Monday 27 May 2013

Pink Thing

The bad news? We’re at the end of Unfortunately Named Caker Recipe Month. The good news? I’ve got something pink.

Like most cakers, I enjoy entertaining. Once the crockpot has been unplugged, the paper plates crammed into the garbage and the Taster’s Choice has been served, there’s nothing I like more than turning to my guests and asking, “Who’s got room for some Pink Thing?”

Look, there’s no reason to feel ashamed – everyone should indulge every now and then. Pink Thing is creamy, tasty as heck and hits the spot. Toss in some nuts and you’re in seventh heaven. Take it from someone who knows – Pink Thing delivers!

A few months back, I gave readers the chance to win copies of my novel, Natural Order, along with a handwritten recipe card. Fellow blogger Mimi was one of the winners and I sent her the recipe for Pink Thing. (Check out her results.) Naturally, I had to taste Pink Thing for myself – and now I’ve got another contest lined up!

Simply leave a comment that uses Pink Thing in a sentence. I’ll pick the best one and send the winner a copy of my first book, Fruit. I’ll even sign it so you get an extra 50 cents on eBay. Make sure you leave your comment by next Sunday, June 2. (And yes, you can opt in as "Anonymous.")

Good luck!

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 carton Cool Whip
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

Mix and refrigerate overnight. Spoon into pudding dishes or parfait glasses. Serves 8.

Source: London Newcomer’s Cook Book

(Yep, this is the same gem that gave me “This is Terrible – the Soda is Overwhelming!” Cherry Pudding.)

Monday 20 May 2013

Make Do Squares

It's week three of Unfortunately Named Caker Recipes and I can hardly stand the excitement. This week’s recipe doesn’t have the same visual associations as Bun Spread or Corn Ring, but I think these squares are about as unfortunately named as caker recipes get.

Nothing says “low expectations” more than Make Do Squares. I’m not saying that cakers take a lot of pride in our cooking, but most of us at least put some effort into faking it. Call these squares “Cereal Celebration Crunchies.” Call them “Chocolate Cheerio Squares.” Just don't call them what they are – which is pretty much a brown cube of I-simply-don't-give-a-crap.

If you do make Make Do Squares, avoid bringing them to funerals, bridal showers or anniversary parties. You’ll send a mixed message which will leave people thinking you’re a) mean b) lazy c) suicidal or d) all three. Instead, save them for yourself for those times when you’re tired of making do with your job, your weight or your oppressive, suffocating relationship with Mother.

1/3 pound butter or margarine (see note)
12 ounce package chocolate or butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
8 ounce package walnuts
1 bag miniature marshmallows or 3 to 4 cups of your favourite cereal (ie Captain Crunch, Cheerios)

Melt the butter, chips and peanut butter over medium heat. Add vanilla and remaining ingredients. Press into buttered 8 x 12 pan. Cool. Cut into squares.

Note: I screwed up the recipe and accidentally used 2/3 pounds of butter. They turned out a little, er, slick. But that's okay. I made did with them.

Source: Simply Delicious! A Collection of our Favourite Recipes, The United Way of Leeds and Grenville

Monday 13 May 2013

Corn Ring

Well, here we are – week two of Unfortunately Named Caker Recipe Month. This week’s gem features an ingredient that cakers often refer to as “liquid gold.” That's right, I’m talking creamed corn.

Although most cakers don’t like vegetables, we make an exception for creamed corn. Mainly because it has sugar. It’s also less work to chew since the niblets are all soft and mushy. And, being imaginative people, cakers are also fascinated by the shapes creamed corn makes as it spreads across our dinner plates. ("Look, mother! A goat!")

Although it’s unfortunately named (and ugly as a one-eyed toad), Corn Ring is a dish I’d proudly serve to company at Sunday dinner. If I had Sunday dinners. Or company. It’s basically a moist, oat-laden meatloaf wrapped around a steaming hot lake of creamed corn goodness. And who wouldn’t dive right into that?

Now that I stop to think about it, the corn doesn’t make the “ring.” The ground beef does. The corn makes the hole in the centre. So really, this should be called Corn…uh, never mind. I just realized this dish was about to fall into a new category: Really Unfortunately Named Caker Recipes.

1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 cup uncooked Quaker oats
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
¼ cup chopped onion
2 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 14 ounce can creamed corn
Combine all ingredients except corn thoroughly. Pack firmly in 1 quart casserole dish. Make a hole in centre and put in corn. Bake at 375° approximately 1 hour. Serves 6.

Source: The Cooking Secrets of First United Church Women, Port Credit, Mississauga

Monday 6 May 2013

Bun Spread

It’s Caker Cooking’s two-year anniversary!

It seems like only 730 days ago I posted my first recipe for Mock Apple Pie. Since then, there have been a few tears, a few laughs and more than a few pounds. (It’s gotten so bad, I’m wearing Spanx in the shower these days.)

To celebrate my milestone, I’m christening May as Unfortunately Named Caker Recipe Month. Every week I’ll feature a caker recipe that – while delicious – has a name only a mother could love. Provided that mother is blind, deaf and delusional. I’ve posted some unfortunately named recipes before (remember Dump Cake and White Stuff?) but the recipes I’m featuring this month have a special place in my heart.

On that note, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my anniversary than by spreading my buns.

Er. That didn’t sound good. Let me try again. 

Who doesn’t love a tasty bun spread?

Uh, take three.

When was the last time a bun spread made your eyes roll back in your head?

See what I mean? Regardless of how you say it, stringing the words “bun” and “spread” so close together is pretty much guaranteed to garner some awkward coughs, gossip at the next Euchre night or, if you're lucky, a phone number. My advice? Leave out the “bun” and just say “spread.” As in, “Hot damn, Dolores – now that's what I call a spread!”

Now doesn’t that sound better?

See you next week for another unfortunately named caker recipe!

1 can tomato paste
1 can shrimp
½ cup cooked bacon or ham
½ teaspoon Italian spice
1 can mushrooms
½ cup grated cheese
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup green pepper
¼ cup onion
Mix all ingredients together. Spread on bun halves. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes This mixture can be frozen.

Editor's note: Fresh buns make all the difference in the world.

Source: Cook Book of the Mount Royal United Church, Saskatoon