Monthly Archives: March 2009

Grandma’s wine cake

This version of Grandma’s wine cake does not use the traditional yellow cake mix, but it still uses the instant pudding mix. Someday I’ll work on removing that as well.

Mix in a food processor:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 3.4 oz. box of instant lemon pudding
  • 6 oz. butter, cut into 12 pieces

Transfer to a stand mixer and add:

  • 3/4 c. cream sherry
  • 3/4 c. oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla

Beat for 5 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold and pour on the following glaze while still warm:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 T. milk
  • 3 T. cream sherry

Now the hard part: wait. The cake really is best the next day. You can eat it while it is still warm, but it will taste a bit boozy. The cake keeps very well for up to a week.

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Quinoa-stuffed bell peppers

  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 3 T. dried currants
  • 1 T. brandy
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 T. mint, chopped
  • 3 T. parsley, chopped
  • 2 T. pine nuts
  • 3/4 c. Greek feta
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9″x13″ pan or casserole dish with olive oil. Soak the currants in brandy and a tablespoon of hot water.
  2. Cut the bell peppers into third or quarters along the lobes to make little boats. Remove ribs and seeds, and finely dice two sections. Put the rest of the peppers into the dish and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked but not mushy.
  3. In a small pot, cook the quinoa with the stock until cooked, about 30 minutes.
  4. Saute the diced peppers and onions in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest, and cumin and stir for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and currants (with liquid) and cook until the spinach is wilted. Take off the heat and stir in mint, parsley, quinoa, and a third of the feta. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the cooked peppers with the quinoa filling, and top with the remaining feta. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the feta browns. (You can also finish the peppers under the broiler to finish browning the cheese.)