Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Whew, what a year! I have so enjoyed creating this blog. Yes, Nick, it was a great idea. However, the flavor of it may change with the new year. Like a lot of other people, Nick and I feel it is time for us to get serious, I said serious, about our health and weight loss. You will probably read more about new healthy foods and less about my favorite places to pig out. We hope to make these changes a lifestyle and FUN! With that in mind, here is the menu for our final blowout on New Years Day:
Honey Laquered Duck with sour cherry sauce
Red potatoes roasted with caramelized shallots and baby bella mushrooms
Fried baby spinach
Yeast Rolls
Pears au chocolat
Pictures to follow.....

Daring Bakers Challenge: December

Sadly, I could not complete the December challenge for the French Yule Log. Between the two weekend choral performances, a nasty cold, and traveling during Christmas, I ran out of time and steam. I hope to be able to make this sometime in the near future. This is especially sad for me because I love everything French. Check out the links below to find the recipe and instructions if you dare!

Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry ( and Marion of (Il en faut peu pour etre heureux (
Flore was the author of the recipe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Red Velvet Cake or Bill Schmidt's BDAY DELIGHT!

I must apologize for the sad excuse for a picture of this cake. I frosted this cake on Sunday afternoon after a full morning of choral performances at Manna. I think my brain was fried because I didn't photograph the unfrosted cake and I added the pecans later. So here is my picture of a cake that may or may not be red velvet (it really is). Anyway, I used Bobby Flay's recipe which substitutes red wine vinegar for some of the red food coloring. The result is an earthier red than usual. Both Nick and Bill gave it a roaring, "yes"! This will be my standard recipe from now on with, of course, Paula Deen's frosting: cream cheese and marshmallow creme. I'll be making another one in January for Cathy McDonald's birthday (oops, was that a surprize?). Hopefully then I will take better pictures.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Premonition of things to come....

Here I am in the Battle House kitchen back in college on my way to my current "Kitchen Diva" status. (I"m on the left with the "Farrah" wings.)

Georgia Brown's Prime has passed

I am sad to say that Georgia Brown's is not the restaurant it once was. This is the second year that their lunch plate has been featured on the VCA discount card. We used to frequent this restaurant often, but a few months ago, after about three bad trips, we stopped going. Yesterday we noticed an ad in the Fayetteville Observer that sounded like some things had changed, so we decided to give them another try. Sadly, the problems that drove us away are still occurring: slow service and inconsistent portions. We ordered from the regular menu and ordered an appetizer, so we thought this is why our food was so slow in making its appearance at the table; however, the folks next to us ordered the lunch specials. They ordered before us and got their food later than we did. Obviously Ron Brewington is trying to salvage this restaurant with new food selections and live music, but unless he addresses the wait staff issues and the lack of speed in the kitchen, he will fail. We will not be coming back anytime soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where there is smoke, there's FIRE!



Tylenol Cold

Yogi Herbal Tea

Easy Off

What do these products have in common? They are a summary of my week so far. I haven’t posted this week because I have an annoying cold. I don’t have time for a cold, but I spent yesterday on TheraFlu and Lifetime movies. You may ask what the Easy Off oven cleaner is about? Husband cooked dinner the other night:

Grilled chicken: good
Butter Beans: good
Sweet Potatoes: good
Marshmallows on fire in oven: bad

Hopefully coming out of the fog soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Red Velvet Cake Pictures Soon!

Today went too quickly....busy weekend with Sunday School party and "Celebrate" performance tomorrow at Manna......baked the cake using Bobby's recipe and I will frost later with my favorite cream cheese frosting with the secret ingredient (compliments of Paula Deen): Marshmallow cream!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Welcome to Moe's

Here's an updated picture of the new Moe's. Word on the street says January/February target date. WOO HOO!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bobby Flay wins again!

Okay, that Bobby must have some Southern blood in him somewhere. Last night on Throwdown, he challenged another SC boy, this time with a Red Velvet Cake. Would you believe that Bobby won? I didn't get to concentrate on the whole show, husbands can be so distracting, however, at one time Bobby was talking about using just a little food coloring! HA! Once I did that and ended up with a Pink Velvet Cake, not exactly the effect I was going for. Anyway....without the benefit of taste-o-vision I'm not sure which one was better, but there you go. This is the second throwdown he has won baking cakes against Southern boys and he's not even a baker. I'm baking a Red Velvet Cake next week, pictures to follow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ants on Parade

I am embarassed to admit that we have ants in our kitchen. The hardy critters should be frozen stiff by now, but oh no, they are marching strong. We have put out poison for the fourteenth time, so our pets are banned from the kitchen. Our cat is about to go nuts. Evidently he thinks we are inside feasting on tuna tar tar and shrimp cocktail. He stands at the French door and cries. Last night he got so mad he started furiously pawing at the glass. It's hard to be ignored when you're a cat......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A rainy day at the beach is better than a sunny day anywhere else!

Part of my family gathered at the beach for Thanksgiving this year. Cooking and eating in the small kitchen was challenging, but the view of Bogue Sound made for a worthwhile sacrifice. Outside the skies were gray and the rain poured down, but the spirit inside was warm and sunny. On Friday night we went to the flotilla in Swansboro. Sadly, only fourteen boats participated. I understand that more boats will participate next week at the Morehead City flotilla. After the flotilla, we ate at Frank and Clara’s in Salter Path. Although no longer owned by the same couple, this restaurant has been around for at least twenty years. I was surprised to find the dining room almost full. The food as usual was very good, but on this Friday night, the service was uncharacteristically slow. Apparently the holiday weekend had left the “B” team to run the place. Fortunately, we were able to relax without focusing on their lack of speed and efficiency. We started out with a delicious baked crab dip. This creamy crab packed dip is served with toasted French bread rounds. In addition to our hot dip, we were served a complementary sharp cheddar cheese dip with crackers. For my entrĂ©e, I had the fried sea scallops with baked potato and a cup of she crab soup. The thin soup lacked generosity in regards to crab, but was tasty. The plentiful and delicious scallops had to be shared as I could not eat them all. Nick had the fried clam strips and they were tender and yummy. I also enjoyed the light and crispy hush puppies. Plan ahead if you would like to eat at Frank and Clara’s. The rather small restaurant fills up quickly. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait an hour or so, especially in the summer. If you’re not up for the delay, consider calling in an order for pick up. You’ll be back home enjoying your meal in no time.

I vote for Thanksgiving at the beach every year! As I crossed over the bridge late Saturday afternoon, I felt very blessed. The only thing that could have made this weekend better would have been a shrimp burger from Big Oak Drive In……..maybe next time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Smith Island Ten Layer Cake

Hats off to Nicky Peele (niece) for baking the mega layered chocolate cake for the first time! She did a great job. It tasted really good and look at that beautiful picture. Here's the recipe if you want to try it.

Recipe For Smith Island Ten-Layer CakeBALTIMORE (WJZ) ― This is the recipe for the Smith Island Ten-Layer Cake.

Ingredients:2 cups sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks (1 cup)

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

1 cup evaporated milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup water

Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Mix into egg mixture one cup at a time. With mixer running, slowly pour in the evaporated milk, then the vanilla and water. Mix just until uniform.
Put three serving spoonfuls of batter in each of ten 9-inch lightly greased pans, using the back of the spoon to spread evenly. Bake three layers at a time on the middle rack of the oven at 350° for 8 minutes. A layer is done when you hold it near your ear and you don't hear it sizzle.
Start making the icing when the first layers go in the oven. Put the cake together as the layers are finished. Let layers cool a couple of minutes in the pans. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and ease the layer out of the pan. Don't worry if it tears; no one will notice when the cake is finished. Use two and three serving spoonfuls of icing between each layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest of the icing. Push icing that runs onto the plate back onto the cake.

Chocolate Icing For Ten-Layer Cake

2 cups sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla
Put sugar and evaporated milk in a medium pan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until warm. Add chocolate and cook to melt. Add butter and melt. Cook over medium heat at a slow boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add vanilla. Icing will be thin but thickens as it cools

Caramel Cake Challenge Pics