Fresh Apricots are tangy yet sweet and not something I purchase on a regular basis. Last year our CSA delivered a large bag of apricots week after week. This recipe was a delicious way to use the fresh apricots and have a chewy, moist dessert or breakfast treat.
FRESH APRICOT BARS
2 lbs ripe Apricots
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) or orange juice
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup old fashioned oats
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
- Combine the apricots and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the apricots are soft (will vary tremendously depending on the ripeness of the apricots-very ripe apricots will only take minute or two). Stir in the orange liqueur.
- Puree the apricots in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in freezer to chill while you make the crust.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pinch in the butter pieces into the flour mixture (or cut them into the flour with a pastry cutter), until it resembles coarse sand. Pinch in the oats until well combined.
- Press 2/3rds of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the apricot puree over the crust bottom. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the top of the apricot puree.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.
- Allow to cool, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.
I know Runzas are a staple to my Nebraska and Kansas friends but not something we grew up with in Iowa. A few years ago I was watching the television show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where they visit Lauer-Krauts in Brighton, Colorado. A friend and I made the trek to Brighton to try one of their krautburgers and they were delicious, but frankly, too far a drive when you have a craving.
This recipe was close to what we experienced and I decided to give it a try. It was very good and I would love to try making them with either a mixture of fresh cabbage and sauerkraut or simply with sauerkraut. Growing up in Iowa, Mom’s homemade sauerkraut was amazing and I now love all things kraut!
Makes 10 Runzas
1/4 oz packet of dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups bread flour
12 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoons salted butter
1 Vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
- To make the dough, combine 3/4 cup of very warm water, a pinch of sugar, and the yeast in a bowl. Let it sit until it blooms. If you’ve never done this before, pop yourself some popcorn and sit back and enjoy the show. You’ll know what I mean when the “blooming” begins. Okay, maybe it’s not that cool…
- Add 3 of your eggs and whisk with your yeast mixture. Add 2 cups of your flour to the liquid and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the butter, the sugar, the remaining flour and salt and mix well.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Place the dough ball in a buttered bowl and let sit for one hour at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let sit for at least an hour.
- Remove the dough and divide into 10 equal portions. Roll into separate balls and let sit covered while you make the filling.
- Speaking of the filling, get your ground beef sizzlin’ on a skillet. Season as desired with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, then remove the beef from the skillet with a spoon and place it in a bowl, leaving most of the grease behind. Add your butter to the skillet and begin sizzlin’ your onion. Cook until translucent, about 10 minutes or so. Add your garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add this whole mixture to the bowl with the beef.
- Next, using the moisture still in your skillet, get the pan nice and hot. Add your cabbage and stir constantly until the cabbage is lightly browned and translucent-ish. It may seem like a lot of cabbage at first, but it shrinks down substantially. Add the cabbage to the beef mixture.
- Flatten your balls of dough with a rolling pin. Each dough saucer should be about 8 inches in diameter. Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of filling in the center of each dough-saucer and pull the edges together and pinch to enclose the filling in the dough. To avoid a thickened dough-seal, I actually cut off the excess dough with cooking shears. If you don’t do something like this, you’ll find a doughy center as you take your first chomp.
- Preheat the oven to 375° while the runzas sit and rise for a bit. Brush some of the egg (your remaining egg of the 4 you originally had) on the top of each runza to give it a nice browning while in the oven. Cook the runzas on a greased baking sheet for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Zucchini has been plentiful this year and I was craving a chocolate fix. I found this recipe and LOVED the cake. The glaze turned into chocolate globs which I did try to spread on top of the cake. Next time I’d either just skip the glaze, or make my own.
The cake is moist and delicious…a keeper!
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Unsalted butter, for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square cake pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Whisk the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Beat the sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour-cocoa mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes (the batter will be thick). Add the zucchini and beat until combined, about 2 more minutes. Fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
- Make the glaze: Combine the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Spread over the cake, then cut into pieces.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chocolate-zucchini-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback
NOTE: I made this recipe again and used a different glaze that was perfect:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave at 15 second intervals and stir each time until mixture is smooth. Pour over cake.
Sour cherries in coffee cake sounded perfect given the wonderful frozen pie cherries in my freezer. I did not have a recipe for a cherry coffee cake but was delighted to find this recipe. Perfect for a Sunday brunch and perhaps leftover for breakfast during the week.
CHERRY CRUMBLE COFFEE CAKE
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups (1 pound) fresh sour cherries, pitted, or frozen dark sweet cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
- Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
- Make the cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with a spatula.
- Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping.
- Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. (Note from Cathy: My oven tends to bake hot so about 50 minutes worked for me). Let cool before serving.
Recipe from Martha Stewart
Gluten-free eating means I rarely eat toast, breakfast pastry, etc. Sometimes, I just need a carb ‘fix’ and this recipe sounded delicious. I slightly altered the original recipe and loved the results. The second time I made this recipe, I substituted blueberries for the Craisins and baked in muffin paper/tins. I’ve shared both versions with good feedback. I’ll even admit that I didn’t eat all of it soon enough and the last piece was a bit dry. I thought, ‘why not put almond milk on it?’ like a bowl of oatmeal. It was delicious.
A new favorite for my gluten-free recipe box!
CRAN-APPLE OAT CAKE
2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 single-serving packets of Pure Stevia
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 small tart apple, chopped
1/2 cup Craisins (original recipe called for cranberries)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Soak the oats in the almond milk in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, combine all ingredients.
- Spread in greased 9-inch pie plate (or muffin tins).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Briana-Thomas
Converting grams to ounces and cups is not easy! Somehow it seems that Gooseberries are plentiful in countries that use the metric system. I did my best to convert and, I have to say, the results were excellent.
GOOSEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE
1 1/2 cups cleaned gooseberries
3/4 cup unsalted, softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 ounces ground almonds
1 1/8 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted, softened butter
2 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square cake pan. To make the cake, beat the butter and sugars in a mixer for 8-10 minutes until fluffy. Break the eggs and beat them gently with a fork. Add slowly, with the beater, to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Combine the ground almonds into the flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Scatter the gooseberries on the top.
- Make the crumble topping by mixing the flour butter and sugar in the food processor. Scatter the crumbs loosely over the top of the gooseberries.
- Bake for about an hour, checking to assure the cake it done. Remove the cake from the oven and cool before serving.
Oatmeal cake with broiled topping is truly a walk down memory lane. My Mother didn’t make this cake often, but when she did, it was a treat.
This time I decided to bake the cake in two 9×9″ pans and freeze one for later…or so I thought. While the cakes and topping were cooling and while I was trying to settle grandson, Evan, into his afternoon nap, the dogs decided to sample one of the cakes. I was so unhappy, I didn’t take the time to snap one of those naughty dog photos!
Luckily one cake remained and it was delicious! The cake is moist and the crunch topping is so yummy. Top with a dallop of whipped cream.
Thanks, Mom for a great recipe. And to the dogs…I’ll choose to say nothing.
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13″ (or two 9×9″) cake pans.
- Mix together oatmeal and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes and cool.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, white sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, cinnamon and soda. Add cooled oatmeal.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Prepare topping while the cake is baking.
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup coconut
- Bring all ingredients to a boil. Spread topping over cake while cake and topping are hot.
- Put cake and topping under broiler and let topping brown.
Serve warm with whipped cream.
The Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a day of family gatherings, neighborhood parades and parties, and fireworks. Hopefully we all take a moment to remember the true meaning of the holiday, celebrating our countries independence from Great Britain in 1776.
This year I was invited celebrate the 4th of July with a Barbeque on July 2 and decided to try this Flag Cake I have seen many times, but have never made. It is easy, although not on my diet, beautiful and delicious. Perhaps a new tradition for our family?
4th of July Cake
- 1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix (Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 box strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 box (4 serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/3 cup cold milk
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 9×13″ cake. Cool completely in the pan for about an hour.
- Pierce cooled cake with rok at 1/2 inch intervals. In a medium bowl, stir gelatin and boiling water until dissolved. Stir in cold water. Carefully pour mixture over entire surface of the cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until serving time.
- In a large bowl, mix pudding mix and milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Arrange strawberries and blueberries on top of cake to look like a flag. Serve in immediate future.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator, loosely covered.
- Recipe from: Betty Crocker
Cranberry Coffee Cake is a new recipe that my sister-in-law, Donna, shared with me several weeks ago. The Mother’s Day weekend coffee/tea was a great time to try it. The cake is so moist and the extra treat of cranberry is so good. I chose to go without nuts this time but the glaze was a wonderful touch.
This coffee cake is wonderful anytime of year but could be a wonderful addition to your holiday go-to-recipes.
CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 can (16 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 teaspoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; mix well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Add extract.
- Spoon a third of the batter into a tube or bundt pan. Top with a third of the cranberry sauce.
- Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with walnuts (optional).
- Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted hear the center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool and transfer to serving plate.
- Optional: Combine glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake.