B-52 Cake

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I'm posting again!  But be warned because I'm headed to Cincinnati tomorrow for a weekend soccer tournament. So Sunday Dinner this week...will be a no show.  These days, if I'm not working, I'm visiting colleges or on the soccer fields somewhere in the Midwest.  And I thought blogging was going to be easier when my children were older.  Not!

I knew what a B-52 bomber was and I even knew of the band.  But a cake??  Had to do a little homework on that one.  Turns out there was a bartender that created a cocktail with these flavors after his favorite band (that iconic band whose name comes from the beehive hairdo that resembled the nose of said aircraft).  I don't know his reasoning behind layering Kahlúa, Irish Cream, and Grand Marnier, but let's just say he hit it on the nose!  And the cake??  It's the BOMB!  Ok, I'll stop with the puns and let you enjoy the recipe.  

*Note- the alcohol in the recipe is cooked out.  If you don't keep these liqueurs around, just pick up a few mini bottles at the store.

B-52 Cake
serves 14-16

For The Brownie Layer
3-ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

For The Filling and Top Layer
3 teaspoons teaspoons unflavored gelatin, divided
1 Tablespoon water
6-ounces white chocolate chopped
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon Grand Marnier

Chocolate Curls

For the Brownie Layer
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan. 

Combine chocolate and butter into a bowl and microwave at 50% power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2-4 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  

Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl until combined.  Whisk in chocolate mixture until smooth.  Stir in flour until no streaks remain. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth to the edges.  Bake for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with a few crumbs attached.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling and Top Layer
Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of the gelatin and water in a small bowl and let stand until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes.  Place the white chocolate in a large bowl.  Heat the Bailey's and espresso powder in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.  Pour Bailey's mixture over the white chocolate, add the gelatin mixture, and whisk until melted; let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or hand-held mixer, whip cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.  Whisk one-third of whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining cream.  Spread evenly over the cooled brownie layer all the way to the edges of the pan.  Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Combine the orange juice, Grand Marnier, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin in a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until just simmering.  Transfer to a 2-cup measuring cup and let cool completely, about 1 hour.  Slowly pour juice mixture over cake and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.  Run a thin knife between cake and side of the pan; remove springform side.  Transfer cake to serving platter and garnish with chocolate curls.  Serve.  Cake can be made and kept refrigerated three days in advance.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cook's Country, October/November 2015


Sunday Dinner

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Glazed Carrots

B-52 Cake

I've been absent for quite sometime, but the last three Sundays I have felt like a Phoenix rising from the ashes--cue the dramatic visual of regeneration! Since then, I have shared recipes for a savory salad, briny pickles, and now...a bowl or carrots??  I know, I know. I promise that the sugar is coming soon. But glazed carrots have made an appearance on countless Sunday menus and it is high time time for them to make their debut.  

These carrots are simple to prepare and can be made a couple of hours in advance and held at room temperature before reheating and serving.  Feel free to change up the herbs or seasoning according to your taste.  I love to use fresh thyme, but a fresh sprig of rosemary is an excellent essence when the carrots are served with roast pork or beef.  They are a sweet and tender companion to just about main dish.

Glazed Carrots
about 6 servings

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and trimmed up to 1 1/2" long and 1/2' in diameter
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme or rosemary
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Kosher salt to taste
2 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives

Place the trimmed carrots in a loose layer in a large saucepan.  Add enough cold water to just cover the vegetables.  Add the butter, sugar, thyme, peppercorns and a pinch of salt.  Bring the water to a boil, then adjust the heat to simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.  As the liquid reduces, the carrots should finish cooking until tender.  If the carrots are tender before the liquid reduces, remove the carrots and reduce the liquid until there is about 2 tablespoons of glaze.  Then return the vegetables to the glaze.  Season with salt and roll them in the glaze to coat.  Add the parsley and serve.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Bouchon  by Thomas Keller


Good Eats with an Irish Flare

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"Doing anything for the weekend? Well now you have a little reading material and some inspiration to cook up a grand feast for the upcoming week."-  (said in my best Irish accent)



Sunday Dinner

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Smoked Pimento Cheese with Bacon

Nashville-Style Hot Fried Chicken
Homemade Refrigerator Pickles

Lemonade Pound Cake

I have had fried chicken on the brain for quite sometime now.  And with a road trip to "the home of country music" right around the corner for a little culture, good eats and maybe a college tour of Vanderbilt University (I can't believe I'm getting ready to send my first born off to college this fall and my middle child to college next year 😩), I thought it would be fun to put a Tennessee twist on my go-to southern fried chicken recipe.  If there is something you need to know about that spicy, Nashville-style chicken, you serve it on a thick slice of white bread with pickles.  

This recipe for pickles could not be any easier. You can make it well in advance (like a month in advance) and you don't have to mess with any canning or preserving.  They are briny, crunchy, and have just the right amount of sweetness.  Our favorite way to enjoy them is with a slice of aged white cheddar on top of a buttery cracker, but tonight...they are hanging out with the cluck and I couldn't be more excited!

*Note--Make sure you use the right variety of cucumber to achieve the best results.  This recipe calls for Kirby or pickling cucumbers.  They are smaller in size with fewer seeds than a traditional cucumber or English hothouse cucumber.

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles
makes about 1 quart

2 cups white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried dill 
5-6 kirby cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and dill in a large jar or container.  Place a lid tightly on the jar and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  Add the sliced cucumber, pressing them tightly into the jar.  Place the lid on the jar, shake it well, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Fresh Everyday, by Sara Foster


Sunday Dinner

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Hot Cajun Crab Dip

Creole Tomato Salad

Greetings and salutations from the absent GG!!  It's Sunday and I'm busy in the kitchen, so I'll keep the long overdue rhetoric to a minimum.  I've been recently updating my FB page with some Sunday dinner menus because I am trying to take baby steps back into the blogosphere and it was high time to do so here on my little space in the world.  Sooo, I'm just gonna cut to the chase and talk about the menu.  

Mardi Gras is just two days away and I have been sporting my Creole/Cajun pants the last couple of days 🎭.  This pre-Fat Tuesday feast combines my love for both said cuisines.   

Long time readers might recall one of my favorite creole salads/slaws.  This is a simple spin on that recipe where I use plump Campari tomatoes (they are pretty decent all year round and I had a craving for some sweet tomatoes) in lieu of the cabbage.  The tomatoes are sweet, the herbs and onions have a nice bite, and the dressing is bold in flavor without being over powering to the palate.  This salad provides a nice balance of flavor and texture to the meal.  Happy Sunday and "I'm glad for you ta be seein' me"- (said in my best Justin Wilson voice)!  


Sunday Dinner

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Green Salad with Bacon and Croutons

Apple Crostada with Brown Butter Streusel

Tender apples, cinnamon spice, brown butter streusel, all in a flaky pastry?  Come to momma!

I first made this dessert last year and I have been waiting for the right time to make it again and share it (along with countless other recipes that I can't seem to get to because life is, well...BUSY).  And since I haven't shared a Sunday dinner post in a very long time, I thought this would be the perfect Sunday to conquer both the making and sharing.

I like to use a mixture of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples for texture and taste reasons.  The apples are cooked slightly in a maple syrup sauce before they are baked, so you are guaranteed to have tender apples in the final product.  Just keep and eye out on the Golden Delicious cause they can turn to mush quite quickly.  I also like a little lemon flavor with my baked apple recipes, so I used a strip of lemon to infuse the maple syrup mixture. 

And how about that brown butter streusel?  Yeah, I just got weak in the knees.  The original recipe called for walnuts in the streusel, but I completely blanked on that one when I was at the store, so I used sliced almonds since I had them on hand.  Pecans would work as well. 

This is almost the perfect apple dessert.  There is just one thing missing.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream! Doh!  I'm telling you my head is just not screwed on right these days.  It's not pictured, but you better believe I ran to the freezer before sinking my fork into a slice of this goodness.


Peanut Noodle Salad

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Top 10 Reasons Why The Galley Gourmet Has Been On Leave

1. The family photo album needed more pictures of my kids and less of food.

2. I had an attack of OCD and polished my copper pots and pans with a toothbrush.

3. It's been too darn cold the last 10 months to do anything!

4. I ran out of cayenne pepper and kept forgetting to put it on my grocery list.

5. Thought I took a job with Uber, but realized I was just driving my kids around.

6. My new part time job took out the most productive part of my day for blogging.

7. Wrote a screen play with a plot twist involving pork belly...epic fail.

8. Tears from writer's block shorted out my laptop.

9. Consulted my dogs on a flavor for a new wing sauce for Buffalo Wild Wings-- bananas and cheese?!?

10. Brushed up on all the growing varieties and health benefits of kale.  

And since I updated my Facebook status a few weeks ago with a recipe coming soon, I have been spending my days chasing and picking up tumble weeds of black Labrador hair.  Seriously, I could knit a sweater with them! So, there you have it-- a laugh and the truth.  I am human and we all get a little busy.  I can't say that my posting will be as frequently as it once was, but the quality of the food will be just as good.

Now on to the recipe... These days I am in major need of dinners that can be made ahead of time and served to whoever and whenever.  For example-- last night my son had to be at work at 6:00pm, my oldest daughter had to be at driver's ed from 6:00-8:00pm, and my youngest had to be at soccer practice from 6-7:30pm.  So as you can see, we either eat at 8:30pm (and sometimes my son still isn't home yet) or we eat in shifts.  This recipe comes in handy for eating in shifts.

The original recipe called for one pound of pasta, but I wanted to use a type of Asian noodle and they only come in 12-ounce packages.  So, I subbed the missing carbs with shredded purple cabbage.  It adds a bright color, good crunch, and it's a healthier alternative.  I also add some scallions for a mild onion flavor, as well as some Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce for a nice flavor boost.  It is good cold or at room temperature and leftovers are always well received.


Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

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Whassup?!  Yep, I'm still here.  I just got a case of the blogging blues and I have been thoroughly enjoying summer with my family.  For the first time in almost four years, I have taken more pictures of my kids than food!  I do thank you for the comments and concerns about my whereabouts. I promise I will get back into a regular posting schedule again soon.  Maybe when the kids are out of the house by 7:35 am instead of waking up at 9:00 am (wait-- 10:45 am for the teenagers) and saying-- "Mom, what are we going to do today?"

A few Sundays back, I had every good intention of sharing this recipe.  It was a beautiful day and I had raspberries ready to be picked in the garden (which influenced my choice of dessert for the evening).  I cooked and photographed the brownies, edited the image, wrote up the Sunday dinner menu, and even got as far as typing half the recipe.  Then my husband walks in and says-- "How 'bout we get out of here, go toss back a few and eats some hot wings while we watch the World Cup?"  See, it's not all my fault that I have been incognito.  There are just too many distractions around here;)  

Anyways, here is a little something sweet for you to enjoy while I dust off the cobwebs.  Don't think I need to say much about raspberries, cream cheese, and chocolate other than-- "To die for!"

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