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Archive for the ‘baking’ Category

While this cake did not turn out anything like it was intended too,  in this case its probably the best thing that could have happened. Susan, my darlin’s mother called it rustic. I think it fits. Fancy but not pretentious. A cake you can eat.

My darlin, Walker and I were charged with making a dessert for his co-workers wedding and it took us at least a week to decide what to make. A wedding is a special day and Walker was hesitant about trying out a new recipe. So we set out to make what we thought was a standby carrot cake. The recipe I used is supposed to make one 9 in. cake. But since this was for a wedding I wanted it to be a bit more elegant, and feed more folks.  I figured I’d just double the recipe. Simple, right? Then I realized that our cake pans were only 8 1/2 inches. Well, we’ll just make three layers.

But, there was so much batter we had to make four!! Yes, a four layer carrot cake. When it came time to remove the cakes from the pans, even though I had buttered and floured the pans before hand the first batch did not want to come out. I think I was a bit eager and tried to get them out before they had cooled sufficiently. But we rescued them nonetheless (after  some time in the fridge). Plus, its amazing what frosting can be used for – in this case, cake glue. (more…)

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Spinach Quiche

My spinach from last year’s fall garden has survived the harsh NC winter like a dream, and we’ve had more than we know what to do with here at the Bighorn Barn. And,when you have an over-abundance of lovely things like fresh eggs and spinach the easiest thing to do is make a quiche. Since I was already making one, it wasn’t much more effort to make two and we had more than enough ingredients to go around. (more…)

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Easter Coconut Cake

Easter, like most holidays in my family include lots of good food and family in one place. After we’d all dressed up in our Easter Sunday best (flower dresses for all the ladies; I’m disappointed people aren’t wearing easter hats like they used, too) for the Sunday service, we headed to my Grandmother and Grandaddy’s house for lunch. My contribution was this coconut cake that had been tempting me for over two weeks. And when I realized Easter was right around the corner I had an excuse to bake a layer cake! (more…)

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My darlin’ isn’t a fan of cake. Which I find hard to believe, but he’s not. Whether it be coconut cake, chocolate cake, carrot cake, fun-fetti cake, if it has frosting on it he’s just not that into it. I on the other hand have quite a taste for cakes and their frosting. My affinity for such sweet confections, I believe, comes from childhood nostalgia for birthday cakes. Even if they come from the grocery store, the frosting stains your mouth blue, and I know its made with nothing but corn products, if its around I still want to have at least a bite for old times sake. But despite our differences in desirable cakes there is one type of cake we can agree on – Cheesecake!! And if its made with pumpkin, gingersnaps, and marshmallows even better. So, when our two year anniversary rolled around and I wanted to give something to to my boyfriend who doesn’t want more things, but loves good food, I figured a cheesecake would be the perfect gift. Plus, it was just a good excuse to make a cake. I’m always on the look out for an excuse to bake, I feel guilty baking a whole cake or dessert just for lil’ole me. (more…)

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Vilas 044So it seems to be high season for the wild blackberry vines in my backyard, and the little blueberry bush is weighted down by all the berries its branches are carrying. It seemed fitting that the first pie I make in my new place come right from the yard. (more…)

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DSC03702One of the key elements to self-sufficiency and domestic charm is resourcefulness, being able to work with what you’ve got. Cooking seasonally from the harvest you just pulled in from your garden or brought back from the farmer’s market is more rewarding to me. Or baking with the berries you just picked from the wild bushes in the woods where you go walking! You know exactly what it took to grow that food, where it grew and how it got to your table.

I spent most of the morning outside wandering through the woods in search of hidden patches of Wineberries – so hopefully the berries would be plump and sweet because they hadn’t been over picked already by young horseback riders that use the same trails. DSC03733

I had never experienced wineberries before this summer, and boy was I missing out! The red berries are easy to see, with few seeds, and tender bodies similar to raspberries with a simple sweetness. The name Wineberry I suppose comes from the pretty reddish hue they carry. Although they are not a native plant to these parts, they’re here so we might as well use their fruits. Its a much kinder plant than blackberries that’s for sure. You’re cloths might get a little snagged as you venture deeper into the berry patch, but your arms and legs come out pretty clean. No sacrificial blood necessary for the harvest! (more…)

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DSC03544Before this year I couldn’t have even told you what Rhubarb looked like, how to spell it, let alone how to cook it. I had heard of it briefly in pairings with strawberries but no one I knew ever brought it to the church potlucks or holiday dinners. Rhubarb just doesn’t run in my family. Then I started dating a boy who happens to be in love with said Rhubarb. But, no I did not get jealous! I decided that my energies would be better spent testing my hand and tackling this unknown foe in the kitchen. (How very mature of me!)DSC03618

As soon as I found some at the market, I quickly filled up my arms with the light green stalks and handed them to the farmer at Gaining Ground Farm with a big smile on my face. My excited scrambling for Rhubarb weighed in at over 3 lbs. I took my find and went home happily. (more…)

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