Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eggnog Cake. Rich and Nutmeggy Delicious!

Yeah, yeah. Oh look! Another baking recipe to do with eggnog. Well, 'tis still the damned season, so suck it up and enjoy. And really -- this is an excellent cake. Really excellent.

Eggnog Cake


1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/4 c eggnog (yes, you read that right)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
dash of nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 325*. Coat and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Or, if you're lazy as hell like I am, line it with foil and then coat the foil. Muahahaha. Fewer dishes to wash for the win!
2. Cream butter. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Or you can just be hardcore and stir by hand, which is what I do. Add eggnog 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring or beating (whichever you prefer) after each addition.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and add to the eggnog mixture. Throw in the dash of nutmeg. Beat on low until just blended. Or, you know, stir until just blended.
4. Pour into pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until cake tests done. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. You can glaze the cake with a rum glaze (yummmmm!) or frost it with a cream cheese or vanilla buttercream frosting. Or you can serve it warm with plain or rum whipped cream and/or ice cream. Your choice!

Enjoy, and Happy New Year, you guys!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moar Pumpkin!

'Tis the season, you know?

The following recipe is one I use quite frequently during the holiday season. The cake is delicious warm with melted butter, whipped cream, or ice cream; it's also good served cold on its own or with whipped cream or ice cream. It also travels pretty well. I've sent it across the country, and it arrived in good shape and didn't taste scary even after the trip. Score!

Pumpkin Cake

2 c sugar
1 c plain or vanilla yogurt
4 large eggs
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 c pumpkin puree or cooked mashed pumpkin
1/4 c brown sugar to sprinkle on top of the batter before baking

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine wet ingredients (minus pumpkin) in a large mixing bowl; mix well.
2. Add in sugar; stir.
3. Sift remaining dry ingredients into a separate bowl; stir into wet mixture, beating well. (I don't actually sift because I'm laaazy. I just dump it all on top of the wet stuff and stir until it's no longer lumpy, and my cakes turn out just fine. So you can skip the sifting if you want.)
4. Stir in pumpkin puree.
5. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of batter. Bake at 350° F for 40-50 minutes.

I suppose you could forgo the brown sugar and frost this bad boy with cream cheese frosting, but that seems like it'd be a bit much, you know? So I don't recommend that. Like I said, I like this cake with whipped cream, ice cream, or just on its own. But there's no accounting for taste, so you do as you like. I won't know the difference. Oh no, I won't.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Pumpkiny Goodness

Riiiight. So I had the most awesome friend visit this weekend, and she loooooves pumpkin. She's also one of those people who "only likes plain pancakes." Yeah, I've heard that about a million times before. EVERYONE WHO'S EVER TOLD ME THAT CHANGES THEIR TUNE ONCE THEY'VE TRIED MY PANCAKES. She was totally a good sport about me being an ass about that, and thankfully, the pumpkin pancakes met with her approval. Hooray!

So I thought I'd share the recipe.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Directions and Ingredients:

Gather the ingredients to make your favorite base pancake recipe (the sort that uses about 2 c of dry ingredients, 1 c milk, and 2 eggs). To this recipe, add the following:

1/2 c pumpkin
1/4 c sugar (you can throw in a couple tablespoons more if you'd like sweeter pancakes and a couple-few tablespoons less if you prefer less sweet pancakes -- I'd personally go the less sweet route)
1/3 c plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (more if you prefer)
1/4 tsp ginger (use a little bit less if you prefer)
a pinch of nutmeg

Mix your pancakes as normal. If the mixture is a little bit too runny, add more yogurt.

Pour batter on the griddle (I usually do a little under 1/4 of a cup of batter for each pancake). Now, pay attention. This is the important part: I tend to like slightly lighter, more golden-brown pancakes for my regular stacks. With these, you have to let them get a little more done. They stick, okay? -- it doesn't matter how nonstick your griddle is. I found this out the hard way, you see. So before you try flipping them, wait until the edges are dry and some of the bubbles forming in the batter take a short moment to fill in when they pop. If you don't, you'll end up with really ugly (but delicious) pancakes. And your houseguest will rag on you for daring to serve her UGLY PANCAKES. o.o She wouldn't be wrong, either.

Serve fresh off the griddle with melted butter and maple syrup. They're also good cold the next day -- with some whipped cream and syrup. Mmm, desserty goodness for breakfast...

Enjoy! And happy holidays to all!

Something Not Cake

Tonight for dinner, we had porcupine balls. My mom used to make these during the cold months when I was a kid. She'd use white rice, garlic salt, ground beef, and Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. These days, I make them with different ingredients -- it's healthier that way, you know? But they still taste great, and they're still an excellent comfort food. Very filling, too! And they make good leftovers.

Porcupine Balls


1 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 egg
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c minced yellow onion
1/2 c cooked brown rice
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. creamy tomato soup


1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
2. Saute the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
3. Meanwhile, dump the ground turkey, egg, brown rice, and some salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. When the garlic and onion are done, add them to the bowl. Use your hands (don't wuss out!) to mix the ingredients together.
4. Mold the mixture into largeish balls and place them in a 9x9-inch pan as you finish them. It's okay if they're all friendly and touch each other. A food orgy is encouraged under these circumstances!
5. Pour half of the creamy tomato soup over the porcupine balls. Cover with foil. (You can poke some holes in the foil. I usually do, but that's because I'm a bit violent and bloodthirsty, and I like stabbing my dinner.)
6. Bake for about an hour.
7. Remove pan from the oven when the hour is up. Take off the foil. The porcupine balls will often end up filling the pan with a lot of juice and fat, which isn't very tasty. I usually drain that off and then cover them with the remaining creamy tomato soup, and then I put the foil back on top. You can throw them back into the oven for another few minutes, but they'll heat the soup through and cool off enough to eat all at the same time if you just let them be for about 5 minutes. That's what I'd do.
8. Serve and enjoy! We had ours with steamed squash and broccoli tonight. Mmmm. And the little bits of rice, turkey, and tomato left on your plate after you've demolished one or two are delicious if you coax them onto a small dinner roll.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

'Tis the Season to Be Noggy...

I made these for my parents last weekend, and they were as excellent as I remembered them being the first time I made them. Neither of my parents likes eggnog, but then, I find that many people don't. It's usually a question of texture, not taste. So even if someone screws up her face at the mention of eggnog pancakes, try to talk her into it anyway. Chances are she'll end up being dead pleased by a plateful of these beauties!

Eggnog Pancakes

(They're perfect for leftover holiday Nog!)

1) Your favorite base pancake recipe. Make as normal, except:

2) Substitute eggnog for the eggs (1/4 c eggnog equals 1 egg, so if your base recipe calls for 2 eggs, use 1/2 c of eggnog instead) and

3) Substitute eggnog for 2/3 of the milk called for in the recipe (so if the recipe calls for 1 c of milk, use 2/3 c eggnog and 1/3 c milk)

4) You may also wish to add an extra pinch of nutmeg to the batter, but don’t overdo it. These pancakes taste better when the flavor is more subtle.

5) If the batter is too thick, add more milk, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until the batter reaches the desired consistency. You want the batter to be on the thicker side, though. It makes the pancakes fluffier and more deeelicious.

6) When you cook the pancakes, you want them to be on the lighter side. They'll puff and fluff up more than regular pancakes because of the eggy goodness. This is to be expected and encouraged. Feel free to give them a little love as they cook! If you like darker pancakes, go ahead, but be warned that the darker outside will change the flavor and may slightly overpower the eggnoggy centers.

7) Serve in a gorgeous stack, lightly treated with melting butter and gently kissed with maple syrup. Or however it is you like to eat your pancakes. These are moist and flavorful enough that you don't need any window-dressing, but should you choose to add to them, butter and maple syrup don't hurt. You can also serve a stack of these with maple syrup and a dollop of whipped cream. Decadent and delicious!