Monthly Archives: October 2018

Feud Cake

If you have ever visited Panama City Beach, Florida, chances are that you have eaten at one of America’s  most famous restaurants.  That would be Captain Anderson’s.  The restaurant is known for fresh seafood from the nearby Gulf of Mexico.  In fact, you can go early and watch some of the fishing boats returning from a day of fishing.

As well as seafood, Captain Anderson’s is also known for a cake called Feud Cake.  However, the Feud Cake was first served at a restaurant in downtown Panama City called the Seven Seas Restaurant.  That restaurant was open from 1953 to 1967 and was owned and operated by the Patronis brothers, who later opened Captain Anderson’s.

Anytime I have been fortunate to eat at Captain Anderson’s, I always had the Feud Cake for dessert.  It is a cake made with finely chopped pecans and topped with lots of  whipped cream.  The nutty flavor of the finely chopped pecans compliments the slightly sweetened whipped cream.

For the cake in this post, I used a recipe from The Panama City Junior Service League cookbook, Bay Leaves, originally published in 1975.  It is primarily a collection of favorite recipes.  The Feud Cake recipe was contributed by the Seven Seas Restaurant.  My copy of Bay Leaves was gifted to me by a beloved family member.  Bay Leaves cookbook is available from several sources online.

According to the cookbook, the name of the cake is derived from a legend that two families claimed ownership of the recipe.  Their argument turned into a feud, with the families forgotten but not the cake.

I used a small amount of cream cheese in the whipped cream as a means to stabilize it.

Feud Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Feud Cake

16 ounces pecan halves

8 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder

Use a food processor to finely chop the pecans and set aside.  You should have about 5 cups of finely chopped pecans.

Beat eggs at a high speed for 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat to combine.  Gradually add sugar.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder together and add to the egg mixture.  Beat another 5 minutes.  Add the pecans at low speed to moisten well and beat for about 1 minute.  Pour the mixture into 3 greased and parchment lined 8 or 9-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes come out clean.    Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around the edges of the cake to help loosen from the pans.   Remove from pans to wire racks, discard the parchment paper and cool completely.  Frost layers and sides of the cake with the whipped cream.  Garnish the top of the cake with pecans halves, if desired.

Feud Cake Topping

1 tablespoon softened cream cheese (optional)
4 cups  heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

With the wire whip of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low adding a little of the whipping cream at a time.  When all the cream is incorporated, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat on high until stiff peaks are formed.    

Notes:

This post is dedicated to the people in the Florida Panhandle that recently underwent the destruction of Hurricane Michael.  A virtual hug, if you will.

On October 10, Hurricane Micahel roared ashore as a Category 4, with winds as high as 155 miles per hour.  Panama City and towns east of it, to include the military installation, Tyndall Air Force Base suffered great devastation.

I am a native Floridian and proud to call Panama City my hometown.   My heart broke watching and reading about the devastation caused by the hurricane.  Hopefully, recovery will be faster than anticipated.

Apple Butter

Have you been apple picking and perhaps have lots of apples on hand?  I have a lot of apples on hand but I’m too lazy to pick them.  It is just too easy to buy them from farm stands and the farmers market.  Pictured below are local Honeycrisp and Cortland apples I used for this recipe.

I still have plans to use some of the Honeycrisp apples in an apple pie but in the meantime I made some homemade apple butter.  I didn’t realize how easy it is to make.

A lot of the recipes use a slow cooker but for this recipe I used the stove top method.

Apple butter does not contain any butter.  It is basically concentrated apple sauce flavored with spices such as cinnamon and ground cloves.  Chunks of the apples are cooked with the spices and usually apple cider.  Once the apples are tender, they are pureed and cooked again until the apples are dark brown and caramelized.

A benefit of making apple butter is that your house will smell amazing.  There will be no need for one of those expensive candles.

I made two separate batches for this post.  The first batch I used Honeycrisp apples and for the second batch I used the Cortland variety.  I think I prefer the Honeycrisp apple although a lot of recipes recommend using a softer variety such as the Cortland.

Apple butter tastes great on hot biscuits, toast,  and English muffins.

Apple Butter

  • Difficulty: easy
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3 pounds of apples (washed and dried off)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup apple cider

Peel, core, and chop the apples.  Coat apples with lemon juice as you are cutting them and place in a large Dutch oven.  Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.  Sprinkle over the apples.  Toss to coat well.  Stir in the apple cider.

Cook over medium heat uncovered, until apples are tender, about 30-45 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree the apples.  (Or carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or food processer and puree, then pour back into the same Dutch oven.) Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes.  Apple butter is done when it is thick and jam like in consistency.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Makes about 3 cups of apple butter.  

Note:
Apple butter freezes well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grilled Cheeseburgers

Autumn may be officially here but that doesn’t mean we can’t still grill outside.  There will be a lot of nice days before the snow starts to fly.  Hopefully, that is.  Actually, I grill year round.  Below is a picture from four years ago.  We got a lot of snow that year so it took a little bit of effort to get to the grill.  However, I do prefer to grill when it is much nicer weather.

 

One of my favorite foods to grill is the hamburger.  I think a lot of us love a juicy, smoky, grilled burger with melting cheese on it.

I use a natural gas grill for all of my grilling.  I started out using a charcoal grill which is probably my favorite way of grilling.  But gas grills offer a lot of convenience in the cooking and the cleanup.

This burger has some of the usual favorites such as lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  It also includes a great sauce.  The burger sauce is really quick to whip together and includes ingredients probably right in your fridge.

I used baby gem lettuce and an heirloom golden-orange tomato on a toasted brioche bun for the burgers.   However, your favorite lettuce, tomato, and buns may be used.

The heirloom tomato I used is a Golden Jubilee and, according to Burpee Seed Company, has been around since 1943.  During the summer, a gardening friend gave me some of these lovely tomatoes.  They are the very best tomato and slice up beautifully.  These tomatoes have a mild delectable flavor and are low in acidity.  I was also able to find these tomatoes at my local farmers market. They are now my favorite tomato for sandwiches.

 

Usually Cheddar cheese is the cheese of choice for burgers.  But for this post, I used Muenster cheese.  It is pale in color with an orange rind.  Muenster cheese has a mild flavor similar to American cheese and melts wonderfully.

If you want to grill up the perfect burger, there are a few things to remember:

Use 80/20 ground chuck, an 80 percent lean to 20 percent fat ratio.

Salt the burgers just before grilling.  Salt will extract moisture from the meat, leaving it dry.

Make a thumbprint in the middle of the patty.  This will keep the burger from puffing up while cooking.

Flip the burgers just once and don’t flatten them with a spatula.

Grilled Cheeseburgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cheeseburgers

1 pound ground chuck
salt
4 slices Muenster cheese
4 hamburger buns, toasted
gem lettuce
sliced tomatoes
cooked bacon slices (optional)

Hamburger Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 tsp Dijon mustard

For the Hamburger Sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Serve immediately or refrigerate covered for up to 1 week.

For the Cheeseburger

Prepare the gas grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400°F)).  Brush the cooking grates clean.

Divide the meat into four equal portions.  Gently form each portion into a 3/4 inch burger.

Lightly season the hamburger patties on both sides with salt.  Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat with the lid closed for about 4 minutes on the first side.  Flip over the burgers and continue grilling for approximately 3 minutes.  Add a slice of cheese to each burger and continue grilling until the cheese is melted.  Remove from the grill and set aside while preparing the buns.

Spread the hamburger sauce on both sides of the toasted buns.  Build a burger on each bun with the gem lettuce, tomato slice, burger, bacon (if using) and then the top bun.  Serve immediately.  

 

 

 

 

Notes:
The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F for safety reasons.