Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lemon Glazed Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Angel food cake is my Mom's favorite, and while I rarely think to make it, I always enjoy it. It is a unique combination of being intensely sweet yet light and airy, it is one of the few desserts that I find satisfies my sweet tooth without making me feel like I need to run 10 miles the next day (only 3 tomorrow)! So, out of the blue I decided to make angel food cake with lemon glaze and whipped cream!  To add to the lemony flavor, I used the juice of 1 lemon in place of some of the water and I also stirred in the zest of the lemon. Otherwise, I just used the Betty Crocker mix and directions.
Burnt cake! Oh no!
While I was posting about our new table, I managed our oven managed to burn the top of the cake 10 minutes before it was supposed to be done cooking. I pulled it out to prevent further damage, and luckily the inside of the cake was set enough as well.
Just the top was burnt!

Not bad!
For the glaze I mixed together the juice of 1 lemon and 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, then added water until it was the correct consistency to pour over the cake. I was feeling a little springy so I added a little  yellow food color to brighten it up a little. I know it is ridiculous but sometimes I don't feel like things taste like lemon unless they are yellow!
A little sugar and a little lemon go a long way!
Then I served each piece with whipped cream (I was lazy and used canned whip cream) and fresh strawberries! Simple and delicious.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Kitchen Table!

We have been struggling to find room to cook in our tiny kitchen on our tiny table and have been dreaming of a new kitchen table. Unfortunately, with both of us being in school that has left us without the time or money to find a replacement. Last night Will had a moment of pure genius and he decided to convert the drafting desk he made for last year (that rarely gets used, oops) into a table. Today we have a great, long rustic-chic kitchen table and since we moved the small table into the living room we now have a breakfast nook as well! I love it!
Recycled table
We are going to put it to good use tonight by making Chinese Dumplings and Lemon-Glazed Angelfood cake...which smells like is burning...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lentil & Split Pea Soup

Two weeks ago Will made a split pea soup using kielbasa instead of ham and it was life changing. I usually can't handle leftovers more than two days in a row and I was sad when we ran out after three days, we have both been craving it ever since. Well, we only used half the kielbasa the for the first batch and split peas cost about a penny so today we fired up the crock pot to have more soup! This time we decided to throw in a bag of lentils as well so that we have a ton of leftovers to eat and to freeze.
Split peas and lentils ready to go!
Lentil and Split Pea Soup

Makes about 20 1 cup servings


- 1 lb split peas
- 1 lb lentils
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 T dried thyme- .5 lb kielbasa chopped into 1" or less chunks (or ham, or a ham hock)
- 1 yellow or sweet onion, chopped
- 1 carrot


1) Throw everything into the crock pot
2) Turn crock pot on low
3) Wait 8 hours
4) Eat.

Not going to win a beauty contest...blind taste test maybe.
 Pretty simple, but extremely delicious. This is not a beautiful food but it is a comfort food, perfect for a stormy, cold, winter (or confused spring) day. We had ours with lightened up cornbread that I adapted from a recipe I found online. They came out a little weird, sort of more pretzely than cornbready, so I won't lead you down that path!

Pretzel? Cornbread?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's in my COFFE CUP today?

Moving across the country comes with its challenges, high on my list is leaving behind my well loved coffee companies. I try my best to buy local, fair trade or free trade coffee and Vermont has a few companies that fit that bill and are also make a great cup of joe! When I arrived in Oregon I was overwhelmed by the new world of coffee, Eugene alone has at least 7 coffee roasters in town, and there are many more within a 2 hour drive of here as well. Despite all the great choices, I still get cravings for my old favorites. Luckily my Mom (a diehard coffee drinker known to drink a cup every night before bed) sends me a bag here and there to get me through! 
Cafe Alta Gracia
I am currently working my way through a bag of Cafe Alta Gracia, which is based out of my home town of Middlebury. It has everything going for it. It is organic, fair trade, shade grown from the Dominican Republic. If that weren't enough, Cafe Alta Gracia (the company name as well as this blend of beans) is a non-profit whose proceeds fund The Dream Project, which supports "educational opportunities for children in rural areas of the Dominican Republic." It is also really great tasting coffee!
Yup. That is creamy!
For more information or to order Cafe Alta Garcia visit to learn more about The Dream Project visit

Monday, March 26, 2012

Homemade Noodles and Hamburger Stroganoff

Growing up this was the recipe we would beg my Mom to make for us, and since she admittedly does not like to cook, we would only get to have it once in a blue moon. When we would have it, we three daughters would gather in the kitchen to help make the noodles, stir the sauce and then quickly devour our hard work. We would always be sure to make plenty of extra noodles and sauce because it is just as good reheated the next day. Now I make this as a special treat, with some lightened up ingredients once in a blue moon because I am admittedly too busy to cook! I will always love the combination of chewy rustic homemade noodles, the tangy sour cream sauce, and sauteed onion, garlic and ground meat.

The first step is to prepare the homemade noodle dough, which I did this morning to procrastinate going on my run. This is the only part of this that makes the process too lengthy for a regular weeknight meal, and can be skipped entirely by using egg noodles which make a wonderful substitution. According to my Mom, this is her Hungarian Grandmother's recipe that she made as a side dish every single night.

Budai Family Hungarian Noodles

Ingredients (for every 1 large serving):

- 1 cup flour (any kind, I have used all-purpose, bread, pastry, semolina)
- 1 egg
- 1 to 3 tablespoons water
- pinch of salt


Simply mix the above ingredients together until you have a semi-sticky yet workable ball of dough. That is it. Sometimes when I am really lazy I whir it around in the food processor with the dough blade a few times. Two servings of the resulting dough will look like this:

Then you (or in my case you have your boyfriend) roll out the dough in sections, I never worry too much about getting it perfectly thin or even (but the boyfriend does), I kind of like my homemade noodles to have a little bite to them.

Then to cut the dough, add lots of flour to both sides, and roll up each section. Then take each roll and slice it into thick, roughly cut strip.

When you unroll them you will have your noodles!

 Once your sauce is prepared, add the noodles to a boiling pot of water and let them rise back up to the top. I usually cook them for about 5 minutes.

Then voila, top with your favorite sauce or like we do, the hamburger stroganoff recipe below!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Salted Rosemary Focaccia

After the incredible slow cooker Chicken Tikka Masala, we had a lot of Naan dough leftover (we ate it for dinner, breakfast, lunch and dinner again yesterday) and decided to use it up by making Salted Rosemary Focaccia. The Rosemary has been blooming for about a month and I can't help but grab some whenever I pass by it. This little Ladybug must feel the same way as I do about it.

Will did all of the cooking, but I documented and I ATE. He flattened out the dough and added fresh Rosemary (stolen from an apartment complex down the street, shhh), garlic, and sea salt crystals (my current obsession- especially in cookies).

Once the oven was preheated to 425, he baked it for a few minutes, maybe 5, then topped with a little butter.

The result was a beautiful, sweet and salty focaccia that he served with spinach and an english style egg! Perfetto.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan

Most Friday nights we go out to dinner as an end of the week celebration/ date night, but we ordered pizza on Thursday so we wanted to stay in. Not willing to give up my desire for take-out Indian, I got googling and found this amazing recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I have never attempted to make it in the past because of the crazy amount of spices and steps involved, but this recipe is simple, easy, and delicious! The full recipe can be found at Cooking Classy, here is a photo from that site:

I was too excited to take many pictures but here is the tomato, yogurt, onion sauce with all of the beautiful spices resting on top.

To go with the Tikka Masala, I also made Naan bread. It was extremely difficult to pick a recipe because they all call for different cooking methods and ingredients. I picked the recipe that I had all of the ingredients for, but baked it quickly at 550 instead of grilling it as recommended. It was great tasting bread, but not quite Naan bread. 

Tonight we are making a rosemary foccacia out of the leftover dough, which I will be sure to post about since I know it is going to be amazing!