December 23, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake is overrated...

Red Velvet Cake is the one that has the dark reddish color.
It's associated with being a little more...  shall we say ga-ga fancy?
It's typically made with cream cheese icing/frosting.
Originally, the color of the batter changed to a red-brown color from
the reaction of the cocoa powder to the buttermilk, buttermilk having an acidic quality.
However, these days the reddish color just comes from red food coloring.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news if you didn't already know...
but red velvet cake batter is just chocolate cake batter with
red food coloring/dye in it. The ones with dye in it traditionally tend to
have a more moisture from the use of juice from boiling beets.
The deep red beet juice enhances the color but also helps retain the moisture as well.
Many gourmet eateries and bakeries are starting to make red-velvet pancakes.
hmmm a red pancake?

A Few HORRIBLE ones...

I would like to award these worst awards for these items for 2011.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bad mouth these establishments as a whole.
I'm just awarding worst awards to these specific items.

Michael's Deli in KOP has the worst cheese fries EVER!

Now, I feel I can judge these fries because I've had/tried these a hand full of times.
I've ordered than more than once because I figured it was just a bad day,
BUT the fries are always soggy hands down, always!  The cheese isn't so attractive either.
I'm not sure what I was thinking ordering these more than a few times- I guess
I was assuming you can't screw up fries unless you were having one bad day....?

Next is the salad from Kildare's Pub..... let me tell you, this salad was so bad,
I don't even remember which one it was. The lettuce was not only brown on a
few of the edges but there were actual pieces of lettuce that were completely
brown and spoiled. The vinaigrette dressing was also so tart that I seriously
couldn't eat the salad. Once again, I never knew a salad could be that SO bad.
Worst salad EVER!

The next award goes for worst Calamari..... given to Bahama Breeze.
I've had other food at Bahama Breeze and have enjoyed it very much but the calamari....

The calamari was on the soggy side and SO chewy it was like chewing
on leather, seriously! There are actually red bell peppers underneath the calamari
and they certainly didn't help the app in any shape or form!
(Don't let the picture fool you!)

The worst coffee EVER goes to Gloria Jeane's coffee at the Franklin Mills Mall.
Now, this is just a regular hot coffee....  you probably are asking... what are the brown
spotted spots! Excellent question! I couldn't tell you and neither could the girl and her sister
behind the counter. The coffee was barely luke warm also. It certainly didn't help that they
charged me incorrectly for the coffee and then on top of that they tried to charge me a
re-stocking fee!!! I'm not exaggerating. REALLY? re-stocking? What are you re-stocking?
If I remember correctly... they DID go out of business. Now, I'm giving them the worst
hot coffee award based strictly on the coffee alone and not the horrible customer service!

December 14, 2011

Knock, Knock... Who's There?

So I started composting food last year and I've had good days and weeks that went by
where I've neglected to recycle/compost.
I bought this metal tin container with a lid from Ikea for $12.
I simply started the compost with dirt
from 3 small plants that had died from neglect from my balcony.
I would add coffee grinds, vegetable peels, fruit skins and cores, egg shells,
OMGoodness there are probably over 300 egg shells in there.
(roughly guessing of course) Every once in a while I would take my little garden shovel
or a plastic fork and mix the soil around.  In the summer I have it sitting on my balcony...
and once the Fall season rolled around- I brought it inside and have it in the corner
of the kitchen. It doesn't smell and because there is a lid- it doesn't attract bugs
which is great of course!  Now, who wants to see what it looks like inside?

Knock, Knock........................................  who's there?

Notice how you can't even tell that there were regular size carrots peels,
full cracked egg shells, banana peels, orange peels, peanut shells,
hmmm what else was thrown in there.... onions skins, leaves from other dead
plant leaves and much more...
The picture doesn't really do it justice... The soil IS really dark and healthy,
ridiculous with nutrients for when I grow my indoor, window side-
herbs and veggies! There is nothing better than fresh basil, thyme and rosemary!

December 12, 2011

RAINBOW cake it up!

So, I've had the great opportunity of making this crazy yet awesome cake 5 times now in the
past 3 months. It's called Rainbow Cake for the simple reason of being a 6 layered cake with
colors of the rainbow. I'm not too much of a baker but there are a few cakes I really enjoy
to make but more importantly...EAT!
Flourless Decaf Espresso Chocolate Cake being one and the second new favorite is the Pumpple.

Making this cake takes a teeny bit longer than the normal cake but it's SO worth it. After your white/vanilla cake batter is ready... (2 boxes) you want to split your batter into 6 even amounts.

Here is one, and then here are 4.... (you want a total of 6)

Then you add drops of food coloring for each color of the rainbow.  (ROYGBIV)
You want to start with the bottom layer first. Purple being the bottom layer of the cake.

For some reason- purple always looks grayish before it is baked.
Then you want to follow with the blue- followed by green, yellow, orange and then- lastly, red.

Then you take your cake pan (the pans with the sides that get unleashed work best)

I cook 2 at a time- simply because I own 2 pans.
If you have more than 2 pans- try it all at once... be a rebel!
Once each layer is baked (you can stick a toothpick in the center and see if it comes out clean)
I take the sides of the pan out and throw each layer in the refrigerator.
As I start the 2nd batch of the next 2 colors- and clear the counter area a little bit-
it's already time to take the first ones out from the refrigerator.
(as they are chilled it becomes way more convenient to take off the bottom of the pan.
I start with carefully centering the purple layer on the middle of the plate.
Then I add a little icing followed by the blue layer, than more icing etc... for all 6 layers.

It's always a "wow", "oooo" "let me take a pic" moment when you cut into this cake!
I think I might try to alternate red and green for the next one....