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There's No Substitute for a Good Substitute (In the Kitchen)

Thursday, November 10, 2011 | 03:31am

NASHVILLE — The Pick Tennessee Products website has a new feature that harried holiday cooks may want to add as an Internet favorite: “Easy Alternatives for Missing Ingredients.” The list offers substitutes for necessary ingredients and compares amounts between a fresh versus canned ingredient. There are also outright alternatives for keeping dishes delicious when the original ingredients called for in a recipe need to be changed.

The new Web page could be a time and temper saver for the cook who goes to measure out ingredients for a favorite holiday food only to find an important ingredient missing. Popular holiday recipes are often made only once a year with ingredients not necessarily considered kitchen staples.

To access “Easy Alternatives,” go to the Pick Tennessee Products home page and click “Cook Now” on the right hand side of the screen. From there, click on “Helpful Hints” to find the new listing. Also now included in “Helpful Hints” is a comprehensive kitchen measures chart to help cooks convert farm measures like bushels and pecks to kitchen measures like quarts and pounds.

Listings for many farm direct, local foods commonly used in holiday recipes, from butter and cream to aged country ham and seasonal vegetables can also be found by clicking to the “Food” page from the Pick Tennessee Products home page.

Pick Tennessee Products, a Tennessee Department of Agriculture promotion, is currently celebrating its 25th year. The service was developed to help consumers identify and choose farm-direct, artisan and other locally made foods. The site includes lists of farms, farmers markets, seasonal recipes and seasonal on-farm activities. More than 1,600 farmers and more than 6,000 products are currently listed at www.picktnproducts.org.

Buttermilk Pound Cake is the latest Pick Tennessee Products recipe from Tammy Algood, Pick Tennessee Products spokesperson and author of “The Complete Southern Cookbook.” Algood creates seasonal recipes featuring products grown and processed in Tennessee. More recipes are available at www.picktnproducts.org . Follow Pick Tennessee Products on Facebook and Twitter.

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Buttermilk Pound Cake

Yield: 12 servings
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted local butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup local buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, around 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, beating 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears, Stir in the lemon extract and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

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