Well, I must confess that I waited a little while to post this week, because I didn’t want to tease you in another post quite so soon. And since I knew that I’d be making a yummy treat yesterday, I put off the post until today. I’ve also got some treats that you can get at restaurants and a frozen treat that I forgot to mention before.
Let’s start with the ones that you don’t need a recipe for. If you’re lucky enough to live in the San Antonio/Austin area, then you might have heard of a British restaurant called The Lion and the Rose. They make a delicious fish and chips which is what my husband always likes to get, but I like to try new things. Well, I might have found something that I can’t help but order every time. It’s called Beggar’s Pouches (for how it looks). The menu describes it this way: “Tender pasta pouches filled with fresh pears and a blend of Grana Padano, Ricotta, Robiola, and Taleggio cheeses with caramelized onions and mushrooms in a cream sauce, served with garlic toast.” Personally, I felt that the cream sauce was unnecessary. But the pasta pouches and their filling was amazing!! I would never think to mix pears with cheeses in a filling, but it is genius, slightly sweet and creamy. If you’re in the area and want a guaranteed hit, I highly recommend it.
I also got to visit Panera recently to receive the free pastry I told you about. I got a strawberries and cream scone which I loved and am plotting to recreate during the next strawberry season. My husband got a cinnamon crunch bagel with a honey walnut cream cheese spread. It’s a delicious combination that would get a morning off to a delicious start.
Now, somehow I managed to forget to tell you about my hubby and I’s 4th of July frozen treat. Since we got married, my husband has had to work on most holidays and every 4th of July. Since we can’t go out with others or make big plans, we started our own little traditions to have burgers, fries, and a frozen treat (sounds typical, I guess, but we play with different flavor themes each year). This year, our frozen treat was a Root Beer Float Popsicle, which I immediately fell in love with. The only additional info I have about it is this: if you’re using a popsicle mold that has the stick in a cap, you will have overflow. I left room to expand like for a normal popsicle, but these expanded even further (probably due to the carbonation of the soda) and made a mess in my freezer. The next time I made them, I left even more room, but it still happened. I suggest you just put a pan under your molds to catch the runoff, or use something without a cap, and don’t fill it very full. (I’m also considering opening the soda a few hours before I want to make this. Maybe flat soda will cause less overflow.) I love the fact that this could be done with any type of soda, and I can’t wait to make some more next summer.
Root Beer Creamsicles (from the Smile Monsters blog)
1 12 oz. can root beer
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. sweetened, condensed milk
1/3 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1. In a small bowl, mix the root beer and the 1/2 c. condensed milk with a whisk. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, 1 tbsp. condensed milk, and vanilla.
2. Pour a little of the root beer mix in each popsicle mold and let freeze for a couple of hours. Top each mold with some of the milk mix (divided evenly between each of your molds) and let freeze another couple of hours. Finally, top each mold with the remaining root beer mix and let freeze for several hours or til firm. (If you’re lazy like me or just in a rush you can pour all 3 sections one after another, but there will be mixing of the layers. If flavor’s all you care about, go ahead. If you’d like them to have the pretty striped look, you have to be patient.)
Now the best thing for last: I got to make a delicious and fun Lemonade Cake. It was easy to make and delicious with a subtle lemon flavor. The only “negative comment” I have is this. The picture doesn’t lie; that is the amount of icing that this makes. If you (like me) think that icing is one of the best parts of a cake, then you might want to make 1 1/2 times the amount of the icing recipe (which I’ll do the next time). My friends and I served this with a raspberry ice cream, which really complemented the cake well.
Lemonade Layer Cake (from the April 2002 issue of Cooking Light)
For the cake:
1 1/3 c. sugar
6 tbsp. softened butter
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
For the frosting: (If you want more than a schmear, do 1 1/2 times this amount.)
2 tbsp. softened butter
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. softened cream cheese
3 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On medium speed, beat together the sugar, 6 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. lemon zest, 3 tbsp. lemonade concentrate, and 2 tsp. vanilla til will blended (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda with whisk. Alternate adding the flour mix and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mix; beat well after each addition.
2. Pour the batter into 2 greased 9 inch round cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes or til a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly. Cool the cakes 10 minutes in the pan; remove from the pan and cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, combine the 2 tbsp. butter, 2 tsp. zest, 2 tsp. lemonade concentrate, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and cream cheese and beat on high til fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on low just til blended. Chill the frosting for 1 hour, then use it to frost the cooled cake.
I hope I’ve succeeded in making your mouth water. I hope you find time this weekend to treat yourself to something fabulous. Talk to you soon!