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Low-Fat Fruity Cake

Low-Fat Fruity Cake
Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

This is a recipe I adapted from, “The New American Diet,” a book I bought back in the eighties. In the book, it was called, Apple Loaf Cake, but it wasn’t baked in a loaf pan and I often use different fruit, so I re-named it!

In the cake pictured, I used rhubarb and apple. My rhubarb has been growing like crazy – probably because it’s in a container and we’ve been blessed with a fairly mild late winter/early spring, but I didn’t have quite enough larger stalks to cover the 3 cups of chopped fruit needed, so I used 1/2 of a Pacific Rose apple (unpeeled).

This is an easy recipe that goes together quickly, but it takes at least an hour to bake. Use the tooth pick test and add 5 minutes if it comes out gooey.

Low-Fat Fruity Cake

½ c apple juice

½ c canola oil

Fresh from the oven!

Fresh from the oven!

2 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 c chopped fruit (apple, rhubarb, berries, peaches – any combo, one or all!)

3 c flour

¾ tsp cinnamon

¾ tsp nutmeg

1 ½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a Bundt (or tube) pan with non-stick spray. Mix ingredients in order given (wet ingredients & sugar first, add fruit, etc.). Mix thoroughly. Spoon into pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Cool completely before removing from pan. Use a spatula to loosen the edges before inverting onto a plate. This is a very moist cake and doesn’t need any frosting. It can be served as a dessert or breakfast-type cake.

Don't you want a taste?

Don’t you want a taste?

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Recipe

 

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Moroccan Chicken Stew – Exotic and Delish!

Moroccan Chicken Stew – Exotic and Delish!
cinnamon, cumin, black and red pepper, and turmeric.

This little jar holds cinnamon, cumin, black and red pepper, and turmeric.

When I find a ready-made food that I really enjoy, I like to try and re-create it in my own kitchen. Campbell’s Soup is trying to reach out to the younger set with new and interesting soups in pouches under the name “Campbell’s Go.”  I’m from the tail-end of the Baby Boomers – not a Millennial, but my taste buds aren’t dead yet! I tried and loved their Moroccan Style Chicken soup, so I made a note of the ingredients and gave it a try. What really helped was finding a jar of a Moroccan spice blend – saved me from trying to figure out how much turmeric –vs- cinnamon or cumin! The first time, I used diced tomatoes for the base, and added some water; I also used leftover rotisserie chicken instead of starting from scratch. It was flavorful, but too soupy – not the consistency I was looking for. This time, I used crushed tomatoes and a tub of concentrated chicken stock (look for it near the broths in the soup aisle) as the base which gave me the consistency I was looking for – more like a spaghetti sauce than a soup. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 for this recipe), that I cut up into chunks before cooking, so the prep was longer, but ultimately worth it. Overall, I’d say it took about ½ hour of prep and I simmered it for under an hour. I served it with couscous and flat bread in a soup plate.

  • 2 c. cubed raw chicken
  • ½ c coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 c coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1 tbl olive oil

    Chicken,carrots and onions, sauteed in olive oil.

    Chicken,carrots and onions, sauteed in olive oil.

  • 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1-2 tbl Moroccan spice mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 serving concentrated chicken stock

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and cook for a couple of minutes; add chicken and pepper to taste. Stir and cook chicken/onion mixture for 5 minutes and then add the carrots and continue to cook and stir until carrots begin to soften. Dump in the tomatoes and garbanzo beans; add stock and spices, stir. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in a shallow bowl with couscous and naan bread.

Moroccan Chicken Stew, couscous, flat bread

Dinner is served!

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Recipe

 

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Cooking for Two: Caprese Sauce on Basil Gnocchi

Cooking for Two: Caprese Sauce on Basil Gnocchi

Don’t you just love those caprese appetizers? Those little fresh mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes skewered on picks and drizzled with balsamic vinegar? So yummy! I decided to make a sauce based on those delightful, summery, picks-o-goodness! Only no toothpicks. Because that would be dangerous.

I picked up a package of basil gnocchi at our local World Market for this dish, but regular gnocchi should work also. I used “pearl” tomatoes – which are more golf-ball sized, so I’m not sure where the name came from! A couple of diced, seeded Roma tomatoes would work just dandy. Speaking of pearls, I wish I could have found those cute little pearl-sized fresh mozzarella balls, but oh well!

1 – 16 oz. pkg. Basil Gnocchi

3-4 cloves Roasted Garlic

mozzarella balls, tomatoes, basil, caprese sauce

The sauce just needs to simmer a little longer to warm through!

¾ c white wine

1 tbl. Balsamic vinegar

1 tbl olive oil

3 small Tomatoes, cut in wedges and seeded

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/3 c chopped fresh basil (I use scissors)

12 fresh mozzarella balls (1 inch size –although I would have loved to have found the pearl-sized mozzarella)

SAUCE: Measure the wine and Balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan – add the roasted garlic and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt & pepper and simmer 2 minutes longer. Put in the mozzarella balls and basil and warm through.

gnocchi, caprese sauce, basil, tomatoes, mozzarella balls

We ate every single bite!

GNOCCHI: Using only mountain spring water, hauled by hand in a copper bucket…kidding! Cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pan. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and stir gently. Serve immediately.

Note: I should have added a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar…next time!!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2014 in Recipe

 

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Pork Chops in Roasted Garlic Jelly Sauce

Pork Chops in Roasted Garlic Jelly Sauce

As an empty-nester, it’s difficult to cook just for two people when you’ve spent decades cooking for a family. Here’s a recipe that makes plenty for two, plus maybe a bit leftover for a lunch to take to work! My daughter gave me a small jar of roasted garlic jelly that she had made and canned herself. I found a similar recipe HERE, if you’d like to try it yourself.

I confess right here and now that this was an experiment. I had the roasted garlic jelly and decided to try it with the pork chops. I had no clue how to use it, so I did a search and could only find pork recipes using pepper jelly. I read a few of them and decided to use them as a guide to develop my own recipe. This is the result and it was delicious!

wine, chicken stock reduction

Reducing the wine-chicken stock mixture.

The sauce:

  • 1/4 c. Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 c. White Wine
  • 1/2 c. Roasted Garlic Jelly
  • 1 pinch each: Thyme and Crushed Rosemary

Bring chicken stock, wine and herbs to a boil. Simmer and stir to reduce a bit – about 5 minutes. Reduce heat. Add jelly. Break it up and stir until it is fully melted. The sauce will be thin. Remove from heat and set aside.

roasted garlic jelly, reduction sauce

Chunks of quivering deliciousness, melting in the sauce.

The chops:

  • Two Sirloin Boneless Pork Chops (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 Tbl. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over fairly high heat. Add the pork chops and with sprinkle salt and pepper; brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until done (10-15 minutes), turning occasionally.

Add the sauce, turning the chops to coat. Cover and let simmer a few minutes to meld the flavors. Serve hot, spooning some sauce over the chops.

pork chops

Two browned chops – can you smell them yet?

pork chops

Yummy chops with cheesey macaroni shells and steamed baby broccoli!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2014 in Recipe

 

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Guest Post: Mom’s Magic Meatloaf

Guest Post: Mom’s Magic Meatloaf

Your guest blogger today is my daughter, Andrea. I asked her to write a guest post because she as waxing poetic about my meatloaf recipe. Well, it’s sort of my recipe. Let’s put it this way: My mom put this recipe in a church cookbook a million years ago and this is the same recipe with my modifications. Andrea has a blog HERE. Follow her – she’s funny!

Fact: there is no way to make meatloaf look good in pictures.  I’m not claiming to be a master at the camera phone food technique, but I’m no slouch.  And meatloaf is one of those foods that just doesn’t photograph well.

But OH the taste!  Meaty and juicy and redolent with spices from the sauce you have slathered upon it.  We made meatloaf last night, and I insisted that it be my mom’s meatloaf.  Because everyone’s favorite meatloaf is almost invariably their mother’s.  Until you try this meatloaf and realize that your favorite meatloaf is actually from MY mother.  My husband declared it to be magic and said that he would be sending his very culinary minded brother the recipe.

Not only is this recipe full of delight and husband-pleasing goodness, but it is pretty quick and easy to come together.  Perfect for when you are trying to throw together dinner while the Seahawks game is paused and everyone is hungry and apparently no one in town knows how to go the speed limit to get you home in time for kick off.

Side note: I am trying out football this year, and this is fortunate as the Seahawks are having a very good year.  Go shiny pants, go!

The Seahawks won the game, but I think we won it even more because we were eating delicious meatloaf while sitting on the couch and they were running around in the wet and cold while wearing spandex.  I think it is clear who comes out on top in that comparison.

So the recipe is as follows:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 4 slices of bread, diced up (any old bread will do.  I think we de-crusted ours for maximal mushy texture)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ c chopped onion
  • 1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • Pepper, fresh ground, to taste

Combine all this goodness together.  Spray a large loaf pan with non-stick spray and press the meat mixture into the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now, make the sauce by combining:

  • ½ c Ketchup
  • 1/3 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp allspice

We only had mustard seeds and allspice berries so we used our handy-dandy coffee spice grinder and put in a little extra of both.  The resulting concoction made our entire kitchen smell like happiness.

After 30 minutes in the oven, take out the meatloaf and carefully drain out any liquid that has built up.  You will be worried that you are setting yourself up for dry meatloaf as you are pouring all that juice into the sink, but believe me when I say that everything will be fine.  Just drain the meatloaf without dumping the whole thing into the sink, and you’re good.  Then slather that sauce you just made on the top of the meatloaf and pop it back in the oven to finish.  20-30 minutes- ours took 30 minutes.  Check your desired doneness with a meat thermometer.  Let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing.  Try not to actively salivate onto the meatloaf unless you aren’t planning to share.  I won’t blame you in the slightest if you want to keep the entire thing for yourself.

This is the only meatloaf picture I will subject you to.  You need to try it for yourself to really appreciate it.

This is the only meatloaf picture I will subject you to. You need to try it for yourself to really appreciate it.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Guest Blogger, Recipe

 

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Holiday Dinner Side Dish: Squashle Sauce

Holiday Dinner Side Dish: Squashle Sauce

Did you know that squash and apples go together like cranberries and oranges? When combined, I call it “Squashle Sauce” and it is super simple to make! It is a sweet rather than savory side dish so it is a nice contrast to stuffing, green bean casserole and the like.

First you need some butternut squash and some apples – this batch had 2 medium sized squash and 4 apples, but you can adjust to however much you want to make (this was a huge batch for a large crowd!

Butternut squash - peel with veggie peeler

Butternut squash – peel with veggie peeler

After washing the produce, peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and cut it into chunks, discarding the seeds and pulp. Peel and chunk the apples, discarding the core/seeds/etc.

Put water into the bottom of a large pan to about an inch deep – add the chunked up goodies. Bring to a simmer and cover. Stir frequently – add more water if needed to keep from scorching (lower the heat!) If it is too juicy, leave the lid off to allow it to cook down.

Use a fork to test for tenderness – you want to be able to pierce the chunks easily. Once they are tender enough, use a potato masher to, well, mash them!

Add butter, brown sugar, salt, spices – I use cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, but ginger would be a nice addition, too!

Chunks!

Chunks!

Add brown sugar, salt & spices to taste
Add brown sugar, salt & spices to taste
Continue to stir & cook until the butter is melted or it until it has an apple sauce-like consistency. (NOW do you get the name of the recipe?)  This is a great one to make a day ahead because it is easy to reheat. It can also be frozen.
Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Recipe

 

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Fall Foods: Pork Roast Stuffed with Goat Cheese

For me, fall means beta carotene season, but one can’t live on orange-color root vegetables and squashes alone!  What to serve with roasted sweet potatoes? Pork! This recipe is super-simple, but looks ever-so-fancy! I find cheeses to be salty – goat cheese being no exception – so I didn’t add any salt to the recipe and it was delicious. My husband begged me to photograph the roast and put it on this blog so I could make it again – how can I resist a begging man? (roasted sweet potato instructions are below – just in case you need those too!)

Roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to pork roast!

Roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to pork roast!

Boneless Pork Loin Roast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

1.5 lb boneless pork roast

5 oz. semi-soft goat cheese

4 grape tomatoes, halved

Olive Oil

Fresh ground pepper

½ tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray. Place the roast in the pan. Cut a slit down the center of the roast, but not completely in half. Distribute the cheese evenly in the slit and stuff the tomato halves into the cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the roast. Grind pepper over the roast (to your preference) and sprinkle with thyme. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking for 10 more minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

The sweet potatoes (two decent sized tubers) were scrubbed, peeled and cubed before placing in a non-stick spray coated roasting dish (not the same one as the pork roast). I drizzled a little olive oil on them and used my hands to make sure they were coated evenly. I ground fresh pepper and sea salt over the potatoes and dusted them with a combination of sugar and cinnamon. They were covered with foil and roasted alongside the pork for the same amount of time. Yum!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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