Pumpkin. Butter.

Pumpkin and butter are two different ingredients. Do not substitute the one for the other in cake unless you do not care about the change of texture and flavor. You will still have cake, but it will not be as tender or, well, buttery.


Molasses Gingerbread with Pumpkin



3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin pie filling (This was a subsitute for butter.)
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup boiling water
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 c masa arepa corn flour (This was a subsitute for all regular flour.)
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
(I left out 1 teaspoon grated orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.)

I baked 6 mini-bundt cakes in a (preheated) 325*F oven for 25 minutes.


Categories: Bread, Dessert, Desserts, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Church Picnic

church picnic shelter

Summer is drawing to a close. Schools have started. Sunsets are coming more quickly.  Since the state parks close at dark this means that the time for grilling at the park will soon pass as well.

Our church family enjoyed a few hours together this past weekend. Planning and organization was made a bit easier by the use of Mailchimp. With this internet tool, attendees are invited via email to R.S.V.P. and sign up for items to contribute to the event.  When you visit the web page you are able to see which other guests have replied and what parts of the menu are already taken care of.  Depending on how the host sets up the form you can choose to be general or specific about what you plan to contribute.

I signed up to bring a side dish. Other categories included designated fruit salad, and bags of chips, so I figured that they were looking for something more like a vegetable when they typed in “side dish”.

Southern Living had a recipe for Street Corn Salad that looked attractive with the variety of colors. The simplicity of preparation was also attractive, since there were only two steps to follow:

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients; whisk in olive oil.
  2. Stir together corn, radishes, and tomatoes in a medium bowl. Gently stir in dressing; spoon mixture onto a serving platter, and sprinkle with cheese.

I made changes to the ingredients list in order to save money: eliminated the $1.99 radishes, used lemon juice instead of fresh limes, sea salt instead of kosher, thawed frozen corn instead of scraping kernels off the cob, substituted grape for cherry tomatoes, and used up the half container of feta cheese that was in my fridge instead of buying Cotija…should I even pretend it is the same recipe?

Here is my list of ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 1 lb. bags frozen corn, thawed
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halves
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled



Categories: Cheese, Food and drink, Salad, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defrosted Dessert

blueberries-coconut-tartSome days are busier than others.  When my husband put the kettle on the stove to make us a pot of tea, I was glad to take a quick break.  I didn’t even have to whisk something together to go with the tea. Some excess desserts can be frozen for times like these.

When I tested out some new mini tart pans a few weeks ago, I wrapped one of the coconut custard tarts in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.  This afternoon, 38 seconds on defrost worked well enough (the color and texture weren’t exactly uniform) to soften the dessert.  A handful of frozen blueberries rinsed with warm water were a nice compliment of color and flavor.


Categories: Food and drink | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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