Saturday, May 29, 2010


angel food cake with strawberries (6)
Whenever I use egg yolks in a recipe, instead of discarding the unused egg whites, I freeze them, being careful to date and label them.  Sometimes I freeze 6 together, sometimes 3, sometimes 2, etc.  Little plastic containers work perfectly for this.  When I want to use them, I take a container out the night before and let it thaw slowly in the fridge.  That’s what I did when I made this angel food cake. 
angel food cake with strawberries
While I’m not a huge fan of angel food cake, my hubby is.  He loves slices of it with fresh strawberries and Redi Whip.  He also loves it split,  filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting. 
In this day of modern technology, you would think that the best angel food cake would be made with a KitchenAid stand mixer.  Not so.  Angel food cake has greater volume and more tender texture when egg whites are beaten with a wire whip.  Follow this recipe exactly and you will have a beautiful, high, moist, tender, delicious and heavenly dessert. 
angel food cake with strawberries (7)
One word of caution:  Be sure utensils, bowls and bakeware are free of any grease.  Butter, oils and fats are the enemy of angel food cake!
Heavenly Angel Food Cake
Recipe adapted from Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking
Rating:  10 out of 10
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 cup low-protein bleached all-purpose flour (such as White Lily)
1 tsp. vanilla powder
5 large egg whites (2/3 cup), room temperature
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/2 + 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbsp. lemon, lime or orange juice

Heat oven to 300F.  Line two small loaf pans (3-1/2” x 7-1/2” each) with double sheets of wax paper on bottoms only; set aside.  Do not grease pans.

In work bowl of food processor, pulse sugar and lemon zest till both are ground fine; set aside.   On a piece of wax paper, sift flour, measure, then resift six times with half the sugar mixture and the vanilla powder.  (If you clear the wax paper of excess flour after the first sifting, you can then resift the 1/2 cup of flour, sugar mixture and vanilla powder together on the wax paper, saving a little on clean-up.) 

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and salt till stiff and peaks form, about 5 minutes.  (You might want to slightly tip the bowl, making it easier to whisk.) 
angel food cake with strawberries (8)
With the bowl flat, sift the remaining half of the sugar, a little at a time, in about 5 portions, adding the citrus juice at the end.  Beat about 20 strokes after each addition.  Sift the flour-sugar mixture in 5 portions over the egg white mixture.  Fold gently but thoroughly with the whisk after each addition.  Divide batter equally between the two prepared pans.  Bake at 300F for 30-35 minutes, or till delicately browned and cake springs back when lightly touched. 
angel food cake with strawberries (2)

Invert pans over wire rack to cool, about 1-1/2 hours. 
angel food cake with strawberries (5) 
Using straight up-and-down motions, run sharp knife around edges of pan to loosen cake.  Remove wax paper from bottoms.  Yield:  About 14 (1”) slices.

Friday, May 21, 2010


For a casual gathering, nothing beats baked beans as a side dish.  These are a little spicy, a little sweet, a little tangy and just downright good.  If you don’t like the  bacon strips on top, just leave them out.  I’m even giving you the quantities for a smaller batch that will serve 5-7 people, so there’s no excuse not to make these.  And remember, you can freeze leftovers.  baked beans (5)
QUESTION:  Do you have a favorite recipe for baked beans?

Baked Beans for a Crowd
Source:  Judy’s Kitchen
Rating:  10 out of 10
INGREDIENTS:  3 (28-oz.) cans Bush’s Vegetarian beans (total of 84 oz.)
5 oz. chopped bacon, cooked till crisp and drained (reserve 2 Tbsp. bacon fat)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 Tbsp. California hot sauce (or other hot sauce of choice)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, Grade A Amber
optional:  8-9 slices of bacon, cooked till barely crisp (about 5-6 oz.)

Heat oven to 400F.  Open cans and remove 2 Tbsp. sauce from each (total of 6 Tbsp. sauce); discard.  Pour beans into a 10” x 14” x 2-1/2” Pyrex baking pan (or another pan of similar size).  In medium skillet, using medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and green pepper in reserved bacon fat (or in butter or oil, if preferred) for about 6-7 minutes, or till vegetables are wilted and beginning to brown.  Off heat.  Stir in ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, maple syrup and chopped cooked bacon.  Stir into beans.  Cover with foil; bake 1/2 hour.  Remove foil; stir beans.  Reduce heat to 350F.  Bake 20 minutes.  Stir beans again.  Optional:  top with cooked bacon strips.  Bake about 10 more minutes.  Let beans rest for 15 minutes before serving.  (These are good hot, warm or room temperature.)  Yield:  15-21 servings
judys baked beans 
1/3 Recipe, or Beans for 5-7

INGREDIENTS:  1 (28 oz.) can Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans
1.66 oz. chopped cooked bacon, drained (about 2 strips)
1/3 of a medium sweet onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. diced green pepper
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. California hot sauce
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
Optional:  3 bacon strips, cooked till barely crisp (reserve 2 tsp. fat)

Follow directions above.  Bake in a 1-1/2 quart baking pan.