Rainbow Sprinkle Cake. New Music From Polar States.



There are plenty of excuses this time of year to make a festive cake. You definitely cannot go wrong with this Rainbow Sprinkle Cake. So cheerful and colorful! I brought it to a party at our local library and everyone absolutely loved it.

I really like the idea of piping rose-like swirls around the side of the cake. My icing was a bit runny (because it was warm in my kitchen), but I did not want to add any extra sugar which would have thickened it up but made it too sweet. Next time I will chill the icing briefly before piping it onto the cake.


Rainbow Sprinkle Cake

Ingredients:

½ cup/110 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups/190 grams all-purpose flour, plus extra for preparing cake pans
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine salt
⅔ cup/158 ml whole milk
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup/200 grams sugar
1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites
⅓ cup rainbow sprinkles
Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, to decorate top of cake

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325℉.

2. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment. Flour the pans, coating the bottom and sides, then tap out any excess flour.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. In a small bowl, stir together milk and vanilla.

5. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

6. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, slowly add egg and whites. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

7. Add half of flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating to blend after each addition. Fold in sprinkles by hand.

8. Divide batter evenly between the pans (approximately 400g per pan), and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

9. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool completely before turning out.

10. Place one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand. Using an offset spatula, frost the top. Stack the other layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake. If you like, pipe a swirly border around the top of the cake (to keep the thick coating of sprinkles on top in place). You can also cover the sides of the cake in a rose-swirl design. A 1M tip works well.

11. Sprinkle the top of the cake with 1/2 cup of sprinkles.

Serves 10

Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup/165 grams unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 1/2 cups/450 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter and salt together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce speed to low and, with mixer running, slowly add sugar. Beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla just until incorporated.

Recipes from The Brook Cook


Liverpool-based band Polar States have a new single out titled ‘Gold’. It’s from their new EP “Electric” released last month. Play it for all the people that mean a lot to you. Play it while you are making those loved ones some cake. :)

Check out Polar States on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

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Gazpacho With Cilantro Oil. New Music From Coyote Talk.


Gazpacho With Cilantro Oil is perfect for warm weather entertaining. This refreshingly cold soup is so easy to make and very elegant with its delicious swirl of flavored oil.


Gazpacho With Cilantro Oil

Ingredients:

3 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups cubed day-old Italian or French bread, crusts removed (about 1/3 loaf)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Cilantro Oil (recipe follows)
1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 cup leaves)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, halved
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt
Topping: 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and finely chopped, Juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 small red chile pepper, finely chopped (seeds removed for less heat)

Directions:

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Working in batches, transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth and thick, about 3 minutes.

2. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and purée until smooth. Add the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and pulse to mix. Transfer gazpacho to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

3. For the topping, combine the cucumber, chile and the lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt and mix well.

4. Divide the soup among bowls. Drizzle with the cilantro oil and top with the cucumber-chile mixture.

Serves 6

Cilantro Oil

Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1 cup leaves)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
Pinch of sugar
Kosher salt

Directions:

1. In a blender, combine cilantro, olive oil, 1/4 cup water, the juice of 1/2 lemon and the sugar. Purée until smooth. Season with salt.

Recipes from Food Network Magazine

‘Shangri-La’, the title track from Nashville band Coyote Talk’s new album, is gooooood. It’s the perfect Friday jam to take you to your beautiful imaginary place.

Check out Coyote Talk on Facebook and the band’s Website where you can learn of an upcoming show in Indiana and link to buy their music.

Cheers!

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Watermelon, Raspberry And Coconut Rum Granita. New Music From Jason Matuskiewicz.


Q: Why do lions eat raw meat?
A: They don’t know how to barbecue.

Ooh! That’s bad.

I’ll make it up to you with this sublime libation. A refreshing watermelon-raspberry granita (fancy term for shaved ice) is topped with some coconut rum and a squeeze of lime resulting in a cocktail perfect for sipping on a warm spring evening.

Watermelon, Raspberry And Coconut Liqueur Granita

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups water
500g seedless watermelon
500g frozen raspberries
2/3 cup coconut rum
Lime wedges, to serve

Directions:

1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.

2. Place sugar syrup, watermelon and raspberries in a blender and process until smooth.

3. Press the raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve then pour into an 8 x 11-inch shallow, freezer safe container.

4. Freeze about 4 hours, until frozen.

5. Using a fork, scrape the granita and spoon into 4 glasses. Pour over the coconut run and squeeze in the lime wedges to serve.

Serves 4

Note: Leftover granita can be served to the kids (of all ages) with some whipped cream.

Recipe from Donna Hay Magazine


I would have liked ‘With My Friends’ even if I didn’t know the mental place singer Jason Matuskiewicz was in when he wrote it. It’s part of an EP that he recorded during a deeply difficult time in his life. The songs are beautiful and hopeful despite the sadness.

Check out Jason Matuskiewicz on Facebook. You can buy the music here.

Cheers!

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Whoopie Pies. Listening To Positronik.


I have never made Whoopie Pies before. They are very popular in New England and a favorite of my youngest boy so I figured it was about time I got down to making a batch.

What took me so long???

Whoopie Pies are so easy to make and so delicious. This recipe makes minis, unlike the hamburger sized versions that are all the rage in Maine.

I can’t say that Whoopie Pies are health food, but replacing butter for the traditional shortening in both the chocolate cake and the filling seems like it should be better for you. And you know what? The happy feeling you get when eating them is definitely something that is good for you. :)

Whoopie Pies

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
Marshmallow Filling (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. In a separate small bowl, stir together buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar at medium-high speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

4. Add egg to butter mixture, beating until combined. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour. (Scrape down side of bowl after each flour addition.) Mix until smooth.

5. Spoon 1 tablespoon mounds of batter onto prepared cookie sheets.

6. Bake until tops are puffed and cookies spring back when touched, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

7. To assemble the pies, spread a generous teaspoonful of filling on flat side of half of the cookies and top with remaining cookies.

8. Store whoopie pies in an airtight container. They can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. Bring frozen Whoopie Pies to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30

Marshmallow Filling

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups marshmallow creme such as Marshmallow Fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Beat together all ingredients in a bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Recipes from Petite Sweets: Bite-size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas


‘Don’t Come Crying To Me’ has one of the best song lines out there. Better get her a whoopie pie STAT!

“Her personality
Is thinner than her waist”

Check out Positronik on Facebook. You can buy the music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Cake | Tagged | 3 Comments

Fiesta Taco Pie


Fiesta Taco Pie is perfect for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. All of the flavors of a taco are packed into a crescent roll crust. Muy Bueno!


Fiesta Taco Pie

Ingredients:

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb lean ground beef
1 (1 oz) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Toppings: Salsa, shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped cilantro and additional shredded cheddar, to serve

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Unroll dough and separate into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 10-inch pie plate. Press over bottom and up sides to form crust.

3. In a large skillet, brown beef, stirring occasionally, until cooked. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix, water, onion and cumin. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Scatter one cup of the tortilla chips over the bottom of the crust. Spoon meat mixture over chips. Spread sour cream over meat mixture then sprinkle with cheese. Cover with remaining tortilla chips.

5 Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve with toppings if you like.

Serves 6

Recipe from Food And How To Cook It


I’m pretty sure that this song goes really well with tequila. Raise a glass to Mexico!

Check out Mexican Institute Of Sound on Facebook. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Pie | Tagged | 1 Comment

BLD Burgers. New Music From Bantam Lyons.


BLD you ask?

That is what Rachael Ray calls these burgers that would be at home for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The patties combine sausage and sirloin and are served in herb butter-fried English muffins along with bacon, cheese and egg. Tasty!


BLD Burgers

Ingredients:

8 slices thick cut bacon
4 oz butter, softened
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup (a small handful) cilantro or parsley tops, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sandwich-size English muffins
1 pound ground sirloin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound bulk spicy pork breakfast sausage
4 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons hot sauce
4 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375℉.

2. Place bacon slices on a metal rack set atop a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 18 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mix the butter, shallot, cilantro, chives and garlic. Season the herb butter to taste with salt.

4. Place a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spread the cut sides of the English muffins with the herb butter. Add to the skillet, buttered side down, and cook until golden and crispy, about 5 minutes.

5. In a medium bowl, mix the beef with the Worcestershire and season with some black pepper. Add the sausage and mix to combine. Form into 4 patties that are thinner in the centers for even cooking and a bit larger than the English muffins to allow for shrinkage when the patties are cooked.

6. Cook burgers, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. During the last minute of cooking, top the patties with the cheese and tent with foil to melt. Transfer burgers to a plate.

7. In a small bowl, mix the ketchup and hot sauce.

8. In the same skillet, crack in the eggs and fry until cooked, 3 to 4 minutes.

9. Top the English muffin bottoms with the patties, bacon, eggs, spicy ketchup and English muffin tops.

Serves 4

Recipe from Rachael Ray

This is a corker of a tune.

‘When Lips Turn Purple’, new from Nantes-based band Bantam Lyons, combines swirling guitars with an intoxicating beat.

Check out Bantam Lyons on the band’s Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in the UK and France and buy their music.

Cheers!

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Polenta with Sausage, Peppers, and Olives. New Music From Lea Porcelain.

I love the internet.

Usually once May rolls around, I am thinking of light, summery meals. Not so much this May. Since the month began it has been cool, rainy and damp here in Vermont. To cut the gloom, something warm and comforting feels like the best choice.

That is where Polenta with Sausage, Peppers, and Olives comes in. It’s homey and downright delicious. I changed out the red bell pepper for a handful of peppadew peppers for a bit more excitement.

Polenta with Sausage, Peppers, and Olives

Ingredients:

4 cups water
1 cup instant polenta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
1 red bell pepper, seeded, and sliced or 6 peppadew peppers, chopped
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

Directions:

1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover to keep warm.

2. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add peppers and onion. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pepper flakes. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives.

3. Divide polenta among 4 bowls then top with sausage and some of the sauce.

Serves 4

Recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine


This reminds me of the dark, deep voiced, synth-heavy stuff I used to love in the 80s. Oh, who am I kidding…the stuff I still love.

‘Remember’ is new from Germany-based band Lea Porcelain. It’s lit.

Check out Lea Porcelain on the band’s Website where you can learn of upcoming shows in the EU and buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Main Courses | Tagged | Leave a comment