Can This Cake be Saved?

Does this pan remind you of the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?”

Bundt…Bundt…Bundt cake.

If you have never watched this movie is one of those funny family movies that two totally opposite kinds of family have to unite when their children get married. It is a total hoot and I laugh pretty much all through the whole movie.

But….getting back to my post….”Can this cake be saved?”

Last weekend I was attending an annual ladies day at church. I had signed up to bring a dessert and some bake potato toppings. I spent most of the week in my (very little) free time looking for just the right recipe to take to the ladies day. While I was out shopping I found this magazine with fall recipes and ran across this beautiful Caramel Apple Bundt Cake.

It looked divine.

It just so happens that I had a bunch of apples that I picked at Company’s house the Sunday before.

So Caramel Apple Bundt Cake seemed like the perfect dessert to take.

The Friday night before the ladies day, Company came over and helped me make this cake…or rather distracted me while I tried to make this cake. I had to hunt long and hard to find my Bundt cake pan. When I did find it, there was a BIG spider in it and I practically threw it across the kitchen. This should have been my warning not to make this cake….but no….I did not pay attention to the signs to make something else. After Company killed the spider, I washed the pan out with HOT water and plenty of dawn and got it already for this fabulous fall apple cake.

After much time layering the batter and chopped apples and making another layer of batter and chopped apples, I finally got the cake in the oven at 10:45 at night.

It takes a hour to bake…..

I sent Company home and I patiently waited for the cake to bake.

This is what it looked like before it went into the oven.

This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.

I was so relieved! By this time it was past 11:30 and I still had to let it cool off for 10 minutes before I turn the pan over and take the cake out.

This is when disaster struck!

The cake split in half when I took it out of the pan.

I even broke the top in two in one place.

I just looked at my broken cake in disbelief.

I think my pan is old and warn out, and even though I sprayed and floured it, the top of the cake stuck in the pan when I turned it over.

It is midnight, I need a dessert in the morning by 8 am and I am ready to go to bed.

I just decided to wrap the cake together with saran wrap and put it in the fridge.

I did the whole Scarlett O’Hara thing and decided that I would think about it tomorrow….tomorrow is another day.

So….I got up at 6 am in the morning and made a caramel apple blondie pie. I guess I was in the mood for caramel apples.

This is what it looked like. I will post about this pie later on this weekend.

Even though I had a nice looking pie to take to the ladies day, I still had that broken, neglected cake hiding in the refrigerator. I decided to bring it out to see if I could, “save the cake.”

I went ahead and make the cream cheese icing and heated up the caramel ice cream topping and went to work.

Did I say I chopped pecans and put them on top too?

What do you think…did I save this cake?

I spread the cream cheese icing over the top of the cake. Covered the icing in chopped pecans and then drooled hot caramel topping over the top.

I think I saved the cake!

I took TWO desserts to ladies day and did not bring home one crumb of either one.

Anywho….I guess the moral of this story is, that when a cake does not come out perfect to our eyes and the outside it broken and a little battered, it is what’s on the inside that counts. This cakes was filled with hand picked apples, coated in lots of brown sugar and cinnamon and baked with love. The ladies got two desserts and I brought home a empty cake plate and pie pan.

You know what else I got out of this whole thing?

I get to buy a NEW bundt cake pan.

Have you ever had this happen to you when you were baking for a special event? What did you do? I would love to hear from you.

I will get both of these recipes posted in the next few days!

Becky

 

Caught the Varmint “Green” Handed!

I use the word “caught” very loosely here….I caught him, green handed, on camera!

I came home from work a few days ago and just happened to look out my dining room window and this is what I saw! A big ole ground hog, munching happily away on one of green tomatoes!

Yikes!

After I took the culprit’s picture, I banged on the window pane (like that was going to do any good). I guess I was loud enough to wake up the Super Hero (in bed asleep with horrible cold). Super Hero ran out of his room ready to find out what all the noise was about. Embarrassedly, I told him about the ground hog “porking out” on my tomatoes and I thought banging on the window as hard as I could would really scare the fat varmint.

Ok, Ok……I am a blonde dork sometimes….I said, I thought it was a good idea….

The Super Hero went back to bed, scheming of ways to get me back from waking him up from a good nap.

I thought about my next plan of action and decided I would pull up all my tomato plants except the cherry ones. I rationalized that if the ground hogs were going to eat my big green tomatoes, there was no use in keeping the plants around when I could grow something else.

I spent the next hour or so picking the rest of the tomatoes off the plants and pulling out the tomatoes. This is a before picture.

This is an, after shot, of one of the garden beds after I pulled out the tomato plants.

Underneath some of the tomato plants were some bean plants, the varmints did not see, that actually had real green beans on them! I was so excited!

I have planted beans twice this summer. Each time my little plants gets some blooms on them, some furry creature gobbles down all my blooms and half the plant!

I also found a pine cone from my big ever green tree in the back yard. There is no way this pine cone “found” it’s way into the raised garden. You don’t think the varmints wanted to do a little, “bartering” with me do you? In like, I will trade you one crunchy pine cone for all your green tomatoes……varmints aren’t that smart are they???

I think this one might be!!!   “I will get you my pretty and all your furry tomato eating friends too…..”

Anyone want a furry well feed ground hog as a pet???

I don’t either!

Hope your garden is still going great!!

Becky

 

 

 

 

Texas Sheet Cake

Niener Wiener made me do it! Now, Jeanie Beanie wants the recipe…; )

Yes, Niener Wiener was the one that talked me into making Texas Sheet Cakes.

It all started  with a silent auction to raise money for the old cemetery down by The Old Home Place.

Brother Robert made two roasters full of his famous chili, Auntie Corene made her famous pies (which I bought a whole one to take home to the child who does not cook) and I brought two large Texas Sheet Cakes that Company helped me bake the night before.

I don’t know if you have ever made Texas Sheet Cakes before, but they are easy, they feed a crowd and they taste good too! All winners in my book.

You can find several recipes for this cake. One is made with sour cream, one made with buttermilk, one with more eggs, one with more cocoa….YES, it does get a little confusing as to which recipe to use. As I am a creature of habit, I just use the same recipe I have been using for years. It is tried and true and has never let me down. I just put pecans as a decoration on the icing cause the Super Hero does not like nuts, but you can add chopped pecans to the icing, or not use nuts at all. It is up to you….I mean, we really are just eating it for the chocolate…right?

If you need a dessert recipe for a tailgate this weekend, or need a cake to snack on for movie night, you might try making a Texas Sheet Cake. And…you don’t even have to be in Texas to eat it.

Here is your step by step instructions:

First, get your pan ready. You will need a 10 inch by 15 inch sheet cake pan. I used some vegetable shortening and flour to put on the sides and bottom of the pan. Yes, that is Company holding the pan. I did not realize he was such a ham!

Here is what you will need to make this cake. I was so excited that I did not have to buy a thing and had plenty of everything to make two cakes. I forgot to put the milk in the picture…oops my bad!

In a sauce pan bring the cocoa, water and the butter to a boil.

After you bring it to a boil, take it off the heat to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour.

Now, add the sugar to the flour.

    

Now, add in the baking soda and the salt.    Stir all the dry ingredients together.

Now, we get to the fun part. Pour the warm cocoa mixture into the flour mixture.

Mix lightly together.

Now, add in the sour cream and lightly mix together until everything is incorporated.

Pour into the prepared sheet cake pan.

Spread batter evenly in pan. Put the cake in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking start making the icing.

To make the icing, get out a large sauce pan stir together the butter, milk and cocoa.

      

Stir the cocoa mixture until it comes to a boil and then add the vanilla.

Now, while the mixture is warm, whisk in the powdered sugar. Company is doing the whisking here not me. Whisk in all the powdered sugar, making sure you get all the lumps outs.

While the icing is till hot, pour it over the warm sheet cake. Company had to pour the icing on the cake too….gee…LOL

Spread the icing around while it is still warm to cover all the edges of the cake.

You can decorate the top with pecans halves if you want to.

If you make one, you might as well make two : ).

In case you are wondering, this cake does not contain eggs. If you want a lighter cake, you can add two eggs if you want. The batter will not be quite as thick but it will work : ).

Here is the recipe:

Texas Sheet Cake

Ingredient for the Cake:

2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup butter

1 cup water

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.

Ingredients for the Icing:

6 tablespoons milk

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup butter

4 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

pecans or walnut optional

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a jelly roll/sheet cake pan. 10 inches by 15 inches. I coated mine with vegetable shortening then with flour.

In a large sauce pan bring the water, cocoa and butter to a boil. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

Pour in the warm cocoa mixture and blend together.

Add in the sour cream to the batter and mix all together.

Pour batter into greased pan and bake for around 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking prepare your icing.

In a large sauce pan, bring the milk, cocoa and butter to a simmer. Add the vanilla.

With a whisk, whisk in all the powdered sugar until all the lumps are dissolved.

While the icing is sill warm, pour over the warm cake.

Spread the icing out while it is still warm to cover all the edges of sides of the cake.

Decorate with nuts if you wish.

The only question  you need to ask yourself now, is how big you want to cut your piece of cake!

Enjoy!

Becky

 

Varmints and Critters Oh My!

The Varmints and Critters have struck again!

I went out yesterday morning to water the little garden and this is what I found….ugh!

Perfectly good, almost ripe tomatoes, with big bites taken out of them.

I think it is work of a mama ground hog, baby ground hog, teenage rabbit and a fury tailed squirrel.

I feel like I am out numbered!

That tomato looks good enough to eat…except for the big bite out of it.

I don’t know which one ran off with my little butternut squash. But, whichever one is the bandit, they bite the vine off and dragged/rolled it off too.

I did find some good news in my little garden……

I can grow little carrots.

woohooo!!!!

I planted these little miniature carrots months ago and look…..I have little carrots!  I might only get a couple of bites from each one, but I am eating these babies!

Anywho, this is what I ended up doing. I picked all the ripe tear drop and cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, and I even picked some green tomatoes, and hide them up in the upside down planter.

Am I clever (or stupid) or what?

Later on this week, I am going to pick all the green tomatoes, pull the tomato plants out and fill one raised garden bean with  bush beans and  the other one with turnips.

The Princess loves turnips!

Now, I just got to figure out a way to keep the varmints out.

Is your summer garden winding down?

Becky

 

 

 

A Varmint In the Little Garden

Living in the city limits; having a 5 foot privacy fence around most of the yard and a chain link fence around the rest….I did not think I would have a varmint problem.

Well….I was wrong.

Some varmint or varmints are having a feast on my little plants and my almost ripe tomatoes.

See that hole in the ground in the picture above? That is their nice, warm, comfy and SAFE underground home. (in the next door neighbors yard)

I guess I should introduce you to my new neighbors….

Mama ground hog, baby ground hog and teenage rabbit.

I would post a picture of them, but they live undercover. I only see them when they are nibbling in my yard and I don’t have a camera on me before they dash down that hole. They may be running because I am chasing in them in what ever crazy looking outfit I have on. I would be scared too.

A few weeks ago, oldest grand girl and I added more soil to one end of the garden bed and we planted bush beans.

Here she is planting the seeds. We both had high hopes of eating some fresh green beans.

Here is what they look like now. Some critter has bitten off the top of them. As soon as the little beans has a few blooms on the stems, it is like ringing the dinner bell.

Not only are they munching on my beans, they are munching on my almost ripe tomatoes.

They only munch on the almost ripe ones too!

Anywho….this is my dilemma.

Do I move my containers that I am not using now to my patio and plant more beans? They do not like to go on the patio, or, they just do not like egg plant or peppers, because the containers there are not being touched.

OR…do I take out the tomatoes in one raised bed and plant all beans and maybe some turnip and put a wire fence around it (which will be kinda ugly) but, will keep the varmints/critters/tomato munching/ bean stealing/ furry creatures out of the garden.

What would you do?

Bean or not to Bean….

Are  you planting a fall garden?

Becky

 

Picking Veggies from the little garden with baby grand girl

Oldest daughter who does not cook had to work this morning, so I got to baby sit two of the grand girls. After a fine breakfast of Scooby Doo Cereal, baby grand girl and I decided to go pickin veggies from the little garden. We invited the little kittens on her feet to go too.

We found lots of blooms still blooming. I love the purple color of this egg plant variety. I would plant this for decorating even if I did not love eating egg plant.

We checked out all the artichokes plants too. I planted these babies from seeds way back in January or February and I have yet to get one little artichoke. I am going to wait a couple of more months to see what happens, but I might have “choked” on trying to grow artichokes. (Even if the package says you can harvest in one growing season).

The little basket is starting to fill up. (not everyone can grow a Micky mouse head).

We were able to pick some sweet banana peppers, a couple of yellow tomatoes, a bunch of cherry and tear drop tomatoes and some sweet orange peppers.

Here is our harvest, after baby grand girl ate some cherry tomatoes. The poor little white kittens on her feet got a little wet while I watered the garden….it looks like they need a bath. : )

We are all heading to the country to Company’s house for a little BBQ, I think hamburger and hot dogs are on the menu, this afternoon.

I hope everyone has a great Labor Day!

Drive Safe!

Becky