Butter Bell Crocks, they're a good thing...

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, June 14, 2013

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I've had my red Butter Bell Crock for a few years now and it works so well.  You never have to try and soften butter again.

Here's a video explaining how it works.  And here's a link if you want to buy one...

 

Low Carb Pasta

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, June 11, 2013

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I got the niftiest little Oxo Julienne Peeler to make low carb pasta.  It's just amazing.

I posted it on my daily blog, you can read about it by clicking here.

~ Jan

Iced Tea Day

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, June 10, 2013

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I love Fruit Flavored Tea.   Mother always put orange slices in her tea, and I've been a huge fan of doing that my whole life.  People are always surprised, they expect lemon.  But don't forget peach slices and raspberries when they are in season.  It's a good thing...

 

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And if you don't mind the calories, Nashville Fruit Tea is just amazing.  I had it for the first time at HRH Dumplings,  a great little restaurant in downtown Franklin.  I posted the recipe a few years ago, five to be exact.   Here's the quick link...

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, May 04, 2013

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This is an absolutely delicious copycat recipe of Cracker Barrel's Famous Coca Cola Cake.  I like to add coconut and pecans to the frosting, but it's great plain, as well.  

The recipe is similar to Texas Sheet Cake, a recipe I've made since the 70's.  Texas Sheet Cake uses two sticks of butter, this one uses a stick of butter and a half a cup of oil.  I actually like this better, because oil makes a really moist cake.  The addition of a cup of Coke is the only difference between my original Texas Sheet Cake and the Cracker Barrel clone.  

People love this cake, make it a day ahead and it's really moist.  A definite 5 Star recipe!  

Enjoy… ~ Jan

Ingredients:
1 cup coca-cola
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup oil - I actually use a generous half cup of oil
3 HEAPING tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

***Frosting***
1 stick margarine
3 HEAPING tablespoons cocoa powder
6 tablespoons cream or milk  - I use Fat Free Half and Half, and it works great!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners sugar

Directions:
In a saucepan, bring coca-cola, margarine, cocoa and oil to a boil. In a separate bowl mix sugar, flour and salt, then pour the boiling mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk until blended. Beat eggs, buttermilk and vanilla together, and add to wet ingredients.  Pour into a  9×13 pan that has been sprayed with PAM and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

For Frosting: Sift confectioner's sugar - be sure and do this so it doesnt lump.  

In saucepan combine margarine, cocoa and milk and heat until the butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients and spread onto HOT cake. Cool and cut.

Lemon Ice Cubes

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, April 20, 2013

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What a great idea, make these large cubes in muffin tins and put them in your pitcher this summer...

The BEST Cocktails from Southern Living

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, April 19, 2013

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Mississippi Mudslides, Pink Cadillac Margaritas, Shoo-Fly Punch, just to name a few.  This collection would turn even a non-drinker into a believer!  Hop on over to Souterh Living and check the all out.

Here's the link!

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Making a Box Cake Taste LIke It's from a Bakery

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, April 16, 2013

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Step 1: Look at the directions on the cake mix,
Step 2: Add one more egg (or add 2 if you want it to be very rich),
Step 3: Use melted butter instead of oil and double the amount,
Step 4: Instead of water, use milk.
Step 5: Mix well and bake for the time recommended on the box....

Williams Sonoma Strawberry Huller, it's a good thing!!!!

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, April 06, 2013

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This little strawberry huller is just fantastic!  I'm such a kitchen gadget junkie I am and salivate every time I get a Williams Sonoma Catalog, so this was at the top of  my "must have" list when I saw it.  It has fantastic reviews, people love this little huller, and the price was right, only $7.95.  But wait, I love a deal, so I went to Amazon, sure enough they had the same thing on Amazon Prime for $7.95, with free ship no tax.  I ordered this puppy so fast, it arrived in two days and it does it ever work well!

You just plunge it into your berry, twist it, and that white core comes right out.  It's a good thing, ladies, and 'tis the season of the strawberry, so what are you waiting for!

Oh, the link, the link - here you go...

Williams Sonoma 

Amazon - Free Ship/No Tax

 

The World's Best Lemon Coconut Cake

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, April 06, 2013

Lemon Coconut Cake

 

This cake is delicious, I mean seriously, decadently, wonderful, too marvelous for words!  I've baked cakes for years, and this one is in the top five of the best ever.  I adapted it from a recipe from Sugar & Spice by Celeste, it's a "must try" if you are a lemon lover.

Here is Celeste's recipe, and following it are my adaptions:

Lemon-Coconut Cake
Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) layer cake.
Source: joyofbaking.com
Originally Adapted From: Foster, Sara. 'The Foster's Market Cookbook'. Random House. New York: 2002.

Ingredients:
Lemon Curd:
3 large eggs
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)
1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

Coconut Cake Recipe:
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
1 tsp coconut extract
1 3/4 cups (420 ml) buttermilk
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Frosting:
2 large (60 grams) egg whites
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Garnish:
2 cups (150 grams) sweetened shredded or flaked coconut (can use unsweetened dried coconut)

Directions:
Lemon Curd:
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps.

Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate until cold. The lemon curd can be made several days (up to a week) in advance.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter and flour two - 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch (23 x 3.75 cm) cake pans, and then line the bottoms with parchment paper (or spray with Bakers Joy).

Coconut Cake:
While the eggs are still cold separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

In a mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In bowl of electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.

Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.

Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. To prevent splitting, reinvert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Frosting:
In a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, place the egg whites, sugar, water, and corn syrup. With a handheld electric mixer beat the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes on low speed. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the icing is shiny and satiny with soft peaks.

Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and continue to beat on high speed for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the frosting is thick. Use immediately.

To Assemble:
With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. Place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with about 1/3 of the lemon curd and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of coconut. Continue with the next layers, stacking and filling with the lemon curd and coconut. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the 7-Minute Frosting and then sprinkle with about 1 cup of coconut. Cover and refrigerate the cake until serving time.

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My Tweaks:

Lemon Curd - I made this a couple of days ahead, just like her recipe, except I used 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice, because we love tart lemon curd, and added extra lemon zest.

Cake Batter:  I omitted the coconut extract, and added an extra splash of vanilla, because I didn't want the coconut flavor, just the coconut on the top.  

Frosting:  This was time consuming, but worth it.  I beat the mixture for four minutes on low, then four minutes on high, to get the soft peaks, then additional two minutes.  Very time consuming over a hot pan of water, but totally worth it.  

Assembly:  I totally dropped the ball on this, instead of splitting the layers and putting lemon curd between each layer, I just put lemon curd on top of the first layer, then icing, then put the other layer on top, and it wanted to slide off the bottom layer.  I then put on more lemon curd and iced it.  Next time I will make it like Celese says, and split the layers, and add the lemon curd.  I still won't put coconut between the layers, just on top, as not everyone in our family is a fan of coconut.

Photo Courtesy of Sugar & Spice by Celeste

Click here Celeste's original recipe and instructions

Pina Colada Ic Box Pie

by ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ Cooking With a Southern Vibe in Music City USA ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿณ, March 17, 2013

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (about 16 cookies)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, 
    softened
  • 1 1/2 cups cream of coconut, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Garnishes: lightly toasted shaved
    coconut, pineapple wedges, fresh
    pineapple mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly press on bottom and up sides of a lightly
greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool
completely (about 30 minutes).

2. Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan; stir in pineapple. While stirring
constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook (keep stirring!) 1 minute or until thickened.
Remove from heat; cool completely (about 20 minutes).

3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment,
until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup cream of coconut, beating at low speed just until blended. (Chill
remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut until ready to use.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended
after each addition.

4. Spread cooled pineapple mixture over bottom of piecrust; spoon cream cheese mixture over
pineapple mixture.

5. Bake at 350° for 38 to 42 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover
and chill 4 hours.

6. Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut,
beating until soft peaks form; spread over pie.

Note: We tested with Keebler Sandies Pecan Shortbread and Coco Lรณpez Cream of Coconut.

This recipe is adapted from Southern Living.  Photo furnished by Southern Living

© Jan CAN Cook · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS