Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Farewell Epicurean Enthusiast

So I've debated this before...closing down this blog that is...and I even once wrote a farewell blog. However, I had second thoughts and deleted it before anyone could (hopefully) read it.

But here I am again.

However, because I am such a foodie I know that food will leak over into the other blog. So if you've enjoyed me here please feel free to zip over to Curves and a Camera.

Farewell my fellow foodies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling

This last weekend our (extended) family got together to celebrate not only Mother's Day (we have 6 moms in our PNW family) but also the 4 birthdays we have in the month of May. We got most of us together (about fourteen of us) for a family potluck dinner, gift exchange and dip in my condo's newly redone pool (nothing fancy but at least the pool is no longer crumbling under your feet).

We had crock pot lasagna, Hawaiian mac salad, fruit salad, chicken and rice baked mini burritos and more desserts than you could hope for (2 fruit pies, a lemon bar, chocolate ice cream with peanut butter sauce and a chocolate cake). - we asked each of the four birthday people what they wanted as their "special something".

My youngest sister (who turns 21 TODAY!) asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and strawberry filling. What my baby sister wants she gets. So here's what I did for her.

A trick I learned (Martha? Paula?) is to butter and dust your
cake pans with cocoa powder (for a chocolate cake) this way
you don't have the outsides coated in white flour.

3 POUNDS of diced strawberries later

1/2 of one cake round, chocolate frosting to seal the edges and prevent
strawberries from spilling out the sides

Layer all the way up!!

Crumb frosting layer
ta-da!!! Strawberries on top and white pearls on the sides

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chocolate Heaven Cocoa Brownies

I was bored last weekend. It was cold and rainy and I just wanted to bake something. So I looked up a cocoa powder brownie recipe - something I  knew I had the ingredients for. I'm so glad I did because these turned out to be THE BEST  brownies EVER. 

They're super moist - even days later sitting out on the counter in a tupperware they retained their moistness.  

Very light and fluffy - you have to like your brownies "cake like" they are so airy. 

The trick is to really make your 4 eggs light and fluffy through beating

Add both sugars (1 cup each)
Mix the 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder, 2 tsps vanilla extract, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp sea salt
Add the 1 cup melted butter and mix well. 
The batter will be light and almost mousse like
Butter and flour an 8 inch round or square pan (don't forget to dust out the extra flour)
And if you can resist eating all the batter raw put it in a 300 (preheated) oven for 40-45 minutes

When you take it out it will be fluffy like a cake or soufflé but once it starts
to cool the whole thing sinks and makes a crater. THIS IS OKAY!
It still comes out DE-LICIOUS!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffin

I can't really remember why we started hoarding canned really only comes out once a year and apparently we were craving "pumpkin" something earlier so this last Thanksgiving we ended up buying a can of pumpkin every time we went to the store. 

Now, we have five or six cans of canned pumpkin. Haha. Well, that's just fine because that means I'm able to make these:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins. Mmm

1 1/2 Cups flour, 1 T baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup dry oatmeal (quick oats or instant - I used maple/brown sugar instant)
1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped fine pecans
(In separate bowl) 1 large egg, 1/3 c vegetable oil, 3/4 cup milk and 1 cup canned pumpkin
Add wet ingredients into the dry and mix until moist

Spoon into paper lined muffin tins (1/2 way) and bake in
(preheated) 400 degree oven for 20 minutes (or until done)
So yummy. The oatmeal adds a nice density and the nuts contrast the plumped raisins.

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