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In The Kitchen With Vera: Happy birthday! Wait; was that a challenge?

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In celebration of a milestone birthday in 2023, I am getting a headstart. 

As for goals like, “Fit at 50” and “Sexy at 60,” I have chosen “Identity at 70” as I go through the next year at 69. Having goals associated with the identity I hope to foster over the next decade, I thought it appropriate in my birthday episode this week to showcase some favorite foods that either match the goal or bring back the best memories.

First up – Peanut Butter Pate – a new twist to a charcuterie board or just on a tray with your favorite crackers, this is going to be a new favorite for this year.  It holds up well and introduces a new flavor to the cocktail hour.  I recommend this not only for the Peanut Butter but also the Peanuts which are a major source of protein. The Georgia Peanut Commission is a great partner, and it’s easy to be passionate about it because of my personal love of all things peanut. https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/peanut-butter-pate/

Peanut butter pate. Photo credit: Chris Hall Wier / Stewart


Jones (my husband’s middle name and the name I call him) has mastered a Vegetable Soup that I know you will LOVE. This recipe will later debut in the second cookbook, set to release shortly after my 70th birthday next year.  This soup is going to be kept in small containers in the freezer at work so I can’t keep saying, “I forgot to bring anything for lunch today.”  It makes a pot full so you can do the same thing. https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/jones-old-fashioned-vegetable-soup/

Jones Vegetable Soup. Photo credit Chris Hall from Wier / Stewart

Finally, the German Chocolate Cake. 

This cake truly reminds me of my childhood and how sophisticated I felt when it was time to sing the celebratory song! The richness of the icing and the moistness of the layers with the added German Chocolate become even more intense as the cakes sets over several days. https://www.veryvera.com/recipes/recipe/german-chocolate-cake/

German chocolate cake. Photo credit: Chris Hall, Wier / Stewart

I have held onto the idea of just having this cake once a year or I would definitely not be fitting in my favorite jeans!

Charmain…..have you made this cake yet?  

Adventures with Vera’s Cookbook Continued by Charmain Z. Brackett

As I was reading my weekly email from Vera to ready it for Thursday, I noticed that last sentence.

“Charmain…have you made this cake yet?”

Was it part of the column? Or was she just asking? Or was it something more? A friendly suggestion? A challenge? Immediately, I thought of “Throw Down with Bobby Flay,” which she won. Throw down with someone who can barely frost a cake. I don’t think Food Network would go for that one.

It has been a few weeks since I’ve delved into the cookbook and my Julie/Julia type adventure. Blame it on Joe Edge and him promoting me, but after the success of my red velvet cake at Christmas, it’s time. Hmm. I can’t get cocky. I definitely believe when you get too big for your britches you’re heading for a take down.

Oh well. My mom will be out of town for a couple of days, so I can mess up her kitchen. Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up. And I’ll have to make sure I tune into The Very Vera Show at 12:30 p.m. Thursday or 7:30 p.m. Saturday on WJBF-TV to take in any pointers she may have to offer.

Since having an entire German chocolate cake in my house would be a very bad idea for my waistline, I’m going to make one for our monthly staff meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Stay tuned for next week, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Now all I need is to know where do I find a carrier for a tall cake?

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