bcmom's kitchen

bcmom's kitchen

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

I found this recipe in the newspaper - LOVE the food section of the paper! - and I've been wanting to make it for a while.  It's been hanging on the fridge since I found it.  Thanks to my sweet friend Peggy, I have plenty of rhubarb (not that I wouldn't take more if it came available), so I made it last week.  It was so good, I had to make it again this week for potluck.

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups (1-inch-thick) sliced rhubarb (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar (optional)
  1.  Place butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 2/3 cup granulated sugar; beat until well blended.  Add vanilla and egg, beat well, then add milk.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Beat into butter mixture until smooth.
  3. Combine rhubarb and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon batter over rhubarb mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated 350° oven 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. 
  5. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

 The notes on the recipe said:
If fresh rhubarb isn't available, make it with frozen rhubarb, thawed and well drained. The cake is good either way, although it's moister and more pudding-like with fresh.
I made it with fresh rhubarb the first time and with frozen the next, though I didn't completely thaw or drain the frozen rhubarb - so I guess we'll see.  I'm not sure it was 'pudding-like' at all, even with fresh rhubarb.  It was a very moist cake with a wonderful flavor!  I had it with whipped cream the first time, but I didn't bother with the whipped cream after that.  The cake is just perfect on its own.  A little vanilla ice cream on top isn't bad, either.

The original recipe called for mixing 2/3 cup sugar with the rhubarb, but I cut that in half because I believe you should be able to taste the tartness of the rhubarb. I love the burst of tart flavor from the rhubarb balanced against the sweetness of the cake. I hate that most recipes want to hide that tartness with so much sugar!  If you're looking for sweet, then I think you should try something else, because rhubarb is tart, and that's what makes it special! 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pasta Salad (w/ Feta)

I needed something to take to a potluck - some kind of side dish.  I'd seen a recipe on GMA for a pasta salad, and the only ingredient I remembered was feta -besides the pasta, of course.  I found that recipe, but I didn't have all the ingredients or it wasn't what I was wanting, so I went looking for a pasta salad with feta.  I found a whole list of them, but I decided to go with this one, kinda.

Pasta Salad w/ Feta and Olives

  • 16 ozs bow tie pasta (farfalle)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets 
  • 15 ozs kidney beans (drained)
  • 4 ozs black olives (sliced, drained)
  • 1 bell pepper (seeded and diced) 
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ozs feta cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 cup Italian salad dressing
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli florets to the boiling water during the last 2 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water to cool.
  2. In a large serving bowl, stir together the kidney beans, black olives, bell pepper, tomatoes, feta cheese and Italian dressing. Stir in the pasta and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill and serve.

This would be great with fresh broccoli and tomatoes, but I didn't have any so I used frozen broccoli and canned tomatoes.  I used an orange pepper, because that's what I had, and I think it added a nice color to the salad.  I also forgot to run cold water over the pasta and broccoli, so I mixed it in hot, but I'm thinking that might help blend the flavors better - or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I'll probably use the cold water next time, if I remember.

The salad is chilling now, so I haven't tasted it - except to sample a couple pieces of pasta, and those were great.  It smells amazing, and it will make a nice cool side-dish this weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cream Cheese Pesto Dip

This dip is really easy to make, and so good!

Cream Cheese Pesto Dip

  • Cream cheese
  • Minced garlic
  • Pesto
  • Feta
  • Diced tomatoes
  1. Layer all ingredients - no measurements, just whatever looks/sounds good to you.
  2. Warm 10-15 minutes at 350°
  3. Serve with bagel chips.

Seriously, it is hard to stop eating this stuff.  I use a block and a half of cream cheese - because that's what fits in the dish I want to use.  Then I layer lots of garlic, pesto and feta on top, and cover it with diced tomatoes (from a can - not the whole can, though, just enough to cover).  I used pesto I made last summer and froze in a 1/2 cup Rubbermaid container.  I just thawed it out and spread the whole thing on top of the garlic.  (Time to plant some more basil!)

You can serve this cold, but it's so much better when warmed up. You're not really cooking it but just warming it up so that the cream cheese gets all soft and all the flavors blend.  Also, it's good with other crackers or chips like Pita chips, but it is best with the New York Style Sea Salt Bagel Crisps - trust me on this!  They just go together perfectly -and those bagel crisps can hold a lot of dip.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Hummus Day!

Vitamix posted this recipe on Facebook today - in honor of National Hummus Day. Did you know it was National Hummus Day? Me either, but I love some good hummus, so I thought I'd grab the recipe.  I know there are plenty of hummus recipes available online, but so many of them call for tahini, and I haven't been able to find it.  Should it be in my local grocery store?   This recipe doesn't call for it, so I'm gonna give it a try.


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chick peas (garbanzos), one drained, one with liquid
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt

  1. Place all ingredients, except salt, into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  5. Season to taste with salt.

  Of course, I'll have to use my Ninja, since I don't have a Vitamix, so no Variables, but....

Do you have a favorite go-to hummus recipe?  Please share!  Know where to buy tahini?  Share that too.   Maybe I should have though to buy Tahini on Amazon! because there's plenty available. Now to figure out which one...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Angel Hair with Broccoli and Bacon

I adapted this recipe from one I saw on The Chew for Michael Symon's Angel Hair Pasta with Pancetta and Broccoli.  I used turkey bacon and walnuts instead of the pancetta and pine nuts he used.  I had some bacon and broccoli that needed used, so...

Angel Hair with Broccoli and Bacon

  • 1/2 pound Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 bunch Broccoli, cut up
  • 1/2 package Turkey Bacon
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon Chile Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Drop pasta into boiling salted water
  2. Cut up bacon slices and add to saute pan with 2 T olive oil over medium heat
  3. Add broccoli to pan
  4. Add walnuts to pan and move contents in the pan to one side and add another tablespoon of olive oil and the sliced garlic. You want the garlic to toast but not burn.
  5. Ladle in 2-3 spoonfuls of the pasta water to the pan and mix to incorporate.  Reserve some of the pasta water before you drain it in case you need more.
  6. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the pan and season with chili flakes. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and toss to coat.  Top with Parmesan and serve. 

    Overall, it was pretty tasty and easy.  I added 3 spoonfuls of the pasta water to the bacon and broccoli mixture and then added more once everything was mixed together, just to give it a bit of moisture.

    I think I would like to try this with a different pasta next time - something a bit closer to the size of the broccoli pieces.  I think Michael used angel hair because he was trying to pull the whole dish together in 5 minutes, and angel hair cooks very fast, but I think another pasta would go better.  Maybe bow tie?

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