Archive for November 22, 2012

Spice Cake with Warm Applesauce

Earlier this year I made applesauce for the first time. I knew then that 1) I would never eat store bought applesauce again and 2) it would be perfect with a piece of spice cake. With fall once again upon us (even with our 80 degree desert weather) I knew it was time to bring these two foods together.

Spice Cake with Warm Applesauce

Spice Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13-inch pan. Whisk flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl. Mix milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
2. Beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first on low, then medium, until mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture at a time, first to incorporate and then after last addition mix on low until smooth. Pour batter into cake pan.
3. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the cake’s center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the pan perimeter and turn cake onto rack. Let cool.

Serve with warm applesauce and whipped cream.

Aunt Jopi’s Polish Sausage and Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

I love a recipe that has been handed down thru generations and has strong memories attached to it. That just the thought of making it brings on a smile and starts a “remember when” conversation. This is one of those recipes. But first
I have a confession to make. I am a picky eater. A VERY picky eater. I am not a big fan of veggies. We grew up eating mostly canned veggies and that could be why, but whatever the reason, I still don’t get very excited by the veggies. When I plan a meal the veggies tend to be the last item included and the one I struggle to choose. Give me red meat and starches any day.

You can imagine my dismay when my great Aunt Jopi (pronounced Yopee) told me that she was serving brussel sprouts for dinner. Hubby and I were staying with her while we looked for an apartment after he was transferred to San Diego. I had to be polite and eat some. And guess what? I liked it. If you are hesitant to serve them to a picky eater this is the way to do it. Unless you tell them they probably won’t know brussel sprouts are in there.

This dish is a one pot wonder and easy peasy. You quarter the brussel sprouts, peel and dice the potatoes and garlic, cut up a Polish sausage and put it all in one pot. Cover with cold water, add salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Then you drain, remove the sausage and mash the rest with milk and butter. Serve.

Aunt Jopi’s Sausage & Brussel Sprouts
Serves: 6

1 Pound Polish Sausage Links (cut in 2 inch chunks)
3 Pounds Potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1/2 Large Onion (diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (sliced)
1 Pound Brussels Sprouts (cleaned and quartered)
Salt And Pepper (to taste)
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
1/2 Cup Milk (approximate)


Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Cover with water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 20 minutes, until tender. Remove sausage, set aside and keep warm. Drain potatoes and sprouts. Mash together, add butter and milk to desired consistency. Serve with sausage.

Soup is On: Chicken Enchilada Soup

Our desert weather has cooled off and it’s time to put soup on the dinner menu. Tonight I also used up a few cans from the pantry and broke out the slowcooker for Chicken Enchilada Soup. This recipe was created on the fly.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Into the slowcooker I tossed a diced onion, a diced red bell pepper, a small can of green chili enchilada sauce, can of chopped green chilis, a can of black beans, a small can of corn (drained), can of fire roasted tomatoes, 2 cups chicken stock, 4 boneless breasts in 1″ cubes, tbsp of lemon juice, a tsp of ancho chili powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, a pinch of crushed red pepper and some fresh ground black pepper. I didn’t salt it because some of the ingredients had salt and was glad as it didn’t need any extra. Cooked on high for 4 hours. Serve with sour cream, cilantro and tortilla chips.