Friday, June 13, 2014

Wacky Cakes

Until Boy #2, we used box cakes. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite. I miss the taste and the idea that it's more convenient. For a while, we did angel food cake mix since it was dairy and soy free. It's hit or miss if we can find a mix without corn product.

We finally decided it to bite the bullet and figure out how to make cake from scratch. We've tried a few recipes, but the only one I wanted to keep around was the chocolate wacky cake recipe I found at The boys like it as cupcakes topped with raspberry or orange jello frosting. Mmm...

We tried the vanilla once, but it was bitter. Then tried the vanilla again, but as a platform to rework the guava/mango orange cake recipe for the boys. The flavor was fine, but the cake was gummy in the middle and hard on the outside. Next time, we'll try the lemon cake recipe instead, since it is similar to the mango orange flavor we were going for.

There is always left over frosting, which I use to make meringue drops. It's like eating cotton candy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Garbanzo Curry on Couscous

Let me make one thing perfectly clear - I have never been to India. Therefore, my knowledge of Indian-spiced foods (known as "curry" in most of the English-speaking world) is second- or third-hand. I love to eat at Indian restaurants, and I love to cook from my Indian cookbook. This is an all-time favorite recipe in our home - simple, tasty, and exotic. -Jake.

Update 6/12/14: Last night I was making this dish and I tried a little variation: instead of broth (in the curry) I used tomato juice, and I added about a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger with the garlic. Both changes made for a great improvement!

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4 cups cut fresh vegetables - bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, celery, broccoli, red onion . . .
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (and like last time, I still like McCormick brand, although you could make your own)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained and rinsed.
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
Over medium-low heat, heat oil in large saucepan. Add vegetables and sweat for 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies are slightly softened. Add garlic, cook 1 minute (until fragrant). Stir in 1 cup broth, curry powder and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in garbanzo beans, raisins, and salt. Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Over medium high heat, bring 1 cup of broth to a boil in a sauce pan. Stir in couscous. Remove from hear and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and almonds with fork to fluff the couscous. To serve, spoon couscous into bowls then top with garbanzo curry.