Monday, November 23, 2009

Coconut Cake

Ok, so I totally forgot to take a picture before this cake got demolished so this one will have to do.



A gal at our church is getting married in December and I am making a coconut cake for the reception. Since I've never made one before I thought I had better test out a recipe first. A friend emailed me this one and after a few modifications here is what I came up with.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted flour
4 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350
Grease and flour 3 (9”) cake pans. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to beat well 6 - 8 min. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Add extract and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan. Bake 25 - 30 min or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.

FILLING
¾ cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 TB milk
½ cup flaked, sweetened coconut

Stir all together until well blended. Invert first layer onto cake plate. Spread ½ of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer.

FROSTING
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites

Place all ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, don’t let boiling water touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken Thighs in Yogurt a.k.a. what we had for dinner last night



Chicken legs quarters seem to always be on fire sale around here so we bought some and decided to make this basic recipe.

3 Tb Olive oil
2 Garlic cloves; peeled and chopped
2 md Yellow onions; peeled and chopped
8 Chicken thighs
Salt; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper;
2 c Plain yogurt
1 Tb Chopped parsley

Heat a large frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion is tender. Do not brown. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Heat another frying pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Brown the chicken on both sides and remove to a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. When the onions are tender stir in the yogurt and parsley off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the chicken thighs and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.



I just used one pan. When the onions were done I removed them to a bowl and used the same pan to do the chicken. I guess that takes a little longer but one less pan to wash! As an added bonus it gave the chicken more flavor.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simple Stir-fry

Sometimes I have the hardest times trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Stir fry is always a sure bet and it requires very little meat compared to the veggies and rice so it's pretty economical too. For this I just chopped up some carrots, cabbage, an onion, and some frozen ginger. I cubed about half a pound of pork and threw it in a bowl with soy sauce, white wine, sesame seed oil, water, sugar and cornstarch. The key to a good stir fry is getting the pan's temperature right. Too cool and the meat steams, cooks slower and gets tough. Too hot and it burns before the inside is cooked. First I cooked the pork.



Then I took it out and placed it in a bowl while I cooked the veggies. I like them to still have a little crunch. While these were cooking I sprinkled some more sesame seed oil (because I really like it) and soy sauce on them.



Then you just throw the pork back in the pan and stir it all around to combine it and make sure it is evenly heated. Plate it on a bed of rice and dinner is ready. The longest part to making this was slicing the carrots because I like the look of the matchstick carrots and I like the way they cook better but I did all the prep work this morning while the kids were playing so when it came time to make dinner it was easy peasy.