Thursday, August 22, 2013

Someone's Turning the Big 7-0!

No, not me, but I am not very far behind!   It's my superman husband!   Sons are both coming in from out of town for the weekend to help us celebrate.   We'll have a low-key bash---lasagna, garlic bread and salad tonight; Royals game tomorrow night; a nice restaurant of his choice Saturday night.   Plenty of fun gifts and this yummy cake:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine in bowl of mixer 2 c. sugar, 1 3/4 c. plus 3 T cake flour, 3/4 c. cocoa, 1 1/2 t baking powder, 1 1/2 t baking soda, 1 t salt.  Mix.   In another bowl mix together 2 eggs, 1 c. buttermilk, 1/2 c. melted unsalted butter and 1 T vanilla.   Combine with dry ingredients.  Place 1 c. hot coffee and 4 T peanut butter in a small bowl and allow PB to soften slightly.   Add to other ingreds. and mix well.   Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9" cake pans.   Bake for about 37 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean.    Cool on wire racks.

Frosting:  Beat 2/3 c. peanut butter with 1/2 c. room temperature unsalted butter till well-combined and fluffy.  Slowly beat in 4 cups powdered sugar and 3/4 c. cocoa till somewhat stiff.  Add 1 T vanilla and enough milk to make a spreading consistency.  Frost cakes and sprinkle crushed peanuts over top.

Happy Birthday to my husband of 47 years!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More From the Garden

This was my first year to try the patio peppers, a smaller variety of bells.   Love them!   Since sunshine is limited in my tree-filled backyard, the deck is the ideal spot to grow container plants.   There are several peppers turning red in the pot..this was the first one fully turned.   

Another 23 tomatoes brought in this morning so it's back to the stovetop for the bags of yumminess to freeze.   Mmm mmm mmm.....nothing better than fresh garden produce.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tomato Time!

It's that time of summer again....when we can't keep up with the tomato harvest!   A good problem to have.   We have had our share of  BLTs, ratatouille, yummy salads, etc.  So now it's time to think of all those pots of chili and spaghetti sauce to come.   Freezing tomatoes is so much faster than canning and just as tasty when they are cooked into recipes.   First photo is hubs' haul from the tomato patch this morning.  Second photo is the assembly line of blanch, shock, slip off the peels.   Then a rough chop of the beauties and into 2 cup amounts and into qt-size zip freezer bags.   Air is flattened out (third photo) and into the freezer they go.    Come on, Autumn!

Later this week the process will be repeated all over again!

Note:  Three  dozen tomatoes of various sizes and varieties yielded six  1-qt. bags of chopped tomatoes.