Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fennel and Radish Salad of Deliciousness

I have been wanting to figure out how to make new and exciting salads for myself, seeing as how I'm bored with the usual greens, tomatoes, green onions, carrots...blah, blah, blah. Martha Stewart must have read my mind when she put together the ideas in issue 83 of Everyday Food!!! One of the fabulous salads featured was a fennel and radish salad that sounded like exactly what I have been looking for. I whipped it up and found that although it was tasty...it needed more zip...so I added some white balsamic vinegar and it was GENIUS! Enjoy this tasty, crunchy salad alongside a roast chicken hot out of the oven and you'll know that summer is on its way!

Fennel and Radish Salad

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
White balsamic vinegar to taste

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, white-wine vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add fennel bulbs, radishes and capers to the bowl. Toss to combine.
3. Sprinkle white balsamic over salad, about 1 tsp at a time, tasting as you go until you have enough acid.
4. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and enjoy!
Serves 4

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Cake (A bit late but still delicious!)

A family from church has completely adopted me and today (Mother's Day!) I made a cake to honor the sweet, sweet mom in the family! She has become a dear friend and someone whose love I cherish. The love her family has shared with me has changed me and my life. The family that she has made is exceptional. I honestly can't imagine my life without them. In honor of how amazing this lady is, I decided to make a White Velvet Butter Cake filled with my homemade strawberry jam and topped with, my favorite, Seven Minute Frosting. A sweet treat for a sweet friend and awesome mom!

Happy Mother's Day Heidi!!!!!

White Velvet Butter Cake
from The Cake Bible, Rose Levy Beranbaum

5 lg. egg whites
1 c. milk, whole
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 c. sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, line with parchment, grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 c. milk and vanilla.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula. The pans will be about 1/2 full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until
  5. a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto greased wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely before icing.
Seven Minute Frosting
from The Joy of Cooking, Rombauer & Becker

2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 c. sugar
5 tbsp. cold water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Place everything except the vanilla in the top of a double boiler over rapidly boiling water. Beat them constantly with an electric hand mixer for 7 minutes. Remove icing from heat.
  2. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the icing is the right consistency to spread.
  3. Makes about 2 cups.