Spiced Apple Cake

 

Christmas is upon us. It is my favorite holiday. I love everything about Christmas; family gatherings, decorations and especially delicious food. I decided to start baking some new desserts and this cake was first on my list. Found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine and on marthastewart.com, it is delicious and could be a great sweet side to accompany Christmas breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butted, melted and cooled slightly, plus more at room temperature for brushing
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds, seeds removed
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup apricot jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with butter. Line bottom and 2 long sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang. Butter parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, all the spices, set aside. Whisk eggs until pale and foamy. Whisk sugar and vanilla into egg mixture until combined. Add 1/2 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of butter and sour cream, repeat with remaining until all combined (do not over mix). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.

Toss apples with lemon juice and place on top of batter evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Apples should be tender and toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Warm jam in saucepan until brush-able consistency, immediately brush on top of cake when it comes out the oven. Let cool completely on wire rack. Lift cake form pan when cooled.

 

 

 

Pasta Salad with Peas and Summer Beans

 

I am posting more vegetarian dishes because it seems as though my daughter is serious about this no meat business. Being a vegetarian myself for nine years, off and on, I understand where she is coming from and I am trying to make new dishes to keep her fed and healthy. Here is a good one for the summer that was found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne pasta (recipe calls for whole wheat but you can use what ever you prefer of course)
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 8 oz wax beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 6 oz peas (1 1/4 cups) recipe calls for frozen but we used fresh from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (2 TBS)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1 TBS fresh juice
  • 1 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 6 minutes, add beans, cook until pasta and beans are al dente, 4 to 5 more minutes. Add peas and immediately drain. Run cold water over pasta and vegetables until completely cool, drain and transfer to a bowl.

In a small skillet, heat oil, add garlic until golden, 1-2 minutes, Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Combine with pasta and salt and pepper to taste, toss cilantro in and serve or refrigerate.