Thursday, September 25, 2008

A spark of Creativity

Whenever it is someones birthday, I feel that little spark of creativity flare up. I constantly want to give gifts that will surprise and please the other person. Currently I am working on a few gifts but this one I was particularly proud of. It is my newest painting. I painted it for FiL because I couldn't afford to get anything nice...I like it though and so does my husband. I hope you do too. I would love feedback...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cake on the go!

I love to bake.
I love to create wonderful, yummy things in my kitchen. I am not really into the low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium, low-taste diet. So I tend to make things the way my grandmother used to. When I am baking an old family recipe, like my great aunt's banana bread, my grandmother's divinity or my mother's chocolate chip cookies I get all nostalgic. That's what baking is to me, remembering good memories and making new ones.
This recipe was my mothers but I like to think it's older than that. It is actually completely vegan. I think that is just because, in way back when, it was hard to have things like milk or eggs on hand unless you lived on a farm. Of course, this might be just a fanciful thought. One I enjoy, so please don't burst my bubble. It's labeled as a vinegar cake but don't let that fool you. It is moist, rich and wonderful. It's not so sweet that you can't handle a big piece but you don't even have to frost it for it to taste good. Okay, now I sound like I am rambling....

This cake is usually made in a full size pan but with my family on the go..I went with cupcake style. It actually worked out pretty well.

Here's the recipe...

Wacky Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup oil
2 cups cold water

Combine in large bowl, flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and soda. Mix throughly.
Make 3 large dents in the mixture.
In first dent add oil, in next second vinegar, add vanilla in third.
Pour water over all and mix in.

Bake in 325 degree oven ( in glass cake pan)
or in 350 degree oven for metal pan
(I used 350 for the cupcakes and baked them for 25 minutes)

Bake for 30 minutes.

Surface will be sticky but an inserted toothpick should come out clean.

Homemade Macaroni Salad

I came up with this in the middle of summer, and here in Florida, the middle of summer means that you are trying to cook dinner in 120 degree heat. I have a tiny kitchen and when I get the oven going it is unbearable. So this is my quick remedy for a side with sandwich, salad or grilled dinners. You can add olives or whatever to it also. I happen to dislike olives hence making my own recipe. It became a huge hit with my family and is a great snack to keep in the fridge.

Homemade Macaroni Salad

6 cups water
2 cups macaroni
1 small diced green pepper (or 1/2 a large one)
1 small diced red pepper (or 1/2 a large one)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup miracle whip ( or mayo and use 1 tsp vinegar)
1/3 cup ranch
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and add macaroni. Cook until tender. Drain and rinse until cool.
In Large bowl, add macaroni and sprinkle with lemon juice (and vinegar).
Add peppers and onions. Stir to mix in.
Add ranch and miracle whip (or mayo) and stir to evenly coat.
Salt and pepper if desired.

So yummy! Also quick and easy. Hope you love it!