Friday, September 14, 2012

Oceana's Blueberry Coconut Cradle Cake

 Listening to Morning Living on the radio Chef Chan described how he made this cake it sounded so interesting I had to come home and try it.  I love that he got the idea from a 1953 Pillsbury Bake Off Cookbook.  It was a cradle cake with chocolate and pecans which led him to come up with this recipe.  I had never heard of doing this and not being a big icing fan liked the idea of the meringue when the cake is inverted becomes your outer coating.

Oceana's Blueberry Coconut Cradle Cake



2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter (4oz)
1 c sugar
4 whole eggs
3/4 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c blueberries

Coconut Meringue:

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c coconut, shredded


Preheat oven to 325°.  Toast coconut until golden brown & allow to cool.

Prepare tube pan by coating sides with butter or oil.

Mix flour, soda, salt set aside.

Separate eggs reserving the whites for the meringue.

In mixing bowl cream together butter and 1 c sugar, then add yolks slowly and mix well. Add dry ingredients, mix then add buttermilk and vanilla.  Carefully fold in blueberries.

Toss coconut with powdered sugar set aside.

In mixer beat egg whites with a pinch of salt till foamy increase speed when peaks begin to form add sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form.  Gently fold coconut powdered sugar mixture into egg whites.  Spread inside tube pan on all sides, bottom, and around tube.

Place the blueberry batter inside Meringue lined pan, spread evenly.

Bake for 75-85 minutes or till cake is springy to touch.  Let cool for 15 min before removing and inverting onto plate.

--when cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar

Click on this video of Chef Jansen Chan of Oceana Restaurant to see him making the recipe:

my tip for keeping the recipe handy

Monday, September 10, 2012

Baked Fontina

Saw Ina Garten making this on TV and had to try it.  Ina's show makes you want to spend the day with her shopping and then have a great meal together.  I also love her story talk about major career changes from government to food.  I use her cookbooks frequently. Thanks Ina.
I had some of this left and reheated in a foil pan on a grill at a tailgate, was still yummy.  

Baked Fontina

1 1/2 lb Fontina cheese, cubed and rind removed
1/4 c good olive oil (I used about 1/8c)
6 garlic cloves, sliced  (I used about 3 and minced it)

1 T minced fresh thyme (use less if you have to use dried)
1 tsp fresh minced rosemary 
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 crusty French baguette (I served it with assorted toasts, crackers, chips)
Preheat the broiler and position rack 5 inches from heat.
Place cheese in 12" cast iron skillet, drizzle with the olive oil.  Combine the spices and sprinkle over cheese.  Place under broiler for about 6 minutes till cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Serve warm right in skillet, I suggest having a pot holder type wrap for the cast iron handle as people are dipping into it.  

Ready for oven

Right from broiler.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

This is as easy as it gets, just mix up your ingredients and throw it in the oven.  This recipe makes a very dense chocolate treat, somewhat healthy considering you are only using 3/4 c sugar for the whole recipe which makes about 24 muffins. The zucchini and oatmeal really make a moist texture muffin.  I'll be making these again.

Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins

Preheat oven to 350°


1/2 c boiling water
2 c grated zucchini
3/4 c oatmeal
1/2 c canola oil
3 eggs
1 T brewed coffee
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour (I used one cup reg flour and half cup whole wheat)
1/2 c cocoa (Hershey it is our local brand!)
1 T cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
chocolate chips

Mix together zucchini, oatmeal and boiling water.  Then mix in rest of ingredients down to chocolate chips, when well mixed stir in chips.  Scoop into prepared muffin tins makes about 24, you can fill to the top they don't really rise to much.  Bake at 350° for 12-15 min.

***After revisiting the site where I found the recipe that led to this I see in the directions she added cinnamon it wasn't listed in the ingredients but 1 T of cinnamon would be a good addition I added it to my ingredient list but it didn't go into this batch.

Recipe originally found at:

Kellys Cozy Kitchen     Thanks to her for posting it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer Corn Chowder

September 3rd!  What a busy few months this has been, the first thing neglected is this blog (guess that is better than the family, the house, tennis, shower plans, wedding plans, etc).  I have tons of papers with recipes from all sorts of places, I have tried many of them, photographed them all and they have remained piled.  I have had requests for recipes and I will get to them all eventually.  Slowly they'll get  entered but as fall fast approaches some may wait a bit as the fall foods are looking good.  I love to prolong summer but as the pumpkins, squash, apples, mums, gourds start appearing I cave into the fall routine.

This recipe came from an abundance of corn my husband brought home from a house call, yes he still makes house calls.  Black bag in hand he sees those that can't get to the office, it has led to years of great stories and lots of wonderful homemade items.  Even as some patients pass on the family will bring in things that the person has designated must be given to Doc.  These stories and loyalties make the job so rewarding and get him through the long stressful days.  So with the abundance of amazing homegrown corn after a couple steamings of corn on the cob, I made a chowder.  This is a pretty basic recipe and not much different than this Crab Corn Chowder . Basil instead of Old Bay, addition of some wine which added a nice taste although would probably be camouflaged with the Old Bay.  Oh by the way the tomato for the garnish was from the same garden.

Summer Corn Chowder

4 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 c white wine
4 med potatoes
2 c chicken stock
6 ears of corn, removed from husk
2 c 1/2 & 1/2
fresh or dried basil to taste
chopped tomato, for garnish
salt & pepper

Saute onion, celery, carrots in either oil or bacon fat till onions just start to brown, a little caramelization adds a nice flavor.  De glaze with one cup of wine and let reduce by half.  Add potatoes, chicken stock, and enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring this to a boil, then turn heat down and allow to simmer.  When potatoes are tender add corn, cook 2 more minutes.  Turn off heat add 1/2 & 1/2, season to taste.  Serve with some of  the crumbled bacon on top and diced tomato for an extra summer kick.

If you like more bacon flavor you can saute in the pan with leftover bacon drippings, I prefer to bake my bacon on a rack over a cookie sheet in the oven.  I then to 2 T of the drippings to use along with a bit of canola just personal preference either way is fine.  I also steamed the corn ahead of time for easier removal from the husk but it isn't necessary.

This gadget works great, also available in stores.

Nothing better than a coated cast iron pot!