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Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010
What's a girl to do when faced with this - fresh from the oven? I don't think I've seen my waistline since the Nixon administration!
My DH just returned from a three-day hiking trip to his favorite spot - the Mt. Mitchell area of the Blue Ridge. He came home with beautiful fresh NC apples, Amish cheese and other delights. Since he loves to cook and insists on doing it all himself, dinner tonight was lovely - not a Wendy's salad or a deli wrap which I'd been having. We had a beautiful roast chicken, fresh green beans, brown rice and freshly baked apple pie. The pie is not at all on my eating plan, but he went to all that trouble and I certainly did not want to hurt his feelings. It was DIVINE! I'm really glad he's never gotten into baking bread or other treats. I have enough trouble staying "on plan" as it is! Yowza!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Grilled Scallops from
I treated my husband to an early dinner at 131 Main last week for his birthday. We were delighted to learn all appetizers, including the grilled scallops shown above, are $5. between 5 and 7 p.m. I chose the grilled artichokes - DIVINE! My DH celebrated with a gorgeous prime rib; I stuck with the flounder and mash.
Caramel Cake with Caramel Filling
and Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
For dessert, I baked a caramel cake (DH's favorite) with caramel filling and caramel cream cheese frosting. The caramel filling, which cooked for nearly 3 hours until I said, "You're done!" was quite rich, prompting me to use just half. Our son Matthew suggested the cake would also be good with no caramel - just frosting.
A word to the wise: Use full fat cream cheese and full fat butter. I realized too late I'd used "light" butter which would not solidify. So, I added more powdered sugar and additional regular butter to make the icing firm enough to spread.
Instead of directions from Kathryn Conrad's MyRecipes, I saved time by using a Betty Crocker butter moist yellow cake mix to which I added 1/4 C. brown sugar. Bake according to directions. Let cool..
Recipes for the icing and caramel filling are from Kathryn Conrad via a Google search.
Combine 1 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/2 C. evaporated milk and 1/4 C. butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook (without stirring) until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees, soft ball stage. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl and beat 3 minutes or until thickened and easy to spread. Quickly spread filling over cake layer on plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 15 minutes or until set. Spread a thin layer of Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting over filling. Top with second layer. Frost cake. Chill 20 minutes or until frosting sets, then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.
CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/4 C.. light brown sugar
10 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
Melt brown sugar and 4 T. butter is saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil over medium heat, remove from heat. Whisk in cream; blend well. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Place remaining 6 T. butter and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with mixer set on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer running, slowlyt pour in cooled brown sugar mixtgure; beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar (I sifted mine) gradually, beating well afer each addition until completely smooth. Chill slightly for a firmer texture, stirring occasionally.
As previously stated, spead frosting over caramel filling on first layer, add second layer. Frost sides and then top of cake. Chill.
Notes: This is a delicious cake, but its caramel filling takes forever to cook. If you could find a faster/easier substitute, it wouldn't be quite so labor intensive. In its original form, the process took five hours. And I didn't even make the pecan praline garnish!