Sunday, October 29, 2017

Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Have you ever made a cake that made the house smell so good that you're tempted to bake it every day so the house will smell good forever, and then you find out that the cake tastes just as good as it smells?
Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake
I did that this past weekend.
I want to bake it again and again and again.
And the Rum Toffee Sauce that went on top, well, all I can say is this, they're just lucky that there was some left to pour over the cake.  It's one of those sauces that needs constant taste tests.
To the detriment of the waist.
 The cake before the sauce.
Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Look at all that luscious toffee sauce pooling around the cake. 
Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake

I bake and donate a cake every couple of weeks to our local American Legion.  They raffle the cake and use the proceeds from the raffles in our community. They have a signup sheet, where you can buy as many chances on the cake as you wish.  As soon as the sheet is filled out, they spin a roulette type wheel and if your number gets picked you get the cake.
I usually drop the cake off at 4, and then we come back a little later for hamburgers, have a drink, visit with friends. Well, last week we got there, a little earlier than usual, and a few minutes after we arrived one of our friends brought the cake over to our table. It turns out they won the cake.
All the chances had been sold before we got there which had to have been a record.   And I got to taste cake, cause of course our friends won it. I like having friends.
I ate my slice before my hamburger came.
Life is short and one should eat dessert first, shouldn't you?
I got a lot of compliments on it, and I'm not saying we licked the plate the cake was on, to get all the toffee sauce, but it's amazing how much you can scrape up with a fork. 

I got the recipe here and then of course, made it to my taste.   Willow took such pretty pictures, but you'll just have to settle for mine.

My mother would have loved this cake as well. She wasn't much for sweets, but did love her candied ginger.  I think the little melty bits of candied ginger are what took this cake over the top. 
Here's the toffee sauce, cooking away .

Yield: 1 bundt cake

Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Candied Ginger and Pumpkin Bundt Cake

prep time: 20 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 60 mins
This is a rich, flavorful cake and the toffee rum sauce puts it over the top.


  • 2 cups AP Flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (I use a microplane and grate the nutmeg, fresh)
  • 6 tablespoons Butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup Molasses, unsulphured
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 cup plain pumpkin puree
Rum Toffee Sauce
  • 1 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons rum (more if you like)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a 9-10 inch bundt pan. Sift together the flour, spices and baking powder, set aside. Add the molasses and baking soda to the boiling water, then stir in the chopped candied ginger, set aside for a couple of minutes to cool. Add the pumpkin puree, let sit til cool. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the egg, continue to beat for another minute or so, until it's lighter in color. Add the cooled molasses mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, mix at low speed until combined. Then fold in the dry ingredients until they are barely moistened. Much like making muffins. Pour or spoon into the bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the cake is firm and springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes after removing it from the oven, place a plate over the pan and invert it. The cake should come right out. Let sit to cool while you prepare the toffee sauce.
Rum Toffee Sauce
  1. Combine the cream, sugar and butter in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, whisk the ingredients together and let it come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook, stirring constantly for 12-15 minutes until the sauce thickens. I use a spoon and check to see if it coats the back of the spoon, as soon as it does, stir in the Rum. Whisk together and let cool. It will thicken even more as it cools. Pour over cake just before serving.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tate's Hell Snake Eyes Deviled Eggs

There's a local legend in these parts as to the name of Tate's Hell State Park.  It seems there was a rather unlucky farmer named Cebe Tate who had some cattle killed and run off by a panther.  He set off into the forest in search of the cows and the panther, but got lost, was bitten by a snake/s and stumbled out of the woods a week later and collapsed. Before he died, he muttered the words, "My name is Cebe Tate, and I've been through hell.   It's said that Tate's Hell State Forest was named after him.  You can read about him here and here.  I did say it was a legend.

A few years ago I made some deviled eggs and called them Tate's Hell Eggs, and they tasted good, but the presentation wasn't that great. 
Well, I redid the recipe a little, and made some Tate's Hell Snake Eyes Deviled Eggs for Tapas last weekend.  I shoulda made more, they disappeared, fast.  As in, I looked there was a plateful, and then when I looked again, they were gone.
Tate's Hell Snake Eyes Deviled Eggs

Yield: 24 eggs

Tate's Hell Snake Eye Deviled Eggs

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 20 mins
Deviled Eggs are always popular and these are a take on my Tate's Hell Deviled Eggs.


  • 1 dozen eggs, hard cooked
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or enough to moisten a little
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (you can always use less)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (optional
  • 3-4 Black Olives, cut into strips
  • Sriracha sauce


  1. 1.Hard cook the eggs, peel, then let cool. Cut eggs in half, setting the whites aside, extract the yolk and mash it together with the mayonnaise and Sambal Oelek . Place this mixture into either a piping bag with a large round tip or into a ziploc bag. Cut the olives in half, then half again, and again, to make little strips. Pipe the egg yolk mixture into each half of egg, using the piping bag or a ziploc bag with one corner cut out. Place a black olive strip on each egg, and then very carefully, place a stripe of Sriracha Sauce above and below each olive slice.  Serve
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tapas for October 2017

Since it's October and time for Tapas as well.   I had to make a few Halloween themed dishes, cause, Hello Halloween?
I had to.
But luckily our guests brought lots and lots of great food as well.
They usually do, and it's always good.  
I love trying all the offerings, and visiting with people, and well, pretty much all of it. 
Take at look at the table full of great food for starters.
From the left, in front, the red pot had a Morel Mushroom and Stone Crab Risotto, then there was hot spinach dip, a fresh sliced veggie tray.  Behind the Spinach dip were some awesome meatballs, then the Spider Cake I like to make and share, alongside the Spider Eggs.   I hate to admit it, but I was too busy tasting it to get a good picture, it was way too blurry to post.
From the top, well, sorta, here are some of the other dishes that were brought and shared.
Some totally delicious wings, lovely and hot.  They left me a couple and I had them for breakfast.
 Stuffed Peppers, again, so good.
Rice Casserole, next to pasta, rice has to be my favorite dish.
There was also this awesome Chang Mai Pork Curry.   I do love curry, and this was spot on for flavor and heat.
There was some Ambrosia Salad, which was so good.  I just never know whether it's a side dish or a dessert.  It's one of those either or dishes.  But I do know I love it. 
A hot Spinach dip, again, one of those dishes I love.
I had to include this picture, I had too. As you can see, we had lots of food and people it all.
Some more wings, these were done in an Air Fryer, they were lovely and spicy as well. 
I had some fun with the table before everyone got there.  I'd made some of my Something's Seedy Crackers to go with the Spider Cake as well as a green onion spread I'd made.  I also carved up a couple of orange peppers into Jack o' Lanterns.  I did them last year as well. Nothing like repeating a great idea. 

I also had some fun with some Deviled Eggs,  I made some Tate's Hell Snake Eyes, I'll share the story and recipe in another post.
Of course we had some desserts as well.   Some Red Velvet cupcakes,
and one of Carolyn's frozen Trifles. 
 And I didn't get a shot of the bowl of M&M's. But I did eat some of them as well. 

Well so much for this month, again, lots and lots of great food, wonderful conversations and now that the kitchen's cleaned up, the wineglasses washed and put away, I'm going to go and put my feet up.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Danish Crab Salad - Krabbe salat

I've on a mission to introduce as many people as possible to Danish Cuisine, in my own humble fashion.
Semi-humble fashion.

I've been making a concerted effort to share as many recipes as I can with my friends.

Luckily for me, they seem to appreciate it as well.
They do eat it all gone when I make something fun, and this past Tapas Night was no exception.
I made some Tarteletter shells and filled them with some chicken and mushrooms, but I also made this Crab Salad and put it into some small Puff Pastry Shells.
Danish Crab Salad - Krabbe Salat
They were a hit.
And I will make these again.  I think they'd be a perfect starter to a fancy meal, or just because.
I like the idea of just because, cause that way I don't have to wait for a special occasion.  I can make them again, soon.
Danish Crab Salad - Krabbe Salat
Danish Crab Salad - Krabbe Salat
 This recipe isn't in my cookbook but will be in the next edition, out early next year.  But for now you can purchase Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes on Amazon, either in paperback or on Kindle.  You can even read it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.  
Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Cookbook

 But until then, you need to try this out.  Really, you do. 

Yield: Enough to fill 24 mini Puff Pastry Shells

Danish Crab Salad
Danish Crab Salad - Krabbe Salat

prep time: 10 MINScook time: total time: 10 mins
The original recipe said to stuff Tomatoes with it, but the Puff Pastry Shells were a perfect appetizer


  • 1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon + Tarragon Vinegar to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh Tarragon  + extra for garnishing.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon good smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste (I use the double tomato in the tube)
  • 1/2 lb. Crab Meat
  • 1 stick Celery, fine dice
  • 24 mini puff pastry shells, baked


  1. Mix mayonnaise with vinegar, salt and paprika to taste. Add tomato paste, tarragon and then crab meat and celery. Mound into baked puff pastry shells, sprinkle a few tarragon leaves on top and serve.
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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Halloween - Vampire Blood Tapenade

I wanted to come up with a creepy name for this totally delicious spread.   I was thinking along the lines of Vampire Vanquisher, or something like that, and then as I was reading a book, a line in there caught my attention.  They talked about how Vampires don't have blood running through their veins, it's more coagulated.
Well, this recipe is right on then.
It should also keep those pesky Vampires away as well.  Hey, if you're a garlic lover, this recipe is for you. 
Vampire Blood Tapenade
It tastes wonderful, but more importantly, at least for Halloween purposes, it's a little, well, a lot on the creepy side.
Doncha' love it when it all comes together?
It sure did on this.  And best of all, it came together on a night when we got a last minute invite, and I was able to go into the pantry, pick out a couple of things, and throw it together.
Vampire Blood Tapenade
And everyone loved it.  So much so I did a repeat a couple of weeks later, and again, it was eaten.
I love it when a recipe comes together that fast and people love it.
This is perfect for Halloween though.  The appearance is that of coagulated blood and I bet it would be great served in a bread bowl or another fun receptacle.
In other words, go forth and have fun. 

Yield: 6-10 servings

Vampire Blood Tapenade
Vampire Blood Tapenade

prep time: 10 MINScook time: total time: 10 mins
A fun appetizer for Halloween, or anytime. This black olive tapenade comes together in just a couple of minutes, with just a couple of ingredients from your pantry. Perfect for a last minute gathering. And it looks suitably grim for Halloween.


  • 2 cans black olives, drained
  • 24 pimento stuffed green olives (add more if desired)
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 small jar roasted red pepper, or 
  • 1- 4 oz. jar pimento's or 
  • 1 whole roasted red pepper, seeded and peeled
  • 1 clove raw garlic, grated on a microplane
  • 2 teaspoons - 1 tablespoon EVOO


  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until almost smooth. Serve with Naan or fresh sliced french bread or crackers. 
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Monday, October 2, 2017

First Monday Favorites- October 2017 -10

It's First Monday Favorites time again, and time for me to choose what recipe I made last month that bears repeating.
First Monday Favorites
In other words, it was so good, I need to make it again and again.
And as usual, I had a hard time choosing.
I'd made some Honey and Garlic Roasted Carrots  for the Fantasical Food Fight, and they were so good.
I'd also made some Hurricane Irma soup as well as Fish Taco's but the one recipe that got my heart going pitter pat, was this one. 
Warm Potato Salad, recipe courtesy of my cousin Solvejg and it was her mother's recipe, my Faster Magda's recipe as well.    (Faster means father's sister in Danish).
Warm Potato Salad

Who can argue with a family recipe?  Not me.  Especially when it was a lovely taste from my childhood.
So that's my pick for First Monday Favorites from September.
What's yours?

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