Martha Mondays: 11/7

October 31, 2011

Our project for next week is Easy Peanut Butter Cups, chosen by SteakandPotatoKindaGurl. This will be her last pick as she is leaving us to go back to school and work.


Martha Mondays: Chocolate Beet Cake

October 31, 2011

This week’s project was chosen by yours truly: Chocolate Beet Cake (from November Living, not online yet). Wow! The gold standard for chocolate cake in my house is my grandmother’s Miracle Whip cake and this was just as good. It was incredibly moist and you would never know there were beets in it. It just tasted like a delicious, very moist chocolate cake – it looked just like a chocolate cake too.

I don’t know how often I would make this though, because beets are just a pain to work with! You have to peel them, then cut into pieces then boil then puree. I have an off-white Corian sink and was totally paranoid about it getting stained. I was able to find a pair of medical gloves to wear so I didn’t stain my hands. I peeled the beets on top of newspaper. I drained them out in the yard to avoid the sink issue entirely.

Other than the beets, the cake was easy to make and had an easy chocolate glaze, only one layer which I appreciated. It was so good I sent it away with Mr. MarthaAndMe this morning – can’t have that in the house AND the Halloween candy!

As you can see, I took it out of the oven a smidge too early – the very center didn’t quite cook all the way. I took it out with5 minutes remaining because it seemed done. I should have tested it with a cake tester.

I’m wondering if this would work with roasted beets (where you roast them whole, then just rub the skin off with a paper towel), or even canned beets so you wouldn’t have to cook them yourself at all.


Martha Mondays Schedule

October 30, 2011

Here’s the latest schedule. Let me know if your date doesn’t work for you. Also let me know if you’d to be taken off the schedule. Anyone new is welcome to join!

11-7 SteakAndPotatoKindaGurl

11-14 Megan’s Cookin’

11-21 Sassy Suppers

11-28 Perfecting Pru

12-5 Tiny Skillet

12-12 Sweet Almond Tree

12-19 MarthaAndMe


Contest Winner

October 27, 2011

Congrats to Diane Fala who won the year’s subscription to Everyday Food. I hope you enjoy it Diane, and thanks to everyone else who entered.


Have You Ever Tried…Romanesco?

October 27, 2011

Romanesco is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. I recently picked a head up at the grocery store. It’s shaped kind of weirdly, with the florets being sort of pointy. It’s a pale green color. I decided to cook it simply so I could understand the flavors. I cut it into florets and steamed it until it was tender. I seasoned it only with butter and salt and pepper. It truly tastes just like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It’s got more of the texture of cauliflower, as well as the sweetness. I really liked it will try it in some more adventurous recipes in the future.

Have you tried it? What did you think?


Apple Dumplings

October 26, 2011

It’s been a while since I tried a recipe from Martha’s show. Recently she made apple dumplings with the author of The Apple Lovers’ Cookbook. I had to make this one.

For several years, we rented a cottage each summer in New York state’s Finger Lakes region, on Cayuga Lake. One of our favorite things to do was visit Sauder’s Store in Seneca Falls (the town that Bedford Falls in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” was modeled after). Sauder’s was smaller then than it is now (now they sell woodcrafted items and plants outside), but it had a huge bulk section and lots of Mennonite and Amish made baked goods. There were always Mennonites shopping in the store when we were there, which my kids were fascinated by.  There is a bookstore section that sells Mennonite and Amish cookbooks and other books. We always purchased birch beer (similar to root beer) here, a treat we always enjoyed at the fair each summer, but which you could not find in stores at that time. There was a meat case and I always bought Lebanon bologna, a cold cut that looks exactly like salami, but tastes like sweet bologna.

The baked goods were the highlight (whoopie pies, breads, pies, cookies) and apple dumplings were one of our favorites. I’ve never tried to make this and really forgot about it until I saw it again on Martha’s show!

I followed the instructions on this recipe to a “T”, but I think the problem was that my apples were too big. It’s really hard to find small apples here in NY state, where our apple crop is a big deal and sellers pride themselves on selling big, ripe, beautiful apples. I ended up cutting an inch or so off the tops of my apples, but they were still too big to fit in the dough squares. I ended up rolling the pieces of dough out to be larger and I still had to smush them to get them to cover most of the apples.

Other than, that it went well. The cider sauce is simple and it was all much easier than I imagined. This was really delicious. I think I might make regular pie crust next time instead of this dough recipe. I will definitely make this again. The entire family loved this.


Martha Mondays: Orange Jack O’Lanterns

October 24, 2011

Thanks to Ana at Sweet Almond Tree for choosing our Halloween themed dessert – jack o’lantern oranges with sorbet. I used orange sherbet for mine. This is a really cute dessert that would be perfect for little kids. Carving a pumpkin is a lot of work for little kids and takes forever in their eyes. This is quick and then you get to fill it to make a nice little dessert. Loved it!

It’s my pick for next week and I already know what I want to do! The Chocolate Beet Cake from November Living (if you need the recipe, let me know).


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