Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tres Leches

 Tres Leches is Ice Cream and Cake.  Birthday Cake!  And, after all,  my favorite vanilla ice cream has always been home-made Eagle Brand.  This is by far the quickest Tres Leches I have ever made.  And it makes a small cake, important for space because you keep it refrigerated.   If you need to,  it can be doubled,  but this is enough
for 8 people.
Here's what you will need:

3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
*1c. Self-Rising flour.  (or 1c AP flour with 1/2 tsp. baking powder.)
1/8tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk
Evaporated milk
Sweetened condensed milk
Heavy cream
Powdered Sugar
vanilla optional
*I always use SR flour when I bake.  It just seems to me to be more dependable and no sifting.
Preheat your oven to 350.
Separate the eggs and put a pinch of cream of tartar in the whites and beat to soft peaks.  I love, love, love this whipper for egg whites.  You can do this by hand in about one minute.

Mix up the yolks with 1/4 cup milk and gently mix it into the whites in about 3 portions.

Combine the SR flour and sugar and salt and add that, gently, in about 3 portions.

When it is just  combined, put it into a prepared pan more or less 8x8. 
By the way, I love this stuff for cake pans.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, sticks to this stuff.  You can get it at Walmart.  And I wish I were getting something for my recommendation, but nahhh.

Put it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
While it is cooking, mix a can of sweetened condensed milk, about 3/4 of a big can of evaporated milk or 2 small cans, and 1/2 c. Heavy Cream.

When your cake is done, you can take it out of the pan like this, or just leave it in and poke holes all over the cake with a skewer (not too skinny) and use the flat end.

Pour the milk mixture over the cake and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
And for even more smooth delicious milkiness, whip about 2 cups of heavy cream with 2 T powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla.  Did you know that powdered sugar has lots of cornstarch in it?  If you use powdered sugar in the cream it will "stabilize" the cream and the whipped cream will stay whipped much longer.  Good to know, for us cream freaks.
Hide this in the refrigerator and just see if this lasts long enough to be worried about.  I bet it won't.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello, Cutie.

Hey!  So glad you could make it!  Come on in....I mean up! Wow, little Rattlesnake Bean, you are not shy, are you?
 Awww... Have you ever seen anything so sweet?
Baby Zuchinni is one of those really, really agressive kids.
Little okra, you steal my heart!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Update on the Raised-Bed Square-foot Garden

This, right here, this goofy little plot, is  my 10x10 "Square-Foot Garden".   I'll tell  you  about some of the steps we went through to make if you're interested.  If not, pass on by to Fried Chicken.
Below is some of the stuff, er.. .amendments, we put in the soil; peat moss, and vermiculite, and I don't show the kitchen and yard compost I made last year but we put that in as well.
Below is how the garden turned out with all the amendments dug in and  covered with weed blocker.  You can never have too much protection.  Against weeds.
I also consumed some medicinal tequila later to loosen up my back.
The roof tiles were there to make the soaker hose behave.  I removed them later.

Then I covered it all with a bale of "hot" hay that my neighbor kindly gave me, also some insides from some evaporative cooler pads, (left over from another idea) and got started putting my old collection of picket fence around it, mainly for vine support but also just to be funky.  I am planning to make a bigger support trellis for the beans later on.

And...then I had this idea about the "squares" in the square foot garden.  In order to be able to have two (admittedly) narrow walking paths through the garden, (the burlap) I bought lath and made it into long T's with cross pieces.  Each one of those rows is 20 square feet.
This was actually fun to do, mostly because  I got out Left Brain's skill saw out to cut the 2 foot pieces.  Wow!  I love power tools.  Left Brain just hates it when I use his tools.
At this point,  I needed some help to make the "gates" into the "walkways' and Left Brain got out his own power tools and made me two lovely little gates that just stick into the soil.  Waaaay cool.

Now that I have all the soil ready and the plan laid out, I sketched out my spaces and had fun figuring what to plant where.  I have 60 square feet to work with!  These are the plants I will plant, either as seeds or seedlings:
Red Ripper Cowpeas (isn't that the coolest name?  My dad told me about them.)
Black eyed Peas
Rattlesnake Beans (who could resist this?)
Yellow Squash
Bell Pepper
Poblano chile
Beets (Beets?, really?)
Greek Oregano

I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you reading this are laughing out loud at the idea of all those plants in this little space, and you are probably right!  But this is experimental, and however it turns out, I'll show you the results.  I just could not resist all those lovely little seeds.  I'm missing my Mom, and this helps.
However,  I do have to admit that my funny little mother never made such a to-do out of a vegetable garden.  She just put seeds in the ground and out they came.  She would probably have laughed at this. But I have never had her luck or skill.  This garden is actually my most all-out effort at a vegetable garden.  So wish me luck, por favor.