Monday, April 21, 2014

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte

This was originally posted on May 27, 2010 on Cooking for Seven. Because these lessons were such an important part of my life, I will be re-posting them here.
{Grandma’s Cooking School is my chronicles of the informal cooking lessons that my Grandma graciously decided to give us girls. Enjoy!}

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
This cake is my favorite.  The batter is not too sweet, the custard filling is so rich, and the whipped cream frosting is perfect.

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
Here’s a tip from Grandma: soak your poppy seeds in milk overnight.

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
What’s the secret to this cake’s light texture? Egg whites – beaten and folded into the batter.

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
Grandma cut a pretty round of wax paper for the cake to rest on.

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
The custard. Oh, the custard! And the frosting. Oh my.

Grandma's Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte
The finished cake. We were a little impatient and filled the cake before the custard was set. Oh well.

Poppy Seed Torte
This is the best part: sharing our creations with Dad. He is always so happy to taste our desserts at coffee break.
When I asked Grandma if I could share the recipe for Poppy Seed Torte with you, she quietly but firmly refused. I’m sorry to tease you, but Grandma has spoken!

Edited in 2014 to add: Here is a recipe online that's quite similar to the one my Grandma uses. She leaves out the nuts.
**Next Time on Grandma’s Cooking School: Homemade Bread & Cinnamon Rolls**

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easiest Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Buttered Side Up
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Buttered Side Up
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Buttered Side Up
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream | Buttered Side Up

The other night, my family invited my sister's and my family over for a breakfast supper to enjoy their freshly-boiled maple syrup. My sister called me up and said, "I'll make the apple crisp if you make the ice cream." Deal.

Now, in a situation like this, when you're required to make ice cream in an afternoon (I didn't know until about two or three that this was going to be a thing), you definitely do NOT have time to cook up a custard and get it down to bone-cold temperature for churning. Thankfully, you can still make an awesome homemade ice without a custard base

All that's required is mixing all of the ingredients together and churning. BOOM. Ice cream in 30 minutes.
It's dangerous knowledge. 

By the way, if you're a big fan of homemade ice cream, you need a good ice cream maker. I love my Cuisinart. I'm sure it's not as nice as the fancy built-in-freezer kind, but it's less than a third of the price. Also, I'm considering buying a second freezer bowl so I can make MORE ice cream at a time.

Note: If you're looking for the creamiest possible ice cream, I would go for a cooked custard (I'll have to share a recipe sometime). However, if you're pressed for time or just don't feel like standing over a hot stove, this ice cream is still fabulous.

Easiest Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
recipe adapted from the booklet that came with my mixer | makes about 7 cups | Printable Page


1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes; you can use a hand mixer or an old fashioned whisk. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and vanilla beans.
2) Pour the ice cream mixture into your mixer and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Scrape into a freezer-safe container and freezer until desired firmness is achieved. 

Note: Links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. I would never recommend something to you guys that I don't like.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Life Updates


Hey guys! I made pizza for y'all, but it turned out to be a bit of a fail. It was pretty yummy, but there were a few technical difficulties -- the cheese slid all over the place. 

So today I'll update you on what's been going on in our life lately instead!

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Favorite Guest Posts, Part 1

Favorite Guest Posts

I have made dozens of recipes for guest posts on other blogs over the years. It has taught me so much about writing, photography and communicating with other bloggers. It would be sad if they were forgotten over time, so I've decided to compile some of my favorites here...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

This post originally appeared on Cooking for Seven on April 9, 2012. Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes and maple cream cheese is the best frosting, so I'm re-posting it here. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Buttered Side Up
Super-sweet cakes are definitely not my cup of tea. Ever since I was a little girl I have disliked overly sugary desserts. Often times I would refuse birthday cake and opt for plain ice cream. Of course these days I’m a little more polite. I’ll eat my share of sickly-sweet treats; but give me a perfectly sweetened dessert and I’m much happier.

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