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Monday, May 4, 2015

Easy Everyday Chocolate Cake + One Bowl Butter Cream Frosting


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Once upon a time in America, dessert ended every dinner in most homes. That didn't happen at my house. My mother was not a cook and save for an odd pie now and again, dessert, if it was to be had at all, was jello or boxed pudding. The Silver Fox came from a home where dessert was considered a sacred experience, and his mother would not dream of serving anything as pedestrian as lime jello. She had a bevy of quick dessert recipes, and a version of the cake I'm sharing with you tonight was among them. This is an easy cake to make, and depending on time and inclination, it can be presented as a layer or sheet cake. Knowing that I had to tote the cake, I took the line of least resistance and made a very portable sheet cake with lots of icing on it. You will like this cake. It comes from the Hershey recipe collection and these folks have never let me down. If a recipe has their name on it, I know it will work. This, by the way, is not a sponsored post. I just happen to like the recipes that come from their test kitchen and use them whenever I can. I have nothing to add to the directions below, save for explaining that the original version of this recipe was made with water rather than milk. We went through a nutrition conscious period during the 60's and 70's and moms, being moms, tried to boost the protein grams in every dish they made. The addition of milk was a favorite way of doing that. I must say, I don't think using it changes the way this cake tastes. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here is how this delicious cake is made.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kentucky Butter Cake


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I didn't realize how old this recipe was until I began backtracking to its source. While it appears throughout the blogosphere, most of the recipes you see are simple riffs of a cake created by Nell Lewis for the 1963 Pillsbury Bake-Off. Over time, the bourbon she used in the cake was replaced with vanilla or rum extract. If you peruse the ingredient list below, you'll see this cake uses a lot of sugar. I decided to revert to the original recipe, hoping bourbon or rum would help neutralize its sweetness. I also thought the cake needed something more than vanilla flavoring, and, as I do not like the flavor of rum extract, I decided to use the real thing. Rum extract is one of my "Princess and the Pea" triggers, and because I so dislike its flavor, I will not use it in my baking. Fortunately, I had plenty of dark rum left from my holiday baking, so I decided to use it in the cake I made for the Silver Fox and friends. This is an easy cake to make and if you have a nagging sweet tooth, you will enjoy it. I do hope you will give it a try. It would make a perfect base for macerated fruit, particularly peaches. Here is how the cake is made.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Quick and Easy Coconut Cookies


From the kitchen ofOne Perfect Bite...I was very busy today, but earlier this week I promised the Silver Fox I'd make him cookies before the week was over. I found these almost effortless cookies at allrecipes.com, and because I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided to try them today. The only change I made to the original recipe was to use coconut instead of vanilla extract. I also had to add some additional time to their recommendation for baking. I've altered the recipe below to reflect the changes I made. If you like very sweet cookies, you will enjoy these. They are over the top for my palate, but the Silver Fox was in a sugar induced trance and sang their praises. This is a chewy moist cookie that I suspect will keep well if stored in an airtight container. If you have a demanding sweet tooth do give this recipe a try. Here is how the cookies are made.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mixed Rice with Celery and Dried Cherries


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you are looking for a new side dish to serve with plain roast meat or chicken, you might want to keep this recipe in mind. It comes from Saveur magazine and I think you'll find it has the potential to be a nice addition to your table. While I'm posting the recipe exactly as it appeared in the magazine, I have several suggestions that I think will make a nice recipe into something really special. With that in mind, use the directions that come with your rice mix rather than those in the recipe below. I'd also like to suggest you make the rice base  the day before you plan to serve it. I really like the way the flavors meld in this rice, but I found that cooking the rice as instructed will produce a damp and gummy product. The next time I make this, I'm going to use the same technique that I use for making fried rice. I'm confident that it will produces a more toothsome and enjoyable version of this dish. I hope you'll keep this recipe in mind. It really has the potential to be something special. Here is how the original version of this rice is made.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mid-Week Musings


Some Thoughts on Personal Best

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam. Remember that phrase? If you attended a Catholic secondary school or are familiar with the writings of St Ignatius, the translation, "All for the glory of God," was immediately pulled from your temporal lobes. While the poetry of his enjoinder is beautiful, I come from a marginally religious family and despite my education and exposure, my father's often operatic demand for personal best, trumped St. Ignatius every time. The message, however, coming as it did from two directions, was internalized and the quest for personal best became part of who I am. I rarely dwell on it these days, but a recent chance encounter set me to thinking about it again.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Taco Seasoning Mix + Layered Fiesta Party Dip


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to make at least a token effort to feature a couple of new recipes for Cinco de Mayo, but I've had a hard time finding anything interesting or unusual to share with you this year. I changed my tactics when I remembered a series of low cost dishes, developed years ago for a women's group that was looking for inexpensive ways to stretch their food dollars. Some of the recipes we developed never made it to the blog, and several of them were for Mexican dishes. I, unfortunately, couldn't find them when I went looking through my files. The one I wanted to share with you was a homemade taco seasoning mix that could be used as an inexpensive base for many Mexican or Southwestern dishes. Google came to the rescue and directed me to an article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, written by Donna Erickson, that had a recipe for a taco seasoning mix, much like the one that had gone missing. The article also had a recipe for a layered dip that would make me feel less guilty about sharing such a slight offering with you. So, thanks to Donna, I have a couple of nice recipes to feature here tonight.I know those of you who give the recipes a try will be pleased with the results. Here is how the south-of-the-border spice mix and the dip are made.

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