Sweet Potato Orange Cake
Sweet Potato Orange Cake

A couple snowstorms ago, a grocery-shopping spree was timed before the arrival of the first of trillions of snowflakes. In a fury of quickness, a few sweet potatoes were picked up along with the Southern propensity to buy excessive quantities of milk and eggs before a storm. Over time and periods of warmness that melted the snow, other ingredients for delicious recipes were consumed. The sweet potatoes sat still in darkness. It’s not as if they weren’t wanted or a bore, for they were the favorite taste among all the ingredients. One day, a father released a new recipe to the email winds of change. It was a simple cake calling for sweet potatoes. Quite easy the recipe read to be. The supporting ingredients, good for their purpose, tried to be difficult to the process of baking a cake. Read more

Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven
Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven

As a child, the starting sound of a cake mixer being roared into action would lure me into the kitchen. My father gave me a spatula, and I would scrap the sides and the bottom of the bowl after each ingredient was added. Behind his back, I would lick the spatula and the spoon rest. The best taste was the creaming of the sugar and butter. The taste test would temporarily cease when the eggs were added. When the flour was added, the taste test would restart. After pouring the batter into the pan and placing it in the oven, my father would allow me to lick the bowl and the mixer’s beaters.

When I made this Buttermilk Pound Cake this past weekend, I recalled those taste tests as a child. Today, as an adult, there are no restrictions to the amount of cake batter I consume. Instead of scooping the batter with fingers or licking the spoon rest, a clean spoon is used each time I want a taste. I’m usually in a sugar-high state of mind by the time the cake goes into the oven. If the boyfriend caught me, he would remind me how unhealthy it is to eat cake batter because of the raw eggs. Some type of regulation is needed. I treat myself to the batter, because cakes are rarely made in this household of only two. Besides, when the cake was done and cooling on the rack, I went outside to run for 30 minutes, in freezing temperatures. Such sweet indulgences of childhood reminiscences are well deserved.

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Too Easy Apple Skillet Pancake

Skillet Apple Pancake

This is a simple show off recipe. Guests are always amazed when they see a puffed pancake coming out of the oven. This recipe can be altered with substitute ingredients. A little rum to the batter is a nice addition and nuts are optional. Whole milk is the best diary for this recipe, because the pancake will rise better than using soy milk. I’ve heard of some people who add a little cream to the milk. Tart apples are the favorite fruit, but under-ripe pears taste equally good. Add cranberries or raisins to the batter for another variation. Use white sugar or maple syrup to replace the brown sugar, and adjust the quantities to a preferred sweetness. One day, I would like to experiment by adding a little crystallized ginger to the batter before blending it. This recipe is made for a 12-inch iron skillet, but cut the ingredients in half for a 6-inch skillet. Understand one fact about this recipe: this is very easy to make.

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Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Pears and Pecans topped with Whipped Vanilla Cream
Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Pears and Pecans topped with Whipped Vanilla Cream

After a few years of warm winters, it was a treat to wake up to a winter wonderland. And, it’s a blessing to have a fully stocked refrigerator. We served our sweet breakfast with green tea and faux mimosas, orange juice made with wine instead of champagne. We just happened to have a cheap bottle of wine, because it was going to be used in the chicken stew for dinner later in the day. The boyfriend watched his church services via live-stream from the internet. When service was over, the sweets were ready.

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News of Gourmet magazine’s future demise is disheartening. I’ve been trying to find the time to make this recipe since it appeared in the March 2009 issue. Between work, aspirations and promising myself, “If I do five days of exercise, I give myself permission to bake a cake,” I still haven’t found time to test this recipe. I thought I’ll salvage this recipe before Gourmet magazine’s website goes under. If you’ve made this recipe before me, let know how it comes out. Especially, if your version is different than Gourmet magazine’s version. Read more