Wednesday, March 14, 2012


No, GF is not a reference to good food.  Forgive my language, but my house is a complete and total goat fuck right now.  There, I said it.

Never mind that we are about to rip out the kitchen.  That’s the subject of another post, but for now, just  know that it’s looming out there and it won’t be pretty. 

At the moment, we are dealing with the destruction of our basement.  Remember those leaks I told you about?  Well, the waterproofing folks are now here, but only after we had to demo all of the sheetrock and even the wall studs down there.  So much for Andy’s room, the bar, the pool table and the media room.  Goners, all of it.  Grrrrrrr.

The good news (for y'all, at least) is that I have been a prisoner in my house for the last two days and there are guys in my basement who are willing to scarf up anything I bake.  This translates into “Okay Liz, you can bake and someone else is around to eat it so you don’t have to have to,  which means you can still hold on to your fantasy of being a skinny cook.”  Yeah, right.

We’ll start with my Chocolate Chip Streusel Snack Cake.  Those guys loved it!  Do you think they will give me a discount? (Or at least stop with the jack hammering, already?)


For the streusel:
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted chilled butter, diced

Combine sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl.  Cut in the butter with your fingers or with two forks until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

For the cake:
1 ¼ cups sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs (I use extra-large)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoons Kahlua or strong coffee
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Grease and flour (or line with parchment) a 9-inch square or round cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda.  Set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set this aside also.

In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar, scraping down several times until mixture is smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat well.  Beat in vanilla and Kahlua.  On low speed, add flour mixture, alternately with sour cream mixture.  Blend well, then stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Spread evenly in prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle with the reserved streusel.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.  Drizzle glaze over top, then cut into pieces and serve.

For the glaze:
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Kahlua or strong coffee

Place all ingredients in a small pan over very low heat.  Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Drizzle over cake.

Yield:  (1)  9-inch cake (serves 2 hungry construction guys)

I also had girlfriends showing up in the evening so we could plan a wedding shower.  I needed a savory snack to serve with wine (yes, even in the middle of complete chaos, I am still the consummate hostess) but since I couldn't leave the house, I had to make do with whatever I could unearth in my freezer.  Here is the (delicious) result:


(These aren't cheese straws, of course, but they are a pretty good quick-and-dirty substitute.)

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
½ cup Djon mustard
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling
Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

Prehate oven to 400-degrees.

Place 1 sheet of pastry on a floured pastry board or Silpat (silicone baking sheet).  Roll out slightly and trim edges so that you have an even rectangle.

With the shortest end towards you, brush half of the mustard over the lower half of the pastry sheet, leaving a 1/8-inch border.  Fold the upper half over and press sides to seal.  Use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to cut into (12) 1 ½ -inch strips.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and repeat with remaining pastry sheet and mustard.

Use a brush or your finger to lightly moisten each piece with water.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds and salt.  Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until pastry is golden brown.  Cool slightly, then serve while they are warm and crispy.

Yield:  24 pieces

* As far as the cake is concerned, you don't have to use the nuts, but I think the cake is better if you do.  Also, you can substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur for the Kahlua if you don't have any on hand.  If nothing else, use a little strong coffee.  Just don't omit this altogether as it really does give the cake and glaze a better depth of flavor.

*  I always have puff pastry tucked away in my freezer.  You can use it for a multitude of things, from breakfast to dinner and it really comes in handy.  Pick up a box at your local grocery store and heed my advice.  Trust me!

*  Speaking of freezers, you can make the straws ahead of time and store them in the freezer, unbaked.  Just pop them in the oven when you are ready for them.  This, of course, is not necessarily a good idea since it makes them much too available if you are sitting around your house and a sudden urge to blow the diet strikes.

Ha, and in the midst of all this, I’m attempting to get used to bifocals.  Am I allowed to say “goat fuck” one more time?


  1. Love you Liz! Keep creating fabulousness through the chaos :)

  2. I'd give you a discount for a taste of that cake! Thanks for the recipes.

  3. Hi, Liz! I made the Chocolate Chip Streusel Snack Cake's fabulous! Thanks for sharing!