Sunday, June 30, 2013

Meetings and Peach Cobbler Cake

Hello all, I must apologize for my absence. I graduated this past May, and my parents surprised me with a senior trip to Boston and a cruise to Canada! My family has been mini world travelers over the past couple of weeks and had loads of fun and made many memories together. While in Boston, my family ate at a chain burger restaurant called B.good. They quite possibly made the best burger I have ever eaten. What is the secret you might ask? Two words: Real Food. Two friends started this restaurant because they loved the taste of fast food but not the health benefits and the fact that the ingredients were not grown locally. The pair decided to join forces and give America a taste of Real food. All of their products are procured from local farmers, dairymen, and meat carriers. B.good reminded me of the importance of knowing where your food comes from and what is actually in what you eat.

I am now back home in Tennessee, and missing my B.good burger, but I am still eating locally just from my local farmer’s market on the square! I have always loved our farmer’s market. When I wander around the streets and see vendors with watermelons the size of my baby cousin, big, round tomatoes, and berries in baskets, I like to think I am at some sort of meeting. A meeting that comes together every Saturday at our city square where Tennessee foodies (me and other shoppers) meet with the Tennessee farmers and discuss food and community— in that way, I know we are all connected, whether we have known each other for 17 years or just met for the first time when I purchased a sweet potato. This Saturday at the meeting, the peaches particularly struck my fancy. I have had a hankering to make a peach cobbler, so this gave me the perfect opportunity! However, as I searched through recipes to find a cobbler one, I came across several recipes for a peach cobbler CAKE; I was intrigued and decided to give it try. After some playing around with the recipe, I am very pleased with the result! The cake came out moist and the taste was very similar to a peach cobbler! Well, I am sure you all are ready to get those ovens pre-heating, so here is the recipe!


Cake: 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter or margarine, softened
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups self rising flour
3/4 teaspoon salt

5-6 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray. A little tip, I always like to spray my dishes over the sink, that way I don't have a greasy floor for me to slip on, and my counters aren't covered with it either.

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter (or margarine) and sugar with a hand mixer.

3. Next, add in the eggs, but add one egg at a time. Mix eggs in and then add vanilla and almond extract.

4. Gradually add in flour and salt. The batter should have a similar consistency to a very thick cake batter or like a very watery pizza dough.

5. Spread 3/4 of the batter in the bottom of the greased 9x13 baking dish. Next, in a medium sized bowl, mix peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Once the ingredients are all combined, place the peaches evenly over the batter.

6. With the remaining batter, take spoonfuls and drop over the peaches. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown.

7. Once the cake has finished baking and is cooled, it is time to make the glaze. Whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until a smooth consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and then add sliced almonds. Slice the cake and bon appetit!

Julia Child once said, "It’s fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day. That’s what human life is all about — enjoying things." So, I hope you all will go to your local farmer's market, get some peaches, and enjoy this cake and remember to enjoy the little things that life gives us!

Eat, drink, and be merry,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Flour, Water, and Animal Biscuits

Hello all, and welcome to my very first blog post! I figured we should first all get acquainted with one another, so please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Kara King, and I am from the lovely Volunteer state, Tennessee. At three years old, most kids were mixing mud and water, but I, on the other hand, fancied mixing flour and water. My passion for cooking started when I was only tall enough to reach my nana's knee caps. Whenever I stayed at her house, she would plop me on a stool beside her and the cooking adventures would begin. What I became known for was my "animal biscuits." Dog, cat, sheep— just name the species and I could have shaped it into a biscuit. Because this recipe was a two ingredient fix, the taste was something similar to cardboard, but it could have tasted like cardboard dipped in mud and my nana would have still given it five stars. Nana and I have always been cooking partners; some of my fondest memories are cooking Thanksgiving or Easter dinner next to her in the kitchen. She constantly reminds me that the recipe is not the dictator, I am. My nana taught me much more than just cooking; she showed me how to be passionate about something.  

I have always seen fruits and vegetable as things of beauty and the sound of chopping carrots is music to my ears. Not only am I fascinated with the process of cooking, but cooking is how I can share myself with others. Cooking and food always brings people together. When two people go on a date, what do they usually do at some point? Eat. What about the concept of family dinners? People eat and talk about what is going on in their lives. Food is the golden thread in connecting people. This now brings me to the meaning behind “I GOT YOU FLOURS.” Many people like to give “flowers” when they want to express care or love, but I like to give “flours.” “Flours” in a rue for a soup, bread, cake, maybe even animal biscuits, but whatever form, I always make sure my “flours” are given with love that fills the stomach and the heart. I hope you all will join me in sharing with the world my love of cooking, baking, and food.

Eat, drink, and be merry,