Thursday, May 27, 2010

Butter Rum Pound Cake

Last night I made this for Doug's birthday today:

The entire house smelled amazing, and it should. I used an ungodly amount of butter, eggs and sugar in this poundcake. I am usually pretty mindful of raw eggs and I try not to, ya know, eat uncooked cake batter or cookie dough. But last night, I could not help myself. I licked the spoon, and the bowl, and the get the idea! What I did not take a picture of was the kitchen sink FULL of dirty dishes. Soo worth it though! (Side note, it also calls for Bananas Foster sauce, which I am making tonight, so I have yet to report on the results of that. The cake would be great without it, though.)

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Southern Living:
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, separated
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup sugar
Buttered Rum Glaze *
Bananas Foster Sauce *

Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty mixer until creamy. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating 4 to 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in flavorings. Beat egg whites until foamy; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and place on a serving plate. While warm, prick cake surface at 1-inch intervals with a wooden pick; pour warm Buttered Rum Glaze over cake. Let stand 4 hours or overnight before serving. Serve with Bananas Foster Sauce.

*Buttered Rum Glaze

6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light rum
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in pecans.

**Bananas Foster Sauce
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup light rum
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Add bananas, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
Heat rum in a small saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). Quickly pour rum over banana mixture, and immediately ignite with a long match just above the liquid mixture to light the fumes (not the liquid itself). Let flames die down; serve immediately with Buttered Rum Pound Cake.

Happy Birthday Doug!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

TV or not TV...

Sunday marked the end of an era for Doug and I ... LOST aired it's series finale and with it a little piece of me died. {Okay, not really, that sounds waaay too dramatic because I admit it's just a tv show} but I loved the characters, the plot and the suspense. We watched it with a group of friends and all laughed and gasped together one last time. Sigh. Will I ever enjoy a show as much ever again? *Doubtful.* It was a great 6 seasons.

**If it weren't for Glee that is!!! This show is obviously nothing like LOST but WOW it's entertaining! And now that I am off the hook on Tuesdays with LOST I can give Glee my full attention.***

I mean let's get serious who can resist this high school music teacher?

Did I mention Doug likes Glee just as much as I do?

Pure. Entertainment.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rite of Passage

Last weekend as I was standing in the check out line at Kroger, my eye caught this title: Southern Living Desserts. The word 'dessert' almost always catches my eye, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I thumbed through nonchalantly until I found 2 recipes that every southern woman should have: Texas Sheet Cake, and Coca-Cola Cake. It's like an invisible rite of passage or something. Once I saw those recipes, I had to buy it. I am not admittedly much of a cake-baker because after one piece I'm good, I really don't need to eat an entire cake. And in general Doug doesn't really like dessert, and in particular he won't eat chocolate. (Who doesen't like chocolate?!)

It seems like any picnic, pot-luck or even at work, Texas Sheet Cake is like the golden egg of desserts. Whoever makes this cake and brings it is like a saint among sinners. So...I am hoping to join the ranks of saints as I make it this weekend for our youth group. And if there's any left over, I hope that my co-workers Monday morning will also bestow sainthood onto my head.

{we heart it}

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pins and Needles

You know when you get news, really exciting news, but you have to hurry up and wait?

Well, today I got a call from Vanderbilt University about a third (and possibly final) job interview. They are flying me out there mid-June for a day packed with interviews and meetings with the heads of different departments. It has always been a wish of mine to be working in the educational setting, and it would be such a fabulous treat to work where Doug's attending school. So...until the interview, I am trying to keep my mind busy...

A new favorite

I have come across this recipe and made it several times now. Doug loves it! It could not be any simpler to put together, and I am all for simplicity!

Hawaiian Banana Bread
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. Cinnamon
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 c oil
4 whole peeled bananas, mashed
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
2 eggs, beaten
1 T. vanilla
1 T. coconut extract (This is what makes it so yummy!)

Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry until dry ingredients are moistened. Divide between 2 greased bread pans and bake 45-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5-1o minutes and remove from the pan to finish cooling.

I usually put one in the freezer and it's only a matter of days before we've finished the first loaf and we're pulling out the next!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One giant mess?

Is this a giant pile of junk in our guest bedroom? Why fact, I would say one man's junk is another man's treasure! We are preparing for the first-ever Midkiff garage sale this weekend and hoping to unload a lot of "treasures!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hot Springs Recap

Doug and I decided to spend our 1st wedding anniversary in Hot Springs. Neither of us had ever really been to Arkansas, only through it, and we just love the idea of the spas, couples massages and everything they offer! Lately when I go on vacation, my goal is to get as much R&R as possible, so Hot Springs seemed right up our alley. With our attempt to "pare down" our budget since we're going from two salaries to one, I was amazed at our fabulous-for-less vacation!

This bed & breakfast is over 125 years old. The lady of the house helped Hot Springs establish their opera house and public library. She also was on the committee to get Arkansas a state flag and state bird. Moving from the east, Arkansas was still a fronteir town and gasp such a disgrace that the town didn't have all these proper things. Her husband was a doctor so they were very wealthy.

The water just flows up from the ground - and it's hot!

This was set up in our room - they had chocolate, champagne, and flowers waiting for us.
We toured one of the historic bath houses, this was the gorgeous stained glass in the men's locker room. There are only 2 bath houses still in operation today.

I think this was called the needle shower - lots of points of water shooting out at you. Back in the day, they believed the mineral waters to contain healing properties, and people flocked from all over the states to come to Hot Springs.

Outside of the Fordyce bath house. Very lovely!

This was behind bath house row. There are streams of hot water behind us.

Waited for 45 in line for our dinner cruise! Got a little bored...

On top of the boat from our dinner cruise. The "dancing" portion involved some rap music and some booty dancing - we chose to watch, not participate!

Back at the b&b - all of the woodwork was hand crafted.

Sunday, before we left, we climbed to the top of the mountain and went to the observation tower.

Bye Hot Springs! Had a blast!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me!

One year ago today I married my best friend. This has been a year of fun and laughter, and of course it's fair share of newlywed challenges.

These verses were read during our wedding ceremony. I pray these words ring true in our lives and our marriage.

Ephesians 3:16-21 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.