October 29, 2013

Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilling: A technique that guarantees to make any and every food taste exponentially more mouth-watering.

Apply said technique to classic Caesar, lettuce and all (but not the dressing), and boom! you've a lunch that makes people say "interesting," think "weird" and then pronounce "delicious" upon taste.

 I recommend serving it up on a back deck with my favorite Caesar twists: bell peppers and almonds in place of croutons.

October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Chapter 1: The Reaction
To: Madoline
From: Coworker
Subject: Yum!!!
Message: That's the best pumpkin cake I've ever had.
(This was copied and pasted from an actual email, for full disclosure.)

Chapter 2: The End Product
Dense, buttery cake.
      Then, pumpkin pie.
            Finally, buttery cinnamon streusal sprinkled on top.
                  All melded together in the oven.

Chapter 3: From Whence It Came
My friend Brianne's aunt's pumpkin cake recipe.
The one she brought to Southern Progress fellow potlucks.
The one made with cake mix.
Tweaked to be from scratch by subbing in parts of some random "homemade cake mix" recipe Google found me.

Chapter 4: The Critique
I took this baking project on too late on a school (err, work) night (over-ambition in the kitchen=my downfall in life). And then I had to do math to combine recipes because I wanted to be original (originality for the sake of originality=not always the best idea). And then it was 11:30 p.m. and the top of the cake was STILL not set. And I just wanted to go to bed. So, yeah, I had bias against this cake before the innocent thing made it out of the oven. It ended up tasting sweet and richly dense, yes, but also too much like pumpkin pie for this Thanksgiving-pie hater. I ate a bit, gave away most of it, and then moved on to... chocolate, my one true love. But now I baked something seasonal and something original, so I can check that off my list and move back to the 17,987th variation on chocolate cookies and cakes I can develop.

Also, it was really ugly to photograph. That's why you basically see pictures of plant green and tree/house bright yellow with only a splash of all shades of distasteful browns and oranges, brightened in Photoshop.