Dessert

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake

Chocolate, moist and absolutely delicious!  This is what you will get if you make this cake.  We were having our friends in one night for some wine and dessert.  I looked through the folder of recipes that I wanted to try and found this one.  It has been hanging around for quite some time and i thought what goes better with wine than chocolate.  And in this definitely fit the bill.

The coffee added brings out the flavor of the chocolate and the whiskey adds great flavor.  The recipe said it would taste even better the next day, and it sure did.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan

1 1/2 cups brewed coffee

1/2 cup American whiskey

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting

PREPARATION

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  3. While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.
Dinner

Asian Sesame Chicken and Slaw

Wow, I dug deep into the archives for this recipe. It comes from Working Mother Magazine of July 1999. This was a part of my cooking extravaganza this past weekend and it was a great step back through the cookbook.

This is served hot over rice, but it makes a great cold salad if there are any leftovers!

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Aisan sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 bag (16 oz) shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 8 oz snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine rice, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 2 cups water; Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 19 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce. In another medium bowl, toss chicken with 2 Tbsp of the dressing and remaining 1 tsp. of salt. In a large serving bowl combine cabbage and scallions.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat cook chicken 6 minutes, stirring. Add snow peas, red pepper and 2 Tbsp of the dressing. Saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with cabbage mixture along with remaining dressing. Garnish with peanuts. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Dinner, side dish

Green Beans Gremolata

I was looking at old files and found these green beans from a dinner club from a few years ago. They went really well with my Asian slaw with Sesame Chicken.

Oh my, these were really good but even better as a leftover. They marinated in the lemon juice and took on a more powerful taste.

  • 1 pound French green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Dinner, Seafood

Seared Basil Scallops with Pesto Orzo

It’s was Friday night and I was looking something to do with the Scallops we had in the freezer.  I started to look in my old binder of recipes from years ago and found a recipe from a Working Mother magazine dated July 1999.  The note posted below it said good, so that was enough for me. 

About a half hour before dinner time, I started to defrost the Scallops under running cold water. Then I started the prep. I have learned to get everything ready and within arms reach when cooking. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find an ingredient while your cooking.

This recipes come together pretty quickly. Served with a vegetable of your choice and a great glass of wine.

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 lb large sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated prepared pesto, divided
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • In a small saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions; drain
  • For Scallops: Using a sharp knife, cut a horizontal slit nearly through each scallop, then spread about a 1/4 tsp of pesto in center; close scallop
  • Warm olive oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops; brown 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through, remove to plate.
  • Turn off heat under skillet, add lemon juice and cook about 10 seconds, stirring to incorporate brown bits. Pour juices over scallops.
  • In medium serving bowl, toss drained orzo with remaining 1/3 cup pesto. Serve Scallops over orzo. Serves 4.

Dessert

Apfelkuchen…aka apple torte

The finished product!

On a cold Saturday afternoon we decided to give Sunny Anderson’s Apfelkuchen, that was featured on Food Networks-The Kitchen, a try. My German roots from the Schreck and Meyer familie came out to bake. And the real reason, we knew my Mom would love this recipe.

Look at the layers!
Great pattern with the apples.

For the past couple of years we would buy her a tin of real German Lepkucken from Germany for Christmas. She has always told me the story of her having to stir the batter of these dense molasses cookies. We knew the Apfelkuchen world be a hit.

Ingredients

Apples:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch wedges 

Batter:

One 15.25-ounce box white cake mix

1 1/4 cups apple cider 

1/3 cup sour cream 

3 large eggs, whisked

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Streusel:

2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar, plus more for dusting

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, frozen for 20 minutes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. For the apples: Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of water to a large bowl and stir. Add the apple wedges. Set aside.
  3. For the batter: Add the cake mix to a large bowl. Whisk together the cider, sour cream and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the cake mix and stir until combined.
  4. For the streusel: Add the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Using a box grater, shred the chilled butter into the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix and toss the mixture until crumbly. Place back in the refrigerator if needed while preparing to bake.
  5. To assemble: Spray the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and spray again. Pour half of the cake batter in the pan. Sprinkle the top with half of the streusel mixture, then add half of the apple slices in a circular fanning pattern. Repeat the layers and dust the top with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before releasing the spring form.
  7. For serving: Serve the cake slices with Whipped Cream.
Cookies, Dessert

Molasses Cookies

This recipe brings back many childhood memories. My mom would make these Molasses cookies a couple times a year. I remember coming home from school and finding these on the counter fresh from the oven.

So this morning I found her recipe in my collection. Now when you look at this you can see how special having family recipes and memories passed down. She wrote this down on medical notepaper she had in the drawer. Lol!

When you find something like this, cherish it. Mom is soon going to be 92 years old. She still cooks now and then. Macaroni and cheese is a staple and loved by her Grandchildren. She does love her sweets. Last week I took over the apple pie. When I asked her how it was She said it was delicious and was quickly gone, but next time she would like pumpkin.

So this morning our kids were planning a visit so I decided to make some of mom’s Molasses cookies. As you can see from the recipe, not much detail. But they go together pretty quickly.

As soon as I started to put together the wet ingredients I was in love with the flavor. Just opening up the Molasses jar and smelling brought back memories. Adding the cinnamon and the ginger pushed it over the edge.

Now to push these over the edge you have to try them with butter. Just spread a little on the bottom and savor the flavor.

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup strong cold brewed coffee
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Next add Molasses and coffee.

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once combined drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet at bake at 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the as I suggested….with a little butter!

Dessert

Crumb Top Apple Pie

Once again I wanted to bake something last Saturday. Scouring the pantry and refrigerator I found some utility apples and some Empire apples that seem to call to me….bake a pie. They might not be the “choosen” apple to make a pie with but it didn’t matter because this came out pretty good. Not wanting the traditional two crust pie I found a recipe for a crumb top pie.

The original recipe did not have it’s own crust recipe so I went to my favorite pie crust recipe in my Better Homes and Garden red checked cook book.

This has been a favorite recipe to make as it is pretty simple and uses crisco. Pretty simple to follow and easy to mix when you have the right tools.

Single pie crust recipe

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons cold water

Stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Rim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge as desired. Do not prick pastry. Bake as directed in individual recipes. Makes 8 servings.

With the crust ready it was time to pull the filling together.

Crumb Top Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pastry
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 c. peeled and thinly sliced apples

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2/3 c. caramel ice cream sauce, divided
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pastry in a 9″ deep dish pie pan. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and 1/3 cup Caramel Sauce. Toss the apples in this mixture and pour into the pie crust. Throughly combine the crumb topping ingredients. Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture. Bake the pie for 20-30 minutes. Then cover with foil and bake another 20 minutes until the apples are tender. Remove pie from oven and drizzle with the remaining 1/3 c. caramel ice cream sauce. Cool and serve with ice cream.

Give this a try and let me know what you think.