Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

It’s officially been fall for over a week so I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to share this amazing recipe.

Fall is my favorite. Why? Well, there are a few things that I love about it…

Corn Harvest 2013

Corn Harvest 2013

  • Beautiful weather-I could live in a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans
  • Harvest-the fields look absolutely beautiful and it smells amazing!
  • Canning and freezing-tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, apple sauce, jalapeno pepper jelly, corn, beans, and carrots (ok some of those happen in summer, but still…)
  • and APPLES!! (which I love to eat with peanut butter!)

So here is the deal, I have an incredible recipe for you, and by incredible I mean divinely scrumptious. Trust me, you are going to want to make this one and then keep the recipe close by. I made this less then 6 hours ago and there are 3 pieces left out of a 9×13 pan. Did I mention it is EASY to make.

Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

  • 4 cups diced apples
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place diced apples in a large bowl and stir in eggs.

Add sugar, oil, cinnamon and nuts.

Apple Cake

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to apple mixture. Stir well.

Apple Cake

Bake in a 9×13 pan for 45 minutes.

Apple Cake

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cream or half & half
  • 1 heaping Tbls flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients, except vanilla.

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, until thickened, stirring constantly.

Caramel Sauce

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over cake. Refrigerate leftovers.

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

 

I hope you enjoy the cake, please leave a comment and tell me how it was! 

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Its zucchini season, in case you missed it, and here is another one of my favorite zucchini recipes. Not just one of my favorites, but one of my husbands too!

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Caution: this cake is addicting and requires a glass a milk.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil until creamy. Add dry mixture to creamy mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Add zucchini. Bake at 325° for 45-55 minutes in a 9×13 greased pan.

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Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add cocoa and vanilla. Beat in 2 cups powdered sugar adding 2 Tbs milk. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

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What are some of your favorite zucchini recipes? Please share!

Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Its zucchini season. Full blown zucchini season. In the last week and a half I’ve picked 6 of them. As my husband likes to say, “we have zucchini coming out of place zucchini shouldn’t be coming out of.”

I’m a big fan of desserts and I try hard to eat them in moderation which is why my desserts are usually made in the evening and sent with the hubby to the farm or they go to work with me for my co-workers to eat up.

With a couple of my zucchini picked last week I made Zucchini Barns with Cream Cheese Frosting. I took these to work with me and the 11×17 pan didn’t last long! These bars are extremely easy to make and always turn out! They are moist and the frosting is so creamy and scrumptious!

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Zucchini Bars:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup apple sauce and 1/2 cup oil)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

Mix eggs, oil, and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in the flour, baking powder and soda. Stir in zucchini. Pour into a greased 11″x17″ jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes; top should be brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all of the ingredients with a mixer until well combined.

(I usually double the frosting for this recipe, because I LOVE cream cheese frosting!)

Enjoy and leave a note on what you thought of them!

Marcia’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake

If you missed my last post for a  rhubarb recipe you also missed out on how much I LOVE rhubarb. So, to spread the rhubarb recipe love I’m sharing Marcia’s recipe for rhubarb coffee cake.

My parents have a HUGE rhubarb patch with 8+ mounds of rhubarb so growing up we had rhubarb desserts quite often. The rhubarb patch was something my Grandpa and Grandma had when they lived at the farm and I have lots of memories of my Grandma coming out to the farm with a brown paper bag and knife to pick rhubarb. When I moved away from home, one of the first things I wanted for my yard was rhubarb from the farm. Now I have a lovely mound of rhubarb of my own!

Ok, so back to this delicious coffee cake recipe. My neighbor growing up, Marcia, would call up and see if she could stop over a pick rhubarb a few time every year and since we have plenty we always welcomed her over. At least once a summer Marcia would bring over  a rhubarb coffee cake and we finally asked for the recipe one time and boy am I ever glad!

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cub buttermilk
    • note: if you don’t have buttermilk a simple substitution is to use just less then 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Cream the butter, sugar, and egg together.

Combine the flour and baking soda to the creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk.

Mix in rhubarb and vanilla.

rhubarb coffee cake

Pour mixture into a greased 9″x13″ grease baking pan.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and almonds.

rhubarb coffee cake

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Its been officially spring for 2 months and 10 days. Spring means lots of things but one of the things I most look forward to is Gardening. This year in my garden I FINALLY have rhubarb to harvest and was able to pick some for the first time this week!

I love rhubarb but it seems like most recipes have some much sugar in them so last year I went in search of a low-sugar rhubarb crisp recipe and found this low-sugar Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp at allrecipes.com. This recipe is great because it uses the natural sweetness of the strawberries to offset the tart of the rhubarb. I tweaked the recipe a little bit and came up with the following, talk about a simple recipe:

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced (use an egg slicer to speed up the slicing)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (more for a sweeter crisp)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. In a medium bowl, mix together rhubarb, strawberries, honey, and corn starch. Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish. (tip: I just mixed it right in the baking dish and tossed it with clean hands)

3. In a medium bowl, stir together rolled oats, brown sugar and melted butter. Mix together until completely combined.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven, until rhubarb is tender and the topping is toasted.

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I think this is best served warm with vanilla ice cream. If you are going for the low-sugar theme serve with low-sugar ice cream, which is really good and my hubby doesn’t even know its low sugar.

I love rhubarb, so check back for some more delicious rhubarb recipes this summer! Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?

Easy Beef Enchiladas

So its been a while since my last post. I guess that is what happens when you have one computer and you sever the power cord in the recliner…talk about sparks!

Speaking of sparks, we could use a spark to get spring going. April 11, 2013 and we had 8+ inches of snow. Since it was cold outside, I wanted something warm and a little spicy for dinner and it needed to be quick and easy.

A family friend, Lori, gave me this recipe for Beef Enchiladas and it is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Farmer tested and approved.

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 can refried beans, optional
  • onions and peppers as desired, thinly sliced
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 pkg tortilla shells
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Brown the hamburger until cooked thoroughly. Stir in the next 4 ingredients and heat until bubbly and hot.

Enchiladas

In a separate sauce pot whisk together the enchilada sauce and tomato soup and heat until hot, this could also be microwaved until warm.

Place and equal amount of meat and vegetable mixture into each tortilla and roll up.

Enchiladas

Place in a 9×13″ pan (will hold 8-10 tortillas). Pour enchilada sauce and soup mixture over the top of all of the tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese.

Enchiladas

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350°, until hot and bubbly and cheese has melted.

Enchiladas

We top this with sour cream, lettuce, and jalapeno pepper jelly!

Enchiladas

ENJOY!!

Grandma’s Beef Stew with Dumplings

Winter is almost over which means soup and stew season is almost over but I have to share this recipe, because it’s that good.

I love my family and love spending time with them; and by family not only do I mean my parents and siblings but also my extended family: in-laws, aunts & uncles, cousins and of course my friends.

Growing up my maternal grandparents lived 4+ hours away but my mom would load my brother, sister, and I up in the van on a Friday after school to spend a weekend with them. My grandma would always ask Mom what she would like to have for supper that evening when we arrived, and more often than not the request was for Grandma’s Beef Stew with DUMPLINGS. (Dumplings are delicious, if you didn’t know.)

I don’t know what it is about grandmas but they make some of the BEST food, period.

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Delicious!

Now, as you read the recipe don’t get scared of parsnips and rutabagas, they make this stew. If you don’t use them, it just won’t be the same.

Grandma’s Beef Stew with Dumplings

Roast:

  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Beef roast 2 -2½ lbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 300°

Season the roast with salt and pepper. Place the onions on top of the roast and  put in the oven until the beef is tender and falls apart easily with a fork, about 2 ½ hours.

(You can also put your roast in the crock pot on high in the morning and finish the stew in the afternoon or use leftover beef roast for this as well)

Saving the juices and onion, pull apart the beef roast into chunks of a desired size.

Stew:

  • 12 cups of water
  • Beef soup base, follow package instructions for 10 cups of water
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3″ pieces
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3″ pieces
  • 2/3 cup barley

Notes:

  • The juices from the roast will provide additional flavor for the soup so I use less base then the soup base package indicates
  • The vegetables will cook at the same speed if you cut them all the same size; I like mine cut in bigger chunks

In an 8 quart or larger stock pot over medium heat:

Bring 12 cups of water and beef soup base to a boil. Add all the vegetables

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Add beef  and juices, along with the onion to the stew.

(Make sure to taste this, does the water/soup base ratio taste right? Add more soup base if needed.)

Bring the stew to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are fork tender. (approx 1-1 1/2 hours)

Before the next step of adding barley, make up the dumpling dough:

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(I follow the Bisquick recipe which can also be found on the side of the box)

  • 2 cups of Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk

Mix until a soft dough forms

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About 25 minutes before serving stir in 2/3 cup barley. I used the 10 minute barley, if you use regular barley you will need to allow more time for cooking.

Approximately 20 minutes before serving, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough onto the simmering soup. Cook uncovered 10 minutes. Cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes longer, until no longer doughy.

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Making stew requires some patience, it’s called stew for a reason…but the end results are amazing!

Enjoy!