Monday, November 30, 2015

Streusel, Projects, & Photos

I look at the date of my last blog post (August 14, 2015) and wonder where the time went.  It is hard to believe that it has been a little more than 3 months.  And believe me it has not been an uneventful time in my life.  There was a small catering job for a wedding; working as an assistant at a food photography workshop; and preparation for knee replacement surgery on October 2nd.

It has been 7 weeks since my surgery and recovery has been taking one day at a time (mini steps).  I won’t go into every little boring detail of my recovery; all I will say is it has been a while since I felt like writing.  On the days I felt good I have taken to creating – baking, knitting, painting, and photographing.  I did not completely stop working. 
Each day that goes by I feel a little more like my old self.  I feel like things are getting back to normal (well, at least my normal).  Let me start off this week with an ‘Apple Streusel Cake’ baked in an iron skillet.  A really great recipe I found while rummaging through some old papers. (I would create the person who gave it to me, but there was no name.)

Apple Streusel Cake
Streusel Topping:
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped apples
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup orange juice

Glaze for top of cake:
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 ½ teaspoons orange juice

Making the Streusel Topping
1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease iron skillet (rub a little Crisco on bottom and sides).  *If using a tube pan – 9 or 10 inch tube pan.  Grease with cooking spray. 
2.   To prepare streusel, in a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, apples, flour, and cinnamon.  Stir in melted butter until crumbs are formed.

Making the Cake
1.   In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; mix well.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
2.   Set mixer to low; alternately beat flour mixture and orange juice into egg mixture.  Spoon half of the batter into the iron skillet.  Sprinkle with half of streusel mixture. 
3.   Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading to make an even layer.  Swirl batter with knife to create a marble patter. 
4.   Bake for 15 minutes Remove cake over from oven; sprinkle top with remaining streusel.  Return cake to the over; bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.**
5.   Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.

Making the Glaze
1.   Combine confectioners’ sugar and orange juice.  Mix well.   If using an iron skillet drizzle glaze over cake; serve.
If using an tube pan, turn cake out onto a serving plate; drizzle glaze over cake; serve.
 **if  using a cast-iron skillet; watch closely while baking – cast iron absorbs and retains heat more efficiently.  The cake may finish baking sooner that the time given.

 Great Recipe - Enjoy (especially with morning coffee)

 Photos of Projects, Fall, and Life During recovery

Beautiful Fall Color
I replanted tomatoes for the fall weather.  They did great!
knitting skinny scarves 

Handmade Nativities for my store

Early Morning Sky (Taken November 13, 2015, 7:00am)

Thanks for Reading and Staying with Me


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pasta in Bolognese Sauce with White Wine

For this recipe I have combined pasta and homemade sauce; added a layer of goat's milk yogurt cheese with grated Pecorino Romano cheese; and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano on top for the finish. (I am using goat's milk yogurt cheese and Pecorino (sheep's milk cheese) because I cannot tolerate cow's milk or cheeses.)  Serving size:  4 individual mini lasagna dishes

Bolognese with white wine
1/4  cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 pound ground beef
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 small can of diced tomatoes with juice or (1 home-canned
jar of tomatoes with juice (as seen in photo)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (set
aside for the topping)

*1 box (16 oz.) rotini pasta (or pasta of choice) 
   prepare pasta according to package directions and set
   aside to be added to the sauce when done  

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat
2. Add onions and garlic; saute until tender (about 8 minutes)
3. Add ground beef; saute until the meat is no longer pink
    (breaking up any large clumps). This will take about 10 minutes.
4.  Lower heat to a simmer and add the white wine.  Simmer
     until the wine has evaporated.
5.  Add the crushed and diced tomatoes.  Stir to mix.
6.  Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until sauce thickens
     (About 30 minutes)
7. After sauce has thicken add the cooked pasta and mix together.

Goat's milk yogurt cheese with Pecorino Romano
**this should be made way ahead of time
yogurt cheese maker
2 cups of yogurt
1.  Place 2 cups of the goat's milk yogurt into the wire basket
     of the cheese maker
2.  Place lid on top and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours 
3.  Yogurt cheese is ready with the whey has drained and 
      the yogurt is the consistency of sour cream.
**this should be made way ahead of time
1.  To the yogurt cheese add 1/3 cup grated Pecorino 
     Romano cheese
2.  Mix together.  Set aside until the assembly of the layers.

Assembly of the Ingredients
 (Preheat over to 350 degrees)
1.  You will need 4 mini lasagna dishes.
2.   First place 2 spoon fulls of the meat sauce in each dish
      and spread to cover the bottom of the dish
3.  Add 2 spoon fulls of the yogurt cheese mixture on top of the
     layer of meat sauce; spread this around on the top of meat sauce
     as best you can
4.  Next add another layer of meat sauce to each dish
5.  Take the 1 cup of Pecorino Romano and sprinkle a generous
      amount on top of each individual dish
6.  place each individual dish on a tray (it might bubble over
     in the oven) and bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or 
     until bubbly.

I hope you enjoy this little twist of traditional lasagna
Enjoy the Weekend


Happy Thanksgiving

  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Many Blessings and Love to All