Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake

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Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake is absolutely yummy!  I’ve served it multiple times with great reviews and requests for future events.  This is a definite favorite in my recipe box!

Apple Pie Cake Slice

Apple pie cake

CINNAMON APPLE PIE CAKE

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon- sugar (1 1/4 T. sugar + 1/4 t. cinnamon)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups superfine white sugar (see *Tips below)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil (see notes below!)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-Purpose Flour
more cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on top (same as above)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and then spray again.
  • Layer the apple slices in the pan until they come about 2/3 of the way up the side. (I went a little higher than that and it worked out fine). Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the apples.
  • Prepare the batter by beating the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil (see notes below about the amount of oil called for) and the vanilla and beat well, then stir in the flour. Pour the batter on top of the apples, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to allow the batter to sink down and around the apples.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool *completely* in the pan. If you try to remove the cake from the pan while it is still warm, it will tend to break apart. I refrigerated my cake before slicing, and that worked out well. Serve slices with ice cream (warm individual slices in the microwave, if desired).

TIPS:

  • You want “caster sugar” for this recipe: It is a finer grind than table sugar, but not as fine as powdered. Look for “Baker’s Sugar” at the store, or simply put regular white sugar in your food processor and give it a few whirls to create superfine sugar.
  • NOTE:  In the original recipe from this cookbook, the author calls for 1 1/2 cups of oil.  Although my pie cake turned out just fine the way the recipe was written, when I make it again… I will definitely try using 3/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup applesauce instead.  Some readers have noted that this has worked well for them.
SOURCE:  RecipeGirl.com (Adapted slightly from Monday Morning Cooking Club) and http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/09/30/cinnamon-apple-pie-cake/print/
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Gobble Gobble Vegetable Platter

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Let’s be honest.  Thanksgiving is typically not a vegetable-rich zone.  I love the idea of adding a vegetable platter for adults and children to munch on before, during and after the main event.

Turkey Vegetable Platter

Inspired by Pinterest, I made this platter last year thinking my 4 year old grandson would think it was cool.  In passing, he may have thought as much but the adults seemed to enjoy it more.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Wishing many blessings to you and yours.

 

Eatingrichly.com

Fireside Coffee Mix

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Curling up by the fire with a good cup of coffee or hot chocolate is one of the things I look forward to as we approach the holidays and cold, snowy weather.

Last year, my daughter, Megan, introduced me to Fireside Coffee and I was a big fan. I kept a container ready all of last winter and will do the same this year.  I made my Fireside Coffee with decafinated coffee so I could enjoy it day or evening.

What a wonderful gift this would be for neighbors and friends.

FIRESIDE COFFEE MIX

2 cups powdered cocoa mix (15 packets of Swiss Miss individual servings)
2 cups powdered coffee creamer
1 cup instant coffee (I used decaffinated)
1.5 cups sugar (I used 1.5 tablespoons of Stevia instead)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Mix ingredients well.  Store in tins, jars, or plastic bags.
  • Mix 2 heaping tablespoons mix with 2/3 cup very hot water.  Stir and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Family Favorites

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And these are a few of my favorite things!  Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

CRANBERRY RELISH

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

CRANBERRY BREAD

Warm Cranberry Bread

Warm Cranberry Bread

PUMPKIN PIE

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

The Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

PUMPKIN BREAD

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

PUMPKIN BARS

Pumpkin Bar Square

Pumpkin Bar Square

QUINOA WITH ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PINE NUTS, FETA

IMG_5977

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CINNAMON SQUASH, PECANS & DRIED CHERRIES

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Squash

TURKEY AND DRESSINGroasting turkey

TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP

Turkey Vegetable Soup

Turkey Vegetable Soup

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans and Dried Cherries

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Autumn brings cooler weather, falling leaves and wonderful vegetables.  I’ve become a huge fan of roasted vegetables and loved the idea of combining squash with Brussel sprouts.  Adding cherries, nuts and honey were the icing on top of the vegetables.

This is a wonderful dish for a potluck, holiday and just an ordinary night at home.

ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS

4 cups Brussel Sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaved removed, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and dubbed into 1 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Other ingredients:

1 cup chopped pecans or halves
1/2 cup dried cherries (or Craisins)
optional:  2-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (I did not add additional honey)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussel sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt (to taste) and toss. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.  During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning.  The cut sides should be nicely browned and partially charred.

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), olive oil, honey, and cinnamon. Toss to mix.
  • Place butternut squash in even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until squash is softened.

NOTE:  You can roast both the Brussel sprouts and the butternut squash on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time .

Assembly

  • In a large bowl, combine the roasted Brussel sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cherries (or cranberries) and mix to combine.

OPTIONAL: For more sweetness, add 2-4 tablespoons or honey or maple syrup…add slowly to desired amount of sweetness.

Adapted from Juliasalbum.com

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

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My first time to host Bunco and I decided to go with a Mexican themed menu including Chile Pie, peach and tomato salsa with chips, Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, salad and watermelon.  I grew up eating traditional snickerdoodles and this is a great new twist on that recipe.  If you’re a chocolate lover, you will enjoy this cookie!

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2¼ cups all purpose flour

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bow, beat the butter and sugars together until nice and fluffy.
  • Beat in cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne pepper until well blended.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
  • Stir in unsweetened cocoa and flour just until combined.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Use a cookie scoop to scoop out dough and use the palm of your hands to form into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm.
  • Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
 

Cherry Bars

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Cherry desserts are one of my favorites and I had to try this Cherry Bars recipe from my late Aunt Joyce’s recipe box.  While I don’t recall ever having these, they are wonderful. The combination of almond and cherry…yum!

Leafing through old, handwritten recipe cards is such a treasure…a lost tradition in today’s world.

CHERRY BARS

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, beat after addition of each egg
3 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 can cherry pie filling

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease 10×15″ pan.
  • Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition.
  • Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  • Slowly add flour mixture to batter.  Then add vanilla and almond extract.
  • Spread 1/2 of batter into pan.  Spool filling on top and spread to cover. Drop the remaining batter by spoonfuls over the top.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes.  Watch it to just golden brown.
  • Drizzle with glaze of 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 or more tsp. milk, a few drops of almond extract.  Add milk until the drizzle consistency is reached.

Big Country Breakfast Bread Pudding

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Breakfast casseroles are always a treat and easy peasy when you make it the night before.  This casserole has a wonderful cream cheese surprise in many bites.  Why have I never thought of that?

Serve this dish with a wonderful fruit bowl, a cup of hot coffee (or tea), and wonderful conversation.

BIG COUNTRY BREAKFAST BREAD PUDDING

1 loaf Brioche bread, cubed (I used French Bread)
1 cup heavy cream (I used half & half)
1 /2 cup milk
9 eggs
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 c. + 1 c. shredded sharp white cheddar (or any shredded cheese of your liking)
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
10 oz. browned breakfast sausage (optional)
5 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or 1 tsp. McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)

  • Spray a 9×13″ extra deep baking dish and place 1/2 to 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish.
  • Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl, add cream, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.  Reserve 1 to 1.5 cups of mixture and pour remaining over the bread cubes.
  • Spread green chiles on top of bread. Sprinkle with 2 cups of shredded cheese.  Lightly press the bread down to aid in absorption of the egg mixture.  Top with cream cheese, sausage and bacon, if desired.
  • Top with remaining bread and pour reserved egg mixture over the bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • The next morning, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake on middle rack for 45-55 minutes or until the center is firm. Cover the bread pudding with foil about halfway through the cooking time and remove for the last 5 minutes or so.
  • Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from foodforayear.com

 

 

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

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Our book club met at my home for our March review of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. I must admit I did not care for the book and did not finish it.  Others had the same difficulty finding it complex and hard to follow, especially in the beginning. However, for those that finished the book, they thoroughly enjoyed it finding the Chinese Cultural Revolution to be similar to world experiences today.

Our potluck cuisine was Asian and my Asian recipe file is devoid of recipes.  I found this wonderful Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken recipe online and will definitely make it again and again.  Very flavorful and wonderful with rice and stir fry vegetables.

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup cashews

  • Combine cornstarch and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken and shake to coat with cornstarch.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker. (Frankly, next time I make it I will skip this step)
  • Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cashews in small bowl; pour over chicken. (Optional: If you like the cashews to be softer, you can add them during the cooking process.  If you like more crunch, add them right before serving.)
  • Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Service over rice. Optional: Garnish with chopped scallions.
  • Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe slightly adapated from therecipecritic.com

Chocolate Cake…Vegan and Absolutely Delicious

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Who doesn’t like chocolate cake?  I wanted to make a chocolate cake for a gathering of friends, two of which are Vegan.  We all love to share salads, fruits, pastas, but dessert is always a bit tricky.

This cake was moist, delicious and almost healthy!  I would make it again and again whether my guests were Vegan or not. Even one of my Grand Dogs thought it was worthy of his attention!

Vegan Chocolate Cake

 

CHOCOLATE CAKE…VEGAN AND ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS

Cake: 

  • 3/4 cup plain flour/GF flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3C unrefined cane sugar/brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Frosting: 

    This makes a small amount of frosting as the cake doesn’t need much, but for a full batch

    • 1 1/2 tbsp lite Nuttelex or other dairy free butter/margarine alternative
    • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.
    • Grease and line a small cake tin (or cupcake tins)
    • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    • In a separate medium mixing bowl combine applesauce, sugar and vanilla and pour into dry ingredients.
    • Mix until just combined and pour into cake tin.
    • Bake for 20-35 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean. If making cupcakes, cook for ~10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
    • For the frosting, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a mixer, adding in the cocoa and vanilla and mixing until combined. If needed, add a couple of drops of milk/non dairy milk until your desired consistency is reached

    Recipe from Southerininlaw.com