honey spice beer cake

Originally uploaded by stephykay

I love spice cake, and I love beer… so I couldn’t pass this recipe from The Washington Post up! They adapted it from the book Booze Cakes. I used the beer they recommend, Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss beer, which someone had recommended to me as a nice summer beer. Of course after the cake is baked you can’t taste the beer, but it made the cake nice and moist. Although most people prefer spice cakes during the winter, I think this one was “light” enough to be used year round.

For the frosting I used Formaggio Kitchen’s Hefeweizen, which is made for them by Cisco Brewers (pictured behind the cake). I screwed up the frosting – my butter was too soft. It’s more like a glaze. The flavor is just kind of meh to me, so I think next time I would stick with a traditional white frosting. The walnuts were nice – I might try to bake these in the cake next time (yes, there will be a next time!)

I went ahead and ordered the book, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more spiked baked goods from me!


Moroccan carrot soup

Originally uploaded by stephykay

This soup is much more to my liking than the corn soup, not only in terms of consistency and texture, but spice. It’s the Moroccan Carrot Soup recipe from Bon Appetit, April 2010. I used carrots and onions from my CSA delivery. I’ve made ginger carrot soups before, but this recipe caught my eye because I love cumin. I simply used ground cumin instead of toasting my own cumin seeds – I am sure that the toasted cumin seeds would add another dimension to the soup, but for a quick and easy after-work dinner, ground cumin works just fine. The soup is low fat but it tastes very rich – once again the immersion blender works its magic!

It would be easy to make this vegan – simply replace the chicken broth with a vegetable based broth, and skip the yogurt on top, which isn’t essential to the dish.

corn soup

Originally uploaded by stephykay

Food52 is a crowd-sourced cookbook of sorts. They announce themes and invite people to submit recipes. Although I have perused their website many times, I had yet to try any of their recipes. Corn season is upon us, and I am always looking for new uses for my CSA produce, so I decided to give cold corn soup with basil chili oil a go.

Although this is one of those recipes where I whipped out my immersion blender (love it!) the soup never reached the creamy consistency that I was hoping for. Next time I would probably add a potato or two to help it along. The basil oil was delicious and really made the dish, since the soup on its own was not memorable. It’s hard to place blame on the recipe, though, as the corn may not have been at its peak.