Kim's Kitchen

Lemon Cakes

The Eldest turned 12 last week, and it’s a custom in our family to choose what kind of cake one would like to celebrate.  Of course all birthday cakes need to be reasonable.  Like the recipe had better be in my Betty Crocker cookbook or forget about it, for I’m no gourmet chef.

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I love Betty Crocker.  My grandma gave this cookbook to me at my Wedding Shower.  A most sensible gift.

Now Lemon Cakes are not in my Betty Crocker cookbook, but because I love my daughter very much and was feeling very sacrificial,* I went out of my way to look up a recipe online.  I printed the first recipe that didn’t have any obscure ingredients in it.  You know, like butter milk.  Who has that on hand?

What I found was this, so I went at it.  If you look at that recipe, however, you’ll notice that it’s ridiculous because all the measurements are in Tablespoons, which is stupid.  I can’t be trusted to count out 10 Tablespoons accurately with 7 loud children running around and begging to lick a beater.  But then, if you look even closer at the recipe, you’ll notice that it requires a 7-inch bundt cake pan.  Who has that?  Not me, so I had to double the recipe, which is actually a good thing, as it means more lemon cake to eat.

In the end though, out came my trusty and sensible Betty Crocker cookbook anyway because it has an Equivalent Measures Chart in it.  Just how many cups is 20 Tablespoons of sugar?  I found out that 1 cup has 16 Tablespoons, which leaves 4 Tablespoons left over for 1/4 cup.  Whew, that’s a lot of math.

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This child is helping me by pointing out the Equivalent Measures Chart for all my Tablespoons.

Well, after zesting and squeezing lemons, I threw it in the oven.

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Someone was playing Uno while watching me zest and squeeze lemons.

When I took it out of the oven, here’s how it looked.

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And then here it is inverted on the cake platter…

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And after sprinkling it with powdered sugar and placing store-boughten candies on it…

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Missing 10 candles.

And finally with all the candles and most of the children…

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Happy Birthday!

 

 

*This was not very sacrificial of me at all.  I love lemons so much that I always have them on hand.  I mean, you never know when you might need a Lemon Martini.

 

 

 

 

Kim's Kitchen

Anyone Enjoy Chinese Take-Out?

Do you enjoy Chinese take-out?  Then you might try making it at home.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Last night I made Sweet & Sour Chicken for supper.  It’s a favorite of ours.  Well, I should say a favorite for my husband and I, as the children are not wild about it, but they eat it anyway.

For this recipe, I begin by chopping three differently colored bell peppers, a red onion, garlic, and lots of ginger.  Normally I cheat with the ginger by buying that tube of “freshly” chopped stuff in the grocery store, but this time I went through the labor of peeling and chopping it.

If you’ve never cooked with ginger, your nose is in for heavenly bliss.  It smells so good.  It’s sort of like freshly squeezed lemon.  Both have lovely, distinct fragrances.

Anyway, after chopping the vegetables, I then chop up my chicken, which I prefer to be slightly frozen because it’s easier to chop and not as slimy.  Then I throw everything into a pan and sauté it all with some olive oil.

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Here it is.  Ready for the sauce.

While that’s cooking, I mix up the sauce which consists of vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and corn starch.  When the chicken is cooked, I pour the sauce over it all and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.  Then it’s done and ready to be served with rice, which I failed to mention ought to be cooking at the same time.  (Actually, the rice takes longer to cook because I use organic, brown rice that requires about 45 minutes.)

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I realize that it might not look very appetizing, but that’s because I always mix my rice right into the pan when it’s done, instead of serving the chicken mixture on top of a bed of rice.  It’s just easier to serve my troupe of children that way.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts, Chopped
3 Bell Peppers, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced or Pressed
2-inch Piece of Ginger, Peeled & Minced
Olive Oil
Cooked Rice

Sauce:
1/4 C White Vinegar
1/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Sugar
1 Tb Cornstarch

Directions:
Sauté chicken, peppers, onion, garlic, and ginger in oil until chicken is done.  Add Sauce mixture and cook a few more minutes until it thickens.  Serve over cooked rice.

Kim's Kitchen

What’s For Supper? Italian Minestrone

Tonight we had a lettuce salad, Italian Minestrone, and bread.

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Lettuce Salad with feta, yellow & red peppers, and kalamata olives.

Now I know that my Minestrone may not be true Italian Minestrone because it’s lacking cabbage and Italian sausage.  The fact is, I didn’t have any Italian sausage because I’m not Italian.  But I did have venison sausage because I’m a North Dakotan, and my husband hunts.  Every fall he shoots a deer, hangs it, guts it, cuts it up, and then has his butcher process it for us.  Hence venison sausage.

So maybe, I ought to call it North Dakotan Minestrone?

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“Italian” Minestrone

Now what to drink with this soup?  I understand soup is difficult to pair with wine.  I looked it up and came across two suggestions.  The first was a sparkling red.   Well, I didn’t have any sparkling red.  Next, I read that a Sangiovese will do, with the most popular Sangiovese around here being Chianti.  Alas, but I was fresh out of Chianti.

What to do?

Some of you may be wondering what I did have in the wine rack?  Only a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.  And when all else fails and one only has a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, one drinks Cabernet Sauvignon.

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I suppose I spent about $10 on this Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was good.

Notice the bread in the picture?  I bought it from our local bakery, Bread Poets.  They buy wheat from the farmers around here and grind (or should I say mill?) it themselves.  It’s the best.  This particular loaf is stuffed with tomato sauce and pepperonis.  Who wouldn’t like that?

Recipe for “Italian” Sausage Minestrone

Ingredients
1 lb. “Italian” Sausage
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
olive oil
7 cups chicken broth
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup small pasta
shredded Parmesan for serving

Directions
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

In the same pan, saute the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in oil until tender.  Stir in everything else, except pasta and Parmesan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Put the pasta in the last 5 or 6 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan.

 

Kim's Kitchen

Recipes: Beef Linguine & Lemon Noodles

Dear Readers, you asked for it; you got it.  Drop me a line, and let me know how it goes.   (For those of you who missed the supper post, click HERE for it.)  Enjoy!

Beef Linguine

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Ingredients:
1 package (16 ounces) linguine
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium peppers, chopped  (I like yellow & red.)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
garlic powder

Directions:
Cook linguine according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef, onions, and peppers until meat is no longer pink.  Drain.  Combine with linguine and toss with soy sauce and garlic.

Lemon Noodles

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Ingredients:
1 package (16 ounces) of pasta
1 teaspoon parsley
6 teaspoons of grated lemon peel (about one lemon)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
6 tablespoons of lemon juice (about one lemon)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
grated parmesan cheese
olive oil

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté parsley, lemon peel, and garlic in oil until garlic is tender.  Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Drain pasta and combine with lemon mixture.  Top with parmesan cheese.

Kim's Kitchen

What’s for Supper?

This question gets asked all. the. time.  Even though I have a menu posted on the refrigerator for all to see.

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Menu for the week.  You’ll notice I also keep my grocery list here too.  And any recipes I’ll want to use this week.

Tonight we’re having linguine noodles with beef, peppers, and onions.  I just toss it with soy sauce and garlic.  I like this meal because it’s A.) good and B.) easy.

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Beef Linguine with Peppers & Onion.  Green beans on the side.

Last week we had ham and lemon noodles.  I love lemon noodles.  To make this, I zest one lemon and sauté it with a bunch of garlic, salt, and parsley in olive oil.  Then I add the juice of that lemon.

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Here is the lemon and garlic sauce.  You can also see that I steamed some broccoli too.

And finally, a pop quiz for you all.  What’s wrong with the following photo?

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Answer:  It’s A.) lacking a glass of wine and B.) the fork and knife are on the wrong side of the plate.

Bon Appetit!