Saturday 30 November 2013

Caker Christmas 2013

Holy crap! It's Christmas!

Well, almost.

And that means it's time for my month-long Caker Christmas extravaganza. Starting Monday, December 2, I'll be posting three times a week. No need to pinch yourself; you're not dreaming.

As if that weren't exciting enough, I'll also post all the highlights from my Caker Christmas party on December 21. That's when I force invite my Italian friends and in-laws to make and eat caker food. Call it just desserts for calling us cakers in the first place.

Speaking of desserts, come back Monday for some caker granny holiday goodness.

Friday 29 November 2013

Bazaar-o-Rama Week 4

Oh, no! It's the end of Bazaar-o-Rama! Whatever am I going to do on Saturday mornings now? Oh, right. Sleep.

So what treasures did I find my final week touring church bazaars? Click here or on the tab in the upper right corner.

Monday 25 November 2013

Stovetop Potpourri

Since starting Caker Cooking in 2011, I’ve made some pretty unappetizing things. Who could forget the terribleness of “This is Terrible - The Soda is Overwhelming” Cherry Pudding or the nothingness of Cheese Snacks or the horror of Special K Meatless Roast?

Just when I thought it wasn't possible, the caker elevator plummeted another floor down.

When I saw this recipe, I figured “potpourri” was some kind of French gourmet word. And it looked easy enough to make.

Let me go on record by saying this is the worst soup I ever ate! It tasted like someone stirred it with a sweaty gym sock. The caraway seeds got caught in my teeth and the cinnamon stick was impossible to gnaw through. (I gave up after an hour and then made a dentist appointment.)

While it made my kitchen smell nice (for once), I wouldn’t recommend you make this soup. Ever. Just do yourself a favour and stick to Campbell’s cream-of-anything.

On a brighter note, Caker Christmas, my month-long extravaganza leading up to my annual Caker Christmas party, starts Monday, December 2. I’ll be posting three times a week. Recipes! Crafts! Thought-provoking essays! (Okay, two out of three.)

In the meantime, don't forget to check out the crap treasures I've scored so far during Bazaar-o-Rama. Click here or click the upper right hand tab. I'll update the page this Friday with my final haul.

2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon each – whole allspice, cloves, caraway seeds

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add above ingredients and boil 5-10 minutes. Simmer as long as desired. Add water as necessary. Refrigerate and reuse.

Source: A Taste of Friendship, Woodbridge United Church Women

Friday 22 November 2013

Bazaar-o-Rama Week 3

Good lord! It's time for another exciting round-up of all the stuff I bought at church bazaars last weekend. Fasten your seat belts.

Click here or on the Bazaar-o-Rama tab in the upper right hand corner.

Monday 18 November 2013

Reader Recipe: Snicker Doodle Cake

On Christmas Eve, caker children around the world wait for the arrival of Mr. Snicker Doodle, a kindly old elf in polyester pants and snap-on sunglasses who leaves treats like powdered cheese, pipe cleaners and Eggs in Bologna Cups. In return, children leave him Snicker Doodle Cake and a mickey of Captain Morgan rum.

Okay, I made that up. There’s no Mr. Snicker Doodle. But thankfully, there is Snicker Doodle Cake, named after, oh, who the hell knows? Truthfully, I’d forgotten all about it until Caker Cooking reader and fellow blogger Debra emailed me her mother’s typed recipe, along with some of her own adjustments. I made the original, but I’m sure Debra’s revised version is just as good.

Warning: It looks simple enough but Snicker Doodle Cake is addictive. As in it should be renamed Heroin Doodle Cake. Only that’s not as easy to say.

Thanks, Debra! Do YOU have a caker recipe you want to share? Just email it to cakercooking at gmail dot com.

1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
Combine and add to this mixture:
1 egg beaten in ½ cup milk
Mix very well and add ½ cup melted butter and mix again well.
Put in greased and floured 8 x 8 pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar before baking. Serve hot or cold.

Note: Debra suggested baking at 350° for 40 minutes which worked out great.

Source: Caker Debra. Check out her blog, My Immaculate Convection.

Hey! Don’t forget to visit the second wacky week of Bazaar-o-Rama by clicking here.

Friday 15 November 2013

Bazaar-o-Rama Week 2

My thrilling annual tour of church bazaars continues with a second amazing week of fantastic finds!

Check out what I scored by clicking here or by clicking on the Bazaar-o-Rama tab in the top right hand corner.

Monday 11 November 2013

The Greatest Chocolate Dessert Ever

Cakers have a tendency to make some pretty big claims in their recipes. Often, you’ll see things like “Easiest Ever Zucchini Bread” or “Better than Sex Pudding” or “The Cheese Ball Guaranteed to Make You Friends.”

Cakers are good salespeople at the best of times but we’re also pretty competitive with one another. Think about it – there you are, all crammed into the same community cookbook. If your Tomato Soup Cake recipe isn't the easiest or best-tasting, or doesn't promise to help people win Lottario, chances are someone will pass over it and chose a recipe that does.

Anything with the words “chocolate” and “greatest” in the name deserves a whirl in my opinion so I served The Greatest Chocolate Dessert Ever to company the other night. They all agreed it was delicious. (It's the Skor bits that make your eyes roll back in your head.)

“But is this the greatest chocolate dessert ever?” I asked. Everyone, not surprisingly, said no.

Oh, well. The woman who submitted the recipe got me to make her version instead of “The Classic Chocolate Dessert” recipe that followed – which was exactly the same. “Skor” one for marketing.

1 chocolate cake mix
2 packages chocolate pudding
1 bowl of cool whip
4 Skor bars

Method: Bake cake according to recipe. Let cool. Mix pudding mix according to recipe. Smash the Skor bars into teeny pieces. Cut the cake into small pieces. Do not crumble. Place ½ cake in bottom of large bowl. Place half pudding mix on top of cake. Add ½ container of cool whip. Add 2 crumbled Skor bars. Continue to make layers. Chill for approximately 2 hours.

Hey! If you haven't checked out Bazaar-o-Rama '13, click here. I'll update it every Friday!

Hey again! Caker Christmas is around the corner! Starting December 2, I'll be posting three freaking times a week. Goodies! Crafts! Bric-a-brac! And more!

Source: The Chocolate Town Cookbook, St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Friday 8 November 2013

Bazaar-o-Rama 2013

It's baaaa-ack!

Bazaar-o-Rama is my annual tour of church bazaars. Featuring special guest appearances by meat pies! Wacky crafts! Doilies! Seniors! And more!

Check out my weekly round up by clicking here or going to the "Bazaar-o-Rama '13" tab. I'll be posting updates every Friday, all month long.

It's a bazaar world. Let's explore it together.

Monday 4 November 2013

Fish Fillets Noord Zee

Recently, I was approached by Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers to participate in a Vincent Price cook-a-long with other food bloggers from around the world. Turns out that Vincent was also a gourmet cook. (This makes him more scary in my eyes.) Mother thought it was a good way for me to make friends, so I said yes.

Folks, I’ve seen a lot of frightening recipes in my day, but none as terrifying as the one Jenny sent me. The recipe called for “plaice fish” (Where do I find that? Aquarium World?), something called a “fluted tube” (sounds painful) and FOUR cockadoodle frying pans! To make matters worse, I had to whip this up on Halloween night. Have you met the kids in my area? Trust me, they don’t take kindly to waiting.

Anyways, I did what any caker would do and simplified, simplified, simplified. Here’s Vincent’s recipe, followed by my cakerified version. Which is better? I'll leave that in your capable hands, dear reader.

Vincent's recipe
Cook 4 medium potatoes in salted water until very tender. Drain and mash. Beat in 3 tablespoons butter and enough hot cream to make fluffy potatoes that are still stiff enough to be pressed through a fluted pastry tube. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over simmering water.

Poach 4 fillets of plaice (about 1 ¼ lb.) in a cup of water with a ½ pint of dry white wine, the juice of one lemon, ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon of white pepper for 5 minutes. Remove fillets and keep warm. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to a ¼ pint.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in each of 4 small frying-pans. In one, sauté 4 oz. of button mushrooms for 5 minutes. In another, 4 oz. shrimp for 5 minutes. In a third, toss 4 oz. herring roes floured for 5 minutes; in the last, cook 4 sliced scallops for 5 minutes.

Fill a forcing bag, fitted with a large fitted tube, with the mashed potatoes and press out fluted ribbon down the centre of a large serving platter. On one side press out 3 ribbons from centre to edge of platter, making 4 evenly divided compartments. Arrange the fillets on the other side in the long compartment. Put platter into a warm oven to keep warm.

In saucepan beat 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon flour and ½ pint cream. Strain ¼ pint of reduced fish liquid into the egg-cream mixture and cook, stirring rapidly, until sauce is hot and slightly thickened. Be careful not to let it boil. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Pour sauce over fish fillets only and garnish with parsley.

Take a box of fish sticks and cook according to package directions. Cook instant mashed potatoes according to package directions. Open can of shrimp. Open can of water chestnuts (because who can afford scallops?) Make tapioca (because who can afford herring roes?) Open can of mushrooms.

Put the potatoes in a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off and squeeze it out in some squiggly lines on a platter. Then arrange your mushrooms, shrimps, water chestnuts and tapioca in the compartments. Then add your fish sticks and sprinkle with dried parsley. Eat and ponder what you’re going to do with all your spare time.

What did my fearless fellow food bloggers get up to with their Vincent Price recipe? Check them out:

Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers - Oxtail Creole
Emily of Dinner is Served 1972 – Beef Heart Stewed
Cathy of Battenburg Belle – Deviled Shrimp and Rice
Sally of My Custard Pie – Deviled Rib Bones
Ruth of Mid Century Menu – Unwealthy Wellington
Angela of Glamorous Glutton – Steak Moutarde Flambe
Lauren of The Past on a Plate – Ayrshire Poacher’s Roll
Mimi of The Retro WW Experiment – Chinese Chicken
Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab
Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster
Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams
Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s Liver Marine
Helen of Zelda’s Secrets – Champignons Grilles Marie Victoire
Saucy Cherie of CookBook Cherie – Liver Risotto

Source: Cooking Price-Wise with Vincent Price

(With all due respect, who's really the wise one here?)

P.S. Bazaar-o-Rama 2013 starts this Friday! Check back for all the crap treasures I found my first weekend.