Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Great Grand Marnier Cake Recipe

For the cake:
1 box butter yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
Light Zest of 1/2 an orange

For the syrup:
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Grand Marnier

Heat oven to 325.
Butter and flour a non-stick bundt pan. (You can always use that sick spray called Pam, but I prefer B and F--just make sure you use enough so the cake doesn't stick)
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil, and Grand Marnier and zest. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake the cake on the lower rack (bottom third of the oven) until a tester comes out clean, approximately 40-60 minutes.
In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, bring a stick of butter, water, and sugar to a boil. Once at a boil--stir constantly with a rubber spatula or whisk and continue to cook for 5 minutes---NO LONGER than that! (PS the syrup is dangerously hot!) Make sure you watch the mixture the entire time (one, for safety, and two, for best results). Being extra careful (the mixture will bubble wildly) add the Grand Marnier, bring to a boil again, and cook for only 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Remove the cake from the oven and with a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the warm syrup over the top. Let cool to room temperature. Invert cake onto a serving plate and serve. (PS--this cake is best made 1-2 days ahead of time).
Be sure to watch your oven and check the cake often for doneness.

Picture frame from Record

Is this not too cute.
What a fantastic idea for old records.
This great tutorial can be found
Along with many others !

The little garden Vegs

As most of you who follow me know I live in the  high dessert at an elevation of 3,200 feet and  have 60 a day growing season.
We have already dropped to 32 degrees at night and I am covering the plants every night with plastic.
When checking out what grows well here I was told you just can't grow these plants here.

The bare spot is where spinach has already been harvested.

The little garden Update

This year is our first year in the little garden.
I have been very pleased with our harvest and type of plants you can  grow here.
I was told most of them would not do well here.
We have 60 days of growing here period. We have already dropped night temps to  32 degrees on the 24 th of august and fall is setting in.
We have harvested tons of great food from the garden
Planted in mostly aged horse manure.
I harvest every third day . Beans squash, peppers, cucumbers, beets ,parsley , herbs and chard.
My favorate are the bush beans.The little plants have produced enough beans to put away for 15 meals into the freezer plus many good dinners on fresh beans.
They take up only a space 4 by 4 feet and 15 inches tall.

The Bush Bean

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phaseolus vulgaris
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, deep sandy loam
pH RANGE: 6.5 - 7.5
KNOWN PESTS: Root maggots and cutworms
KNOWN DISEASES: Foliar disease, both fungal and bacterial


No garden is complete without bush beans. There are many varieties of bush beans to choose from and every gardener is sure to find one to suit their tastes. Bush beans do well in almost any garden as they are not too fussy about soil.
To ensure the best flavor, bush beans should be picked while still slender and no inner bean is well developed. For fresh bush beans all summer, plant every two weeks and pick frequently.
Direct seed bush beans after risk of frost when soil warms to 18-24°C (65-75°F). Sow bush beans 1" deep and 2" apart in rows 18" (bush beans) to 24" apart (shell beans). Reseed until mid summer for a constant supply all season long. If using untreated bush beans seed, plant thicker and thin to desired density. Use Garden Inoculant at the time of planting to help boost soil fertility*.
Bush beans are excellent grown with most vegetables except the onion family, basil, fennel, kohlrabi.
Both bush bean types require a full sun location, soil pH of 6.5-7.5, and well drained soil. Good air circulation around bush bean plants is essential, especially for late shelling or dry type beans, as they are very susceptible to fungal diseases which prevail later in the season. Bush beans are light feeders; compost or well rotted manures worked into the soil at the time of planting is sufficient.
Use maturity days as an indicator. Harvest once the bush beans are smooth, firm and crisp. Keep bush beans constantly picked to ensure a fresh supply. Bean formation in the pod is a sure sign of over-maturity. Dry & Shell Beans: Harvest when the bush beans pods are completely dry and brittle. Cut or pull pods from bush bean plants and shell the beans. Store beans in an air tight container in a cool dry spot. For fresh eating of horticultural or shell beans, harvest when bean formation starts to take place within the pod.

Note: My beans are in a mixture of horse manure and sandy loam. Also mixed in a good dusting of sulfer dust to ward off  fungal diseases .
Happy gardening

Hope this helps id some of those other beans