Monday, December 2, 2013

Diane's excellent cooking adventures

Because we celebrated Thanksgiving with family earlier in November, we decided to have a low-key Thanksgiving evening meal with our friends Chuck and Melanie.  And we all agreed in advance that we would venture away from the typical menu and create our own "alternative meal".

By now I should know better than trying out new recipes when entertaining friends, but I admit I'm not always smart about these things...

So I tried a couple of new recipes on Thanksgiving morning...

BAD pumpkin cake.  
The first recipe for pumpkin cake was an abject disaster.  I thought it sounded like an interesting alternative to pumpkin pie, but while I was making it I recognized it did not include any leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder.

 Of course, did I stop and look up alternative recipes to see if this was an oversight?  NO, I just forged ahead using the recipe verbatim.  Yes, stupid comes to mind...I even commented to Mike that the batter seemed awfully heavy.

Baking seemed to be the problem.  50 minutes, then 60 minutes then 70 minutes in the oven.  Still RAW INSIDE!  Being energy conscious, I finally decided to turn off the oven and consider this a loss.
After cooling this lump of pumpkin cake, I broke it up and threw it in the yard for the birds, rabbits and squirrels.  And yes, I'm still a bit worried I will look in the back yard and see dead carcasses...

After several hours elapsed and Mike badgering me to try again, I found another pumpkin cake recipe that included major amounts of leavening agents:  2 teaspoons of baking powder AND 1 teaspoon of baking soda.  So I trekked to WalMart to buy more pumpkin around 3pm on Thanksgiving day.  I must have been the most dejected looking shopper in the aisles.   And hey, what's another couple of hours baking anyway?  I guess it was worth it when the new pumpkin cake turned out amazingly good.

Cranberries "popping"

The rest of our "alternative" meal of spicy jerk turkey in the crock pot, garlicky grilled asparagus and baked Au gratin potatoes turned out great!

And of course we had to include the one traditional dish of cranberries...

Yummy cinnamon rolls

And then there were the cinnamon rolls.  This new recipe was from one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats, and it uses frozen bread dough as the base.

And these cinnamon rolls were fantastic on Black Friday morning.

So, hey I was 50-50 on the new recipes...

And then we enjoyed a lovely weekend with family in Southern Indiana...

Nephew Dane going up for a rebound. Love those yellow shoes. (photo by Mike)

Mom, Angie, Eric and Dane
Beautiful sunset

And I am so thankful for family and friends...

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend!



  1. Very funny, and I can relate! One year I made an iced spice cake recipe, from either Family Circle or Woman's Day. It turned out exactly like the photo, but when we tasted it, it had no flavor whatsoever. As in none. It is the one and only time I tossed something out, and I have never, ever, made another recipe from either of these magazines since. My sight-unseen go to recipe sites are, or anything made by my particular circle of admired chefs. Plus I now read the posted reviews!

    1. Thanks! Somehow it feels better knowing I'm not the only one...

  2. It happens. Experimentation is the mother of invention and success. I cheat. a box of yellow cake mix and a small can of pumpkin.

    1. Thanks Barb. I may try your simpler approach next time. Sounds good!