Apple Cake

November 2, 2011


Our lone, single, not always dependable apple tree provided us with an abundance of apples this year – more than 4 bushels! – and so I have been making apple pie, applesauce, apple crisp and apple cake to freeze and share.  This apple cake recipe has been a hit so I am sharing it here – especially for Molly. 

 Thank goodness for my apple peeler corer slicer or I never would have worked my way through all these apples!  I highly recommend this tool, it is worth all the real estate it takes in the cupboard for the hours of labor it saves.  Also labor savers are my little helpers Johnathan and Laurel are shown above!

German Apple Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 c. flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Combine the flour salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the apples by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Combine 1/2 c butter, 1 c flour and 1 c brown sugar with a fork or pastry blender (or I just throw them in my mixer with the whisk attachment) until crumbs form, sprinkle crumbs over top of cake
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

September 4, 2011


Chocolate Mousse, plain and then “fanced up” as Johnathan says!


2 packages Lady Fingers – you can find them in the bakery section at Shaw’s

1 15oz Package Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 pint whipping cream

6 eggs, seperated

Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler.  Mix egg yolks into warm chocolate til smooth.  Beat egg whites til stiff peaks form.  Fold into chocolate mixture.  Whip cream til thick and fold into chocolate/egg mixture.  Arrange ladyfingers around the sides of a springform pan.  Also cover the bottom of the pan tightly with ladyfingers.  Pour mousse into prepared lady finger lined springform pans. Chill to set and serve.

This is the cake all of my kids request for their birthdays, and the only cake my brother will eat.

Champagne Braised Chicken

August 5, 2011

I came across this recipe and when I saw purple green beans and multi colored carrots at a farm stand, I had to try it.  It called for beer, but I  had a half empty (or half full) bottle of champagne in the fridge so I used that instead.  YUM!

Beer Braised Chicken

6-8 Chicken thighs

1/2 c Flour

Salt and Pepper

4 T butter

1 c beer (or champagne)

1 large onion, half chopped and the other half sliced

Carrots, cut into 2-3 inch matchsticks, I used 6 medium sized  multi colored  carrots

Green Beans, trimmed, I used about a pound

Chopped fresh parsley

Combine flour, salt and pepper and dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture.  Heat 1 T Butter in a large skillet and brown thighs, skin side down, for 4-5 minutes, flip and brown 4-5 minutes longer.  Remove chicken from pan and remove all but 1 T of pan drippings.  Add chopped onions to skillet and saute for one minute. Stir in beer (or champagne) and bring to a boil.  Add chicken thighs back into skillet, cover and simmer 25 minutes.  Remove cooked chicken thighs to a platter and tent with foil.  Boil skillet sauce for 1 minute to reduce, then whisk in 2 T butter and stir in parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Heat through and keep warm.  In another skillet, melt remaining tablespoon of butter.  Add sliced onion and saute til soft, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, cover and cook 5 minutes.  Add green beans and 3 T water, cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until veggies are crisp tender.  Divide veggies onto 4 or 5 serving plates, top each with a chicken thigh or 2 and drizzle with sauce.

We also had rainbow Swiss chard sauteed in a little olive oil and garlic over cheddar grits.

Summer Dinner

July 31, 2011

I love summer!  Grilled Rosemary Lemon Chicken with rosemary from my garden, summer squash from the garden with rosemary, garlic and blood orange olive oil and grilled corn on the cob.  All cooked outside!  What could be better?

Caramel Fleur de Sel Ice Cream

July 30, 2011

Awhile back, my Dad and Step Mother brught me some Fleur de Sel from their travels.  I saw a recipe in Coastal Living magazine this month for Caramel Fleur de Sel Ice Cream and had to try it.  Definitely a special occasion treat, but SO SO good!  Dad, you have to try this!

4 cups heavy cream

2 cups milk

2 cups sugar

10 egg yolks, well beaten

2 t vanilla

1 t Fleur de Sel, plus more for finishing

Combine cream and milk in a saucepan, heat til hot but not boiling and keep warm

Combine sugar and 1/2 c water in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, cook while swirling til sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Boil undisturbed for 5 minutes, or til caramel is a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and immediately add cream mixture – it will bubble up – if some of the caramelized sugar hardens on the bottom of the pan, heat over medium-low heat, whisking, til sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.

Gradually whisk about 3 cups of the hot caramel cream into the egg yolks, then add yolk mixture to remaining caramel cream in pan, whisk til well blended.  Place pan over low heat and cook til mixture measures 160 degrees.  Set pan in an ice filled bowl until completely cooled.  Stir in vanilla and 1 tsp Fleur de Sel.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Sprinkle individual servings with additional Fleur de Sel if desired.


Grilled Pizza

July 30, 2011

I tried something new tonight for dinner – I made grilled pizza.  I have some perfecting to do, but overall, it was well received by my family, even with the funky toppings I used.  Next time, I will decrease the heat on the grill right before I put the dough on and I will use more traditional toppings! The crust was chewy inside and crisp outside – maybe a little TOO crisp this time!

Pizza dough – I used purchased dough from the deli and broke each ball into 3 smaller balls for individual sized pizzas that are easier to manage on the grill – roll dough to 1/4-1/2″ thickness

Toppings of choice – I used rosemary infused olive oil on all and then topped half of the pizzas with fig and almond spread and goat cheese and half with vidalia onion and balsamic vinegar spread and brie – the fig and vidalia spreads I purchased  by the jar at King Arthur.  Prep your toppings before you start grilling the crust.

Preheat the grill to high.  I got mine up to 550.  Next time, after I heat the grill but before I put the  dough on, I will decrease the burners on the grill to Medium – Off-Off – Medium to lessen the blackening of the crust to the degree that I achieved tonight.  Grill 3-4 minutes, flip, top with toppings, grill til cheese is browned and bubbly.



Rosemary Lemon Chicken

July 28, 2011

I have BEAUTIFUL rosemary growing in my garden and made this yummy Rosemary Lemon Chicken recipe for dinner tonight.  EASY and so good!

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 c olive oil

5 big sprigs of rosemary

3 cloves garlic

Salt and Pepper


Chicken Pieces – I used boneless skinless thighs and skin on chicken drumsticks

Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and chop along with the garlic.  Combine lemon juice, olive oil and rosemary.  Arrange chicken pieces in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.  Pour marinade over chicken and season with salt, pepper and paprika.  Marinate 3 hours or longer.  Grill over med high heat til cooked through – mine took about 25 minutes with the grill set on high-off-high.


Rum Cake

July 27, 2011

This is one of my most requested recipes, which I made today for my friend Karen’s birthday – as it is her favorite!

Rum Cake

1 yellow cake mix

1 package vanilla pudding

4 eggs

1/2 c vegetable oil

3/4 c rum

1/4 c water

Pecan halves

1 c sugar

1 stick butter

1/2 c rum

With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, pudding, eggs, oil, rum and water at medium speed to combine and then at high speed for 2 minutes.  Grease and flour a bundt cake pan and pour batter in.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Boil together the sugar, butter and rum while the cake finishes baking.  Poke holes in top of cake with back of a wooden spoon and immediately pour rum syrup over.  Let sit 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto a plate.

Today’s Garden Harvest

July 26, 2011

I needed inspiration for dinner tonight, so I went into the garden and picked the above assortment of veggies – and some flowers.  What I made – a quick corn and black bean salad with the sweet italian pepper, cilantro and tomatoes, which we will have in wraps with leftover steak from last night and the other 2 green bell peppers, grilled, and the following side dish:

Garlic Broccoli

2 large fresh cloves of garlic, peeled (I brought several garlic heads back from our vacation in Vermont last week, some to plant, some to use – can’t wait to see if it grows in my herb garden!)

1 t salt

6 cups broccoli florets, blanched

1/3 c olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T Dijon Mustard

Black Pepper

With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and salt into a paste.  Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and pepper.  Stir into the broccoli and chill for an hour or longer.

Raspberries and Blueberries, Oh My!

July 25, 2011

Settling back in after our week of camping – we had a wonderful time, with lots of hiking, swimming, sightseeing and farm stand hopping!  On the last day, Russ and the kids and I went raspberry and blueberry picking. 


We picked 6 pounds of raspberries and 8 pounds of blueberries.  So, for my contribution to Sunday family dinner at the lake yesterday, I made a raspberry pie and a berry tart


Berry Tart

1/2 c butter

1/4 c oatmeal

1 c flour

8 oz cream cheese

1 t almond extract

2 T sugar

Blueberries, raspberries, or other fruit of choice – sliced peaches, halved or slices strawberries, blackberries, etc.

Combine butter, oatmeal and flour to form crust, then press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Beat together the cream cheese, almond extract and sugar and spread over cooled crust.  Arrange fruit on top as desired and chill before serving.

Raspberry Pie

Pastry for double crust pie

6 c raspberries

3/4 – 1 c sugar

1/3 c flour

Milk and sugar, optional

Line 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust,  Combine raspberries, sugar and flour and pour into crust,  top with top crust, either a lattice crust or a regular top crust work, just poke holes in the top if using a solid top crust.  Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes, covering with foil if crust becomes too brown.