Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Taking the Cake

Tonight, the historic house hosted its annual holiday celebration for volunteers and supporters.  As usual, the board members brought all the food.  There were the usual kielbasa in mustard, veggie triangles, endive with roquefort and apples, meatballs, and a selection of cookies and other sweets.  This year, there were great pistachios cookies, like Mexican wedding cookies but with pistachios instead of pecans, and also delicious pie dough cookies (with brown sugar, butter, and chai spice spread in the center of store-bought dough then rolled like a pinwheel and sliced.)  Sis and I made Orange Poundcake, based on the recipe for lime poundcake in the book Tangle of Knots (from our book club), which in turn is from Real Simple.  I found the glaze via Pinterest, from Two Peas and Their Pod.  We doubled the recipe so that we have cake to take to the piano recital on Sunday (it's unglazed and in the freezer.)  And I started daydreaming about other possibilities--the cranberries mentioned on Two Peas and Their Pod, or maybe mini-chocolate chips, or lime, or lemon poppyseed. I can see it being our go-to poundcake--it's got good structure and flavor (though, I think I slightly overbaked it.)

Even better than the desserts was that my friend Miss J was recognized as Volunteer of the Year.  I know she teases me when I congratulate and thank her for the work she has done.  She stepped in so quickly when I had surgery and then really went above and beyond just covering for me and really made the spring and fall tour seasons her own.  (I know she sometimes reads this, too.) I hope the historic house does appreciate her, for she brings great energy, knowledge, ideas, enthusiasm, and networking, plus a real dose of humor and practicality, to the organization.  And I'm not just saying that because I want her to keep being in charge, and not just because I burned out (and really do hope to start actively pursuing hospice chaplaincy soon.)  I really do think she is what the historic house needs right now.  Congratulations, my friend!!!  Very well deserved.

Orange Poundcake

4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and zests. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups of the sugar and the salt and beat for 2 minutes. Slowly add the egg mixture. Beat for 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.
  3. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the cake from pan. Invert it onto the rack. Turn it over again onto a serving plate.
  4. Cool completely before glazing with Orange Glaze below.
  5. Optional:  serve with spiced cranberry sauce on the side.
For the Orange Glaze, combine:
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest

Miss JA's Party Meatballs
The meatball recipe is very difficult. I go to BJ's and buy a 5 lb package of Swedish meatballs. Then I take two cans of jellied cranberry sauce and 2 jars of Heinz chili sauce ( it is with the ketchup). Heat them together until the cranberry sauce melts. Pour over meatballs and I heat them in a crockpot Recipe is on both cranberry sauce and chili. Good luck!

Miss JR's Pie Dough Cookies

Roll out store-bought pie dough. Spread with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and Wildtree chai spice. Roll like a Swiss roll and cut like pinwheel cookies. Bake at 350F until golden brown.

1 comment:

  1. I can not wait to make the orange cake! Citrus is my favorite!