Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Trio of Special Desserts for Mother's Day

Photo courtesy of Love This Pic

We have another week to plan for our Mother's Day celebrations. I wanted to re-post these special desserts for those of you who are responsible for preparing food for the day. They are not easy recipes, but they are doable, and she'll be thrilled that you thought enough of her to serve something so grand on her special day. The recipes, which come from sources that are identified within the original posts, are not difficult to follow, and while they take some time to make, you should have no trouble with them if you follow directions. Here are three special desserts for your consideration.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Braised Coconut Curry Chicken


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...t was a busy day today. Fortunately, I had forewarning, so I planned an easy, two step, chicken dinner. We occasionally have a curry and because the weather turned colder, I thought it would make a perfect spring supper. I used a recipe from about.com and because it was a braise, I did the prep work and browning early in the day and finished the chicken in a low, slow oven once I made it home. The chicken is savory and can pack some heat depending on the type of curry powder you use. The recipe is easy to follow and you'll have no problem making this curry, though I suggest you use butter instead of oil to brown the chicken and aromatic vegetables. Served with a green salad and rice or grits, it makes a great weeknight meal. I hope you will give it a try. Here is how the chicken is made.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese or Ermine Icing


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm still testing Red Velvet Cake recipes. I must be more of a purist than I think myself to be, because I still find it off-putting to add food coloring to a dessert. I'm apparently in the majority because there are scads of folks who love the cake, red dye or no. Tonight's experiment uses the recipe that comes from the McCormick test kitchen, and I must admit it makes a nice cake. I do think the icing that comes with the recipe is too sweet, so I'm including a recipe for Ermine icing at the end of this post. The original red velvet cake got its color from beets and was frosted with a cooked icing that was called Ermine Frosting. This is a lovely moist cake with a velvet crumb and I know you will appreciate the ease with which the cake comes together. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and required adjustments for cooking time, relative to pan size, are included in the cook's notes below. If you like Red Velvet cake, I urge you to give this recipe a try, though I suggest you use the less sweet Ermine icing to frost your cake. Here is how the cake is made.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sachertorte


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I rarely post recipes that are involved and I never post recipes that are beyond the skill level of a good home cook. Many will think tonight's Sachertorte is more than they can handle, but that is not the case. The cake has three elements and if you tackle them a step at a time, you'll have no trouble making this classic torte. I don't make it often, but the Silver Fox comes from an Austrian family and this was the "special occasion" cake of his childhood and he requested it for our anniversary last week. How could I say no. His mother "always" made it for him. The recipe I use is long, but it is easy to follow and it produces a lovely European-style torte, that is moister than most versions of Sachertorte. I know you will like it, so, if you have a need for a cake that will impress, do give this one a try. Here is how it's made.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Red Velvet Pound Cake


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I having a get-together on Friday. It's what my friends and I call a brown bag lunch and it makes life very easy for the hostess who need supply only drinks and dessert for the occasion. With that in mind, I've been experimenting with some cakes, and by trial and error, I've come up with the two I want to serve. One is a hot milk sponge cake and the other is a red velvet sheet cake. The lovely cake I'm featuring tonight did not make the final cut, but it is so good that I wanted to share it with those of you who are fond of red velvet cake. It's made using an easy recipe from The New York Times. The cake has a lovely crumb and will stay moist for several days after it has been baked. I finish it with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, but it can be frosted if that is more to your liking. Here is how it is made.

Red Velvet Pound Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of The New York Times

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter + 2 tablespoons, room temperature, divided use
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided use
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup whole buttermilk
1 tablespoon vinegar
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions:
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 (9 x 5 x 3-inch) loaf pans by buttering lightly with 2 tablespoons butter. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper, then sprinkle pans with 1 tablespoon sifted cocoa powder, tapping to coat and discarding extra cocoa.
2) Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time and beat until each is incorporated. Mix in vanilla.
3) In a separate bowl, make a paste of the remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa and the food coloring. Blend into butter mixture.
4) Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Alternating in 2 batches each, add dry ingredients and buttermilk to butter mixture. In the last batch of buttermilk, mix in the vinegar before adding to batter. Mix until blended.
5) Divide batter among 2 pans and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake just comes out clean.
6) Remove cake from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes. Run a spatula or knife around inside of pan and then remove cake from the pan, peel off parchment paper, re-invert, and cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 2 cakes (16 servings).


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Friday, April 22, 2016

A Quick Asian Inspired Meal - Maple Glazed Flank Steak


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a great Asian-inspired main course that is really easy to make. The recipe is simple to follow and you'll have no problem getting this steak to the table. Flank steak, however,  can be tricky to work with because, despite best efforts, it can be tough and stringy. I urge you to use a jaccard or fork to tenderize the meat before you place it in the marinade. The steak is remarkably flavorful and I love to serve it with rice noodles and an Asian cucumber salad. This version of flank steak comes from Cooking Light magazine and I know you and your family will love its figure friendly flavor. Here is how the steak is made.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies


From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This cookie is designed for those whose love of shortbread is matched by a fondness for lemon curd. This simple cookie is a breeze to make and it is very forgiving. As far as ingredients go, homemade lemon curd is fine, but any commercial brand whose taste appeals to you can be used if you are pressed for time. This is a very short cookie, so I'm afraid it doesn't travel well. The cookies, however, are perfect for a coffee or tea that is held in your own home. Do give them a try. You'll find they are addictive. Here is how the cookies are made.

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