Friday, April 9, 2010

The Mom Who Can Cook

What's more fun than one 17 year-old girl? Why 9 of them, of course. And that is exactly what descended on the house Sunday night.

Older 2 Sons were sent away; they were afraid they would not be able to cope with estrogen overload. Man of the House was caught trying to escape with them but was quickly corralled. We did, after all, still need someone to lock up the house, take the dogs out to the bathroom, and tell us where to park all the cars.

Of course, over the course of the night, there were the appropriate screeching and giggling, bursts of applause and eerie silences, bouncing and singing. Youngest Son rolled his eyes, shook his head, and said, prophetically, "I will never understand girls!" Even Youngest Daughter looked slightly askance toward the closed rec room door . . . not sure what to think of the more mature of her gender.

For my part, I just wanted to give them a yummy breakfast. There was, of course, no hidden motivation to be known as "the mom who can cook," it was all just motivated by love for Oldest Daughter and her friends . . . ahem.

The menu? Simple and straightforward . . . homemade sour cream coffee cake, turkey bacon, orange juice (the real thing!), and Swiss almond mocha coffee. Easy peasy.

Lest I disturb the cosmos by operating in any way out of the ordinary, I ran to the store that morning for my ingredients. We won't, at this time, explore that behavioral pattern any further.

I whipped out my recipe . . . last used 10 years ago.

I wanted the breakfast ready by the time the girls were up. I wanted the kitchen smelling of the heady combination of perking coffee, crisping bacon, and a cinnamon/brown sugar confection just being popped from the oven.

In the back of my head I was chanting, hurry, hurry, hurry.

I was immediately stymied by this cryptic notation on the recipe:

Excuse me? Although it may have not been baked in 10 years, there was a time in which it was baked quite regularly.

"1/" ??? Huh?

What coffee cake recipe in the whole world has a fraction of flour of any sort?

I guessed. And continued dumping ingredients.

"Hurry, hurry, hurry."

This little chant in the back of my head is also why without thinking I dumped in an entire carton of sour cream . . . 16 full, creamy ounces . . . and cheerfully set to mixing.

Then I tasted. Hmmm, not as sweet as I remembered . . . actually kind of sour . . . as if someone had put in too much . . . sour . . . cream . . .

Aha. Yes. Now the coffee cake from the "mom who can cook" had a guessed-on flour amount and double the sour cream.

I tried to increase the other ingredients proportionately.

Hurry, hurry, hurry.

By some miracle, the coffee cake turned out, due more, to be sure, to the forgiving nature of those blessed ingredients flour, sugar, and butter than to any of my cooking prowess.

And as the girls came downstairs, coffee was indeed perking, crispy bacon lay in delicious repose on its plate, and an etched crystal platter held crumbling chunks of Unsure-Flour-Double-the-Sour-Cream coffee cake.

"It smells sooooooo good down here, Mrs. M.," came a sweet 17 year-old voice as 18 feet trompsed down the stairs.

Oh, yes, life is good. It's official. I'm the Mom Who Can Cook.

(Below is the real recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake. A good amount of sleuthing solved the flour mystery. This is a wonderfully moist and delicious coffee cake.)

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add sour cream, butter, and eggs. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Spoon batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Combine remaining brown sugar and cinnamon (1/2 cup chopped pecans can also be added to this brown sugar mix). Sprinkle over batter.

At this point, the coffee cake may be baked immediately at 350 for 30 minutes, or it can be covered, refrigerated up to 12 hours, uncovered and baked at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.


  1. That is so cute! I love parties and for 17 year old girls. I love it. Something they will not forget. And I love that you open your home to have them at your house. Wonderful!

  2. nummmmmm.... I've got to remember this one! & I just love this kind of breakfast - for me it is usually blueberry type coffee cake w/ bacon juice and coffee. I'll have to try yours too! Happy Day, SJ

  3. i am sitting here having my coffee and smelling the coffee cake baking in my head, o how i wish i had some right now! great job mom

  4. Wow...good job! (I can honestly say that in my 8 and 5 year old American Girl existence, I am also slightly intimidated by the much cooler, younger and hipper world of 17-year-olds. Did I really used to be one once???) The coffee cake looked fantastic!

  5. Mother of the YEAR AWARD to you, for sure! Isn't it amazing how food always attracts this age group?! Stopping by to personally invite you to swing by [when you're not busy baking that is!] and sign up for my giveaway. I hope this will make you laugh. I HAND WASH those dishcloths I won from you just so they are always ready for use. Otherwise it could be a week before I have enough kitchen towels to justify doing a load in the washing machine!

  6. Mmmmmmm. I am hungry now! Oh well, burgers on the grill in no time:) Thanks for that marvelous coffee cake recipe! Your house sounds like mine each Monday night. Yes, my husband stays far far away!! Oh my I am so excited to see the humility book you are reading..............such a timely thing for me to see. Getting lots of that these days......need more. Think I will get that book! Good stuff! XO

  7. :) I always fantasized about my boys' friends thinking I was a good cook LOL and then I found out just exactly hungry they could BE all the time! Yikes!
    I will have to make that coffee cake. I can smell it too!

  8. ** I know I've already posted on this post but I was worried about you and I just wanted you to know I was thinking about ya! Hope everything is okay. Hugs, The Lady of the House