WOW!  Time flies when you are cooking, and stuffing your face.  It is hard to believe that it has been 4 years, yes 4 years, and 697 posts since Chez Us was born.  It is fun to look back, and see the baby steps we took, to get where we are now.  We laugh, and smile over some of these silly posts, when we were shy, and not sure how much we should say. It has been a delicious journey.

We get asked all the time, why we do it, and why we keep doing it?  Well, we have to eat, right?  Honestly?  We love it;  it is a sweet labor of love, delicious love.  Two passions rolled into one … food and photography.  An outlet to be creative, to unwind, to think outside the box.  And the relationships.  Food just happens to bring people together.  We have been so fortunate to have met some amazing people through the site;  truly raw talent.  Very lucky, the relationships that have been “baking” mean so much, we cannot ever imagine not meeting each of you.

What did we do to celebrate?  Well, we ate, the same meal we have eaten every year on the blogiversary;  vegetarian enchiladas, washed down with margaritas.  This year we mixed it up a bit, by adding cake.  A sultry, and creamy three milk cake.  I have been dying to make one, ever since I read a recipe many years ago.  I just have never gotten around to it.  I was inspired by a recipe over at Lemon Pi recently, and used it as a guideline.  Instead of regular milk, I used coconut milk, and added a heavy dose of fresh lime zest.  It was amazing.  Really amazing.  Dense, moist, luscious, and flavorful.  Melts on your tongue with every bite;  I am serious here.  This is going to be a new favorite, and I cannot wait to play with flavor combinations.  Dreamy!

We want to say “thank you”.  Not just a little thank you, but a heart-felt thank you to everyone who has ever read our site, glanced at it, recommends it to their dog, or keeps coming back for more.  Without your loving, and sometimes not so loving comments, we would not be here.  As long as you want us to feed you, we will keep doing so.

A celebration would not be a celebration without a couple gifts right?  Instead of giving Chez Us a gift, as we have the gift of your readership, we want to pass along a gift to you;  a couple of our favorite things.  One lucky reader will get each of these sweet little tokens of Chez Us love.

1)  Bill’s Open Kitchen by Bill Granger – LOVE this guy.  He is a favorite Aussie chef of ours.  Not only are his recipes fresh, and easy to make, but they all call for fresh ingredients, and are diet friendly.  Love the simple but exotic flavors of chilies, lime, cilantro … mouth watering.  This particular book has every meal covered from breakfast to afternoon tea.  Wait until you try the passion fruit pancakes;  oh yes!  Or the citrus risotto;  swoon!

2)  Five Spoons Organizing Stickers – are your cookbooks dog-eared to mark recipes you must try?  Or do you take a pen and make a little mark, indicating you like it?   Not any more ….  I discovered Anna’s lovely company Five Spoons, through my friend Tracy.   Anna’s sells these cute little stickers that you can use to mark the recipes that you are dying to try, or you can use the little spoon stickers to rate each recipe in your books. I have so much fun, sitting down with a cup of jo, opening a book, and stickering away.  And my books look so much more organized and “cute”.  You are going to love these stickers!  Anna was nice enough to contribute a set of each for one lucky reader.

What do you have to do?  Easy.  Peasy.  Leave a comment below, telling us what you love most about Chez Us, or what you love least?  What you would like to see us do, in the next year?  More video?  Bring back podcasts?  More easy dinners?  More sweets?  Meal planning to help you save time?  Please let us know …..

For additional entries, do one or all of the following.  You will have to come back here after completing each task, and leave a separate comment indicating you have done so.

You have until midnight, May 22, 2010;  we will use random.org to pick a winner, and will announce it May 23.

Now, let’s get baking;  here is the recipe for this dreamy three milk cake.

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Recipe:  Three Milk Cake

* inspired by Lemon Pi

What you need:
Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 limes zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • juice from half a lime
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
Milk Glaze:
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
Whipping Topping:
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream, thick part of a can of coconut milk
What you need to do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line round cake pan with parchment paper, and butter the sides of the pan.  Using a mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and vanilla until thick and pale.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then fold into the mixture.   Add the milk, and thoroughly mix.  Pour the batter into the baking tin, and level the top.  Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.  A little extra browning adds depth to the flavor.
  2. While the cake is baking, make the milk glaze by combining the condensed milk, with the sour cream, mix thoroughly.  Add the evaporated and coconut milk, mix;  set aside.
  3. Turn the baked cake out onto a cooling rack and immediately cover the bottom and sides with tinfoil. Re-invert into the baking tin so that the tinfoil lines the tin, and the edges overlap the sides of the pan.  Prick several holes in the cake with a skewer, be generous with your poking.  Slowly pour the milk glaze mixture over the warm cake, from the centre outwards. Do this in batches, allowing the previous additions to be absorbed. It will look like too much liquid, don’t be alarmed, the cake will soak it all up. Leave to cool.
  4. Whip the whipping cream, until soft peaks form.  Add the coconut cream – the thick creamy part of a can of coconut milk;  skim from the top before using the milk in the glaze.  Before serving gently cover the top of the cake with the whipped cream mixture.  Serve.  Eat.

 

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How do we pick a winner, by using Random.Org.  We could from the bottom up (first comment for the post).  For this post there were 17 comments, we did not count our ping which is the first comment.  DRUM ROLL!!!!  The WINNER is:  # 15 – Danielle.   Danielle, ping us, and we will get you your lovely prize!

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