Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shrimp with Feta







Quick and easy tasting delicious recipes are always welcome during this busy holiday season. I serve this shrimp dish over Arborio rice or orzo which is a rice shaped pasta. The choice is yours. Either way the dish is so good and so easy, a quick easy homemade meal.

Shrimp with Feta Cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 shallot
pinch of crushed red peppers
1 teaspoon mint
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 can(14.5 oz) Hunt's Petite diced tomatoes
1/2 lb. uncooked shrimp cleaned and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped calamata olives
1/4 cup feta cheese
Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add garlic and shallot cooking on low for 10 minutes until onions are translucent, do not brown. Add red pepper, mint, oregano, salt and diced tomatoes simmering for 20 minute. Add shrimp, cooking for five minutes or until the shrimp is no longer pink. Stir in lemon juice and olives. Top with feta cheese. Serve over rice or orzo. Makes 4 servings.
Just add a nice tossed salad and fresh bread for a wonderfully easy and delicious meal!
ENJOY!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Tea Bread with White Chocolate



Loaf breads or Tea bread whatever you call these delectable sweet breads are simply delicious and easy to make. Prefect for a beginning baker or to make when you are short of time. You can also make and freeze to eat later. Smaller loafs are perfect little treats to give as gift during the holidays wrapped up in cellophane tied with a festive ribbon. I love pumpkin bread anytime of the year but especially around Thanksgiving. For me baking isn't only about the taste but about the heavenly cooking aromas filling my home with sweet scents.

Ingredients

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    3 cups granulated sugar
    1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
    4 large eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 cup GHIRARDELLI white chocolate chips

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.

BAKE for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe makes two loaves.

FOR THREE 8 x 4-INCH LOAF PANS:
PREPARE as above. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

FOR FIVE OR SIX 5 x 3-INCH MINI-LOAF PANS:
PREPARE as above. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.


Candied Apple Fudge Bundt Cake


Bundt cakes have gotten a bad name over the years, remember ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, where the wishy-washy mother-in-law brings a bundt cake to the over the top engagement party and the bride’s Greek families reaction. Bundt cakes can be elevated to a show stopping dessert so easily. I have a repertoire of deliciously eye popping bundt cakes that are a great addition to any dinner or party. 


                             Candied Apple Fudge Bundt Cake

  
CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

APPLE CAKE BATTER:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

PRALINE FROSTING:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar


CARAMEL TOPPING

1 bag of caramels
1 tablespoon water

CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan halves

Preparation

1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

5. Prepare Praline Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

6. Combine caramels with water in microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 2  1/2 to 3 minutes. Stir for one minute and drizzle over cake.
 

7. Prepare White Chocolate Glaze: Melt chocolate and cream in double boiler. Let cool slightly. Whisk in powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cake.
Top with pecan halves.7. Prepare White Chocolate Glaze: Melt chocolate and cream in double boiler. Let cool slightly. Whisk in powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cake. Top with pecan halves.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Winter is Coming Vegetable Stew

                                                Winter is Coming Vegetable Stew






Like The Seven Kingdoms of Westerly, winter is coming to New England. To ward off the frigid snowy weather I love to create tasty, healthy, soups and stews that are filling but low in fat, salt and calories but not short on flavor.  My vegetable stew fits that description perfectly. Totally healthy, vegan, flavorful with just the right kick from hot sauce.  I make a big batch and free for future dinners when snow drifts are blanketing our homes.


2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 large shallot chopped
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 can(14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes, Hunt’s no salt added
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 cup farro, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) Cannellini Beans, rinsed
Griller Crumbles, Morning Star
2 tablespoon Franks Hot sauce

In large stock pot heat olive, add garlic and shallot cooking for 5 minutes until translucent. Don’t brown.  Add mushrooms cooking another 5 minutes.  Combine tomatoes, vegetable broth and chili power adding to vegetables mixture. Add carrots, farro, cover, simmer for 15 minutes. Finish stew by adding beans, Griller Crumbles and Franks Hot Sauce. Simmer for 10 more minutes.