Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Monday, May 24, 2010

angel food cakes

naming my blog was an easy task since my favorite cake is angel food. the light airy texture and lightly sweet taste is always appropriate for any celebration. i have several angel food cake pans and last week, i made a heart cake and used martha stewart's seven minute frosting to ice the top in a shell design. angel food cake doesn't require icing, and often i just sprinkle with powdered sugar to make the top look white.
the traditional cake pans with feet work best, as i have smaller bundt pans that can be used, but often present a challenge when removing the cakes.
angel food can be flavored with almond, lemon, orange, or even strawberry extracts. using the flavors gives the angel food another dimension that i enjoy even more.

basil in a pot

i decided to grow basil in a pot this summer on my deck. in this pot i have planted three plants which are growing in a spot that is filled with sun.

i have been using the basil for the past two weeks, and it seems to be so much better tasting growing in a pot rather than in the ground. i like being able to snip the leaves and use them in my dishes, and not have them covered in splashed soil from the garden.

other herbs that i have tried in pots include: rosemary, dill, chives and parsley. along with this pot of basil, i am growing some italian parsley this year in a deck pot.

one of the best ways to chop basil is to roll the leaves and thinly slice the basil into long strips. i like to use basil as a garnish over chicken or fish. in pasta dishes, i add basil to the freshly chopped tomato sauces, or directly on the cooked pasta along with other sauteed vegetables. the basil's spicy taste adds a great flavor and freshness to the dishes.

i have also used sliced basil over toasted slices of bread, with a tomato topping and melted cheese. this is one of my favorite easy appetizers to serve with a variety of dinner entrees.

sunday is for grilling out

one of the best things about the weekend is grilling out fresh vegetables to serve as a side dish along with chicken or fish. one of my favorite mixtures is always, sliced onions, yellow bell peppers, asparagus and zucchini slices. these sliced vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil and a few fresh herbs take only minutes to soften and cook on the grill.

the herbs from the garden that added to the taste of the vegetables were basil and parsley. i also seasoned them with ground black pepper, a twist of salt over the top, and my favorite all around seasoning from Mary's Kitchen Port in Traverse City. Her seasoning blend is a great mix of flavors that I often use for chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Along with these vegetables, I served grilled chicken with the same seasonings to match the taste. We also had some breadsticks with chive butter. This was another simple grilled meal for a summer evening to enjoy on the deck.

brown sugar walnut coffee cake

a great breakfast choice is always a coffee cake. this brown sugar walnut cake is quite easy to make and so delicious. it starts with a crumb crust and an easy filling and finishes off with a crumb topping and nuts. i chose walnuts for this version, but it could be made with almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts.

the crumb crust is made with flour, brown sugar and butter. the filling is made with sour cream, egg, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon.

with a baking time of only 25 minutes, it is ready to go in less than a half hour and it is oh so tasty. enjoy.