Monday, January 26, 2015

Pumpkin apple cake with salted caramel drizzle

I don't know why I had to make this today, seems like it would be a fall thing to do...I just wanted something pumpkin. And, please make all your ingredients organic where possible.

What you need and what to do:

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 apples, cored, peeled and diced (one with a little bite to it, but not a Granny Smith)
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans (1 cup for the batter, and 1/4 cup for the top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, using electric mixer, beat eggs, white sugar and brown sugar until light in color and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
Add oil, applesauce and vanilla extract and beat for 1-2 minutes more to blend in the ingredients. Add pumpkin puree and continue beating for 1 more minute to combine.
In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. Fold in the apples.
Spray the bundt pan with baking spray. Carefully pour the batter into the bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Invert the bundt pan onto the serving platter and let the cake to cool further. Then pour caramel sauce over it, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped pecans and sprinkle ever so lightly with Kosher salt.

Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
Place all in a pan and stir constantly while on medium heat you heat til boiling. Continue to stir while boiling for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool a bit before you pour over your cake. good and so moist.
Adapted from

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Waste not want not

Food. It's everywhere here in America but in some places it is not. Recently at The Food Tank Summit the discussion revolved around food. Where it is, where it isn't, who has it, and who does not. The agencies who are helping and the agencies who are hindering food production and quality. It's complicated and a lot of it is about money, power and big business. Not to say that there is some big business trying to help with world food issues. Explore the food tank here. Food Tank

Luca Virginio of the Barilla Center of Food & Nutrition Foundation, moderated on day two and said something that really resonates; there are people who have not enough food and people who have too much food. Here in America we have too much, we have food that is increasing disease such as diabetes, obesity in our young and heart disease. In too many other countries there is not enough food. There are people starving to death every minute of every day. Why?

My husband and I recently discussed why it is that so many people would rather eat "heat & eat" processed foods than to seek out healthy alternatives for their families and make their meals from scratch, choose to eat organic or grow their own?  Most important is, how does the global community become more educated on food issues?

Our very own Laurie Benson, here in Buena Vista, is co-founder of 1% For Women. Her organization creates micro loans from businesses to loan to women farmers in other parts of the world so that they may have the money they need to grow and raise the food they need. She says that 80% of the food produced in Africa is impacted by women in some way. This then creates "a ripple effect" that serves not only her family, but trickles down to the rest of her community therefore benefitting everyone. Check out Laurie's site here. One Percent For Women

Why is hunger such a difficult concept for us to embrace? Another speaker at the summit stated that 40% of all food is wasted...WHAT? I too, have thrown out food, although we are much more aware of this now and try to make use of everything that finds its way to our refrigerator. Think about it, do you waste food? Can you do a better job of not wasting food? Jonathan Bloom writes a blog about food waste, it's worth checking out. See his blog here, Wasted Food

I won't go on and on but check these links out, take a peek in your refrigerator and think more consciously about what you eat, how you prepare it and the food you waste. We can all make a difference with food, especially at home; it starts with all of us. And if we consciously make changes at home, eventually the industry will be forced to change.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Artichoke quiche

I have had this recipe for literally 35 years. It came from a roommate I had once. I loved it then and I love it now. Serve with steamed broccoli and biscuits. Yum. Even good for a hearty breakfast.

What you need and what to do:

Saute 1/2 chopped onion in 1 TBLS of olive oil and set aside.
Toast 2 pieces of whole grain bread (I use Rudi's 100% Whole Wheat) and set aside.

In a larger bowl lightly beat 5 eggs then add:
Your sautéed onion
14 oz can of artichoke hearts in water drained and coarsely chopped
1 small jar of artichoke hearts in oil drained and coarsely chopped
8 oz of shredded swiss cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
a couple of shakes of Tabasco
1/2 tsp pepper

After you put the stuff above together, take your toast and cut in 1/2 inch cubes. Gently stir in to the above mixture. Spoon into a greased 9" pie plate and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the egg is set. Really good as a leftover too!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Old fashioned cornmeal mush

There's something about mush...from my childhood. Also, known as fried polenta...whatever. Simple and good for breakfast with butter and syrup, and a fried egg.

What you need and what to do:

Place 3 cups of water in a saucepan with 1 tsp salt. SLOWLY poor in 1 cup of cornmeal (so you don't get lumps) cover, and cook over low to medium heat until nice and thick. This will take about 15 minutes or so. Pour into a loaf pan and refrigerate overnight. Remove from pan, slice in about 1/2" slices, dredge in flour and fry in oil til crispy on both sides.
Cheater Option: You can buy polenta prepackaged in round tubes, which is what I used here but only because my husband and I can't eat a whole loaf pan of fried mush...the recipe is my mother's from when I was a kid.