Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jewish Apple Cake

My apples from Graves Mountain are finally being put to good use besides just being snacked on.  I made this Jewish Apple Cake last week and it's definitely a winner.  My only change to this recipe would be the glaze.  It didn't turn out the way it should have. The recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of butter along with orange juice and sugar, but I would omit the butter all together.  Next time I will make a glaze with just orange juice and powdered sugar.  This comes from Allrecipes

2 cups peeled apples, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan (I used a Bundt pan).

Mix apples, 5 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  Beat the oil and 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl.  Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend in the sugar mixture before adding the next.  Beat in the vanilla and 1/4 cup of orange juice with the last egg.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir into the sugar mixture;  mixing until just incorporated.  Pour half of the batter into the prepared tube pan.  Layer the apple mixture on top, then pour the remaining batter over the apples.  Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes.  Allow cake to cool for 15 -20 minutes before removing from pan. (The original recipe calls for allowing the cake to cook completely in the pan but I prefer removing the cake earlier).

To make glaze: Combine 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar with several tablespoons orange juice to desired consistency.  Drizzle on cake while still slightly warm.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Shrimp

Forgive this picture. Not the best that's for sure. I didn't take a picture of the soup in a nice bowl because once I tasted it I was too busy eating it. And that my friends is the sign of a good recipe. A great tasting soup and I'm not a soup person.  I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed this soup. It's 2 bowl good...maybe 3 if you are a big meal person. It comes courtesty of Martha Stewart. You can bet I will be making this again. You can spice this up with pepper as hot as you like it. I didn't have any cayenne pepper on hand so I just sprinkled on red pepper flakes with a heavy hand and boy did I love it!  Sweet and heat together!  Enjoy!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound frozen large shrimp (peeled and deveined), thawed
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 butternut squash
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used red pepper flakes, liberally)
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used regular and you may want to up this to 4 cups)
coarse salt (if using low sodium broth)
1/4 cup sour cream (I used a little bit more)
fried sage leaves (optional, I didn't add this)

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add shrimp and cook until opaque throughout, 6 minutes.  Transfer to a plate; cover with foil.
Increase heat to medium-high.  Add 1 tablespoon butter, onion and chopped sage; cook until onion is softened, about 8 minutes.  Add squash, cayenne pepper (or flakes) and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt if desired.  Tranfer half the mixture to a blender or food processor.  Add sour cream and puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).  Return to pot along with shrimp; stir to combine.  To serve, divide soup among four bowls; top with fried sage leaves, if desired.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Caramel Drizzled Pumpkin Poke Cake

It's pumpkin time again!  Thank goodness we have no pumpkin shortage here. This cake is so good and so perfect to have this time of year.  I can't imagine anyone not liking it. I literally could not stop eating it.....once slice, two slices.....But they were small ones! I've made this twice in the past two weeks. Once for my family and one for a church fundraiser.  I hope you enjoy it. It's simple to make and comes from Betty Crocker.


1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
1 cup (from 15 oz can) pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie mix
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 jars (12 oz each) hot fudge topping  (I used caramel in holes since hot fudge was too hard to fill in)
1 container Cool Whip (I added 1/2 tsp coconut extract - it was really good. I also added a small container Yoplait French Vanilla Yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons caramel topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees F or 325 for dark or nonstick pan.  Grease or spray bottom only of 13x9 in pan.
In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes.  Pour into pan.  Bake 26 to 33 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
Immediately poke cake every inch with handle of wooden spoon halfway into cake.  Drizzle condensed milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place hot fudge in medium microwavable bowl.  Microwave uncovered on High 15 to 30 seconds or until smooth.  Spoon and spread over cake, pressing slightly into holes.  Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake.  Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.

Just before serving, drizzle caramel sauce over each serving of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping

I found this recipe in my "To Try" folder and it's from Bon Appetit, September 2008. I think it's about time that I try it already!  I hadn't realized that the recipes in there go back 3 years (and probably longer).  Part of me wants to just throw the whole bulging folder out and the other half says there's a reason I kept these recipes. So we'll see what happens. I kept a few and thrown out a few but have a ton more to check out.  Let's just say I am glad this one became a "keeper." It's very, very good. I've already made this twice in the past 3 weeks.  Had extra bananas that were way overripe just laying around and this recipe won out over trying a new banana cake recipe. Yes, it's THAT good.  My only change from the original recipe was adding dried cranberries since I have a bunch of these way too long already that I needed to use up. They are a perfect addition to this bread.  I doubled the recipe and made two so I have another one of these babies just waiting in the freezer for me!

It's apple season here again and I'm sure I will be bringing back a bunch of apples from Graves Mountain.  Hope to have a slew of new apples recipes to try. If you have any really good ones you'd like to suggest please let me know. I'll be having plenty of apples to use up and one can make but only so many apple pies!!!!

Makes one 9 x 5 in loaf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3 medium)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour 9 x 5 x 3 inch metal baking pan.  Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Whisk next 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth.  Add dry ingredients; stir to blend.  (if using cranberries add and gently stir at this point).  Transfer batter to pan.  Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and brown sugar;  sprinkle over batter.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.  Cool bread in p
an 30
 minutes.  Turn pan on its side, slide out bread, being careful not to dislodge topping.  Turn bread right side up and cool completely.