Hidey Ho, Guys!!
So it was a beautiful morning the other day.
The farmer across the road had just started in his field that morning....
He always parks his old school truck by the gate.
This exact same morning, our neighbor Galen,
who farms organically, was out and about too.
His truck was parked in his field as well.
While out there, I turned around and snapped a quick pic of the buildings and house at mi homestead.
I see Galen getting ready to leave his property on his cool old tractor.
Galen raises grass fed, beyond organic beef and
pasture raised chickens.
Galen trained with the best, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms out of
The snapshots-of-life one sees in this area of the country
is downright nostalgic.
A quick bio of Galen and his beyond organic farming practices is here...Galen Bontrager Farm.
let's move on to an easy homemade cake!!!!
This cute little 13x9 chocolate cake is delicious!
This Chocolate Cake with
Ina Garten's new cookbook
Make It Ahead.
I'm not a baker, as you all know,
but I've made this cake about six or seven times in the last few months. It's delicious, made from scratch,
not too sweet. It's actually perfect.
Girls and Boys, this is the time in the blog post where Angie fesses up.
Now this is the picture in Ina's book that shows the
Mocha Frosting on that Chocolate Cake and how the frosting should look...
rich...creamy...chocolatey, smooth...mmmmm, yum.
Anyhoo, I AM NOT A BAKER!!
Clearly I did one or twelve things wrong with that frosting recipe so I don't make that frosting anymore.
It's not the recipe, it's me. It's always me with baking.
But the cake is foolproof!
Even for a fool like me!
And it freezes super well too!
Straight outta Ina Garten's new cookbook, Make It Ahead
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup hottest tap water
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2/3 cup half-and-half
Mocha Frosting (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9x2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl.
On medium speed, add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In another bowl or a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder until smooth. Add the half-and-half and whisk until smooth.
With the mixer on low, add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in thirds, starting and ending with the flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.
Turn out onto a flat platter or board and frost the top with the mocha frosting. Cut in squares and serve.
TO MAKE IT AHEAD:
Prepare the cake with frosting and leave at room temperature for up to 6 hours. The cake alone can be frozen for up to 2 months. Frost before serving.
Here's the fixins...
I could not locate that,
so I googled,
and used 1.5 times of
regular instant coffee granules.
say to put parchment paper in the pan but did not describe exactly how, so I did this.
And it looked stupid.
And then I forgot to grease and flour the pan before the parchment paper was put down,
so I pulled up the parchment paper and greased and floured
By about this time,
only two minutes into the process,
I knew I better find some patience and get organized or I will have yet another baking attempt go bad.
So I set everything out on the counter like this...
kind of organized.
And I went to town creaming the butter and sugar and vanilla and eggs up.
Then I mixed the cocoa up with warm water and the instant coffee and the half-n-half.
I alternated the flour and chocolate mixture verrrrrrry slowly into the batter.
all at the same time with no flour,
and then turned the beater on.
Yeah, not pretty.
My kitchen walls and
blouse took the brunt
of the chocolate
See all that chocolate and crap on the recipe page?
T'aint supposed to be there.
Have I ever mentioned I hate baking?
when everything's all mixed up,
the batter looks like silk.
Pour the batter in your pan.
Now I halved the recipe the first time I made this.
That's why the batter is in an 8x8 dish instead of 9x13.
Now I dug and dug and dug
and finally remembered I had bought this cute platter at Dillards a while back off the clearance table.
Just wanted to bore you to tears with another cheap platter picture.
I think I was successful.
I know you're telling me to shut the heck up about the platter.
not overly sweet cake.
Remember my frosting disaster from earlier?
now I just use powdered sugar as a topping.
Hungry for a snack? Go ahead, grab a piece!
Well, that's all I have for today's exciting blog post!
I know y'all are disappointed I didn't drone on even more about that pretty pretty scallopy cake platter.
Scallopy is a word. Look it up. In the Pretend Word dictionary.
In closing, though, Ima show you a few pictures of my other neighbor David's farming. David also farms organic and is Old Order Amish. He raises organic produce for the Organic Cooperative out of Kalona.
This is his back forty, you can see the start of his growing season a bit from the road.
I see David and his oldest son out there working all the time during the growing season.
You look closer and there is row after row of seed plantings covered with.....it looks like compost with a plastic covering,
maybe for the frost or warmth???
I zoomed in a little bit here.
I made sure to take these pictures on a Sunday when the family would not be in the fields. Amish don't want their picture taken.
This Sunday was particularly overcast in the morning here. Every building has a function and every space is used.
I noticed an acre or two had large rows like this, larger and taller, completely 100% covered on all sides.
Wonder what specific produce these coverings are for??
So anyway, that's all I have to show you today. Just a little slice of Amish organic agricultural life
right across the road from me.
Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend!
Take care and we'll talk at ya soon!!
ONE MORE THING!!
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...oh I just cracked my own self up.