So far, my plan for this blog is to post once or twice a week (unless something time-sensitive comes up like the last post). I figure that most people would rather read a couple of newsy posts a week, than several short posts without a lot to say.
Last week seemed to be a good week for desserts (and therefore not such a good week for my diet!). Ben & Jerry’s has come out with a yummy new flavor, Boston Cream Pie. I am not kidding you when I say that it tastes just like a slice of its namesake (with a touch of vanilla ice cream on top). If you are a fan of the pie, than I highly suggest you try the ice cream.
Thanks to my mother-in-law’s birthday, I also got the chance to try a cake from my favorite food blogger, Smitten Kitchen. (As a side note on SK, I think Deb’s writing is hilarious! Also, every recipe of hers that I’ve tried has turned out great.) I apologize for the poor photo, but all I have is a point-and-shoot. This cake as a great flavor, is very moist, and is a great way to bring the tropics to a grey winter day.
Key Lime Coconut Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)
1 c. coconut
1/2 c. softened butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. key lime zest
1 3/4 c. self-rising flour
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. key lime juice
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8×8 in. square pan. In a small pan, toast the coconut, stirring once or twice, til golden, 8-12 min. Remove the coconut and let it cool, but leave the oven on.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, and lime zest til fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and 1/2 c. of coconut. In another bowl, stir together the milk an 2 tbsp. key lime juice. On low, alternate adding the flour and milk mixes to the egg mix; start and end with the flour mix.
3. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake til golden and a toothpick inserted into the center removes cleanly, 40-45 min. Cool the cake to warm and remove it from the pan. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and remaining lime juice and pour this over the cake. Sprinkle the icing with the remaining toasted coconut.
And later in the week, in an effort to use up some heavy cream, my best friend and I made Glazed Cream Scones. Unfortunately, I’ve had this recipe so long, I’m not sure where it’s from. Notwithstanding it’s doubtful heritage, it was delicious. The original recipe calls for currants, but I felt like using dried cranberries (currants not being all that easy to come by). Other changes to the original recipe include adding orange zest to the dough and making a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze with orange juice to put on top. These were best warm, but they taste good the next day too. Here’s the recipe with my changes included:
Glazed Cream Scones
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. chilled butter, cut in 1/4 in. cubes
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 c. heavy cream
Zest of 1 small orange (about the size of a tangerine)
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
Juice of 1 small orange
1. Adjust your oven rack to sit in the middle and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray).
2. Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
3. Distribute the butter over the dry ingredients and combine with 12 1-second pulses. Add zest and cranberries and pulse once more. (If you don’t have a food processor, you could cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender.)
4. Pour the cream evenly over the dry ingredients and pulse until moist pebbles form, about 8-10 1-second pulses.
5. Transfer the dough and any leftover dry bits to a lightly floured counter and knead it just until it comes together in a rough ball, about 5-10 seconds. Pat into an 8 in. circle and cut into 8 wedges. Place the wedges oh the baking sheet.
6. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tbsp. of cream and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp. of sugar. Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes.
7. Stir together the confectioner’s sugar and enough juice to achieve a glaze consistency. (I suggest starting with the juice of half the orange and then adding more little by little until you get the right consistency.)
Besides making all these yummy items, I also read an amazing cookbook by David Lebovitz called Ready for Dessert. This book is definitely now on my wish list. Everything looked tasty and fairly easy to make. I could cook or eat my way through it, and might try to do so in the future. I also just finished reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. I am a huge Pride and Prejudice fan and was pleased to find another Austen book that was hard to put down and very enjoyable to read. I like a lot of her other books, but this is the first one since P&P that has made me stay up late because I needed to know what was going to happen.
If you’re anything like me, there are probably movies that you heard talked about while you were growing up (and maybe even watched), but you just weren’t interested. And now that you’re older, you watch it and wonder what you thought was so boring back then. That’s what happened this week when I watched The Maltese Falcon. My dad is a big Bogey fan, but I’ve just recently started watching his movies. I watched Casablanca, but wasn’t overly impressed. This one was a lot more interesting to me. I’m a big fan of mysteries in the first place, and I really enjoyed how Bogey played Sam Spade. My favorite line was when Bogey’s telling Peter Lorre that they need to talk, and Lorre says: “Our private conversations have not been such that I’m anxious to continue them.” They had some really good writers back then, and that line just cracked me up.
The last thing I wanted to share was another inspirational thought that I’ve found in my devotions. It’s something I know I’ve read before, but the amazing thing about the Bible is that each time you read it something different stands out to you. This time it was a line from Exodus 14:13. It says, “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD.” It comforts me to know that I can be calm and rest in God’s salvation, not just that I’m going to heaven, but that He will support me no matter what is going on in my life. Hope that this speaks to your heart as it did mine. Have a good rest of the week.