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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dance Like No One's Watching!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sound the Alarm...

...  My family was spared from the flooding in South Carolina praise be to God!  My sister said that she went to the store to get all the fixin's for a pot of chili to hunker down with during the "deluge"; and the store was void of Kidney Beans! Everyone must have been making chili! Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods, and as I go through my handwritten cookbooks I find more recipes for chili than anything else.  I'm straining my brain to remember if I had a chili I didn't like...hum...nope!

Chili is a personal food don't you think?  Once Hubby & I went to a dinner party toting a pot of my chili, as did everyone else! A Chili Cook Off. We all ate a small bowl each others chili, a blind tasting, only the hostess knew who's was who's.  Our own being obvious to us, we still ate it like it was anonymous. We had planned to pick a winner, but no one could pick the best chili, I know I honestly couldn't. Each was a winner in it's own way!  It was so fun to see & taste how different each pot was and how personal it was.
 We have no rain (please pray) but now I have a hankerin' for chili.
All this hunkering & hankering Cowboy talk is making me want chili!...
5 Alarm Chili!
Yes those are tortilla chips! About an oz of chips. I have also used 2 corn tortillas. They add great flavor & also thicken up the chili.  I blended them with spices, (chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp. ketchup & sugar) with large can of tomatoes. My favorite is whole tomatoes but I used a can of diced, so it made the chili thicker. I got lazy and didn't fire roast the peppers but it's so much better if you take the time to do that. The dark chilies are dried, which I soaked in 2 cups of hot water before adding those to the tomatoes in the blender as well.  I use the water from this soak in the chili. (brown liquid in measuring cup) Again I was lazy and just left the skins on to get every bit of pepper.  Normally I make with ground beef but I had this marbled piece of meat that I knew was going to be tasty and tender.  I always get my pot beyond hot before adding my room temperature meat. It should stick where it lands and I don't touch it until I can see that it's good & browned. This adds so much flavor. It's surprisingly not as hot as it would seem but I can eat fire so....
With chili I love warm tortillas or cornbread but for this one...
Pass the thick & chewy & crunchy San Francisco Sourdough Garlic Bread please!
Grab that spoon! Dare to Have A Bite ?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sweet Things...

My 1st Painted Cake goes to my new Daughter-in-Law Chelsea Campbell!
Happy Birthday Chelsea!
(7-Up Confetti Cake with Lemon Butter Cream Frosting - it's a party on the inside! )
I had so much fun painting this cake that I can't wait to paint another one.  My son likes to bake and suggested we go into business!  Said he'll bake and I paint.   The idea of a CFL (Cottage Food Operations License) has been tossed around this house for the last 6 months or so.   I took a cake decorating class "many many Moons ago" as my Dad would say.  (That's really the only Indian thing he has ever said now that I think about it. hahaha Another story for another time.) Anyway!  I enjoy decorating them but not so much baking them, I'm more of a cook than a baker, so it could work.   Cakes are swirling around in my head.  Pumpkins with Pumpkin Spice, Roses with Red Velvet,  Carrots with Carrot Cake, Poinsettia & Holly, Sunflowers, Hydrangea, Trumpets, Shamrocks, Robots,.............Angels!   (Did she say robots?)

I painted this cake with regular food coloring. I know there are cake paints on the market that are very much like acrylic paint,  but have never looked at them but be assured I will be getting some soon! I started with new paint brushes, a flat brush & a liner brush.  Watering down the food color a little and painting from light to dark just like water colors, adding layers of color worked out best & was less stress, too much color and your design could be done for, or at least your fondant.  I used the flat brush like a calligraphy pen for the writing and then went over the top with the liner brush. If your brush gets too wet and a lot of color goes on it's easy to fix though, just dry your brush to use it to mop up the extra color like a little sponge.   I learned a lot from this little cake.  Green & red make brown & black depending on the intensity of either color. So one box of ordinary food color will make just about any color that you need.  If ever I make another lemon cake I will stipple the little lemons on the bottom to give them some texture.  I chickened out when it came to writing on the cake. I folded under the pressure...I only had 1 box of fondant....I didn't want to ruin it... so I made the banner.

Of course I have already started a little book of cake illustrations & ideas. I did each of these in a matter of minutes, but if time was taken to properly draw them out,  I think these could be cool & fun to paint. Paintings of Painted cakes......

Yes I will make a cake for you! 
Life is getting Sweeter...