Christmas Treat #2 Angel Food Cake With Variations

Okay, angel food cake is known as more of a summer treat then a Christmas treat but I would like to change that. I love Angel food cake. It makes a nice change of pace from the more traditionally heavy treats of Christmas. I am also obsessed with making Angel food cakes at the moment. A few summers ago, I spent the whole summer perfecting my angel food cake technique. I made cake after cake until they came out perfect every time. Eventually, I had to stop and only make them upon request. My friends were overwhelmed with Angel food cake. At the beginning of November, I found a 7 inch Angel food cake pan and I have been making Angel food cake ever since. The initial recipe was a bit of a challenge. You would think that the recipe on the label of a 7 inch Angel food cake pan would be for a 7 inch Angel food cake. It wasn’t the recipe was for some kind of mojito bundt cake.  Thank goodness for Christina Lane at Dessert For Two. She had the perfect Angel food cake recipe for a 7 inch pan on her site. Since I didn’t have to do any of the work of cutting down the actual recipe for cake,  I decided to play around with some flavor variations. If you don’t have a 7 inch Angel cake pan head over to Dessert For Two for directions on how to make Angel food cake in a loaf pan.

7 Inch  Angel Food Cake

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Recipe Used With Permission From Dessert For Two Variations Are By Me

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 TBS corn starch

7 egg whites

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt; set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, add egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is running. Continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down with nothing falling out when you reach the stiff peak stage. Seriously, this best way to tell if your whites are whipped enough. Just do it.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and gentilely fold it in until combined. Repeat twice more.

Spread the batter into the pan. Gently tap on the counter to make sure you get the batter into all the spaces. Bake at 325 degrees for 38-42 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn upside down. Cool for at least one hour before cutting.

Chocolate variation: reduce flour to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Proceed with recipe as written.

Lemon variation: sprinkle the whipped egg white with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest before adding the flour/sugar mixture. Proceed with recipe as written.

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Tostones (Fried Green Plaintains) (Whole 30)

WordPress has introduced a new editior and it’s taking me a while to learn how to use it so I apologize for any errors I may not catch while concentrating on learning how to use this new system. In the mean time, I would like to introduce you to my new favorite recipe. Fried green plaintains.

I tried this recipe because I really miss having something crunchy with my meals when I am doing the Whole 30. I will have to be careful, though. Fried green plantains could easily be a food without brakes for me. I will limit them to no more than twice a week. For those of you familiar with the program, commercially made plantain chips were removed from the list of compliant Whole 30 foods in 2017.  However, homemade plantains are still compliant as long as you don’t deep fry them.

Fried Green Plaintains

1 plantain

Salt to taste

6 tbsp of oil

Cut the tips off the green plaintain.  Using a sharp paring knife, score the peel and remove it.  Make sure to get all the peel off the plaintain. Cut the plaintain into 1/2 inch chunks; set aside.

Put the oil in a large frying pan.  Heat until the oil shimmers.  Add the plaintain slices and fry for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes.   Remove the plaintain slices to a cutting board. Using the bottom of a glass, smash the plaintain chunks to 1/4 inch.  Place the smashed slices back in the frying pan and cook until golden, 3-4 minutes.  Flip and fry 3-4 minutes more. 

Sprinkle the golden, fried plaintains with salt or other seasonings.  Enjoy.


On the

Date Pinwheel Cookies

People who love to bake seldom love to cook and people who love to cook seldom love to bake. I, however, love to do both equally. I try to keep the baking half of my heart under control most of the time because no one needs sweets lying around all the time, not even small batches of sweets.

The one time of year I can indulge my love of baking is the Christmas season. The next few weeks I will posting my adaptions of traditional, at least in my family, Christmas treats. Let’s get started with one of my favorite cookies, date pinwheels. You can use any kind of date for this cookie but fresh Medjool dates will take it to another level. Cliché but true.

Date Pinwheel Cookies

Adapted from my Mom’s recipe

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Date Filling:

1/2 cup chopped dates

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a seperate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. Add the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture. Mix well. Bring the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, bring the dates, sugar and water to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until the mixture is thickened, 10 -15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When filling is cool, pre heat the oven to 350 degrees. When ready to make your cookies, place your dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll out until a 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough until 1/4 inch from the edge. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough up jelly roll style. Wrap the rolled up dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to bake the cookies, unwrap. Using a serated knife, cut the dough in 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on a sheet pan. Bake 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 2 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli

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This weekend I was just clicking my way through You Tube when I came across a video about how to get the most from an all you can eat Chinese buffet.  The basic premise is most of us are doing it all wrong.  We fill up our plates and our bellies with the food that is cheap to make, like fried rice, lo mein and sweet and sour pork.  We then neglect the most expensive stuff, like crab legs.   In order to get the most of an all you can eat Chinese buffet, we should be concentrating more on eating the expensive stuff.

I guess I am doomed to never get the most out of all you can eat Chinese buffet because my favorites are all things that, according to the video, are the cheapest to make.  I love fried rice, lo mein, sweet and sour pork and stir-fried chicken and broccoli the best.  The rest is nice but if I don’t get to it I haven’t missed anything.  Well,  I don’t think I miss anything.  The gentlemen in the video might disagree.  Maybe, if I make more of the Chinese food I like at home, I’ll get more out of the next Chinese buffet I go to.

 

Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli

From How To Cook Everything The Basics

1 lb broccoli

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS minced ginger

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

1/2 cup water

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBS soy sauce,  sub coconut aminos and adjust salt for Whole 30

Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking.  Once you start cooking things progress quickly.  Trim your broccoli and cut into 1 -2 inch pieces; set aside.   Mince your ginger and your garlic; set aside.  Peel and slice your onion; set aside.  Place your salt, pepper, water and soy sauce to the side with your vegetables.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat.  When hot, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Stir it once, and then let it sit for at least one minute, until it begins to brown and sizzle before stirring again.  Add the garlic, ginger and onion to the chicken.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are soft, 3 -5 minutes.  Remove the chicken mixture from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Add the broccoli right away and raise the heat to high.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli starts to char in some spots and turns bright green, 1- 2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits. Taste the broccoli, it should be tender but not mushy.  If it isn’t tender, cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Return the chicken mixture to the pan and toss to combine.  Add the soy sauce, and the remaining 1/4 cup water, if the mixture looks dry.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. 

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

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Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence isn’t going to write any more cookbooks because …. “Recipes are dead.”  His reasoning behind this statement is …. “I’ll publish a cookbook and I’ll have a 125 recipes.  People only use five and they won’t even follow them:  They’ll use those like a guide that they’ll kind of interchange different ingredients with ….”   (The Smart Kitchen Summit via The Washington Post).

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this statement irked me.  First of all, every recipe since the first caveman threw a piece of meat on the fire has come into existence because someone used someone elses’ recipe as a guide and changed out the ingredients.  This includes every recipe that Chef Florence has ever created.  Second, I wonder if it ever occurred to Chef Florence that more people would use his recipes as written if they were more accessible to the average home cook.

Maybe, I am sensitive to what Chef Florence said because I have spent the last 5 1/2 years adapting other people’s recipes.  Over the years I have asked dozens of professional and hobby bloggers for permission to post my adaptions for their recipes.  None of them have said no because they don’t want their recipes changed in any way.  Most of them are happy I like their recipes enough to include them on A Solitary Feast.  In fact, only one blogger has ever said no when I asked permission to post one of my adaptions. It was more of wanting the views for her recipe on her blog rather than mine not because she was upset I changed her recipe.

Personally, I want you to take the recipes I have posted here and make them your own in whatever way you wish.  To me finding new ways to make a recipe is what cooking is all about.  It’s where we get new flavor combinations, new recipes and new cooking techniques.  So go grab a recipe, get into the kitchen and play.  When you are done come here and tell me about it so can get in the kitchen and play too.

 

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Adapted From Budget Bytes

1 cup pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk

1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin,  brown sugar, egg, vanilla and milk; mix well.  In medium bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  In a 1 quart baking dish, spread the oat mixture in the baking dish.  Bake 45 minutes or until firm.