Monday, June 23, 2014

Blackberry Upside Down Cake

Yes, another upside down cake!  I'm on a roll.  I got the blackberries from a vacant lot next door to where I used to live up in North Surrey.  They're a bit seedy and they are not the greatest tasting blackberries ever despite how beautiful they were on the bush, but they just need a little extra help with some sugar and they're fine.  I made this cake two nights ago, once again using Betty Crackpot's Dinette Cake recipe.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Biscuits X2

Today was baking group at the clubhouse, and we made biscuits.  The original plan was to make scones to go with tea, but I discovered there were no eggs, so we made biscuits instead.  They turned out great!  We added cheese, dried chives, and dill to the mix, and the flavours were great.  Here they are.

When I got home, I decided to keep the baking momentum going and make something to accompany my cabbage rolls.  I was out of bread, too.  So, I decided to make this recipe, Pull-Apart Drop Biscuits.  They involved a very wet but rich dough that was very sticky to work with, but they turned out fantastically!  I was super impressed.  Both biscuit recipes came from the May 2010 issue of Canadian Living Magazine.  The above recipe is the Flaky Biscuits, and the recipe for the Pull-Apart Drop Biscuits is here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cooking with Betty Crackpot: Pie Crust & Rhubarb Pie

I just wanted to post a pic of the rhubarb pie I made last week, from the rhubarb plant at my friends' place.  Two of the friends were rhubarb virgins and one didn't care for the stuff.  Well, I am happy to say I have made three rhubarby converts!  Yesssss!!!

I made them a pie, and here it is.  The pastry recipe is Betty Crackpot's - again.  It's a no-fail recipe, really. You can find it here.

And here is the pie, complete with a pretty lattice and everything.

A Pair of Upside Down Cakes/Cooking with Betty Crackpot

I am currently facilitating a baking group at my local mental health clubhouse, which is part of my volunteer requirements for the peer support training program I'm in.  Once a week, we bake something simple that can be accomplished in 2 hours, and recently I was asked if I could use up a pineapple that the clubhouse had on had that had gone overripe.  It was a pretty pathetic looking specimen, but once I cut into I thought it would be OK for a pineapple upside down cake.  I sliced up the pineapple and went ahead with the project.

It turned out superbly!  The recipe for the cake is Betty Crackpot's Dinette Cake, and you can find that recipe here.  For the upside down part of the cake, i.e. the bottom, mix together 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar. Spread evenly over the bottom of the cake pan. Arrange pineapple slices on top, make the cake batter, then spread it evenly over the pineapple.  I know this is supposed to have maraschino cherries in it, but honestly, it didn't need them (and they're not in my budget).  Here is the cake!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Also, very recently, I went over to some friends' place and divested them of all their rhubarb.  Two of these friends had never had rhubarb before, and one didn't like it, so the rhubarb plant was basically going to waste.  After the success of my pineapple upside down cake, I decided to make a rhubarb version.  And this is it:

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
 Same deal with the bottom, except rhubarb needs a bit of help.  I used about a cup and a half of finely chopped rhubarb, and combined it with about 1/4 cup of sugar, and some cinnamon & ground ginger.

This was TO.DIE.FOR.  In fact, it's one of the best things I think I've ever baked!

I loved it!  And I ate 3/4 of it in four days, I'm slightly sheepish to admit.  I gave the other quarter to a friend.

I have in the freezer a bag of wild blackberries.  I think I'll make a blackberry upside down cake next!

Epic Cabbage Roll Day - Redux

I had a craving for cabbage rolls this week and cabbage was on sale at my favourite grocery store, T&T.  Also, lean ground pork was on sale!  Exciting times, let me tell you.  So I spent Tuesday making a big pan of cabbage rolls, and they turned out fantastically!  I didn't cook or par cook the rice first, I just put it into the filling mixture raw, and although it came out a bit mushy, it worked very well.  I used the rice I had on hand, which was jasmine, but in the future I think I'll get a longer-cooking rice so I don't get the mush problem.

Here are some photos I took of my day.

Yes, I put half a package of bacon over the top - and it was great!  I was too lazy to fry it up and add it to the filling.  This worked just as well.

For previous Epic Cabbage Roll Days, check out this post from 2011 and this post from 2012.


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