Archive for September, 2012

September 22, 2012

Spiced Applesauce Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

FIRST. CAKE. EVER! K, I’ll admit, the second try was much better. My first cake was a bit dry and not spice-y enough. Feel free to up the spices to your heart’s content. Also, make sure you used SOFTENED butter, and really beat the butter/sugar mixture until you notice an increase in total volume. Here’s some info on the creaming method. Do it. There is a noticeable difference. Resulting cake is dense but soft, moist, and gives off a wonderfully autumnal aroma.

Recipe from Gourmet.com

SPICED APPLE SAUCE CAKE:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2+ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 whole cloves, ground
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (I used turbinado)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce+
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped

*I used sweetened applesauce. Did not find the end result too cloying. In fact, even with sweetened applesauce, it was not a super sweet cake. Perhaps due to the turbinado sugar (larger granules, less overall sugar in 1 cup).

CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

MAKE CAKE:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8 inch square cake pan.Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Beat butter with the paddle attachment on medium until soft  ~1 min.
  • Turn speed down to low, add sugar slowly. Return to medium speed and continue mixing ~2 minutes. Mixture should look “fluffy” or aerated.
  • Add vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts.
  • Line pan with nonstick parchment paper and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40min. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Re-invert cake onto a rack to cool completely.

MAKE FROSTING:

  • Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated.
  • Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.

Store cake in airtight container in fridge for up to 3 days. After that it starts to dry out. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Advertisements
September 10, 2012

Crunchy Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders – Fast Dinner

Fast weeknight dinner! Very tender, very flavorful. Kind of healthy? (: I served it with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed kale. Make extra ’cause this microwaves rather well for lunch the next day.

Recipe adapted from: plainchicken.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I used my food processor)
  • 1 tsp paprika (sweet, not smoked)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • Olive Oil

*I used 1/2 cup milk and added the 1.5 tbs buttermilk powder to the dry ingredients. I keep powdered buttermilk in my freezer at all times!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. OPTIONAL PREP: Brine chicken to make it super soft and tender and evenly seasoned throughout. In a small sauce pan, heat 2-3 cups water with ~1/4 cup of kosher salt (less if using table salt). Once salt is melted, add ice cubes to cool down the water.  Put chicken in a large freezer bag. Add brine into bag and top off with water until chicken is completely submerged. Loosen up chicken so they’re not stuck together to increase surface area. Push out air and seal bag. Place bag in a large container to prevent dripping and put in freezer over night.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well.  Dip chicken in buttermilk, dredge in pecan mixture.  Place chicken in an ungreased 9×13-inch pan.  Drizzle olive oil over chicken.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until chicken is done.

September 3, 2012

Tuna Salmon Fish Sandwich

Fast lunch. This is an upgrade to your typical tuna fish sandwich

  • canned salmon
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp+ dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2-3 tbs mayo

Mix in a bowl and serve on toast like tuna.