Friday, January 30, 2009

Ice Age 2009

We are covered in a layer of ice. Kentucky has been declared a state of emergency. 600,000 homes have been without power. This poor little bird was sitting on my porch during the worst of the storm.
View from my dinning room window

Our power went out before 9 on Tuesday morning. We stayed put until about 4 that afternoon. We left for town 10 miles away where my mother still had power. We were very lucky because before the freezing rain stopped much later that night 90 percent of our county had lost power.

Ice covered pine trees

This is how it looked as we drove into town. Ice was covering everything. Trees were across the road in several places. Some limbs even fell in the road just in front of us. Thank heavens we made it safely.

Holly shrubs outside my mothers house

Everything in sight is covered with about 1/2 inch layer of ice

We went home on day three to check on things. The national guard was working to clean up the limbs that had fallen across the road and cut others that had fallen across power lines. Thanks guys.

When we returned home our yard was covered with many large fallen limbs. These are the Pin Oak trees in our yard. There are five of them. The front ones have heavy damage but luckily no limbs fell on our house.

Today is our fourth day away from home. Daughters 2 and 3 also have no power so they have joined us at my mothers house. Daughter 1 has been in South Beach (don't you hate that).My mother has taken in 6 extra people and 3 dogs. Bless her heart. We are warm and have plenty to eat so we are lucky. The word is that the power may not be restored for days or in some places even weeks. Everyone returned to work today except for me. Who knows when school will resume. Today is clear and sunny but there is more snow in the forecast. I'm just enjoying being with my family. I guess the Super Bowl Party is going to change locations.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread. Gingerbread is not something that I make very often and then it is usually in the form of cookies at Christmas. I can't remember ever having chocolate with it, just whipped cream or a lemon sauce. I love chocolate so I thought that this might be a great combination. Dorie got it right as usual. This is a very good gingerbread. It was spicy but not overly so, and the chocolate was a nice compliment to its taste and texture.

I baked this in an 8x8 square pan and as Dorie suggested didn't put in all the batter. I had enough batter left over to fill a mini loaf pan. I frosted the larger cake with the chocolate icing and left the smaller one plain. I cut the larger cake into 16 snack size pieces. Both ways were very tasty. The mini ones would make cute gifts.

Thanks to Heather of Sherry Trifle for choosing another winning recipe.

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Tuesdays with Dorie this week. (instead Honey Pecan Sticky Buns)

Sorry, I'm a slacker. I just couldn't get it together this week. It has been bitterly cold here this week and I just didn't feel like making all that whipped cream to go along with this weeks recipe. The recipe was Berry Surprise Cake and it looks like a really good recipe. I will try to make it sometime in the future but this week I was just too cold. I even found some nice fresh raspberries but that still didn't change my mind.

The only thing that I could think about was baking bread. I have been wanting to try the Honey Pecan Sticky Buns on pages 51-53 of Baking, From my home to yours, so I decided that this would be the perfect time. These did not disappoint. They are awesome. The only problem is trying to stop at eating just one. Let's just hope that spring comes early.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

My family loves cornbread. My husband thinks that it should be served at every meal with enough left over to have as a bedtime snack crumbled into a bowl with milk. It can be baked in a cast iron skillet, fried on the stove top, made with buttermilk and eggs or even hot water. They love them all. But in the South there are rules about cornbread and everyone has a preference. Here in Kentucky you will find both types of cornbread (without sugar and with). The rules of my house say that there will never be sugar added to cornbread. I do not set these rules. They were established long before I ever made my first cornbread and I usually obey them.

This week’s recipe is Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins and was chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake. This muffin has red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, chili powder, and cilantro added to the cornbread batter. I usually like to follow Dories’ instructions to the letter but decided to change things just a little. I cut the sugar down to 2 Tablespoons, just because it’s hard for a Southern girl to put that much sugar into her cornbread. I also baked the muffins in a cast iron muffin mold.

I served these muffins along with a bowl of chili for lunch on Sunday. My family agreed to try them even though they are cornbread snobs. The verdict: they actually liked them. I have a dark secret. I like sweet cornbread and I liked this week’s recipe.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

French Pear Tart

The first recipe for the new year is French Pear Tart and it was chosen by Dorie herself. As always the recipe was a winner, something that you want to make again. It consists of a sweet tart crust, almond cream, and of all things, canned pears. This tart is not too sweet or heavy with just a hint of rum in the almond cream.

This was the first time that I had used the sweet tart dough and I think that I handled it a little too long because my crust was a little crumbly. It still tasted great but it crumbled just a bit when I removed the sides of the tart pan.
Thank you Dorie for all the great recipes. I have tried new recipes and learned new ways to make old favorites. I am looking foward to another great year of baking.