Posts made in March, 2020

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

Trust me, this Ginger Chai Carrot Cake is amazing. This is the only carrot cake I have ever liked.

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

That’s right, I made the cake even though I was pretty ambivalent about carrot cakes overall. The combination of ingredients just appealed to me somehow. I actually went out and made the cake a week after reading the original recipe in Bake from Scratch Magazine.

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

Some modifications I made straight up: I used a square pan rather than a round and tall cake pan, which meant the bake time was a little higher, too. I also upped the cinnamon because, well, cinnamon. I was worried about buying enough grated carrot so I measured and weighed that; this is why I made sure to put the “7 ounces” info in the ingredients.

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

The recipe looks long because of the spices it includes, but it’s actually a very easy recipe to make. To save some time on baking day, mix the dry ingredients the day before! That’s what I did.

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

This cake is incredibly moist. It’s sweet and spicy, embodied with cozy heat courtesy of the candied ginger. Everything melds beautifully.

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

If you love carrot cake, make this cake. If you hate carrot cake, give this one a try. It just might convert you!

Bready or Not: Ginger Chai Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is packed with spices and sweetness, and will even convert carrot cake haters to the ways of this cake! Note that soured milk can be made using milk or half & half along with a few teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar; let sit for 10 minutes to curdle, then use. Recipe modified from Bake from Scratch Magazine.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, carrot
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 9x9 square pan

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or soured milk (see note), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 9 ounces crushed pineapple drained
  • 2 cups grated carrots about 7 ounces
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup candied ginger finely chopped

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream or half & half
  • candied ginger finely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line pan with heavy foil to fully covers bottom and sides; apply butter or nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, ground ginger, cloves, and pepper.
  • Into the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Mix in the pineapple, shredded carrot, raisins, and candied ginger. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then use foil to lift it onto a rack. Continue to cool to room temperature, or place in fridge to completely chill.
  • Once cake is cool, combine the confectioners' sugar and cream to form a glaze. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle extra candied ginger over the top. Slice and enjoy!

OM NOM NOM!

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    Four poems as Rhysling Finalists

    Posted by on Mar 20, 2020 in anthology:poem, awards, Blog | 0 comments

    I feel odd reporting good news as the modern civilization seems to be eroding around us, but I’ll take whatever positives I can get. Four of my poems were nominated for the Rhysling Award this year. That means they’ll be published in the Rhysling Anthology, and members of the SFPA will consider them as they vote for the annual winners. I’m honored to have anything up for such an honor again!

    Here are my works that are finalists, with links to the two available online:

    Short category:
    – “My Ghost Will Know The Way” • The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August
    “A Purring Cat is a Time Machine” • Daikaijuzine 1
    – “What You Hear When Your Best Friend Falls for a Supervillain” • Star*Line 42.1

    Long category:
    “Childhood Memory from the Old Victorian House on Warner” • Uncanny 27

    Here is the complete list of nominees.

    #SFWAPro

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    Bready or Not Original: S’Mores Brownies

    Posted by on Mar 18, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | 0 comments

    Create luscious S’Mores in brownie-bar form with my original recipe for S’Mores Brownies!

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    I had a jar of marshmallow fluff I wanted to use. I deliberated what to use it for and hit upon S’Mores Brownies, but to my surprise, I didn’t find an existing recipe that used jarred fluff. Time to make my own recipe!

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    Using regular marshmallows to bake is delicious and all, but you also end up with caramelized, hollow sections. I wanted marshmallows to stay soft and gooey alongside the chocolate crumb. By golly, my idea worked!

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    This is definitely a brownie for people who love chocolate. I loaded it with chocolate chips, inside and out. The graham cracker crumb and marshmallow complement it in a beautiful way.

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    This will look messy as a batter. Marshmallow fluff is not the easiest stuff to work with. It’s lumpy and sticky. The good news is, as the pan bakes, the contents will even out. The resulting marble effect make it look as delicious as it tastes.

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    Store these brownies in a sealed container for days–and they can be frozen for longer, too.

    Bready or Not Original: S'Mores Brownies

    This Bready or Not Original recipe melds jarred marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbs into brownies, creating luscious, portable S'Mores!
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: brownies, chocolate, marshmallow
    Author: Beth Cato

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter half cube
    • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips divided
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs room temperature
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 7 ounces marshmallow fluff one jar
    • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with heavy foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.
    • In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter and 1 cup of chocolate chips in brief bursts until fully melted and smooth; watch it carefully and stir well between each burst. Stir in the white sugar, followed by eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt.
    • Pour half the chocolate batter into the ready pan and spread into an even layer. Add small dollops of the marshmallow fluff across the top; it will be gloppy and sticky, so don't worry about getting it even.
    • Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the fluff and batter. Drop dollops of the rest of the chocolate batter on top along with the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Even out a bit, then use a butter knife or narrow spatula to swirl the layers together for a marbled effect. It may be mountainous in some areas but it will even out as it bakes.
    • Bake until the top is crinkled and edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for an hour, then stash in the fridge for another few hours to completely cool.
    • Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board to slice into bars. Store in a sealed container in fridge, waxed paper between stacked layers to prevent sticking. Keeps for up to three days, or freeze for later enjoyment.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Book Blog: Sixteenth Watch by Myke Cole

      Posted by on Mar 13, 2020 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

      I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

      Sixteenth Watch by Myke Cole
      out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

       

      I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

      In Sixteenth Watch, Myke Cole has created a compelling, action-packed work of military sci-fi where United States settlers face off against Chinese interests on the moon–and the United States Navy and Coast Guard likewise face off, escalating an already hot situation into one that could go nuclear.

      I trust Cole to get the military aspects right; I know the guy, and he knows his stuff. As a former Navy wife, I have some familiarity with the subject matter myself. The rivalry he writes about within the ranks here is absolutely plausible, on earth and the moon, and ratchets up the tension to a major degree. This is one of those books that is almost impossible to put down. You NEED to find out what happens next.

      This isn’t a thriller full of vapid action, though. At its heart are incredible, vivid characters that I came to care about. The protagonist is Jane Oliver, a Coast Guard veteran of decades who loses her sailor husband during an initial lunar flare-up between the US and China. Instead of taking a quiet retirement, she is invited back to the moon for a rather unusual challenge: to prepare an elite squad of Coasties for a reality game show that the Marines have dominated for years. This has not only impacted recruitment efforts on Earth, but also gives the Navy more power in the struggle for military dominance on the moon. Navy commanders are too keen on war, to Jane’s thinking; the Coast Guard, carrying out a role on the moon similar to what they do on the ocean, is largely about deescalating tension and saving lives. It’s awesome to see the Coast Guard be in the spotlight in a space setting because the role that they play (even without a literal coast to guard) makes absolute sense.

      The reality show angle adds to the originality of the book, and again, I know Cole knows what he’s talking about, as he is a reality show veteran himself. The stakes around the show feel realistic in this near-future setting, but hanging over everything is that threat of war with China.

      This is a darn good book, and I hope it’s the first in the series because I’d love to read more about these characters and this world.

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      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      Posted by on Mar 11, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake, lemon | 0 comments

      St. Patrick’s Day nears. Let’s celebrate with a scrumptious Irish Lemon Pudding Tart!

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      Mind you, this is “pudding” in more of a British/Irish sense, meaning a dessert. Don’t expect this to have the texture of American Jell-O pudding.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      No, this is delightfully fluffy because egg whites are beaten stiff and folded in right at the end, adding loft light texture.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      Make no mistake: this tart takes work. It dirties a lot of bowls.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      But wow, does it taste like something special. I certainly can’t find anything like this in stores around the southwest US.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      Even better, this tart keeps very well in the fridge for at least a week. Just keep it covered by foil.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      This isn’t a super-sweet dessert. The fresh lemon flavor is at the forefront. Really, this is a perfect spring or summer dessert. Or breakfast. Or snack.

      Bready or Not: Irish Lemon Pudding Tart

      This delicious tart is a little work, but it's fluffy, lemony goodness will be well worth the effort! Serve this for a special brunch or dessert.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: irish
      Keyword: lemon, pie, tart
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9-inch springform pan
      • parchment paper

      Ingredients

      Crust:

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
      • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt

      Pudding:

      • 2 eggs whites and yolks, divided
      • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
      • 1/4 cup white sugar
      • 2 large lemons zested and juiced
      • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1 1/4 cups milk or substitute 1 cup half & half plus 1/4 cup water
      • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

      Instructions

      Make the crust:

      • Cut parchment paper to fit inside springform pan. Apply nonstick spray; place parchment circle inside, then spray again to coat the entire inside of pan.
      • Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop.
      • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Pour in the butter. Use hands to knead ingredients together until they can form a ball. Flatten out handfuls and place in prepared pan, forming an even layer across the bottom and up about 2/3 of the height of the pan walls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill about 30 minutes.
      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
      • Take pan out of fridge. Use a fork to prick bottom and sides of crust all over. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to prepare filling.

      Make the pudding:

      • Place the egg whites in a bowl that can accommodate a hand mixer. Set aside.
      • In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and beat until fluffy. Add lemon zest, juice, and lemon extract. Beat until smooth; add flour, and mix until just blended. Pour in milk and incorporate. Batter will look thin with bubbles at the edges of the bowl.
      • Return to the egg white bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat until stiff peaks form.
      • Fold whites until batter without losing too much volume. It's okay if there are still some lumps. Pour batter into crust.
      • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until middle is set and passes toothpick test. Let cool completely.
      • Unlock sides of springform pan. Store on base disc of pan, or move to another dish, if desired. Keep draped by foil in fridge for up to a week. Serve cold or slightly warmed.

      OM NOM NOM!

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