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Welcome to travel season

Tina Specht

This is a travel season for a lot of people. It seems like we have been doing a lot of that lately.  Dave and I love to travel and go on an adventure but traveling by plane has been rough, with lots of delays and cancelations. I know if you have been traveling you know that for yourself.  

It is hard to travel on the east coast for sure. When one flight gets delayed, it throws everything off.  

We pray always before we travel even if we are going a short way. So when things get delayed or canceled, I believe it God is preventing us from something happening.  

I don’t mind delays or cancelations I just want some help in it all from those who work for the airlines. Be nice. I am sure it is hard to be nice when you have thousands of people throughout the day frustrated and mad because of delays and cancelations. I would not work at the courtesy desk for anything.

I remember when I was younger, all the traveling we used to do. I was an army brat and we traveled a lot.  

We did all of our travel by car. Back then you didn’t have to have a car seat and there were three of us kids.  

One would lay on the floor, one on the seat, and one in the back window. And don’t you dare touch anyone. We had our snacks and if we had to go to the bathroom my dad would pull off the side of the road and we would go in the woods. I don’t think many folks do that now a days.  

I remember traveling one year and gas was scarce. We were moving back to Maine and we had a whole caravan of people helping us. You could only get gas on certain days depending on your license plate number — even or odd numbers. I know I am not the only one that remembers this. It was crazy but real.  

I remember filling up the car we were towing just in case we needed the gas and my dad would syphon the gas to the other car. It was crazy but for real. It didn’t stop us. We just learned to work the system.

Dave and I love to travel and one of the things we love to do is travel and try new food at new places. We really love the hole-in-the-wall places. That’s the best place to get the best food. We also love to shop no matter where we go. We are bargain hunters so we never pay full price for anything we buy. We love a good challenge.

It is time for us to dream big. We are looking over the places we have been and where we want to go. I am ready to travel and meet new people. There is so much we haven’t even seen in the good ole USA.

CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER POUND CAKE

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter (don’t use natural)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

3 cups granulated white sugar

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

GLAZE:

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

PREPARE THE CAKE:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 10-cup tube pan generously with nonstick spray (I like the Pam Baking Spray).

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and beat an additional 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients a little at a time, beating just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared tube pan. Tap it a couple of times on the counter to shake out any hidden air pockets.

Bake 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, checking on the cake at 1 hour to make sure it’s not browning too quickly on top. If browning too quickly, just place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the pan. When a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean, your cake is done. Let cool for 20 minutes, then flip it onto a rack or platter and let it cool completely.

PREPARE THE GLAZE:

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cooled cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. The glaze will set eventually- if you’d like to quicken the setting process, just place it into the refrigerator for a bit.

This pound cake is very dense and turns out a crispy exterior crust. Use a serrated knife to cut slices.

Tina Specht is co-publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. She shares her thoughts and recipes each Thursday.