Category Archives: Recipes

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Recipes for soul food, southern delicacies, international cuisine, snappy snacks, and maybe even a few cocktails can all be found right here.

PSA: I am no longer afraid of fondant.

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That’s right, folks!  I have conquered my fear once and for all.  I don’t suppose that it was much of a fear, now that I think about it.  After all, who in their right mind could live in fear of something as delicious as fondant?!

Still, this sticky, white icing that comes in the form of dough is something that has stymied my baking for almost two years.  The first time I tried to make it, my confidence got the best of me.  I had just finished up the “perfect” batch of the sweet stuff and was about to transfer it to my cake when it sloughed off the rolling pin and on to the floor.  I was heartbroken and I couldn’t imagine what I had done wrong.  I followed all the steps, you know, and it was from that day forward that I lived in fear of having to use fondant.

Until today.  Today I decided to come to terms with this rather irrational intimidation so that the ghost-fondant of my past will not come to haunt me when I make He-Man and Nam-Eh’s birthday cake.  I chose to do some extra homework this go-around and I found some wonderful resources that I would like to share with you.

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This is an old-fashioned applesauce cake which was covered in home-made buttercream icing and topped off with some not-so-scary marshmallow fondant.  Click on the aforementioned components to see where I figured out how to make them.  I must commend the maker of the marshmallow fondant tutorial.  Not only did she make it look very easy from start to finish, but she is also has tutorials for some of the coolest gluten-free food I’ve ever seen! (Seriously, you’ve got to see her recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust!)

By this point, you might be thinking to yourself, “Why is this a PSA? This is just rambling about some stupid cake and irrational fear if icing,” to which I answer: because you should be afraid.  Now that I have wrestled one of my demons, there is nothing to stop me from attempting more and more recipes that call for fondant.  Not to mention the fact that I still have TONS of fondant and buttercream waiting for me in the fridge.  Does anyone have a suggestion for what I should try next?  Does anyone have any irrational baking fears?

Until next time,
Claire – Fondant Slayer

BMO: A Cake Walk

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He-Man’s birthday is coming up (yay!) and to celebrate we are going to his hometown of Tampa.  As you may or may not know, He-Man and his twin, who we shall call Nam-Eh, have quite a thing for Adventure Time.  You could imagine my surprise when I found the link to this cake floating around on Pinterest.  “It’s perfect!” I thought.  While in Tampa, we will be having a little get together for the reciprocals and I have been charged with making the cake, among other things.  At first, I was all gung-ho about trying this out, but now I’m getting a little nervous.  I have a basic plan of action, though, if anyone would like to look it over for flaws.  After all, everything works well in theory.

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First of all, I will not be making tie-dye rainbow layers.  I will have six layers of cake in solid colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Between the layers and under the fondant, He-Man has requested that the icing be chocolate, since we “have to” have white cake to add food coloring to.  Next, I will cover the stack of cake in a layer of fondant, which scares the bajeezus out of me.  I don’t have a good working relationship with fondant.  I hate it and it hates me back.  I will start with a large blob of white fondant, reserve about 1/10th of it, and color the rest with this lovely teal.  The reserved bit will be colored a softer teal, black, yellow, green, and red respectively.  These little pieces will be attached to the outer layer of fondant with royal icing.  Legs and hands will be formed out of the remaining, darker teal.

It’s all good in theory, right?  I do have a few questions that I would like to ask to anyone who has the least bit of baking experience.

1) Do you think that I should use wooden dowels to help stabilize the cake?  The idea has crossed my mind but I can’t say for sure whether or not it will be necessary until I get the cake into the air.  It shouldn’t be more than about 8”-10” tall, but the icing between the layers might cause it to be slippery.

2) What is your recipe for fondant?  There are possibilities all over Pinterest but I want something tried-and-true that I can’t mess up.  If you have a favorite method for making fondant, please don’t keep it a secret from me!

3) Should I keep it in the refrigerator?  I want to make it the night before so that if anything goes wrong last-minute, I will have the time to fix it before the party.  The question is, will putting it in the refrigerator for 18-24hrs cause the fondant to dry out and crack?

If you can help me out, please do!  The trip is still a ways away and I will have pictures of the finished product up as soon as I have something to show but I am a planner.  Please help me get my game plan together now so that I can save myself some scrambling and anxiety later.

Thanks in advance,
Claire

Pork Chop Gumbo!!

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Disclaimer:  This is a rather odd dish that I made in an effort to clean out the fridge.  I did, however, make every effort to make it absolutely delicious.  🙂

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Ingredients:

2 bone-in pork chops
5 cups water
1/2 of an onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can beans (I had Bush’s Honey Baked Beans on hand)
1 bag (12oz) gumbo veggies
1 can tomato sauce (not pictured)
1 tender sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
zest of one lemon
1tbs garlic salt
Black pepper to taste Cayenne to taste
Paprika to taste
One bay leaf (not pictured)
2 cups instant rice

To Begin:

Add the chopped onion, rosemary, one bay leaf, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, and lemon zest to about 5 cups of water and bring it to a boil.

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While waiting on the water to boil, we are going to do something revolutionary: cut the pork chops OFF THE BONE.  Yes, I know, its a little unconventional, but trust me.  Once the water boils, add the bones to help create a lovely stock.  Because my pork chops were so thick, I had to add another cup of water to completely cover the bones.

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After they have cooked completely, remove the bones and bay leaf and replace them with the cubed potatoes.  Allow them to cook while you cut up the meat from the pork chops. **

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Add the can of tomato sauce when you add the meat.

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Once the potatoes are almost done, add the bag of gumbo mix and the can of beans.  Because the temperature has been lowered so drastically, the next step will take a few minutes, but bring the pot to a roaring boil.

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When you feel that you are stirring the mouth of an active volcano, turn the heat off and add the rice.  (** If you opted to add another cup of water to the stock, consider adding an additional 3/4 – 1 cup of rice.)

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Stir in the rice completely and cover the pot.  Let it sit for 5+min so the rice can soak up all the lovely juices.

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There are several things that I would do differently next time.  I would like to have added a little Dijon mustard and Louisiana Hot Sauce to the stock, but we were out.  I would also have cooked the onion and spices in the bottom of the pot with some Cajun sausage, removed the sausage, THEN added the water to make the stock.  Also, the extra meat would have meant that the potatoes could be omitted.  It’s hard to complain, though, because this stuff is full of hearty goodness! 🙂

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Serve with a big piece of cornbread.