Saturday, January 28, 2012

Refrigerator Cake with Rye or Rum

This is something I make often to have for breakfast.  The original recipe for a fancy rum cake is probably available somewhere online and posted by a woman who points out that the liquor has a preservative effect on the cake and also allows it to freeze well.  So, for a 13x8 pan it's easy to freeze half of it for later.  Not sure how long it keeps in the fridge but I'm sure it's way longer than necessary.

The only special equipment I have for this kind of thing is a Pyrex mixing bowl and a (as mentioned) a 13x8 non-stick pan.  It would probably work in any standard size mentioned on the box of mix if adjusting the time. 

Oh, and I've never owned a mixer.  As a wise friend (Ms. Krista Block) told me that a wooden spoon and a cordless drill work just fine.  I just mix until most of the lumps are smoothed out then pour into a greased/floured pan.  If unfamiliar with the process, just rub some Crisco or cooking oil around the bottom and edges of the pan and then shake a bit of flour around it until they're reasonably snow-like.  I should mention that you will need some flour handy in addition to the ingredients below.

For the 13x8 I bake for 33 mins at 325 then check with a toothpick in the middle, for dampness.  Usually 33 mins is spot on.

As for the liquor to use, go with 40(ish)-proof dark rum or a decent rye whiskey.  My first attempt at this was with Overholt rye and it was OK but Beam seems to be a bit livelier (note that this means whiskey primarily distilled from rye mash and not Canadian blended whiskey).  Naturally you want the best quality available but not everyone keeps it around, so borrow if possible or else just go with a dark rum, such as Cruzan Aged or Bacardi Dark.  Rule of thumb is that rum has body and rye has the spicy flavor, splitting them to get the 1/2 cup may not be a bad idea if you have access to both.

1x 18.25 oz yellow cake mix
1x 3.5 oz (4-serving) vanilla instant pudding mix
4x eggs
1/2 cup cold milk (could sub water in a pinch)
1/2 cup vegetable/canola/light olive oil
1/2 cup rye whiskey or dark rum

For any other directions not specified just prepare as you would any other cake.

OH, as a side note, I've also tried making a "butter" cake and adding the rum to it, usually turns out just fine.  The only thing, since it's a different recipe structure than the above you will have to adjust the "oily" components accordingly as the rum has a drying effect.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Noodles Alfredo with WHAAAA?

Yah it comes in a pouch at any grocery store, like a plain white canvas except you can eat it. Duh.

Over the years I started reading the suggestions on the pouch and added different veggies and maybe some canned chicken. Then I started buying spices and then eventually I ended up with something I wouldn't mind people finding out about.

So...

Typically these start with the following brought to a boil and then you cook for 8 mins, etc.
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp (or whatever glob ends up on my butter knife...)
OK, at this point I do something like this:
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion flakes
  • Oregano flakes
  • Frozen spinach - about 1/2 cup unless I add meat later, then about 1/4 cup
Then if I want a heavier kinda thing, one of the following:
  • 10oz can of chicken - sometimes it's good to add the broth to the noodles before starting, but if so then I make sure to put it in the measuring cup before measuring the water, so that the total liquid is not much higher so that it's too runny.
  • 5oz can of mushrooms - drain and rinse
  • 5oz can of...boiled oysters? - not kidding. With all the seasonings in there these are not oystery tasting really but more mushroomey, but with different nutrients.
And then, bring to a boil and add the pouch as per instructions.

For some reason I reach for wheat thins when I have this. Either way, it makes a hearty meal for myself and the other half will keep for at least a couple days to reheat. Don't freeze this stuff - if you ever tried to consume thawed noodles you'll know what kind of mush you end up with.
Have fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mexican Bowl of Beans

Not sure what the heck to call this concept, but basically...

  • 1/2 can (~7.5 oz) pintos, black beans, watev, remove most of the liquid
  • a glob of salsa/picante
  • dash of hot sauce?
  • options*
  • stir, stir, stir (maybe let sit in fridge a while to let the flavors run together?)
  • sprinkle shredded cheddar on top

Microwave 3 mins at abt 500W then 45 sec at 800W (or more if you don't mind blowing a bean or two)

*options...
  • a glob of rice makes this a filling meal (or even some typical Spanish Rice in place of the salsa)
  • tonight I tried a 5oz can of chicken. Note to self: grill it in the Foreman thing first, with pepper
I once took the rice version to a party and they killed it - I had made a double portion and brought home just enough left for a side dish the next day.

Shouldn't have to say you want some corn chips handy...enjoy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SPAM boiled in hot water

First of all, this is SPAM from a can and not the email variety. In fact, I often find the generic variety (e.g. from Aldi) makes the endeavor even yummier to this penny pincher.

Second of all, why the heck boil it? Well I'll tell you the heck why. It's a very salty product, and so one fateful day I decided to try boiling 1/4 (~4oz) of the pink stuff as one would a hot dog, say, 5 mins if fresh out of the can or 10 mins boiled. What I got was something slimy, earthy and, well, wholesome in its own way. The master stroke (thus far) was trying some BBQ sauce on it after it's boiled - which, as I gather, is a concept not unique to my inspiration.

The idea behind this is to make a meal, so in this case we embellish with frozen vegetables and mashed potatoes. Here's the breakdown, as it stands now...

To start from a fresh can, just peel off the lid and slice the middle then the flanks, then take a fork and dig out the first slice. The remaining 3 freeze nicely in any reusable container. OH, and might as well pour out the slimy stuff from the can in the boiling pot, you'll see why later on. Dunk a hunk of SPAM in the pot of water and add garlic powder. If the piece is frozen I boil for 10 mins solid, or 5 mins if right outta the can.

When starting the boil timer it's the cue to heat up the veggies. I just get out something from the freezer and pour out a portion on the plate, add a dab of margarine and nuke for one minute on high. Don't put away the margarine - put a dab in the smaller boiling pot for the mashed potatoes.

I don't make the potatoes till the meat is done, and here's the economy of the whole deal: we use some of the brine from the boiling meat to make instant mashed potatoes, complete with some broth and garlic. The only thing is, I can't tell you what the measure of flakes would be since I use what was once holding an individual serving of applesauce, for a packed lunch. I just fill that up to about 1/4 inch from the top, and mix with:
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup brine from boiled SPAM
  • Aforementioned dab of margarine
  • Dash of oregano and onion flakes - not too much or it will smell like an armpit
Just like the instructions say, bring that to a boil, mix in the flakes, stir with a fork, add a bit of brine if needed, then do the veggies for another 45 seconds.

Once the meat is on the plate, I cut it in pieces and stir in some BBQ - usually it's Sweet Baby Rays.

Well I'd like to congratulate you for making it this far, and I'd like to shake your hand if this has actually made you hungry :)