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Monday, November 24, 2014

Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake

Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake

I was looking through my cooking magazines for some Thanksgiving ideas and came across this little darling.  Feeling in a cakey mood I decided to try it.  Though I am not a coffee drinker, I do love coffee cake. 


1 cup chopped Walnuts (I did not have enough walnuts, so I added some Pecans)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Coffee Cake

4 eggs, separated
1 cup butter
1 and 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
Walnut Streusel Coffee Cake, or as I have come to call it, My 4 Bowls.
In a bowl #1 mix walnuts, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and set aside.
In bowl #2 place egg whites and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 min while preparing everything else.  Then whip into stiff peaks and fold into cake batter.
In bowl #3 cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.
In bowl #4 Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Alternately add flour and sour cream to cake batter, beating well after each addition.

Fold in egg whites.
Pour half of the batter into a well greased bunt pan.
 Sprinkle with walnut mixture.  Pour in the remaining batter.  Bake for 45 - 55 min at 350 degrees.  Cool cake for about 10 min before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
 I always hold my breath and pray when I have to flip cakes over and take them out of the pan.  I was so relieved that this came out in one piece.  I have a history of bunt cakes not coming out.
 Dust with powdered sugar.
 And serve.
 It also tastes good the next day.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mini Baked Donuts

I have a long and sordid history with yeast.  I have more bread failures than successes.  Due to my impatient nature, lack of confidence, or years of past experience with things failing to rise; I am afraid yeast.  Therefore, it was quite the conundrum when I found this recipe for mini donuts.  I love donuts.  I have been looking for a baked donut recipe for years, but when I finally find one I was dismayed that it requires one of my most feared ingredients.  Needless to say this time it worked.  This time...      

Mini Baked Donuts (makes about 48)

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs warm (95 to 105F) milk, divided
1 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs butter, softened
2 and 1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
melted butter, cinnamon or powdered sugar for coating

(I don't know why the powdered sugar is on the counter.  I think my original plan was to coat them in powdered sugar, but I went with cinnamon instead.)
Stir 3 Tbs warm milk with yeast in a large bowl until blended.  Let stand 5 min.  
Add sugar, butter, and remaining 1/2 cup milk.  Mix well.  
Add flour, egg, and salt.  
Beat with dough hook at low speed until the dough starts to climb up the dough hook.  
Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.  
Transfer dough to greased medium bowl, turn dough over to grease the top.  Cover and let stand in warm place for 1 hour.  Spray 48 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.  Punch down dough.  Shape into 1 inch balls and place in prepared mini muffin tin.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  

Preheat oven to 375F.  Bake 10 - 12 min until light golden brown.  Remove to cool on wire racks.
They are pretty tasty plain, but I like sugar, so I decided to add cover them in cinnamon and sugar.  You could also add powdered sugar.
Drizzle the donuts with melted butter first so the cinnamon sticks better.  I used the shake and bake technique.
Plain or Cinnamon.  Both are tasty.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Gem County River Through Time event 2014

I would like to thank the Idaho Civil War Volunteer group for putting on an amazing "Gem County:  The River Through Time" event at Emmett, Idaho Oct 3rd - 5th, 2014.  They were so kind and welcoming towards us.  We really appreciate this wonderful group of Civil War enthusiasts for making our trip totally worth it and cementing some great friendships which we look forward to cultivating in years to come.
We bought a new car.  My Pop Can died and J's Blue is getting on in years so we figured we needed a new hauler.  We name all our cars.  We named this 2004 Honda CV-4, Ginga.  This was Ginga's first Civil War re-enactment.  She did well.  Our 6 foot ridge poles fit.  That was the number one factor in buying a new car.  Had to fit the Civil War gear.

J is fortifying himself before the big event.  We are huge fans of all things Mtn Dew.

An old-timey cowboy with his vintage hand crafted museum quality saddle made in 1910.
A good old fashioned Chuck Wagon.
A restored doctor's Hackney.
Pioneer Wagon Train.  We love trains.
I was super impressed by the Gold Mine set up.  It was way fun.

Mountain Man section.
Bring it on Johnny Reb, J is looking for a fight.
The Hall of Civil War Flags.  The Civil War era had a lot of flags.
The Gatling Gun.

Making Rag Dolls with Ricky.  I had so much fun at this table.
Learning to sew the old fashioned way with a period Pedal Foot Sewing Machine.
The pot quilt raffle.
J named my rag doll Abigail and took it with him into battle for good luck.  My husband is so cute.
A mean game of Checkers.
Marching Marching Marching.  That's what soldiers do best.
While the boys are marching around in the hot sun us ladies took to the shade for an afternoon tea.

Our Union forces.

John wanted a close up of the rust on the end of his barrel.
Our Union Forces protecting the Wagon Train from Injuns and Rebels.

I made my own butter in like 5 min.  It was super fun and tasted great.
Onward Christian Soldiers Marching into War...
What is the point of being a Civil War re-enactor if you can't shoot stuff.
After a busy day of marching and shooting stuff J had some time to relax and chat with the ladies.
Our favorite Black Smith, Wade.
Marie is an amazing seamstress.
They had a Black Smith, a Tin Smith, and a Gun Smith.
And a President Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln had a corn kerneler which was a big hit with the kiddies, so much so that one little boy got carried off in a tantrum because he did not want to stop playing with it.

Rebel Camp with Fletch.

J and I had a great time in Idaho.  We would like to thank the re-enactors for being so warm and welcoming towards us.  We made some good friends and shared some great food.  Everyone was so kind towards us outsiders.  We would also like to thank Emmett, Idaho for providing beautiful weather all three days we were there.  My teeth did not chatter once with cold.  On a personal note I am a high anxiety person, and I have to admit that this was the first three days in over a year that I actually felt relaxed.  I need more vacations like this.