Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Time to feed the sweet tooth

Saturday morning,  Hubby left early to go to the gym and then had some errands to run. So, he wouldn't be home till early afternoon.   I decided I needed to get motivated as well and set a plan for my day.  I wanted to pull out some fall decorations, get the mountains of laundry done and I needed to feed my sweet tooth as well.  I had this recipe from the Noble Pig saved on the Facebook feed and decided that Saturday was the time to make it happen. 
 
To get the day started I headed to the Y to get in some cardio (in preparation for the calories I was going to consume). From there I would go to the grocery store with my list of ingredients needed.  Then head home and tackle my to do list and get everything done in order to enjoy the beautiful fall day we had.
 
This cake was not only calling my name I knew my mother would like it as well. I was planning on going out to see her on Sunday and would take about 1/4 of the cake with me.  I had to share the calories with someone and I get my sweet tooth from her.  And who can resist a cake with 2 and 1/2 sticks of butter? I would of thought this cake came from a Paula Deen recipe, but it didn't.  The house smelled just wonderful while this was baking.  There was so much flavor to it, especially the glaze. And even now when I take the lid of the cake plate I get that almond scent in the air.  It won't last long in my house.
 
 
 

Butter Almond Pound Cake

Ingredients

 

3 cups (12 oz) cake flour, more for dusting (do not substitute)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon pure almond extract
1 cup whole milk (do not substitute), room temperature

Almond Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon almond extract
1/3 cup slivered almonds for garnish
 
 

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
 
Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
 
Add batter to a one-piece tube pan* (16-18 cup capacity) that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with cake flour.(I did not have a one piece tube pan, so I had to use my standard two piece, extra coating of cooking spray)

 Bake in a 325 degree F oven that has NOT been pre-heated. This will give you a loftier cake and a nicer crust. (Do not open the oven door). Bake for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out the center clean.
 
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then turn out on the rack and turn right side up. Let cool for three hours.
 
Mix together all ingredients for the glaze and pour over the top. Sprinkle with almonds before glaze is dry.
 
 
* Tip - When adding batter to a tube pan you have to be careful around the hole in the middle.  Our tip is to cover the hole with a Tupperware sippy cup.  Once the batter is in the pan, carefully putt the cup off.  And yes, the sippy cups are left over from when my children were little.  Great cups that we could never get rid of.  


Don't you see the butter oozing out of this? 


 
From the Noble Pig Website - one of my favorite blogs!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Apple Cranberry Crisp



Looking through my past post I discovered a fall favorite that we made for our daughter last year when she was home on a break. Now is the perfect time to pull this recipe out again and enjoy while Apples and Cranberries are in season.  Whip up some fresh whipped cream and enjoy as the fall season approaches. 

So Hubby, if you are reading this post, can you make this again?
 
 
For the topping
5-3/4 oz. (1-1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. table salt
 1/4 lb. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 oz. (3/4 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
For the filling
3 lb. apples (4 to 5 medium-large), such as Braeburn, Gala, Rome, or Honeycrisp
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 lb. (2-1/4 cups) fresh cranberries
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. fresh orange juice
Pinch table salt
1 cup granulated sugar

 

Topping Directions

Combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until it's well blended and the mixture is clumpy but still a bit crumbly (it should hold together if you pinch it). Mix in the pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble and bake the crisp

Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter the sides only of a 9-inch-square baking pan.

Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut each apple quarter crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Put them in a large bowl, sprinkle on the cinnamon, and toss until evenly coated. Combine the cranberries and orange zest in a food processor and pulse until the cranberries are finely chopped, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.



Add the cranberries to the apples and toss to combine. Put the butter, orange juice, and salt in a small microwaveable dish or a small pan. Heat in the microwave or over medium-low heat until the butter melts, about 1 minute. Swirl to blend and pour the mixture over the apples. Toss to coat. Add the sugar and toss to coat again. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the apples.



Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set the pan on the sheet and bake until the juices are bubbling on the sides, the top is golden brown, crisp, and hard, and the apples in the center are tender when pierced with a fork, 60 to 70 minutes (rotate the pan for even browning, if necessary). If the top starts to get too brown after 45 minutes, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes to let the juices thicken. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spicy Shrimp and Garlic

 
Summer was coming to an end for us and we wanted to savor our last night with our daughter before we took her back to school. Our little guy, who really isn't so little, was spending the night at a friends house because there  would be no room in the car for him on our college drop off trip.  Plus, he really didn't want to take the 2 1/2 hour trip down and then the 2 1/2 hours trip back.  

So our last Saturday night with our daughter I made this great shrimp and pasta dish that had such great flavor.  On top of that I made her cookies to take bake to school and homemade chocolate chip ice cream!  This recipe is definitely a keeper and one that our son will love as well.  

Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste 
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 8 ounces penne 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine shrimp and olive oil mixture; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. 
  • In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and sauce mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and green onions, if desired.


Adapted from Damn Delicious and my Pinterest page for Lenten favorites

So post dinner we packed the car to the brim and then enjoyed a fire at the pit.  It was an early morning with getting ready to leave, going to mass and hitting the road by 9 a.m.  But, we made it.  She is back at school and we are back to a table for 3 at dinner.
Can you find the college Sophmore in there?

Look how happy we are!  But we miss her too.