Fresh blueberries are great any time of the year; I especially enjoy picking blueberries from by own backyard bushes. In my opinion, these backyard blueberries have more aromatic flavor than the blueberries purchased from a grocery store. So if you have a chance to “pick your own blueberries,” go for it. Today I am making a “Blueberry Buckle” which is a simple coffee cake filled with lots of fresh blueberries and topped with a crunchy streusel topping. I added in a few walnut pieces. They give a flavor and help accent the nice “pop” from the blueberries. This cake is delicious!Continue reading
Today I am baking a “Hummingbird Cake,” a cake with a Southern tradition. It is early in June and this time of year reminds me of our annual trips driving our kids to summer camp in Mississippi. The camp is located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and you can’t get more southern than this. It was always a bit sad driving down the two-lane country roads with red dirt, smell of pine trees, and hot, hot humidity as our kids would be gone for most of the summer. But they loved camp and made many enduring friends there. So a “Hummingbird Cake” reminds me of this annual ritual.Continue reading
A number of years ago, I asked my mother and her first cousins to recount favorite recipes and stories of growing up on Iowa farms during the 1930’s. This generation was quickly aging and I thought that it would be wise to capture their memories for a family reunion book. I love family history. The way of a living on a family farm during the 1920’s to 1930’s — for example, with a wood-burning kitchen stove — is just a memory now. Only one generation ago — my how times have changed! My second cousin, whose grandmother moved to California in about 1910, submitted her grandmother’s recipe for “Persimmon Pudding” for the reunion book.Continue reading
Every now and then my friend, Alice, sends me an idea for a blog post. Her recipe for “English Cottage Pudding,” turned out to make a delightful dessert. As we discovered, it is not a pudding at all. Americans would call this a small 8″ x 8″ cake. When a sauce — in this case cherry sauce — is poured over the cake as a topping, the result is a moist and flavorful cake. Alice practices gluten-free cooking and she substituted gluten-free flour in the recipe. It changes the texture of the cake, but it is still delicious. Since fresh cherries are plentiful in the grocery stores in August, I made a fresh Cherry Sauce for the topping. And I found some antique English china dishes dating from 1875 to photograph my cake.Continue reading
Miniature Meyer Lemon and Cranberry Cakes make an easy and delicious dessert and a great gift for the holidays. Who doesn’t like to receive a home-baked present? This lemony cake with cranberries is tart yet sweet and moist. Fresh cranberries give a holiday flair with a flavor “pop.” I used some of the Meyer lemons from my backyard tree to make these cakes and baked them in mini-loaf pans. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the post where I share a couple of photos of my elusive backyard cardinal bird pair. Continue reading
Back in my hospital food service catering days, we prepared and served a dinner for the Board of Directors each month. I liked to change things up — partially for boredom’s sake and little for spite as it meant I had to work late that night. So one month I served carrot cake — trying to pack a little nutrition into the dessert. Much to my surprise, one Board member came to me after the meeting and said, “that very large piece of cake was the best dessert you’ve ever served — it was delicious.” And Carrot Cake is delicious. It should be moist, with just a little spice and nutty flavor. Topped with a cream cheese icing, it makes a great dessert for the holidays. And so I’m making my carrot cake again this year.
I wanted to bake something really unique for a fall covered dish supper. I kept looking at the persimmons ripening on my backyard tree. How about a persimmon sponge cake roll? Now that’s different. Well I was in a hurry — the egg whites didn’t get stiff and my husband ate one of only two ripe persimmons. But I took the cake anyway and was pleased that it all disappeared. The cinnamon in the cake and cream cheese filling really toned down the flavor of the persimmons. Many folks said how tasty the cake was. Think I’ll make it again — this time properly.
What to do with the left-over or remaining sweet potatoes from the holidays, one might ask? This recipe uses sweet potatoes in a cake.
Before you discredit this seemingly unusual idea, the cake tastes much like a banana cake or applesauce cake. The sweet potatoes make the cake very moist and the molasses and spices blend the flavors together. Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.