“Why do it yourself when it’s so easy to eat out or buy the package item? My answer to that question is quality, nutrition, and economic.” – “The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen”
I used to ask the same question over and over again when I was younger, career-minded, didn’t really think about starting my own family, and simply thought doing it myself was totally waste of time, not to mention I didn’t have the clue how to do it.
As I’ve become more mature, family-oriented and budget-conscious, I started to explore cooking at home. And now although I may not be a kitchen veteran, I am definitely not an amateur. And the transformation process has made me enjoy cooking so much that I started this blog, and let me come across with so many talented foodie friends across the Internet.
Today I came across with Kate Payne who wrote this great book called “The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen”. What I found this book really amazing is how it sums up all the cooking knowledge and techniques that I’ve obtained over years in the kitchen. I was reading this book, and I thought why it wasn’t created like 10 years ago. That is how long I spend in order to have myself equipped to become a confident cook.
I truly believe Kate is a genuine kitchen veteran. Read her book and you will know that. Not that her book is going to cook dinner for you, but she shows you how to master basic cooking by giving you advice and instructions that you really need in your kitchen. Nothing fancy but practical and useful. You will need this book if you decide to start and enjoy your relationship with your kitchen.
Because this book is such a keeper, I’d like to give one lucky reader (US residents only) the chance to win a copy of “The Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen” by Kate Payne. To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what cooking technique you would want to master, and why! All comments must be received by midnight on June 24, 2014 (Tuesday). Winner will be notified through a valid email address.
Now let’s talk about this buttermilk cake, first it doesn’t require any mixer, blender or machine to make, except the oven of course. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes. And the result is an amazingly moist and flavourful buttermilk cake. The original recipe from the book is the basic buttermilk cake that lets you improvise. Bake it with fruits, nuts or chocolate chips. Top it with buttercream, glaze or ganache. Or simply eat it plain. I just love its versatility!
Ingredients (one regular loaf or 3 mini loaves):
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup pitted fresh cherries, halved
1/2 cup chopped walnut
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan or three mini loaf pans.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix oil, buttermilk, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth. Then add to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan(s). Cover with cherries.
Mix the walnuts with a teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Bake the cake for 30 minutes for a regular sized loaf or 20 minutes for mini loaves, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before serving.