Monday 30 January 2012


I don’t know where you live, but if you're in Toronto, you know how much snow we’ve had this winter – four feet of fuck-all. It feels like I’m trapped in the longest March of my life.

I know some of you exercise types might be happy about that, but the rest of us ain't. I paid good money to have snow tires put on the car. Is one catastrophic blizzard too much to ask for?

Until we get snow, here’s a tasty stand in. Granted, you can’t build a fort out of these snowballs. And I wouldn’t want one of these whipped at my head (unless my mouth was open). But they taste a lot better than actual snow. If you can remember what snow tastes like. Sigh.

1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 cup coconut
Icing Mixture
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon icing sugar

Cream icing sugar, butter and peanut butter together. Add the Rice Krispies and make into small balls. Add and mix the icing sugar and milk to make the mixture into which the balls are dipped. After dipping, roll in coconut. NO BAKING IS REQUIRED!

WEATHER UPDATE: I posted this in the morning. It's evening now and guess what? It's snowing. Coincidence? I don't think so. I'm on the phone to the Ripley's Believe or Not people right now.

Source: Cooking Favorites of Coburg, Ladies Auxiliary Branch 133

Monday 23 January 2012

Cheese Snacks


I’m about as caker as you can get, but that doesn’t mean my own people can’t mystify me at times. Or horrify me. (This still gives me nightmares.) Still, I’m willing to give most cakers the benefit of the doubt.

When I saw this recipe, I wondered, “Why?” Why dip cubes of bread into cheddar cheese soup? Was this an appetizer? A main course for low-income cakers? The ramblings of a mad church lady?

But I made them, because you never know. These could be totally delicious. Right?

Let’s just say my people continue to mystify me.

1 can Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup
1 can milk (as per soup instructions)
Stale bread, cut into cubes (see note)

Prepare Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup as directed with milk. Dip bread on three sides [EDITOR'S NOTE: A cube has six sides. Why are the other three sides completely ignored?!? This should've been my first red flag.] and place on pan. Put in 450º to 475º oven for 8-10 minutes.

Note: I used sour dough bread because I thought it would taste better. Chalk one up to naïveté.

Source: Our 20th Anniversary Cookbook, Lambeth Co-operative Playschool Inc.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

If you're anything like me, you spent most of your youth inhaling King Dongs, Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes. When I came across this recipe recently, I passed it along to my sister. She whipped up a batch (thanks, sis!) and served them at our family dinner tonight.

Everyone had two. Enough said. You can find the recipe here.

Now if only I had a homemade Twinkie recipe...

UPDATE: I made these and they ain't caker. They took over 2 hours to make!! If you can't make it in less than 15 minutes, that's breaking a fundamental rule of caker cooking. But they were tasty.

PS: Thanks to Morag for the photo!

Monday 16 January 2012

Mexican Rice Salad

If there's one place you'll always find a caker, it's a bar – a salad bar.

I don't know when the love affair between cakers and salad dressing began, but let's just say it's been a hot and creamy one ever since.

Consider the cornucopia of flavours available to us: Thousand Island, French, Italian, Ranch, and, of course, the seductive sweet/sour tang of Catalina.

Speaking of Catalina, here's a recipe that takes it from the salad bar and into the heart of Mexican cuisine. OK, maybe not the "heart." More like the pinkie toe.

2 cups cooked rice (cooled)
1 green pepper
1 small onion
2 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup sliced, stuffed olives
½ bottle Catalina salad dressing

Mix chopped vegetables. Add rice, then dressing. Mix well.

Source: This recipe book doesn't have a cover, but I think it's a collection from Eaton’s employees. And can I just say how much I miss Eaton's?

Monday 9 January 2012

Battle of the Peanut Butter Cookies: Cakers vs. Mennonites

I recently came across two peanut butter cookie recipes. One was a caker recipe using white cake mix. The other was a "top secret" Mennonite recipe calling for Bisquick. That got me wondering. In the ultimate PB cookie throwdown, which of these cookies would reign supreme?

I made both and conducted taste tests among my colleagues. In the end, it all came down to texture. The cake mix cookie was crisp whereas the Mennonite cookie was soft. Suffice to say, the Mennonite cookie won by a landslide. (See what happens when you have God on your side?)  Personally, my favourite was the crispier cookie. Then again, I'm a caker. Go figure.

I’m posting both recipes so you can try both and then wonder why, like me, you’re having to spray your legs with PAM every morning to get on your Orange Tab Levi’s.

Peanut Butter Cookies The Cake Mix Way
1 large package white cake mix
½ cup oil
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients. Scrape from teaspoon onto ungreased sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes. Yields approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Source: High Park Elementary School Cookbook

Mennonite Peanut Butter Cookie
2 cups Bisquick
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar, place on a baking sheet and gently flatten with a fork. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes only. Makes about 36 cookies.

Source: Apparently, this is a “top secret” recipe, so I can’t reveal the source. Those Mennonites don’t like their recipes getting out into the world, especially if it's into the hands of a caker. Needless to say, I’m checking over my shoulder these days. But to the person who passed it along - thanks!

Tuesday 3 January 2012

The Ruby Slipper Cake

After the disaster that was Pizza in a Tunnel at Caker Christmas 2011, I needed to repair the reputation of a caker staple found at funerals, baby showers and Sunday visits with spinster aunts. Yep, I’m talkin’ ‘bout da Bundt.

Just imagine the delight on everyone’s face when you slice through The Ruby Slipper Cake to reveal its secret neon interior. Whether or not that interior resembles a “slipper” is open for debate. I suppose calling it “The Ruby Slash Cake” sounds a little sinister. Or dirty. Or both.

Either way, this cake puts the fun back into your Bundt.

Wait a minute. Does that make this a Fundt?

½ cup chopped pecans (see note)
1 package white cake mix
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup water
2 eggs
1 package (3 oz) JELL-O Raspberry Jelly Powder
Icing Sugar

Sprinkle nuts evenly over bottom of a thoroughly greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Combine cake mix, sour cream, water and eggs in large mixer bowl. Blend. Then beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle jelly powder into ½ cup batter and blend. Pour on third of batter over nuts in pan. Spoon about half of jelly mixture in a one-inch ring around the centre of the pan, keeping away from sides. Repeat layers ending with white cake batter, spreading it over the jelly mixture to cover. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove and continue cooling. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Note: I don’t know about you, but my ass is post-holiday broke. I opted for walnuts because they're cheaper.

Source: Not sure. But I bet this clipping is taken from a TV Guide featuring the cast of Diff’rent Strokes on the cover.