Last night’s birthday party for Dad was a blast! Friends joined us in merriment. We feasted, we partied, and we ate the best angel food cake! Dad LOVES angel food cake (and TO GOLF, – that poor plastic guy will never get out of that cake trap). I chose this recipe because of the combination of almond and vanilla extracts used, and because the author’s description made this cake sound extra-special. Here’s what cookbook author, Wanda Peterson Mango writes about her brother’s angel food cake: “Chickens –we had a coop full of them. We usually had plenty of eggs for eating and cooking. When we had extra, we would look for recipes that used a fair amount of eggs. Custard filling was made with the yolks and Angel Food Cake or meringues were made with the whites. My oldest brother, Dick, made the highest Angel Food Cakes of anyone in our family. The secrets are in how the egg whites are beaten to the correct stages and how flour is slowly folded in using big swooping motions. We often served it with fresh strawberries from our patch with a dab of whipped cream –how refreshing!”
Yes, the Peterson family grew up on a Wisconsin farm. And their recipe for angel food cake is just one of the many delicious farm recipes in the book, Grandma’s Home Kitchen: Family Recipes and Traditions of Grandma’s Swedish Bakery. The cookbook is a compilation of recipes belonging to Wanda’s mother, and her Swedish and German grandmothers. Wanda’s mother earned such a wonderful reputation for baking, that she opened up a Swedish bakery in Door County, Wisconsin. Wanda’s book is full of pictures and stories of the family’s early life on the farm and the bakery. Wanda writes that Grandma’s Home Kitchen is “where lessons and life were mixed with love.” This recipe for angel food cake was a lesson to me in how to make the best birthday cake, and it’s a good thing I learned it because I have the best dad! Click on “continue reading… for the recipe, and more pictures.
It’s 4:30 in the afternoon. The kids typically eat between 5:30 and 6:00. “What’s for dinner?” they ask. “What’s on hand?” I silently wonder. Perusing the ‘fridge I find most of the ingredients for Aztec Chicken. I like this recipe; it’s flexible. I consider it one of those template recipes. The basic way to make it stays the same, but ingredients and proportions can vary. The recipe accommodates the cook rather than the other way around. A secondary plus is that servings of the same Aztec Chicken meal can be either spicy or bland. Thus, it can simultaneously be comfort food for both kids and adults. Third, because the flavors blend together over time, the left-overs can taste even better than the original servings. (And tasty left-overs are important given my cooking strategy.)
I found the recipe in The Blue Plate Diner Cookbook and re-posted it (with permission) on my side page Everyday dinners easy enough to cook every day. But I’ll describe the quick gist of it here. Briefly saute sliced onion and sweet red and green peppers in olive oil. (I added pressed garlic). Season the mixture with chili powder and cumin. (You could add or substitute other seasonings. I added salt.) Meanwhile, pound 4 boneless chicken breasts to make them thin and easy to roll. Spread a piece of foil for each breast on the counter, and on each place one 10-inch, flour tortilla. (You can use corn if you prefer). On each tortilla place one breast. (I only had 6-inch tortillas, so I cut the chicken breasts in half and put each half on a smaller tortilla.) Then spoon the pepper mixture over the chicken breasts. (I didn’t put the spicy peppers on the kids’ chicken.) On top of the peppers and chicken, place a slice of Swiss or Provolone cheese. (I had neither, so I substituted shredded mozzarella.) Wrap the tortilla around the chicken, peppers, and cheese, and roll it all up in the foil. (Cristie rolls MORE food!) Put the foil packets in a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
I served it with steamed asparagus, which the adults enjoyed and the kids didn’t. But everyone liked the Aztec Chicken.