Social Media and Ginger Cake

Let me open this by saying were it not for social media, you would not be reading my food and life blog on WNYPapers.com. Here’s why:

When I decided to spin my blog away from an online news source in 2012 the first follower I had on my WordPress.com site was WNYPapers. It was not immediate but it got me thinking about the folks who were interested in reading my work. Who are they?

It’s relatively easy to figure out with social media.

Primarily I use Facebook and Twitter. My foodie persona on Facebook is JudeTheFoodie and can be found here. Here people can chat with me directly and I find this to be the easiest way to have direct interaction with other foodie friends. By “liking” this page you can also become part of the conversation.

Twitter is still a mysterious social media to many with lots and lots of rules attached that to someone with little experience would view as mishmash. @JudeTheFoodie is the “handle” I use on Twitter to Tweet my foodie experiences including travel.

Here are just a few things to know about Twitter to help you understand the puzzling world of Tweeting.

When you “follow” someone you can read their Tweets (messages 140 characters or less). Unless they follow you, they cannot read your Tweets. The idea is that we follow folks with whom we are interested without regard to their wanting to know anything about us.

For example, I follow Martha Stewart. I can see all of her Tweets. She, however, (sadly) does not follow me. If I want a Tweet to get to her, even though she does not follow me, I can begin my Tweet with @MarthaStewart and it will show up on her feed. The feed is the list of Tweets from all of the people you follow.

Once you follow a large number of people the feed is very congested. You could spend the entire day reading your feed. I say that a Tweet is a lot like standing on the 50 yard of a stadium and speaking to a packed house without a microphone. In order for your Tweets to have any impact (and for most people to see them) you need to mention someone (using the “@” symbol and their Twitter handle like @MarthaStewart) or use a “#” called a hashtag.

The hashtag is a way to group Tweets. If you Tweet “I love watching #Chopped. The ingredients in the basket are crazy!” anyone else who enters #Chopped in the search area can see your Tweet. It’s pretty cool and you can chat with folks from around the world.

I also post my columns on Pinterest. It is a cool way to group my recipes and travel articles in one place for people who do not follow me on WordPress.com. WordPress is the blogging platform I use and what runs my website. I am slowly gaining followers on my website. If you follow my blog at JudeTheFoodie.com you can click on follow. Whenever I post anything on my website you can read it on your WordPress.com reader.

Now, what does a ginger cake have to do with social media? The recipe I used the other day to make a very moist ginger cake can be found here: http://theworldinourkitchen.com/2011/03/08/ginger-cake/

I have never met Chef and Jen but due to social media I can say they are friends. We started following each other on Twitter which led to Facebook which led to Words With Friends which led to the realization we are only 50 miles apart. We hope to meet this summer.

Every day I post a “JudeTheFoodie.com Question of the Day.” Late last week it was Cake or Pie? Over 600 people viewed that post (and I only have 159 followers on this Facebook page). Chef waxed poetic about his wife Jen’s ginger cake. I asked for the recipe and through the power of social media I baked this cake a few days later.20130422-082849.jpgThis cake is moist and dense. I little piece has a big impact. The recipe calls for ¾ or a cup of ginger and I used the whole piece which turned out to be a little over a cup. I think I will use the recommended amount next time because the ginger was very powerful (not unpleasant but strong).

Also, I recommend using a medium saucepan to heat the one cup of water. When you add the soda you have a bit of a chemistry experiment as it will bubble up. Add the chopped ginger to the pan, stir then add to the batter. Caution: this batter is much thinner than you would expect so don’t worry, its fine.

The recipe does not call for any topping and while it does not need anything to taste wonderful I am going to make a sweet whipped cream to serve on the side the next time I make this great cake.

Please “Like” JudetheFoodie on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @JudeTheFoodie. Begin a Tweet with @JudeTheFoodie to let me know you read this column.

Have a yummy day!

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Chocolate Spice Cookies

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Chocolate Spice Cookies

Categories: Christmas
Source: JudeTheFoodie.com

Ingredients

• 1 Chocolate Cake Mix
• ⅓ c Oil
• 2 Eggs
• 1c Chopped Walnuts
• 1c Chocolate Chips
• 1tsp Cinnamon
• ½ tsp Ginger
• ½ tsp Nutmeg
• ¼ tsp Cloves

Directions

In large bowl, with a wooden spoon, mix all ingredients except the spices.

Add spices and stir until blended. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°

Using a small cookie scoop, place small teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 9 minutes. Cool on racks.

Roll in powdered sugar or frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.

from http://therecipeboxapp.com

Can’t Have It? Then I Want It!

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This whole thing about Twinkie’s20121117-065615.jpg

has gotten me thinking…

The mind games we play with ourselves about food is absolutely crazy. And, to tell the truth, is likely one of the main reasons why it’s an obsession for so many.

We have given an inanimate object a great deal of power.

Take the Twinkie. Hostess has caused quite a stir, announcing they are closing their plants and no longer producing the iconic Twinkie along with other products like orange cupcakes

20121117-083036.jpg or Wonder Bread

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My sister’s favorite was the Ho Ho.

20121117-083653.jpgI liked it but always deconstructed it as I ate it…first nibbling off the chocolate coating (chocolate so waxy that it built up on your teeth), then unrolling it and licking off the cream filling (so sweet it sometimes made me shiver) and finally eating the chocolate cake. That was a lot of work for a thin slice of cake!

But, I digress. My Twit Feed and Facebook wall is filled with Lamentations about the closing of Hostess. Boomers like me are all going down their own culinary memory lane. With Thanksgiving looming we are all talking about food memories (or maybe it’s just that I have foodie friends…birds of a feather…) and over and over I hear about how bad Twinkies are.

You would think Twinkies shoved themselves into people’s mouths!

We give food power.

News flash: it has none. No food is completely good and no food is completely bad. As soon as I made up my mind that I could eat anything I wanted I took the power back.

If I want a Twinkie I would eat one. Bad example…I would never actually crave one but you know what I mean.

Reframe. Food has no voice…we are ventriloquists. If the food speaks it is really our words.

Just change your mind.

RIP Twinkies.

Have a yummy day!

20121117-085348.jpg

RIP Twinkie…

20121116-210855.jpgI cannot remember the last time I had one but I can still taste it. I can still feel the sponge cake in my mouth and the way too sweet cream filling. So bad on so many levels but so right in the culinary cavern in my mind.

Have a yummy day!

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Rich Golden Cake

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The Complete Everyday Cookbook 1971 http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Everyday-Cookbook-Cooking-Library/dp/B000BMWN4I I have been making this cake for 30 years…and it is a family favorite!

 

 

 

 

2 ¼ cups cake flour, sifted before measuring (Jude here: I use Softasilk http://www.pillsburybaking.com/products/details/764)

1 ½ cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup soft shortening

1 cup milk

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

Heat oven to a moderate temperature (350 degrees). Read the recipe through. Assemble all ingredients. Prepare two 9” x 1 ½” round layer pans or one 13” x 9” oblong pan. Combine and sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add soft shortening, then about 2/3s of the milk. Beat with mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl constantly, or beat vigorously with a spoon 150 strokes per minute for 2 minutes. If you stop to rest, count only the actual beating time or strokes. Add remaining milk, vanilla and unbeaten eggs. Beat 2 minutes more, scraping bowl frequently. This batter will be thinner than the conventional cake batter. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing it evenly between them. Place in the oven so that layers are staggered in opposite corners, slightly apart and away from the oven walls. The top of the cake should be about midway in the oven. Bake about 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tests done. (Jude here: once you smell the cake it is usually done) The oblong pan will take 40 to 45.

Cool 5 to 10 minutes only, then cut each layer carefully in two so you have 4 layers total. Place first piece cut side up and fill with a lemon pudding filling.

(Jude here: I made lemon curd from this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/lemon-curd-recipe/index.html It was only a “like” recipe and took forever so I would buy it).

 

 

Put top piece on the lemon filling and cover with a medium layer of frosting. Repeat with other cake.

 

 

  

 

Frost the cake with a white frosting http://wp.me/pSQ0s-iq and grated coconut. (Coconut aversion in our house so no coconut on our cake)

 

 

 

 

Have a yummy day! JudeTheFoodie.com

Birthday Cake Frosting

From my grandmother! My mom made this for every birthday – such a treat! Best of all, it’s actually kind of easy!

 

1

1 ½

Double

Triple

 

 

2

3

4

6

Tablespoons Flour

½

¾

1

1 ½

Cup(s) Milk

¼

½

½

¾

Cups Butter

¼

½

½

¾

Cups Shortening

½

¾

1

1 ½

Cups Sugar(granulated)

1

1 ½

2

3

Teaspoons Vanilla

Note: the 1 1/2 frosts a 2 layer round cake; the triple frosts a 2 layer 13” x 9” cake

Traditional method: Over medium low heat, stir flour and milk with a whisk until thick.

With the times method: In a large glass microwavable bowl with a handle, heat flour and milk mixture in microwave until thick, stirring every 45 seconds. Don’t walk away because this could bubble over very quickly.

Cool mixture down completely.

In a mixer cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add flour/milk mixture and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat a minute more.

 

This makes the most spreadable frosting you have ever made. Try adding a quarter cup of cocoa to the flour and milk mixture for a rich chocolate frosting.

 Have a yummy day! JudeTheFoodie.com

Birthday Cake: The Real Breakfast of Champions!

3 Comments

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36 years ago (exactly 2/3 of my life ago – naturally I just did the math) I met my husband. One of the first things we discussed was our birthdays which are one day (and 3 years) apart.

Do you do the cake cutting ceremony in your family where the birthday girl or boy cuts the cake and the person with the next birthday pulls it out? Two wishes, one cake! I love that! And, in our case more often than not, one cake, two birthdays.

So, with my husband’s birthday one day before mine I usually end up baking my own birthday cake. When I got married a million years ago I got this cookbook as a shower gift.

20120618-072229.jpgOn page 101 there is a recipe for a golden cake (looks more white than golden when baked) that is SO good I have made it countless times since.

If you sign my guest book and tell me your birthday (month and day) I will send you the complete birthday cake recipe to enjoy with your family.

This year I made homemade lemon curd (not a difficult recipe but takes twice as long as they say) and it was really good.

Funny thing, though…golden cake with homemade frosting (from an antique recipe of my grandmother) is my husband’s favorite. Me? I’m a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting girl myself. That’s not to say I don’t love the golden birthday cake, just that every once in a while I long for my own cake, not baked by my own hands.

So, this year at a birthday/Father’s Day BBQ at our cousins home I baked my husband the golden birthday cake and my mom baked me my favorite chocolate cake!

20120618-073647.jpgthen, to the disgust of many, I did something in honor of my father.

20120618-073917.jpgI made “mush.” Stuff a piece of chocolate cake in a glass and fill with milk only until the spoon can still stand up.

Eat and enjoy!!!

Have a yummy week!

Jude
JudeTheFoodie.com
Twitter: JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: “Like” me “Jude The Foodie”