Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Shrimp, Gravy and Rice

Some times things don't look or taste exactly as you expect them to or during the perfect storm both happen.  I don't know about you but I usually feel kind of crappy when that happens (the taste thing not the look thing). 

The other day  was looking for a recipe that would use up the half a pound of shrimp that was vacationing in our freezer so off to the Internet I went.  There were a few recipes that were intriguing at first and then Michael commented that  was shrimp defrosting and brown rice cooking (I think it was going to be shrimp fried rice originally) suddenly inspiration struck! 

A big part of living in Charleston is the food and along with that goes Shrimp, Grits and Gravy.  Being from the northeast we don't eat grits so there was a recipe for Shrimp, Gravy and Rice, sounded interesting and to tell you the absolute truth it didn't taste terrible but it needs a second go around and some adjustments to it.   The recipe will not be posted until I figure it out.  It tasted like it needed less flour and more chicken stock.

In the mean time at some point yesterday we  passed 10,000 page views.  One of the things I have learned after much deep research (checking which pages have had the most views) is that you seem to enjoy recipes more than stories about Bear so I am going to try to post just about cooking but if you have something to tell me about this (like you want pictures of my cute dog) please let me know!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red Wine Velvet Cake

What is left of the Red Wine Velvet cake...before the family gets to it!
I have been invited to join this interesting group of ladies who call themselves "The Hens".  Basically its a group of women who love to cook and all have diverse interests (although we have many different types of artists). For the first time in many years I am the youngest member (when the heck do you stop being the youngest and become the oldest anyway?).  This is the second get together I have been to, the first being last month when I made the Thyme and Parmesan Crackers and some Olive Oil Crackers. 

Today being Valentines Day we all needed to bring a red food...sounds easy but I didn't want to bring anymore tomatoes or beets (since I figured that would be the base of most of the foods we would be having) to the Internet I went!  First I typed in Red food recipes and that got me pretty close to no where until I found this recipe on Oprah's web site!

I was pretty comfortable making the cakes as the directions were straight forward.  My worries were icing the cake and getting it all the way down town without messing up the icing.  To the rescue came the eldest daughter who has way more patience than I do!  She put a crumb coat on the cake and than carefully iced the rest of it and did a pretty dern good job too!  I only know about a crumb layer of cake from watching PBS this morning where Julia Child's had Martha Stewart on making a wedding cake.  Now after I watch something like that I always feel like such an amateur (which I am).  They were making fruit out of such fanciness for us!  All we wanted was a kind of smooth looking icing and a cake that did not slide over as I made a turn (thanks to "The Chew" yesterday for letting me know that I am not the only person that ever happens to).  The daughter figured out that if we put bamboo skewers through top of the cake the layers wouldn't shift all over the place and than some careful skewers through the sides would stop the foil from mushing up the icing!  Well  done Jen!!

So for your reading and hopefully cake making enjoyment is....

Red-Wine Velvet Cake Recipe

Recipe created by Deb Perelman | From the October 2012 issue of
O, The Oprah Magazine
Rather than let an open bottle of red wine languish on the refrigerator shelf, blogger Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, uses it in place of the usual food coloring in a red velvet cake. The result—a rich, fudgy marriage of chocolate and wine—will leave you hopeful for more leftover Pinot Noir in the near future.

Makes 1 cake, to serve 16 to 20.



·    18 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing
·    2 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
·    3/4 cup granulated sugar
·    4 large eggs, at room temperature
·    1 large egg yolk
·    2 1/4 cups red wine
·    1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
·    3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
·    1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder                   
·    3/8 tsp. baking soda
·    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
·    3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
·    3/4 tsp. salt

·    24 ounces cream cheese (three 8-ounce boxes), at room temperature
·    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
·    2 tsp. vanilla extract
·    3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

To make cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Line the bottom of three 9 round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease parchment and sides of pan. Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Add brown and granulated sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk and beat until incorporated, then add red wine and vanilla. (Don't worry if the batter looks a little uneven and grainy.)

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Sift dry mixture over wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold in remaining dry mixture with a rubber spatula.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. The top of each cake should be shiny and smooth. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a rack. (If cakes have domed a bit and you want even layers, trim tops using a long serrated knife held horizontally.)

To make frosting: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in confectioners' sugar.

To frost cake, place one layer on a cake stand or plate and spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat with next 2 layers and spread top and sides with remaining frosting.

Printed from on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

© 2012 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Anne's Hot Sausage Dip

We went and watched the Super Bowl at a friends house last night.  The food and the beer flowed at least until the lights went out at the game. 

I had to work yesterday so Michael was in charge of making what we were bringing over last night.  He did he usual fine job!  He had a recipe, he had a shopping list and off he went.  A friend from church had given me this treat, we had enjoyed at Tea Time after church one Sunday and it is delicious!!!!  Not healthy but tasty!  I do not know who the Anne is that this is named after but she deserves some kind of an award!!!  What you are seeing is the little bit that we brought home with us...I think Michael hid it from everyone else.

Anne's Hot Sausage Dip

1 lb hot sausage
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 10 oz can Rotelle tomatoes
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until the meat crumbles and is no longer pink, drain.  Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.  Stir together sausage, diced tomatoes, reserved liquid and cream cheese.  Spoon into a lightly greased deep casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Now if you are like my husband and think that Rotelle tomatoes are a type of tomatoes just stop there!  They are a brand and they come with different spices and various levels of hotness.