Archive for January 31, 2013

Coupons Are Everywhere

See this ‘blinkie’? It’s a coupon dispenser right in front of this product. The pasta is on sale for $1 and the coupon value is $1 making it FREE. Keep your eyes open while shopping for such deals. I’ve run across them several times. And of course, don’t stand there and take ALL the coupons and clear the shelves. Take a few for what your family needs and leave the rest for others. ūüôā







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Price List

This is an example of a rock bottom price list. Published by Live Well, Spend Less. I had one for years on a 3 x 5 in my purse. Then I advanced to a Palm Pilot and now have a smart phone. I used it a lot in the beginning to check if a sale product really was my rock bottom price. Now I pretty much know which items are routinely free or close to free and stock up then. Here is a link 

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Boston Cream Pie

My recipe drawer was a di-sas-ter!¬† I finally pulled the entire drawer out of the cabinet the other day and had to reach way in the back of the cabinet for all the recipes that overflowed and got smashed in the back.¬† Sitting down on the floor in front of the fire with a big Coke on ice, I rolled my sleeves up and dove in.¬† I keep most of my recipes in a card filing box with dividers.¬† But I am SUPER lazy about refiling them when I am done.¬† Anyways, I came across this recipe for Boston Cream Pie.¬† I’ve been wanting to try it, but was a little intimidated by the fact that the recipe calls for eleven eggs, and knew I needed to be in a “cooking for the sport of it” mood.¬† Well, it just so happens that I was and I gave it a try. Its a little labor intensive, but so worth the effort – delicious!

Sponge Cake
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. milk
2 T. butter
5 room temperature eggs
3/4 C. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 with the oven rack in the middle position.  Grease two 8 inch round cake pans.  Set the pans on a piece of parchment paper and trace around the bottom with a pencil.  Cut out the circles of parchment and place inside the greased pans. Whisk flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan on low until the butter melts.  Remove from heat and add vanilla; keep warm.

Separate three of the eggs, putting the whites into the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.  Place the three yolks and two whole eggs in another small bowl.  Beat the three whites on high speed until foamy.  Gradually add 6 T. sugar and continue to beat till soft moist peaks.  Transfer the whites to a large bowl, then put the the yolk/whole egg mixture into the standing mixer bowl.  Beat the yolks/whole eggs with remaining 6 T. sugar on medium high until eggs are thick and pale yellow in color, about 5 minutes.  Pour the beaten eggs and yolks into the bowl with the whites.

Add the  flour mixture to the  beaten eggs and whites and fold using a rubber spatula.  Add the milk mixture and fold until all the flour has been incorporated and whites and whole eggs are evenly mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, about 20 minutes

When cakes are done, immediately run a knife around pan to loosen cakes.  Invert cakes onto large plates and remove parchment paper.  Re-invert cakes from plate onto cooling rack.

Pastry Cream
2 C. milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. cornstarch, sifted
1 T. rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter

Heat milk in small saucepan until just hot.¬† Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in another large saucepan until mixture is thick and lemon-colored.¬† Whisk in the cornstarch.¬† Slowly whisk in hot milk a little at a time so you don’t cook the eggs.¬† Cook milk mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until it thickens to a pudding like consistency.¬† Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, rum and butter. (At this point, do your best not to stick your face in the pan and eat the whole thing – this stuff is¬† Pour into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate Glaze
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
1 tsp. vanilla

Simmer cream and corn syrup over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Cover and let stand for 8 minutes.  Add vanilla and stir until mixture is smooth.  Refrigerate until it has cooled to room temperature.

Assembly:  place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand.  Spoon pastry cream over cake and spread  to cake edge.  Place the second layer on top.  Pour glaze over middle of top layer and let flow down the sides.  Let sit until glaze fully sets, about 1 hour..