Saturday, October 27, 2007

Soup from a box can be good!

Admittedly, this is not the most healthy "recipe" It's high in sodium and full of stuff I usually try to avoid. So why would I be posting about it??? Because it's yummy! That's why! And it's so easy. Convenience meals are not something that are served in this house very often, but this is one that we have once every fews months and we love it. I'm not going to bother to post the "recipe" since it's really just directions from the back of the box. I'd be willing to bet that anyone could find a box of this stuff in the kosher aisle of their local grocery store. Give it a try sometime! Its yummy! And it is a traditional Jewish food, and since I don't have many of those types of food (shame on me!), I thought I'd take this opportunity to post something traditionally Jewish.

(pardon the ugly broken blinds in the background of the picture with the box. my dog likes to stick his head in them and mangle them.)

Apple Cake

This recipe has very quickly become my favorite thing to bake. I have now made it 3 times and each time it has been incredible. It is the first and only apple cake recipe I have ever made and I don't see a reason to go looking any further. The first 2 times I made it, I made it in a 13x9 pan. When I made it today though, I decided to try it out in a Bundt pan. It came out beautifully. My in-laws are coming to spend a few days with us and I am excited for them to try it. I have not made the frosting that the original recipe calls for, only because I really feel like it does not need frosting at all. So I will not post the frosting recipe here, but here is a link to the original recipe with the frosting recipe included.

Apple Cake (source:

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (I used 4 small to medium apples)
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (I omitted these)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (I set my oven to 300 because I used nonstick bakeware) Butter and flour a 13x9 inch baking pan (or a Bundt pan)

2. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices. In a mixer bowl, or with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix for another minute, until the eggs are blended into the butter and sugar. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture - a third at a time - just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be very thick and stuff.

3. Fold in the apples and nuts and stir just enough to evenly distribute the apples and nuts through the batter.

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and with a spatula smooth the surface, pushing the batter into the corners of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, checking the cake at 40 minutes with a toothpick. When the top of the cake is firm and in inserted toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Cool on a wire rack.

*Note: when baking in a 13x9 pan, my cake was done perfectly at 43 minutes. In the Bundt pan it took 50 minutes. If using a Bundt pan, cool the cake for 10-15 minutes and then invert onto a plate or serving platter.

The pictures above are from today when I baked it in the Bundt pan, but here's a picture that I took the first time I made it in a 13x9.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Homemade Applesauce

I am slowly making my way through the bags of apples in my kitchen. I still have lots left! I'm thinking I need to pawn some of them off on some other people. I just don't want them to go to waste. Although I think I may be making another batch of this applesauce before too long. Maybe tomorrow! It was so easy and so delicious. I plan on having some for breakfast tomorrow. I got the idea from Steph. She's a fellow WC nestie and food blogger. Steph (aka beebe) made pumpkin applesauce, but I didn't have enough pumpkin. So I just made cinnamon applesauce. Maybe I'll try it with some pumpkin tomorrow...
Anyway! This is how I did it, per Steph's instructions.

Peel, core and chop 5 small to medium sized apples. Add to a large pot with a bit of water and cinnamon, if you choose. I didn't measure, but I think I used maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water. Simmer on stove top for about an hour. The apples will start to break down and form a sauce all on their own.

This was so easy. I decided to leave my applesauce a bit chunky. Partially because I am too impatient to wait for it all to break down and partially cause I like chunks of apples :-) This was so much fun and I can't wait to try it with pumpkin.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Yep! Another apple post! I have a feeling I'm going to be posting about apples a lot in the next few weeks. This recipe sounded amazing to me from the moment I first saw it on WC. As I was making this recipe, I contemplated skipping the frosting all together. When the blondies came out of the oven, they looked so delicious and so perfect, I didn't want to ruin them with the frosting. But I decided to go ahead with the frosting. I'm really sad that I did. I feel like the frosting really kills this recipe. The blondies are so rich and delicious, they really don't need the frosting. I don't even know if I'll be able to eat the blondies at this point because of all the frosting. Between the 2 cups of brown sugar in the blondies, and the 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting, it was just too much sugar for me. I will DEFINITELY be making this recipe again, but I will skip the frosting next time. The blondies are incredible and I highly recommend them. And if you really love really sugary desserts, go ahead and add the frosting! I added 1.5-2 tsp of cinnamon to the blondie recipe and I am really glad that I did. It really adds an extra yummy flavor!

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting

2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped peeled apples
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (i did not add nuts)

Brown Sugar Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream (I used skim milk)
2 cups confectioner's sugar

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Combine flour, baking pwder and salt. Add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until blended. Stir in apples, cinnamon and nuts, mixing well. Spread evenly in greased 9x13 pan.

Bake in Preheated oven at 350 degrees until set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.

Brown Sugar Frosting
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Stir in the confectioner's sugar, mixing until smooth. Spread evenly over bar. Let stand until frosting is firm enough to cut. Cut into bars or squares.

Grandma's Apple Crisp

The whole way home from the apple orchard, all I could think of was getting home and making my Grandma's apple crisp. It is so easy and delicious and I knew it was the first thing I wanted to make with our apples. I have never had Empire apples before, but they are my new favorite. I used a combo of Empire and Jonagold apples for the crisp and it turned out wonderfully. I think I added a little too much cinnamon on top because i didn't measure. But I love cinnamon so I don't mind!

Grandma's Apple Crisp (source: my Grandma)

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
8 tbsp butt, melted
4 apples, peeled and sliced
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, sugar , baking powder and salt. Gradually add egg until crumbly. Layer apples in and 8x8 cake pan. Cover apples with flour mixture and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Apple Picking

Rob surprised Maura and I with a trip to an orchard on Saturday and we had such a great time. The weather was perfect. We had never been apple picking and Maura was thrilled. I think we went a little overboard. We ended up with more than 25 pounds of apples! So now I'm trying to find all the apple recipes I can so I can use up all the apples before they go bad. Luckily, I spend plenty of time on The Nest's What's Cooking message board, so I'm always finding new recipes of all kinds and I can always count on the WC ladies for new recipes. We picked several different varieties of apples. Some of which I had never heard of. We picked Empires, Jonathans, Red Delicious, Fuji and Jonagold. Maura also grabbed a couple of Golden Delicious. The orchard we went to also had a pumpkin patch and flower picking. We had so many apples, though, that we decided not to get a pumpkin from the patch. I did pick up a Cinderella pumpkin, which I plan on roasting and pureeing and using in a few dishes later in the week. So stay tuned for lots of apple recipes! Here are some picture of our fun day at the orchard! Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

I finally made something blogworthy last night. I haven't been cooking much lately, due to some stuff going on at home, so I was excited to get back in the kitchen and try something new. I had saved Amber's recipe for Teriyaki Chicken that she adapted from allrecipes, but never got around to making it. So I decided to give it a go last night, knowing I had all the ingredients I needed. We were not disappointed. Teriyaki chicken is one of my daughter's favorite dishes, and she was thrilled when she heard I was making it. She had 2 pieces! We all loved it and I served it with a side of white rice cooked in chicken broth (yum!) I wasn't able to get any pictures because my camera batteries were dead, but I'm sure I'll be making this again soon, so I'll be sure to come back and update with a picture!

Baked Teriyaki Chicken (source: Amber's Delectable Delights original source:

1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4)

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients except chicken. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles. Let sauce cool.

Pour cooled sauce into bottom of greased 9x13 casserole dish. Coat chicken in sauce and marinade in pan in the fridge for atleast an hour.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until internal temp is 165 degrees. Brush chicken with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.