Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Center and Peanut Butter / Chocolate Drizzle


I am a Peanut Butter and Chocolate fanatic.  I love the combination.  I actually crave it so much that I began searching for a peanut butter and chocolate cake recipe.  Of course, Pinterest features a wide selection of various types of cakes and fillings.  For this cake I combined a little of this and a little of that from several recipes and came up with this cake.  The Mister and I loved it!  I should add we actually liked it best after it was a few days old.  It was still quite moist and the flavors seemed richer and more flavorful than the first day we cut into it.  The peanut butter center is more cake-like than cream filling.  I like that too. 

Would you like to try this?  Here is my recipe combining elements from other recipes I found.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Filling

Cake Ingredients:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of strong-brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk

Peanut Butter Cake Filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (caster sugar)
1 large egg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Drizzle:
2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 - 3 Tablespoons cream
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar (Icing sugar)
pinch of salt

Chocolate Drizzle:
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
 
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a bundt pan with vegetable oil spray.  In a small saucepan, melt 2 ounces of the chopped chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly.  Scrap the chocolate into a medium bowl and let cool slightly.  Whisk in the oil and sugar until smooth, then whisk in the egg.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add half of the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with 1/2 cup of the coffee and 1/2 cup of buttermilk; whisk until smooth.  Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.
  3. FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE FILLING:  In a medium bowl, cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and mix until combined well.  Add the egg and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the flour and salt.  Add the cream and stir to combine.  Mix until flour in completely incorporated.
  5. CAKE ASSEMBLY:  Add half of the chocolate cake batter to the prepared bundt pan.  Spoon the peanut butter cake filling on top of the chocolate layer, distributing the peanut butter batter evenly.  Now spoon the remaining chocolate cake batter over the top of the peanut butter batter.
  6. BAKE for 50 - 60 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before unmolding.  Let cake cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer (Do not allow it to come to a full boil, it will curdle)  In a heat proof bowl, combine the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate with the corn syrup and butter.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it stand for a couple minutes to soften the chocolate and then whisk until smooth.  Let the ganache glaze cool until it is thick, yet still pourable,  about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the chocolate glaze (the ganache) over the cooled cake.  Let the cake stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes.
PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE:
  1. Stir together sifted powdered sugar, peanut butter and salt.  Add the milk and stir until smooth.  Add additional milk if the glaze is too dry and stiff.  It is too runny add additional sifted powdered sugar.  Drizzle the peanut butter glaze over the chocolate glazed cake.
ENJOY!



Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pugliese


The Mister has been whining politely asking me to make bread, or as he says, "I want some good, chewy, crusty bread!  Something with bite and chew."    So....what else could I do but make a loaf of bread.


A year or so ago I purchased THE BREAD BIBLE written by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  Truly a bread recipe book if you want to know how to make and bake good bread.  I handed the heavy tomb (it IS a big and heavy book) to the Mister and asked him to pick out any bread he would like and I'd give it a go. 

The techniques and baking process Ms. Beranbaum uses are explained well in step by step format.  The Bread Bible contains a huge variety of different types of breads, rolls, pizza crust.  The ingredients are simple but it is the process...both in the making of the Dough Starter or Biga, as it is called as well as the method of baking.  This bread starts out baking in a 500 degree F oven for 5 minutes and then the temperature is lowered to 450 degrees F for another 20 minutes.  Prior to putting the bread into the oven at the preheated 500 degrees you put ice cubes on a tray of the oven floor and then put the bread in on the lowest shelf.  This creates the moisture in the very hot oven needed to create this fabulous bread.


Pugliese bread is very much like  Ciabatta or Focaccia breads.  Chewy, big air holes and flavorful.  It is a fairly small loaf; about 6 inches across and 3 inches high.  I don't think it will last through the day at the rate The Mister is eating it so I should get back in the kitchen and see what other tasty recipes I can find in The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  I highly recommend this book if you enjoy making bread.


Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blueberry Chevre Custard and Basil Pie (I call it Chess Pie)


 
Do you love Chevre as much as I do?  The pure creamy goodness of this delightful goat cheese is truly one of my guilty pleasures.  I've only ever eaten goat cheese on salads or in pasta recipes, so imagine my delight when I was reading The Beekman 1802 blog and saw this recipe for Blueberry Chevre Custard and Basil Pie.  OH!!  EMM! GEE!!  I had to make it!  And the chevre goat cheese wasn't the only aspect of the recipe that caught my attention.  BASIL was also a key ingredient.  I love Basil and why not pair it with blueberries and chevre in a dessert.  Josh and Brent (the Fabulous Beekman Boys) are geniuses!

 
Just look how pretty blueberries are with the bright green chopped leaves of the Basil (above photo).  Truly art worthy.  Then when you mix the Chevre, eggs and cream to create a custard on top, you'll have a pie made in heaven...or a heavenly tasting pie.  *smiles*

 
You know you want to make it so let's go!  Here's the recipe:
 
Blueberry Chevre Custard and Basil Pie
 
Ingredients:
  • Single pie crust from your favorite pie shell recipe or store bought
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces Goat Cheese (Chevre)
  • 12 fresh Basil leaves torn into little pieces
For the simple crumb topping:
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line your pie plate with your favorite pie crust recipe or store bought.  (I used my recipe that I usually use found HERE.)
  3. Pour 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) into the pie crust.
  4. Top blueberries with 12 basil leaves torn into small pieces.
  5. Mix together 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 eggs, and 8 ounces of Chevre cheese.  Pour over blueberries and basil in the pie crust.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.  Cut in butter with a fork and mix just until the sugar/flour/butter mixture is crumbly.  Top your pie with the crumb mixture and sprinkle the oatmeal over the top.
  7. Bake in preheated oven (350 degrees F) for 50 to 55 minutes, until the custard is set.
  8. Serve pie chilled or at room temperature.  Pie may be topped with whipped cream (or English custard is good too!)
Recipe from The Fabulous Beekman Boys website: Beekman 1802


Once again, we've had another snowstorm blow in.  The pups and the Mister had a fun morning walking in the woods this morning.  Now everyone is settling in for the big game this evening.
 


 
I hope you are warm, well and in the arms of family and friends.

Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Albondigas Soup



For tonight's "SOUP'S ON" Saturday #2 I've made
 Albondigas Soup. 
 
Albondigas Soup is a classic Mexican soup made with meatballs (albondigas).  I love this soup for its flavor and also for the ease with which it is to prepare.  You can change ingredients to suit your own taste without losing the flavor of the meatballs and vegetables.  And, the aroma of the soup while it is simmering in your soup pot is wonderful!
 
Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 3 quarts of beef stock OR chicken stock.  (I used beef stock today but I have used chicken stock when I've made it in the past and it is good too.  The meatballs will add their own flavor to the stock)
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large leafy stalk of celery, diced
  • 1/2 pound of green beans cut into 1 inch pieces (I prefer green beans but tonight I didn't have green beans so I substituted one can of black beans.  Use whatever you have on hand.)
  • 1/3 cup of white rice
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (you can use a couple teaspoons of dried mint if you don't have fresh.  You can also use cilantro if  you prefer it).
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 raw egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • a dash of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen or fresh peas
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crumbles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the broth and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add the carrots, celery and beans.
  2. Prepare the meatballs:  Mix the rice into the meat, addition the mint leaves and parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix in the raw egg and form into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Add the meatballs to the simmering soup, one at a time.  Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour.  Add the peas towards the end of the 1/2 hour so as not to over cook.  Add a few pinches of oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a dash of cayenne if desired.
  4. Garnish with Chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
Yields 6 - 8 servings.  Left over soup freezes well.



Like so many others, we are gearing up for tomorrow's predicted snowstorm.  They say we should get about 12" of the white stuff with a lot of blowing and drifting.  I'll be glad to have leftover Albondigas to warm us over the day or two.

Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Valentine Themed Kitchen Linens


I belong to a very fun sewing group on Facebook called the SEWcialites.  Each month there is a themed swap in which you are assigned a secret partner and you make a little something for your partner following the theme.  In December the theme was PIN CUSHIONS. 

This month the theme is St. Valentine's Day.  We can make anything we'd like as long as it has a Valentine's Day theme to it.  I chose to make my secret partner a pair of pot holders and coordinating tea towel.  Of course Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without chocolate too so I'm enclosing a little bag of chocolate treats too.

I had just one fat quarter of the Michael Miller Lovebirds print in my stash and a wee bit of the polka dot print.  I thought they looked cute together so I added some lace and buttons and ribbon and created this Valentine kitchen linen set.  I hope she'll like it.

Until next time,
 
Cheers!
 
Jennifer

Monday, January 26, 2015

Homemade Bird Suet


One of many things that I've loved since moving to my little farm is watching birds!  Where we used to live I rarely had the chance to observe so many species of wildlife and especially the feathered friends variety.


My bird feeders are hanging just outside my kitchen window.  Since I don't have a dishwasher, I've discovered that there is a lot of entertainment to be had just watching birds while I go about my daily chore of washing dishes.  It is hard for me to admit this but...I actually look forward to washing dishes...just because there is a wonderful feathered show in store for me.


Just as many of you have had, we've had some very frigid temperatures lately. The birds NEED extra fat and protein to carry them through the winter. I feel fortunate to be able to enjoy watching the birds and feeding them and I think it is my responsibility, once I began the feeding the birds, to be sure that they continue to have sustenance available at my feeders through the winter months.

 
"MY" birds love suet blocks and go through the suet blocks every week.  Last week I decided to see if I could make my own suet and happily discovered that it is very simple to make.  So the next step was to see if my homemade suet was to my feathered friends liking.  I'm delighted to say, YES!  They seem to love it.
 
Here is my recipe for homemade Suet:
 
 
Homemade Wild Bird Suet
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups lard
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup birdseed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Directions:
  1. Melt lard and peanut butter in a large pan.  Once melted combine the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  2. Pour mixture into a 13" X 9" pan and allow to cool.  I set mine in the freezer for an hour or two.  It's perfectly fine to put the pan into the refrigerator too..
  3. When the suet has cool cut into blocks to fit your suet feeder.  

  4. If you don't have a suet feeder that uses blocks don't worry!  Once your suet has cooled enough to handle, form into ball and place inside mesh bags that you get oranges/apples/onion in and hang them from nearby trees.
 
 
I would be remiss if not to add that store bought Suet is cheap!   I will also admit that probably my recipe costs a bit more per suet block than the ones you can buy ready made.  That being said, I enjoy the satisfaction of making the suet myself for my bird friends. 
 
Feel free to vary this recipe to your heart's content.  I think next time I'll reduce the amount of peanut butter.  I will probably add more cornmeal and perhaps  add peanuts.
 
What is most important is to have a high fat source of energy for the birds in the wintertime.  They need the fat.  You can also save and use bacon, beef and pork fat.  Bacon fat is fine but use it sparingly since it also contains nitrates and chemicals that the bird don't need in great quantities. 



Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Apple - Cranberry Pie



It's no secret that The Mister's favorite dessert is PIE!  Specifically, APPLE PIE!  I haven't baked his much desired pie in quite a while and feeling a bit inspired today I decided to change up his traditional apple pie by adding fresh cranberries.  While looking through my cabinets to see what I might have on hand to pack a little more WOW punch into his apple cranberry pie, I found a bag of dried blueberry infused cranberry/raisins.  Hmmm...now the wheels are turning.  Why not soak the raisins in something...like rum or brandy?  I don't have any rum or brandy but I do have rum extract/flavoring.  And oh look...I have a big and beautiful fresh lemon!  So I grabbed 6 apples and the lemon from the refrigerator, pulled a bag of frozen/fresh cranberries from the freezer, took the raisins and flavorings from the cabinet and then headed to the spice rack for some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cardamom.  Let's start baking!


Apple - Cranberry Pie
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
Pie Filling:
1/2 cup raisins (I used blueberry infused dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons of rum extract (or real rum if you have it).  Water may also be used
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (divided)
3/4 cup sugar (divided)
6 medium apples
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (zest)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Glaze for the top crust:
2 teaspoons sugar
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
dash of ground cardamom
1 egg
1 tablespoon cream
Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in the COLD butter and shortening until crumbly.  If mixing in a food processor, pulse just a few times.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork just until the dough holds together when you pinch it in your fingers.  (If mixing in a food processor you'll only need to pulse it 6 or 7 times.)  Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flattened circle shape and wrap them separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
  2. In a small bowl combine the raisins and rum and let them soak together for about 20 minutes.
  3. Place 3/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a flood processor and pulse until the cranberries are rough chopped.  Transfer the chopped cranberries/sugar mixture to a large bowl.  Add the apples, the rum soaked raisins, tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and the remaining1/2 cup of sugar.  Stir to combine all ingredients together.  Let the filling mixture stand for 15 minutes.
  4. On a lightly floured surface roll out half of the dough (one of the flattened dough rounds) into a 1/8th inch thick circle and transfer it to a 9 inch pie pan.  Trim the pastry to at least 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the plate to allow for crimping later.  Spoon in the filling mixture onto you pie pastry lined pie plate.
  5. Roll the remaining dough to 1/8th inch thick circle and cut into approximately 1/2 inch wide strips.  Create a lattice pattern by weaving the pie pastry dough strips like a basket weave..  Trim and seal the strips to the edge of the bottom pastry and then flute or crimp the edges.  With the remaining 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, place the berries into the openings between the lattice strips.
  6. FOR THE GLAZE:  in a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and set aside.  In a separate bowl whisk the egg and cream and brush over the lattice top.  Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon/spice mixture over the top of the of the egg/cream washed lattice.
  7. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 40 - 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
  8. Cool for at least 30 minutes.  If is delicious served warm with a small ball of vanilla ice cream.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home


This is most definitely NOT your traditional apple pie.  It is packed with flavors.  The contrast of the sweet apple, zingy cranberries, tart lemon and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of cardamom make this pie unforgettably flavorful. 

Until next time,
Cheers!

Jennifer



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The Dedicated House Make It Pretty MondayWonderful Wednesday Blog Hop Pure Grace Farm,   Worthwhile Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesdays, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, FoodySchmoody Tuesday Tastings,  Delish Dessert Link Party, Share your stuff Tuesdays, Anyonita Nibbles Tasty Tuesday'sShare it One More Time, Much Ado About MondayFeathered Nest Fridays, DIY Vintage Chic FridayThe Style Sisters Centerpiece Wednesday, Sew-Off Saturday Sew Can She , Two Cup Tuesday , Shabby Art Boutique Shabbilicious Friday , Give Me The Goods Monday , Homestead Barn Hop , Whimsy Wednesday , Knick Of Time ,  From the Farm Blog Hop , A Peek Into My Paradise , A Delightsome Life , Share your Cup Thursday Have a Daily Cup, Homework , Green Willow Pond , A Stroll Thru Life , Work It Wednesday , Savvy Southern Style , I Should Be Mopping the Floors , Common Ground Be Inspired , Simple and Sweet Fridays Sweet and Savory Sunday This Gal Cooks Marvelous Mondays , This Silly Girl's Life, Living Better Together TGIF Linkparty , DIY Sunday Showcase , Dear Creatives Inspiration, Super Saturday Link Party

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chicken Tortellini Soup

In our old age the Mister and I have settled into routines. One of those routines is soup on Saturday nights.  This is especially true in winter months.   Nothing tastes better or is more filling than a nice hot bowl of soup.  I keep it varied each week and make old favorites and try some new soup recipes too.  I decided to write down all of the various soups I make each week here on my blog with, beginning today, a Saturday feature I'll title "SOUP'S ON Saturday".

SOUP'S ON Saturday #1 is Chicken, Spinach and Tortellini Soup.


There are a million and one recipes for Chicken, Spinach and Tortellini Soup and nearly as many names it is known by.  My recipe is certainly not unique.  But this is how I make it.  It is very fast to throw together, has a wonderful rich broth, the cheese tortellini adds just the right amount of stick-to-your-ribs hardiness and, well...we just love it!

Chicken, Spinach and Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:
olive oil (a glug or two...translation: a couple tablespoons)
half an onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 quart of chicken broth (more if you like more broth in your soup)
2 extra large chicken breasts or 4 small chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 (9 ounce) package of fresh tortellini
4 large mushrooms, sliced
Fresh Spinach (I throw about 2 or 3 VERY LARGE HANDFULS of fresh spinach into the pot)
salt and pepper to your preferences
1/4 freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top when serving

Directions:
  1. Glug a couple of glugs of olive oil into the soup pot (probably about two tablespoons worth).  Add the diced onions and saute slowly until the onions are clear. 
  2. When the onions are clear now it is time to add the garlic and saute for about one minute.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the soup pot with the garlic and onions.  Add the chicken and bring to a simmer.  Simmer the chicken for about 35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Now add the sliced mushrooms, tortellini and fresh spinach to the pot and simmer until the tortellini is al dente and the spinach is fully wilted.  Add more chicken broth if necessary. Add salt and pepper to suite your taste.
  5. To serve, grate Parmesan over each bowl of soup and enjoy.

NOTE:  if you have left over rotisserie chicken or turkey that you want to use up, just shred up about 2 or 3 cups of the left over cooked meat and use it instead of fresh chicken.  You won't have to simmer the soup as long if using already cooked meat.

So there is SOUP'S ON SATURDAY #1.  Check back next Saturday to see what's in the soup pot.

It's cold and snowy here on our little homestead.  The soup is going to taste mighty fine tonight!


Until next time,
Cheers!
 
Jennifer



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Some of my favorite Blog Parties I enjoy attending:
 
The Dedicated House Make It Pretty MondayWonderful Wednesday Blog Hop Pure Grace Farm,   Worthwhile Wednesdays, Wake Up Wednesdays, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, FoodySchmoody Tuesday Tastings,  Delish Dessert Link Party, Share your stuff Tuesdays, Anyonita Nibbles Tasty Tuesday'sShare it One More Time, Much Ado About MondayFeathered Nest Fridays, DIY Vintage Chic FridayThe Style Sisters Centerpiece Wednesday, Sew-Off Saturday Sew Can She , Two Cup Tuesday , Shabby Art Boutique Shabbilicious Friday , Give Me The Goods Monday , Homestead Barn Hop , Whimsy Wednesday , Knick Of Time ,  From the Farm Blog Hop , A Peek Into My Paradise , A Delightsome Life , Share your Cup Thursday Have a Daily Cup, Homework , Green Willow Pond , A Stroll Thru Life , Work It Wednesday , Savvy Southern Style , I Should Be Mopping the Floors , Common Ground Be Inspired , Simple and Sweet Fridays Sweet and Savory Sunday This Gal Cooks Marvelous Mondays , This Silly Girl's Life, Living Better Together TGIF Linkparty , DIY Sunday Showcase , Dear Creatives Inspiration, Super Saturday Link Party

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A new year and a new chapter

Happy New Year!
 
It is not only a new year but it is a new chapter in the Mister's and my life.  Around the first of November I officially moved in to my little house in the country.  We bought a 104 year old farm house that is situated on 5 acres in North Central Indiana.  I'm "back home again in Indiana." 


I have a sweet little barn with two stalls for my horses with a lovely fenced pasture.  In the barn there is plenty of space to add another stall, chicken coup or any number of additional uses.


Behind the barn is a forested area with great trails that we and the dogs are enjoying exploring.  I will have plenty of space for vegetable and flower gardens.  And do you see the little white structure in front of the barn.  You guessed it.  It is an outhouse.  The Mister insists we will NOT refurbish it to working conditions since we have two perfectly functional INDOOR bathrooms.  I find it quaint and hey...you never know when you might need it in an emergency, eh?  Well, he and I will continue to debate the outhouse renovation.  In the meantime it is serving as a garden shed.
 
I love, love, LOVE living in the country.  It is so peaceful and quiet without city noises.  And without city lights the nights are so dark!  Everyday I make new discoveries.  Having never lived on a farm  (small as this one might be) nor have I ever lived in the country, each day I have a new adventure.
 
I am just now (today) unpacking the remaining boxes of my sewing machine, fabric and supplies as well as my paper crafting supplies.  I'm converting the basement into my crafting and sewing room.  Once I'm all set up again I'll be back into crafting and sewing. 
 
Spring will bring the real discoveries of country living.  The horses will be moved her then.  Currently they are being well cared for in Canada.  I can hardly wait for them to get here.  It will be a lot of work for this old gal but I'm eager to jump in with both muck booted feet.  The garden will have to be tilled and ready for planting.  I really want to add some chickens and ducks in the spring as well.  So as you can tell, we are slowly making the transition and reading, studying and learning about what it takes to live on a farm.
 
Thank you for stopping by.  It has taken me a while to unpack and settle so I've not blogged in several months.  I'm eager to share our adventures with you.
 
I wish you and yours all of the best in 2015.  For the Mister and myself, it is going to be an exciting year!  We just know it!
 
Until next time,
Cheers!
 
Jennifer


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.  The mister and I are going to celebrate the day in our usual low key kind of day.  I wanted to make a special dessert for our meal and decided to make this mile high  Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. 

 
The cake is three moist layers of spiced pumpkin cake and topped with a Buttery Cream Cheese Frosting flavored with cinnamon in it as well as lightly dusted on top.


 
Yes, we are celebrating tomorrow.  Yes, there is a piece missing.  A girl has to taste test before serving it, am I not correct?  *wink*  If the Mister liked nuts on his cake I think this would be delicious with candied pecans or even walnuts on top. 

Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Cake
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cream
 
Frosting:
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter three (3) 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with a round of parchment paper, butter parchment and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 20 seconds, set aside.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and 3 Tablespoons of the vegetable oil until pale and fluffy (occasionally scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl throughout mixing process).  Mix in remaining 1/4 + 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.  Blend in eggs one at a time, adding in almond extract with last egg.  In a bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin with cream.  Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternating with half of the pumpkin mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.
  3. Divide  batter among three prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.  Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 - 35 minutes.  Cool in cake pans 15 minutes, then run a knife around edge of cake to loosen and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.  Once cool frost cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Store cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
FROSTING:
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter  until smooth and fluffy.  Add cinnamon, vanilla and powdered sugar and mix on low speed  until combined, then increase to medium and whip until pale and fluffy.



Until next time,
Cheers!
 
Jennifer



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