June 23, 2017

Friday Flavour:Chocolate Pound Cake

With chocolate cakes, I’ve got to be in the mood for it. As simple as a chocolate cake recipe can be, I  found it to be the hardest especially when it comes to finding that perfect chocolatey cake that you can never get sick of eating it. 

I’m picky when it comes to chocolate cakes. It has to be rich, but not too dense. It has to be luscious and not crumbly. It has to be moist and not too dry. Best if the texture is moist and also (somewhat) creamish-cottony. And without compromising the chocolatey taste.

The traditional ones use buttermilk and most use coffee which I tend to avoid. The way and method it is being made can also vary from recipe to recipe;  which makes it even harder to pick that one recipe to suit your mood.

Add that to the number of eggs used, which and when ingredients are mixed in together and you’ll find yourself in a a clumsy muddle.A few trial and error in the last few months led me to this:

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Considering that (almost)every recipe is different, this is by far one of the best chocolate pound cakes I have trialled and errored.

The only thing missing is the ganache, but I reckon if the cake is good enough, there would be no need for ganache at all! Enjoy.

Chocolate Pound Cake
Serves 6
Rich and not too dense chocolatey pound cake perfect as a birthday cake or served during tea-time
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  4. 1 tbsp coffee powder (optional)
  5. 1 tspn vanilla extract
Wet Ingredients
  1. Quarter cup evaporated milk
  2. Half cup sour cream
Dry Ingredients
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sel raising flour
  2. 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. Half tspn salt
  4. Half tspn baking soda
Instructions
  1. Set oven to 160.2 degree Celsius (350 F)
  2. Grease a deep pan with baking spray and line with wax paper
  3. Cream sugar and butter till light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla extract and coffee powder
  5. Sift all the dry ingredients and set aside
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk milk and sour cream
  7. Begin with adding a portion of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture of butter, sugar and eggs. Blend lightly
  8. Alternate with a portion of wet then the dry. End with dry
  9. Blend together but don't over beat
  10. Place the mixed batter into the pan. Spread out evenly
  11. Bake about 40-50 minutes. Check that the inserted toothpick comes out clean
  12. Set aside to cool
  13. Pull away the wax paper to serve
Notes
  1. Ensure that the eggs and butter are at room temperature so that the batter comes together easily
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/

 

 

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June 21, 2017

A Re-Blog: Canned Peaches

Category: Parenting

Kelly Jude Melerine author behind Squeeze The Spaceman Taco has once again managed to move me with his post on the innocence of a child. In this case, his own young adult child Cade, who doesn’t, wouldn’t and possibly couldn’t exemplify hate. 

Cade is turning 20 next month and his Dad, Kelly is one hell of an inspiring dad who shares his trials and tribulations of how autism affects the entire household and what a family does to stay strong. In Kelly’s words: 

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Source:Squeeze the Spaceman Taco

So here’s to the beauty of a child’s innocence. To Cade, skin pigmentation is of no significance. To Cade, we’re all the same. My son has no preconceived judgment of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexuality nor disability. We are all just nineteen years old in the eyes of my son.

What would you do differently if you had the chance to be nineteen again? Everyday my son makes me strive to be a better person. 

Continue reading from the beginning of the story here: It’s more than just canned peaches.

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June 19, 2017

Out Here, It’s Still Spring.

A few more weeks days and summer will officially make it’s round to this part of the world.

That means hotter days and longer daylight hours. How much longer daylight hours I wouldn’t have a clue because if I don’t know any better, I would think that it’s already summer here in the Netherlands since early June. 

Mother Nature must have been confused!

I mean, what’s with the sun rising before 5 a.m and not setting till almost after 10.30 p.m.? In the recent nights, it only gets dark closer after 11 p.m and that’s already more than 18 hours of long daylight.

Confused much? I know I am.

Plus the fact that it has been mostly sunny (sometimes windy, rainy and hailing) on most days where we would be walking out of the house with NO layering or jackets needed AND that we already are seeing mossies and flies around, it might as well be summer already.

No matter how tired I feel, it feels so wrong to go to bed when it’s still light outside after 10.30 p.m. It’s deceiving too and because of that, we ended up stretching our days longer and going to bed really, really late.

I am still getting used to the longer daylight hours and am in two minds if I like it as much as I like that it gets dark after 5-ish. Not that it matters to how early late we go to sleep but I do wonder how much longer will daylight be when the REAL summer comes. 

Now I don’t know what summer would bring, but I  am not looking forward to the extended school vacation  the kids will be having. That means: more expenses needed for daycare and the monkeys will be coining mayhem to a whole brand new level to test our parenting skills because they are bored out of their skull from having nothing to do all day for weeks on end.

God help us.

Until then, while the tulip season may be well and truly over by now, as far as I’m concerned,  we are officially still in spring. Not too hot, not too cold…but getting really, really warm!

With the exception of the longer daylight and sometimes temperamental weather, spring still remains my most favourite season of the year.

Out here, the changing landscape would be too beautiful to ignore. 

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June 18, 2017

Sunday Humour: Calvin’s Reversed Psychology

Category: Entertainment

 

Credit:Google Image

This guy is such a gem! No matter how grumpy he is, he still is one of the most awesomest kids around. A kid I’m glad isn’t one of my mine. ;p I’d still be smothering him with affection though!

Wishing you the most affectionate days with the week ahead.

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June 16, 2017

Friday Flavour Feature: Chicken Paprikash by Jas Brechtl

Sometime last year, one my dearest faraway friend over at All That’s Jas sent me her published Balkan Comfort Food e-book.

It was filled with all Balkan goodness where Jas has, once upon many, many months poured her soul to put together her old recipes and preserving the art of creating dishes that many generations before her have enjoyed. 

That book which I did a review on has certainly not gone to waste in my hands.  Several recipes have caught my eyes since and there was one recipe which I cannot get enough of: Chicken Paprikash or Pileci Paprikas.

Armed with several types of fresh paprikas as well as some authentically Hungarian paprika powder, I gave the recipe a go quite a while back. Somehow I haven’t got around to putting up the recipe. Until today that is.

My poison
The magic potion

 

Not looking quite the same as Jas has made it and with no point of reference to what she has cooked in terms of taste, I could only hope that I did some justice to her comfort food.

All I can say is that the dish left us wanting more. It was pretty damn awesome!

Chicken Paprikash (Pileci Paprikas) by Jas Brechtl
Serves 4
A colourful and classic dish of chicken and paprika beyond the Balkan region.
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 tablespoon oil
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 8 pieces of mixed chicken breasts and drumsticks (with skin)
  4. Salt and black pepper to taste
  5. 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  6. 1 green bell pepper sliced
  7. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  8. 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced (not in the original recipe)
  9. 1 clove garlic, minced
  10. 1 tablespoon flour
  11. 1 can tomato puree (the original used 1 cup tomato sauce)
  12. 2 cubes chicken bouillon dissolve in 2 cups of hot water (substitution of the original 1 cup chicken broth)
  13. 4-5 pieces fresh basil, chopped (substitution of the original 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  14. 1 teaspoon 1 tspn red chilli powder (substitution of the original ½ tspn red pepper flakes)
  15. 1 tablespoon sour cream
Instructions
  1. Pan-fry the chicken pieces till slightly brown and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
  3. Place chicken in the pan with onions and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Let the chicken cook until done, stirring occasionally so as not to burn the onions then add peppers and garlic.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken and peppers with flour and stir to combine. Add tomato puree, broth,basil and red pepper flakes.
  5. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  6. Stir in sour cream.
  7. Serve over potatoes, dumplings, rice or pasta.
Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for the chicken to be first cut into strips then heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat before placing into the pan over the onions. As I used larger pieces of chicken, I decided to pan-fry first.
Adapted from All That's Jas: Balkan Comfort Food
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/

Jas Brecthl’s Balkan Cuisine Cookbook can be purchased online with the e-book available both on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. It is also available in Paperback for USD 17.99  from Amazon.

Before you click away, do pop by Jas’ blog over at All That’s Jas. Pour your nose over her delightful recipes and pick a tip or two on cooking. She’s a veteran at this! Do you know that she even make and PULL her own phyllo?! Yup. This woman is mad and I love her for it. 

And in case you are not sure where to start and/or not quite into recipes or food, I recommend you read That’s Why. If you don’t feel like reading, make yourself a drink and I recommend you try this insane-looking Jellyfish drink she once concocted. Not that I’ve tried it myself though it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get a little light-headed. 

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