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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Legacy Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

This is a fantastic cake. It has chunks of apples in it and is covered with brown sugar frosting.
When you make the frosting, it make not seem like enough. But, believe me, it is.
It is really moist. It is also made with whole wheat flour. So, it you are looking to add more whole grains to your diet, this fits the bill.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease and flour a 9"x13" cake pan.

Ingredients:

CAKE-
2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup(2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups peeled and chopped apples-4 apples

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices an a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars til light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Mix in the water and vanilla extract.
Blend in the flour mixture and stir til evenly moistened.
Fold in the apples.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake tests done when using the toothpick test.
Remove the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.


BROWN SUGAR FROSTING-
5 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons milk
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook until the sugar melts.
Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.
Stir in the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract.
Beat well.
If it seems too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
Spread over the cake while the frosting is still warm. Otherwise it will cool and firm up and be hard to spread.

If you like walnuts, you may replace 1 cup of the apples with 1 cup walnuts.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Chocolate cake is great. But, what happens when you are out of eggs? This is what happens.
Mayonnaise replaces the eggs and butter and makes a moist delicious cake.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will need a 9"x13" baking pan. Grease and flour it.


Ingredients:

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water. Cool to room temperature.
Whisk in the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Add the cocoa mixture. Mix with a mixer on low speed until everything is moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Use high speed with a hand mixer.
The batter may seem thin. That is OK.
Pour the batter into the baking pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or til a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center of the cake.
Cool on a wire rack.
Frost as desired.

If you want to you can use all-purpose flour. If you do only use 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour instead of the 2 cups cake flour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Berry Glace Pie

If you love fresh strawberries, this pie is for you. The berries are not cooked. It is super yummy!

A food processor or blender is helpful.


Ingredients:

1 9" prebaked pie crust
8 cups fresh strawberries- small to medium size
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Make and bake your pie crust and set aside.
Stem the strawberries and cut any large ones in half.
Take 1 cup of the strawberries and the water and puree them in a blender or food processor.
Measure and if needed add water so that you have 1-1/2 cup strawberry/water mix.
In a medium saucepan, mix the cornstarch and sugar.
Stir in the pureed strawberries.
Cook and stir over medium heat til mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Cook and stir for another 2 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the strawberry glaze over the bottom and sides of the baked pastry shell.
Arrange half of the fresh strawberries in the pastry. Put them stem down.
Spoon half of the glaze over the strawberries making sure each piece gets some glaze.
Add the rest of the strawberries to the pie.
Pour the rest of the glaze over the top. Once again make sure each piece gets covered.

Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

Serves 6- 8

Monday, June 20, 2011

Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry

Stir-fry has a lot of stuff going for it. It tastes great. It is healthy. And it is quick to put together.
During the growing season you can use whatever fresh vegetables you want. Otherwise just use some frozen stir-fry vegetable mix.



You will need a walk or a large skillet.

Ingredients:

12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken meat, cut into 1" cubes
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetable mix OR 2 cups of whatever fresh vegetables you want

Hot rice for serving

In a small bowl, combine the honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
Set aside.
Add the oil to your wok or skillet.
Heat to medium high and add your vegetables.
Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes until crisp tender. Large pieces of broccoli may take longer.
Remove vegetables from skillet.
Add the chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
Move the chicken to the outer edges of the pan and add the honey/soy mixture.
Cook and stir til thickened and bubbly.
Add the vegetable back to the pan and mix in.
Don't keep on the heat for more than a minute. The vegetables will release more juices and thin out the sauce.
Serve over hot rice.

Makes 4 servings.

For a cooking oil, I recommend olive oil. It makes the vegetables taste fresher.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rhubarb-Strawberry Coffee Cake

This coffee cake is amazing. It smells great while it's baking and it just makes you not want to wait until it is cool enough to cut.

You can use frozen or fresh strawberries and rhubarb.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will need a 8" square pan. Do NOT grease.

Ingredients:


3/4 cup fresh or frozen chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries, stemmed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup(1/2 stick)  butter
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter

Mix the 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and water.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and turn down to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes or until the fruit is tender.
Uncover and stir in the sugar/cornstarch mix.
Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Stir and cook another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
Cut in the 1/4 cup butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Mix the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
Add it to the flour mixture.
Stir until moistened.
Batter may be lumpy and that's fine.
Spread half of that batter in the bottom of the baking pan.
Spread the fruit mixture over that.
Drop the rest of the batter in mounds over the fruit.
Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar.
Cut in the 2 Tablespoons butter until it is crumbly.
Sprinkle over the top of the coffee cake.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden.

Fantastic served warm.

Makes 9 servings.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sazon- Puerto Rican Seasoning Salt

This is absolutely amazing for seasoning meats, poultry, or seafood. Liberally season your food before grilling and you will get awesome flavor.

This recipe calls for starting with whole peppercorns and cumin seeds. Use ground, if you like. It is still so great. Use the whole amount of ground as you would whole.


Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons black peppercorns
2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 cup kosher or sea salt
2 Tablespoons garlic powder

Combine the peppercorns and cumin seeds in a small skillet.
Toast over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Shake pan occasionally.
Pour into a bowl to cool.
When cool grind in a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder.
Pour into a jar.
OR
Add the ground pepper and ground cumin to the jar.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Put lid on.
Shake well.

Makes about 1 cup and will season about 6-8 pounds of meat.
Will taste best within 6 months of making.
Keep out of heat and light.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes

These are not just ordinary pumpkin cupcakes. They have little pieces of crystallized ginger in them.
That along with being covered in cream cheese frosting make these an awesome treat.


You will need a cupcake pan that fits 12 regular size cupcakes.
Fill those with liners.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


Ingredients:

CUPCAKES-

1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup(1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/4 cup crystallized ginger cut into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a bowl.
Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the melted butter, sugar, and pumpkin until smooth.
Mix in the eggs and crystallized ginger.
Gradually mix in the flour mixture.
The batter will be nice and thick.
Divide the batter evenly into the liners.
You will need about 1/4 cup for each.
Bake about 25 minutes until the tops are firm and poking them with a toothpick yields a clean toothpick.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove from pan.

Let cool while you make the frosting.




CREAM CHEESE FROSTING-

1/2 cup softened butter
6 oz softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons milk


In a bowl, add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

Take 1/4 cup frosting and put it into another bowl.
Add the cinnamon and milk and blend well.


Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting.

With the remaining cinnamon frosting you can either do what I did in the picture. Which is to put small dollops in the center of each cupcake and take a toothpick and draw lines through it to make swirls and look like stars.
You can also put the frosing into a pastry bag and draw 2 circles on the top and run a toothpick through the circles to get a spiderweb effect.


No matter how you do it, it will be yummy!

You can store them for 3 days at room temperature. After that, due to the cream cheese frosting, you need to refrigerate.