10 May 2007

Chocolate Orange Rum Cake


5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
3 eggs
Juice and grated zest of one orange (or 1/3 cup juice and 1 1/4 teaspoon dried rind)
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup grated dark chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (not milk)
3 Tablespoons additional sugar
1/2 cup light rum


  1. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan (glass is best) either with flour spray or grease and flour

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth Mix in sugar and eggs, beating to a light froth

  3. Stir in the orange juice, grated zest, and salt

  4. Add the cream, mix

  5. Add the flour and the baking powder, beating well, but do not overmix। If mixture is too thick, add a touch or cream or orange juice to thin a bit Stir in the grated chocolate, just to give a tweed-like appearance to the batter।

  6. Pour into the greased and floured 9x5 loaf pan (glass is best)

  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 45-50 minutes। Check for doneness it should not be too wet; toothpick should come out clean but not dry. Add time if needed.

  8. Cool for 5 minutes but do not remove from pan।

  9. Pierce top of cake with fork or toothpick, to allow rum/sugar mixture to seep in. Set aside.
    Warm the rum with the remaining sugar carefully and slowly over low heat। The rum should be warm, not hot, and the sugar just dissolved. Do not overheat.

  10. Pour warm rum mixture gently over warm cake in pan, allowing the rum mixture to seep in. Cool completely in the pan.

07 May 2007

Grow It Cook it : "Grow a Kitchen Garden"

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By: Backyard Living

For those of us who love both cooking and gardening, a kitchen garden offers the best of both worlds.
You don't need an ambitious "north 40" garden--even a modest-sized plot can provide a bounty of produce.

Plan your kitchen garden around the kinds of food you enjoy most: lettuces for bountiful salads, herbs and tomatoes for Italian fare, cilantro and salsa ingredients for Mexican dishes.

Plant your garden near the house so you can run out and snip herbs or grab a few sun-warmed tomatoes and use them immediately when they're at their just-picked best. If possible, locate your garden within view of the kitchen or dining room so you don't overlook what's ready to be picked.

With homegrown produce, you'll never have to worry about unwanted chemicals or additives, and the taste will bowl you over.
Quick Tips

Start Small
If you're a first time gardener, make a modest plan and leave room for expansion once you gain more experience.

Keep it Sunny
Most vegetables need a full 6 hours of sunlight a day. Morning light is preferable, because it dries off the dew, reducing the risk of disease. It's also less stressful to the plants than blazing afternoon sun.

Make Your Beds
If your soil leaves much to be desired, try planting in raised beds. Contain the soil with untreated wood planks, stones or cement blocks. You can also simply mound the soil.
Contact your local garden center or horticulture extension office to find out what grows best in your own backyard