Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's A Piece of Cake to Bake A Pretty Cake

If my collegiate career taught me anything, it's that you should always cite your sources.  I baked an incredibly successful bundt cake recently and I owe it all to the Nordic Ware Platinum collection Heritage Bundt Pan and the Pioneer Woman's perfect pound cake recipe.

The Nordic Ware® bundt pan can be purchased on Amazon, and if you order now, you should have it in time for Christmas. The hefty 10-cup capacity mold cooks evenly and produces a stunning spiral effect that will wow guests. I highly recommend this product for anyone who's in the market to zazz up their family pound cake recipe.

7-up Pound Cake

3 sticks Butter
3 cups Sugar
5 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
2 teaspoons Lemon Flavoring
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sprite, 7-UP, Or Sierra Mist
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream butter. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.
  3. Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly.
  4. Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out. Slice and chow down!
© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gonna Kick It Root Down

The cold weather always puts me in the mood to get down on some hearty root vegetables.  Last week I set off on a mission to create a simple soup, but ended up w/ something just a bit different. The recipe is basic, and produces a rich and hearty soup if not strained.  I decided to pass this batch through my chinois, a fine mesh strainer.  The result?  -- a thin but velvety brodo.

Carrot Brodo

Add some pasta to the mix
1 TBS butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium leek, chopped
1/2 dozen large carrots, chopped
1 large parsnip, shopped
1 qt chicken stock
bouquet garni (leek green, thyme, bay leaf, and black peppercorns tied up in cheese cloth).

  1. set a large pot over medium-high heat.  melt the butter and oil together, reduce to medium heat.
  2. sweat the onion, leek, carrots and parsnip over medium heat for 25 minutes.  you should not hear the veggies sizzle, sweating is a delicate process -- you don't want to add any color.
  3. add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  add bouquet garni and simmer until all vegetables are cooked through, 30 - 60 minutes.
  4. puree the mixture, either w/ a stick blender or batch-blend in a regular blender.
  5. you can serve the soup as-is or pass through a fine mesh strainer.

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -