Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

I am on the quest  for the perfect yellow cake recipe. A beautiful high cake that is light and fluffy.  I tried this recipe from Cooks Illustrated Spring Entertaining called Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake.  In the Cooks Illustrated tradition this recipe is trying to prefect a yellow cake recipe to rival the height obtained by box cakes which are loaded with additives to achieve a light and high rising cake. Cooks version as you can see turned out high and was light but the cake had 10 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoon of oil. Definitely a special occasion cake. I have some other recipes to try in my search for the perfect yellow cake and I will share my results.  As I have said before I love to bake, I could bake all day long.  I frosted this cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing and I have shared the recipe. The cake recipe is available at the Cooks Illustrated web site if you join the site.

Chocolate Fudge  Frosting
1 pkg( 6 oz) Semi Sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla 
2 1/2 cup  powdered sugar.

In a medium sauce pan combine chocolate, cream, butter and stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat.  Put powder sugar in large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until spreadable. To hasten thickening, put bowl in a pan of ice and water while stirring or refrigerate frosting until  begins to thicken.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore

This traditional Italian "hunter's style" dish is bursting with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers and herbs. Serve over pasta or polenta with crusty bread for dipping.

Chicken Cacciatore

3-4 pounds chicken parts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/3 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, slice thin
1 large green pepper; seeded and cut into thin strips

In a large skillet, brown chicken in hot oil until golden brown. Add onions and garlic. Combine next nine ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cover and simmer thirty-five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper. Cover and continued to cook twenty minutes. Serve over pasta or polenta.

If you don't have all the individual seasonings just substitue two teaspoons italian seasonings.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Turkey Porcini Lasagna

I adapted this recipe to use turkey ground meet and turkey sausage. The sauce is very flavorful and the vegetables add a wonderful richness.  I like to make a large pan of Lasagna and cut into serving pieces and freeze. You can make the Bolognese sauce a day ahead or freeze until you are ready to make the lasagna.  In fact I make soups, chilies, sauce with meatballs, and more in large quantities and freeze. I always have something ready for dinner even if I don't have time to make a meal.  Give this recipe a try for a large group or make to freeze into individual serving sizes.

Bolognese (Turkey) Sauce

I wanted to make a "meat" sauce that tasted wonderful but didn't use red meat to cut down on fat and calories. I used ground turkey and turkey sausage to make this flavorful sauce. And the sauce is EASY to make!

1/2 lb Italian sausage, remove casings
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion(1 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper(1 small)
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground turkey, carrot, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is good and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat.(using lean turkey you don't have much fat)
Stir in tomatoes, tomato past, wine, salt and black pepper. Bring to boiling: reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk, basil, and oregano.


Porcini  Filling
15 dried lasagna
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Italian parsley (optional)

Porcini Filling

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 15 ounce carton ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup snipped Italian parsley
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil

Make Porcini filling:  Place mushrooms in a small bowl adding enough boiling water to cover.  Let stand for 10 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.  Chop mushrooms set aside. In a large saucepan heat butter saute garlic for about 30 seconds. Stir in flour until combined. Slowly stir in milk and wine. Cook and stir until thick. Remover from heat. Stir in mushrooms, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and basil.
Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Pre heat oven to 350 F.  Use a 14 x 11 inch baking dish.  Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce on bottom of baking dish. Top with three noodles and 2 cups of meat sauce. Top with three more noodles and half of Porcini filling. Repeat layering noodles, meat sauce, noodles and Porcini filling. Top with remaining three noodles and meat sauce.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes more. Let stank for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley (optional)


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Shout out to Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate

Just received my first copy of Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate. I highly recommend this wonderful magazine. Wonderful photo's and recipes!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Roasted Turkey Breast

My family loves turkey which I like to make often.   When I don't want to get involved in making a whole turkey, I turn to a hotel style turkey breast. An easy and tasty alternative that makes a nice Sunday dinner.

1 Hotel Style Turkey Breast - I like Shady Brook Farms
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sage leaves, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon thyme
2 thin slices of fresh lemon
2 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt, optional
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Rinse turkey breast and place one tablespoon of sea salt in turkey cavity. Let set while you prepare butter mixture.  Cream together butter, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Rinse and dry turkey breast. Next the cream mixture goes between the skin and turkey meat. Place turkey in roasting pan with breast side up. Work your fingers under the skin at the openings on each side of the breast. This creates a pocket that you will fill with the butter mixture. After you have put half the butter mixture on each side finish by sliding  one slice of lemon into each pocket. Spread two tablespoon butter on outside of turkey skin. Salt and pepper. Roast according to instructions on turkey.

Now you have an easy and delicious turkey with out the fuss!!