So, now you ladies have Frank feeling all special and whatnot. In the summer, Frank the Fantastic Fartknocker gets attention slathered on him for weeks on end – Father's Day, our anniversary, and his birthday (which is in less than two weeks) roll one right after the other, so you can only just imagine how inflated his cranium is right about now. And now, by popular request, he is here standing over my shoulder waiting to share with you his cream cheese pound cake recipe as well as a few others he likes to cook I like to eat the most. He is dictating and I am typing. Otherwise, you guys would be waiting for J.Lo to admit she used ART before these recipes were posted because he can't type worth a damn. I'm typing exactly what he tells me to, so if anything sounds y'know – stupid – blame him and not me. Now he thinks he's the boss and I'm the secretary. Dork.
Hello, ladies (and gentlemen, if there are any out there like me that does all the cooking). I'll be right with you in a moment because I'm making Moxie's tea, which she too impatient to make for herself. She speeds through the process then complains that hers is too watery. I tell her, "Moxie, how long did you let it steep?"
"What do you mean, 'steep'? I'm too impatient for that."
"And that's why your tea tastes like water."
***Making tea, and now also reheating a bowl of homemade chicken soup that she's requested in addition to the tea. Brat. Spoiled Brat. Moxie interjects – "You made me spoiled. I am a creature of your creation, so deal with it, buddy." *****
The tea is steeping. So without further ado, here is the recipe for the cream cheese pound cake, which is a recipe that I received from Moxie's coworker, Mary. As with everything I cook, I put my own little twist in. That's the key, ladies – use the recipe as a base and tweak it to your liking. I happen to like lemon, so I tend to infuse lemon into a lot of my baking. Meanwhile, Moxie's tea is still steeping. "Patience, grasshopper, " I say to Moxie.
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 sticks of butter, softened
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
butter and cream cheese, creaming well
add sugar, beating until light and fluffy
eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition
flour to creamed mixture stirring until combined
batter into a well greased 10 in. tube pan and bake at 325º for 1 hour and
45 minutes or until cake tests done
in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
Freezes well wrapped in aluminum foil and then a zip lock
This is the basic recipe. I tweak the recipe by adding citrus flavors like lemon, orange, and/or lime with a step in the middle. Let's call this Step 3.5 – after the eggs and before the flour: add the zest and the juice of two lemons to the batter. Moxie said, "What the heck is the zest of a lemon?" In case any of you also need help on that part, just simply grate the peel of the fruit into a bowl.
I also sometimes add a simple glaze on top of this cake and others.
Simple Glaze: Into a mixing bowl, add the juice of one lemon, then add powdered sugar until the glaze is a consistency that you like. I never measure. If it gets too thick, add a little water or more lemon juice. Experiment with different fruit flavors, such as pineapple, mango, and peach.
The picture Moxie posted yesterday was actually a tangerine angel food cake that I made a couple of months ago. Here is a picture of the cream cheese pound cake I made a couple of nights ago:
Now I'm going to put the sugar in Moxie's tea and reheat her soup. B-R-A-T.
The cake she wants me to share next is her favorite. Most of the recipes I try I first saw on a random Food TV show. I saw this one on "Calling All Cooks" a few years ago and it quickly became one of the family's favorite. Moxie usually requests this cake for her birthday. This cake is a bit more labor-intensive than the others, but if baking is your thing you'll find it a fun cake to make and it's worth every bit of the effort that goes into it. Measuring the ingredients is a little odd in this one – you use a 10 oz mug or cup. The name alone is impressive; make this one, and you'll sound like a chef who has mad skills:
3/4 cup shortening
3 1/4 mugs, plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 mugs sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
5 heaping tablespoons cocoa
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 mugs boiling water
***For all ingredients in the cake use a large coffee mug (10 ounces) instead of measuring cups.***
the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 (10-inch) cake pans, greased and
floured, bottom lined with waxed paper. Cut the shortening into the dry
ingredients. In a large coffee mug, place 3 eggs. Fill the mug the rest
of the way with milk and add to the dry mix in the bowl. Then add
another 1/2 mug of milk. Add the vanilla, and boiling water. Mix for 2
minutes on medium speed. Scrape down sides of bowl. Pour into prepared
at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out
clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from
pans, remove waxed paper and let cool completely.
Chocolate buttercream frosting:
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups superfine granulated sugar
1 1/2 pounds butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a double
boiler melt the chocolate, remove from boiler and put aside. In the
double boiler place the 3 egg whites and sugar and cook over medium
heat until warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved. Place mixture in
large mixing bowl and beat until cool. Add the melted chocolate.
When cool, add the butter and vanilla. Mix until fluffy. Use the
mixture as a filling and first layer of frosting on the cake. Place the
cake with the buttercream in the freezer for 1/2 hour to firm up before
covering with the ganache.
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 (12-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate chips.
a saucepan mix and bring to a simmer the whipping cream and butter. Add
in the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Let sit until cool. Frost
cake with the ganache.
The MegaBrat has her soup now. MegaBrat Jr. aka Little Moxie aka Kaelyn is now asking for soup.
Now I'll switch gears and share a savory recipe for all my grillers. This recipe requires a lot of love. It's more about the marinade and less about which meat you use. The recipe (gleaned from the one and only Emeril) calls for pork spare ribs, but I've also done this with chicken, pork chops, and shrimp. This is a crowd pleaser and always goes fast:
Tequila and Lime Pork Spare Ribs
1 rack of pork spare ribs (about 3 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
4 limes, juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
the ribs with salt and pepper. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the oil,
lime juice, tequila, onions, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Whisk
well. Season with salt and pepper. Place the ribs, meat side down, in a
glass baking dish. Pour the marinade over the ribs, coating each side
completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least
12 hours), turning every couple of hours. Remove from the refrigerator
and bring the ribs to room temperature. Preheat the grill on low. Place
the ribs, meat side down, and slow grill the ribs, turning and basting
every 15 minutes. Cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ribs
are tender. Remove from the grill and slice into individual ribs.
I like a little more spice, so I leave the seeds in the jalapenos and add in a third sliced jalapeno.
Here's one more savory recipe you can try. It's another grilled crowd pleaser and it's one of my own invention. It uses the same Tequila Lime marinade above.
Frank's Tequila Lime Grilled Pork Chops with Cornbread Stuffing
In addition to the Tequila Lime marinade, you will need:
4 (four) 1.5 inch thick pork chops with the bone. The butcher can cut them for you at your request.
1 pkg mild Italian sausage (already ground is preferable, but you can buy the links and squeeze the sausage out of the casing)
1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
Prepping the Pork Chops:
Prepare Tequila Lime marinade. Cut a wide pocket into the side of each pork chop, then marinate for 12-24 hours.
Prepare the Jiffy cornbread batter as instructed, but add 1/4 cup of sugar to the batter. Bake according to the directions.
Dice the bell peppers and onion. Saute in a skillet with butter for 5-7 minutes. Add in Italian sausage and cook until done. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to mash the cornbread together with the sausage mixture. Set aside.
Put it all together:
Grill the pork chops until done, using the same basting method as used in the Tequila Lime Rib recipe. Once the pork chops are done, stuff them immediately with warm cornbread stuffing. Reheat the cornbread mixture prior to stuffing into the pork chops if necessary. If there is extra stuffing, it works well as a side dish. Any fresh vegetable or salad is a great accompaniment to this recipe.
The MegaBrat is fed. The MiniBrats are fed. Now I will feed myself. It's been real, it's been fun. Until the next time I drop in and share some new recipes, enjoy. Make 'em with love, meaning, take your timewith them. Moxie always says that I cook so slowly, but that's because I put my looooove into it. I'm slow with the cookin'; she's fast with the grubbin'.
Moxie says: It's no wonder why my ass never gets any smaller.