Monday, April 15, 2019

Baking My Bundts Off

Hi everyone!

Spring Break is FINALLY here and Easter is just around the corner, so I am using my week to take on several projects. In January I stumbled across some INCREDIBLE Nordic Ware Bundt pans and I have been having a ball baking for my friends and family.

My Louisiana roots made Nordic Ware's Fleur De Lis Bundt Pan a MUST buy!! I have scoured Pinterest for recipes, asked  friends for ideas, and sent my creations out into the world for my friends and family to enjoy! I have discovered several things with this new found hobby. For starters, I have learned that you can make a cake and it can sit on your counter for days and you do not have to consume it all. Second, if you are diabetic, you can taste wonderful things...the key is to have them in moderation. Creating cakes from scratch...well you can just taste the love in the homemade. I have also found that when you bake from scratch it does not make blood sugar spike like the box mixes do. It is true that different foods tend to impact those of us with diabetes in different ways, but this is what I have found works for me. My daughter likes to tell me, "You do you mom." Well baking these cakes is teaching me to take it one creation at a time.

For this milk chocolate bundt cake I decided to try a coffee glaze. Community Coffee's King Cake flavor seemed to be the PERFECT fit, once again drawing on my Louisiana roots!! This time though, my years spent living in Bavaria, made Nordic Ware's Bavaria Bundt Pan another must have! I absolutely loved the years I spent in Bavaria, so teaching the kids about where they were born and the Louisiana roots of their family is always fun and makes for a festive time.  
With each new cake I am learning new things about baking, trying new ideas, and allowing the process to slow down my life a bit. For example, when making a cake from scratch the order and process that must be followed is critical. I even came across a recipe recently that made sure to state that the process of creaming the butter and sugar should not be rushed. We have become such a fast paced society that the idea of slowing down or it could impact the outcome of something we are creating...well let's face it, we really don't give that much thought any more. We look at prep time, but do we ever stop to think about what we learn in the process when we are prepping food? While I carefully added one ingredient after the other into one of my cakes I could not help but think of the perfectly orchestrated steps God has for our lives, steps that sometimes we want to rush through or skip all together. Often times we want the prepacked, processed product to yield a homemade taste. In other words, we do not stop to savor each layer that He adds to our lives. Each lesson He is bringing our way shapes us and mold us, and turns us each into the beautiful creations that He designed for us to be.

Baking and teaching my kids to entertain made Nordic Ware's Heritage Bundt Pan a piece that not only allows me to bake incredible cakes, but also create desserts that can also serve an beautiful accessories for any table. It thrills me every time I use this pan. Because the beauty of this cake when I am finished. The gift, or heritage, that I want to pass down to my kids from my baking is that if we slow down enough to savor the simple things in life, like baking a bundt cake. We will find that we can savor the goodness of sharing beautiful thing with others and our own family. And that, in the simple things, we can find incredible beauty.

Until next time...


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Celebrating Spring

Hi Everyone!

A new season is upon us, and with the new season, came the exciting opportunity for me to bring my Curiosity Cottage to 318Central. I have been writing about my curiosity for life for years and the opportunity to share this with you truly brings extra excitement into my world. Being a true creative at heart, you may find that my pieces are about everything from cooking to creating. You will just have to visit each month to see what I have decided to share.

Several months ago, there was an article on social media that talked about how people no longer know how to set a dinner table. I am right at the “empty nest” point in life, but both of my boys have developed an interest in cooking. This gave me the perfect opportunity to teach them how to set a table and prepare to entertain. My mom loved to make Crawfish & Saffron Rice Casserole, and it has always been one of our favorites. People always ask me for the recipe, so I thought I would share it, since this is crawfish season. It is super easy to prepare and can feed so many people. 

Crawfish & Saffron Rice Casserole 
1 large package of Saffron rice, cook according to directions 
Sautéed onions, celery, & garlic in olive oil.
Add the following:
2 packages of crawfish tails
1 can crème of shrimp soup
1 can crème of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes
Combine mixture with rice. Add to casserole dishes and top with cheese.
Heat in 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted.

I recently purchased a GORGEOUS Bundt pan, which I used to make a Double Almond Wedding Cake. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous trying it out, but I was so pleased with the results; I thought it would complement this meal perfectly. When I make cupcakes, I use a traditional buttercream icing, but for the Bundt cake, I thought a glaze was in order.

Double Almond Wedding Cake
1 box Betty Crocker™Super Moist™white cake mix.
            Water, vegetable oil and eggs as called for on the cake mix box
1 tablespoon almond extract

Almond Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup evaporated milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Poor over cool cake.

Having my boys help with our meal not only passed down my mom’s tradition, but gave them a new addition to add to their recipes as well. Cooking together as a family definitely makes for a fun time, and in my world, it usually involves much laughter, singing, and dancing. So let our Spring Celebration give you new ideas for your family and friends too.



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