I have always loved clam chowder, that is good clam chowder. The stuff that comes in the can, even the expensive stuff that comes in a can, just cannot compare to soup you make yourself. Homemade soup is just richer and tastier.
On Fridays, I usually spend time with my good friend and we talk about the current political climate. Well, the weather climate was so bad that we decided not to meet. I was out already in it, and I mean, it was cold, and very windy. The wind was so strong, I actually had to take cover under an awning and I thought it was going to bowl me over. I think this is one of the worst winter storms Los Angeles has had, at least in my many years here. When I got home, I was cold and wet and wanted something warm that would stick to my bones. Although I had originally planned on Lentil Soup with Cilantro, it just didn’t seem like it was a rib sticking as I wanted, and I decided on Hearty Clam Chowder instead.
I am going to make another cold weather dish, Boston Baked Beans, with the rest of the salt pork that I used in the Hearty Clam Chowder. Looks like I am prepared for this rainy winter in Southern California.
You know, sometimes you just want chocolate. I mean, you really, really, really want chocolate. It’s like it’s the only thing you can think about. I had that craving and I bought a box of special dark cocoa just so I could make this cake.
I have always loved cherry cordials. To me, there is nothing tastier than cherries and chocolate. They just seem to compliment each other so well. When I decided to make this cake special, I thought using cherry preserves as filling would be exactly what I was looking for, and I was right, it was perfect. I used regular cherry preserves, not the famous sour cherries, they just would have soaked into the cake and made a chocolatety mess.
The secret to this cake is its velvety frosting, made with melted butter, dark cocoa, and rum flavoring. It really sets off the cherries in the cake. You could use brandy flavoring if you don’t have rum.
When I went to the local farmer’s market, they had some lovely leeks and beets available. I bought both. I made pickled beets with the beets, and then struggled with what to do with the leeks. Usually, I make a Quiche, but I really didn’t like the idea of turning my oven on twice, once to pre-bake the shell, and then to bake the Quiche itself. Now that I have my mandoline, I have had so much fun, and I thought to combine potatoes and leeks together in a casserole.
I also had a lovely pork loin in my refrigerator, and leeks and pork go together so nicely. A bottle of white wine was waiting to make it a perfect meal.
When we get pizza delivery, the box always has one or two small containers of jalapeño peppers. I don’t know why, we don’t use it on our pizza, and they send it even if you tell them not to. But, that’s okay, there are recipes to be made with those lovely little peppers, like Jalapeño Stuffed Peppers and, of course, Cheesy Jalapeno Corn Bread with Creamed Corn.
Another thing I don’t ever buy is cream style corn, and yet, it manages to show up in my pantry on occasion. Sometimes, people bring gifts, and sometimes it’s food they don’t like or know what to do with. I don’t like cream style corn, but I love it in corn bread. Will I purposely go out and buy it just for corn bread? Nope, I wait until some kind soul mysteriously adds it to my pantry.
Rich and Simple
This is a simple bread to make, and rich. Using melted butter instead of oil makes it buttery tasting, and Chipotle gives it a smoky kick, and the cream style corn makes it nice and moist. Serve it with chili, or plain by itself warm out of the oven.
The picture is of Spane, in the 5th grade. The recipe is for the cake I made for him for his 5th birthday, so I think it’s an appropriate picture. The original cake had a Barney on it, because Barney was Spane’s favorite character. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put that picture up here. I’m done with Barney and so is Spane.
This cake, however, will never, ever get old. It’s a very simple cake to make, and my goto white cake. It’s a recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking, which in turn is an adaptation of the original 1-2-3-4 cake, so named because it uses 1 cup each of milk and butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 cups of flour and 4 eggs. If you were illiterate as many pioneering and colonial American women once were, your recipes would have to be very easy because you would not be able to write them down, and you would want to be able to pass them down to your daughters. We will probably never know who actually invented this cake, but I for one, am very glad she did.
This recipe makes a lot of cake. It fits nicely into a large 15 x 10 inch sheet pan, or three nine inch round pans. It’s an excellent recipe for a crowd. As a matter of fact, I used to make two layers of this cake, and put strawberries and cream as topping and filling when I made the birthday cakes for Dean Witter in Beverly Hills. If you double this recipe, it will easily feed 50 people.
If you really want to see what the Barney looks like, I originally put this recipe on Big Oven and my original Barney decorated cake picture is there. When you see it, you’ll understand why I didn’t want it here.
I like to make something special on Wednesday mornings because Spane goes to school late on Wednesdays. Spane wanted pancakes, and as I looked in the pantry to get the ingredients out, I spied a can of peaches. I love peaches, and I especially like them with rose preserve and Marsala.
Rose preserves are made from real rose petals and sugar. Roses taste like they smell, and they are very good for you. They have lots of vitamin C, so I try to cook with roses, or drink rose juice during flu season. I’m staying healthy! You can usually find rose preserves at Mediterranean markets, or you can purchase rose preserves on-line at Amazon or other food web sites. They are also delightful on ice cream and a variety of other desserts. Don’t be afraid pf eating flowers, they taste good, and they’re good for you!