Monday, September 27, 2010

The Desert Welcomes...Cactus Jelly

Well, I have a confession. I have fallen deeply in love with something here. A deep passion that doesn't really make sense. It started with a fascination to look at these amazing plants. And then I just had to go over and take a closer look. And then I found myself engulfed in the cactus plant and taking a prickly pear. I had seen them in the grocery store and had wondered where they came from. Now I know.
Guess what else I know...they have prickers! There is a reason they are called "Prickly Pears".

Now, I knew to stay clear of those!! I mean look at those sharp beauties.

But the purple beauties called to me. I didn't even see the spines..but let me tell you..I felt them!

Wounded I took one home and hid it..sadly, not well enough. ST and CT found it and both went to bed in tears. And this is what we learned about cactus:

1. You won't always be able to see the spines
2. You can get the spines out of skin with duct tape!
3. Spines go through denim
4. If you hold your hand to the sun you can see all the invisible spines coming from your skin
5. Move over Mrs. Butterworth we all love Prickly Pear Jam

Thursday, September 23, 2010

7 easy steps to breakfast

1. Add ham to greased ramekin
2. Slice of tomato
3. Crack an egg
4. Salt and Pepper to taste
4. Crumble cheese...I like Feta
6. Bake in toaster oven 15 minutes (more of less depending on how you like your eggs)
7. Enjoy (and don't forget to invite friends over!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Spice Rack!


Thanks Joel for my wonderful new spice rack!!! Now, I can cook.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Flo Braker and Plumbing

Where to begin my saga of the chocolate cake?? I awaited with great anticipation for the arrival of my new cookbook, "Baking for all Occasions" by Flo Braker. As a new member of the Avid Bakers group I wanted to do something AMAZING!!! And the recipe for All-American Chocolate Cake with Divinity Frosting and Milk Chocolate Paint was just the recipe to propel me into greatness. That is how the story begins....
I received my cookbook with a week to make my first cake. Plenty of time!! As the days quickly passed I found myself running out of time to even glance at my new book let alone crack it open. I found myself in a world of plumbing. Water line after water line broke at the KOA this week. The largest required a professional plumber and backhoe. I have learned how to fix pipe, dig holes, write enormously huge checks, and make the people at Home Depot laugh at a grown woman. Sadly, I have not learned how to make divinity frosting.

After a 16 hour day I was determined to make my cake...so what if I was one day LATE. Better late than never, I always say. So, I go to my fridge and the sour cream practically grabs hold of me! I guess it will wait until after a shopping trip.
Well, tomorrow....another water line break finds me out at 11:30 at night crawling into bed, too tired to remove the mud off my body. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who wipes my knees off as I fell asleep.
So, a week later I make the chocolate cake...with my old stand by frosting, a half batch because I am out of powdered sugar! And here it is 11pm on a Saturday night - my cake, a glass of milk and my computer. MMMMM chocolate cake!

Recipe Review: The cake is wonderful. The cookbook is written just like I would write a cookbook. I love the layout of the recipe. I did wonder when I was suppose to add the chocolate..and found myself too tired to read the recipe for a third time to see where I missed the addition of chocolate.

My Old Stand-by Frosting Recipe
I have no idea where I got this recipe but have been using it for years

  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Whisk until smooth
  • 3 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
Add alternatively, blending for 2 minutes
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Add and beat until light and fluffy

Makes 3 cups or enough for 30 cupcakes or a 2 layer cake