January 25, 2012

Maine Winter Days...Let's Go Exploring!

Winter days in Maine can be somewhat mild with temperatures around 35 to 40 degrees. Never in my life would I refer to these temps as being mild! Yet, after a few years of living in New England, we have grown accustomed to grabbing our coats and gloves and heading out to new adventures on the weekends. I can tell you that there are so many places to explore and experience, that you never let the weather stop you! This was a glorious winter day we spent exploring Cape Elizabeth! However, the temperature on this day was about 13 degrees! BRRRR!

It is absolutely magical to stand and look out over the ocean when snow is covering those massive rocks on the shoreline and see the sun rays glisten over the ocean. It feels as if you are looking at the most beautiful place on earth. There will be shake shingled coastal homes scattered throughout the hills which seem the perfect image of a postcard. We sometimes turn to each other and say, "Can you believe we live here?"

These are Wild Turkeys hunting for food in our little village!
I just love it when we come across these.
We have three that visit our birdfeeders in the backwoods on some days!

Standing high on a hill overlooking Fort Williams are the ruins of what was once a magnificent oceanfront residence, the Goddard Mansion. This was the home of Colonel John Goddard and his family who lived here during the mid to late 1800s.

The Goddard Mansion, completed in 1858, was one of the first grand houses to be built along the Cape Elizabeth shore. Goddard had made his fortune in the lumber business. The mansion was acquired by the U.S. Army in 1898 and used for housing married enlisted men and their families who were stationed at Fort Williams. The basement of the house was used for the fort's Non-Commissioned Officer's Club.

Now, Darling requested a little snack when we returned to The Maine House after our day of exploring! We warmed up with a cup of hot New England Coffee and a generous slice of my homemade Tangerine Cake. Ya'll this cake is so delish, that I just had to share it! I hope you try it! I found this recipe in an old issue of the Pensacola News Journal a few years ago! You can either frost this with a buttercream and bake the cake in two round 8" cake pans or use a bundt pan and  simply make a glaze!

For the cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons finely grated tangerine zest, plus 1/2 cup tangerine juice from 5 or 6 tangerines
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, Grand Marnier
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Glaze
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons tangerine juice (from 2 or so tangerines)

Preheat oven to 350. Make cake: Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt cake pan. (I used Baker's Joy). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in tangerine zest and juice and liqueur. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt or sour cream and beat to combine. Beat in vanilla. Transfer batter to Bundt pan or divide between two cake pans, smooth top and firmly tap pan on a flat surface to remove air bubbles.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in a pan on a wire rack for about 30 mins. Invert cake onto a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. Transfer to cake keeper.

Make Glaze: Whisk confectioners' sugar and 3 T tangerine juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over cake. Ya'll ENJOY!

Tangerine Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 2-pound package powdered sugar
 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons tangerine juice

Place all ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix until powdered sugar is incorporated, then beat a few minutes. The recipe calls for tangerine zest, but I prefer a frosting without freckles. If the frosting is a little stiff, use a tablespoon or so of whipping cream to lighten it up a bit!

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