Monday, August 1, 2011

#20 - Signature of Deliciousness

1. Host mah jongg night.
2. Make jam.  (Done!)
3. Host brunch. (Done!)
4. Go for a picnic. (Done twice!)
5. Go grocery shopping on my bike. (Done!)
6. Finish my year-end photo albums.
7. Take Fred to Lost Lake.
8. Rearrange the backyard.
9. Eat at the Space Needle.
10. Stay in bed all day.  (Done!)
11. <edited for privacy.>
12. Have a really girly slumber party.  (Done!)
13. Play a round of mini-golf. (Done!)
14. Get the craft room sorted and gorgeousified.
15. Go for a weekend in the San Juans. (Done!  Orcas at Memorial Day!)
16. Have an individual date with each NGS. (Done!)
17. Go for a hike.
18. Plan and cook a week’s worth of dinners. (Done!)
19. Go to Portland to see old friends.
20. Perfect a signature recipe (one slightly more nutritional than Bundt cake.)  (Done!)
21. Go to the drive-in movies.  (Done!  Harry Potter at the Blue Fox on Whidbey Island)
22. Get a mani-pedi every month. (Done for Jan, Feb, March, April, May and July)
23. Go ice skating. (Done!  Colorado with the parentals!)
24. Find the perfect shade of lipstick.
25. Host a big tea party in the back yard.
26. Make a quilt top.
27. Take six dance classes of any kind. (THREE down.  Love the Little Red Hen.)  (Done!)
28. Ride on a Ferris wheel.  (Done!  Puyallup Spring Fair!)
29. Organize our finances and filing system.  (Done!)
        30. Plan an awesome 30th birthday party.

As evidenced by my last post, my cooking skills are not what I hope they will eventually be.  We all must have an area in which we aspire to continually improve, right?  (Perhaps by the time I do a "50 before 50" the story will be different!)  A dearly departed friend gave me a Bundt pan and a Bundt cookbook for my 26th birthday and since then I have become known for my Bundts.  It is a useful skill, and makes me real popular at parties!  However, it doesn't really help me when putting together a whole dinner.  So I put #20 on this list in hopes of perfecting a recipe for something impressive enough that if the Queen were to drop by for supper, I could have something to make for dinner without shame.  Although I've only made it twice, I think twice is enough to say my new non-Bundt signature recipe is Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon.  

You can find the recipe here, where I blogged about it after making it the first time in January: 
I've since made it one more time and although time consuming, it isn't too difficult.  Besides, I think the Queen would deign to eat this, don't you think?
Yeeeees.  I think so.  I'm not going to reprint that recipe because it is reDICulously long.  But follow the link and you too can make mouthwateringly delicious beef.

I had a dear friend who said really I should cross this one off the list with a Bundt.  Because no matter how delicious the beef was, it would never be as delicious as a Bundt.  So Krystal, just for you, here is my most delicious and most requested Bundt.  The caramel glaze here is the best part, you could reuse it over really any cake and I'm pretty sure it would be a winner.

Apple Harvest Bundt (adapted from this recipe)


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the apples and walnuts using a spoon. Pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the crown or the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes then invert on to a wire rack.
  4. Make the glaze by heating the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat. Drizzle over the warm cake. I like to place a sheet of aluminum foil under the cooling rack to catch the drips for easy clean up.
And yes, it always turns out beautiful.  Like this one.  Actually, Krystal frosted this one herself because I was busy putting on a wedding dress and stuff.  So thanks K-star and all my guinea pigs for this and other recipes!

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