Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tomato Soup Cake

I was kind of a strange kid. I really wanted to live in an old house or farm where I could find lots of interesting things in the attic or barn. Anne of Green Gables and Little Women were my favourite books (oh how I wanted so badly to have red hair like Anne Shirley... now I do). I was fascinated with antiques- I had a vintage vanity set (you know, the hand held mirror, brush and comb on a tray) in my room, and I once brought a hair net to show and tell (Good God that is embarrassing to think). So when I heard that today was the Wilmot Township Historical Society's annual heritage day and the theme was Recipes of Our Past, obviously I had to go.

I had a great morning talking to people from the community manning the tables, each of which were themed. There were old cookbooks, documentation of a heritage home's transformation into a restaurant, a maple syrup booth, vintage table linens, cheese, bread, and beer making in the region, and lots of old kitchen ephemera. All the stuff I geek out about.

I also talked to the women from the New Dundee Women's Society for a while- I would join if the meetings weren't on Tuesday nights when I work. Tyler may be right- I think there is a little old lady living inside me.

There were some handouts for heritage recipes, which I love of course. It is so interesting to see how people cooked and ate in years past. Look at the recipes below- they doesn't have any oven temperatures because baking would have been done in a fireplace. Cool!
Click to enlarge
The recipe for today's post is not a recipe from the Heritage Day, actually, and it's not as old as a lot of the early 1900's stuff I was looking at today, but this cake is vintage to be sure. 1950's I'd say. From what other era would come a recipe for a cake made with Campbell's soup?

I found this recipe in the local newspaper, the New Hamburg Independent. They do a column with "a treasured family recipe and the memories that make it special". The contributor of this recipe for Tomato Soup Cake says that her husband's mother used to make this cake for any and every occasion, and apparently he tried to sell it at a bake sale but nobody was buying tomato soup cake. They changed the name to "spice cake" and it sold out.

I wouldn't have looked twice at this recipe without this accompanying "review" but I'm glad I did. But still, I figured I'd make it once just to see what it was like but didn't expect much. 't is really delicious. It magically does not taste like tomato soup, I swear. Even the batter before baking the cake doesn't taste tomato-ey. It's pretty amazing. Tyler thought it was pumpkin cake. Next time I think I make it with pumpkin pie spices rather than just cinnamon. Yes, there will be a next time which I wouldn't have predicted before making this cake.

I can't think of any witticism to end this post with like I usually do, so here's the recipe. Go.

Makes 12 servings
Adapted slightly from The New Hamburg Independent 

  • 1 can tomato soup (apparently Campbell's works best)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I left these out as Tyler doesn't like them)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan. In a small bowl mix together tomato soup and baking powder- it will become foamy. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add tomato mixture, mix well, then add flour and cinnamon. Combine, then add raisins. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top (can press lightly to level with damp fingers). Bake in middle of oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on rack then remove from pan. Serve cut into squares.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sriracha Devilled Eggs

Sometimes I make devilled eggs for myself. Is that so crazy? Everyone loves them. They're always the first to go at a party (you know you're getting old when devilled eggs make an appearance at your parties). They even have a lengthy Wikipedia page. Why save them for special occasions? If you're going to eat a hard-boiled egg, take an extra 30 seconds and mix the yolk with some mayo. And while you're at it add some sriracha. 

Sriracha devilled eggs. It's where it's at. Yo.

Serves 1
I really don't think this needs a recipe, but here you go anyway.
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half and yolks removed
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • 1/4 sriracha, or more to taste
  • pinch salt and pepper
Mix egg yolks, mayo, sriracha, salt in a small bowl. Spoon into egg whites. Sprinkle with a little pepper.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Perfect Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight oatmeal + Tassimo coffee = out the door with a hot breakfast and caffeine in less than 5 minutes.

Alright, so I know oatmeal isn't all that time consuming to make, but do you have 10 minutes to boil and stir before heading out to work? I don't. And I only work part time.

I start work at 8am on Sundays. Which means I wake up at 7:00 in order to be out the door by 7:20. I refuse to get up any earlier than 7. It's just not right. So I need a breakfast that can be cooked and eaten in less than 5 minutes, or can be warmed up at work. There's always Timmies, but I don't want to endure their coffee just for a bagel that sometimes they forget to toast.

I used to bring dry oatmeal and add hot water from the water cooler (is that an oxymoron or something? Hot water from the water cooler?), but it was never quite right. Sure, it was hot and ready (my fave, lol) but that is more like oats in hot water than oatmeal. There is a difference.

I'm giving a recipe, but it's really more a guideline. Tonight as I'm writing this, I am eating oatmeal that I mixed this morning to bring to work for dinner (somehow we are out of bread and crackers, my usual go to's if I can't find something to bring for lunch), and I added dried cranberries, candied ginger, walnuts, and cinnamon. I'm hoping it will keep me full long enough to avoid a vending machine visit at 10pm. 'Cause that's never pretty.

Two Years Ago: Nada. I was newly preggo. 'Nuff said.

An Amy Original
Serves 1
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (don't use quick-cooking!)
  • water
  • spices i.e. cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, etc
  • any combination of add ins: dried cranberries, nuts, seeds, raisins, chopped fruit, frozen berries (no need to thaw), pumpkin puree, chopped crystallized ginger, etc
  • milk to serve, if desired
  • sweetener to taste, if desired (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar)
Place oats in a bowl or to-go container. Add enough water to just cover oats. Stir in any spices and add ins. Cover and place in fridge overnight. In the morning microwave until hot. Add milk and sweetener if desired.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crunchy Sesame Cookies

I like to try new things, and not just in the kitchen. In fact, I am currently sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair. There is a happy medium, however, between new things enriching your life and being ridiculous and unnecessary. Such as today's Groupon deal. Half off Brazilian Vajazzling! Can you guess what "vajazzeling" is? Yeah... Be-Dazzling is not just for your jean jacket anymore.

Back to the happy medium. These cookies fit that mold. Sesame oil in a cookie? It's so crazy that it just might work. And it does. These sesame cookies are new and exciting, but familiar as they remind me of a peanut butter cookie. Except that peanuts are not allowed in my house due to Parker being allergic.

Did I also mention that the recipe is from Cooking Light? Yep, not only are they delicious, but they are low fat. I also read recently that 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk. Amazing.

Excuse me while I get off this dang ball to get me a real chair and a cookie.

Get the recipe: Crunchy Sesame Cookies from Cooking Light December 2007

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bookmarked This Week

Photo Credit Food Network
I'm sorry this is another post without a recipe. I have been cooking, but I haven't made anything blog-worthy this week. Hopefully that is about to change with these recipes below. Stay tuned for a post on one of them (hopfully!).

Also, clearly I am enamoured with lentils this week. My family is going to be thrilled.

South Indian Lentil Cakes with Raita Bon Appetit
Mushroom and Lentil Pot Pies with Gouda Biscuit Topping Bon Appetit
Cornbread and Maple Pudding Anna Olsen
Cheddar Thumbprints Anna Olsen (These remind me of a cream cheese cookie filled with jam that my mom used to make. I tried her recipe and it failed miserably, so hopefully these work out better)

Two Years Ago: Ricotta Gnocchi