Fresh Blueberry Pancakes….If you make them, they will love you.

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

Weekends are for lounging and yummy brunches.

Mimosas…..eggs benedict….pastries…..home fries……and pancakes.

Like these blueberry pancakes. Pancakes so dreamily fluffy and delicious that you’ll be thinking about them all week. Which is ok really because if you make a double batch, you can freeze the extras and enjoy them any time you want.

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes

My neighborhood store had a fantastic sale this past weekend on sweet, organic blueberries. As a result, I walked away with 10 pints of them. Excessive? Eh, not so much. Particularly since blueberries also freeze beautifully! After you wash and dry them, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the berries freeze, transfer them to freezer lock bags and you’ll have delish berries at your disposal. If you don’t take this extra step, your berries will be frozen together in one huge clump—and that’s no bueno.

As for these pancakes, if you don’t have blueberries on hand, you can pretty much chop up most fruits to substitute them with. Bananas and mangoes are two of my favorites to rely on but chocolate chips are also amazing in the batter, too.

Moral of the Story: You must make these this weekend. Your family with love you. Your friends will love you. Heck—even your neighbors who will smell these pancakes will also love you.

And that is just too much Love to pass up on <3

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Blueberry Pancakes
From Cooks Illustrated
Makes approximately 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups milk
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries, rinsed and dried

Whisk the lemon juice and milk together in a measuring cup. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. (Alternatively, you can use 2 cups of buttermilk in place of the milk/lemon juice.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the egg and melted butter to the milk and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk gently just until combined (the batter will be lumpy, that’s fine).

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, use paper towels to wipe the pan so only a thin, even coating of oil covers the bottom and sides. Use a 1/4 cup measure to portion the batter into the pan. Top each pancake with about 1 tablespoon of blueberries. Cook on the first side until the edges are set and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the pancakes and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, adding the rest of the oil to the pan if necessary.

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

 

 

Eggs.

So simple, so delicious, so versatile.

I recently got the opportunity to try out Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs and was excited at the chance to cook with them. In many recipes, eggs are served undercooked or even raw. For some, this can be a wary call as Salmonella (salmonellosis) is quite a serious concern. As such, it’s important to always use the freshest eggs when cooking. And eggs pasteurized in their shells is even a safer bet!

 

 

 

I’m one of those people who could eat breakfast all day long. Eggs Benedict rank among my favorite breakfast/brunch dishes—-right up there with a big ol’ plate of rice, SPAM, and an egg over easy. Now that’s some comfort food!

I definitely wanted to make a breakfast/brunch dish using Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs and first on my list were Oeufs en Cocotte……also known as Shirred Eggs.

 

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

Oeufs en Cocotte are baked eggs in a water bath. The yolks are meant to remain on the runny side but this unctuousness is fabulous to dip toast into. As for the sauteed mushrooms—-well, y’all know I try to sneak mushrooms into almost everything I make :)

I opted not to add any cream to the eggs as I didn’t think it’s needed–especially because of the Gruyere. But by all means, it won’t hurt my feelings if you add a splash in. And best yet, Oeufs en Cocotte are so easy and look so fancy-schmancy that they are perfect to entertain with!

Stay tuned for Monday’s post when I share how I used Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs in a rich and decadent dessert!

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Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 Fresh Eggs
1 Cup Mushrooms (I used a mix of crimini and shitakes)
2 Tablespoons Gruyere Cheese
1 Tablespoon Shallots, diced
1 Garlic Clove, finely diced
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Butter
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté shallots until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add thyme leaves and garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 2 ramekins. Place ½ of the mushroom mixture into each ramekin and top with the cheese. Carefully crack one egg into each ramekin and season with salt and pepper. Place ramekins into a baking dish and fill with boiling water until it reaches ½ way up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggs whites have set but the yolks are still a runny.

Carefully remove from water bath and serve with toast.

* I received Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs to sample, however, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Garlic Bagels

Garlic Bagels

As much as I enjoyed the Homemade Plain Bagels from a few weeks ago, I still felt there was much room for exploration as far as bagels were concerned.

Especially since I was fixated on creating a Garlic Bagel.

Garlic Bagels

When I came across a recipe from Ultimate Bread, I just knew it would be great to adapt into a garlic version. Especially since it didn’t require a sponge. Score!

On half of the bagels, I sprinkled sea salt on the tops and on the other half I brushed on a garlic-olive oil mixture. At the end of the day, the latter won in flavor. Deliciously garlicky with a yummy crunch created by the olive oil. YUM!

Garlic Bagels

The texture of these bagels were perfect—a wonderful balance of soft and chewy. As for the garlic flavor—it was exactly what I was looking for. Almost like a breakfast garlic bread :)

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Garlic Bagels
Adapted From Ultimate Bread
Makes 8 Bagels

2 Teaspoon Dry Yeast
1½ Tablespoon Sugar
½ Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1¼ Cups Warm Water
3½ Cups Unbleached flour, plus extra for kneading
1½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Garlic, finely minced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Corn Meal
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Vegetable Oil

Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of the water in a small bowl. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir to dissolve. In a large bowl, mix the flour, garlic powder and salt together. Form a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

Pour half of the remaining water into the well. Mix in the flour and stir in the reserved water as needed, forming a firm and moist dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Gradually work in as much additional flour as possible while comfortably kneading to form a stiff and firm dough.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball – cup between your hands and press the bottoms together between your palms. Press down to get rid of air bubbles and roll the dough between your palm and the work surface to form a smooth ball. Coat a finger in flour and press it through each ball to form a ring.

Work the rest of your fingers into the hole, stretching the ring and widening the hole to about 1/3 of the bagel’s diameter. Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil and garlic together. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Carefully sprinkle in the baking soda. Use a perforated skimmer to lower the bagels into the water in batches of 2-3. Boil, uncovered, until they rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Turn them over once. Then remove from the pan, letting the water drain, and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal. Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove bagels from oven. Using a brush, coat the bagels with the olive oil-garlic mixture. Return back to oven and back until golden—about 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Bagels can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Homemade Plain Bagels

Homemade Plain Bagels

 

One of the things I miss most about San Jose is my beloved little bagel spot.

It was a cozy little family-owned bagel shop that was a gem of the community. The staff were some of the nicest people around and even when I would fumble in at 6am, they would always greet me with warm hellos—-and of course my cheese bagel with jalepeno spread. AH-MAY-ZING!

I’ve really been missing those delicious bagels lately so when I saw the post on Tasty Kitchen for homemade bagels, I knew I had to give them a try. Meredith’s take on them were straight forward and easy to follow. I especially appreciated the short proofing time—which is always a plus in my book!

I really liked the texture of the bagels as it yielded the lovely chewiness that I am so fond of. However, after my bagels cooled down, they began to flatten out. She had commented to another reader that this may happen when you let the dough rest too long but I only had mine out for about 20 minutes.  I was a bit Sad Panda but I would love to try it again and substitute some of AP flour for wheat.

Nonetheless it was a fun recipe to make!

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Homemade Plain Bagels
From An Epic Change
Makes 1/2 Dozen

Ingredients:

1½ teaspoon yeast
½ tablespoon sugar
⅔ cup warm water + extra
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour

In the bottom of your mixer bowl, combine 2/3 cup water, sugar, and yeast and let the yeast develop for about 5 minutes. Add in flour, vegetable oil, and salt and mix with a dough hook (or by hand) until the dough is elastic and tough. You may need to add in a bit of extra water, but do it little by little. Let the dough sit and rise in a warm place for  20-30 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Roll each individual piece into a “snake” long enough to wrap around your palm. Dip each end of the dough in water and press together in your palm, forming a circle. Place the formed bagels on a floured board and allow to rise another 20-30 minutes.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pot. When the water is gently boiling, place 2-3 bagels into the water for 1 minute and then flip to boil on the other side for another minute. Remove the bagels, place them on paper towels to take off excess moisture, then place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels. Bake in the oven on 425 degrees for 18 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks and enjoy!

Alton Brown’s “Overnight Cinnamon Rolls”

Alton Brown's "Overnight Cinnamon Rolls"

<Sigh>…….I had high hopes for these. My boy, Alton Brown, rarely leads me astray. But after a 14-hour process that included triple proofing of the dough, these rolls just fell short.

In truth, I’m not sure what went wrong. The reviews of the recipe were raving and I even watched the video. I followed every detail to the tee (something you definitely need to do when making Alton’s recipes) and used newly purchased yeast. The rolls did rise but not nearly as high as the ones from the show—despite the extra time I gave, too. And the end results were rather dense….no soft pillows of goodness as I had hoped. I did, however, like the icing as the cream cheese gave the slight tang that was a nice addition.

Will I try it again? Eh…I’m not sure. I’ve been eyeing  America’s Test Kitchen’s Cinnamon Rolls for some time now and I’m more inclined to give that one a spin before coming back to this one. Especially since there’s no yeast or proofing involved!

Sorry Alton….you’re still my Boo though. :)

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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
From Alton Brown

Ingredients:

Dough
4 Large Egg Yolks, room temperature
1 Large Whole Egg, room temperature
2 Ounces Sugar, approximately ¼ cup
3 Ounces Unsalted Butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 Ounces Buttermilk, room temperature
20 Ounces All-Purpose Flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 Package Instant Dry Yeast, approximately 2¼ teaspoons
Teaspoons Kosher Salt
Vegetable oil or Cooking Spray

Filling
8 Ounces Light Brown Sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
¾ Ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1½ tablespoons

Icing
2½ Ounces Cream Cheese, softened, approximately ¼ cup
3 Tablespoons Milk
5½ Ounces Powdered Sugar, approximately 1½ cups

For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.

While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Alton Brown's "Overnight Cinnamon Rolls"A shame really as they don’t look too bad. <Sigh>…back to the drawing board!

Spiced Pear Cake for National Bundt Day

Spiced Pear Cake

 

Was it a coincidence or luck? Perhaps a little bit of both was on our side this weekend as my nieces and I prepared a delicious spiced pear cake using a bundt pan. And to my amusement as I was drafting up this post, I discovered that today is National Bundt Day!

This is the time of year when I bust out all of the warm spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) and begin feverishly baking molasses cookies, gingerbreads, and other spiced desserts. YUM. I just love the aromatics and the deep warmth it brings to your home/kitchen when you’re creating such delights.

Since pears are in season and were in abundance at the market, I picked up a few Boschs with the intention of creating a cake that would be great for breakfast. (Cake for all times of the day, I say!) I also took the opportunity to try out this recipe with my nieces, Nina and Stephanie. They are turning out to be quite the whizzes in the kitchen and have refined palates for their age. And in truth, they did most of the work with this cake with me just guiding them through the process. I’m a proud Auntie.

The end results were just what I was hoping for. An extremely moist cake speckled with diced pears and perfumed with warm spices. Perfect with a huge cup of steaming coffee in the morning. With breakfasts like these (and wonderful nieces), perhaps I’ll make it through the chilly season after all.

And with that dear friends, rummage through your pantries to whip out those wreath-like pans—Celebrate National Bundt Day! (I know, I know….I’m a sucker for any “holiday” :) )


Stephanie and Nina hard at work…..Great things will come out of their kitchens in the future :)

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Spiced Pear Cake
Approximately 10 servings

Ingredients:

Cake Batter
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
¼ Cup Molasses
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
3 Cups Diced Pear

Glaze
½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ Cup Water or Apple Juice
1 Cup Confectioner Sugar
½ Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a large bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and granulated sugar. Mix in brown sugar, breaking up any clumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and mix in oil, eggs, vanilla extract and molasses. The batter will be quite thick. Fold in the diced pears being careful to not break up the fruit too much.

Spoon the cake batter into the greased bundt pan and spread the mixture evenly. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting on to a plate.

While cake is cooling, prepare glaze. Melt butter and slowly add confectioner sugar and cinnamon. Add apple juice (or water) and mix until combined. Strain the glaze to remove any potential lumps. Slowly pour over the cake while its still warm.

Doughnut Muffins

Doughnut Muffins

Mmmm….Doughnuts. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t love them :)

I personally prefer cake-batter doughnuts over yeast-batter doughnuts—chocolate old fashioned being the best! Yum.

I’ve always wanted to make fresh doughnuts but most of the cake-better recipes I’ve seen require doughnut pans. And as cute as those pans are, they’re pretty limited in functionality. So when I came across a few posts featuring Doughnut Muffins, I was EXCITED!

The recipe below was quite simple to follow–which was perfect since I had my niece Maya helping me. The only tweak that I made was the addition of ground cinnamon and vanilla extract in the batter. And let me just tell you, your kitchen will smell amazing when these little guys are baking in the oven. DEE-LISH!

I think these Doughnut Muffins are best right out of the oven. But if you happen to have a few left over the next day, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up. So yummy, you won’t regret it :)

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Doughnut Muffins

Adapted from Blue Ribbon Cookbook (via Evil Chef Mom)

Ingredients:

Muffins:
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
¾ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Whole Milk, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons Buttermilk, at room temperature
10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
¾ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 2 (12 cup) mini muffin tins.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and buttermilk. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Add vanilla extra. With the mixer set on low speed, beat in one fourth of the dry ingredients. Then beat in one third of the milk mixture. Continue to alternate until all ingredients are incorporated, finishing with dry ingredients. Do not over mix. The batter will be heavy, it’s ok.

Fill the prepared muffin cups just to the rim with batter. Bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, 15-20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

To coat the muffins: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a paper bag. Brush each muffin generously with melted butter. Then place a few muffins in the bag with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Shake well to coat the muffins. Repeat.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Jelly Doughnut Muffins: Allow muffins to cool and use a small pastry tip to make a hole in the bottom of each muffin. Fill the pastry bag with your favorite jam, jelly, or citrus curd, and squeeze into the muffin.


Doughnut Muffins
All that’s missing is a tall cold glass of milk.

Act 2: Corned Beef Hash

Feeling pretty good about the outcomes of our Corned Beef and Cabbage, we eagerly embarked on our original objective — Corned Beef Hash!

We looked at a couple recipes and settled on a hybrid of a few. And as my sister had suggested months back, we used heavy cream to get that extra crispy profile that makes Corned Beef Hash so delish! The method described below is pretty straight forward but since we had so much to make, we didn’t have a large enough skillet to allow the hash space/surface area to crisp up. But, no biggie! We transferred the items to a large baking sheet and placed it under the broiler for a few minutes. And Voila! Deliciously yummy and crispy hash–100% from scratch, too!

Sure, this was an eleven day breakfast in the making but when the yolks from your “eggs over easy” run all over, you will be in heaven!

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Corned Beef Hash
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 Pounds Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Pounds Cooked corned beef, cut into chunks
2 Cups Yellow Onion, diced
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 large Red Bell Pepper, cut to match potatoes
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
½ Cup Heavy Cream
3 Scallions, chopped
2 Tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until just tender, about 3 minutes, then drain. Roughly chop corned beef.

Sauté onion and bell pepper in butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for additional 2 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in corned beef and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Add cream and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add scallions and sprinkle hash with parsley.

Serve with eggs of your choice.

Fresh Apple Cake

Apple Cake Slice

 

Last weekend, my sister and her family came up from Southern California for a visit. And what do the Nguyen’s do when we are on vacation? We Eat….and we Eat a lot. And when we are not eating (or shopping), we like to have Foodventures. So it’s not too surprising that after spending a few indulgent hours at the SF Street Food Fest, we  were hitting the road to Sebastopol to Twin Hill Ranch for some good old apple picking. We filled our baskets with delicious apples (Gravenstein varietal) and also picked up a few jugs of fresh pressed apple cider—absolutely delicious!

We kind of went nuts with apple picking which did leave a slight challenge. What does one do with over 15+ pounds of apples?! I knew we would need to put our hand picked apples to use. My sister (aka. “Head Foodie” of the family) suggested that I make the Fresh Apple Cake that our mom used to enjoy so much. Perfect!

The recipe is from Feasts of Eden and is incredibly easy and quick. Pretty much a dump and stir method–which is great for baking with kids. The glaze that is poured over the warm cake isn’t like the type that I used on the Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Cake. This glaze soaks into the Apple Cake producing a moist and sweet product. A few other things to note:

  • The batter is incredibly thick. But don’t worry! The 3 cups of fresh apples has a lot of moisture and it all works out–I promise!
  • Next time, I will use only 1 cup of granulated white sugar and add 1 cup of light brown sugar.
  • Add 1/4 Cup Molasses – really rounds out the flavors of the spices.
  • The glaze may get lumpy from the confectioner sugar. If it does, strain it before pouring over the warm cake.
  • Leave the cake on a rack when you pour the glaze on it and then transfer to the serving platter. Since the glaze is somewhat thin, it will definitely run over the sides of your plate/cake stand and will leave you a HOT MESS!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with it and my co-workers seemed to enjoy it as well (they often act as my “guinea pigs”, too). The cake really works well as a breakfast pastry—wonderful with a steaming cup of coffee.

And perhaps it’s just me, but knowing that we handpicked the apples ourselves made it taste even better! :)

Until next time friends!

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Fresh Apple Cake
From Feast of Eden

Ingredients:

Cake Batter
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Large Eggs
3 Cups Chopped Apple

Glaze
½ Cup Unsalted Butter
¼ Cup Water
1 Cup Confectioner Sugar
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a large bundt pan.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquid ingredients, stirring well to combine. Add the chopped apples and transfer mixture to bundt pan. Be sure to spread the mixture evenly. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes before inverting on to a plate.

While cake is cooling, prepare glaze. Melt butter and slowly add confectioner sugar and cinnamon. Stir well to ensure there are no lumps. Add water and mix until combined. Slowly pour over the cake while its still warm.

SPAM….The True American Offal

Folks are always asking me if we ever eat “regular” food. That question always puts a smile on my face because the BF and I have a vast array of eating/cooking habits. For one meal we may spend an entire day prepping and cooking dishes that are complex and laborious. But then there are those nights that all we eat for dinner is ice cream. True Story.

So what is one of our favorite “regular” dishes? I am proud to say it is SPAM, Eggs, and Rice….The Breakfast of Champions. Easy, quick, nostalgic, and just darn good. And it makes perfect sense since we were both raised on this goodness (I was born in the midwest and the BF is Hawaiian).

Sure, it’s somewhat questionable to what SPAM is really made of. Hormel says that it is a combination of pork and other stuff but this is one example of when I don’t question the contents and just enjoy the goodness. Come to think of it, this may be the only kind of offal that I will eat :) Folks can’t even agree to what the acronym stands for though some have come up with some clever versions. My favorites that I have heard are: “Something Posing As Meat”, “Specially Processed Artificial Meat”, “Spare Parts Animal Meat” and “Special Product of Austin Minnesota”. Hilarious.

This gal prefers her SPAM sliced thinly and prepared crispy (kind of like bacon). The BF likes his sliced thicker and just lightly fried. Add rice, a fried egg, and a sprinkle of furikake and I am a happy camper! Though I also won’t pass up a good SPAM Musubi, either.

SPAM…you can’t get any more “regular” than that. But I do have one last question…..Anyone want to meet me at the SPAM Museum?

Until next time Friends, SPAM Fanatic signing off!