November 30, 2013

Lemon Yogurt Cake

Every time I make this cake my photo is absolutely horrible.  The cake is delicious, despite my inability to photograph it.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the coconut oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

Banana Chocolate Oat Clusters

These are a perfect snack for my toddler. I keep them in the freezer and just pull out what I need.

Banana Chocolate Oat Clusters
from Once a Month Meals

3 ripe bananas
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash bananas in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients. Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

2/3 c. maple syrup, grade B recommended
1/3 c. water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
dash cloves
12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries

Add all ingredients except cranberries to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook for 15 minutes. The berries will burst and the sauce will thicken up. Let cool and store in the refrigerator.

November 19, 2013

Roasted Acorn Slices

I'm still learning to love squash, but these roasted acorn slices were a pleasure to eat.

Roasted Acorn Squash Slices

1 acorn squash
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Wash the outside of the squash and dry. Cut squash in half through the stem. Scoop out seeds. Lay squash half flat on a cutting board and cut 1/4-inch slices, so that the pieces are half-moon shaped. Toss the acorn squash in olive oil and spread in a single layer over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn and spread the acorn squash again and roast another 10 minutes.

Lemon Poppy Seed Granola

Oh my, this granola is so good! Very zingy with tons of lemon flavor.

Lemon Poppy Seed Granola
adapted from Dessert for Two

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened, if possible)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. honey
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a small cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the oats, coconut, lemon zest, poppy seeds, salt and sunflower seeds.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, honey, lemon juice and almond extract. Once thoroughly melted, add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Spread granola evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Stir well (the edges of the pan will brown faster). Bake for another 7-9 minutes until golden brown. Check often so it doesn't burn. Serve with yogurt.

Apple Cake with Honey Glaze

My mom recommended I try this recipe and it was delicious!

Apple Cake with Honey Glaze
adapted from Paula Deen

3 cups diced, peeled apples
1 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups coconut oil, melted
3 eggs

Honey glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan or tube pan.

In a bowl, mix together the apples, walnuts, vanilla, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until completely combined. Fold in the apple mixture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 - 75 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan, about 1 hour, and then turn it out onto a plate. Meanwhile, whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth.

Drizzle the apple cake with some of the honey glaze, serve and enjoy. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator.

November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Puree - whole squash method

I've been making my own pumpkin puree for a few years now using this method. I've recently discovered a much easier way to do it! Cutting squash is hard work and always seems a bit dangerous. Instead cook the pumpkin (or try other squash) whole, and then cut it. I usually cook two pumpkins at once.

Wash and dry pumpkin. Place one drop of olive oil into palm of hands, then rub hands onto dry pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a foil covered sheet into a 350° oven; do not poke or pierce with a knife. Bake for one to two hours, depending on size of the pumpkin. You'll know it's ready when the pumpkin is slightly browned, dents easily with a wooden spoon, and there is a pumpkin aroma filling the kitchen. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut in half with a serrated knife. Remove and discard seeds (or save them for roasting) and stringy center. Now scoop the flesh from the skin and put into a large bowl. Whip with an electric mixer or immersion blender until smooth. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.