Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hummingbird Cake

It is Father's Day and there are no kids, so it falls to me to treat Lee. Unlike me he hates eating in bed!!! What's up with THAT!

While reading a book I have since forgotten, the author talked about a Hummingbird Cake. I had never heard of one. I Googled it and found a recipe from
Southern Living. The article said that it was their most requested recipe, so here it is.

Hummingbird Cake

3 cups all purpose flour.
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas

Preheat oven to 350. Spray Pam in 3 9-inch round cake pans.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Add eggs and oil. Don't beat, just until moistened.

Stir in vanilla, pineapple, pecans and bananas.

Pour into 3 prepared pans. I used a 1 cup measure to try to keep the layers even.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter ( one stick)
1 16 oz package powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Beat butter and cream cheese in Kitchenaid until smooth. gradually add powdered it slowly or you will be wearing the sugar and so will your kitchen. When it is light and fluffy, add in the vanilla

Spread the frosting between each layer and on top and on the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

Store in the refrigerator.

Banana Carrot Walnut Bread with Pineapple Cream Cheese

Our newspaper, The Roanoke Times, recently printed three different banana bread recipes reprinted from Maida Heatter's Cakes. I decided to take one and play with it a little. Here is what I came up with.

1 cup raisins or Craisins
1 cup grated carrots
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal ( I added this for fun and because I like oatmeal and to increase the healthy aspect)
1 TBL unsweetened cocoa ( This makes it dark, but it is hard to taste the chocolate)
1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar baking mix)
3/4 cup vegetable oil ( I used 1/2 cup, and added more banana for moistness)
2 large bananas (1 cup)
1 cup chopped walnuts (my addition...gotta have the nuts!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with Pam.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Using my Kitchenaid mixer, I beat the eggs to mix. Beat in the sugar and oil. Coarsely chop bananas and add to the egg mixture along with Craisins and carrots. On low speed, add the dry mixture 1 cup at a time, scrapping the bowl as needed. Add the chopped walnuts. Turn mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn it onto a cooling rack.

When completely cool, slice and spread with pineapple cream cheese. Our store was out, so I made some with whipped cream cheese and drained crushed pineapple.

It's Haying Time Again

The grass is high and the weather is hot, so it is time to hay our fields again. If we had the equipment and expertise I would like to do it ourselves. As we don't, we have an excellent resource in Aubrey Crouch. He is very fair in the shares and makes sure we get enough hay for all our horses for the year. In return he gets half the first cutting and all of the second cutting for his cows.

We have been spraying for weeds which increases the value of our hay and next year we are planning to fertilize the fields. We have to research the best kind for our sprayer. Plus been having problems with the sprayer, so we have been putting it off.