I’m finally cooking more in my kitchen now that I have brand new cabinets installed. When we purchased our house only half of the kitchen had cabinets, while the other side was made for an “eat in kitchen”. I put two kitchen carts and an old cabinet in the space where they had the table. Food would get lost in the back of the “cabinet/pantry” while dog hair and dust hid in the depths of the kitchen carts. Thankfully, this setup is no longer there, and we have brand new shiny cabinets. We ordered cabinets to match the others we already had, and I am so happy I have my kitchen back. I’m also extremely fortunate to have a handy husband and father who installed these cabinets. I’ll post pictures soon of my new kitchen inspiration.
Back to cooking.
I made this cake for my parents anniversary when I cooked the Daube a la Provençale. Somehow, this extremely easy and tasty dessert was temporarily lost in my photos. As I went to post another recipe tonight I came across these photos. I couldn’t pass up not posting it. I don’t bake too often, but this was incredibly simple. Anyone can bake this, no matter their skill level. Thanks to Melissa d’Arabian from the Food Network for this easy, wallet friendly, recipe.
Orange Olive Oil Cake
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice and zest of 1 orange (about 3 tablespoons juice, 1 tablespoon zest)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Mix together the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until blended and light. Drizzle in the olive oil and vanilla and mix until light and smooth. Add the orange juice and zest and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another medium bowl. Add the flour mixture half at a time to the wet ingredients and mix on low just to incorporate. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool 15 minutes, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
Observations/Analysis: Cheap, Easy, Delicious. You might be concerned with the olive oil in a cake, but it only adds to the sweetness and moisture. I’ve had cake made with olive oil at restaurants and this comes very close. Plus, I love the subtle flavor of orange throughout the cake.
…Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake that is. This was my first attempt at a cheesecake, and I’ll have to say it was very tasty. This was a fabulous ending to our Christmas feast, and serves 16 people (unless some want seconds!). I was thrilled when the recipe said this dish could be made 5 days ahead of time. It was music to my ears during the busy holiday season. If I’m ever in need of an easy make ahead dessert, I’m turning to cheesecake!
This is me frantically taking a picture of the finished product while serving guests
Maple Mascarpone Cheesecake
- 1.5 cups walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 – 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
The flavor profile of this cookie fascinated me. I love lemon cookies, and I love rosemary…so why not try a cookie with both? I bought a “Make Ahead Holiday” magazine to look for recipes as I prepared for Christmas. This recipe was one I knew I wanted to make right away. There are a few changes I would make, which I’ll explain in the Results/Analysis section. The cookie itself was delicious, but it was the process I would change.
Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Cookies
Yields: 80 cookies Store: 3 days at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 C granulated sugar
- 3/4 C butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons finely shredded Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel (go with Meyer!)
- 1/4 C freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice (go with Meyer!)
- 2 Tablespoons finely snipped fresh rosemary (I chopped up so it was more fine. I didn’t want large chunks.)
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
This recipe comes from my grandmother and is insanely popular with my family. The name sounds silly, but it holds so many memories. The ratio between the cream cheese, chocolate cake, and chocolate chips is absolutely amazing. These cupcakes can also be made ahead of time and frozen. My grandmother used to keep them in the freezer. When I would go to her house, I would always head to the freezer and eat at least 1 or 2. I actually think I might help myself to one right now since I am talking about them so much…Yum! These cupcakes are a tradition in my family, and everyone out there needs to try these. I even asked my grandma if I could share the recipe on my blog. I didn’t want to give away the recipe without her consent! 🙂
My husband and I bought a ton of apples at an orchard last week. We have been extremely busy, but I wanted to make sure I used them to bake/cook before they go bad. I have made this 10 minute apple sauce several times but never with the seasonings below. This is Alton Brown’s recipe, but it is so easy to change ingredients and vary the recipe depending on your tastes. I’ll explain my changes within the recipe. After making this apple sauce at home, I honestly will never buy apple sauce from the store again. It lasts a long time in the refrigerator as well. The ingredients for this recipe are items I always have on hand (huge bonus).
- 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (I used 3 Cortland)
- 1 cup unfiltered apple juice (I used apple cider)
- 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more depending on taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger Continue reading