Monday, October 27, 2014

Table for 1, please

I have a problem.  I hate making a box of mac-n-cheese and having most of it go to waste because only one kid wants to eat it.  So, a few months ago I did the math and figured out how to make one serving of mac-n-cheese from a box.  (I know, I know, they already have this product, but it's not as good as the box, and my kids won't eat it.)

Single Serving Mac-n-Cheese

1/3 c. noodles
1/2-1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp cheese powder

This recipe will feed one small kid.  (Katrina can usually eat all of it.)  For a bigger kid, we double it.
We make this in a pan on the stove, but you could also make it in the microwave.  A box of Kraft Mac-n-Cheese has four servings in it.  After I open the box, I put the noodles and cheese powder in zip-loc baggies and put them back in the opened box.

Here's my other problem.  Sometimes, just at bed time, I feel a mite peckish.  I often don't want to eat anything nutritious at this point, but there's not usually a substantial treat available.  After sampling many emergency chocolate cake recipes, I came up with this one.

Emergency Chocolate Cake

1 Tbsp chocolate chips, dark is best
1/2 Tbsp butter, I eyeball this
3 Tbsp hot chocolate mix, use a high quality mix.  (I like Stephen's Mexican Chocolate.)
4 Tbsp flour
pinch baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp water

Put the chocolate chips and butter into a mug.  Microwave 20 seconds to melt, mix.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  (The baking powder and vanilla are optional.)  Mix together.  Microwave for one minute.  There will be a little slick of uncooked batter on the top.  Eat while it's still warm.  Ignore your spouse's glares for eating in bed and not making him one.

If this seems a little dry to you, try upping the butter.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lemon Pound Cake

A while ago I wanted a REALLY lemony cake.  No wimpy lemon flavor need apply.  I was perusing Martha Stewart and came across this cake that contains 4 ENTIRE lemons.  Oh yeah!  It was a little fussy, so I simplified it, but you can get the recipe at

Bill Yosses's Modified Lemon Pound Cake

4 lemons, Meyer, if you can get them
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c milk
6 large eggs
11 Tbsp butter, melted

2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice

Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 2 loaf pans generously with cooking spray.  Grate zest from lemons; set aside.  Remove white pith from lemons.  Hold lemon over a bowl, and cut between the membranes into sections, allowing sections and any juice to fall into bowl.  Squeeze juice from membranes.  Repeat with remaining 3 lemons.  Sift flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Begin mixing on low speed, then add milk.  Increase speed to medium, and beat in eggs, one at time, beating to incorporate after each addition, then beat in butter.  Add lemon segments, juice, and grated zest.  Beat for about 30 seconds to combine and break up lemons a bit.  Pour evenly into pans.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs.  Unmold cakes onto a wire rack set over a cookie sheet.

Make the glaze:
In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring until combined.  While the cakes are still warm, brush sides and top with glaze.  Wait 5-10 minutes and brush with glaze again.  Repeat glazing process until glaze is used up.  Let cool completely and enjoy.

The technique for cutting the lemons is called supreming.  I'm sure you can see a video of someone doing it somewhere.  I use it all the time for citrus salads. It's a little daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a really useful skill.