Sunday, October 31, 2010
So without further ado, here is something you may want to try out this Election Day.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries
1/2 cup American whisky
1/2 cup warm water
1 package (1/4 ounce) rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, sifted
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
The Know Hows:
Place the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture and whisky; stir and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine warm water and milk.
Combine yeast with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and combine it with the milk mixture. Sprinkle the remaining whole-wheat flour on top. Set aside to allow the yeast to ferment until the yeast breaks through the surface of the flour, approximately 30 minutes.
Lightly spray and flour an 8-inch tube pan.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and set aside.
Drain the fruit mixture; reserve the syrup for later use as a glaze.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar until light in texture. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the sponge (flour and yeast mixture); mix until fully combined. Add the remaining sifted dry ingredients. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the drained fruit.
Place the batter in the pan, cover, and set in a warm area to allow the cake to rise, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons of the syrup reserved from the drained fruit. Stir until smooth and set aside.
Bake cake in a preheated 350º F oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer cake to a wire rack to cool. When cool, lightly brush with reserved syrup, and top with glaze.
So in closing, remember this, when all is said and done, when the polls are closed, that is the time to sit down together, set aside our differences and eat a little cake and have some good conversation. In the end, we all are Americans who love our country.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Hence, I was up early thinking about what to write on to ring in the Halloween week of goodies, costumes, and over excited children. My thought took me back to my own child hood of trick or treating through the 1970's California neighborhoods. I remember hitting block after block of houses of friends from school and friends of my parents. It seemed like hundreds of houses. It was a different time back then when we kids ran in mobs without parent supervision. Our main goal was to get as much candy as humanly possible. Back then candy was different. Many people made homemade candy like popcorn balls, Carmel and Candy apples, Cinnamon sticks, Cotton candy, and many more. I think about the time I began to hit my teens my parents would warn us not to open any home made candy since there was rumors of kids biting into razor blades. Sad but true fact that things weren't going to always be what I new them to be when I was a child.
Now days things are different for the little munchkins. Main Street trick or treating being a popular event when you take your children to the downtown shopping area and the business open there doors for the little guys to give them free treats and toys. Fall Harvest carnivals that some churches put on being yet another popular option for your children to have some fun. I don't recall those things going on during my childhood. Not to say they didn't, but they were not as popular as they are this day in age.
So as I walk around main street seeing all the crazy outfits and the haggard parents trying to keep up with there children all the while hearing yells from behind me and in front of me "Stewy! SLOW DOWN!" "Becky, you forgot your SHOES!!" "Levi, DON'T hit your sister with your lightsabor!" I enjoy the memories of my children creating there own. I enjoy the moment were my daughter sees things in the Innocent view that I know in time she will Cherish as much as I do now as an adult.
Carmel Popcorn Balls
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch cream of tartar
1/2 (10-ounce) package marshmallows, about 4 cups
10 cups hot, salted popcorn, uncooked kernels removed
In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, butter, and cream of tartar
*The cream of tartar keeps the sugar from crystallizing*
Put the popcorn in a big bowl and pour the caramel marshmallow mixture over the popcorn. Gently fold with a wooden spoon to coat each kernel. Grab handfuls of the popcorn and squeeze it together to form popcorn balls; make them about the size of a tennis ball. Put the popcorn balls on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper to cool completely.
I often make home made candies to give out, but keep in mind i only give to my Sister's kids and close personal friends. Never people I don't know, so the poor parents don't have to stress over the unknown person giving there children candy. Have a fun week people! Enjoy your children and enjoy the candy!