More Site Tweaks

Took a little time to tweak a few things that were bothering me, and to respond to a couple comments I was sent:  As a result, the main reading panel is now significantly wider, which allows for, naturally, both more text per line and bigger pictures – Thanks for the suggestion, you know who you are!  Also tweaked colors a bit to what seems to me to be more pleasing and easier to read.



Just finished taping several more episodes of The Big Wild, during which one of the boys said something that flashed me back to a recipe I’ve not made in a long time; I promised I’d post it now, so here ya go! Who says beer’s just for cooking? It’s for baking, too! NOTE: If you copied this in the first day or so it was up, please do so again! I posted the initial recipe from memory and was a bit off on my ratios; not fatal, but not as good as it could and should be – Do ‘er up as she is now and you’re good to go!

Here’s a great tasting cake that blends the distinctive sweet/savory flavors of beer in a dense, moist cake recipe. Darn near any dark beer with character will work great, from Porter to Bock to Stout; for something really special, try it with Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter or Guinness Stout.

It’s best to have ingredients at room temperature prior to combining. You’ll also want your beer flat and the alcohol removed: Pop the beer open, pour it into a saute pan and let it sit until it comes to room temp. Heat the beer over medium-low heat to a simmer; continue to simmer until you smell that the booze has simmered off. What you’ll have left is the nice skunky/sweet characters that you want!

The Batter:

2 cups dark brown sugar

3 cups All Purpose, Unbleached Flour

1 ½ cups Dark Beer

2 cups butter

2 teaspoons Baking Soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 medium eggs

½ teaspoon Ceylon or ‘True’ cinnamon

½ teaspoon Allspice

½ teaspoon Mace

¼ teaspoon ground Clove

Combine sugar butter in a large mixing bowl and cream them until the blend is smooth and even. Add eggs one at a time, beating each one into the mix thoroughly before moving on to the next.

Preheat your oven to 350º F.

Sift the remaining dry ingredients together, (Flour, baking soda, salt, and spices), and make sure they’re well blended.

Add half the dry ingredients and half the beer to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, blending thoroughly. Add the remainder of the dry mix and beer and blend thoroughly again.

Generously butter and flour a loaf or Bundt pan, and pour in batter using a spatula. Gently tap the pan on your counter to make sure the batter settles all the way in and is even in the pan. We’re using a rubber baby bumper bundt pan for this one…

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake stand in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a small mesh wire rack. Allow to cool thoroughly.

Mix ¼ teaspoon of powdered Cinnamon with 4 tablespoons of Confectioners 10X sugar and sprinkle liberally over the cake.

Really does Go great with the beer you made it with; you might also top this with fresh berries or citrus fruit medley, or go all in with a Hazelnut whipped cream.

Post Printing Activated!

Sorry, gang;
I’ve been so tied up in stuff that I forgot an important chunk of a blog like this ‘un; the ability to print each post…

I shook off the fog and got ‘er done, so, if you see a post you like and wanna hard copy of it, just click on the post in question: Once that’s up, cruise down to the bottom and you’ll see a print button there; click it and you’re good to go! I also stuck the ‘Press This’ button down there; that’ll allow y’all to easily select and repost stuff from here if and when you see fit.


Looks Great In Cyberspace, Too!

I’m writing this entry from my iPhone, which is pretty cool to be able to do; That alone makes me pretty jazzed about this new site!

That said, be sure to check us out from your portable devices, (Phone, iPad, laptop); you’ll find the layout excellent on all those options, which will come in real handy in the kitchen and at the market.

There seems to be very few things that the new scheme cannot do, so if there’s a specific function you think we’re missing, just shout and we’ll see what we can scare up!


Checking in with the Squeedunks

>This just in from Christie and Grant, (AKA Neighborhood Gardens), in scenic Hackensack, MN:

Hi Big E (and the Delightful M)!

Sounds like you are having good fun in the Northwest. This is just a question about the blog. Is there any way you can develop an index of recipes and topics, such as: cruising through for M’s crisp recipe. Of course, that did mean I found a number of other things I was meaning to try out, etc., so that ain’t all bad, but…

Have been busy transplanting; yup, have the peppers, eggplants, toms, etc. going and in a couple weeks we will heat the greenhouse and move them to bigger quarters. If you are in the NW, Texas, or probably anywhere else in the US this might not be news, but up here it is!

C and G Up North

Well my friends, yes we ARE! M just shines around the kids and Grandbaby; wonderful to see her so happy, also instructive for moi…

As for the blog, the answer is a BIG yes! Am actively creating the next generation of this here thing: The next generation will feature enhanced search functions, databases for recipes, herbs and seasonings, technique and basics, and some other cool stuff as well – Not sure how long it will take me, but I’m on it and working diligently, so not too long – Stay tuned and thanks for the update!

Oh, and as for those far northern starts, how about a few pics for the blog?

E & M, from northwest Washington State, where it’s raining, gray and cold, (Imagine that!)


>A THOUSAND MEA CULPAS for being so remiss on entries!

Out of the last 25 days I’ve worked at the cafe, 60% have been closing shifts, and I’m afraid that has taken it’s tole on my energy level!

There IS light at the end of the tunnel though, and we’ll be back to regularly scheduled entries afore too long – DO NOT ADJUST YOUR LAPTOP! The problem is NOT with your computer!


E & M

NGKGChef now printer friendly!

Criminy, I swear, sometimes I am SO slow!

A new follower pointed out that each post in this here blog aughta be printer friendly, seeing as they ARE recipe based – (Gee Eben, ya think?)

Anyway, BIG THANKS, Ginnie, for the heads up, and it’s done – Each post now has a printer friendly/PDF button at the bottom, for your convenience and the great relief or trees everywhere!

Sharing the Bounty

My oh my! An unexpected windfall arrived down here today, from our wonderful friends up north at Neighborhood and Kings Gardens – Just look at this haul!

Handmade jams and preserves, apple butter, relish and sauerkraut, wild rice, dried tomatoes, even gourmet handmade charcoal!

(The wood you see is Snakewood, an amazing thing in and of itself and very dear to instrument makers!)

Now if this isn’t the heart of what CSA and good cooking is all about, we don’t know what is: HUGE THANKS to Christy, Lissa, Grant, John and Doug for your incredible generosity and friendship!

We wish y’all holidays of peace and warmth, and a new year filled with prosperity!

E & M

Names have been changed to protect the innocent…

>Or not, or not…


You’ll note that the title, (Not the web address), of the blog has been changed to Urban Monique’s Chef blog. If you’ll pardon the obvious pun on our names, (or not, or not…), this was done to recognize and support Community Based Agricultural projects wherever they may be, and to alert readers to the benefits of joining a CSA and growing food at home, even in teeny, tiny lots like ours!

Our emphasis will remain focused on the Neighborhood Garden and King’s Garden efforts and output throughout the seasons; we just want to encourage the ball rolling further!

E & M