Author Archives: glendaclark

About glendaclark

Hi there! My name is Glenda and I love food. Cooking and baking are my creative outlets. You'll find me in the kitchen laughing, singing, dancing and cooking or baking. I'm wife to my green eyed Irish guy, mother of four and grandmother of four. These are the chronicles of life as Glenda, the good witch of cake. Warning: may contain cartoon moments, butter and sugar.

Ain’t no thang but a cauliflower “wang”

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First of all I think I’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do. I’ve been away from the blog for months and for that I must apologize.  I’m not going to go into too much boring detail. I’m not asking for sympathy. I just think I owe you an explanation.  I’ve been searching for help. Help with what you ask?  Pain. I’ve had fibromyalgia and arthritis for a few years now. First my internist told me no doctor would treat this. They’d just tell me to exercise. I went home after that appointment and cried my eyes out.  How could a doctor say that to patient?  After numerous blood tests and X-rays, I was finally referred to a rheumatologist.  It’s been a year and a half of injections and medicine after medicine. I was put on prednisone. It was a miracle!  …For two months. One thing that I wasn’t warned about is weight gain. OH MY GOLLY!  Fifty, yes 5-0, pounds. I finally called the rheumatologist and begged to be taken off of it. I’ve been on Celebrex for about 3 months now. It takes the edge off and makes the pain mostly tolerable. Guess what one of its side effects is?  Weight gain. What the hay hay?  Needless to say, I haven’t been doing a whole lot in the kitchen.  I just wanted you to know that I haven’t abandoned the blog or dropped off the face of the Earth. I do have some interesting recipes that I’d like to share with you. 

Let’s start with these cauliflower “wings”. I had this big, beautiful head of cauliflower that I bought with which to make crescent veggie pizza. I didn’t use much so I pondered over what to do with the rest of it. Then it hit me. Do unto the cauliflower what you would do unto a boneless wing. Bread and fry that stuff into deliciousness. Eat it plain with a sprinkle of salt, envelop it in a sauce or dip it in a condiment. Any way you do it, you’re going to love, love, love it. I put bottled Panda Express orange sauce on some, Sweet Baby Ray’s honey BBQ sauce on some and left some plain to dip in ranch dressing and sriracha mayo.  Happy lunch to me!  


I think you should make some right meow. Grab your apron (because flour; you know what I mean) and let’s get started. 

Cauliflower “wings”

1 large head of cauliflower

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tsp. cold water

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tsp.  Kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. smoked paprika 

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. freeze dried oregano 

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more if you like heat)

Vegetable oil for frying

Optional: your favorite sauces and condiments such as orange sauce, BBQ sauce, hot wing sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing and sriracha mayo. 

Core and cut the cauliflower into pieces, 2-3 bite size.  Rinse well under cold water. Pat dry with a dish towel or paper towel. Place cauliflower into a gallon zip top bag. Pour in 1/4 cup of the flower. Zip the top of the bag and shake until the cauliflower is coated. Pour the egg/water mixture into the bag, zip it securely, and shake to coat each flowerette. Set aside.  Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the panko bread crumbs and spices in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Set aside. Pour oil into a medium sized pan until it’s 1 1-2 – 2 inches deep up the side of the pan. My stove has this range HI, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, LO. I heat the oil between 8 and 9. Heat oil until it bubbles when a drop off water bubbles in it. While oil is heating, take 1 flowerette at a time and coat it with the breading mixture. Shake off the excess. Add the breaded flowerettes to the hot oil. Don’t crowd them. You want them to get nicely golden brown. Turn them over after 3-4 minutes or golden brown. Repeat on the other side. Remove to a serving plate lined with paper towels. Continue until all are fried.  Sprinkle lightly with salt. Toss in warmed orange sauce or BBQ sauce, if desired. Dip in your favorite condiments.  Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

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Irishotto 

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Irishotto is all you love about risotto with an Irish accent.  You don’t need the luck of the Irish to make it and you definitely don’t need to wait until St. Patrick’s day to make it.  It’s easy enough to make for a week night dinner and classy enough for a dinner party. 

  I usually share my ideas for new recipes with my daughters for their opinions. For this one I got my inspiration around St. Patrick’s day when I bought a head of cabbage and I had a bottle of Jameson out to make car bomb cupcakes.  I asked them what they thought of risotto made with Jameson instead of white wine, cabbage instead of peas and bacon because bacon is amazing. They were a bit skeptical but said it could be good.  Well, let me tell you, my girls, my BFF and I thought it was absolutely delicious.  My bff, Cherise, said it should be on the menu in a restaurant.  

Put on your apron, sharpen your knife and let’s make Irishotto!

Irishotto 

4 slices bacon

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, divided

1 small onion, small dice

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup arborio rice

1/4 cup Jameson

3 – 3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

Pour the chicken broth into a medium saucepan and heat on medium low. Fry bacon until crispy. Place on a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour off almost all of the bacon grease, leaving only about a tablespoon as well as all the brown bits in the skillet. Place 1 Tbs butter in the skillet and heat on medium heat until melted. Add the onion, cabbage and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent about 3-4 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it’s all coated with the butter/bacon grease combo., but not browned. Carefully stir in the Jameson to deglaze the pan, scraping the brown bits off of the bottom of the skillet. Add the warm broth one ladleful at a time allowing each addition to cook off before adding the next, stirring occasionally. This process will take between 20-30 minutes. Taste the rice after 20 minutes. The texture should be al dented with just a little bite to it. If it’s too firm continue cooking and taste again after 5 more minutes.  Taste again at the 30 minute mark. Now stir in the other Tbs of butter, the Parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper. Crumble the bacon on top and stir in. Serve immediately.   Makes approximately 4 servings. Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda 

Kahlua Brownies

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Yes, you read that correctly. Kahlua. Brownies. Do I have your attention now?  I thought so. These brownies are intense, fudgy and moist. There’s three kinds of chocolate involved so they satisfy the chocoholic in us all.  And the kahlua just adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to the chocolate and espresso flavors. These won’t last long so make sure to save one for yourself. 

Two very important things about brownies-don’t over mix and don’t over bake. You don’t want them to turn out like little brown hockey pucks. 

Put on your apron and let’s get baking!

Kahlua Brownies


Brownies

10 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 oz. milk chocolate chips

1 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules

1 Tablespoon kahlua

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs at room temperature 

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces milk chocolate chips 

Ganache

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3 Tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 Tablespoon kahlua

Drizzle

1 1/2-2 ounces milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper allowing it to hang over the side of the pan. You can use the overhang as handles to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when done. Spray the foil or parchment with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Place the butter and 2 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between times, until smooth. Stir in the sugar, espresso powder and vanilla.  Next add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour and salt until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix!  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40minutes. Do not over bake!  In the meantime, prepare the ganache by melting the semi sweet chips in a small microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until melted. Add the cream and kahlua and beat until smooth and glossy. Set aside. Remove brownies from oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using the foil handles remove them from the pan. Pour ganache over the top and smooth it to the edges. Place the remaining 1 & 1-2-2 ounces of milk chocolate chips in a zip top bag and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and knead the bag to mix the chips. If not completely melted microwave for 15-20 more seconds. Cut a small snip from the tip of one side of the plastic bag. Drizzle melted chocolate over the ganache. Either place in the refrigerator to chill and set up or place in a cool spot and allow the chocolate to set. Cut into 12-16 pieces. Enjoy!  

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

Very slightly adapted from The Half Baked Harvest here

Sunday Afternoon French Fries

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This really isn’t going to be a recipe. I mean potatoes, oil and salt are all you need. Simple, right?  This is all about the memories rather than the recipe. 


Homemade French fries are becoming a thing of the past. With crinkle cuts waiting in the freezer section and fast food joints on every corner, there doesn’t seem to be a need to take all the time to peel potatoes and cut them by hand. Don’t get me wrong. When you’re in a hurry to get a meal ready there’s nothing wrong with throwing some Ore-Idas in some hot oil or a hot oven. But for me, there’s memories in them thar taters. 

Sometimes on Sunday afternoons my Mom would fry up 2 or 3 huge platters of homemade French fries for lunch. Just the fries. Maybe a little catsup. Nothing else. Mom, Dad and the four of us kids would devour the perfectly golden fried potatoes. They were slightly crispy on the outside but pillowy soft on the inside.  Good times, good fries, food memory made. 

I’ll never forget the first time I made homemade fries for my dear in-laws. Once again, they were devoured lustily with yummy sounds and omgs coming from their lips. Afterward my mother-in-law asked how I made them. I chuckled a little inside and told her it was just potatoes, oil and salt. She seemed astounded that something so delicious was so humbly and simply made. Like magic, another French fry memory was made. 

Take a moment to make a memory. Not only will your heart be filled, but also the ones you love will have a bit of magic and a story to tell. 


French Fries                                      Generously serves 2

3 medium to large russet potatoes

Vegetable oil

Iodized table salt, to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick planks. Place in a bowl and fill with cold water. Allow potatoes to soak in the water for 30 minutes to one hour. Drain off water and place on a clean dish towel. Blot off excess water. Fill a large, 12-14 inch, skillet halfway with oil. Heat oil on medium high and heat until oil is hot. Carefully place the potatoes in the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Season immediately with salt to taste. Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

Fruity Crispy Rice Roll Ups

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My daughter and I made these beauties today. I think kids of all ages love Rice Krispie squares. Moms have been making them since 1939.  Personally, I’ve been making them since the 80’s. The first fruit flavored variation of the crisp rice cereal came about in 1971 when Fruity Pebbles were born. I love Google, don’t you?  Of course the fruity version of the beloved bars had to happen.  Add frosting, roll them and slice them. Cha-Ching!  We have a winner. These are fun, colorful and kid approved.  I don’t think the kiddos would disapprove if you changed out the fruity cereal for the cocoa kind. I’d grate a little milk chocolate over the frosting before rolling them. Put on your apron. Let’s make some fun!


Fruity Crispy Rice Roll Ups

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

10.5 oz. bag mini marshmallows 

10 oz. bag fruity crispy rice cereal, 7-7 1/2 cups (I used Malto Meal fruity dyno bites.  $1 per bag at Walmart.)

1-2 cups of your favorite frosting (I used homemade cream cheese frosting)

Spray a jelly roll pan, 16″ x 12″, with non stick spray. Line pan with a piece of parchment paper longer than the pan so that it hangs over the sides. You’ll use that to pull it easily from the pan when it cools. Set aside.                                        Place the butter and mini marshmallows in a Dutch oven on medium high heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until the marshmallow mixture is evenly distributed. Quickly spread the mixture onto the prepared pan. Spray your hands with non stick spray and firmly press the cereal mixture evenly in the pan. Set aside to cool completely. When cooled, use the parchment paper handles to pull the bars from the pan. Spread the frosting onto the bars leaving a 1/2-1 inch border on all sides.  Starting from the larger side, roll up the bar. Cut off the unattractive, but totally tasty, end pieces. Eat one of them and set the other aside. Cut the remaining roll into 3/4-1 inch slices with a sharp knife. Eat the other end piece. Place the slices on a serving tray or place in an air tight container to store. Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

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My big sister had a big birthday early this month.  I told her since it was such a milestone, we should have a big party.  She said she’d rather have a family reunion with relatives who live near enough by that they could come spend a few hours together on a Saturday.  I said ok and started making the plans.  She lives in the lovely town of Bardstown, Kentucky (learn a bit about Bardstown here) which is about 230 miles from Fort Wayne.  We held the reunion north of Fort Wayne in Kendallville at Bixler Park.  It was a wonderful day!  💜💜💜 There were children, sisters, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, babies and one great grandmother in attendance.  We ate, talked like it hadn’t been about 40 years since some of us had seen one another and laughed until our sides hurt.  One thing I brought away from the day is that life is too short to be away from each other that long ever again. Love you fam!!

One dessert I made was this pineapple upside down bundt cake.  I’d seen it all over the interwebs (original recipe here) and decided to try it with a couple Good Witch touches.  I started with a pineapple cake mix and ramped up the pineapple flavor by using the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple slices instead of water.  To me, all good PUD cakes have 3 things-pineapple, maraschino cherries and pecans.  The butter and brown sugar glaze that cools on the fruit and nuts is divine.  Baking it in the bundt pan makes for a dramatic and original presentation.  Put on your apron.  It’s cake time!


Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

20 oz. can pineapple slices in juice not syrup (reserve juice)

1 jar maraschino cherries

16-20 pecan halves

1 box pineapple supreme cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

3.4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding mix

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable oil

milk, as needed when added to reserved pineapple juice to equal 1 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bundt pan with non-stick pan spray with flour and set aside.  Melt the butter in a small pan.  Pour into the bundt pan and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar.  Set aside.  Place the pecan halves in a small skillet on medium heat and roast for 5-10 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.  Set aside.  Cut pineapple slices in half and drain all the juice into a measuring cup.  Add enough milk to equal one cup.  Set aside.  Arrange the pineapple slices in each of the bundt pan’s grooves with the cut sides up. Place one maraschino cherry and one pecan half (flat side up) between each pineapple slice. Set aside. Pour the cake mix and pudding mix into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the eggs, oil and juice/milk mixture to the bowl. Mix with an electric hand mixer on low for about 30 seconds to combine. Turn speed up to medium high for 2 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides if the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure there’s no dry mix remaining. Pour carefully over the prepared Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes (mine took more like 50-55 minutes but each oven bakes differently) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge and center. Turn the cake over onto the wire rack leaving the pan on so that the glaze can set for 10 minutes. Remove pan and allow to cool completely. Or serve still slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

 

“Cooked to death” green beans 

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Once you try them you’ll know the name of these green beans is deceiving. They aren’t really cooked to death. More like cooked to life.  My green-eyed Irish guy and vegetables are not friends. He will grudgingly eat green beans, hiding them in the main course. Not these. He ate all of them before he ate his au gratin potatoes and ham.  He even said they were the best he’d ever had and asked why he didn’t try them before. I’m trying to pull him to the green side.  The resistance is great within this one. They’re super simple to make and only 5 ingredients including a secret ingredient. That secret is…bacon grease. Remember I always tell you to save that bacon grease and the brown bits in the bottom of the pan when you’re finished frying bacon. It is a flavor enhancer extraordinaire. Put that brown gold into a closed container and store it in the fridge. You won’t regret it. If you’d like you can also throw a ham hock or ham bone into the beans for flavor. Before serving, pull the meat from the bone and stir in. 

“Cooked to death” green beans

1 lb. fresh green beans

2 Tablespoons bacon grease (with brown bits in it)

2 Tablespoons finely diced onion

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper 

1/2-3/4 cup water

Wash the beans thoroughly. Cut off the ends. Cut or snap into bite sized pieces. Set aside. Heat the bacon grease in a medium sized pan on medium heat until hot. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the green beans. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Add salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Taste to see if you need to adjust the salt and pepper. Enjoy! 

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda