Lemon Curd Cake

My daughter has been a baking machine lately. Every chance she gets she asks if she can make some cupcakes. Cupcakes are her thing. As a matter of fact she is measuring sugar in front of me as I right, only to bake away an orange dream cupcake creation. On the contrary, I am not a baker by any means, probably because I am not that much into sweets. I do love ice cream, but not so much a fan of cakes, pies, and unfortunately, cupcakes. BUT, I do try my best to help her out and give whatever guidance I can outside of her cupcake journal. Yes, she keeps a journal of her recipes which I think is pretty awesome.  So recently I wanted to show my daughter that you can make other types of desserts that does not require heating the oven on a summer day. That’s when the lemon curd cake came into play.

Lemon Curd Cake Recipe
Lemon Curd Cake Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tbsp powdered sugar
  • 10 oz jar of lemon curd
  • 11 oz box of Nilla Wafers
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

The cool thing here, and a great teaching moment for my daughter, is making homemade whipped cream.

Start by chilling your mixing bowl, and whisk in your freezer. I think this always helps when making whipped cream. Chill those two for about 15 minutes, then remove and get ready to make your whipped cream.

I use my KitchenAid mixer, and once attached, pour in the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Mix on a medium-high speed until the heavy cream thickens and forms stiff peaks on your whisk. This should only take a matter of minutes. If you want a sweeter whipped cream, add more powdered sugar prior to mixing.

Once you have whipped cream, get a 12×8 baking dish out, something in that range, and get ready to make the lemon curd cake.

Lemon Curd Cake Ingredients
Lemon Curd Cake Ingredients

I say cake here, but it uses those delicious Nilla wafer cookies. Once set however, and placed in the refrigerator for a period of time, those Nillas soften up and make this great cake like texture.

So take a bit of your whipping cream (I made sure my daughter got every little bit left on that whisk), and from a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.

Next, make a layer of Nilla wafers, then another layer of whipped cream, then another layer of Nillas. Next, take the lemon curd, all of it, and gently spread over the layer of cookies. Once evenly spread, add the remaining Nillas, arranging with however many you have left, then spread out the remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle on the cinnamon powder.

Cover, and place into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving to let the cream jive with the cookies.

Serve in bowls, or glassware and dig in. Talk about a simple dessert and one all of my family loved!  It’s slightly lemony and creamy which had my family coming back for more. Heck, I even had two servings and that’s saying something.  If you are looking for an easy dessert, one that is perfect for this time of year, then look no further as this lemon curd cake has it all!

Candied Ginger

Recently I visited a local grocery store in town called Cermak. I’ll state that I pretty much love this place, especially their produce section. You can pretty much get anything you want at this place as it is also an ethnic market. On this recent trip I ended up buying, among other things, a huge chunk of ginger. At that time I had no idea what I was going to make with it.  At first I thought I was going to make a ginger paste and use if for a bunch of Indian cooking I’ve been doing lately, but that’s when I decided to change gears and try to make a candied ginger. Good idea? Yes.

Candied Ginger Recipe
Candied Ginger Recipe

This stuff is not only way too easy to make, but it lends for a spicy, and sweet snack. I’ve minced it up and put it in sauces, marinades, and even smoothies. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack

You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!

Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a 1/4 inch.

Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.

Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about 1/2 cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.

Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved 1/2 cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.

Candied Ginger Ingredients
Candied Ginger Ingredients

Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.

Take the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc. They last for a few months, and that is always great when you are looking for that sweet heat from ginger. Hope you enjoy!

Candied Ginger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1½ cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack
Instructions
  1. You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!
  2. Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a ¼ inch.
  3. Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.
  4. Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about ½ cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.
  5. Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved ½ cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.
  6. Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.
  7. Take the remaining ½ cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours. Shake off any excess sugar before storing.
  8. Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc.

 

Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche

Are you like me, and love a good hearty breakfast? Well if you are, then this one is going to be right up your alley. I love a good quiche because it is something that not only is great for breakfast, but it makes for a great item for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It wasn’t long ago when I decided to come up with this recipe as I was the first one to awake on Sunday morning, and get things going for breakfast. I figured I would make this ham, bacon, and potato quiche and get a good hearty breakfast in for my wife and kids. I knew that most likely my oldest, which was true, would not even consider this as he does not like eggs, but the others would most likely devour it.

Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche Recipe
Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche Recipe

This whole recipe really started from the idea of cooking bacon, and crisping up thinly sliced potatoes in that bacon fat. Sometimes that is all it takes. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of deli ham, chopped
  • 1 cup of 1 cup peas

Start by cooking your bacon on medium heat in a large skillet. The beauty about this one is that everything is done in the skillet. Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove the bacon and chop it. Reserve half of the bacon fat. Add in the ham, onions, and cook for a few minutes. Remove the ham and onions from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Return the skillet to the heat, reserve any leftover bacon fat, and add the butter. Lay down the thinly sliced potatoes, covering the bottom of the skillet.  Cook the potatoes, lifting them up from time to time, until they are nice and crisp.

During this time, beat the eggs with the heavy cream. Add in the crumbled bacon, onion, ham, peas, and cheddar cheese. Mix gently with a fork, then add to the top of the potatoes in the skillet.

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 35-45 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and lightly browned on top.

Slice the quiche into pie like slices and dig in. This is definitely a hearty meal, and one that is packed full of flavor. You can eat this warm, or even at room temperature, which also lends to be great for leftovers, and what is not to love about any of that! Hope you enjoy.

Banana Oat Bars

I don’t know if you are like me in this way, but I always have great intentions when I buy bananas for the week. I typically buy about 4-6 of them in hopes that my kids will pack one for lunch, or snack on one after school. I typically use half of one for my morning smoothie, but towards the end of the week I notice the rest of them are uneaten. That’s when I take measures into my own hands and typically knock out a great banana bread (which the kids love), but this time I decided to make some delicious banana oat bars.

Banana Oat Bars Recipe
Banana Oat Bars Recipe

This recipe is super easy to make and yields a nice tray of oat bars.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts

Start by mixing all of this together into a mixing bowl. It should be sticky, and be able to be easily formed.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take the mixture and form into a rectangular shape.

Place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until it is firm, but has a slight bounce to it. Let cool, then slice into bars.

These were a perfect use of ripened bananas and were a nice snack when heading out to work and school. Hope you enjoy!

Banana Oat Bars
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups of oats
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing all of this together into a mixing bowl. It should be sticky, and be able to be easily formed.
  2. Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take the mixture and form into a rectangular shape.
  3. Place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until it is firm, but has a slight bounce to it. Let cool, then slice into bars.