The Beagle that I had posted on Facebook a while ago.