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Cooking

Elsie’s Coconut Cake by G.A. McKevett

 

CAKE
Cream Together
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 stick butter (I use Kerrygold Irish butter, salted) or margarine

Add
5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Fold In
2 cups Baker’s Angel Flake coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
5 egg whites (beaten stiff but not dry) Continue reading “Elsie’s Coconut Cake by G.A. McKevett”

Pumpkin Rolls by Judi Lynn

Hi, I’m Judy Post and I write romances and mysteries as Judi Lynn.  When I have holiday get-togethers at our house, we usually have a small crowd—my 2 sisters, my cousin, my daughter, and my grandson and his girlfriend.  They live close enough to show up.  For each holiday, we have the same traditional meals.  I love to cook and try new things, but not at holidays!  Everyone knows what they want, and it’s always the same.  Every year for Thanksgiving, if I don’t make a pumpkin roll, I hear about it.  Usually, I make two so people can take some home😊  Here’s the recipe:

 

Pumpkin Rolls

Beat 3 eggs for 2 minutes.  Don’t cheat.  They have to become thick.

Add:
1 c sugar
1 t lemon juice
2/3 c canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

Mix:
¾ c flour
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
½ t ginger
1 pinch salt

Mix together.  Grease jelly roll pan.  Put waxpaper in it and grease wax paper.

Do NOT overcook sponge cake. Continue reading “Pumpkin Rolls by Judi Lynn”

Lauren Elliott’s Trick to Keeping the Magic in Christmas…

As my area of the world begins to turn into a winter wonderland, coupled with all the shining lights put up around the city. As well as the emergence of the outdoor skating rinks complete with surrounding trees adorned with twinkling lights, and then the ever so tempting Christmas markets popping up everywhere. You know you’ve got yourself another magical Christmas on the way. However, you may have to brace yourself, pull that collar tighter around your neck and be prepared to sing, “Baby. It’s Cold Outside,” instead of one of the beloved Christmas songs.

You see my corner of the world is in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and we’ve rarely had to sing. “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.

Have I told you yet that Christmas is my favorite time of the year? If not, well, let it be known that I’m a six-year-old at heart and love everything about the holidays. I know that for some, it’s a busy stressful time between shopping, social gatherings, decorating, and it leaves you wondering how you’ll manage to get it all done. As the day draws closer you begin to feel frantic and overwhelmed by all the demands and in the end, disappointment settles in because somewhere along the way you lost your Christmas spirit.  So, I’ll let you in on a little trick I learned in how to cope with all that inevitable anxiety that creeps up on us during the holidays. One that might also help you keep the magic of the season alive and well.

I begin to shop for the next Christmas in January, yes you read that right. That’s when the best sales are, and then I continue to shop throughout the year. Whenever I’m out, if something catches my eye that I know someone might like, I pick it up. That way, the added stress of trying to pay for it all in one month disappears, plus it leaves me free of the frenzied shopping hordes in December. My whole month proceeding the big day is open for things I enjoy. One of the traditions I love in December is baking. I’m not a crafty person and stand in awe of those who are, but I do love to create delicious treats for family and friends. With all the exotic recipes, I’ve tried out on them, there is one that has stood the test of many Christmases.  I can’t ever seem to make enough and often find myself back in the kitchen whipping up another batch.

What is this exotic recipe you ask? Funny thing is it’s the simplest recipe of all and one I found completely by accident online one year. It’s my secret weapon after a busy December day, whether it was spent open air skating, sledding or perusing one of the many craft markets. Nothing says cozy comfort like a cup of hot chocolate and one or two of these magical squares.

Magic Cookie Bars

Prep: 10 Min.

Cook: 30 Min.

Yield: 2 dozen bars

Calories: 240/serv

Ingredients:

non-stick cooking spray

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

2 – 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (we like lots in my house)

1 1/3 cup flaked coconut – optional

1 cup chopped nuts – optional

Instructions:

HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.

BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.

For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into bars.

VARIATIONS

SUBSTITUTE chocolate chips, nuts or coconut: with candy coated pieces, dried cranberries, raisins, mini-marshmallows or butterscotch chips.

From my kitchen to yours—Merry Christmas!

 

Addie Greyborne loved working with rare books at the Boston Public Library—she even got to play detective, tracking down clues about mysterious old volumes. But she didn’t expect her sleuthing skills to come in so handy in a little seaside town . . .

Addie left some painful memories behind in the big city, including the unsolved murder of her fiancé and her father’s fatal car accident. After an unexpected inheritance from a great aunt, she’s moved to a small New England town founded by her ancestors back in colonial times—and living in spacious Greyborne Manor, on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. Best of all, her aunt also left her countless first editions and other treasures—providing an inventory to start her own store.

But there’s trouble from day one, and not just from the grumpy woman who runs the bakery next door. A car nearly runs Addie down. Someone steals a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Then, Addie’s friend Serena, who owns a nearby tea shop, is arrested—for killing another local merchant. The police seem pretty sure they’ve got the story in hand, but Addie’s not going to let them close the book on this case without a fight . . .

Taste the sweet life with K.M. Jackson

I’m one of those folks who never quite cooks the same thing twice. I think this comes from learning to cook at my late Nana’s side and using her not quite precise form of weights and measurements. You seasoned cooks know how it goes: a pinch of this, a dash of that and just enough of the other in order to make it taste like you know it’s supposed to taste.

The difference between my Nana and me though, is that she was a fantastic cook. Known throughout Harlem for her skills in the kitchen and her generous and open heart when it came to food.

I recall her saying to me once, “you’d be a great cook if you learned to cook with love.” True to nature (and at times cursed with a tongue quicker than my brain) I lashed back with, “well I guess I’ll never be a great cook!” That little quip did not go over too well, but despite my lack of enthusiasm in the kitchen I’m happy to say I did learn enough from my Nana to, if not be a great cook, then to be a cook that is good enough to make some of her staples with passable ease. I can make collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked ham and roasted turkey wings with enough skill that I can fool some into thinking cooking is something I might even enjoy.

One of her dishes that I was blessed enough to just about master is her Peach Cobbler.  I’ve gotten good enough with that one so much so that now that she’s passed away my bother request’s for me to make it for holiday gatherings and special occasions. Continue reading “Taste the sweet life with K.M. Jackson”

Troll Cake with Puckerfruit Icing by Alexandra Rushe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar, sifted three times.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted three times.
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature.
  • 5 eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions for cake:

Combine sifted sugar with room temperature butter and cream until smooth. Add sifted flour and eggs, alternating, until thoroughly mixed. Add vanilla extract and beat. Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Place in COLD oven and bake at 325 degrees for one hour. Remove pan from oven and place on rack for thirty minutes, then turn cake out onto rack to cool.

Puckerfruit Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated puckerfruit zest (Earthlings call them “lemons”)
  • 2 and ½ tablespoons fresh puckerfruit juice. (See note above)
  • 1 teaspoon salted butter, melted.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled troll cake and let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy, but beware of fairies. It’s well-known that fairies delight in sweets.

Continue reading “Troll Cake with Puckerfruit Icing by Alexandra Rushe”

Fall Flavors by Charlotte Hubbard

Fall Flavors

While I’ve been writing my various Amish series, where some of the characters spend a lot of time cooking up yummy stuff, I’ve been on a continuous hunt for new recipes. Sometimes, however, the best new recipes are old ones! I was tickled to find these Date and Raisin Saucepan Bars in the centennial cookbook of my husband’s hometown, Walnut, Iowa—and even more excited because it was his mom’s recipe. Now that she’s been gone a year, we treasure our memories of her cooking and crafting. (I confess that I increased the amount of spices and used brown sugar rather than white.)

When I baked a batch of these bars and Neal bit into one, he said, “Oh, I remember Mom making these!” It made my day—and his! These bars pack a flavorful punch of cinnamon and ground cloves—some of my favorite fall flavors—and frosting them while they’re still hot makes them especially moist. Best of all, you don’t need a mixer and you stir them together in a pan, so prep and cleanup are quick and easy.

 

  Continue reading “Fall Flavors by Charlotte Hubbard”

Lisa’s Pieces by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position

1 cup regular semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup melted butter (2 sticks, 12 pound)
1⁄4 cup strong coffee
1 cup chopped pitted dates (You can buy chopped dates, or sprinkle whole pitted dates with a bit of flour and then chop them in a food processor.)
1 1⁄2 cups white (granulated) sugar
2 beaten eggs (just whip them up with a fork)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (measure after you chop them)
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 1⁄2 cups flour (no need to sift) Continue reading “Lisa’s Pieces by Joanne Fluke”

Cocoa-Crunch Cookies by Joanne Fluke

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.

1 and 1⁄2  cups softened butter  (3 sticks, 34 pound, 12 ounces)
1 and 1⁄4  cups white (granulated) sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄2  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄4  cup unsweetened cocoa powder  (I used Hershey’s)
2 and 1⁄4  cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 and 1⁄2  cups finely crushed plain regular potato chips (measure AFTER crushing. I used Lay’s, put them in a plastic zip-lock bag, and crushed them with my hands)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate  chips (I used Nestlé)
1⁄3  cup white (granulated) sugar for dipping

Hannah’s 1st Note: Use regular potato chips, the thin, salty ones. Don’t use baked chips, or rippled chips, or chips with the peels on, or kettle-fried, or flavored, or anything that’s supposed to be better for you than those wonderfully greasy, salty, old-fashioned, crunchy potato chips.

In a large mixing  bowl,  beat  the butter, sugar,  eggs, salt,  and  vanilla  extract  until  the mixture  is light  and fluffy.  (You can do this by hand, but it’s  a lot easier with an electric mixer.)

Add the quarter-cup of unsweetened cocoa  powder. Mix it in thoroughly.

Add  the  flour  in  half-cup  increments,   mixing  well after each addition.

Add the crushed potato chips and mix well. Continue reading “Cocoa-Crunch Cookies by Joanne Fluke”

Jane Fonda and Spice Cake by Edwin Hill

Nothing quite says fall to me like a New England fair, and my favorite one of all is the Sandwich Fair in New Hampshire, which takes place every year over Columbus Day Weekend. My uncle lives in Sandwich – where much of my first novel, Little Comfort, takes place – and I’ve been going to the fair for as long as I can remember. One of the most memorable years for me is 1981, when I was eleven.

That year, the whole town was abuzz because filming had completed on the movie version of On Golden Pond, which was shot on Squam Lake, and was due to be released in December. People had stories about seeing Jane Fonda at the local general store, or hearing Katharine Hepburn talking as she walked in the woods. The filmmakers were trying to keep a lid on the location of the lake, which the locals agreed to in theory – except they talked about it all the time. 

I didn’t much care about the movie. What I did care about was my spice cake.

Like most fall fairs in New England, the Sandwich Fair is an agricultural fair, meaning there is sheep shearing and oxen pulls and, yes, bake offs. I proudly baked up a spice cake for the junior competition. So what if it was a tiny bit lopsided and I may have forgotten the ginger when I mixed it up? Who cares if the Tupperware I stored it in tipped over during the drive from Massachusetts? I’d made it. It tasted good. I knew I’d win. Continue reading “Jane Fonda and Spice Cake by Edwin Hill”

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