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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Cake

Apple season is upon us. This is the best time of year to pick and eat apples. I always love a great apple pie (see posting from 3/12/10), but I saw this recipe from Paula Deen, and had to try it. It was easy to make, moist, and scrumptious!!!!!

The Granny Smith apple gets its name from its founder, Mrs. Mary Ann (Granny) Smith. Granny Smith Apples are crisp, juicy, and tart which makes them perfect for either baking in pies, stewed in sauces or eating out of hand. They're also great in salads because once cut, they keep their color longer than other apples.

Usage: Very good for eating fresh, cooking & salads. They're also the primary ingredient for a Granny Smith Apple pie.

A Good-quality Granny Smith apple will be firm with smooth and clean skin. Granny Smith apples are a deep green with an occasional pink blush of the cheeks. Test the firmness of the apple by holding it in the palm of your hand. (Do not push with your thumb). It should feel solid and heavy, not soft and light. These apples may be less attractive, but the flesh is still good to eat after cutting.

Avoid product with soft or dark spots. Also if the apple skin wrinkles when you rub your thumb across it, the apple has probably been in cold storage too long or has not been kept cool. Grannies occasionally show "russeting," a brownish network at the stem end.


Honey Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons milk

Apple Cake:
3 cups diced Granny Smith apples, about 2 apples
1 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
Glaze: Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set the bowl aside.

Cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan or tube pan.

In a bowl, mix together the apples, walnuts, vanilla, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and beat until completely combined. Fold in the apple mixture.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to fully cool in the pan, about 1 hour, and then turn it out onto a plate.

Drizzle the apple cake with some of the honey glaze, serve and enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hoagie Dip

As soon as Labor Day rolls around, football season arrives to take our minds off the bittersweet ebb of summer. Since half the fun of football is the pre-game tailgate, planning a quality tailgate is key for maximum game day enjoyment. One of my favorite ways to kick off early games is with a delicious spread of appetizers. If you are looking for an EASY, DELICIOUS, and PORTABLE appetizer for your tailgating, this one works well!!!!


1 medium onion (optional)
2 pickled pepperoncini peppers
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 large tomato, halved and seeded
1/4 pound deli-sliced genoa salami
1/4 pound deli-sliced ham
1/4 pound deli-sliced prosciutto
1/4 pound deli-sliced roast turkey
1/4 pound deli-sliced provolone cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 10-to-12-inch round or long loaf Italian bread
8 hoagie rolls, cut into pieces, for dipping

Chop the onion, pepperoncini, lettuce and tomato into bite-size pieces. Dice the meats and cheese.

Combine the chopped vegetables, meats and cheese in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes and stir until everything is all mixed up and tasty. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Carve out the center of the bread loaf to make a bowl (don't cut through the bottom) and cut the scraps into bite-size pieces. Serve the hoagie dip in the bread bowl, with the extra bread and hoagie rolls to scoop it up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

It's a windy and rainy today. A day you want to stay in your PJ's, wrap up in a blanket and read a great book. What goes better on a day like this than hot soup! Well, with all the talk on the news advising everyone to get their flu shots and a husband that started symptoms yesterday, I decided to make some hot & comfy chicken noodle soup.

Chicken soup is a soup made by bringing to a boil and then simmering chicken parts and/or bones in water, with various vegetables and flavorings. The classic chicken soup consists of a clear broth, often served with small pieces of chicken or vegetables, or with noodles or dumplings, or grains such as rice and barley. Chicken soup has also acquired the reputation of a folk remedy for colds and flus, and in many countries is considered a classic comfort food


1 chicken (roasted), 3-4 pounds. Skin removed and meat shredded. A store bought rotisserie chicken would work just fine, or roast your own chicken. (See blog for recipe - 2/26/10).
4 cups chicken stock, home made or store bought.
"" stock recipe
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup of sliced carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 ounces dried egg noodles
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Also, I like to add the juice of one lemon. This is optional, but I love it!


In a large stockpot, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, and onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, thyme, parsley, and lemon juice if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the noodles and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes (depending upon the size of the noodles). Add the chicken, warm through, and then adjust the seasoning, if necessary, with salt and pepper. Serve with some Italian Bread. I prefer Pittsburgh's best! Mancini's!!!