Monday, August 18, 2014

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you will have noticed that not only do I love banana bread but I love pound cake. Love trying different pound cake recipes and I have quite a few on this blog.  I came across this one in my old faithful cookbook....."The Doubleday Cookbook."  This was published back in 1975 and was the first cookbook I owned and it is still  my favorite.  These recipes have  never let me down.  Some may be dated but they are always good.  If any of you collect old cookbooks you may want to add this one to your collection.  They can be found in old bookstores, antique shops and used ones can also be found on Ebay.  The original comes in a set of 2 but back in the early 90's they were condensed into one.

This is definitely an old fashioned pound cake and made differently than any I've made before.  It's a little extra work since you have to whip up the egg whites separately but worth it.  That is what attracted me to this recipe.  I like ones that are different...that have a twist in them.  If you make this I would suggest you expect this to be a bit drier than your usual pound cake.  It also uses cake flour so you will have a very dense, tight crumb.  I loved it.  My husband likes cakes that are moist so he thought this would be great with ice cream on it or for strawberry shortcakes....I love it just as it is with a big cup of coffee. Oh how perfect!

Do not substitute any of these ingredients.

2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract or 1 Tbs finely grated lemon rind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bottom and sides of 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan.  Sift flour, salt and nutmeg together and set aside.  Cream butter until light, then add sugar slowly, creaming until fluffy.  Beat
egg yolks until thick and light, add to butter mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend flour in gradually, then mix in vanilla and beat JUST until smooth.  Beat egg whites until soft peaks form  and fold gently into batter.  Spoon into pan and bake 65 - 70 minutes until cake pulls slightly from sides of pan.  Cool upright in pan on a wire cake rack 30 minutes. (I cooled mine for 10 minutes only and it turned out fine.)  Cool thoroughly before slicing.  (I wrapped mine up in plastic wrap, then with foil while still warm and sliced this the following day. It was great that way.)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Apple Crisp Cheesecake - Vegan

Can anyone tell me where summer has gone?  Are we really almost in the 2nd week of August?  Summer goes way too quick for me. I want summer all year long. I want the beach all year long.  I haven't been to the beach nearly enough the summer.  And we even have a beach house.  How is that for crazy shit!  I WILL get there come  hell or high water for another  long weekend this summer!  I want to live there year round. Mind you, we are still talking Virginia here so it does get cold in the winter, but growing up on Long Island has made me wanting water around me all the time.  It's hard to live in a state where a weekend trip is required to be near water. It's not just 20 minutes away like I was used to growing up. If you have lived near the beach you just NEVER get used to not having it at your fingertips.  Now on with the recipe....

This is a cheesecake. A vegan one no less.  There is no cheese in this or eggs.  You can buy these non dairy items in a local grocery store, at least one that is decent.  For whatever reason vegan cream cheese is not always easy to find but our local Wegman's carries it.  Well, Wegman's carries everything, which is one of many reasons I love that store. The main reason I love Wegman's is because they carry rainbow cookies.  The NY kind.....oh God are they good. My favorite cookie. Moving right along now....this cheesecake is extremely good.  Good stuff. Especially good because it is also easy to make.  I would make it again.  Perfect autumn dessert.  Something different bedsides the usual apple pie.  The original recipe came from here.  Now go ahead and enjoy the rest of what is left of summer!!!!

1 Cup Graham Cracker crumbs
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted Earth Balance
2 8 oz. containers of vegan cream cheese
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. melted Earth Balance
1 large apple - peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, blend together the Graham Cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup brown sugar until well mixed and powdery.  After you've melted your 1/2 cup Earth Balance pour it into the crust mixture and process until well combined.  Pour into a pie pan or springform pan and press down firmly and form the crust along the edges of the pan.  I use the bottom of drinking glass to even the bottom of crust.

In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water.  In your food processor, blend together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup brown sugar
, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ginger and 2 tsp of vanilla.  Then add your cornstarch.  Once well combined, pour on top of your Graham Cracker/oat crust.

Mix together your 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon until well combined.  Stir in the 2 tbs melted Earth Balance.

Arrange the thinly sliced apple on top of the cheesecake in a single layer.  Top with the Apple Crisp Topping.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes.  Allow to set overnight.

I kept mine in the fridge and took out a slice and let it sit out for about an hour.  This tastes best at room temperature.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Black Bean Quesadillas

I have been wanting to make quesadillas forever.  I really don't know why I don't make them more often since I order them frequently when I go to Mexican restaurants.  Plus they are super easy to make. And the variety is endless.  My son loves them while my husband will pass on them. I guess you can't please everyone.  I think that probably is one of the most frustrating parts of cooking. No one likes everything.  Wouldn't it be great if whatever we made was met with looks of enthusiasm and smiles!  Am I dreaming or what????  Anyhow, enjoy these any way you want.  This is my take on quesadillas!

1 large sweet onion, cut in long thin strips
2 green peppers, cut into long thing strips
2 - 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 15 oz can of black beans
1/2 can of corn
2 Tbs of water
1 tsp chili powder (add more if you like for extra spicy)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of Mexican cheese blend, shredded
8 large flour tortillas

Heat 1 Tbs oil in skillet on medium high heat and add onions and peppers and cooked for about 5-7 minutes until peppers are slightly soft.
Combine black beans, corn, water, chili powder, cumin and oregano in small saucepan and heat.  Season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 - 2 Tbs olive oil in large skillet and let oil get hot.  Lay down 1 flour tortilla and add about 2 Tbs of filling (use your judgement on amount).  Flatten filling slightly with fork and cover top with cheese. Top with another tortilla and let cook about 1 or 2 minutes and flip over till both sides are slightly crisp and golden brown.  Remove to plate and let cool for one minutes.  Slice with pizza cutter.
Serve with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.