Carota – Carrot in Italy #3 – Roasted Carrot Appetizer & Competition

March 19th, 2010 / comments 10

We had been invited to a gathering on Sunday afternoon and I roasted the last of the carrots as a base for a hearty carrot spread I took to share.

carrot on blue c egbert Carota   Carrot in Italy #3   Roasted Carrot Appetizer & CompetitionI haven’t figured out what to call it but it was delicious. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Chocolate Chip Date Cake – A Chemist/Baker in the Kitchen

December 2nd, 2009 / comments 4

Last week, as I was serving my favorite chocolate cake, I remembered that my fascination with chemical reactions began when I was eight. Every Saturday morning, I watched Mr. Wizard explain the science behind ordinary things on our fuzzy black and white television. He said that chemical reactions made cakes rise. I wanted to be a chemist at work in the kitchen. It was time to move on from transforming copper saucepans from dull brown to garish, peachy pink with lemon and salt.

Pt Boat 01 c egbert Chocolate Chip Date Cake   A Chemist/Baker in the Kitchen

I was ready for more than powering my green plastic boat across the sink with a chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar. Curdling milk and making my sister cry by adding blue food coloring to her milk were child’s play.

I would become a baker/chemist. Kitchen experiments would be well received if the end results were sweet and tasty. After all, my sister always smiled when she saw a cake. My first cakes began as powder in red and white boxes from the grocery store. I measured water, broke eggs and mixed. Not much chemistry there. I moved onto the more complicated angel food cake mix and enjoyed transforming white powder into fluffy peaks using a primitive, hand operated, eggbeater. That was a bit more fun but I wanted to really make a cake, I wanted to “Start from Scratch!”

Pt egg beater 02 c egbert Chocolate Chip Date Cake   A Chemist/Baker in the KitchenThe first cake I made from scratch was a Chocolate Wacky Cake. I knew that this was the recipe for me when I read the part about creating a volcano with vinegar and baking soda to give the cake its ‘lift’. I had found a way to have both a chemical reaction and a sweet reward. I branched out and created brownies and pound cakes in my search for even more interesting recipes.

When I was nine, I saw a recipe for a walnut, chocolate chip, date cake in a small cookbook from the grocery store. I had only eaten dates at Christmas time and couldn’t imagine how the cake would taste, but with chocolate chips and walnuts, it sounded delicious and it was. I made it a couple of times before I lost the recipe and moved on to the challenge of perfecting tapioca.

ZPD Birthday Cake Chocolate Chip Date Cake   A Chemist/Baker in the Kitchen

Nearly ten years later, I saw a recipe for a chocolate, date cake in a newspaper column. With minor adjustments, this is the cake I have baked for many parties. I always use a Bundt pan and slather the cooled cake with unsweetened, heavy cream that has been beaten to stiff peaks. Last week, I topped the cream with sliced strawberries and promised our guests that I would share the recipe. Here’s how I did it:
… read more


September 13th, 2009 / Comments 1

On Thursday, Charles and I are flying to Sicily for our son’s wedding. Matthew and Alison will be married in Siracusa. Sicily is known for its lemons and also for Limoncello – a lemon flavored liquor server over crushed ice.A Lemon Branch 01 Limoncello
I met a woman at the farmers’ market last week and she said the most difficult part of making Limoncello is the waiting. It takes at least two weeks between step one and step two. A perfect recipe for me since I will be far away from my kitchen for two weeks. Here’s the first step. … read more

Hot Fudge Sauce for Adults Only

September 6th, 2009 / comments 2

An ice cream cone from the White Cottage as an after dinner treat is fun.

D ice cream conepink Hot Fudge Sauce for Adults Only

But since the Cottage Blanc, as we like to call it, is eight miles from the dining room table – a bit too far to travel when guests are ready for dessert, I have created a hot fudge sauce for adults only. It is made of just two ingredients and takes less than thirty seconds to make. If you want to see how I make it, you will have to read on. … read more

Coconut Cake for Denise and Friends

July 1st, 2009 / comments 9

Baking a fabulous cake is fun. Tonight we celebrate Denise’s birthday at a pot luck dinner with friends.

J+Birthday+Cake Coconut Cake for Denise and Friends

I’ll bring the cake. When I have finished, the cake will be delicious and beautiful, but at the moment my kitchen looks as if Lucy and Ethel have had yet another disaster.

cake+01 Coconut Cake for Denise and Friends

I’ll post the details of this delight later today, but first I have to tidy up the kitchen before Ricky gets back.

cake+03 Coconut Cake for Denise and Friends
Okay, most of the sugar and coconut is off the counter, there may be some on the floor but I’ll mop after I post the details.  Here’s how I did it. … read more

Barley Salad

June 12th, 2009 / comments 5

Pasta salads, whether macaroni, orzo, or linguini have become commonplace, available at deli counters and appearing at every pot luck dinner and picnic. Why not use another grain as the featured player in a main course salad?

barley+plant+01+copy Barley Salad

Consider barley for the lead role in a salad with a southwestern flair. Barley, a cereal grain, is a major animal feed crop. Smaller amounts are used for malting in brewing beer and in health food. In Islam, the Prophet Muhammad prescribed barley for grief and the effects of aging.

The first time I was served barley salad I didn’t know what I was eating. I had only experience barley playing a supporting role in beef soup. You can find barley in your market with the bags of dried beans and lentils.  Here’s how I made it: … read more

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