I had a bad day, so it's a pleasant diversion to look back on some accomplishments from the past couple days—cooking ones. Like this cake.
We had folks over yesterday evening and I realized I hadn't thought about a desert. There wasn't time to make a pumpkin pie (or at least not to let one cool enough to eat) but a pumpkin cake seemed reasonable. I searched the internet and printed a likely-looking recipe, but on reflection it wasn't quite likely enough—I wasn't prepared to make a cake entirely with vegetable oil. So I triangulated between that recipe, our family pumpkin bread, and what I know about making cakes. The result came out pretty good, with cream cheese frosting between the layers (sadly not to Harvey's taste) and powdered sugar on top. Here's the recipe, for future reference:
In a large bowl whisk together
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a stand mixer, beat on medium-high for five minutes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add one at a time, scraping the bowl and beating between additions
Add the dry ingredients in three even bunches, alternating with two even glops of
1 can canned pumpkin
Divide the batter between two buttered and floured 8-inch cake pans and bake at 350° for... um... until they're done. Maybe it was like 40 minutes? Let them cool.
For the frosting, combine 4 ounces (half a package) cream cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 cup powdered sugar in the food processor and pulse until combined. Or if you ask Harvey, leave out the cream cheese and make a proper butter frosting. After I had already started making the frosting I realized we were out of powdered sugar. Heading across the street to borrow some I passed the boys playing with the neighborhood kids—it all felt pretty old-fashioned!
The day before I was totally out of ideas for supper—out of ideas and out of ingredients. But even though we're getting into pumpkin season we still have lots of zucchinis. So why not zucchini quesadillas? I grated some zucchini and onion, salted it for a bit to get out some of the water, then cooked it in bacon fat with cumin and garlic powder. Then I made the quesadillas with the cooked zucchini and cheddar. Every new quesadilla I make is my favorite, and this was no exception. Zion wasn't a fan, of course, but you can never please everyone. With cake and quesadillas at least I managed to please myself!