Saturday, July 7, 2012

Georgia Peach Cake (and a new addition!)

First of all, I have happy news to share with everyone!  My husband and I have welcomed a new addition into our home!  We received an email from a local animal group who were looking for a home for a black cat that was found at a trash dump.  One of the employees heard him calling out from INSIDE the trash compactor!  Poor guy was going to be crushed to death!  The employees are fairly certain someone had physically put him inside the compactor.  They took him out and contacted the animal group to find him a home because otherwise, they would have to contact animal control where he would likely be put to sleep.  He was estimated to be eight month's old and the outlook for his placement was bleak... until we got the email that is.  We live on two acres of land and we had previously discussed getting an outdoor cat to keep the mice away (keep mice away = keep snakes away = happy Jamie).  I have a soft spot for black animals (our dog is a black and white lab mix) and so Ryan and I decided we would take him in.  I named him "Bart" and he has fit into our home like an old shoe.  He fits in so well with our family.  He follows us around the yard and even tries to play with Liz, our dog.  He acts like he has lived with us his entire life rather than only just over a month.

Onto another happy subject - CAKE!  Who doesn't love cake?  A show of hands.... *counts*  Lots of people like cake apparently.  That's good because I like cake too.  If I didn't like cake, I wouldn't be posting this.  The Georgia Peach Cake is one of those recipes that is so simple, even the most basic of cooks could make it.  I like to joke that it's so easy, my husband could make it.  Yes, my husband.  The same husband who I jokingly (but lovingly) say will burn down my kitchen if he spends too much time in there.  Even in the little write up about the recipe says it's perfect for "young housewife" days.  Not really sure if I should be insulted by that or not.  Never have I ever been a "young housewife" - I'm Jamie, Queen of the Kitchen!  Bow before me!  Okay, I'm done now ;-)

This recipe is a super versatile recipe - there are so many possible combinations.  Up next will be an apple-spice cake.  This could probably even be good for people who are watching their sugar, provided you can find a sugar free/reduced sugar boxed cake mix (they do exist.  I have seen them... I just can't remember where) and you use a reduced sugar pie filling.  Did I mention this recipe was versatile?

Georgia Peach Cake
courtesy of Uncle Bubba's Savannah Seafood

18.25 oz. Yellow Cake Mix
21 oz. can Peach Pie Filling
3 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. Pecans, Chopped

1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray your 9x13 pan with butter cooking spray.
Combine together all the ingredients for the cake and pour into your 9x13 pan.
In a separate bowl, using your fingers, mix together all ingredients for the topping until it looks like large breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle your topping mixture over the cake (gee, who didn't guess that one?!).
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm and with ice cream!

Gaye's Chocolate Pie

Every once in a while, someone comes along who holds a special spot in your heart, no matter what happens to you or them.  For me, one of those special someones is a black lab named Bubba (my husband will argue that I'd fall for any black lab I came into contact with but I digress).  When I first began working for my vet many, many years ago, I came across many dogs but there was just something special about Bubba.  He was always happy go lucky... unless he was in one of the exam rooms (but few dogs are ever happy in an exam room)!!  He didn't even need a leash when he came in the office.  He would just walk right back to the kennel because that's where he knew he was supposed to go.  During his final year, he required a permanent catheter to be placed into his bladder which had to be cleaned three times a day.  His mom would ask me to come over and clean his catheter when she would go out of town.  Bubba and I grew very close during our time together.  I held his head when he was finally put to sleep after fighting a long battle with his illness.  I even still have the earring he ripped out of my ear many years ago when I was trying to keep him still for a nail trim (did I mention I can still see the scar he gave me when one of his freshly trimmed toe nails scratched my arm?).  It reminds me of him every time I wear it.  I still miss him terribly and I know that I'll see him again one day...

Bubba and I before his decline

Okay!  Food time.  (After we've all grabbed a tissue, that is.)  Bubba's mom was named Gaye.  She was a truly great woman!  Anyone who ever brought us food this good was alright in our book.  She would bring us homecooked desserts to the office sometimes.  During one of those visits, she brought this pie.  I begged and pleaded (okay, I asked maybe twice) for her to give me the recipe - it was just so good!!  I'm so glad she did because this has become one of my favorite pie recipes ever.  It's so simple and easy to make.  A good recipe to have in your cookbook anytime you realize its Sunday morning and you need to make a dessert for that afternoon.

Gaye's Chocolate Pie
courtesy of Bubba's mom, Gaye

Uncooked Regular Pie Shell

1 Stick of Butter, Melted
2 Squares of Baker's Chocolate (unsweetened)
1 c. Sugar
2 Eggs, Beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 - please put a cookie sheet into your oven to preheat along with your oven.
Melt chocolate in microwave.
Combine all ingredients (tempering your eggs first.  How do you do that?  Add a little bit of melted butter or chocolate to your beaten eggs to bring them up to temperature without making scrambled eggs).
Pour into pie crust.
Put your filled pie onto the preheated cookie sheet and put back into the oven.
Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the pie is firm.

Now, you may be asking, "Why on earth would you preheat your cookie sheet?"  Because you are cooking a filled pie, preheating the cookie sheet allows the pie crust at the bottom to cook properly.  If you do not preheat the cookie sheet, there is no guarantee that the bottom of your pie crust will cook.  So let's just play it safe and preheat the cookie sheet, shall we?