I am a big proponent of reusing things. Leftovers, ingredients, household items– whatever. It’s true most of the time I am looking for recipes that correspond to what I already have on hand, and are going to cost me the least about of money to procure the additional ingredients. If there’s anything I hate, it’s having to spend $10 on one quarter of a teaspoon of some kind of spice I don’t own and will most likely have to go out of my way to use again. Since I’m really trying to stay on a budget this month, I scoured for a recipe that would be nutritious and yet somehow made use of the fact that I had no real meat on hand.
I came across the recipe for Spinach Lasagna over at Smells Like Home and it was perfect. I only really needed to buy some frozen spinach. Other than the fact that I used wheat lasagna noodles, and cut the ricotta with 1/2 cottage cheese, I followed it pretty closely. It tastes kind of like inside out manicotti. I would advise you not to try to pass this off on anyone that doesn’t love spinach, though. I did, and when I turned my back, he dumped a half of a jar of marinara sauce all over the top of it. You know who you are.
If you’re me, you’re asking yourself — well, where’s the booze? Fear not; I have saved the best for last.
A couple months ago, I bothered myself with going through the books bin at a local thrift store and found a total gem. It’s actually the book that inspired me to start adding booze to adapt food to my taste. It is entitled Whiskey in the Kitchen by Emmanuel and Madeline Greenburg, and there is nothing about this book that doesn’t scream out Old School. If it had more pictures inside, I bet everything would be photographed in heavy pea soup green colors and be covered in a thin layer of dusted, powdered sugar. I think every dessert made prior to 1970 required a layer of confectioner’s sugar. Anyway, when I got this a few of the pages had been dog-eared. Not one to argue with dog-ears, I turned to the first marked recipe, Kentucky Pound Cake. Imagine the best pound cake you’ve had, and then add a bit of bourbon flavor. It is really that good. It’s not bourbon-soaked, however, it is quite nicely graced with bourbon’s presence. I love it because I always have the ingredients on hand. Everyone loves it; make it.
Kentucky Bourbon Cake
Adapted from: Whiskey in the Kitchen
1 C. soft butter
1 1/2 C. sifted flour (I used cake flour)
1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 T. bourbon
1 t. vanilla
5 eggs, separated
1/8 t. salt
1 t. cream of tartar (didn’t have it; didn’t miss it)
Grease a 9-inch tube pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Dust with flour and shake out excess. Preheat oven to 325F. Sift flour, baking soda, and 3/4 cup of the sugar into a bowl. Add remaining butter and mix it in well (this part is best used with your hands or a fork). Add bourbon, vanilla, and egg yolks one at a time mixing well until blended. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff but not dry. Gradually beat in remaining 3/4 cup of sugar; stir in cream of tartar. Fold beaten egg whites into first mixture until well blended. Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly. Rap on table to remove air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour, or until done (Closer to 1 hour, 5 minutes). Leave in oven with oven turned off for 10 more minutes. Let stand on a cake rack for 10 more minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar at serving time (please don’t do this).