Turkducken?  Who needs that…. Meet strawcoochee cake 

  So…. There has been a recipe floating around on Facebook and Pinterest for a strawberry cheesecake came.  One that looks like it will taste like the Good Humor Bar.  It caught my attention immediately but I found the recipe a little wonky.  You can check it out if you want but I think mine is better.  

And pretty.

  
What you behold is a layer of strawberry cake, atop a thin layer of strawberry buttercream frosting, sitting atop a vanilla cheesecake, sitting atop a golden cookie crumb crust…..strawcoochee cake.  If you say it a few times there is more good humor in the name than in the ice cream.  

  
The main thing about this project is using the SAME round cake pan or, two identical.  This is not an hour or two thing.  There are steps and give yourself  at least 6 hours before serving.  I still think mine is easier. 

Grocery list…..

4 eight ounce packages of cream cheese 

1 cup of sugar

Vanilla 

7 eggs

1 cup of whipped cream

Strawberry cake mix 

3/4 cup of vegetable oil 

6-8 cups of powdered sugar

1 cup crisco 

2 packages of Strawberry Koolaid

Red or pink food coloring

3/4 stick of butter 

2 packages of Golden Oreos 

Milk

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Steps 1-5

1.  Make a cheese cake in your only or twin round cake pan.  

Heat Oven to 300. 

I use my paddle attachment with scraper to cream 4 bars of cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar.  Add 4 eggs one at a time, add 3 tsp vanilla.  Fold in the cup of whipping cream. Pour into the well greased pan.

I believe that a water bath is necessary to make a good cheese cake.  Fill a large pan with about a 1/2 inch of water.  I used my big lasagna pan because it has handles.  Place the cheesecake pan into the water bath carefully and place in center of the oven.  Check here for full instructions on the Bain Marie process

Bake for 1 hour or until firm.

Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap.  Put in fridge.  If you flip it out onto a plate, flip it out onto a flat plate. Do not use a regular dinner plate or the sides will be raised.

2.  Make a strawberry cake.  I just made a regular Betty Crocker strawberry cake, as directed on the box. Pour into the same round pan, grease well.  Bake as directed,  there will be left over.. Make some cup cakes. 

Cool completely, wrap in Saran Wrap and put it in the fridge with the cheesecake.

3.  Using a food processor, crush 1 package of golden Oreos and 1/2 to 3/4 stick of melted butter.

Using that same round pan, this time lined with greased Saran Wrap, press the crushed cookie butter mixture.  Be sure to press it in evenly.  No raised edges.

Put in fridge and cool completely.

4.  Make strawberry Frosting.  Using the same paddle attachment, cream 1 cup of Crisco and 6 cups of powdered sugar. For this recipe I omit vanilla.  While this is mixing, put 1/2 cup of milk and 1 packet of strawberry Kool-aid in a mason jar.  TIGHTEN lid.  Shake shake shake…… Turn mixer down to lowest setting. Slowly add strawberry milk until you achieve a nice frosting consistency. This is your glue. Pretty pink glue.  Set aside but go right into the next step.

5.  Crush the second package of golden Oreos.  I crushed them a little at a time.  Put about 1/2 the crushed Oreos in a bowl. With the last half  still in the food processor, add 1 envelope of strawberry Kool-aid and a few drops of red or pink food coloring.  Do not add any butter or other kind of moisture. Add strawberry crumbles to the first half and lightly toss.

  
  
Okay….. Whew.  That’s it, now time to the assembly. 

On a flat plate, put a tablespoon or two of the pink glue in the middle.  Carefully unwrap the crust and place it, centered on the plate.  Next carefully unwrap the cheesecake and place it on the crust.  As if a regular cake, slather a thin layer of frosting… Pink glue.  Repeat process with strawberry cake layer.  Now slather frosting all over the perfectly same sized cake. Save a little for your cupcakes.   Cover a surface with paper towels or paper because this step will get messy.   Spoon the cookie crumbles onto the cake, covering the top and sides.  Press gently into the glue…. I mean frosting. 

Beautiful and most delicious.  It’s like a strawberry party in your mouth.  I think my version is easier and better.  

  

Sea foam Icing on Vanilla Almond White cake

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Last week my aunts and cousin were chatting on social media about sitting down to a pretty table setting at my Great Grandmother’s table.  They reminisced about drinking lemonade from a tulip crystal pitcher and eating vanilla cake with sea foam icing.

Of course I had to Google it.  And of course, I accepted the challenge.  Making weird things is one of my favorite things to do.  I also enjoyed making this because I was young when my great grandmother died and I felt a little connected.

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There is my Great Grandmother “Birdie” Denham in the center of the photograph wearing the grey dress.  My aunt Eve, who started all this is the beautiful young dark haired woman in the sky blue dress on the far right.

First I improvised a white cake mix.  As much as I would like to take the credit… I found the recipe here and added a teaspoon of almond extract instead of the vanilla and 1/8 cup of Mexican sour cream.  I can’t just leave things alone.  I improvised the improvise.

So I made two rounds. IMG_6662

And then I started on the icing.  Icing is a much better word for this than frosting.

This is a science project.  What you are doing is science.  A cake and a science experiment all in one. A science experiment that can be eaten.

First I strongly suggest you go and buy a kitchenaide mixer.  Why?  because they are fabulous and worth the ridiculous amount of money.  My wonderful husband, after a great deal of begging on my part, (he was perplexed that I would want a kitchen appliance for Christmas) put one under the tree for me about two years ago.  I have been transformed by this magnificent piece of machinery.  I have NO idea how women would have made this without it.

anyway….

You will need a heavy sauce pan, a whisk and a candy thermometer (or really good intuition) and a mixer that can turn wimpy egg whites into prominently peaked fluffy meringue.

1 1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of water

3 egg whites.

Put the brown sugar and water into a sauce pan and bring to a bubble. Put the egg whites into the mixer with the whisk attachment and whip at high speed.

Meanwhile in the sauce pan, whisk the brown sugar water concoction constantly to avoid scorching.  When the thermometer has reached 245, turn off the heat.  when it stops bubbling, pour a steady but small stream into the whipping eggs.  Clear the kitchen, make all small children and animals leave the immediate area….beacuse you need to BE CAREFUL YOU ARE POURING SCALDING HOT LAVA INTO A BOWL WITH A FLAPPING WHISK…..

Something magical happens… the marrying of the hot sugar syrup and the egg whites is perfect.  It turns into a glossy marshmallow-whipped cream sort of icing.

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It is light and airy.  It is fat free!  It is not a heavy icing.  You will not be able to stack decorations or even sprinkles or coconut.  Leave it the way it is.  It will not hold up.  I did put it in between the layers and it just squished down.  However, it left behind the sweet caramel flavor of the brown sugar behind.

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The only downfall of this icing is that being a science experiment, it cannot withstand much.  It’s not a travelling cake.  The icing will deflate if it gets too warm or too cold.  I refrigerated a piece and it seemed okay but I wouldn’t chance it.  It’s best at room temperature.  This cake don’t keep long either.  So there is an excuse to eat an entire cake in 24 hours. Also, if you overcook the sugar, it will become gritty.  Seems like a lot of work?  Not really.  It’s something different and my family enjoyed it… My critique husband said it was missing fresh strawberries…. maybe next time.

You will most likely have a TON left over so on a cookie sheet I put down parchment paper and spooned out a few teaspoon blobs, about a inch away from each other.  I put them in the oven at 200 degrees for about an hour and then turned off the oven, leaving them overnight.  Meringue cookies.  They were crispy little clouds of goodness and much better than the food colored ones in the grocery.

Strawberry season is here in Kentucky. 

Sweet sweet June bearing strawberries came a little early in Northern Kentucky.  I grow them in the city, in my back yard.  The patch is about 5×8 and my berries are abundant. 



I had been on vacation or I would have picked them sooner.  These babies were ripe, some within hours of being yuck.  So I washed them, added them to a pan, sprinkled about a half cup of sugar on them, smashed them with a potato smasher and brought to a boil.  I reduced the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes,  I let it cool and jarred it for later.  


Mmmmmmm nom nom, I could eat this with a spoon.

I found a fabulous recipe for shortcakes here.  I used her shortcake recipe and modified it a tad,  I used regular milk because it didn’t have whole and added a tsp of vanilla.

http://chefinyou.com/2012/07/strawberry-shortcake/



Seriously. Yummy. 🍓  


Appropriately on my mothers strawberry plates.  

Perfect peach bundt cake 


Nothing like a disaster recipe becoming the beginning of a perfectly new created one.  I was trolling Pinterest for a peach cake recipe. I found one that looked simple enough but I didn’t read far enough down to see that it was either a big mistake or just a fraud.   It left out some essential ingredients… Like eggs, a liquid and a fat.  I was so trigger happy to make a cake I started my kitchenaid all aflurry before I realized I would have to create it from scratch.  I already had half of a cake started! 

The key is to always use quality ingredients.  I use a lot of simple truth products.  Organic is just better. 
SIMPLE SYRUP SOAKED PEACH BUNDT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE BUTTER FROSTING 

Cake:

3 1/2 cups of cake flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 heaping tbsp brown sugar

1 can of quality peaches (use organic if possible) RESERVE THE JUICE 

3/4 cup oil (canola is fine but I used sweet almond oil)

3 large eggs

1/2 tsp Cinnamon 

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking powder 

3/4 cup milk 

1 tsp vanilla 

1/2 tsp salt 

Mash the peaches,  I used a potato masher and put a colander over a bowl and mashed so that I would get more juice.  

Add peaches to bowl. Add flour, sugars, eggs, oil, milk, 1/2 cup of the reserved juice, spices, salt and baking powder and vanilla.   I had a thin batter but it works.  

Pour into very greased BUNDT pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until knife comes out clean. Let cool. 

Peach simple syrup:

Reserved peach juice

Granulated sugar

While the cake is baking……Using the rest of the juice, make a syrup.  It’s hard to tell you how to do this. I didn’t really measure.  It’s a 2:1 kind of ratio.  I added about a cup of sugar to the remaining syrup in a sauce pan.  I boiled it, whisked it for a while and then lowered the heat and let it just do its thing.  If you have never made simple syrup, read about it on the net and you will see that it’s not too hard.   Take it off the heat and let it sit. Once the cake has cooled, still in the BUNDT pan, ladle the syrup onto the cake and let it soak in.  In some of my pictures below, you can see drops and smudges of the beautiful syrup.  

Now for the frosting. ….

1 8oz bar cream cheese

1/2 stick butter

Vanilla

Powdered sugar

With a mixer using the paddle attachment (or use electric mixer), add I bar of cream cheese, 1/2 stick of butter, a splash of vanilla and two cups of powdered sugar.  Mix until glossy and smooth 

Invert cake onto plate.  Plop on the icing and smooth it around as you should.  
Delicious, moist, decadent …..



I made something French

I can’t just take chips and dips to a party or celebration. No…. I’m the girl that has to make everything homemade and show off my skills. I tell myself that I am promoting healthy eating…. But I’m just gloating. I like to be the girl that shows up with a galette and place it beautifully next to the blue iced chain store cake. Yeah.. That my beauty right thur

I looked up galette crusts on Pinterest and found several. Most have a combination of flour and corn meal. Not really sure why. But I went with it. Just find one that meets the stuff you already have in your pantry. I used this one.

I used 2 cans of peaches, drained, and added 1/2 cup each of brown and white sugar a teaspoon if cinnamon and a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Roll out your crust thin and arrange the fruit mix in the center. Fold the flaps over. With the extra dough I made leaves and rosettes. Brush with egg white . Bake until it starts to get golden on top.

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ha

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Hope you had a happy 4th if July!

Chocolate zucchini bread

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I have been eating healthy. It started with my personal Paleo challenge. I try to eat whole healthy foods. I am grateful we have a toaster oven at work. My lunches have been delicious and so much more appealing and tastier than those poisonous frozen poor excuses for a meal trendy lunches… Yeah I have an issue with microwave meals. I’m not a passive aggressive person, typically I am just aggressive, or abrasive as I have recently been called but roasting brussels sprouts reeks and passively annoys people. It’s like getting the benefit of abrasive ness without all the friction. Aroma harassment.

Anyway, I like treats and if I can’t reach for something healthy, I bound to find my way into a coffee shop or a
Servati and eat delicious badness. This recipe is NOT Paleo but I am sure that it could be tweaked. I just know it’s better than a cookie full of preservatives and other crap.

Thanks to the amazing recipe here, I have found a treat better than brownies. I give this an A+

I can never seem to just make a recipe “as is”. I used a little less than a half cup of sugar and added about a tablespoon of molasses. It makes me feel better about all that sugar. And…. I sliced the zucchini length wise, baked them till mushy and then spooned out the flesh. That is how I added the zucchini.. I didn’t grate it. Mostly because I don’t follow directions well.

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The whipped cream was unnecessary, eaten all by itself is divine. Eaten on my grandmothers strawberry dishes makes it taste even better.

Itchy doggie dog food

I love my sweet doggie Stella. My husband and I adopted her in 2011. She was at the shelter after being found roaming the streets. She has been a great dog. She loves and protects us like it is her job. She tolerates my grandchildren who are terrified of her because of her size. She is a very good dog.

About 2 years ago, she got itchy. When I say itchy I mean middle of the night, shaking the house itchy. Her skin was red and she was miserable. We took her to the Vet… No fleas but itchy skin enough to take steroids. As soon as her meds were finished, she itched again. I gave her fish oil.. She itched. I gave her benedryl, she itched. I changed her food to high priced food, she itched. I gave her probiotics, she itched and itched and itched and itched and itched.

I decided to make her own food. Now hard could it be? They lick butts, taste isn’t an issue. They don’t need seasoning and it doesn’t have to be aesthetic, they eat their own vomit. This can’t be too hard. Protein plus carbohydrate plus vitamins….

I tried a few different versions… Beef plus rice plus lentils… She liked it but still itched.

Finally, I have come up with a good combination and she hasn’t been itchy. Her skin isn’t irritated and she seems to like it…. ALOT

I am terrible at measuring things, this is more of an instructional a inspiration than recipe. This is what I do.

Roast a whole chicken. I only use organic chicken. No, I don’t buy organic chicken for my butt licking, vomit eating pooch. I buy a whole chicken because I split it with her. I usually pay between $7 and $9 at Kroger for a decent sized whole chicken. Roast chicken. Limit spices, I usually just use a rosemary salt, and pepper.

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I let it cool and harvest what I want. I want the breasts and some of the thighs. Then I pick it… Really pick it. I wear gloves because it’s gross.

Pick everything off the bones.. The skin, knuckles, meat…. Everything BUT the bones. Discard them or throw them in your back yard for a raccoon to choke on. I have a vendetta, long story that involved my beloved flock of domestic chickens. Die raccoons, die! I digress.

I have the BEST stock pot. A few years ago I was on my way to my dads house in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Along the way I stopped at an antique/junk barn. I bought this beautiful vintage yellow/brown enamel stock pot for $12 !!!!!!!!

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Score!

I fill the stock pot about half full of water. I add the picked chicken mess. It is not for the faint hearted, it is a sloppy gross mess. Stella watches and licks her butt lips.

To that I add a bag of rice.

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Add a bag of lentils

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Coarsely chop a sweet potato or carrots. I used a sweet potato and I don’t peel it.. Just scrub it clean and chop. Remember… Vomit eaters aren’t too picky and there are good nutrients in the skin.

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Allow it to cook on low for about 40 minutes, until rice and lentils are tender and moisture is absorbed.

This is how I made her food until I may have found the magic ingredient….Mr. Jack Mackerel. Yep, cheap regular jack mack. $2.59 a can.

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After it has cooked, I add two cans, juice and all. I usually open a can pour in the mackerel juice and with a butter knife, cut up the pieces of fish.

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It’s not pretty, it’s dog food.

Then I jar and freeze. I used to use pint mason jars… If you leave a space up top, the jar wont crack or break, usually.

20140223-192232.jpg I know, the lid isn’t in tight in this photo, make sure the lids are tight before you out them in the freezer. I take in out the night before so it’s thawed by morning.

I am using something a little better now, a good plastic jar. For over a year, my husband ate peaches at lunch, they came in these jars. I saved or recycled them. They work better. No fear of breaking glass. Bigger portion too.. My dog weighs almost 70 lbs.

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I think the mackerel is an oiler fish. It seems to be the added something that helps her skin.

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