Monday, November 24, 2014

Rod's Mexican Sheet Cake

I went to a little pot luck get together last night.  I didn't want to go to the store and buy things to make a main dish (I had originally thought of making gnocchi del Cassentino), so I decided to bake a cake. I mean, if there's anything I am in the cooking department, it's a cake baker. I figured I had everything to make Dad's Mexican Sheet cake. I measured, and I only had 4 Tbl. of cocoa. Oops. I had to go to the store anyway to buy cocoa powder. Still, this cake is easier than gnocchi.  The cake was a real hit last night and I promised to post the recipe. So--full credit to my dad, Rod Burton, who perfected this recipe (and of course I still mess with it).

Rod's Mexican Sheet Cake
1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1 c. water
6 Tbl. cocoa powder
2 c. sugar (I skimp a little)
2 c. flour
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (preferably Mexican)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. pasilla chile
1/2. tsp. chile arbol
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I omit this sometimes and just throw in some other kind of chile powder)
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
3. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil.
4. Add sugar and flour and mix to combine.
5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
6. Mix in vanilla and spices.
7. Stir baking soda into buttermilk and to chocolate mixture.
8. Mix thoroughly.
9. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
10. Nom. Nom. Nom.

For the fancy lace top: use either a paper lace or lace fabric and lay it on the cake. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cake/lace--I use a fine mesh thingy and tap it to sprinkle the sugar.  Then carefully remove the lace. Don't put too much sugar, or it will go everywhere when you try to remove the lace. I use a lace shirt that I have to do the design. Last night I was really tempted to add black pepper to the cake, but I decided not to. Maybe next time.

If you like this cake you might like my Chocolate Pink Peppercorn Honey Cake. I used my dad's sheet cake recipe as a base--along with a ginger cake that I've made before. I guess I really like pepper.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Limerick and Bo: Moving In

We had our first freeze last night. We moved Limerick and Bo into the house, along with everything else from the front porch, and of course Gingie. I also moved all my jades and cacti away from the windows. Limerick's limes are ready to harvest. I think we will pick them tomorrow and make limeade.

Flashback Friday: Stepping Out

This photo was taken May, 1996 in Austin, TX. Sometime around my college graduation. My fine fashion is from JC Penny, where I was working at the time. My strappy sandals are Nine West and I thought they were the bomb. I think Ross is wearing my sunglasses. This was before I had surgery. And before I had my teeth fixed--but my smile looks pretty good here. Dang, my hair was long.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bo's One and Only

Earlier this week as I was leaving for Yoga I noticed that Bo's one fruit had fallen to the ground. It had been raining and the wind had been blowing. The outside of the orange was yellow and green, and the inside was yellow and pink (not yet blood red.) Because this was Bo's first and only fruit I really wanted to try it. I peeled the orange and tried a few segments. I was pleasantly surprised that the fruit was not sour. I only ate some of the orange--unfortunately part of it has started to grow mildew.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that next year Bo will bear more fruit.

Flashback Friday: Virginia Beach

In April of 2000 Ross was doing wind tunnel testing in Virginia. I flew over to visit. I'm pretty sure this was the first time I touched the Atlantic Ocean. I loved those 100% linen Laura Ashley pants so much. I still miss those pants.