Monday, March 07, 2005

Genevieve's birthday food

I realize I haven't posted much about the food I make *at home*, so today, I will change that. Yesterday, being my dear wife Genevieve's birthday, I did some special cooking for her. I started out in the morning with sweet potato pancakes with orange honey butter (courtesy of the William Sonoma 'Potato' cookbook my sister got me). Honestly, for the sake of time, I prepped half of this on Saturday (like the butter and steaming the potatoes). For this interested, the orange honey butter is yummy and easy to make. Just mix 1/2 cup of butter (softened) with 1/2 cup of honey, add 1 1/2 tsp of orange zest and 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate. Then, beat until creamy and mixed. I, actually, had a bit of trouble with this, since the butter did not want to cream very well. It was easily solved, though, by a quick trip into the oven (a nuker would be even better). I let the butter melt, then mixed, then put into the freezer until it resumed it's normal consistency. The pancakes took a little tweaking, as well. The recipe the cookbook gave turned out batter that was, simply, too thick. A little extra milk solves this easily though.

Then, for lunch, we had my homemade bean burgers: a recipe that I've been tweaking since we originally got it out of a Moosewood cookbook. My current patties are a mix of pinto beans, corn, garlic, cilantro and peppers and were great topped with ripe avocado. I've gotten to say that, if I ever open my own restaurant, I'll probably serve whatever the current incarnation of these is at the time.

For as easy as the bean burgers were, the chocolate cake was another story. The original recipe called for veggie shortening, an ingredient I generally reserve for our tamales. But, since I wanted to put a little more flavor in there, I substituted butter. The problem was that the original recipe also instructed that all of the ingredients were to be put into one bowl and beaten until mixed. Easy enough, but simply would not work for something with butter (which just ended up resulting in specs of butter throughout).
After modifying the recipe, with the help of Genevieve, I ended up with two perfectly mixed cake layers. Between these layers, I spread some Ganache I'd gotten at the market on Saturday (for those interested, it's really good and available at Reilly's, the stand next to Christopher's Bakery. If you do head there, pick up a bit of their Guinness Cake as well, it's freggin amazing.)

And that was Sunday...we went out to eat for dinner and came home and had cake with Woo City "Extreme Vanilla" ice cream.