Digging Yellow — It’s Mellow

Yellow and orange are my fave colors du jour.  Here’s my mellow yellow journal.

I love the wall color with the grey dresser and hot pink accents.

Miss Bee’s science project.  Anatomy of a cell.

Love this reddish/orange chair.

 Yellow rattan chairs.

Fun journal from Barnes and Noble.

 Greenish yellow ottoman and hot pink.  Love.

Book I want to read.

Mrs. Schumacher’s Pretzel Rods.  She’s teaching her daughter,
Miss Anna, the trade.

Lemon Drop Cookies
This is an easy cookie to make.  You can change up the flavors by using different cake mixes and extracts.
1 box of lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp lemon extract

Mix all ingredients.  Form about a 3/4 tsp of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar.  Bake on a cookie sheet 6-9 minutes at 375 degrees.  Dust with sifted powered sugar when cooled.  Makes about 5-6 dozen.
Flavor ideas:  Chocolate with peppermint extract; strawberry with orange extract; vanilla with almond.  Combinations are endless.

Epic. Cake. Fail.

This was the first recipe to try from the Cake magazine I mentioned here.  It’s the Brown Sugar Pound cake.

Two things happened here.  First, when I was measuring the ingredients I measured five cups of flour.  Once ready to eat it was so bland and just plain, gah.  I have never made a cake that turned out tasteless.  So, I looked back at the recipe.  Oh.  I was supposed to put in three cups of flour (the magic number five was for the eggs).  Oops.  But, still, even if I had just put in the minimum of three cups, I think it would have still tasted, gah.  Oh, and here’s a tip.  When you use too much flour the cake never cooks all the way through.  After two hours — no exaggeration here — I finally took the cake out.  Nice burned edges, and ooey gooey raw batter in the middle.  Gah.

Second, the icing.  No where in the recipe does it say ”WAIT TILL CAKE IS DONE” to start making the icing.  It was a dreamy caramel sauce.  But when the cake was ready to be drizzled with the heavenly sauce, this is what happened:

Triple, gah.   I was determined to get the damn icing on.  So, with my Spackle tool I applied the icing.  Which is as illustrated in photo A.

I cut a slice and had Earnie eat it.

Earnie in her nice, Southern gal kinda way said it wasn’t too bad, but not the best I have ever made.  So, down into the trash went five cups of flour, 5 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, about nine cups of sugar, and my pride….

The end.

Say “I Do” to Tres Leches Cake Parfaits

I wanted to share a recipe for Tres Leches Cake parfaits.  For the bridal shower I helped co-host, I volunteered to make the dessert.  I knew Tres Leches cake was the bride’s favorite, but I didn’t want to serve it the usual way, sliced on plates with a fork.  So, I made parfaits.

I used a Martha Stewart recipe for Tres Leches Cake.  I baked it the night before the party and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  A few hours before the party, I made the whipped cream and assembled the parfaits in small, stemless wine glasses.

At the bottom of each glass I put a small dollop of whipped cream, then a small square of cake, more whipped cream, another square of cake, topped with whipped cream.  I sprinkled a garnish of toasted coconut and a touch of nutmeg.  I found a set of adorable bride and groom cupcake toppers and stuck them in the center of the dessert. 

Who can resist saying “I do” to this dessert?!  Oh, so, fab.

Need a dessert for a Christmas Party?

The Black Russian Bundt Cake recipe my neighbor shared with me is the bomb.  Easy to make and especially pretty if you have a decorative bundt pan.  Several years ago I purchased this Nordic Bundt pan shaped like Christmas trees:

Be sure to grease and spray it carefully and thoroughly.  I used Baker’s Joy flour/non-stick spray and it worked great.  This cake is moist and transports well.  A few people on my Christmas list are getting these…

Black Russian Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (without the pudding)
1/2 cup sugar
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup Vodka (I used vanilla vodka)
1/4 cup Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)
3/4 cup water (or I used left over coffee)

Combine everything in a mixer and beat well.  Pour into well greased pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and glaze.

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup Kahlua
Combine and pour over warm cake.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Move over Mrs. Doyle

In honor of National Cake Day on Monday, I made the Mrs. Billett’s cake  from the cover of December’s Southern Living magazine. 

Mrs. Billett is my new best friend.  The wintry white confection was submitted to SL by Mrs. Sue Winter for their annual December cake contest.  She acquired the recipe from her mother.  Like my beloved Elizabeth Doyle’s chocolate cake, she and her mother never knew who Mrs. Billett was but have been making her white cake for every birthday since the 50s.

The only modification I made was not making the fondant snowflakes.  Mr. Bee is not fond of fondant and at $12 a package I didn’t want to waste it on him.  But if I were to make this for an event, I would give the fondant a whirl.

While it wasn’t a complicated recipe it takes longer than a usual cake.  But. Oh. My. Is it worth it.  I had it iced by 9:30 p.m. Slices were delivered to our neighbors who usually go to bed at 7:30 p.m.  But they took No-doze in order to stay up for their cake delivery. 

Lots of vanilla, an entire box of butter, 5 eggs and a 32 ounce bag of powdered sugar, it’s not for the faint of heart.  I think Mrs. Billet and Doyle will get along just fine.

Heirloom Recipe Wednesday

Today’s topic:  Buttermilk Pie.  Love it.  I think the first time I ate it was at the Nut House in Granbury, Texas.  I was probably younger than Miss Bee is now.  It’s very southern.  I was nine when Earnie purchased this cookbook by mail order..

Copy write date

Somewhere along the way I discovered the buttermilk pie recipe and from the looks of the page, it was a frequent occurrence for me to make it.  Earnie added the note about adding lemon juice.

So I made one last night.  All the talk my Austin besties were doing about spending Thanksgiving together tomorrow made me all nostalgic.  So I made one.  I plan to eat a big slice tomorrow.

I even tried a new pie crust recipe from my friend David Venable’s new cookbook (we’ve never met, but I consider him my friend.  He’s a cutie).

Pie.  It’s the most important part of the Thanksgiving meal.

Praline Grahams

Made a batch of these Praline Grahams for Sister Bee’s spring open house with her Thirty One Business and other vendors.  I have had this Southern Living recipe for years and it’s very easy.  It’s the perfect sweet with coffee or for a wine and cheese party.  Enjoy!

Praline Grahams

12 whole graham crackers any flavor — regular, cinnamon or chocolate
3/4 cup of margarine (the syrup seems to spread better using margarine, but when I don’t have it I substitute with butter.  I actually like butter taste better).
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

I have doubled this recipe using almost two packages of graham crackers, 1 cup sugar and 3 sticks of margarine.  Works fine.

Break graham crackers in half into squares.  Arrange on a cookie sheet with sides.  Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat, stir in sugar and chopped pecans.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat,  Working quickly, spread syrupy mixture evenly over graham crackers in the pan.  Bake at 300 for 12 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool.  Makes 2 dozen.