Tag Archives: southern

Southern Living Pound cake and the perfectionist super woman who lives in my head

Watermarked Photo (104)

It used to take A’s on tests in grad school or a wonderful session for me to feel accomplished…now, when my pound cake slides out the pan and looks pretty…I feel like I climbed a mountain!  Yay!

Extra extra read all about it:  CAJUN MAMA CAN BAKE!  Like a true Southern woman.  I made my very first pound cake.  Now, I know for many of you this is not a big deal.  But for me, it is a true accomplishment.  Usually me baking equals an epic fail.  It usually does not come out nearly as lovely as what I envision in my head.  In my head lives a perfectionist wonder woman who should be able do everything.  Able to wake up rested after 3 hours of sleep and look refreshed and bright eyed.  Able to get it all done plus some and not get tired.  Able to whip up delicious desserts with nary a failure and make it all effortless.  Newsflash…that chick does not exist.  She is an accumulation of my unrealistic expectations in myself and society’s version of what a mom should be.  Guess what?  After a good night’s sleep, I am still tired and look mediocre.  I get some of it done and before leaving my house to go get in carpool line, every day without fail I say to myself “dang I need more hours in the day”.  And when I bake, well, usually it looks like a science experiment went wrong in my kitchen.  But I splurged a while back and bought a really nice bundt pan, hoping that this would solve all my baking problems and baking fails would become baking wins, wars would end, the government would get it together and we could all live in perfect harmony.  Not quite.  But this bundt pan did produce a splendidly browned bundt cake that did not stick!  Hallelujah! Perfectionist super woman got ahold of my debit card and went on Williams Sonoma online and bought this bundt pan.  Thinking of all the wonderful bundt cakes and pound cakes she was going to make (though in this case she was right). She does that sometimes.  Gets all these high falutin ideas about what’s gonna happen in Cajun Mama’s kitchen and buys stuff to make it happen.  I have to tell her to back it down sometimes because she gets out of hand.  I tell Big Daddy it is all her fault, but he reminds me that I do not have split personalities (at least he is pretty sure) and that me and her are the same people and therefore, in reality I am to blame.  humph.  Who lives in reality?  Not me.  Duh.  Lol!  So, cut to a while later, and Sunday evening I was feeling particularly domestic and I said out loud to whomever was listening (no one) “I am gonna bake a sour cream pound cake!!”.  So, I drug out some of my cookbooks (that perfectionist wonder woman bought most of those too) and set out to looking for a recipe.  I figured I had never made one so I would have to start somewhere.  And so I did.  I found a good one (I mean…Southern Living is always a good bet).  The wonderful part about cooking all the time and gaining experience as a non trained chef is that most of the time, I have almost all of the ingredients to bake whatever I fancy at the moment and whatever recipe we find that we want me to cook.  No, not we as in me and my other personality.  We, as in my family, the kids, Big Daddy…whatever we want me to cook.  Because guess what…if it is cooked, it is cooked by me.  Ya dig?  Ok.  So anyway, after some careful research (i.e. reading through cookbooks…tough job), and looking through the pantry and fridge, I was set on go.  Pound cake #1 would commence on Monday.  Well.  It was SCRUMPTIOUS!!!!!  Total win.  Between the wonderful bundt pan and a can of Baker’s Joy (Target brand of course.  I stay at home ya’ll…no money in that.  Store brands rule!!!) it turned out like a dream.  Color me shocked.  But that perfectionist Super Woman just sat there with her arms crossed, looking all smug.  She gets on my nerves.

So, if you have been looking for a good sour cream pound cake and are feeling fancy, this is a good place to start.  My sweet friend Lottie sent me her grandmother’s recipe for pound cake, so I think that will be pound cake #2.  Yes, I am the self appointed pound cake tester.  Also, I am bringing samples to some of my kids’ teachers and other staff members at the kids’ school so that I can get some feedback.  And I won’t injure myself eating an entire pound cake.  Yes, if you are employed at my kiddos’ school, you might be a pound cake guinea pig.  I have not heard any complaints yet!  So here goes friends.  Be Southern…bake a pound cake!!! ~AMB

Image

A few of the cookbooks I own.  I may or may not have a cookbook addiction.  

Image

Food blogger research.  Tough job but someone has to do it.

Image

Shocking that a wonderful sour cream pound cake recipe ended up here?  Nah.

Southern Living Sour Cream Pound Cake (from Southern Living: 40 Years of Our Best Recipes  cookbook)

Makes 10-12 servings

Stuff You Need~

1 1/2 cups of butter, softened (this is 3 sticks of the real stuff)

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (am I the only one who loves the smell of this stuff?)

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare your 12 cup tube pan by spraying with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour your tube pan.

Add softened butter to the bowl of your standing mixer or a mixing bowl.  Using your standing mixer or electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar (I did a half cup at a time), beating after each addition at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at at time, beating just until the yolk disappears.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking soda.  Add this to the butter mixture a little at a time, alternating with the sour cream, starting with flour mixture and ending with flour mixture. Beat batter at low speed until just blended after each addition.  Now stir in the lemon and almond extracts.  Pour into your prepared tube pan.  Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.  Mine took exactly 1 hour 20 minutes.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto wire rack and allow pound cake to cool completely.  Enjoy and share with those you love.  Or those you wish to impress with your amazing baking skills.  Just saying.

Image

Butter and sugar beat together until light and fluffy. I had to restrain myself from grabbing a spoon.  #sugaraddict #letssellitinajar 

Image

Chilling on the wire rack. 

 

Image

Advertisements

Southern Chicken salad

So apparently today is National Sandwich Day so the fact that I was already planning to post a recipe for the MOST DIVINE chicken salad under the sun is simply a coincidence.  A wonderful coincidence, but anyway…this chicken salad is heavenly.  I have made it twice in the past 4 days and both batches disappeared in less than 24 hours.  This stuff is magnificent.  Poor Big Daddy, yesterday he calls me after an appointment and says “I think I have my mind set on one of those chicken salad sandwiches”.  I had to say “babe sorry, there is no more”.  The disappoint in his voice was pitiful but he forged ahead and I promised him I would make more.  And I did.  And now it is all gone again.  So just in case I have any fellow chicken salad lovers out there, I figured I would make this hump day/National Sandwich Day an extra special one.  Ya’ll ready for this?  Yeah I figured.

photo (28)

So pretty, don’t you think?

Southern Chicken Salad (adapted from Debbie Lawrence @ http://drmommyonline.com)

Serves 6

Prep time 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup Duke’s mayonaisse (she didn’t specify this…that is mine because its the best! But feel free to use whatever kind you want)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 1/2 cups diced, roasted, or boiled chicken

1 cup finely diced celery

1/3 cup chopped pecans (I added about 1 cup total because we really like them)

1/3 cup diced red grapes (again I put more…it makes it even better)

Directions

In a medium sized  bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice and kosher salt.  Add in the diced chicken and give it a good toss to let the mayo mixture coat the chicken.  Then fold in pecans, celery and grapes.  That’s it.  Your done.  I served mine on a bakery croissant with a leaf of romaine lettuce.  Perfection!!!

photo (29)

 

You want one too, don’t you?  

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Yes…you read that title correctly.  Chocolate bourbon pecan pie.  And it is every bit as delicious as you would imagine.  It is Thanksgiving and Christmas and all good things rolled into one.  It is traditional pecan pie but so much more.  I came across this recipe one lucky day…before pinterest. Shocking I know!!  I gave it a try that Christmas and we were blown away.  Friends who came to Christmas dinner wanted to take an entire pie home.  It is that good.  The best thing about this pie is that it is easy to prepare and yet it tastes so fabulous it seems as if you have spent hours preparing it.  This pie will have people beating down your door to be friends with you, get you into the best holiday parties, heck it is so good they might throw  a party in your honor!!  Ok…I may be embellishing a little but I assure you making this pie for your friends and family can’t hurt anything.  Oh it is so good.  So give it a try.  I promise you have totally got this!  So get to baking…Cajun Mama says so.  Sorry…I know that was bossy…but I like to pretend ya’ll listen to me…the people who live in my house with me certainly don’t.  I am pretty sure they hear a series of dolphin squeaks when I speak.  Ha ha!  But really…sigh.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

(From Southern Living Nov. 1998)

Yields  one 9 inch pie

Ingredients 

1/2 package refrigerated pie crusts

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup light corn syrup

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate, taking care to fold edges under and crimp

Whisk together eggs, light corn syrup, and the following 6 ingredients until mixture is smooth.  Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate chips.  Pour into pie crust.

Bake on the lowest oven rack for 1 hour or until set.  Mine took exactly an hour and then I let it cool for about 45 minutes and it was perfectly set.

ImageYeah…it is even better than it looks.  Promise.