Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cherry Pound Cake Recipe

Turn your pound cake into something delightful with delicious, colorful maraschino cherries. This cake adds color to a party table or luncheon. I bake the cherry pound cake as a dessert after Sunday Brunch and it's a great springtime cake. This is the recipe mentioned in the Easter Sunday Brunch Menu Plan I posted earlier.

Cherry Pound Cake:

10" tube pan (well greased and floured)
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. confectionery sugar
1 C. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. maraschino cherries (diced or halved)

Cinnamon and sugar for topping.

Sift together: flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Add the confectionery sugar to the shortening and blend well. Add the vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Blend well.

Fold in the cherries.

Turn into the tube pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes.

Remove from the pan while still warm and sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.

This is a large, rich cake. Hope you like it as much as I do!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Springtime Pineapple Squares Recipe

If you like pineapple, you will love this pineapple squares recipe. It is a crowd pleaser!

1 can (1 lb. 4 oz.)crushed pineapple
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
2 TBS. butter
1 TBS. sugar
1 egg

1 C. sugar
2 TBS. soft butter
1 egg
1 C. coconut
Beat sugar, butter and egg. Then stir in coconut.
Turn pineapple into a wire strainer and drain well. Sift flour with baking powder and salt.

Cream butter, sugar, and egg together
Blend in flour mixture.

Spread into an 8” square pan.

Spread drained pineapple over batter.

Sprinkle with topping, using fingers to level the mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cut into 16 2” squares

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Sunday Brunch Menu Plan

Easter Brunch is a tradition in my house and I thought you might enjoy a menu plan list of all the Brunch foods that I serve to my family. Everything on the list is a favorite of someone and I wouldn't omit any of the recipes from my Easter Brunch. If you're thinking of having an Easter Brunch or a Sunday Brunch anytime of the year, check out this menu plan. Your guests will love it!

An Easter Sunday Brunch is a wonderful change from the usual holiday dinners. A brunch offers a wide variety of foods that are a special Easter treat.

The following Easter Brunch Menu is one I have been serving my family for years. The family grows a little bit each year with the addition of my children's new wives or husbands and of course grandchildren. The Sunday brunch menu is ideal for a large dinner party because each dish feeds a number of people.

Easter Brunch Menu
Homemade Cheese Ball with assorted crackers
Shrimp Cocktail with Cocktail Sauce
Hard Boiled Eggs - colored for Easter

Main Brunch Menu

Cinnamon French Toast with Pure Maple Syrup and Powdered Sugar
Banana Bread
Homemade Blueberry Muffins
Quiche Lorraine
Scrambled Eggs
Warm Popovers
Home Fries
Cold Cuts - Imported Ham, Genoa Salami, Povolone, Lorraine Swiss
Dinner Rolls
Waldorf Fruit Salad
Fresh Strawberries in Sweetened Whipped Cream
Hot Coffee with Cream
Hot Coffee with Cream

Dessert Course:

Cheesecake (everyone's favorite)
Pineapple Squares
Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Cherry Pound Cake
Banana Cream Pie
Hot Coffee

Following the main brunch menu, the table is cleared and the dishes cleaned up. Then by middle of the afternoon everyone is ready for the dessert course. Each member of the family has a favorite dessert but that doesn't stop anyone from sampling each item.

I'm already preparing for this year's Easter Brunch and yes, there is a new member of the family. My daughter was married this year, so there will be another plate added to the brunch table.
Consider having an Easter Sunday Brunch this year. I bet it will turn out to be a tradition in your family, just like it did in mine.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Simple Party Cake for Passover or Easter

You can't beat this perfect party cake for upcoming Easter and Passover celebrations. The cake is easy and quick to prepare.

This time saving dessert can be whipped up in no time before your guests arrive. All you need to do is pick up an angel food cake mix at the grocery store, whipped cream, and fruit cocktail or fresh strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, blueberries, or peaches.

The fruit or fruit cocktail gives a colorful, festive look to the cake and the dessert table.

Colorful, Easy Easter or Passover Cake:

1 (16 oz.) can fruit cocktail or fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, or peaches

1 C. whipped cream or Cool Whip

1 Baked Angel Food Cake

Bake the cake in a tube pan according to package directions.

Drain the fruit cocktail (cut up fruit if using fresh).

Fold the fruit into the whipped cream and fill the hole in the center of the cake.

Use the remaining whipped cream and fruit to garnish the top of the cake.

That's all there is to it. You could also buy a baked Angel Food Cake in your grocery store's bakery. This cuts down preparation time to practically nothing.

My family loves this cake for Easter. The recipe couldn't be easier.

Essential Baking Tips and a Guide to a Well Stocked Kitchen

The following easy cooking tips are for everyone, whether you are a beginning cook or an old hand at baking. These baking techniques will make preparing your favorite recipes easier, better, and more fun!Let’s start with some basic rules about preparing your kitchen for baking.

Basic Baking Rules:

  • Be Orderly and Organized – Plan the things you need before you start baking. Choose the recipe you want to make and read through it carefully. Make sure you understand all the measurements and preparation needed. Collect all the ingredients the recipe calls for, following the ingredients list in order. Assemble all the kitchen utensils that are needed. Cultivate this habit of being orderly and cooking will be a breeze.

  • Use Quality Kitchen Tools - Good kitchen utensils make cooking a lot easier. They allow you to mix the ingredients more efficiently and measure ingredients with more accuracy. Quality mixers, blenders, baking pans, and measuring cups speed up the food preparation process, saving valuable time and energy. Here are a few kitchen essentials for preparing any recipe: electric stand alone mixer or electric hand mixer, assorted spatulas, measuring cups and measuring spoons, wooden spoon, sharp cutting knives, wire whisk, flour sieve, mixing bowls in a variety of sizes, baking pans (stainless steel pans are wonderful), pastry brush, biscuit cutter, cake tester, wire cooling racks, oven thermometer, candy thermometer, cake decorator tubes with assorted cake decorating tips. Obviously, you don’t need all of these items for every recipe, but if you stock your kitchen with these baking utensils, you will be ready to prepare just about any recipe.

  • Buy Good Ingredients - You can’t expect delicious results without good ingredients. Be sure to buy fresh ingredients and fine quality products. This is especially true of baking powder and baking soda. They lose their effectiveness over time, preventing proper rising of the cake batter.

  • Measure Accurately – This is a “must” for all baking! You can buy the finest ingredients available, have the best cooking skills, but if you don’t measure correctly, the recipe will be a flop. Measurements are always level.

  • Mix Carefully – Most recipes explain exactly how and in what order to mix ingredients together. Follow the step by step instructions that the recipe illustrates. You can’t just mix all the ingredients together at once. Follow the recipe to the letter and you won’t run into any problems.

  • Know Your Pans, Oven, and How to Cool Your Cakes - The baking process for any recipe is very important. Having the correct size pan, accurate oven temperature, a time-table for baking, and the correct cooling time after baking is necessary (most cakes should cool in the pan for 10 minutes before trying to remove them). This can vary by recipe, so make sure you follow the cooling instructions.

I’ll be adding many more cooking and baking tips on a regular basis, as well as tried and true, delicious recipes, so check in daily for more techniques on how to become a Star at baking!