Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hot Stuff

Cupcakes are not the only thing Sugah Cakes likes to do! Recently we entered the Chili Cook Off sponsored by the Walker Foundation  here in Spartanburg, SC. JC is the main cook and our recipe took first place - The People's Choice!

The secret to our recipe? First, the meat was a beef brisket that was smoked over a slow fire till fall about tender. Then - the topping - our own handmade pimiento cheese. Not a sweet like we are known for, but this is JC's pride and joy. We hand pack and sell it at the store and on the road at our holiday shows.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

While the cat's away...

I must admit I've been feeling a little guilty today...while I am in Florida checking on my boat - Kristen and Melissa have been hard at work making Valentine cookies!

Hundreds of cookies waiting for the final touches:

and a few for a children's party:


I am lounging on the boat in 78 degrees and eating at great spots :

and I got to see an elusive Manatee:

Somehow, I think they will have plans for me on Monday, maybe I don't feel so guilty afterall.......

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Sweet and Sour Pie?

Yesterday, while I was roaming the produce section at Whole Foods, I spotted some young rhubarb stalks. Even though strawberries are not particularly in season, I decided to make a strawberry rhubarb pie. Now I know that this is probably not your favorite, and it is definitely not Southern, but I do love this pie (of course there is very little about any pie that I don't like)! The rhubarb gives it a little tang against the sweet of the strawberry.

 So here I am during the Super Bowl - rolling pie crust. Somehow, I don't think this is what Madonna had in mind (That was amazing staging for half time).

My pie crust of choice uses both butter and Crisco. My grandmother always used lard, and I admit I have too. It tastes great, but somehow I can't convince my family that lard is a good thing! Butter will give you a soft tasty crust, Crisco will make the crust flaky - so use both.
A few tips for making your pie turn out - always refrigerate your dough before you roll it out. 
This pie takes almost 2 hours to bake (yes, 2 hours), USE a pie crust shield. I always use one, but especially if the pie takes a while to bake. You can use strips of aluminum foil around the edges - but why not do it the easy way?

 I use a Le Crueset pie plate. Personal preference, but I like the deepness of it and the porous texture seems to make a good crust. 

I used a recipe from an old Bon Appetite (click to link), I don't use much sugar in my pie crust and I cut the cinnamon amount to 3/4 of a teaspoon. I would also add a touch more corn starch because rhubarb can be very runny.                                                                                    

Pie Crust:
2 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
3/4 cup shortening (freeze for 10 - 15 minutes)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (cut into slices and then frozen for 10 - 15 minutes)
7 - 8 TBS water - ice cold

Using a food processor, pulse the flour,sugar and salt together.
Add butter and shortening, pulse till mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Add ice cold water a little at a time, pulsing till mixture forms a ball.

Remove dough, divide and make 2 discs, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate.

Makes 2 crusts 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My kind of valentine!

Kristen was busy creating new cookies for Valentine's Day. I love the mini conversation hearts, but these lace valentine cookies are really the perfect treat for someone nice! Instead of royal icing, we use more of a glaze. Not as easy to do detail work, but the taste and shine is so much better.
Now it is on to football cookies and helmets for Superbowl. Guess we will have to do both teams - seams there is not a favorite around here!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The People's Choice!

Okay, so it's not just all about cupcakes! This month we were excited to participate in the Walker Foundation's Annual "So You Think You Can Cook" Chili Cook Off. Such a great cause and this year they had a fabulous turnout. Over 350 people attended and there were 11 contestants. We won the People's Choice category, getting the most votes by attendees and online voters. A fun evening, besides getting to show off JC's cooking skills. Orchid Paulmeier, of The Next Food Network Star fame, and owner of One Hot Mama's,  was one of the judges.
JC is famous around here for his pimento cheese, so instead of the traditional cheddar and sour cream topping most  people use on their chili - we used a dollop of pimento cheese - just right!! Obviously it was a big hit. This week it will be  on our menu as the soup of the day for Thursday.
JC, Me and Kristen Stinson accepting our award for the People's Choice. - Thanks everyone!!!
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