Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake. ISITK Is 9 Today!


I’ve got myself a tween blog.

Gingerbread is, of course, on the menu as it is January 6th aka the 12th day of Christmas aka Nollaigna mBan.

Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake looks as good as it tastes. Stem ginger ups the spicy game and the crunchy pomegranate seeds lend some texture along with their lovely visual pop.


Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

200g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
300g (1 1/2 cups) dark muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
200g (a little less than 2/3 cup) black treacle (or molasses)
4 balls stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
200g (about 1 1/2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225ml plain yogurt
Topping: 75g confectioners’ sugar and fresh pomegranate seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350℉. Grease a 1.5 liter bundt pan.

2. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over low heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Beat in the stem ginger and eggs with a whisk.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and spices into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar-butter mixture then add yogurt and whisk until combined. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.

4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the topping, in a bowl, gradually whisk a little warm water into the confectioners’ sugar until a thick icing forms.

6. Drizzle the icing over the cake, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. The cake will keep, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 days in a cool place or it can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 3 months.

Serves 16

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Birthdays can be a combination of sadness and hope…sort of like this lovely new tune from Indiana-based band Hoops.

“It’s blinding me
but I can get by
If I try”

Check out Hoops on Bandcamp where you can learn of an upcoming show in Chicago and buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cake | Tagged | 4 Comments

Baked Camembert. New Music From Big Cheese.

I was looking for a cheese meme when I came across this gem.

I don’t know why I find those Real Housewives/Cat memes so funny. They really made my day when I was scrolling through social media last month and would come across them. Ridiculous…but you know that’s how I roll.

I also roll with super easy starters that are ready in a flash.

Baked Camembert, while so simple, makes for an elegant and tasty hors d’oeuvre. I love how it is baked in its box. Looks cool on a serving platter.


Baked Camembert

Ingredients:

250g boxed Camembert or Brie
1 Tbs vermouth or dry white wine or kirsch
2 thyme sprigs
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Crackers or crusty bread, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200℃/400℉.

2. Unwrap Camembert from its packaging then place back into its box.

3. Make a few slash marks on top of the cheese and top with the vermouth, thyme and pepper flakes.

4. Bake on a baking tray for 20 minutes until gooey. Serve with bread or crackers.

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine

Here’s some Big Cheese to shake you out of your cheese coma.

“Golden” is from Brooklyn-based Big Cheese’s third album ‘Wild To Be Born’. It’s loud and proud.

Check out Big Cheese on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Starters | Tagged | 1 Comment

Short And Sweet. Hanukkah Gelt Cookies.


These are the easiest cookies.

Slice and bake sugar cookies then press a chocolate coin in the center of each. I love the contrast of the crisp chocolate and the cookie. Really good.


Hanukkah Gelt Cookies

Ingredients:

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
16 pieces foil-covered chocolate coins (Hanukkah gelt), unwrapped

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut dough evenly into 16 slices. Place the slices 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten each slice until it measures about 2 inches in diameter.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

4. Remove cookies from the oven and immediately place 1 piece of gelt on center of each slice.

5. Cool 5 to 10 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cookies will stay fresh up to five days in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

Time for a short song….and it’s a recipe!

And a metal rock out sweet song. :)

“And while we were singing the candles were burning low
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago,
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago…”

Sweet, right?

Check out Dan Bern on his Website where you can learn of upcoming US and Canada tour dates and buy his music.

Learn more about Gods Of Fire on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cookies, Short And Sweet | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Neapolitan Holiday Cookies. New Music From The Hollow Ends.

If you’ve got some cat fights erupting this holiday season, pull out a platter of these Neapolitan Holiday Cookies and you’re guaranteed some peace and quiet…at least while they are being eaten.

Neapolitan Holiday Cookies, also called Rainbow Cookies, are popular in Jewish and Italian communities. The festive colors and mingling flavors of almond, apricot, raspberry and chocolate make them as fun as they are delicious.


Neapolitan Holiday Cookies

Ingredients:

8 ounces almond paste
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
20 drops red food coloring
12 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot preserves
6 ounces dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Coat three 13 x 9 x 2-inch jelly roll pans with cooking spray. Line each pan with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.

2. Place the almond paste in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and add the butter and sugar to the bowl. Beat the mixture on high speed until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add the egg yolks, and beat until well combined. Stir in the flour with a spoon until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

3. Thoroughly clean the mixer bowl and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

4. Fold the egg whites into the almond paste batter until thoroughly blended.

5. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the batter to a medium bowl, then transfer another 1 1/2 cups of the batter to a second medium bowl.

6. Add the red food coloring to one of the bowls and stir until the batter is tinted throughout.

7. Add the green food coloring to the second bowl and stir until the batter is tinted throughout.

8. Spread the red, green and untinted batters into each of the prepared pans. Use a spatula to spread the batter to the edges.

9, Bake, rotating and switching the positions of the pans halfway through, until the edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

10. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes then invert onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

11. To assemble, place the green layer on a large cutting board lined with wax paper. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the top. Place the yellow layer on top and spread with the apricot preserves. (Remove any large chunks of apricot). Top with the red layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place a heavy cutting board or large pan on top to weight it down. Refrigerate overnight.

12. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave on low power about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.

13. Spread the chocolate on top of the cake and let dry slightly.

14. Trim the rim of the cake with a serrated knife to make clean edges. Cut the cake crosswise into twelve 1-inch-wide strips, then cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch strips. The cookies will keep, covered, up to 1 week.

Makes 7 dozen cookies

Recipe from One Dish at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli


One of my favorite albums of 2018 was ‘Bears In Mind’ by The Hollow Ends. Good news is they have another album out and it is just as good.

St Louis-based songwriter, and the band’s frontman, Zachary Schwartz knocks it out of the park once again with the 5 song, newly released ‘EP II’. While all of the folksy, toe tapping tunes melt my heart, I am especially riveted by “Annie Pardami”.

“Is there any part of me that I can control anymore?”

…..and it’s got “Whoas”….swoon.

Check out The Hollow Ends on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Cookies | Tagged | Leave a comment

No-Boil Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese. New Music From Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes.


I looked at this pan and thought to myself “There is no way this is going to work.”

But, I kept the faith, followed the baking instructions and, Voilà….this came out of the oven.

My youngest son is particularly fond of mac and cheese with a crisp crumb topping. This recipe has tons of that topping spread over the creamy, cheesy span of the pan. A really good version of mac and cheese, for sure.


No-Boil Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus 2 tablespoons melted
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups whole milk
15 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (preferably orange)
8 ounces shredded fontina cheese
16 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked

Directions:

1. Position oven rack in center and preheat oven to 375℉.

2. Grease a rimmed 11 x 17-inch sheet pan with the softened butter and set aside.

3. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and set aside.

4. Whisk the whole milk, evaporated milk, cream, onion, garlic powder, salt, and the cheddar and fontina cheeses in a large bowl. Add the uncooked macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it in an even layer. Cover the sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil. Crimp around the edges to seal otherwise the pasta won’t cook.

5. Bake for 25 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and stir the macaroni. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.

7. Turn the broiler to high and broil the macaroni and cheese until it is golden brown on top and bubbling, about 1 minutes (I didn’t do this as mine was golden enough to my liking).

8. Remove from the oven and let the macaroni and cheese stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from Food Network

Today marks my 5th post featuring Steve Mahoney and Emily Moment of Mahoney & The Moment. If this was Saturday Night Live they would be getting robes. :)

This time round the song is from Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes, a side project of Mahoney & The Moment. “Evelina (Queen of Costa)” is the first single from their second album ‘The Second Referendum’ due out in April of 2020.

To quote the band “It’s a ‘slice of life’ ballad about an attractive and mysterious barista.”

It’s no wonder why I dig these artists so much. All of their music is eminently perfect pop.

Check out Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes on the Website where you can link to buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Pasta | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Short And Sweet. Easy Pumpkin Pie Bites.

If you like pumpkin pie you are going to love these Easy Pumpkin Pie Bites to infinity and beyond. Just fill a mini muffin pan with store-bought pie dough and fill with an easy pumpkin pie filling. Bake, top with some whipped cream, then pop into your mouth. Easy.


Easy Pumpkin Pie Bites

Ingredients:

2 pre-made, ready to roll pie crusts (such as Pillsbury)
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for dusting
Whipped cream, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Grease and flour a mini-muffin pan. Set aside.

3. Roll the dough or pie crust out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin.
Using a round cookie or biscuit cutter (approximately 3 inches diamater) cut about 30 rounds out. Reroll scraps as necessary.

4. Carefully press each round into the mini-muffin pan. (A mini tart tamper makes doing this easy as pie). Brush egg wash from one egg to the top edges of each pie.

5. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined.

6. Add pumpkin purée and beat until combined. Stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.

7. Spoon mixture into each mini pie crust almost up to the top. (I had enough leftover filling to fill a 4 inch ramekin which I baked alongside the mini tarts).

8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden around the edges.

9. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

10. Top each mini pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Makes about 30 mini bites

Recipe from Sugar Apron



Here’s a ridiculously catchy and definitely ridiculous short song. I want to adopt that accent and scream at my Diet Pepsi.

“Psycho cola
Psycho cola fake
Need some soda
Cause I can’t lose any weight”

And a complete pivot to a devastating Sweet song. Man, I hope she still cares.

“Who can make me smile and dance at a bus stop at 2 am
Who can make me feel like myself?”

Check out Film Jacket 35 on Facebook. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.

Learn more about Ernesto Cal on his Website where you can link to buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Dessert, Pie, Short And Sweet | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Chunky Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Cubes. New Music From Four Candles.

Waiter! Waiter! There’s a fly in my soup!
Well, that’s the last time we get the tailor to cook the food.

This is a super easy version of tomato soup that only has 4 ingredients. The best part, hands down, are the crispy little grilled cheese cube garnishes.


Chunky Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Cubes

Ingredients:

1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes or Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can cream of celery soup
1 (10 oz) can tomato purée
10 oz whole or skim milk
Grilled Cheese Cubes (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Combine stewed tomatoes, celery soup, tomato purée, and milk in a 2 quart saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter a few grilled cheese cubes on top of each serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Grilled Cheese Cubes

Ingredients:

1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 slices whole wheat or white bread

Directions:

1. Place half of the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the cheddar between the bread slices.

2. Place the sandwich in the skillet and top with the remaining butter. Cook until the bottom is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook second side for another 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bread is golden.

3. Remove sandwich from skillet and cut into small crouton-sized pieces.

Recipes from The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn


I’m betting that this video will be the strangest thing you watch today. Four Candles’ “brittle funk-punk/art-rock/ garage-gothic” makes for a strangely satisfying 2 minutes.

Check out Four Candles on Facebook and Bandcamp where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Bread, Soup | Tagged | Leave a comment