Tag Archives: chocolate cake

Let’s Eat Grandma

Fortunately, my two grandsons, Silas and Moss, have not rallied behind “Let’s Eat Grandma.” In fact, when I texted them about their reaction, their responses were quick – and negative. Thank goodness!

HA! Bet you didn’t know that Let’s Eat Grandma is a (very) young recording duo from Britain, who just recently released their third – and acclaimed – album, Two Ribbons.

FYI – They’ll be in NYC at Webster Hall Nov, 4, Denver at The Bluebird on Nov. 14, and SF at The Independent Nov. 22.

Obviously, other than relief at Silas’s and Moss’s reaction to Let’s Eat Grandma, I was curious why on earth those British kids chose that name for their recording group. Turns out everyone – except me, perhaps – knows it’s a little bit of punctuation humor:

Ahhhhhh, yes, the importance of commas. I’ll bet you remember hearing this story…

An English professor wrote the words, “Woman without her man is nothing” on the blackboard and directed his (or her!) students to punctuate it correctly.

The male students wrote: “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women wrote: “Woman: Without her, man is nothing.”

And then there’s this…

Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, aka Let’s Eat Grandma, are in their early 20’s. Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton, Tom Paxton, and Willie Nelson, who are 72, 76, 84, and 89 respectively, also have albums which have been or will be released this year. Tony Bennett, who is 95, released an album with Lady Gaga last year.

If you want to see Bob Dylan, who just turned 81, he’ll be performing in Oakland at the Fox Theater June 9th and 10th.

Andy – in today’s Andy’s Corner – isn’t interested in Tom Paxton, but he is interested in something else “born” in 1937. And it’s even food related – but do we really want to revisit a food dish popular 85 years ago?

It seems that “out with the old and in with the new” has been replaced with “in with both the new AND the pretty-damn old” (could this relate to politics too? I won’t go there).

I may not be a fan of either the very young or the pretty-damn old when it comes to entertainment – or politics – but I do try to be open-minded. I listened to some of Let’s Eat Grandma’s songs and, since I couldn’t understand their words, I looked up the lyrics. If you read some of the poetry from my new favorite poet, Ada Limón, in our last blog, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the comparison. Admittedly, song lyrics don’t claim to be poetry – but you must recall that Bob Dylan received the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature for his lyrics.

Lyrics from “Chocolate Sludge Cake,” released in 2016 by Let’s Eat Grandma:

It’s time to bake a cake
I’m gonna make a carrot cake
No, I’m gonna make an apple cake
No, I’m gonna make a coffee cake (eugh!)
No, I’m gonna make a chocolate cake, a chocolate ca-a-a-a-a-ake
Ca-chocolate ca-a-a-a-a-ake
Ca-chocolate ca-a-a-a-a-ake

Lyrics from “Eat Shiitake Mushrooms,” released 2016 by Let’s Eat Grandma

Shiitake mushroom, how do you grow?
Enchant me with your glow
You were covered in stone, but you made it now

With those lines in mind, recipes for today’s blog are a gimme. We already have a super-favorite recipe which features shiitake mushrooms (Grace Young’s Longevity Noodles) and we’ve already done a number of chocolate cake recipes (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake is extra-special for everyday snacking and as a simple dessert for a casual dinner party). But you can’t have too many recipes for either shiitakes or chocolate cake, so we’ve got another one of both to tempt your taste buds. Yum.

Shiitake Pancetta Pasta

Shiitake Pancetta Pasta

  • 2 T butter – divided
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3-5 oz pancetta, chopped  (I used Columbus Diced Pancetta in a 5 oz pkg, which is easy to find)
  • 3/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 T sage chopped leaves (about 6 leaves will do it)
  • 3 small cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, minced
  • 1/2 c cream
  • salt (about 1/4 tsp)
  • pepper (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 c parsley, finely chopped
  • 8 oz (or more) fettuccine, cooked according to package directions, drained, and mixed with 1 T butter

Heat 1 T butter and the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add pancetta and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the mushrooms, sage leaves, garlic, and carrot.  Saute 4-6 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Add the cream and salt and pepper and saute another 2 minutes of so, stirring.

Gently combine the warm fettuccine with the mushroom sauce; sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Pepitas and Chocolate Cake/Torte

Pepitas and Chocolate Cake/Torte

Rick Bayless calls this a cake, but we call it a torte.  Whatever…it’s addictively delicious. Adapted from Rick Bayless

  • 8 T butter (4 oz – 1 stick), softened – plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 3/4 c pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted and salted – divided into 1 1/4 c and 1/2 c
  • 1 c plus 2 T sugar – divided like that
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking power
  • 1 T tequila
  • 1/2 c (3 oz) Mexican chocolate (Taza is the brand we use)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and slather it with more butter (about a tablespoon). Sprinkle 1/2 c of the pumpkin seeds in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle with 2 T of the sugar. Set aside.

Measure the remaining 1 1/4 c of the pumpkin seeds and 1 c sugar into a food processor. Pulse the machine until the seeds are ground. Add the eggs and the butter and pulse until everything is incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and tequila and pulse again, just until everything is combined.

Chop the chocolate into pea-sized pieces and add it to the batter. Pulse until the chocolate is mixed in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake cool for ten minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack and remove the parchment paper.  To be fancy – sprinkle the cake with a little powdered sugar before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

 

Bourbon Makes Everything Better

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How accurate are our memories?  That’s a question Andy and I discuss frequently.  The answer has such an impact on everything, and it’s pretty clear that there is no 100% correct response.

But I’m 98% sure I’m remembering correctly that every evening my parents would sit down and have a bourbon and water – to toast the end of another day.  The bourbon was always Ancient Age.

Another childhood memory is of my mother giving me a mixture of honey, bourbon, lemon juice, and hot water when I had a cold or cough.  I don’t remember whether or not I ever faked a cough and cold in order to get that elixir.  But I really did like it.

My fondness for bourbon remains to this day.  And I’ve managed to successfully blend bourbon-based dishes into my holiday repertoire, making the whole family’s spirits a little jollier.

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Bulleit is our preferred brand of bourbon these days

Here is my “adults-only” remedy for a cough or cold or sore throat:

Bourbon Cold and Cough Remedy 

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 oz hot water

And here are two of our bourbon-infused standbys – which we’ve already blogged about: Honolulu Walnut Date Christmas Pudding and Pumpkin Pie O’Brien.

To add to that we’ve got three other delicious bourbon recipes to offer up.  And Andy is offering up a MOST unusual and “spirited” greeting card in Andy’s Corner.

Maida Heatter, who passed away this year at the age of 102,  was known for her excellent dessert cookbooks, with cakes being her specialty.  Her 86-Proof Chocolate Cake is superb and keeps well for days.  Just beware of over-snacking!

The Classic Manhattan cocktail is…well…a classic.  Perfect for holiday entertaining.

And the Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Bourbon Sauce has been a part of our family holiday tradition for years. Continue reading

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