Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Applelicious Cupcakes






Ah, fall is in the air!  Time for wonderful apple desserts to herald the beginning of fall.  Fall is my favorite time of year when the leaves start to change with the crisp Autumn air.  And fall clothes, need I say more to soft cashmere sweaters, light wool pants, and boots! But I can't forget about fresh picked apples right off the tree. Perfect for just taking a big juicy bite or using for outrageous apple desserts like the  recipe that I am sharing today which is half cupcake, half muffin, but totally delicious.

Applelicious Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple batter
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled Gala apples, finely chopped

Praline Frosting
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoon milk
1teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powered sugar

Prepare Filling: Beat first three ingredients at medium speed with electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour and vanilla, beat until blended

Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350. Bake finely chopped pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes until toasted. Stir together flour and next seven ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next three ingredients, just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in apples and pecans.
Spoon batter into cupcake lined pans, filling half. Then spoon about 1/8 cup of cream cheese filling using all the filling. Top with remaining batter.
Bake 20-25 minutes until wooden tester comes out clean.
Makes 24 cup cakes

Prepare Praline Frosting:  Bring brown sugar, butter, milk to a boil in 2-qt sauce pan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil one minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla, stir. Gradually whisk powder sugar until smooth.  Stir for 3-5 minutes until frosting slightly thickens. Before the frosting is cool icing cupcakes. Top with chopped pecans and one dried apple chip.

Enjoy!
www.gooddinermrsmellen.com

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Obsessed with Mussels!


One more mussel receipt to enjoy on a wonderful late summer evening! Mussels are so delicious and easy to make.  I changed the recipe today for a light wine sauce that was just outstanding

Two pounds mussels scrubbed and de-bearded,  I love P.E.I mussels, so sweet!
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 coves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
12 rainbow heirloom cherry tomatoes
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme.
1tabelspoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup dry white wine

Saute olive oil, garlic and shallot for 5 minutes, don't brown. Add tomatoes and fresh herbs continuing to saute for another five minutes. Add wine,  cook on low for another five minutes.  Add mussels, stir, cover, continue cooking on low for ten minutes until until mussels open.

So easy and so good!

Enjoy!

Luscious Grilled Vegetables!


Wonderful easy summer grilled vegetables are so delicious and easy to make.  Clean and slice an assortment of farm fresh vegetables. I used purple, red, and yellow peppers, heirloom grape tomatoes, mini eggplant, onions, garlic and Brussels sprouts.  Put the vegetables in a wire grill pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with fresh basil, thyme and ground pepper. All you have to do is grill for about 20 minutes, shaking the wire grill pan to rotate the vegetables and then just serve.

Enjoy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Cooking Marathon

Fall must be in the air I woke up wanting to just cook and cook. First I made Curried Chick Pea salad and Oriental Cabbage Salad to eat today and the rest of the week as healthy side dishes.  Then on to large batches of Pasta Fagioli(or Pasta Fazool, our pronunciation), Lentil Chili and homemade chicken stock to use later in the week.
Finally I finished up with a wonderful Sunday dinner of grilled swordfish, mussels in wine, the last of local corn, salads from this morning and I just had to make a Caprese salad with my heirloom tomatoes. I know way to much food but my Italian heritage is showing.  All the recipes can be found in my blog.

Sneak peak I am working on my Mother's Gnocchi receipt. She sent me the ingredients list and now I am going to make her Gnocchi's with her walking me through her little tricks over the phone. That's what I love most about my mother's style of cooking, her unique additions to all the standard Italian recipes make her meals so delicious.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Farmer's Market Ratatouille



September means end of summer, back to school, warm days, cool nights and harvesting summer vegetables putting my garden to bed for the winter and more.  Especially wonderful is the farmer's market harvest of wonderful fresh vegetables.  So fresh, delicious and easy to prepare for a relaxing summer meal.
With all the wonderful bounty from local farm markets I've been enjoying tasty vegan meals that are flavorful, delicious and satisfying. Oh did I mention so heathy! Last night I prepared very quickly one of these beautiful meals. I served a ratatouille, portabella mushroom pita bread sandwich with fresh heirloom tomatoes, so beautiful to see and taste. A wonderful late summer meal for two.

Farmer's Market Ratatouille

1 large zucchini
1 Thai eggplant (loved my new find at Dedham Food Market)
two tomatoes, cut into cubes
cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 teaspoon capers
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sauté garlic and shallots until translucent in olive oil. Add zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant,  cook on low for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes cook another five minutes, then add olives, capers, basil, thyme and pepper.  Cook for another five minutes and serve. This is a wonderful side dish to any meal.

I grilled a large portabella mushroom, brushed with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs just until cooked through and made a wonderful sandwich in pita bread.  I brushed the pita bread lightly with olive oil, filled sandwich with sliced tomato, mushroom and fresh basil. Absolutely wonderful.

A delicious vegan summer meal.

Enjoy!