Country Apple Fritter Bread

When I recently saw this recipe on The Company She Keeps– I needed an excuse to make it. Thankfully we had a surprise snow day! (We seriously didn’t even know that snow was in the forecast… :/ ) I knew it would be the perfect special breakfast.

This recipe was adapted from The Baking Chocolatess. I modified the recipe to incorporate whole wheat pastry flour, unsalted butter, and coarse salt. I also baked the bread in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Decadent and delicious.

Yield: Serves 8

For the Cinnamon Sugar:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Batter:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk or almond milk (I used whole milk)

For the Apple Mixture:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and chopped (any kind – I used Pink Lady apples- my favorite!)
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • walnuts, to taste, optional

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream (depending on desired glaze thickness)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Grease desired loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Make the Cinnamon Sugar: Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Make the Batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to creamed butter mixture and mix until blended.
  7. Add milk to batter and mix until smooth.
  8. Make the Apple Mixture: Combine chopped apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add nuts, if using.
  9. Spread half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  10. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.
  11. Dollop the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a knife.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes for a Pullman loaf or 50-60 minutes for a standard loaf.
  14. Make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar and milk or cream together until desired consistency is achieved. Mix well.
  15. Remove loaf from pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

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Three Years Ago:

Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

This really isn’t a taco blog! (or a Mexican food blog) ;) I’ll stop after this one… or pretty soon anyway. In fact, calling these “tacos” is a little bit of a misrepresentation. They really taste something like deconstructed dumplings. Maybe? A warm, flavorful filling topped with a bright and crunchy slaw. All I really need to say is that these “tacos” were yummy.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sam Sifton. I used trimmed boneless pork shoulder country-style ribs instead of a bone-in pork shoulder and an unpeeled European seedless cucumber. I served the filling in warm 6-inch corn and wheat tortillas instead of flour tortillas. Perfect.

This is the second dish I’m bringing to Fiesta Friday #105 this week! ;) Hosted by Lily @ Little Sweet Baker and Julianna @ Foodie on Board. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

For the Pork:

  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 4 to 5-pounds boneless pork shoulder country-style ribs, fat trimmed or a 5-pound bone-in pork shoulder, skin and fat removed
  • 12 to 16 corn and wheat tortillas, warmed

For the Slaw:

  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T neutral oil, like peanut or grapeseed
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce, or to taste
  • 10 oz shredded green cabbage or 1 small green cabbage, cored and sliced thinly
  • 1 European seedless cucumber, unpeeled, sliced into julienne or 2 medium-size cucumbers, peeled and sliced into julienne
  • 2 medium-size carrots, peeled and sliced into julienne
  • 1 Asian pear, peeled, cored and sliced into julienne
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed, dried and roughly chopped
  1. Prepare the pork: Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. After a minute or so, swirl in the sesame oil and then the onions, stirring to combine. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to cook until the onions are soft and becoming translucent. Turn off the heat, stir in the ginger and set aside.
  2. Add the hoisin sauce and the fish sauce to the pan, and stir to combine, loosening the mixture with a little less than half a cup of water. Add sriracha sauce to taste.
  3. Put a few spoonfuls of the sauce in the bottom of a slow cooker, then nestle the pork on top of it. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pork.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until the pork shreds easily with a fork. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the slaw: Put the vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, neutral oil and sriracha sauce in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cabbage, cucumbers, carrots and Asian pear and toss to combine.
  6. Shred the pork with a pair of forks. Discard bones, if applicable.
  7. Return the pulled pork to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the juices. Serve with the slaw and warmed tortillas, with the cilantro on the side.

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Braised Butternut Squash & Bacon Tacos with Arugula

I know that “Taco Tuesday” is a popular dinner plan… It is just a plan that doesn’t work with my kids’ after school schedule. :( We are trying to have “Soup Tuesday” because everyone has to eat at different times! So, the exciting new plan is to have “Taco Wednesday” – with enough time for my to execute my “Taco Tuesday” recipe from Rick Bayless. ;) Great!

These are wonderful winter tacos featuring one of my favorite combinations- butternut squash and bacon. The tomatillo-chipotle sauce was an added bonus. (as was the arugula!) This recipe was adapted from RickBayless.com. I modified the plating, doubled the recipe, and increased the garlic. Yummy!

I’m sharing my “Taco Wednesday” dish at Fiesta Friday #105 this week! ;) Hosted by Lily @ Little Sweet Baker and Julianna @ Foodie on Board. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 to 8 medium (about 1 pound) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half across the equator
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, stemmed
  • 1 small (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 6 cups of chunks)
  • 4 oz (5 thick strips) bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • Generous handful fresh watercress or wild arugula
  • 12 to 16 corn tortillas
  1. Set a large (12-inch) skillet (nonstick or lined with foil) over medium-high heat and lay in the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down). When the tomatillos are well browned and soft, 5 to 6 minutes, flip everything over and brown the other side. (The garlic should be soft.) Cool, then peel the garlic.
  2. In a blender, combine the peeled garlic, tomatillos, stemmed chipotles and 2 cups water. Blend to a coarse puree. (I used a Vitamix.)
  3. Scoop the butternut pieces into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes. (I used a silicone steaming lid instead of plastic wrap.)
  4. Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) skillet set over medium, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the butternut and tomatillo sauce to the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a brisk simmer.
  6. Cook until the butternut is fork-tender and the sauce has reduced by about half its volume, about 20 minutes.
  7. Taste and season with salt (it will need only about 1/2 teaspoon because of the bacon’s saltiness).
  8. Using a tortilla warmer, or a plate covered with plastic wrap, cover the tortillas with a damp paper towel. Warm the corn tortillas in a microwave for 1 minute.
  9. Top each tortilla with a generous sprinkling of arugula or watercress. Scoop the hot topping over the top and finish with a  sprinkling of the goat cheese.

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If you like this you may also like:

Easy Enchilada Pie

My son’s third grade teacher told the class that they each needed to know three recipes by heart before going to college. What good advice! ;) Besides a good vinaigrette, this one might make the list! :) It’s an easy crowd pleaser.

This recipe is also quick… super super fast. :) It initially caught my eye because it included a “2-minute” enchilada sauce (as well as a lot of ingredients from Trader Joe’s!). We were not disappointed. It was a perfect, comforting, and family friendly weeknight meal. I especially loved the sauce. This recipe was adapted from Feasting at Home. I added an additional layer of tortillas as well as cheese to the top. Now I need to teach my kids how to make it! :)

For the 2-Minute Enchilada Sauce:

  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire roasted)(Trader Joe’s!)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ¼-½ tsp chipotle chile powder, to taste (or add a canned chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, and/or cayenne for heat)
  • 1 ½ tsp coarse salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a Vitamix (or blender) and blend until smooth.

To Complete the Enchilada Pie:

  • 2-Minute Enchilada Sauce
  • 12-14 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 15-oz cans seasoned black beans (like Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans)
  • 16 oz bag frozen fire roasted corn (Trader Joe’s) or other roasted vegetables
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Mexican style cheese or blend (I used Monterey Jack)
  • 4 ounce can green chilies, preferably fire roasted (Trader Joe’s)
  • cilantro, to taste as well as additional chopped cilantro for garnish
  • diced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, as desired for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, spread out a scant amount of the enchilada sauce- just enough to lightly coat the bottom. (I used an enameled cast iron baking dish.)
  3. Spread 4-5 tortillas on top of the sauce.
  4. Drain one can of seasoned beans, and spread out over the tortillas. (Drain well!)
  5. Spread out half of the frozen roasted corn.
  6. Spread out 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  7. Scatter ½ of the canned green chilies and a little chopped cilantro.
  8. Spread a second layer of 4-5 tortillas over the mixture.
  9. Then repeat with another can of drained seasoned beans. (cooked chicken, chorizo,or ground meat can be substituted, if desired)
  10. Top with rest of the corn, the cheese, the chilies and cilantro.
  11. Drizzle with ⅓ of the enchilada sauce and top with 4-5 more tortillas.
  12. Spread the remaining sauce over the tortillas.
  13. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Uncover, top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and bake 8 to 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  15. Garnish with diced avocado, and cilantro. Cut into servings and serve with sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.

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If you like this you may also like:

Chorizo-Potato Tacos

These tacos were so simple to prepare, I was a little bit skeptical that they would be good. But- once again– Rick Bayless didn’t let me down! (I am such a fan.) He said that chorizo is the Mexican version of bacon- it just makes everything better. In this case, a little bit went a long way. I seriously couldn’t believe how delicious they were!

This recipe was adapted from RickBayless.com. I used one pound of baby gold potatoes, jarred Frontera Jalapeño Cilantro salsa, and added feta cheese to the toppings. We ate them with sautéed greens, refried beans, and Basmati rice. Quick and fabulous!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 pound (16 oz) baby gold potatoes (or other boiling potatoes), unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 12 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed, about 1 link
  • 1 large white onion, cut into small pieces
  • coarse salt
  • 12 warm corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup Frontera Roasted Tomatillo Salsa or Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa, or to taste
  • 1 avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and sliced
  • feta cheese, to taste, for serving
  • chopped cilantro, to taste, for serving

  1. Scoop the potato into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave on high for 3 minutes. (I used my new “steam ship” silicone lid which releases the steam in the microwave!)
  2. Lay the chorizo and onion in a very large (12-inch) skillet (preferably non-stick) and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up clumps, until the fat renders, the sausage looks cooked, and the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Scoop the potatoes, leaving the steaming liquid behind, into the skillet and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. If the potatoes begin browning long before they’re soft, reduce the temperature a little.
  4. Taste and season with salt if you think the mixture needs it—some chorizo is so highly seasoned, little additional salt will be needed.
  5. Cover the tortillas with a damp paper towel and warm tortillas in a tortilla warmer (or on a plate tightly wrapped in plastic wrap) in the microwave for 1 minute.
  6. To serve, scoop the mixture into a deep bowl. Set out with the feta cheese, cilantro, salsa, avocado and warm tortillas.

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Spaghetti Pizza

I loved that this recipe equated the choice between making spaghetti or pizza for dinner to choosing a favorite child! ;) Such a paralyzing decision! :) A spaghetti pizza “crust” was too genius of an idea for me to pass up. I made it for my kids one night when my husband couldn’t join us for dinner- it seemed like the ultimate KID-friendly dinner. They gobbled it up!

This recipe was adapted from Tasting Table.com. I used whole wheat spaghetti, Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce, and Grana Padano instead of Parmesan. (I would have also added tons of garlic if it was for my husband and me! :) ) Easy, tasty, and FUN!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, separated
  • 1-2 cups tomato or marinara sauce, to taste (I used Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  • additional pizza toppings, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Precook the spaghetti in salted boiling water for 6 minutes; cool slightly.
  3. Toss the noodles with the eggs and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Form a crust with the noodles on the pan. (I made a rectangle.)
  5. Bake it for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and spread the tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and the last 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the top. Add any additional toppings as desired.
  7. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to brown.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil, slice into wedges, and serve.

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Momofuku Milk Bar Corn Cookies

When my mom comes to visit, she often brings along the Food section from the Washington Post for me to peruse. :) I was thrilled when she brought one that included cookie recipes from Momofuku Milk Bar!

Some of the best cookies I’ve ever made are from Momofuku Milk Bar: Momofuku Milk Bar’s Cornflake – Chocolate Chip – Marshmallow Cookies. SO GOOD!!

There was also the Milk Bar Crack Pie- which was worthy enough to make on a few occasions…

Momofuku Milk Bar recipes are held in high regard in our home! ;) Before finally tracking it down, my husband and I went to at least 5 grocery stores to hunt down freeze-dried corn to use in this cookie batter. Knowing the recipe source, we were pretty sure that they would be worth all of the effort!

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This recipe was adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi, via The Washington Post. I decreased the cookie size and the resulting baking time. I weighed all of the ingredients as well. I ground the freeze-dried corn into a powder using a food processor. Yummy!!

I’m sharing these special cookies at Fiesta Friday #104– hosted by Mila @Milk and Bun and Hilda @Along the Grapevine. Enjoy!!

  • 16 T (225 g, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 225 g (1 1/2 cups packed) bread flour
  • 45 g (1/4 cup packed) corn flour
  • 65 g (2 oz) freeze-dried corn, ground to a powder (2/3 cups packed)
  • 3/4 tsp (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 1/2 g) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp (6 g) kosher salt

  1. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a food processor, grind the freeze-dried corn into a powder.
  3. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl to combine.
  4. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat for 7 to 8 minutes or until very light and fluffy. (Do not rush this step, as it helps the cookie dough incorporate a large amount of butter.) Stop to scrape down the bowl.
  6. On low-speed, add the bread flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop (mine is almost 1 3/4″ in diameter), portion out the dough on one of the parchment-lined baking sheets. Pat the tops of the dough domes flat.
  8. Wrap the baking sheet tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 1 week).
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  10. Place the chilled dough portions on the parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. They will have puffed, cracked and spread.
  12. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheets before serving or storing.

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Pasta with Yogurt & Caramelized Onions

This wonderful meatless main dish tasted like a deconstructed version of my mother-in-law’s special homemade Christmas Eve pierogies. Apparently, it is actually an adapted Greek island dish! It was rich and delicious.

This recipe was adapted from Food 52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes that will change the way you cook by Kristen Miglore, contributed by Diane Kochilas. (This cookbook was a Christmas gift from my sweet brother. ) I used dried pappardelle noodles instead of fresh tagliatelle.

The author suggests ways to “fancy” up this dish by adding chard or spinach to the pasta just as it finishes boiling. Another suggestion was to blend the sauce with peas, mint, or tahini. All so yummy!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 5 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups (1.4 L) coarsely chopped or sliced yellow onions
  • sea salt
  • 1 pound (450 g) tagliatelle or other fresh pasta or dried pappardelle
  • 2 cups (450 g) thick, strained Greek-style yogurt (I used 2 percent)
  • 1 cup (100 g) coarsely grated Pecorino Romano or kefalotyri cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently and seasoning with sea salt to taste as you go, until the onions are soft and golden brown, 20 to 30+ minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. As the water heats, add enough salt so that you can taste it. Add the pasta and cook until soft, just past al dente.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot.
  4. Combine the yogurt with 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the reserved cooking water and whisk to mix well. Add more of the reserved pasta water as needed to get the sauce to your desired thickness.
  5. Toss the pasta with the yogurt mixture.
  6. Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled generously with cheese and topped with the caramelized onions and their juices.

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Oat Bran Bread

This is the ultimate peanut butter and jelly sandwich bread. Super moist whole grain bread with subtle sweetness.

The original recipe made 3 loaves which seemed like a little much to me… I made half the recipe and baked it in my favorite Pullman loaf pan. Perfect!

This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads by Kathleen King. I doubled the wheat bran in lieu of using wheat germ, used 1 percent milk in lieu of skim, and made half the recipe as a Pullman loaf.

Yield: Makes 1 Pullman loaf (double the recipe makes 3 standard loaves)

  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cups skim or 1 percent milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1/2 T coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 whole wheat flour
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 T wheat bran
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, separated
  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water. Stir until dissolved and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk and add molasses, oil, and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oat bran, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, and 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
  4. Add cooled milk mixture and oat bran-flour mixture to yeast mixture. Beat for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic.
  7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl; brush top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  8. Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Put into a greased Pullman loaf pan.
  9. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. (I placed mine in a proofing oven for 1+ hours.)
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, preferably on convection, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger.

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Eleventh Birthday Longboard Cake! (Yellow Cake with Chocolate Icing)

The number one gift on my son’s Christmas wish list was a longboard. He learned how to ride one with his friends at the beach this summer and has been desperate for one ever since. My husband & I let Santa know that WE wanted to give it to him! The designs on these longboards are really works of art. I cannot even begin to tell you how long we searched for the perfect one for our special gift. We fell in love with the giant squid eating a lighthouse!! Isn’t it cool? ;)

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So, of course, I tried to recreate this design on his 11th birthday longboard cake. (It’s pretty close considering I recreated the design with cookies and m&m’s!)

The second special thing I must share about this cake is where I got the amazing recipe. One of my friends gave me a very special- out of print- cookbook for Christmas. She has a copy and I had been desperate for my own. It is loaded with gold standard recipes for classic baked goods. The author’s shop is now known as Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, New York. What a sweet friend! <3 I love it!!

The cake and icing recipes were adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King. I used unsalted butter and coarse salt. I also baked the cake in a convection oven. I made the squid, house, and axles with my birthday Number Cookie recipe. If you have been following my blog, you can guess that my son wanted Roman numeral “11’s” (XI’s) this year! :)

For the Yellow Cake:

Yield: Makes one 9-inch 2-layer cake (or 1 longboard cake)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • chocolate icing (recipe below)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Grease and flour pans of choice, two 9-inch round cake pans for a layer cake or one Pullman loaf pan, one mini loaf pan, and 4 cupcake tins for a longboard cake.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream, ending with the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into cake batter, and pour into the prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove pans to a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes before removing cake from pans; finish cooling on a rack.

For the Chocolate Icing:

Yield: 3 1/2 cups (enough to ice a 9-inch layer cake or 1 longboard cake)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ sugar
  1. Melt butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Stir in milk; add vanilla.
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Place mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  5. Chill mixture for 45 minutes, then beat with an electric mixer every 15 minutes (chilling mixture between beatings) until it becomes light and thick enough to spread. (This will take three or four beatings.)

I’m bringing this one to share with my friends at Fiesta Friday #103 this week hosted by Sonal @Simply Vegetarian777 and Petra @Food Eat Love. Enjoy!!

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Slow Cooker Mushroom Stroganoff with Egg Noodles

I have a few good friends whom I worked with many years ago. We don’t get to see each other very often, but one of the most wonderful things about getting together now is that not only can we catch up, but all of our kids really enjoy each others company as well. :)

On New Years Eve day, I set this dish up to cook while my friends and I- with all of our kids- went bowling! The lights were dim, the music was loud, and the kids really had a lot of fun. It was great to come home and have dinner ready!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Sarah Bolla. I used cremini mushrooms instead of oyster mushrooms, creme fraiche instead of sour cream, chicken stock instead of vegetable broth, frozen pearl onions, and doubled the garlic.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering noodles
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces pearl onions (about 1 cup), peeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
  • 8 ounces cremini or oyster mushrooms, quartered
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces egg noodle pasta
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • flat leaf Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  1. In each of 2 large skillets, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and mushrooms to each of the skillets and season both with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until the onions have softened and the mushrooms are browned and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add a ¼ cup of white wine to each skillet to deglaze the vegetables from the pan.
  5. Transfer to a slow cooker.
  6. Add the stock, sliced garlic, Worcestershire, and mustard to the pot and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Transfer the pasta to one large serving dish.
  8. Stir some butter into the noodles (if desired) and top with the mushrooms and sauce.
  9. Swirl in the creme fraiche and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Note: The stroganoff can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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Leek & Gruyère Tart with Prosciutto

I have a new favorite appetizer!! Perfect for any holiday or game day. It is quick to prepare and absolutely delicious- pretty too! This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laura Chenel.

I made it to serve at our second annual Christmas concert where my kids and their friends perform for my friends, my husband, and me (aka their parents and grandparents!). This year we had many pianists, two cellists and a French horn player. The kids all did a great job, of course. It is quite a festive event! It was so warm this year we were able to have a glass of wine by the fire outside afterwards- so lovely!

I’m going to bring this deliciousness to share with my friends at my favorite blog party Fiesta Friday #102! (once again… better late than never!) This week two of my buddies are co-hosting the fun- Elaine @foodbod and Julie @Hostess at Heart. :) Enjoy!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium leeks, white and tender green—halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, coarsely shredded (2 cups)
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  1. Preheat the oven to 475° preferably on convection.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 13-inch square. Fold the corners in and lightly roll the pastry into a rough round. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Spread the leeks over the cheese. Cover with the prosciutto; sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold up the tart edge to form a rim and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
  6. Blot any excess fat with a paper towel. Cut the tart into wedges and serve.

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