Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ruttan and Law Family Recipes—The Secret Recipe Club

Clone of a Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Big Fat Delicious Cone of a Cinnabon

Guess what?  For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I FINALLY got one of my favorite blogs and one that I’ve been waiting for well over three years to be assigned.  It has been a party at our house as I have made a ton of recipes from Shelby’s blog, The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch.  Going out with a bang here, but I’ve made the decision to not be part of the Secret Recipe Club anymore.  I have been with it from the day Amanda created it more than three years ago.  I have never missed one month.  It has been so fun, such a great time, and I have made some great friends along the way.  I’ve been feeling for a number of  months now that it will be time to move on once I finally get Shelby’s blog.  That has been what has kept me going, the excitement of waiting and wondering when I’ll finally get THE assignment. 

Brownie Biscotti

Brownie Biscotti

Shelby, Shelby, Shelby—what a wonderful woman!  We’ve “known” each other (haven’t met in person yet) since way back in about 2008 when we were both involved with Tuesdays With Dorie and baked our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours in a huge weekly-posting group.  Those were the days, weren’t they?!

Throughout this last month, I have had the fun and pleasure of seeing how many of Shelby’s recipe from her blog I can make.  I have not been disappointed with a single one!  I loved the brownie biscotti and made it gluten free and used organic cane sugar to make myself a treat.  Can’t wait to make them again!

Way back when she posted these unique chocolate chip cookies, I made them.  I looked back through all my photos and my blog and never did put them on the blog.  But I did find where I wrote some notes after making them that Kevin really liked them.  This recipe, that Shelby posted back in 2009, was one she found on a handwritten recipe card that her family believes was from her Grandmother Lottie.  They have no butter and are made with cream instead, which is probably because cows’ milk/cream was more at hand back in those days than butter.  I made these to take to a get together we were having with some friends along with a couple other goodies and they were gobbled up.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies Grandmother Lottie's Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

I didn’t want to only make treats or desserts from her blog, so I have turned to it for dinner inspiration over the last month.  I made a great chicken recipe weeks ago that was well liked here at my home.  I will not hesitate to make it again.  Just like when Shelby made it, I served it with rice (and for me quinoa).

Chipotle Chicken Skillet, by Shelby

Chipotle Chicken Skillet

My family LOVES cinnamon rolls, which Shelby has mentioned she can’t resist either.  It only seemed right to make the recipe she has pictured at the front and center of her blog.  These just might replace my cinnamon roll recipe, which I’ve used for years because the boys all really liked them.  How could you not like a giant cinnamon roll that is similar to Cinnabon?!  (Wish I could have had one!)  This recipe, which is similar in size of ingredients to mine, makes EIGHT rolls.  They are huge, and I think I rolled them the wrong way (from the long side of the dough instead of the short side, which would make each roll bigger).

Clone of a Cinnabon, from Grumpy's Honeybunch 8-11-14

Big Fat Delicious Clone of a Cinnabon

I really enjoyed looking all through Shelby’s blog and ended up having to make another recipe from her family file and settled on these date treats made by her Aunt Helga.  I changed up this recipe for candied date balls so I could eat them (no one else here will eat anything with dates!) and made the recipe with coconut sugar and raw honey instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of butter.  I also used some organic brown rice crisp cereal instead of Rice Krispies.  I enjoyed making some different with unsweetened coconut, chopped walnuts and even adding a little chocolate to some.

Aunt Helga's Candied Date Balls

Aunt Helga's Candied Date Balls

Another awesome recipe I made were a quick-change version of Shelby’s Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies.  I had the brownies all ready to make and was getting out the ingredients for the peanut butter caramel, which called for smooth peanut butter and found that we were out.  Staring at me in the cupboard was some nice, smooth Nutella.  So I made the caramel sauce (which came from a Bobby Flay recipe) with Nutella!  After making the caramel and once it cooled, I will have to admit I tasted a little bit, for quality control purposes, you know.  It was good!  The caramel was swirled in to the brownies.  They made for a yummy dessert with ice cream on top.  It seemed necessary to take a bite of the one photographed here, so I can really attest to their deliciousness.  I’m a bad, bad girl, I know. ; ) 

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies adapted from Peanut Butter Caramel Swirled Brownies

The 9x13 inch pan of brownies lasted a few days around here.  One of Kevin’s 18 year old nephews was over and had one of the brownies and said they were SO good.  He asked for another.  Then he said I definitely had to make those for the next family get together. 

Nutella Caramel Brownies

Nutella Caramel Swirled Brownies with ice cream

Wait, there’s more!  It has been strangely cool and quite rainy for an August in the Utah dessert here, so I was recently in the mood for chili.  Shelby to the rescue!  She has a great, simple White Chicken Chili on her blog!

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Another night for dinner, I had some more chicken I wanted to use.  Our dinner that night was Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken from The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch.  Mmm, it was good!

Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken

Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken

I made the glaze with some apricot jam my friend gave me that was made with agave instead of sugar!  I’m so blessed to have friends that care about my dietary needs.  My dinner included some sauteed sweet potato and portabello mushroom hash and a caprese salad.  Delicious dinner!

Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken, Sauteed Sweet Potaotes and Mushrooms with Caprese Salad

I saw Shelby’s post for Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Pears and just like she said she had to when she saw it posted somewhere and had to make it, I did, too!  I also made homemade tortilla chips.  I made some with flour tortillas (not pictured) and some with corn tortillas, which I loved!  The boys couldn’t eat the flour tortilla chips fast enough and want more soon!  The salsa was supposed to be made with finely chopped red onion, but since I knew I was the one who was going to eat most of it (Kevin doesn’t like fruit in salsa), I left out the onion and added chopped jalapeno instead.  Yum!

Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Pears and Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Pears and Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Are we there yet?  You know, how when you’re on a long trip and the kids complain and ask if we’ve arrived at our destination yet?  I’m almost done.  But aren’t you starving now?  Yeah, get over to Shelby's blog for all these delicious recipes.  Finally, I ended the month recently with another biscotti, which is the same thing I made first when I got my assignment (the brownie biscotti).  Since Shelby is from upstate New York and they love their maple syrup there, I wanted to make something with maple syrup, so I settled on her Maple Walnut Biscotti.  I have simply loved having so many treats this month, a lot of them I have adapted to gluten free and refined sugar free when it was something I wanted to be able to eat, like the biscotti.  I will spend the next month or so sharing individual posts for my adaptations for all these recipes.  For now, all the links to the recipes I used from Shelby are under each photo. 

Maple Walnut Biscotti

Maple Walnut Biscotti

Shelby dipped her biscotti in a white chocolate glaze, I added some Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips to some of mine.  I’m not a coffee or tea drinker and don’t dip my biscotti in anything, but sure love it!

This Sunday night for dinner, I planned ahead and made one more recipe from Shelby’s blog—Pot Roast and Onions.  While I don’t like onions, my family does and I knew I’d be okay putting an onion in the slow cooker with a roast.  Loved this simple recipe and the gravy it made.  When it comes time to eat, my family is not happy to wait for pictures, so I got them all eating, then snapped this quick one of my dinner.  (They had mashed potatoes, but I don’t eat potatoes anymore, so I had a sweet potato.)

Pot Roast by Shelby

Shelby's Pot Roast

Is it over?  I mean this “era” in my blog life of being part of the Secret Recipe Club?  Let me just say that I’ve sure been torn from one day to the next, even one hour to the next throughout this last month.  I will still be checking in on reveal days as much as I can.  One of the reasons I feel like it’s time to let it go is because I just can’t seem to get around to as many blogs as I’d like and it doesn’t seem fair.  I’ll definitely still be here in food blog land, so never fear!  Peace out!  And we will meet someday, Shelby, my sista from another mista!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“Raw” Brownies with Walnuts (Grain Free, Vegan, Sugar Free)

"Raw" Brownies with Walnuts

These “raw” brownies are so easy to make and have just a few ingredients but they taste so good.  I don’t even think someone who doesn’t know they are grain free, have no added sugar and are vegan would realize that they are such, nor would they realize they are made with dates.  A great, healthy treat—I’m so happy to have things like this when I make full fat, high sugar treats for others and just want a little something for myself.  I don’t think real treats are bad now and then, but for now, I’ve given up sugar and gluten and THIS is just the kind of thing I love.  You will, too!

I’ve made similar things before, like these Chocolate Hazelnut Bombs or these Almond Joy Fudge Bars.  Even these Healthy Fudge Brownie Bites are more like these “brownies”, but they have honey added as well.  Today’s “Raw” Brownies just have dates, nuts, and cocoa as the main ingredients.  Easier and I think I like them more.  I’ll have to make both and do a taste test (that’s really just my way of having to make more treats for myself). ; ) 

“Raw” Brownies, (Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan) by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1  1/4 cup pitted dates

1 cup raw cashews, chopped (I like cashews for the base as they don’t have a distinct flavor, but these would make great brownies with other nuts, too)

5 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped—optional

1 tablespoon Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or other chocolate of your choosing)—optional

Line a 9x5 inch bread pan with nonstick foil.  Place the dates in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Drain the dates (reserving the liquid) and pat them dry.  Roughly chop them (always do this to check for pits!).  Put the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the dates and pulse a few times.  Add the cocoa powder and salt.  Process until all is finely ground and well combined.  May take a minute or two until you get the consistency you want.  Add the walnuts and pulse just a few times so they are left as big pieces.  Spoon all of the mixture out of the processor, scraping the the bowl.  The mixture is a bit sticky, but try not to eat it all before you press it into the pan.  Put it in the pan and before you press it all down evenly, sprinkle on the chocolate chips.  Refrigerate for an hour.  Cut into 16 pieces.  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

"Raw" Brownies

These are perfectly chocolaty, I love brownies with nuts, and there is no extra sweetness needed, they would even still be great without the walnuts and extra chocolate chips.  I can’t wait to run out of these and make some more—I have quite the stash of dates and nuts to use up!

"Raw" Brownies

These would be great with any other nuts, pecans especially, but I am partial to walnuts in brownies.  I think I’ll try them with peanuts soon, too, and get that great peanut butter chocolate combo. 

"Raw" Brownies with Walnuts

Have you seen enough photos?  I must end this post, because every time I see more, I want to grab another one.  Make these.  The end. 

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake (Gluten Free)—Secret Recipe Club

Gluten Free Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

I really like this Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake that I made from my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month!  Even better, I love that I made it gluten free and with some other substitutions all on my own.  This may not seem like that big of a deal, but for me in my new adventures in to a gluten free life as well as refined sugar free, I was really happy with how this turned out (and scared it wouldn’t).  Win!

My assigned blog this month was Ilona's Kitchen.  Ilona’s blog is full of all kinds of yummy desserts (and some other things, too)!  It was, as usual with Secret Recipe Club, hard to pick what to make.  It seems that Ilona and her family really enjoy cakes of all kinds as there were many to choose from, but I wanted to pay tribute to that by making one of the cakes.  Lo and behold, since it is blueberry season, as soon as I saw her Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake, I decided that was the cake I needed to make.  Besides, I’ve been buying blueberries by the ton and lately always have some in my fridge.  I’ve decided, while I’m not sure I’ve ever met a fruit I don’t really like, berry season is my favorite—especially raspberries and blueberries!

My next task after deciding to make this cake, was to make it gluten free and use unrefined sugars, so that I could have some of it, too.  Though I don’t go without butter all the time, I also decided to swap the butter in this cake for coconut oil and at the last minute realized I didn’t have any more sour cream, so I used some plain whole fat yogurt in its place.  Lots of changes, but basically, Ilona’s bundt cake and mine could be twins, at least fraternal twins. ;  )

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake (Gluten Free)Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake (Gluten Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

2  1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I used Namaste GF Organic Perfect Flour Blend from Costco)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup coconut oil

1 cup unpacked (150 grams) organic light brown cane sugar

2/3 cup (227 grams) raw honey

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plain yogurt (whole fat)

zest of one large lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice (save the rest of the juice for a glaze)

2 cups blueberries, washed and set on a towel  in single layer to dry

1/4-1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar

Glaze--

2 tablespoons raw honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush the insides of a bundt pan with coconut oil, making sure to get all the crevices.  Set aside.  Whisk together in a medium sized bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In an electric mixer, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar and honey.  Beat until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the yogurt, lemon zest and juice and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well just until combined.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Pour the batter into the bundt pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.  Invert cake onto a wire rack (set the rack on top of the cake, then carefully turn it upside down until setting the rack on the counter, the cake should drop right out).  Cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Make the simple glaze.  Put the honey and lemon juice into a small microwave safe dish.  Microwave for 20 minutes, whisk until well combined.  Let cool.   Drizzle a little bit on servings of cake (I did this instead of drizzling the whole cake at once).

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake (Gluten Free) Aug. 2014 SRC

I really like the hit of lemon in this cake from the zest and juice in the cake and the simple honey lemon glaze.  You could glaze the whole cake before serving, and I splurged on 1/4 teaspoon of powdered sugar and dusted the cake, then just put glaze on individual pieces of the cake.  Kevin thinks it would be good with a sugar-laden glaze or whipped cream and I’m sure it probably would, but my way is yummy and better for you.  Even though the cake is gluten free and “different”, usually my family steers clear when I tell them that, but they have been eating the cake.  I love the almost crust-like edges of the cake. 

Check out Ilona’s blog, Ilona's Kitchen for more great recipes!  I actually made another recipe from her blog, it was a last minute salad I needed to take to a ladies church activity.  I loved it.  Again, I made a few changes, but you can find her Spinach and Edamame Salad here.  Ilona’s salad didn’t have blueberries and had pine nuts instead of pecans. 

Spinach Edamamae Blueberry Pecan Salad 7-22-14

Spinach Edamame Blueberry Pecan Salad, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen edamame

1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

1/3 cup dried cranberries (I used apple juice sweetened)

1 cup blueberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

1 (5 ounce) bag of baby spinach

juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Cook edamame according to package directions.  Rinse under cold water until cool.  In a large bowl, combine the edamame, chickpeas, dried cranberries, pecans, blueberries and spinach.  In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Whisk until well combined.  Dress the salad just before serving with the lemon dressing a little at a time, tossing between each tablespoonful.  Don’t overdress it.  You could also dress individual servings as well.  (You won’t use all of the dressing, you could probably even halve the dressing recipe but it will be great on other salads.  Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator in a jar.)

Lots of delicious recipes to choose from  on Ilona’s blog!

 

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Granola” Bars (Oat and Grain Free)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (Oat-Grain Free)

These might just look like every other granola bar you’ve seen and you might even be wondering why “granola” is in quotes in the title.  That would be because there are no oats or grain in these.  The kick of flavor from all the different nuts, coconut, and of course, chocolate is heavenly in these bars and the grain is not missed at all.

I made these right before my family reunion in June.  When getting out other desserts to share, I snuck one of these out of the fridge for me (since I’m not eating any of the other treats that were available) and my brother, Matt, asked what they were.  He was interested in them since he tries not to eat much sugar and he knew they were probably healthy since I was eating them.

Within minutes, they were almost completely gone.  Matt loved them.  He encouraged others to try them and they liked them as well.  I hurried and snuck a couple more bars to save for me for another time and let them get devoured.  Without oats and other grains, the nutty flavor is intensified and these have just the right amount of chocolate.

I got this recipe from Danielle’s blog, Against All Grain.  Love her blog and cookbook and her!

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Granola” Bars, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Danielle at Against All Grain

1/4 cup (84 grams) raw honey

1/2 cup (148 grams) organic, natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup raw pecans

1/2 cup raw cashews

7 pitted dates, roughly chopped to check for pits

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with nonstick foil.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine the honey, peanut butter, coconut oil and salt.  Heat until all melted and combined together.  Stir in the vanilla.  In the meantime, put all of the nuts and the dates in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles course sand.  Add the sunflower seeds and coconut and pulse a few times until they are mixed well with the other nuts.  Remove the peanut butter mixture from the stove and stir the nut mixture into it.  Once it is all combined, pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on the top and press it down evenly with your hands.  Remove the paper from the top and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and again using the parchment/waxed paper, press them in to the top of the bars.  Put the pan in the freezer and freeze for 2 hours.  Remove bars from the pan and the foil and cut into desired sized bars on a cutting board.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Granola" Bars

It’s official, I am making these again today.  They are full of nuts and pretty sweet, I think the bars could even be cut smaller than I did in the photos.  But at this size, they are a perfect snack or energy bar.

Chocolate Peanut Butter "Granola" Bars

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars and Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake (Both Gluten Free)—The Secret Recipe Club

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Gluten Free) 7-2-14

It’s time for my July Secret Recipe Club post and reveal!  I have a little thing to tell you—it “secretly” bugs me when the last (or one of the last few) post someone did on their blog is what someone picks for their reveal.  That said, here I am, posting one of the last things on my Secret Recipe assignment.  I AM happy to see that she has since posted a few more things, so it’s not the very last thing.  It just always makes me think that someone didn’t take the time to look throughout the blog to decide what to make.  Blah, blah, I know, silly me.  Then I saw Sarah at The Pajama Chef recently post these granola bars made with coconut oil (EASY to make gluten free) after I already made something else (the Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake) and decided I had to make them, too.  So you’re getting a twofer again, which I’m sure you don’t mind and I am SO happy to have found TWO recipes that I love!

I really don’t know which one I liked better, the granola bars or the cake.  I’m posting the granola bars first because I made them a little healthier (although both are gluten free) so I feel a little better about that. ;  )  I LOVE how chewy the granola bars are and that they are not baked—no turning on the oven in this hot, summer sun for these!  I used gluten free oats, organic brown rice crisp cereal, raw honey and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.  Yep, these are health food.  I love the caramel-flavor from the honey and coconut sugar.  Actually, I love the chewy texture it gave to these bars as well!

Gluten Free Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars

Gluten Free Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Refined Sugar Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys! (Adapted from Sarah at The Pajama Chef)

2  1/2 cups (75 grams) organic brown rice crisp cereal

1  3/4 cups (140 grams) gluten free rolled oats

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/4 cups chopped pecans

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (168 grams) raw honey

1/2 cup (80 grams) organic coconut palm sugar

1/3 cup (80 grams) organic coconut oil

1/3 cup (96 grams) organic natural creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick foil.  Put the rice cereal, oats, flax, pecans, sunflower seeds and salt in a large bowl.  Put the honey and coconut sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-low head.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in the coconut oil and peanut butter until well combined.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to coat everything evenly.  Press into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then put waxed paper or parchment paper over the top and press it down evenly.  Leave the paper on as a cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Remove from pan and cut into bars on a cutting board.  Store in an airtight container (for up to 3-5 days) or keep refrigerated or freeze some for later (individually wrapped in an airtight container).

Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars (Gluten Free) 2

These are so good!  But like I mentioned, I’d already made a cake from Sarah’s blog that I was going to  share.  So here you go.  Another delicious recipe.

SRC July  GF Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Sarah’s recipe for the Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake is delicious, I’m sure, but so I could have some, I made it gluten free.  Since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, I halved her recipe and made the cake in an 8x8 inch pan.  Delicious!  I wish I wouldn’t have halved it except that I would have eaten a whole cake (not all in one sitting, but still).  I didn’t feel nearly as guilty knowing I ate an 8x8 inch cake over a number of days rather than a 9x13, but this cake would be great for company.  Dare I say, it would even be a great breakfast/coffee cake.  I MIGHT have eaten some for breakfast one day.  It was great for on-the-go, which I was one day after I’d made it, instead of making my usual oatmeal or smoothie.   Check out Sarah’s recipe on the link above!  Here’s my gluten free, coconut oil version.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Gluten Free, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

3/4 cup organic brown cane sugar

3 tablespoons  coconut oil

1/2 an egg (2 tablespoons after whisking, 28 grams)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1  1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Premium Gold ancient grains blend, found at Costco)

3/4 cup apples, peeled and chopped (1 small-medium apple), I used Red Delicious because that’s what I had

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

heaping 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Brush coconut oil in an 8x8 inch baking pan (I often just use my fingers).  In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla.  Whisk together well.  Stir in the baking soda, salt and gluten free flour.  Add the chopped apples and fold in with a spatula.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil.  Mix together with a fork until all the mixture is like wet sand.  Stir in the chopped walnuts.  Sprinkle evenly over cake.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake (Gluten Free)

I really loved this cake.  I will say, it was a little sweet for me.  I think it’s just because I’m not used to sugar being sprinkled on something anymore.  Next time, I think I’ll use only about half as much topping and I might even try coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index and is unrefined.  While I like to make myself think organic and cane sugar is unrefined, I know it’s not and is still basically refined.  So every now and then I use it, but not very often. 

Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake--SRC

I think this cake worked so well making it gluten free that I’m going to try it with blueberries instead of apple—ASAP!  Doesn’t that sound good?  Yeah, that will be happening by tomorrow!  Thanks for the great recipes and blog, Sarah!  Check out her blog, The Pajama Chef, for more deliciousness!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

Do y’all love Texas Sheet Cake like most everyone I know?  Been needing to get this one posted for a couple weeks now.  It would be a perfect treat for the upcoming holiday.  I know, it’s not red, white and blue for 4th of July, but when you have a chocolate cake that is this good, does it matter if the color matches the holiday?  Yeah, didn’t think so. 

I posted on Facebook about a Texas Sheet Cake I’d made for a family get together last month and that cake is good, but my friend, Paige, who blogs amazing food at For Love of the Table, told me about one she makes so I tried her recipe for my family reunion the next week.  It is quite similar to the other one I’d made, which is the recipe made most all over the internet, except that this one has double the amount of cocoa, making it more chocolaty!  You certainly can’t go wrong there.

Most Texas sheet cakes also have the cocoa and melted butter mixed in a saucepan with hot water added and this one is just a bit easier since you just use cold water and it doesn’t have to come to a boil on the stove.  Easy and delicious!  I snuck a little bite of this one.  Had to, for quality control, you know. This will definitely be my go-to Texas sheet cake from now on.  Try it.  You’ll love it!  I think I’ll make it again for our 4th of July festivities on Friday with some friends.  It also helps since I still have some buttermilk to use up in the fridge.

Paige's Texas Sheet Cake Looks perfect, huh?  Still has the same simple chocolate icing that is poured over the still-warm-from-the-oven cake.  Did I mention how easy it is?  I’m telling you, go right now and make this cake.  It doesn’t have to be for a celebration.  Cake is acceptable anytime.  ;  )

Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Paige, For Love of the Table

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (3 ounces) natural cocoa powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 /2 cup canola/vegetable oil

1 cup tap water

2  1/4 cup (9 ounces) all purpose flour

2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 10x15 inch baking sheet pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Mix together the buttermilk and baking soda in a bowl big enough for it to expand a bit(it will foam up). Let sit while you prepare the next ingredients.  Whisk together the cocoa powder, melted butter and oil in a large bowl.  Add the water and whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the cocoa mixture and stir to combine.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined, then stir in the buttermilk mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting--

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

1 pound powdered sugar (almost 4 cups)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons (20 grams) natural cocoa powder

7 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the powdered sugar into a big bowl to remove any lumps.  You don’t want lumps in this frosting.  Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan.  Once it is just about melted, add the cocoa powder, salt and milk.  Stir to  combine.  Bring to a boil.  Once it is at a good boil, remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar.  Stir until well combined and no lumps remain.  Stir in the vanilla.  By this time the cake should have just been taken out of the oven for a few minutes.  Pour the frosting over the cake and smooth out evenly, working quickly.  Let sit until firm and the cake has cooled.

Texas Sheet Cake

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lucky Leaf Peach Cake

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake

Today I’ve got another cake for you.  Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Filling sent me a package recently, including more of their delicious pie fillings, some great recipes, and a 9x13 inch Rachael Ray cake pan with lid.

Lucky Leaf

This cake, much like the pineapple cake I posted last, was super easy to make.  Although this one used a cake mix, which isn’t my favorite thing to use, but since I don’t eat the cake, I don’t mind making that kind of dessert for others.  This peach cake I made, used Lucky Leaf peach pie filling.  I chopped some of the peaches in the filling a bit smaller than they were, then just added the whole can of filling to a yellow cake mix with some eggs and sour cream.  That’s it.

Peaches Cake 6-22-14 (Lucky Leaf Pie Filling)

The recipe on the Lucky Leaf website had a different topping, which I should have made since I had all the ingredients, but for some reason, I decided to just make a simple vanilla glaze for the top of the cake. 

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake 2

I’ve left the link for the cake recipe above at Lucky Leaf.  The glaze I made was simply just some powdered sugar, a little butter, pinch of salt, vanilla and some milk. 

Glazed Peach Cake

Kevin thought it was really sweet.  He doesn’t like some things to be too sweet.  Get this, in a matter of a day and a half, Kevin ate one and a half pieces of the cake.  During that same time, Scott ate the rest of the 9x13 inch cake.  THAT is a lot of cake consumed by one person.  Granted, he’s a 16 year old growing boy, but wow.  Taylor ate about a half piece of the cake, but Scott ate the rest of it.  And for some reason, I’m fine with that.  When I make the cake again sometime, I will use the topping recipe Lucky Leaf provided.  It had cream cheese, vanilla pudding mix and crushed canned pineapple.  Sounds good.

Lucky Leaf Peaches Cake

Another Lucky Leaf recipe I can’t wait to make with the cherry pie filling they sent me is this White Chocolate Cherry Cream Pie.  I would probably even “steal” a little bite of this one!

whitechocolatecherrypie

(Photo courtesy of Lucky Leaf)

I’ve mentioned this before, but I love Lucky Leaf pie fillings.  They have no high fructose corn syrup!  Thanks again for the package, Lucky Leaf!