May was the "Happy Birthday" month for In the Kitchen. It has been a year since we started this column, and, I have to tell you, the sweetest part hasnt been the cookies, cakes or candy.
Its been the response from readers.
As In the Kitchens birthday month draws to a close, I want to
thank all the folks who have had such nice things to say to me and
those who email comments, questions and suggestions, that I truly
appreciate and enjoy the feedback. The
majority of you always say, "I love the recipes because they are so easy."
I guess in todays fast-paced world, if we are going to get to spend any time in the kitchen, it has to be on things that are quick and fairly easy. Thats OK with me, because I cook a lot and still like the easy ones.
Readers are encouraged to email or write to me if they have recipes they would like to share, or if they have lost a recipe that I might have or one of the other readers might have. I will publish these request if I cant find the recipe, and will be happy to share your recipes with others.
One of the first recipes I had in the column was from my cousin Lisa Baldwin. I wanted to include another from her for the anniversary edition. Her recipe for Lisas Mixed Berry Cobbler, is one of her familys favorite desserts.
Lisas Mixed Berry
2 pkgs. (16 oz. size) frozen mixed berries (or you can make your
1 box cake mix
2 cups of any lemon-lime carbonated drink (sugar-free also works)
Spread thawed berries in bottom of 13 x 9 inch cake pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Spread dry cake mix over top of berries, then pour carbonated drink over the top. Dont stir. Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Uncover and bake another 40 or 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm and with a scoop of ice cream!
My niece Emily Longhurst gave me a recipe several weeks ago for Shrimp Scampi that brought a lot of good feedback, Well, Emily has a husband who doesnt like shrimp, so she came up with a delicious chicken pasta dish just for Glen. Here is Emilys Chicken Florentine With Pesto Penne Sauce.
Florentine With Pesto Penne Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 jar Alfredo sauce or 1 (4.5 ounce) pkg. dry Alfredo sauce mix
2 Tablespoon pesto
1 (8 oz.) pkg. dry penne pasta
1 Tablespoon Romano or Parmesan cheese
Place oil in large skillet and cook over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté for about 1 minute, then add chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add spinach and sauté for about 4 minutes.
Prepare Alfredo sauce according to package directions. Stir in
pesto, and set aside. Boil pasta for 8 to 10 minutes in lightly salted
water. Rinse under cool water, and drain. Add chicken/spinach mixture
to pasta. Stir in Alfredo/Pesto sauce. Mix
well. Top with your choice of Romano or Parmesan cheese and serve.
Lets end with something sweet. One of the most requested recipes I get and one of the most popular ones folks keep bringing up to me is Granny Moores Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing. While Granny Moores cake is the favorite in our family, theres nothing wrong with being a first runner-up. This Chocolate Candy Cake is the definite runner up in our family, and, when the fudge frosting flows down the side of this delicious cake, it gets quite a few first place votes itself.
Chocolate Candy Cake
2 cups plain flour (all-purpose)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup water
2 sticks butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine flour, sugar and soda. Mix well and set aside. Combine water, butter and cocoa in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Take off heat, beat well, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans or a 13 x 9 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool before frosting.
Chocolate Candy Cake Frosting
1 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Combine butter, milk and cocoa in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When it starts to boil, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Remove for heat and stir until it starts to lose its gloss. Spoon about 1/2 of the icing on first cake layer, lay second cake layer on top of first and drizzle the remaining icing on top. You wont have to spread it as it will thicken on its own.
This cake is one of those that is actually better after a day or two.