Friday, September 30, 2011

Apple Strudel

I am going to continue with my Oktoberfest recipes.......but today is about dessert! My youngest daughter's only reason she eats supper. My sister, however, will just eat dessert and forget about the meal.




Apple Strudel! My sister would like this dessert (or meal). My daughter really liked this dessert. It is a really simple recipe and it's so good! I recently went to a medieval dinner and at the end of the meal we were served apple strudel.
                                                     Believe me this strudel taste a lot better!


As you can see, I did not add any raisins. My family are afraid of raisins but I like them. Since majority rules, I did not add any raisins. You could add raisins or cranberries.


Apple Strudel


2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 apples, I used Gala apples but any good baking apple would work.
1 sheet of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets
powder sugar


Directions:
1. Thaw the puff pastry sheet on counter for 40 minutes.
2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples.
3. In a bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Add apples to the bowl and toss until evenly coated with the sugar mixture. Set bowl aside.
5. Sprinkle clean working surface with flour.
6. Carefully, unfold the puff pastry sheet on work surface and carefully roll into a rectangle.
7. Spoon the apple sugar mixture down the middle of the pastry lengthwise but stop about 1 inch from edge.
8. Fold the edges over the mixture and pinch seams together.
9. Cut several slits on the top of the puff pastry.
10. Bake strudel for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Let pastry cool on a wire rack about 20 minutes.
12. Once cooled, sprinkle with powder sugar.


Adapted from http://www.puffpastry.com/recipedetail.aspx?recipeID=23990&rc=-1


My oldest daughter loves apples but you could use pears or a mixture of fruit. When I was in Germany, I purchased gingerbread cookies but I didn't order any strudel. I did order a German pancake which came topped with cranberries. I was surprised to learn that there is a European wild cranberry.


Did you already know..................


An apple is 25% air so that is why applies float in water.(Lets bob for some apples.)
Cranberries float because they have four air pockets inside them.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

German Red Cabbage


Oktoberfest! I wish I was there. We went last year to Germany and it was a lot of fun. I'm not a big beer drinker so I remember it. I took lots of photos so my husband could remember too! So, I made a meal that could have been served in one of the tents.
Menu:
Bratwurst (aka sausage)
German Potato Salad
Spaetzle (aka pasta)
German Red Cabbage

We went with my Dad so he came over to enjoy the fest. He also told me if I was making the cabbage correctly. One of the ingredients is ground cloves. I asked him if I should omit it but he said no. He also had me add more. I really had doubts about this ingredients but it was good.The recipe does take over 2 hours to make so it is ideal for a Sunday dinner.

German Red Cabbage
2 Tbsp butter
6 cups shredded red cabbage (I just roughly sliced thin)
1 cup sliced Gala apples
 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp water
2 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Directions
1. In a large pot, melt butter.
2. Add cabbage, apples, and sugar.
3. Pour in the vinegar and water.(Yes the water amount is correct).
4. Season with salt, pepper, and the ground cloves (be brave).
5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
6. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low.
7. Cover and simmer 2 hours.

 Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/grandma-jeanettes-amazing-german-red-cabbage/detail.aspx.


Did you already know...................

Oktoberfest Facts:
-The festivities the festivities were to honor the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildurghausen.
-It is the largerst fair in the world.
-There are more than 5 million people attend every year. I was one of those people last year and it was neat to hear all the different languages being spoken in one tent. I met people from Japan, Australia, England, Italy, Germany, and of course Bavaria.
-The "tents" are as big as a warehouse.
-What surprised me at the fair was there are amusement park rides.
-Many men wear Lederhosen (leather breeches) which are passed down generations.
-Many women wear Dirndlgewand. When you purchase a dirndl, you need to pick a bodice, blouse, skirt, and an apron plus any accesseries. It can be expensive.
-It is free to enter the ground fairs but with the exchange rate the beers are pricey.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot Artichoke Dip


Aren't artichokes a weird looking vegetable? My children love it. My husband will not touch it. I made this recently for my family and there were no leftovers. If you are looking for a quick appetizer and you have a food processor, I recommend making this dip.


My oldest daughter asked for artichokes for supper one night and I said sure since I had no other plans. Just before I started making supper, her friend wanted to eat over. Her friend was always asking to eat over. I said sure but we were having just artichokes.The friend said she didn't care. Well, she never asked to eat over again.
Hot Artichoke Dip
2 (14 oz) cans of artichoke hearts
1 (8 oz) cream cheese (I used low fat)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 chopped green onions
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package of defrosted spinach
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 cup of 5 Cheese Italian Blend.

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Drain the artichokes and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Set aside.
3. Add one can of artichokes, the cream cheese, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, green onions.
4. Pulse about 7 times.
5. Add the parmesan cheese, the 2nd can of artichokes, spinach, salt, and pepper.
6. Pulse about 3 times.
7.  Pour the mixture into a oven safe dish. ( I used an 8x8 glass dish)
8. Top with the Italian cheese blend.
9. Bake 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is golden brown.

Serve with chips or french bread.

Adapted from the recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks




Did you already know............
-One artichoke plant can produce up to 30 chokes of different sizes. (I guess I know what I should plant next year.)
-One large artichiokes only have 25 calories.
-The first time I had an artichoke was in California which isn't surprising since Califorinia produces 100% of the US artichoke crop.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ultimate Streusel Cake with Streusel Filling

By making breakfast on Sunday night, it makes Monday (maybe Tuesday) mornings a little easier. I am ashamed to say I am popping a frozen mini waffles into the toaster on Fridays. My neighbors have witnessed my children eating them on the way to the bus stop. What shame! 

Do you have any tips to make Monday mornings a little less hectic?

Ultimate Streusel Cake with Streusel Filling
(Makes 1 ten inch cake)


Streusel Filling:
 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of chopped almonds
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

Cake:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream

Icing:
2 1/2 cups of powder sugar
1/4 cup milk

Additional powder sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease the Bundt pan. (I used the wrappers from the two sticks of butter.)
3. Combine all the ingredients of the streusel filling together. (Note: the original recipe called for pecans but I wasn't going to make a special trip to the store since I had almonds. You could omit all nuts, if preferred.)
4. Store streusel filling in refrigerator until needed.
5. In another bowl to make the cake, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
6. In a third bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (Since I was complaining about all the bowls, I mixed the butter-sugar by hand but you can use a mixer.)
7. Once the butter-sugar is well combined, add the eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix until just combined.
8. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until just combine.
9. Spoon half of the batter into the Bundt pan. Top with two thirds of the streusel filling.
10. Spoon the rest of the batter into the Bundt pan covering the streusel filling.
11. Top with the remaining streusel filling.
12. Bake until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean, about an hour. (My streusel filling was looking dark around 45 minutes so I covered with foil.
13. Transfer cake to wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes (or overnight).
14. When the cake is cooled enough, remove cake from pan.
15. In a medium bowl, prepare the icing by mixing the powder sugar and milk until well combined. Drizzle over cake.
16. Dust with powder sugar.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2002 Annual Recipes.


I recommend serve with coffee or tea for the adults. One time, we were visiting my father-in-law and the children wanted ice cream. Well, the only ice cream happen to be espresso ice cream. As you can imagine, our children were crazy. They could not stop bouncing. I kept saying the children never act like this then it dawned on us our mistake. Please learn from my lesson I recommend milk for the children or you may get a call from the teacher.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beginnings


 What better way to start a blog than with a cake! I made this for my little girl's 8th birthday! I showed her several different cakes of different blogs and this is the one that she picked. I liked the name since she will always be my princess! Enjoy!

Princess
Snow White Vanilla Birthday Cake





Snow White Vanilla Birthday Cake     
(A cake fit for a Princess.)

4 egg whites beaten stiff
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (or 1 tsp if preferred like I did.)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups water, very cold

Directions:
1. Grease 3 round cake pans and dust with flour.
2. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks.
3. In a medium bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy.
4. Add the extracts tot he sugar butter.
5. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients.
6. Add some of the dry ingredients then alternating with the cold water to the sugar butter until all mixed.
7. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.
8. Evenly pour the batter between the 3 greased pans. I measured out a cup of batter and added to the pans.
9. Bake for 30 minutes.
10. Cover with frosting. I used Swiss Meringue Buttercream by Sweetapolita. She has great directions for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Source: Adapted from Sweetapolita 
The cake will make any Princess happy!
Were you a Princess or a Tomboy? I was both depending on the day.


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