Tag-Archive for ◊ recipes ◊

• Saturday, January 03rd, 2009

As if we hadn’t seen enough goodies between Thanksgiving and Christmas, January 3rd is none other than chocolate covered cherry day. Now, this particular celebration is the brainchild of candymakers and is designed to sell more of thoseĀ $1 boxes that people buy as gifts for people who surprise them with gifts, people they don’t know what else to buy for, co-workers, distant relatives, etc. But I grew up on my sister’s homemade chocolate covered cherries, and like most of my sister’s handiwork, her chocolate covered cherries have no commercial equal.

Now that we have families and children, neither of us has an abundance of time to devote to making candy — especially labor-intensive candy. Still, boxes of Queen Anne’s find little love in this household. So we’ll be enjoying a less-time consuming blend of chocolate and cherry goodness today in the form of Cherry Chocolate Cake.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 eggs

Beat eggs. Add almond extract. Stir in cake mix and cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased, floured 9 x 13 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

To frost, combine …

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. milk

in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in …

  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Pour over partially cooked cake and spread evenly.

Category: Winter  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
• Monday, November 17th, 2008

Got an apron and a mixing bowl handy? I hope so, because today is none other than Homemade Bread Day.

Homemade Bread Day holds a special place in my heart because I grew up on homemade bread. Wonder Bread and the ilk never darkened the door of my mother’s pantry. In fact, she had a small room off the kitchen dedicated to the art of breadmaking, with storage space for a couple of hundred pounds of wheat, solid wood doors that helped dull the roar of her Magic Mill III, and a 2-inch thick butcher block countertop that’s seen about as many baked goods over the years as your average small-town bakery.

After moving out, I had to forego the freshly-ground flour for a few years — in part because hard white winter wheat berries are nigh impossible to find in rural South Korea — but continued to bake my own honey wheat bread with organic stone-ground whole wheat flour, olive oil, sea salt, honey, Saf-Instant yeast, and occasionally-added cinnamon, raisins, and dried apple dices. Though not quite as good as the original, it was passable.

Nonetheless, when the the U.S. Army returned my husband and me to American soil, one of the first things I sought out was a source of wheat. Soon after, Mom supplied me with a wheat mill so that I could return to baking “real” bread. Unfortunately, her timing coincided with the birth of our first child … which greatly curtailed both my kitchen and web development time. This evening, however, hubby will be greeted by the smell of fresh-baked cranberry banana spice bread when he walks in door.

Giving credit where it’s due, the following is adapted from the low-fat banana bread recipe in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, one of my favorite vegan cookbooks.

Cranberry-Banana Spice Bread

Mix together:
2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, well-mashed
4 oz. apple sauce
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. molasses

Stir in:
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (I prefer freshly-grated)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. unbleached flour OR 1 1/4 c. unbleached flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. quick oats or oat bran
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 c. dried cranberries steeped in 1/4 c. orange juice* until soft (with liquid)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour mixture into a lightly-grease 9 x 5 (1 1/2 pound) loaf pan, and bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out dry.

By the way, this recipe is best mixed by hand. For best results, do not use an electric mixer.

*I prefer to throw a whole washed clementine orange (including peel) into the blender, pureeing it, heating it, then steeping the cranberries in it. This gives you yummy bits of orange peel in the bread as well.