Saturday, May 29, 2010

Betty & Pam save the day

Yesterday, I decided I would make my love's birthday. It's a filled cake, I'm sure I described it before. Last year, I used a sort of delicate vanilla cake and it didn't stand up to the Bavarian cream. So I decided to make a few changes this year - going with vanilla mousse with strawberries in it and a sturdier cake.
I decided to try a cake from an ancient recipe (okay, it's older than me so that makes it pretty old;)) and I should have know I was in troble when it called for 4 teaspoons baking powder. Just because a recipe is in an old cookbook doesn't mean it's good. Plus the page was completely clean, no evidence the recipe had ever been used. I baked the cake (40 minutes at 375 degrees - not kidding, 375 degrees). First, it took longer than 40 minutes to bake all the way through. Okay, strange, but maybe some weirdness.
But to depan it! well, I throrougly  greased the pan with Crisco. The filled cake pans are a little weird and I thought I'd go that route. The cake would _not_ come out of the pan. I tried the few tricks I knew to depan a cake, but it didn't work. So when the pan finally released, a good portion of the cake stuck to the pan.
Or maybe I should refrain from using the word "good". That cake was one of the driest cakes I ever made in my life - it was like a very stale generic yellow cake. My love suggested I cut it up, cover it with the mousse and it should work out. And probably he was right. But I said no, I'll make another cake. The birds were happy about that.
I turned to my buddy, Betty Crocker. I used the recipe for "Bonnie Butter Cake" and coated the pans with my other cooking buddy, Pam. The cake tastes great and depanned like a dream.
I got to finish adding strawberries to the mousse and make the frosting, But I just wanted to give a huge thank you to my cooking pals, Betty Crocker and Pam - they never let me down.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Misleading ad?

I get a lot of junk (snail) mail and today was no exception. There was an ad for Anne Byrn's  "The Cake Mix Doctor Deluxe Edition" for a free 21 day trial and a price of probably $34. There's 4 payments of $7.49 but that doesn't include shipping and handling.
I like Anne Byrn's books, I have three of them. And my beat up copy of  "The Cake Mix Doctor" was not the "deluxe edition". It had a completely different cover. So I was debating with myself did I _really_ want this book for that price.
Since the book is "not available in any store", I decided to try Amazon to see if that had it or if it was a brand new book. And here's what I found

Looks like the same book from the ad and most likely it is. I ordered it from Amazon because Amazon had a price I was comfortable paying. The front of the ad, where my address is, has "Postmaster Deliver 5/27/10 - 5/29/10" but I'm not sure why that particular time was specified. I got the ad on May 26, 2010.
I just wanted to alert any buyers out there about this book, Maybe somebody has purchased this particular edition from "Cake Mix Doctor, 33 E. Minor St, Emmanus PA 18098"  and can tell me a little about it. It could be different than the 2003 edition in Amazon's database. But somehow I doubt it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

McCormick rosemary roasted chicken spice package

I received the McCormick package of spices and the recipe for rosemary roasted chicken with potatoes from Gather yesterday. I decided I would try it today.
Most of the spices I would normally have on hand except for the coarse ground black pepper. I just don't normally use that much pepper. But this collection of premeasured  spices made it easy to put together this meal.
I didn't want to buy anything else to make dinner, so I used the white potatoes I had on hand in substitute for the small red potatoes. I washed the potatoes and cut them into 1  inch cubes. I mixed the ingredients in the olive oil as per the instructions. I mixed the chicken and potatoes, lined a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and placed in the oven.
While the meal was roasting, I managed to squeeze in a look at my mail and a quick shower. It was great not to stand over the stove to make sure sinner was cooked. I had to cook the food just a bit longer than what the recipe called for, but my oven is a little quirky when it comes to the temperature.
My husband and I ate the results. We both liked the way the potatoes turned out, but we felt the chicken itself was a little "edgy", a little too much spice for the chicken.  But it didn't bother us enough to make us stop eating the food.
I would give this recipe over all a 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 stars.  Even though I got home later than I usually do from work, the meal came together quickly and easily, perfect for a work night dinner. The ingredients are premeasured, so the seasoning is not a problem.  The clean up was easy and quick, always a plus for a week night dinner.  For us, it seemed a little spicy, but we tend to shy away from spicy food. I would definitely make this again but maybe reduce the amount of pepper and paprika than what is given in the recipe.
I would recommend this McCormick seasonings for rosemary chicken and potatoes highly to anyone who likes chicken. I think I with try the pork one next.
Thanks to Gather, who supplied me with the ingredient pack.