Monthly Archives: December 2016

OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

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Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

 

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How I bake in a crock pot

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I’ve been curious about using a crock pot to bake desserts for quite awhile now. BUT….

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I never quite knew how to make it work. Do I bake directly in the crock or do I need a special insert? Also the sizes of crock pots are confusing; so I just started going through the cupboard to make a match…and then hoped the batter didn’t over flow!

I found some really good looking recipes in a crock pot book I have and I knew I had to figure this out; because 

  • a) they sound easy and delicious
  • b) I have other multi tasking things I could be doing while it bakes
  • c)  we try to conserve propane as much as possible (an RV oven sucks a lot)

We now live in a place where it costs a LOT more to buy propane than at our old place, so we try to cook with our power appliances as much as possible. I have a turkey roaster that I can bake 3 loaves of bread in. I also do cookies and muffins in it but it is large and cumbersome. So the smaller crock pot and relaxed nature of slow cooking has been enjoyable for me. I’m addicted. These recipes keep turning out amazing. They are moist and tasty and never disappoint.


So… here is my solution. I put my old corning ware dish into the slow cooker. It sort of floats there and then I just use the crock pot lid. So far the 3 recipes that I made fit in the dish perfectly. I have ended up increasing the cook time just to be sure of a thorough bake.

I made sure to check the middle for doneness.  The edges got dark but this pumpkin cake was very moist! And as a side note… I used a fair amount of walnuts and they tasted better than usual! We are not huge walnut fans but even Mr. Evolving noticed the better flavor. I’m not sure if it was the increased time in the batter causing a bit of a soak?  If you try it, be sure to comment with your findings.

So play around with your dishes and see what fits. Hopefully it works for everyone!  I feel like I may have just gotten lucky? Hopefully you have the same luck.
I’m sharing the pumpkin recipe today but need to make the others and get some pictures. Okay here’s a teaser . .. Orange chocolate pudding cake ☺ and a cobbler! oh so good! Stay tuned!

 

OLD FASHIONED PUMPKIN CAKE

Be sure that the 2 1/2-quart souffle dish you plan to use will fit into your 5-quart slow cooker before proceeding.

  1. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin (I use my frozen puree – thawed & drained)
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  10. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  11. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  12. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  13. 3/4 cup pecans *as mentioned above,  I used walnuts

In a large bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin and water. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Blend well. Stir in the pecans. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2 quart round souffle dish. Carefully place the souffle dish in a 5 quart electric slow cooker.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours or until a cake tester inserted in center of the cake comes out clean. (Do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time.)

Remove the lid and turn the cooker off. Leave the cake in the cooker until the dish is cool enough to handle. Remove from the cooker.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. To dress up this moist cake, reminiscent of a steamed Pudding, top slices with whipped cream flavored with a little orange zest or Grand Marnier. Or sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar before slicing.

Embracing your talents

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So you know those wordy signs on wood that are all the rage right now?  Well I thought it’d be great to join in and try my hand at it too. I looked into all the different ways one could possibly get words onto said wood. 

  1. Freehand. Hahaha. yeah right!
  2. Printing onto wax paper and doing the transfer thing. I bought the paper and then realized I have the wrong kind of printer. grrr
  3. Stencils.
  4. Photo transfer.
  5. Sticky letters to be painted over and then removed.

There are certainly options, but none were working out for me and I was getting frustrated. I wanted to participate darn it!

So I ended up grabbing my Dremel.(which has seriously been sitting around in its collector tin for more years than I care to admit; like 6 years 😬. Cause I just had to have it, for my birthday)  Anyway… I started playing around and came up with my style. Finally! It’s a little on the rustic side, but I live in lake country and there are a lot of people with cabins who may appreciate my “craft”.

“Home Sweet Home”came together so naturally and quickly. And now it’s one of my favorites.

I sold my favorite fish sign …”welcome to the lake”. And to think,  I almost didn’t take it off the wall to bring to the craft sale. I’ll have to make one for myself.

So in the end I am fairly pleased with how I got my letters onto the wood. It is certainly different from what I’ve seen. I’m finding more and more signs and such in big box store flyers. Yes I said flyers.  I don’t actually go to those places. But I was surprised that the health food store had signs. And really weirded out and disappointed to touch them and realize it was a paper coating to look like wood and what not. It’s sad that nothing is handmade anymore.  Makes me feel like this is a pointless endeavor. Do people want true art made by people? Do they care? Finding that market may be tough.

But there’s something to be said for passion. Maybe it’s contagious !

Wonton Soup 

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Wonton Soup 

I’ve been making this soup for about 5 or 6 years now. A friend insisted I come over so she could show me how.  I wasn’t sure my family would be into this kind of food but it’s always good to expand your knowledge in the kitchen and keep food boredom at bay. SO, we made wontons.


It was a huge hit! And is still a family favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have any Chinese cabbage this time so I added broccoli and shredded carrots.  

Here is a picture of what I usually use…

WONTON SOUP 

For the wontons…

  1. 1-2 pounds of raw ground pork
  2. Minced water chestnuts (1/3 can)
  3. Minced shrimp (handful) note: I have never used shrimp
  4. 2 minced green onions
  5. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  6. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  7. 1 pkg wonton wrappers

Mix all together really well. Place 1/2-1 tsp of meat mixture on wrapper and close ends together. I just gather corners and pinch tight.

BROTH

Any type of broth is good. I prefer the tetra packs of chicken broth. It gives a nice clean consistent flavor.

Pour 1 carton of broth and about twice as much water into a large pot.

Note: if you use up all the pork and wrappers; you will have a lot of wontons. I have to use both of my large pots with double the broth to cook all wontons. Otherwise I just freeze the extra wontons.

  • Now add salt and pepper to taste. We ran into an older Asian man in the grocery store once and he suggested using white pepper. So if you have that on hand, this is a great time to use it!
  • Add 1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
  • Bring to a boil and add chopped suey choy (Chinese cabbage), the rest of the can of water chestnuts(chopped) and the raw shrimp. If using precooked shrimp add them later with the wontons.
  • Cook for 10 minutes
  • Add wontons to boiling broth and cook until they float to the top. (cooking longer will result in soggy falling apart wrappers. and yes the meat is cooked!)
  • Remove from heat and serve as is or  add some chopped green onion and soya sauce to your bowl (we recommend fermented soy sauce. our favorite is kikkoman)

I added some of my “personal experience” notes because we had a lot of questions when first making this. Working with raw pork was new and seemed dangerous somehow. lol My husband is terrified of cross contamination and under cooked meat. (Ive rushed him to the hospital on account of his Bbq mishap involving chicken..food poisoning does not look pleasant! Even got pulled over for that one!)

SO, give this a go and let me know what you think.  You may want to invite people over …it makes a lot! And it’s ALWAYS nice to have extra wonton pinchers!

 

Update: I just made more soup. This time I used beef broth, the recommended cabbage and the frozen wontons. It turned out great. I made sure to cook the frozen wontons a little extra so that there was a good boil and I knew they were cooked.