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Hampton Happenings

Almost a Year…

October 4th, 2013

Okay, so it’s been nearly a year since I last posted a blog. Hey, life is busy. Four boys keeps us plenty busy these days! Plus, with Twitter and Facebook, posting quick updates is so much easier. I DID just find an app for my blog, so posting should be more frequent now that I can write from my phone.

The family is doing great! This new school year is going very well for all four Hampton boys. Barrett is 9 and in 4th grade. Hudson is 7 and is in 2nd. Carden is 4 and Sutton is 3, both in preschool. I can’t believe how quickly the boys are growing. We’ve passed a cold around our house recently. I’m the last to get sick. Chest colds are never good for anyone, especially singers. Fortunately I saw my doctor early enough that it didn’t affect my voice too much. I think I’ll be good to go for Sunday’s GVB concert in Omaha.

The GVB’s new hymns record should release some time this fall. I don’t know of a street date yet but will be sure to let you know once I do. My new solo record, tentatively titled, Reality, will hopefully release this late fall. It will have twelve songs total. I’m very excited for folks to hear it. Will be posting some previews in the future. Also, will be sure to post a pre-order date as soon as we have something solidified.

Happy Fall, y’all! My favorite time of year…

Pumpkin Bread

October 25th, 2012

It’s fall, my favorite time of year. Nothing makes it feel like fall (well, besides the cooler weather and changing and falling of the leaves) like pumpkin bread. I’m sure you’ve tried it on more than one occasion. If not, I feel sorry for you. This stuff is SO good. Granted, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world to eat, but it’s really delicious!

My wife had a friend who shared this recipe with her. I wish I could claim it, but I can’t. I DID make a couple of changes to it (added vanilla and adjusted the amount of cinnamon). Hope you enjoy! Did I mention it is really easy to make?

Pumpkin Bread
Bakers’ Joy spray
2 1/2 cups AP flour
3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract plus enough water to make 1/2 cup
1 regular-sized can pumpkin
Mix all wet ingredients in a large bowl.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until thoroughly combined.  Pour batter in to two large loaf pans that have been thoroughly sprayed with Baker’s Joy. You can also split the batter into 4 smaller loaf pans if you’d like. Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


Roasted Cauliflower Soup

October 16th, 2012

For those of you who are trying to watch your carb and/or fat intake but find it hard to resist potato soup, this soup satisfies that craving. My wife, Andrea, loves potato soup but doesn’t miss it when I make this. It’s so delicious and is actually healthy. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup
1 large head cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, finely grated
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup 2% shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Turkey bacon, cooked until crispy
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Nonstick aluminum foil
Large sheet pan
Dutch oven or large heavy pot
Food processor or blender

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While oven preheats, steam cauliflower for 5-6 minutes. Remove and let drain on paper towels until most of the moisture is gone. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with 2 tbsp oil, pepper, and 2 tsp kosher salt until thoroughly coated. Line a large sheet pan with nonstick aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes. Stir and roast another 10-15 minutes until cauliflower is caramelized and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large heavy pot, heat 1-2 tbsp oil over medium heat, adding onion. Sauté for 6-8 minutes until it softens. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 4-5 more minutes. Onion and garlic should start to caramelize. Once caramelized, add the chicken stock, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pot. Cover with a lid and let simmer over medium-low heat.

Combine cauliflower, sour cream, butter, and cheese in a food processor, pulsing until smooth. You may need to do this in batches depending on the capacity of the processor bowl. Add to the pot, stirring until combined. Let simmer 5 minutes, covered. Add half and half and parsley and let cook another couple of minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you would like, you can use a hand blender to make soup smoother. I prefer a more coarse texture. If soup is too thick, add more chicken stock until thinned enough.

Serve, topping with a crumbled piece of turkey bacon along with a sprinkling of reduced fat shredded cheddar.

Tres Leches Cake!

June 5th, 2012

Many of you have asked for the tres leches cake recipe. Well, here it is! It is seriously one of the best desserts I have ever had. I halved the recipe. I made the original recipe and it was way too much for a 9×13 pan. It is really rich, so a half-recipe will be plenty for 10-12 folks. If you want the full recipe, I’ve added the the individual ingredients to the right of each line. There are three parts to this: the cake, the tres leches mixture, and the creme fraiche (pronounced “fresh”). I’ve also included the recipe for my caramel sauce. It is a lot of work but is so worth it. If you haven’t had this cake, you are missing out! :)

The Cake: (original measurements in parentheses)
6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated (12)
3/4 teaspoon salt (1/4 tbsp)
1 1/2 cups sugar (3 cups)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (3 cups)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder (1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp)
3/4 cup whole milk (1 1/2 cups)

Tres Leches Mixture
1 1/2 (12 oz.) cans evaporated milk (3 cans)
3/4 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/2 cans)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (3 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Crack open eggs and separate whites from yolks.
3. Add sugar to yolks and beat with a hand mixture until smooth.
4. Add milk and vanilla and mix. Add flour and baking powder and combine until smooth.
5. In a new bowl, whip the egg whites with salt until they form peaks. (I use my Kitchen Aid and whisk for 5-7 minutes on medium).
6. With a rubber spatula, GENTLY FOLD egg whites into cake batter. Do not stir. This will deflate the whites. (To fold, simply cut down and scoop up from the bottom of the bowl. Repeat until mixed.)
7. Spray a 9×13 pan with Baker’s Joy or Pam with Flour.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a 350 degree oven in the center for 25-30 minutes. Top should be medium brown when done. Cake should not jiggle when pan is moved. You can insert a toothpick into the center to see if it’s done. It will come out clean when cake is done cooking.
9. After taking cake out of oven, poke holes every 1 inch with a chopstick or straw, making sure to completely cover the cake, going to the edges.
10. Combine tres leches mixture and pour evenly and slowly over the cake.
11. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, preferably over night.

Creme Fraiche
2 cups heavy whipping cream (4 cups)
1/4 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup)
3/4 cup sugar (1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (2 tbsp)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl. Whisk for 30 seconds or until all the sugar is dissolved.

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar.
1 tbsp light corn syrup
3 tbsp cold butter, cut into individual tablespoons
1/4 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt

1. Combine salt, water, and sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
2. Turn heat to high until it starts to boil. Turn down to medium-high heat. DO NOT STIR.
3. If you have a lid, put it on for 1-2 minutes. This will wash any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Remove lid and watch mixture carefully. It will start to thicken. Make sure the butter and cream are within reach.
4. When the mixture starts to change color (anywhere from 6-10 minutes, depending on your pan), watch very carefully. It can burn very quickly. When it turns amber, remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the butter. Once butter is melted, slowly add the cream and whisk until combined.
5. Stir in vanilla and let cool until warm.
6. Pour into a condiment squeeze bottle (you know, like those yellow and red bottles you see at restaurants). I got a couple of clear ones from Walmart or Bed, Bath and Beyond.






















Plate presentation:  Pour some creme fraiche onto the plate or bowl. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Place cake slice on top and garnish with sliced fresh strawberries. Your guests will be blown away. :)


Video Interview

September 14th, 2011

Hey everyone!  Click HERE to watch Gaither.com’s Skype interview with me. Once you click on the link, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “play.” I answer your questions and talk about the release of my solo CD. Enjoy!