Sunday, October 30, 2011

We've Moved!

I have officially started my new blog page at

That's right... I'm a dot com now! All grown up.

So PLEASE, come check out the new site. 

All of the old recipes are there.

As well as some incredible new ones. 

Hope to see you soon! 

; D

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Weeks Delish!

Halloween weekend is officially upon us! Unfortunately my daughter is so young that I wasn't able to have her help me make any fun Halloween treats, but hopefully some of you were able to share that experience with your kids. Next year I will join you! haha Until then, here are some fun filled recipes that I found:

  • This recipe does require a special tin, but aren't they cute? And who doesn't love pumpkin cake!?

  • This recipe is not only a great looking craft, but how delicious do they sound... oreo pumpkin cheesecakes? And with the orange creme oreo's, they are just a perfect Halloween dessert.

  • This is a very clever recipe! If you are a big decadent treat fan than you'll love these pumpkin truffles, which are like little balls of pumpkin pie dipped in white chocolate. 

  • Here is an easy effect to achieve for those of you that aren't too crafty in the kitchen. All you need to do is make circles with some melted white chocolate and then drag a toothpick outward and you have a spiderweb a top delicious brownie bites! Easy, right?

  • Look- ghost pop's! Adorable. Plus, they are black velvet cake pops with cream cheese frosting.. you can't more delicious than that. And if making your own cake and frosting is too complex, just borrow the decorative ghost idea. You can always make cake pops from the box mix and the frosting can.

This Weeks Pick:

No doubt in my mind, I have to encourage you to make homemade bagels. They were incredible. And they are not as difficult as they seem. Once you make them, you will realize that and be so thankful you took the challenge. Do it, I dare you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple Cake

This apple cake is different than any I have ever had before.

Imagine 75% apples and 25% batter. Yeah. I'm serious.

I never expected it because the recipe seemed so simple... but as soon as I saw the bowl full of apples next to the bowl full of batter I knew something different was going to happen with this cake. 

And the lack of cinnamon!! What kind of apple cake doesn't have cinnamon!?

The kind of apple cake that screams vanilla-rum. You heard me. Vanilla-rum. This was the first time that I tasted the combination and wow! It's truly a show stopper.

I need to point out to you something very important about any kind of fruit dessert. The end result will be only as good as the fruit you use. SO! If you have unripe fruit, you won't get the most flavor out of your dessert. More importantly with this cake... if your apples are dry and gross, they will be in your cake too. So use GOOD apples. Or you'll be kicking yourself in your butt!

This is truly a special cake. One that looks rustic, but rocks a surprisingly sophisticated flavor. And with the simplicity of the batter, you would never know how great this cake was unless somebody told you. 

I'm telling you. This cake is great.

It is quite moist and dense so please be sure not to cover it with plastic wrap or something similar. It might get soggy. I assume you don't like soggy cake. Am I right? Good. I simply placed a cloth loosely over the cake because there is no way I can let something sit out uncovered. I just can't. I get shaky. 

This is definitely one of those cakes that is the best the day it is made. So try serving it when you have company. Unless you already have a household full of guests that will readily scarf it up.  

Also, one quick note- this calls for a 8" springform pan. I used a 9". No biggie. Just check it 5 minutes sooner.

Let me show you how easy this cake is:

Peel and slice 4 good apples. They can be any apple. They can all be different if you want even. Then you'll want to melt some butter. Mix your dry ingredients. Then mix your wet ingredients. 

Stir in half the flour to the wet ingredients. Then half the butter... then the other half of the flour, followed by the other half of the butter. Finish by folding in the apple slices. That's it! 

Once you pour it into the pan, spread the batter and apple slices out as evenly as possible. You'll have something that looks as beautiful as this. 

Bake it for about 50 minutes or until it is gorgeous golden brown. Doesn't it just look so rustic or delicious!?

Check out how moist that cake looks. And forget about getting a bite without any apple slices. It'll never happen. 

Now the real way to dress up this cake is with sweetened whipped cream, but all I had was some powdered sugar. So feel free to go that route too. 

Marie-Helene's Apple Cake
adapted from "Around my French Table" by Dorie Greenspan
Print Recipe

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 large apples (if you can, choose 4 different kinds)
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan and put it on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in small bowl.

Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1- to 2-inch chunks.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they’re foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and when it is incorporated, add half the melted butter, followed by the rest of the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it’s coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so that it’s evenish.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.

Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it’s fully opened, make sure there aren’t any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper, and invert it onto a rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.

The cake can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without a little softly whipped, barely sweetened heavy cream or a spoonful of ice cream. Marie-Hélène served her cake with cinnamon ice cream and it was a terrific combination.

The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature and, according to my husband, gets more comforting with each passing day. However long you keep the cake, it’s best not to cover it — it’s too moist. Leave the cake on its plate and just press a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper against the cut surfaces.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chocolate-Peanut Butter No Bakes

These cookies have quite the reputation. Not only are they simple because they require no baking, but they are incredibly easy to put together and delicious to boot.

Be absolutely sure to boil the mixture for the full 90 seconds. If you don't do this then the oats won't be cooked at all. They won't be cooked entirely anyways, but they should be softened. It's the boiling that does that job.

Honestly since these cookies are so simple I can't say much more about them...

Except that you should make them. They are delicious.

Also, if you are a fan of no bake treats you may want to check out the chocolate chip cookie dough truffles and the Oreo Cheesecake Cookies on my site.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes
adapted from "Baked: Explorations" by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Print Recipe

1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2" cubes, softened
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky, but not natural
3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and butter until the butter is melted and the sugar is disolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, stop stirring, and boil for a full 90 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism or, alternatively, a tablespoon to drop the no-bake cookies onto the baking sheet (leave some room around them; they will spread). Let the cookies cool, the refrigerate them for at least 1 hour. They can be eaten directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Store the cookies between layers of parchment paper in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream

There are countless numbers of butternut squash soup recipes out there. Honestly I am hesitant to say which I think is best. There are way too many options that are so very good. I picked this one because I enjoy the many ingredients that highlight apples.

I absolutely looooove apple cider. I feel like it's just one of those components that dictates the onset of fall. I know we'll soon be moving into winter here but it's still October so stay with me here!

The cider cream in this recipe is obviously optional. It is simple to make and adds an extra "something special" to this soup. The creamy cool, tanginess of the topping is a fantastic contrast to the warm, smooth soup. Cozy...

Please, please, pleasssse... when you use leeks, you NEED to wash them! This is how I do it- I slice the leeks however dictated in the recipe, then I place them in a bowl of water and gently push the rings apart so that the sand in between the layers can come off. Let them sit in the water for 5 minutes or more. The sand and dirt will be gathered at the bottom. I pick them up in handfuls, right out of the water without disturbing the water much. Lay them out on paper towels or a cloth and pat them dry. No matter how clean you think your leeks are to begin with, trust me they are NOT. I've had too many meals ruined by the sand in leeks... definitely learned my lesson the hard way.

Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream
adapted from "The Bon Appetit Cookbook" by Barbara Fairchild
Print Recipe

5 Tb butter
2 1/2 lb butternut squash, cubed and roasted (about 6 cups)
2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 small granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage leaves
5 cups low salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrot and celery. Saute until lightly softened, about 15 minutes. Mix in apples, thyme and sage. Add broth and 1 cup cider.; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Or puree with immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Boil remaining apple cider in heavy small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Cool. Place sour cream in small bowl. Whisk in reduced cider.

Mix whipping cream into soup. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with dollop of cider cream.