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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bittersweet! - Last cake of the year

Hello everybody! It's once again time to share the "Cake of the Month". In The Cake Slice Bakers we are closing our baking year. During 2012-2013 we baked from Vintage Cakes Book by Julie Richardson and it was just a total and absolute delight. The recipes we tried were amazing and we all truly recommend this book! It is definitely a MUST HAVE.

 Because it is our last cake from the book and our last official month of our baking year we each had the opportunity and freedom to pick any cake from the book! I almost immediately knew which cake I would bake and when I asked hubby to pick a cake for me to bake I was delighted to see he picked the one I wanted to bake!

Here it is:

Watergate Cake with Impeachment Frosting
According to the author of the book this cake is from the early 70's and it is a pistachio cake with pistachio frosting.

Cake batter mixed with pistachio pudding, yes, all from scratch

I loved the beautiful golden color of the cake layers, the luscious cream was infused with pistachio pudding as well.

Caramelized pistachios for garnish
Because this cake had to stay refrigerated I couldn't garnish it to make it look prettier otherwise the caramelized pistachios would've gotten soggy and just not good to enjoy. 

Sliced and garnished!

Each slice could be garnished with the caramelized pistachios although I gave my guests the option to have them on the side instead since hubby didn't like the pistachios on the cake. My friends said they loved the caramelized pistachios AND the cake (I loved this cake!!!) but most of them preferred them separately... I am glad I offered the caramelized pistachios as an option. This cake was super moist and flavorful and the pistachio just adds a subtle flavor that is not overpowering or overwhelming, just really delicious, buttery, nutty, PERFECT!

Every ending is bittersweet... There's the sadness to end a chapter and the excitement to start another one! I can't wait to start baking from our new book! (sorry I still can't reveal the name!). I have been honored to be leading such a wonderful group of ladies at The Cake Slice (Like Us on Faceboook) and I hope we'll continue to bake for many more years together! If you'd like to join our secret group (we never reveal what we're baking until the 20th of every month) let me know... I'll be happy to share with you how you can join us (it's very simple! The main requirements are: love baking, have a blog and want to eat cake).

So... now... let me invite you to some other blogs. My friends and fellow bakers baked great and beautiful cakes too... make sure you do some blog hopping to see what they picked!

© Paloma K.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Potato and Corn Chowder with Fresh Avocado

 Hello! Here I am just real quick, like always, because I just can't find the time to blog consistently... Maybe some day ... when my girlies are older... we'll see... but I refuse to give up my blogging and sharing about cooking and baking... it's just part of what I love! So... today I am just wanting to share this delicious recipe that I recently stumbled upon.... see, I've been getting cookbooks from the library for inspiration... I can't afford to buy too many cookbooks neither I have the space to store them or have them around our apartment... So... I thought I could use the wonderful resource of the library to get cookbooks and get inspired... and it's great! If you're not doing it yet, I encourage you to do so!

So, I got this book called "Chicken for Dinner" by Williams-Sonoma, since chicken is definitely a staple, nothing could go wrong... except that the book constantly calls for wine in the recipes... and that was a turn off for me... We don't drink and I am not going to be buying wine just for cooking... right? especially because you do want good wine if you're going to cook with it and.... the fact that the book is called "chicken for dinner" for some reason gave me this idea that all ingredients would be pretty basic... maybe wine should be a basic? I don't know... I just know I am not buying wine... LOL! But... I was pleasantly surprised with simple, comforting, inexpensive and yummy recipes like the one I am sharing right now... ready? Here it goes...

Potato, Corn and Avocado Chowder
Adapted from "Williams-Sonoma: Chicken For Dinner"

Serves 6-8

2 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlice, minced
8 medium-large red potatoes peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
8 cups of chicken stock (or hot water mixed with about 3 tbsp. of chicken bouillion)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste (if you used chicken bouillion be really careful when adding salt as the chicken bouillion is salty by itself)
2 cups corn kernels (you can use frozen)
1 cup half and half
1 avocado (pit, peel and chop right before serving)

In a sauce pan over med-high heat, warm the olive oil. Once the oil is hotadd the onion and sautee until translucent (about 5 mins). Stir in the garlic and potatoes/sweet potato. Saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour stock or hot water and add half of the chopped cilantro. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 22 mins. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.

Add corn and half and half. Simmer for an additional 5 mins. and mash some of the potatoes if you want to thicken the soup a little bit more.

Ladle the chowder into soup bowls. Top with the avocado and remaining fresh cilantro (dividing it all evenly).


© Paloma K.