Friday, April 30, 2010

My Favorite Pound Cake

It is time once again for Foodie Friday hosted by Machael Lee West at Designs by Gollum. I always look forward to Foodie Friday because there are some amazing cooks out there in blog land and I feel so fortunate that they are sharing their most special recipes. Take a look at all the participants. You won't be disappointed.

Today I am sharing My Favorite Pound Cake recipe. Over the many years of my married life I have tried many Pound Cake recipes and then a very dear friend gave me the recipe that she had used her whole married life. I baked it for the first time and it turns out, that is the BEST Pound Cake I have ever baked.

Becky's Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Grease and flour a large tube pan. Or use Baker's Joy.

Cream butter and sugar till perfectly smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour a little at a time. Slowly add milk, flavoring and salt. Add baking powder last. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in COLD oven. Turn temperature to 325*F and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Note: Make sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature before preparing the cake.

Just out of the oven.

It rose and browned so nicely. I think it may help too that I have new Wolf ovens.

I couldn't help myself from taking that first slice.

Sometimes going back to basics and fine tuning recipes is a Good Thing.

I have always loved the versatility of a Pound Cake whether it is topped with fresh strawberries or a wonderful Caramel Sauce or even a Cognac Cherry Sauce as I have done here.

Becky's Pound Cake has truly become my favorite pound cake.

Don't forget to go by Designs by Gollum to see some fabulous recipes that have been shared.

Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Family Room Vignette

Today is Tabletop Tuesday hosted by Marty at A Stroll Through Life. I am always amazed at all the entries each week. It always gets the creative juices flowing.

Today I am sharing a vignette in my family room which is our most used room in our home. This little mahogany Henkle-Harris table holds some of my favorite books, it's a great place to place violets since there is so much natural light coming through and below some cherished photos sent to me by a very dear friend.

The chairs are covered in a Silk plaid. The colors in these chairs are the colors I have used throughout my house, cherry red, lime green and mustard. The pillows have little bees on them and I have a particular fondness for bees and use prints with bees on them throughout my house as well. The Plantation shutters were put in about two years ago and I love them especially when the afternoon sun is shining through.

It's a great place for African Violets since it is flooded with bright light.

I like to keep my most favorite decorating books handy which are all of Charles Faudree's books on decorating in the French Country style. Here I have stacked them to give some heighth to the violet sitting on top. The doily with the rose in the center was crocheted by my Grand Mother many years ago. I also like to use silver birds throughout my house and am particularly fond of these little silver birds. They have a whimsical look about them.

Underneath are another of my favorite decoratoring books by Mary Carol Garrity.

Sitting on top of Mary Carol's books are some treasured photographs and notes from a very dear friend. She has been to several of Mary Carol's Open Houses in Atchison, Kansas at Christmas and during the Spring in Mary Carol's gorgeous home. My friend always took photos and would send them to me. It made me feel as though I had been there too. I thought at one time I would be able to join her on one of Mary Carol's Open House's but unfortunately I was unable to make the trip. Hopefully someday. Never the less, these photographs and notes sent to me by my friend are a real treasure to me and I cherish them as I do her friendship.

This is my tabletop that I am sharing this week. I think I can honestly say that each and every tabletop in my home speaks to me in some way. Please take a look at other participants of Tabletop Tuesday. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring Garden Mosaics

Happy Monday to everyone. Today I am sharing some of my early Spring photos in Mosaics. I live in North Florida and Spring came early in our area as compared to most of the country. It is Mosaic Monday and I haven't participated in this party hosted by Mary at Little Red House in quite a long time.

This is a view in the larger photo of my patio and what I see when I enjoy time on my patio. I begin most every morning here with my coffee and often end the evening with a cocktail or iced tea. As long as we have cool mornings and breezy evenings this is where I am found. In between most days are spent in the garden.

Looking back at the house from the garden.

We have had a beautiful Spring this year due to a colder winter and we are still enjoying those cool mornings and late afternoons.

Please join Mary at Little Red House to enjoy other Mosaic participants and have a Happy Monday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spaghetti a La Bruzzi

A very sweet young friend inadvertently reminded me of this dish that I have often prepared. We have a favorite Italian restaurant in our neck of the woods that does a house dish called Spaghetti a La Bruzzi. It is a wonderful dish of linguine, red sauce, sauteed mushrooms, mixed together and topped with mozzarella cheese and then baked in the oven.

This is my version and my family loves it. The grand kidlets can't eat enough of it so it very often appears on my menu when they come to visit. It is a good comfort meal and since the grand kidlets dearly love Italian foods they are a year round pleaser.

Carolyn's Spaghetti a La Bruzzi

The sauce will make enough for two 9X13 inch pans. I always freeze the remaining sauce for another day.

2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 pounds ground round
1 large onion or 2 small onions, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 28-ounce cans Whole Peeled Italian Tomato's
1 28-ounce can Italian Tomato Puree
1 12-ounce can Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon oregano, dried
1 tablespoon basil, dried
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 Bay Leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup Parmesan cheese

1 pound Portobello Mushrooms,sliced
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
a little olive oil

1 pound Linguine

1/2 pound good mozzarella, grated

In a 5 quart heavy pot on medium heat brown ground round and onions in olive oil until meat is brown and onions are tender. Add garlic and saute for about two minutes. Add tomato puree and liquid from the whole peeled tomato's. Lower the heat to simmer.

In a blender puree the whole tomato's one can at a time and then add to beef mixture. Next add the oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf, sugar and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and simmer for about two hours on a very low heat.

In the meantime, saute the Portobello Mushrooms in two tablespoons of butter with a little added olive oil.

Using a 5 quart pot,season the pasta water with salt (I use a French Herbed Sea Salt) and a little olive oil. Cook the pound of Linguine until al dente and drain completely in a colander. Do not run water over the pasta.

In a very large bowl mix all of the above ingredients, only 1/2 of the meat sauce, mushrooms, and pound of Linguine. Mix well.

Place in a 9X13 inch dish. Top with grated mozzarella cheese and bake at 350* until the cheese is browned.

Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

I use a 5-quart Le Crueset cast iron pot.

This sauce will make enough for two 9X13 inch pans of Baked Spaghetti but if you only want one pan then freeze the rest of the sauce for another time. It freezes beautifully.

The cheese browns nicely and everything is cooked so it only takes 30 minutes to bake it.

It is a delicious comforting dinner and children love it. Served with crusty bread, it is the perfect paring.

Note: sometimes I add a little Chianti to the sauce if I am not serving it to the grand kidlets.

It is Foodie Friday
hosted by Michael Lee West. So cruise on over to her blog and enjoy other participants in Foodie Friday. You won't be sorry since there are a lot of fabulous recipes posted for this Foodie Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend.