Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

April 21, 2015 in Recipes

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mothers-day-brunch-2012This is for all dads, grandpas ,uncles,brothers…. in short – this is for all the guys out there: Combine forces with kids – or with each other and start planning Mother’s Day brunch for that special mama in your life. I am going to help you out – here are recipes for a great brunch – all are easy to put together, even for those who do not have a high level of expertise in the kitchen.

The Mother’s Day Brunch Menu:

  • Old Fashioned Pancakes
  • Asparagus and Soft Eggs on Toast
  • Strawberry Crepes
  • Apples Fritters
  • One Bowl Chocolate Fudge Cake

I know – this not exactly a menu for calorie counters and cautious eaters. But – it is Mother’s Day, so – why not indulge?

Old Fashioned Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 cups of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Stir flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
  2. Beat eggs thoroughly and add milk.
  3. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients, slowly add the egg-milk mixture.
  4. Add melted butter and vanilla.
  5. Stir quickly until ingredients are just mixed and batter is still lumpy in appearance.
  6. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls on a hot griddle.
  7.  Cook the pancakes until they are filled with bubbles and the under-surface is golden brown.
  8. Turn and brown the other side.
  9. Serve as hot as possible with maple syrup, honey, jam or jelly, bacon or sausages.
  10. Do not turn the pancakes more than once during cooking.

Variations of pancakes:

Sour milk pancakes – make pancake batter, using sour milk or buttermilk. Reduce baking powder to 1-1/2 teaspoon; add 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon warm water.

Blueberry pancakes – make pancake batter, increasing sugar to 1/3 cup. Reduce milk to 1 cup. Add 1 cup of floured blueberries. Cook slower than plain pancakes.

Apple Cinnamon pancakes – make pancake batter. Reduce milk to 1 cup;add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. 1 cup of grated raw apple, 1.2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 teaspoon of warm water.

Ginger’n spice pancakes – make pancake batter. To dry ingredients add: 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon allspice.

Banana pancakes – make pancake batter. Reduce sugar to 2 teaspoons and milk to 1 cup. Add a few grains of black pepper to dry ingredients, fold in 3/4 cup of mashed ripe banana.

Asparagus and Soft Eggs on Toast

eggs-asparagus-toast_300 

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of your favourite bread (white sandwich bread is not recommended)
  • 1 lb. of  asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil                            
  • salt and black pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (1 ounce)

Directions:

  1. Heat broiler.
  2. Place the bread and asparagus on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  4. Broil until the bread is toasted, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer the bread to plates.
  5. Continue broiling the asparagus, tossing once, until tender, 4 to 8 minutes more.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
  7. Carefully lower the eggs into the water.
  8. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 6 minutes.
  9. Cool under running water and peel. If you want to, you can make poached eggs your usual way and place them on toasted bread with asparagus.
  10. Divide the asparagus among the toast, sprinkle on the Parmesan, and top with the eggs.

Apple Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cups of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and beat gently until smooth.
  2. Pick nice firm apples, peel them, core and slice into round circles about 1/2: but no more than 3/4″ thick.
  3. Using tongues (or fork), dip each slice into batter mixture and drop into hot oil.
  4. You will need to turn the fritter over once one side turns golden brown and rise to the top of your oil.
  5. When they are cooked on both sides, gently lift them from hot oil and place on absorbent paper that will soak up excess grease.
  6. You can then either put them into a mixture of sugar and cinnamon or sprinkle them with icing sugar mixed with a bit of vanilla sugar of just place them plain on a serving plate.

Also try: Banana Fritters by pealing firm bananas and cutting them into rounds about 1/2″ thick. Sprinkle pieces with about 2 tablespoons of sugar and about 1 tablespoon of orange juice, let stand for 20 minutes. Dip banana rounds into the batter, making sure it coat the entire piece. Drop one by one into hot oil and fry same as Apple Fritters.

 

 Strawberry Crepes

Filling:      

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 4 cups of sliced, hulled strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of orange-flavoured liquor or orange juice

Crepes:

  • 1-1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of orange flavoured liquor or orange juice

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Whisk together eggs, milk, butter and liquor or orange juice and whisk into dry ingredients.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Heat 8 or 9 inch crepe pan or skillet over medium heat; brush with some of the butter.
  5. For each crepe, pour ¼ cup of batter into pan, swirling to coat; cook, turning once until golden – about 1 minute.
  6. Transfer to plate and continue cooking crepes from the remaining batter.
  7. In a bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and liquor. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  8. Spoon ¼ cup of strawberry mixture onto centre of each crepe, fold sides over into thirds or spread the strawberry mixture over crepe and roll.

One Bowl Fudge Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Stir first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl of electric mixer.
  2. Add shortening (at room temperature). eggs and 1/2 cup of milk.
  3. Mix on low speed with electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Scrape sides of the bowl often during mixing. Add cooled melted chocolate, vanilla and remaining milk, beat 2 more minutes on same speed.
  5. Pour into greased and floured 9 square cake pan.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven (350F) for 35 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Frost as desired.

This batter can be used to make fudge cupcakes – place cupcake paper cups into a muffin pan and fill each about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 350F for about 15 – 20 minutes. It will make about 1-1/2 dozen of medium size cupcakes.

Hope you have a great Mother’s Day and please, send in your comments, your input is welcomed and much appreciated!

 

 

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Fresh Apple Cinnamon Cake Recipe

June 17, 2014 in Cakes, Recipes

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Fresh Apple Cinnamon Cake 001

 

You can cheat here a little bit to make this cake very easy to put together. Using quick bread and coffee cake mix and topping it with fresh apples makes up nicely for the cheat!

Fresh Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 package cinnamon swirl quick bread and coffee cake mix
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of finely chopped Granny Smith apples

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Spray 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Set aside cinnamon swirl mix.
  4. Beat quick bread mix, water, egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  6. Spread apples evenly over batter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon swirl mix.
  7. Bake 22 -25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.
  8. Remove cake to wire rack and cool for minimum of 15 minutes.
  9. Cut into pieces and serve warm at room temperature.

Please note: These flavors are at their peak when this coffee cake is served warm. To reheat, microwave on high for 10-15 minutes.

And consider serving it with vanilla ice cream – delicious!

 

 

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Superbowl Party Tips and Recipes

January 24, 2014 in Recipes

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superbowl

Traditional saying: “It’s that time of the year again” is usually associated with Christmas time, but in the month of February, it only means one thing: SUPERBOWL! My guess would be that a large number of people are looking forward to Superbowl Sunday. Some are just plain excited about watching awesome football, others are thinking “Finally it’s over and we can have our weekends back”. Whatever the reason, Superbowl parties are one of the top at-home party events of the year. They are much more than a gathering of football lovers – many people attending don’t actually even like football, they attend to get together with friends and break up the monotony of the very boring winter month.

seahawks and broncos

This year it’s the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos match up. Personally, I am thinking that Denver has the guys – especially the great Manning that will take it this year. From what I understand right now, they are the underdogs so that is partially why I would pick them – go figure.

So – if you are thinking about planning a Super Bowl party – here are few tips and some great recipes for you:

Superbowl Party Planning Made Simple:

  • Plan simple, easy foods and set it up as a buffet. That is your only option, since there is no way anyone will want to be sitting at a table.
  • If you have more than one television set, set the sets up around the party area.
  • Don’t choose recipes that will keep you in the kitchen – you should be able to enjoy the party as well
  • Have one room designated for non-football lovers who will just want to visit and chat or maybe have a game of cards
  • Plan on plenty of beverages – definitely do not forget the beer!
  • If you just absolutely have to decorate – use team colours, footballs, team jerseys, goal posts and pennants. But I wouldn’t worry about it too much – the attention will be on the television set.
  • You may want to have a good supply of paper towels, napkins and also a rug cleaner – things have a tendency to fly!
  • And keep a little spare change and small bills handy for betting pools that just might be popping up over the course of the party!

Superbowl Party – The Food:

The name of the game is simple – meaning organizing casual, hearty food. This time you can leave your gourmet expertise alone. Your guests will want to eat in front of the television set – so you pretty much have to keep the menu simple.

There are traditional foods you just have to serve at your Super Bowl party – they include chili, chicken wings, some great dips and nachos. I am including all the recipes for these – all easy and quick to put together. I have also included something sweet  -  if you are up to it -  a real football cake!

The menu:

  1. Crockpot chilli with Corn Bread
  2. Original Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing
  3. Layered Dip – Mexican Style
  4. Crockpot Spinach Dip
  5. Ground Beef Nachos
  6. Football Field Cake

1.Crockpot Chili with Corn Bread

crockpot-chili

Make sure you have grated cheese handy – it makes each serving awesome as it melts over the top of hot chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans kidney or pinto beans, drained
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 tsp. chili powder
  • hot pepper, to taste, cayenne
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook for 7 to 8 hours on LOW, or until done.

Serves 6 to 8.

For more chili recipes, click here

Cornbread:

Cornbread Tips:

  • Sprinkle a little cornmeal in the hot pan before adding the batter. It will brown and add a crisper texture.
  • For a crusty cornbread, make sure there is a good “layer” of oil or shortening in the pan.
  • A tablespoon of mayonnaise can be substituted for the egg.
  • You can use all cornmeal, or lessen the amount of flour in the recipe.
  • Use muffin or cornstick pans (preferably iron), to vary the shape.
  • Instead of baking, fry the batter like pancakes.

Buttermilk Cornbread:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Add beaten egg and buttermilk, mixing well.
  3. Pour into greased, heated 8-inch or 9-inch iron skillet.
  4. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Buttermilk cornbread serves 8.

Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing

buffalowings

Chicken wings are a must for Superbowl Party – this blue cheese dressing makes them really special

Super Bowl party would not be complete without chicken wings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 pounds chicken wings
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt (if desired)
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
  • 5 Tablespoons Louisiana-brand hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Chop off the tip of each chicken wings, and discard it.
  2. Chop the wing in half (cutting at the joint) to make 2 pieces.
  3. Grind on fresh black pepper and sprinkle with salt if desired.
  4. Heat the oil over high heat in a deep skillet, Dutch oven, or deep-fat fryer until it starts to pop and sizzle (around 400 degrees F).
  5. Add half the chicken wings and cook until they’re golden and crisp, stirring or shaking occasionally.
  6. When done, remove them to drain on paper towels and cook the remaining wings.
  7. Melt the butter or margarine over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, add the hot sauce and the 1 tablespoon of  wine vinegar.
  8. Stir well and remove from the flame immediately.
  9. Place the chicken on a warm serving platter, pour the sauce on top, and serve.

For more Chicken Wings recipes, click here

Blue Cheese Dressing:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream or no-fat sour cream
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine buttermilk, sour cream, garlic, sugar, paprika and salt.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add blue cheese, and pulse quickly once or twice.
  4. Do not blend. You want small chunks of blue cheese.

    Refrigerate 4 hours or more before serving to let flavours blend.

Layered Dip – Mexican Style

JOE CHURCHWELL'S SUPER BOWL PARTY 1

Great treat for everyone – add tortilla chips of any other chips you like and listen to everyone loving this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (9 oz.) can Frito Lay jalapeno bean dip
  • 3 avocados, minced
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic salt
  • 3 tbsp. sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • Several tomatoes, chopped
  • Layer chopped green onions
  • 1 (4 oz.) can black olives
  • 1 (9 oz.) can jalapeno cheddar cheese dip

Layer as follows in a shallow dish:

  1. 1 (9 ounce) can bean dip, 3 avocados, minced.
  2.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and garlic salt.
  3.  Mix 3 tablespoons sour cream, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 package taco seasoning mix.
  4.  Chopped tomatoes.
  5. Layer 3 green onions.
  6. 6. Sliced black olives.
  7.  1 (9 ounce) can Frito Lay cheddar cheese dip. Serve hot or cold

Crockpot Spinach Dip

artichoke-spinach

This is an awesome dip – especially if you decide to serve it warm

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pimento
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled

Preparation:

  1. Combine cream cheese and cream in slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW until cheese is melted, about 1 to 1- 1/2 hours.
  3. Add remaining ingredients; cover and cook on LOW for about 45 minutes longer.
  4. Serve with raw vegetables, crackers, or crusty bread cubes.

Ground Beef Nachos

beef-nachos-1

You cannot have a Superbowl Party without nachos – they are easy to put together and it is OK to get creative with the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of ground beef (the amount is up to you)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell green pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope of taco seasoning, about 1 ounce
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag of plain tortilla chips

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook ground beef in a large saucepan or Dutch oven.
  3. Add all ingredients but the cheddar cheese and chips to the pot and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. While it is simmering, pour the chips into a casserole dish.
  5. Spread hot mixture over the chips; sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top and put in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

For more Nachos recipes, click here

Football Field Cake

Step-by-step How to Make it

footballcake

Yes you can! You can make this incredible cake and surprise everyone! Sweets are not usually an important element of a Superbowl party menu, but make this one and it will be a hit!

This creation will definitely score for you! You will need to make a sheet cake – 13″ x 9″ size is recommended.

footballsupplies

You will need:

  • 1 – 13″ x 9″ sheet cake that has been frosted chocolate (my preference) or vanilla.
  • 7 oz. shredded, sweetened coconut that has been tinted by shaking in a plastic bag with 1 teaspoon green food gel
  • 1 pretzel rod divided in two parts
  • 4 short pretzel sticks, 2 of which have been divided in half
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 can white decorator frosting
  • Assorted football cake decorations such as footballs, plastic players, team flags

How to Put the Football Field Cake Together:

Create the Goal Posts

goalposts

  • Place 12″ square piece of wax or parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  • Place chocolate chips into microwave safe bowl. Melt at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue heating at 50% power for 30 seconds each time until smooth consistency is reached.
  • Dip pretzels into melted chocolate, tapping off excess. Place on prepared paper and form into goal post shapes.
  • Once goal posts have been made, transfer cookie sheet into refrigerator to chill.

Put the Cake Together:

footballcake1

  • Evenly spread coconut over top of cake, reserving 1/2 cup for touch-ups as needed.
  • Draw lines with decorator frosting on field to create yardage markings and end zone.
  • Insert pretzel field goals into end zones.
  • Finish with cake toppings. In this illustration a football was created using melted dark chocolate that was formed into a football shape. Laces were created using white frosting

Hope these tips and recipes will help you have a great Super Bowl party – enjoy and share your tips and experiences – your input is always welcomed!

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Best Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

December 5, 2013 in Recipes

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Ever thought that mango is great in a Christmas  fruitcake? And for sure – the recipe you are using rum does say to use just a little bit of rum…Here is one of my favourite recipes – and what would Christmas baking efforts be without a real fruitcake? This one is full of fruits and nuts and is sweet and moist….. real treat! Especially if you serve it with French Vanilla Ice Cream or real whipping cream (just forget the calories for once – this one is worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup chopped Maraschino cherries
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried or candied mango
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied lemon
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dark rum, divided

Directions

  1. Start by soaking the cherries, mango, cranberries, currants, and lemon by covering them in a bowl with in 1/4 cup of rum. Cover tightly and let the mixture sit for at least 24 hours in room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Butter a 6×3 inch round pan (or a small loaf pan if you don’t have a round one) and line with parchment paper.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg until nicely mixed together.
  5. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and add to the butter and sugar mixture in three batches, with alternatively adding molasses and milk.
  6. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts.
  7. Transfer batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
  9. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
  10. Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin.

This cake is great if you age it for a while – you could make it as far ahead as 10-12 weeks – but it will be just as good in a week!

Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Ginger Pumpkin Bread Recipe

November 1, 2013 in Breads, Recipes

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Rating: 6.8/10 (4 votes cast)

pumpkin bread 001

 

Did you think about putting ginger and pumpkin flavors together? Whether you did or not, try this recipe – deeeeeelicious!

Ginger Pumpkin Bread Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted – plus: room temperature butter for pan
  • 2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour – plus more for dusting the baking pan
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz) of pumpkin puree – 1-3/4 cups
  • 3 large eggs
  • Icing sugar and hot water for glaze

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Butter and flour dust two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 loaf pans and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, pumpkin puree, melted butter and eggs.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir until just combines.
  6. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  7. Bake just until a toothpick inserted in centre of loaves comes out clean – about 50 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 10 minutes, invert pans and transfer loaves to wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Glaze if desired by mixing icing sugar with a little hot water and stirring it until thick paste forms. Drizzle this over the loaf.

Hope you will enjoy this recipe – please send me your comments, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Homemade Maple Cake Recipe

October 30, 2013 in Cakes, Recipes

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Maple cake 001

 

Using real maple syrup in baking is a great idea! This delicious cake will take you only about 20 minutes to put together and I know that you and your family will enjoy it!

PS – If you like raisins or walnuts – add them in!

Homemade Maple Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature , plus more for greasing the baking pan
  • 2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the baking pan
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cups of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups of sour cream
  • Raising or walnuts or both if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Butter and flour 9 inch square baking pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine – set it aside.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, maple syrup and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
  6. Mix in vanilla
  7. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in 3 parts and sour cream in 2 parts (begin and end with flour mixture)
  8. Transfer batter to pepared pan, smooth the top.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean – 35-40 minutes.
  10. Cool 10 minutes in pan.
  11. Turn out of the pan onto a wire rack and cool completely, right side up.

Make Maple Glaze:

In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted. Sift in 1-1-1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar – whisk to combine. You can adjust the consistency with syrup or sugar if necessary.

 

Hope you will enjoy this recipe – please send me your comments and suggestions, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars Recipe

October 29, 2013 in Recipes

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Believe me – this dessert is sooooo much better than just a plain pumpkin pie or anything else! And its easy to make – promise you will love it!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopper candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 250 gm brick of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons of 35% cream
  • 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. letting paper overhang the pan’s edges.
  3. Stir graham crumbs with candied ginger in a medium bowl until evenly moist.
  4. Press over bottom of prepared poan.
  5. Bake in centre of oven until edges are golden – about 10 minutes.
  6. Whisk egg in the same bowl (no need to wash it)
  7. Whisk in puree, sugar, spices and salt.
  8. Cut cream cheese into cubes.
  9. Beat in cheese, with an electric mixer until combined.
  10. Pour mixture over warm crust.
  11. Bake in center oven, until filling is set when pan is jiggled – about 25 minutes.
  12. Cool completely.
  13. Heat cream in small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot – about 2 monutes.
  14. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.
  15. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  16. Spread over cooled filling.
  17. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm – about 1 hour.
  18. Use parchment paper to lift square out of pan, then slice it into 20 bars.
  19. You can refrigerate this dessert for up to 5 days or freeze it up to a month.

 

Hope you will enjoy this recipe  - please send me your comments, your input is alwasy welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake Recipe

October 17, 2013 in Recipes

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apple cinnamon bundt cake 001I absolutely love the aroma of apples and cinnamon – especially this time of the year. When it’s start cooling down outside and when there is a rainy date, baking something with apples and cinnamon just defines the description of “comfort food”. Try this recipe – it may very well become your family’s favorite!

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter – melted
  • 1-1/2 cups of packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter with brown sugar and eggs until mixture is smooth.
  4. Gradually whisk in flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix)
  5. Fold in apples with rubber spatula.
  6. Spoon batter into a 3-quart non-stick bundt pan and smooth top.
  7. Bake until a tester (or a thin knife) inserted in middle of cake comes out clean – 50-60 minutes.
  8. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool 15 minutes.
  9. Invert cake onto the rack to cool completely.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of water to form a thick yet pourable glaze.
  11. Set rack with cake over wax paper (for easy clean up), drizzle glaze over the cake and let it set before serving.

 

Hope you will enjoy this recipe – please send me your comments and suggestions. Your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

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Best Thanksgiving Dinner Desserts

October 11, 2013 in Recipes

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It is not always easy to prepare a dessert for your Thanksgiving dinner – most of the time, your guests are so filled with all the other goodies you have prepared for your holiday feast and sometimes desserts get left behind. I have put together a few desserts that will make your dinner guests wanting to take a little break and then come back for a special treat.

Pear Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

  • 6  cups of cored peeled pears
  • 2 cups of chopped cored peeled apples
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup of butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, toss together pears, apples, flour, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Spread in 8-inch square glass baking dish and set aside.
  3. Topping: In a small bowl, whisk together oats, sugar, flour and nutmeg; drizzle with butter, tossing with a fork until crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle over pear mixture.
  5. Bake at 350F until pears are tender and topping is golden and crisp – about 1 hour.
  6. Try serving this warm with vanilla ice cream!

Old Fashioned Lemon Squares

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 6 oz. of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed

Custard:

  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Icing Sugar for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan and line with two rectangles of parchment paper. The paper should hang over edges of the pan to create handles.
  3. Combine flour, walnuts, icing sugar, cornstarch and salt in food processor and pulse until blended.
  4. Add cubes of butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake on a middle rack for 25 minutes – until golden brown.
  6. Remove and reduce oven temperature to 325F
  7. Meanwhile, lightly beat eggs, sugar, lemon juice, flour, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.
  8. Carefully pour custard over the warm crust and bake until set – about 25 minutes.
  9. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  10. Lift square out of the pan using the parchment paper handles, dust with icing sugar and cut into 16 squares.

 

Chocolate Crumble Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup fo sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 3 oz. of bittersweet chocolate, melted

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • 1-1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of ground almonds

Directions:

  1. In a bowl stir together brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt
  2. Stir in butter
  3. Stir in flour and ground almonds, using hands to press mixture together.
  4. Let cool
  5. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until combined.
  6. Bear in egg and egg yolk
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda nad salt.
  8. Stir into butter mixture alternately with sour cream, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of sour cream.
  9. Stir in chocolate
  10. Spread in parchment paper-lined 8 inch square metal cake pan.
  11. Crumble topping evenly over batter
  12. Bake at 350F oven until tester inserted in centre comes out clean – 35 – 40 minutes
  13. Let cool on rack before cutting

Hope you have enjoyed these delicious recipes – please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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The Best of Thanksgiving

October 9, 2013 in Recipes

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Are you planning all your special Thanksgiving activities and menus? If you are, you can probably use a little help. Here are some of my best tips and recipes – all in one place. Enjoy!

Great Tips for Your Thanksgiving Table

GREAT TABLE TIPS

Easy Thanksgiving Table Decorating Ideas

TABLE DECORATING IDEAS

Best Thanksgiving Recipes

BEST RECIPES

Light Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

LIGHT MENU

Thanksgiving Games

GAMES

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

traditional

 

 Hope you will enjoy all this information and make you Thanksgiving Holidays very, very special! My best wishes to you, your family and friends!

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