A Cake for Canada Day

red-velvet-white-chocolate-cheesecake-crop-slAlthough this comes from a US magazine, I’ve seen the idea on other websites. This one has more layers and does not use a cake mix. The photo (from Southern Living) also makes this cake look really good. I made one very much like it, with 3 layers.
CHEESECAKE LAYERS:
2 (8-in.) round disposable aluminum foil cake pans
1 (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels
5 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
RED VELVET LAYERS:
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (1-oz.) bottles red liquid food coloring
3 (8-in.) round disposable aluminum foil cake pans
WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
2 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bars, chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Preparation

1. Prepare Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 300°. Line bottom and sides of 2 disposable cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

2. Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions; cool 10 minutes.

3. Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Pour into prepared pans.

4. Bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecakes stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze 24 hours to 2 days.

5. Prepare Red Velvet Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

6. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; stir in food coloring. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch disposable cake pans.

7. Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 hour).

8. Prepare Frosting: Whisk together chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until chocolate melts. Cool 20 minutes; chill 30 minutes.

9. Beat 1 cup butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Increase speed to high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

10. Assemble Cake: Place 1 layer Red Velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer Cheesecake. Repeat with remaining layers of Red Velvet and Cheesecake, alternating and ending with Red Velvet on top. Spread top and sides of cake with White Chocolate Frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Red Velvet-White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe | MyRecipes.com

Urgh…

Today’s title is a sound, not an actual word.

I am tired and I don’t know why. True I took a book to bed with me last night and read about 150 pages before I finally turned out the light. But, I also slept in. That should equal out, right?

But, I started taking medication for depression and OCD (which is short for obsession, really). I didn’t really think I had any abnormal hang ups until I started looking at the things I do a bit closer. I do have a lot of focus for details, especially once something catches my interest. I do get fussy about the smallest things, having them right. Not that I’m a tidy neat freak. Apparently though, being a neat freak is not actually required. Being a hoarder is the other side of the bucket.

Don’t get pictures of hoarders you see on TV. I’m not that extreme. I keep it to one room, mostly. I don’t bring food around here, other than coffee and the occasional snack which I am careful about. I don’t have mice and the only bugs are those attracted to my hoard of paper, not crumbs of food. So, I’m not a disaster of a hoarder. Just a hoarder light. I did get quite a bit of it cleaned up too but it seems to be creeping back. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

I think the medicine I’m taking is making me tired. That is one of the side effects but I thought by now (over the first month of taking them) Id’ be past that. The tired comes over me all of a sudden. If you have ever taken an allergy pill (anti-histamine) you will know what that’s like. One minute you are fine the next you can’t possibly seem to keep your eyes open and your body wants to melt down and rest on the floor (or something softer if you can pull yourself together long enough). Maybe not everyone reacts to allergy pills that way. I find even the non-drowsy pills get me.

I’m mostly back to working on my sites again. Still getting sucked into little details rather than starting in on the bigger jobs like all those photographs for the exploration which need to be posted to Flickr (no posts since 2013!) and now my own urban exploration site, Wrecky Rat Bird. I also want to find a simple way to watermark my photos. This gets complicated because I don’t want to watermark my originals, just a web copy. Also, I have a lot of photos on Flickr but my originals from years past are burned on CDs and I’m not sure where they are in the clutter. Another thing, I found one of my saved CD’s but it was broken in half. Discouraging. So I guess that is all part of why I keep putting off the big job of posting my photos. Instead I’m fluffing around with plugins which I could really not bother with compared to the actual photo content which I do need.

There won’t be an image with this post. I’m mostly writing to keep myself awake and it seems to be working. So far. But, I need to get more done than this today. I should have gone out to the grocery store but I put that off for another day. I did the same thing yesterday. Urgh and bleh! There are days like that.

Buttermilk Syrup

A recipe passed to me from my Mother. Seems like an awful huge amount of sugar but it might be really good. I do like buttermilk!

Ingredients

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Combine the sugar, buttermilk, and butter in a saucepan.

Heat and melt the ingredients together over medium heat, stirring regularly. If you do NOT stir then the buttermilk may curdle.

When the mixture starts to bubble and boil around the edges pull it off of the heat and add the vanilla and the baking soda. Stir them together quickly and watch the mixture bubble up and grow.

Pour liberally over your food and ENJOY!

via Buttermilk Syrup.

Australian definition of a Canadian…

I think I’ve read this before. It was forwarded in email by my Mom today.

Australian definition of a Canadian…

Once in a while someone does a nice job of describing a Canadian, this time it was an Australian dentist.

You probably missed it in the local news, but there was a report that someone in Pakistan had advertised in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian – any Canadian. …

An Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so they would know one when they found one.

So the following is an Australian Definition of a Canadian. In case anyone asks you who a Canadian is ??

A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek.

A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan.

A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, Blackfoot, Sioux, or one of the many other tribes known as native Canadians.

A Canadian’s religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact, there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan.

The key difference is that in Canada they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which recognize the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds.

But they also welcome the least – the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected. These are the people who built Canada.

You can try to kill a Canadian if you must as other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but in doing so you could just be killing a relative or a neighbour. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place.

They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be a Canadian.

Please keep this going !!
Pass this around the World. Then pass it around again !!
It says it all, for all of us.

‘Keep your stick on the ice Canada’ !!!

Canadian Cuisine

Canada is far away from some places on the planet and people in those far away places may wonder what Canadians like to eat. This is especially good to know if you are making plans to visit Canada and wonder what you might find wriggling on the end of your fork. Not that we eat a lot of things that wriggle.

Canada is not snow all year. We don’t camp out in the wilderness and worry about polar bears wandering into our backyards. Canada is big. There are a lot of people here, some of them are still here and some are being born right now. We are multi cultural. Some people think Canada does not have a culture at all. This is not the case. Canada is built from many cultures, yet we have a common history which connects us.

One common theme in Canada is food. Take a look at Canada’s Food Guide. We may overload on sugar (mmm…. butter tarts) but we do like fresh food, vegetables and a great coffee (or beer) to top it all off. Most Canadians like food which is fairly well known: hamburgers and fries, fish and chips, spaghetti, steak and potato, pizza, back and eggs, lasagna, cabbage rolls, sweet and savoury pies, coffee, stew… a fairly generic list isn’t it? You may think we are fairly uninspired but, Canadians do have an edible culture of our own:

What do Canadians Eat?

  • Poutine – French fries with cheese curd and topped with gravy.
  • French fries with vinegar
  • Maple syrup (Not on everything)
  • Butter tarts – Tarts which are very sweet: butter, sugar and eggs in a pastry shell.
  • Nanaimo Bars – From BC. A crumble crust, a sweet layer, topped with a layer of chocolate.
  • Tourtiere – A French Canadian meat pie (pork, onions and spices in a crust).
  • Pate Chinois – Layers of beef, creamed corn and potato.
  • Bannock – Inuit flat bread.
  • Salmon – Salmon does go well with almost anything.
  • Montreal-style bagels
  • Montreal-smoked meat
  • Ice wine – Made with grapes frozen on the vine.
  • Bloody Caesar – You need Clamato for this Canadian version of the Bloody Mary.
  • Screech – What happens in Newfoundland, stays in Newfoundland.
  • BeaverTails – Fried dough with assorted sweet toppings.
  • Ketchup chips
  • Timbits – Doughnut holes.
  • Back bacon or peameal bacon (In the US they call it Canadian bacon, we don’t know why)

What Do Canadians Cook?

Canadians are multicultural. So you can find an endless assortment of dishes in Canadian restaurants and home kitchens. Most of the dishes above came from another culture and were adapted to become something unique to Canada.

Canadian Chefs to Inspire You:

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

My Mother sent me this in email today. Keep reading, it gets more interesting as it goes along.

Where did “piss poor” come from?
If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION
Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…

If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…

They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,
And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

So get out there and educate someone!
Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
“What the heck happened?”
We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.
Then we’ll be new friends.