Introducing… Tasty (Kitchen) Tennis…

June 6th, 2010

Let us meet the contestants…

First, we have Aaron, master of bread baking and pizza throwing. He has a soft spot for bagels and breadsticks.  Then, we have Ginny, queen of chopping and carving.  She fights back with determination and creativity.

Before we get to the first match, let us review to the rules for those of you new to the game.  One contestant
picks a ingredient and the other a meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert).  The contestants must make the meal and, you, the crowd, decide the winner of the round, plus if you want to join in (see the details at the end).

For this first round, Ginny said Strawberries and Aaron countered with lunch.  Ginny’s first serve, a strawberry-avocado-balsamic sandwich, came up short- hitting the net.  Ouch!

Next, Aaron had a perfect serve with Salmon Burger with Balsamic Strawberries and Onions. The balsamic strawberries were a ridiculously good addition to the sandwich— super sweet and tangy on top of the salmon.

Ginny volleyed it back with Strawberry-Tomato Gazpacho with Manchego Cheese Grilled Cheese. The strawberries lent a nice sweetness to the traditional tomato cold soup and went perfect with the grilled cheese.

So now, who you do you think won?  Please leave your answer below…

Don’t miss the second round in two weeks! These master (kitchen) tennis players will be back to bring you:  TOFU for DESSERT!

Please stay tuned!

Also, if you would like to participate in the next round, email ginnygetsfloury [at] gmail [dot] com by June 19, 2010, the name of your blog, its URL, the recipe and a photograph.  If you don’t have a blog, feel free to participate- just email me the recipe with a picture.  I’ll hope you join us for another round of Tasty (Kitchen) Tennis!

Cake Holiday…

June 1st, 2010

A guest blogger… my mother…two delicious cakes… read on…

Recently, Ginny was home for a few days. So of course, I baked a cake! I have a long history of cake baking . As one of a family of twelve, it was often someone’s birthday and I loved making the cake. I even baked my own birthday cake as it ensured I got what I wanted!! Sunday dinner was always a big feast as well so a cake was usually featured.

For a number of years I would bake birthday cakes for my coworkers. Many times my children would be excited about a cake that they could smell baking only to learn it wasn’t for them. My coworkers are the one’s who dubbed many days “cake holidays” as they would even search out obscure days (e.g. Botswana Liberation Day) as a day that “needed” a cake.

So, for Ginny I baked the standard yellow cake that is my favorite. Dinette cake from Betty Crocker. I doubled the recipe and used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. The chocolate icing is the Hershey’s Lickety Split recipe. I decided to split the layers and make four layers so the icing recipe should be increased by half. My family always used hot coffee instead of milk which gives the icing a mocha flavor. You can also melt a square of baking chocolate to replace part of the cocoa which gives the icing a fudge-like consistency.

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter,softened

Note: If you ever visit the South and see chocolate cake featured on the menu, a yellow cake with chocolate icing is what you will get!

Resa came home for Memorial Day weekend and we baked a cake together. It is a coconut cake from Cooking Light and it was amazing!

Macaroons… Take II!

May 27th, 2010

Perhaps I was a little too confident after my Macaroon Success but this time it did not go as smoothly. Do not let these pretty little macaroons deceive you… I managed to make four nice macaroons… after a lot of frustration with the pastry bag and the batter consistency… I almost threw it all out but Juan had an ingenious idea to help so I was able to slightly salvage this batch…

I made Chocolate Macaroons with Dulce de Leche filling.  I did not diligently sift the almond flour mixture as much as I did last time… won’t do that again…  Also, this time, I folded one too many times… a little flatter then I want… However, my biggest problem was using the wrong pastry bag tip… the batter kept getting stuck and came out all strange… oh well… I’ll know better for next time… this weekend?