Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The awesome folks at CSN Stores have given me the opportunity to offer one of my readers $75 to use in any of their over 200 online stores. What do you think about that? As much as I dream of having a fabulous new table with upholstered dining chairs, that just isn’t something I want to spend money on only to have them ruined by four rambunctious boys. Know what I mean? Our kitchen has about a ten foot island in the middle with attached swiveling bar stool chairs all across it. They are ten years old and before we bought this house were not treated very nicely. (The family in the house before us had four teenage boys and a little girl!) They need replaced and are high on our list of things we want to get for our house. What would you pick if you had $75 to spend at Cookware.com. While we’ll hopefully be able to get the new chairs for the kitchen island soon, hands down my favorite place to spend too much time browsing and too much money is at CSN Stores’ Oh the kitchen appliances, tools, dishes, bakeware and on and on it would be so fun to have.

Want to have a chance to win the $75? Leave me a comment on this post telling me what you would buy if you were the randomly chosen winner. Check out CSN Stores and the millions of products they have to offer. You can enter until Friday, October 8 at 12:00 p.m. MST. Contest open to US and Canadian residents only. Make sure you leave a way to be contacted if you’re the winner. (Thanks, CSN Stores!)

And now—Tuesdays With Dorie for this week. Lynne from Honey Muffin chose Double Apple Bundt Cake (pages 184-185) and you can get this great recipe on her blog. The cake has apple butter in it as well as some grated apples.


I made homemade spiced apple/pear butter! Oh my gosh, it’s so good. A few weeks ago, I made some peach butter and thought that was really good, but in a taste test, I like the apple butter even more. I never realized how easy it is to make! When I decided on Saturday to make the cake and realized I didn’t have any apple butter, I decided to just make some, even though the only apples we had at the time were a few Red Delicious and a couple past-their-prime little Gala apples. I found this super easy recipe on Squidoo.com. I only made half the recipe, which meant I needed 2 1/2 pounds of apples.

I chopped and measured as I went and after cutting up the four sad, little Galas and three Red Delicous apples, I was still short a little, so I cut up two Asian pears I had and threw them in with the apples. This could not have been more simple. Into the crockpot the diced apples and pears went along with some cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. A little apple juice went in as well and the crockpot was set on low. I went to bed and the apples stewed all night. The recipe suggests not adding sugar until the apple butter is finished (or close to it) so you can test it’s sweetness. Well, after blending the apples in a blender and tasting it, I thought it was sweet enough and didn’t add any sugar. So this is also sugar free apple butter.

Easy, Sugar Free Spiced Apple Pear Butter, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!, adapted from Squidoo.com

3 red delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped

4 small Gala apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 Asian pears, peeled, cored and chopped

(2 1/2 pounds of any apples/pears you’d like)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup apple juice

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 10-12 hours with the lid vented slightly. Blend until smooth. Taste and add sugar, agave, or sweetener of your choice if desired. Mine didn’t need anything. If you use Granny Smith apples or another more tart apple, you will probably need some sugar.

You can also cook the smooth apple butter to the consistency/thickness you desire by leaving it in the crockpot a few more hours after it’s blended without the lid on, which helps remove more of the moisture.


I made the bundt cake and followed the directions exactly. I love when a bundt cake comes right out of the pan! I omitted the raisins and used walnuts. Interesting fact—kitchen scales are better for measuring ingredients. Example—one cup of walnuts. I normally just put them in a measuring cup to the top of the cup. This time I threw the cup on the scale just for fun and looked on the bag of walnuts to see that 120 grams equals one cup.


The cup was overflowing with nuts before it reached 120 grams. I went with the scale measurement. I prefer weighing ingredients in recipes. Just sayin’.

I called the cake done at 46 minutes. I gave it a light glaze made with about 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and 3 good tablespoons of apple butter whisked together until smooth.


I served it with a little of the apple butter on the side (Dorie said. ;) and some chopped walnuts and homemade Concord raisins. (I left the raisins out of the cake because I knew the boys wouldn’t like them, but I would have liked them.)


The boys each ate a piece. We called Cindy and asked if she wanted some cake. She came over at 9:30 Sunday night after she got off work and took home half the cake. Yay for sharing! She also got to take home six cream puffs that I made.


Come back for the post to see if the cream puffs worked out better for me than the first week of French Fridays With Dorie last week when we made gougeres (cheese puffs) and mine had a few issues. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to tell me what you’d want to spend $75 on at CSN Stores if you want to be entered to win!


Bookworm Kiki said...

Mmm... apple butter. Sounds like my kind of bundt cake!

If I had the CSN gift certificate, I'd get 2 Emile Henry cruet bottles to stylishly store my oil and vinegar on the counter next to my stove.

Lisa said...

After seeing your apple butter, I guess I know what I'd be spending the certificate on - a crockpot. That homemade apple butter looks so delicious that I imagine the cake must be twice as good because of it.

Beth said...

I don't know how I'd pick just one thing! But I'm seriously tempted by the beautiful bedding they show on their site.

Lisa Ernst said...

I think the combination of pear and apple for your apple butter would be great. Love that you didn't have to add sugar. The cake looks tasty, but I can't say I would make this -- no chocolate. I'm glad it turned out so well.

Shopping at CSN - we badly need some new entry rugs!

Twila said...

I want to be entered, but I'm not sure what I'd spend it on, they have so many things I would want! maybe some luggage?
I must try this cake. We have our own apples, lots of 'em and my husband just brought walnuts home yesterday because he read an article about how good they are for you. I also have apple butter that needs using. I think I'll make it for supper tonight.
I enjoy reading your blog.

chocolatechic said...

Such a great looking cake.

I would get a roasting pan.

I need one so badly.

Caroline said...

I would love some new bedding for our guest rooms!

Kayte said...

I have to say, I figured you would chocolate this up somehow...must be really really special that you did not! I am glazing next time...this looks just too wonderful with the glaze. Your inside shots of this make me want to head to the kitchen today to make more. Yep, I think I should...and with glaze this time!!! Love the little apple dish, so cute.

Kelly said...

I'd buy a new crockpot since mine is cracked and on its last legs and a couple of cookie sheets since mine are starting to warp.

I was tempted by the toddler beds, though....

Cathy said...

Oooh, I've been wanting to make apple butter! Your recipe looks amazing - I definitely need to try it. Beautiful looking cake - glad it was a hit!

If I win I think I'd put it towards a Le Creuset dutch oven. Been coveting one of those, especially after reading Dorie's new book!

Cardboard Hour said...

I'd use the gift certificate toward getting a kitchen scale - i really need one!

Unknown said...

Your cake looks delicious!

I would get new bedding for my bed.

Tracy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

I love apple butter! My mom brings me some homemade each year at Christmas. I should definitely try to make some at home. I
f I had the gift certificate, I would buy a scale. Or a mandoline. Hmmm, decisions, decisions. :)


AmyRuth said...

Way to go with the apple/pair butter. You've inspired me. A recent visit w/apple butter peeps indicated it should be cooked in a copper kettle over an open fire. Duh?!? like that will happen in my lifetime. he he
Cake looks and sounds wonderful. I loved it.
I don't know what the CSN store sells, but if I were shopping I think I would buy a new bundt pan. How's that?

Martha in KS said...

I keep getting Service Unavailable when I try to post. Once more - I'd like the certificate to buy gadgets - Pinochio funnel, red mesuring spoons & a few others. Pick me!

mamipdx said...

that recipe looks perfect for the fall.
i would like to get a safety 1st booster seat for my toddler. time to retire the highchair!

Karen said...

Beautiful cake! Very impressed that you made your own apple butter, I'll have to try that someday.

If I won the gift certicate, I would get some new dishes, which I desperately need. Probably just good 'ol Fiestaware.


Megan said...

I wanted so badly to participate in the TWD cake, but I couldn't justify spending $6 on apple butter.

Of course, this was before I even thought to make my own. And here you've shown me how easy it is to make my own.

** slapping forehead **

Oh, and if I win the CSN gift card, I'd buy myself a small crockpot, because then I could make the apple butter.

And not get thrown out of TWD for non-participation.

meeyeehere said...

This recipe is terrific! I want to make this for my father in law this weekend.I am always trying to find tasty things for him to eat!Thanks
I would get a spring form pan and some Ginsu knives!

Cindy said...

I have got to try making the apple butter. The little jar I bought cost about $5.00. It was one yummy cake

Sharon said...

Wow, this looks sinfully delicious! I would put my $75 towards a new bathroom light fixture since mine is broken :(

Deb said...

That bundt cake looks so good. I would definitely buy a food processor. I can't justify buying it to Jon, but I could if I won $75!

Unknown said...

I would get a kitchen scale!

Linds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linds said...

yumm! Looks delish!

If I won the CSN giftcard, I'd get these boots I've been wanting for my son:

lifesdollop at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

A city scene henna duvet cover would fit the bill. The weather is getting cold!
jorossi at gmail dot com

Brooke said...

Mmm...the cake looks great!

And I've been wanting to get little arm chairs for Charlie and Lily, so if I won the CSN gift certificate I would use it towards that! They have some cute ones on the site.

Unknown said...

Looks fantastic, I would purchase some holiday decor!

Anonymous said...

The cake looks awesome!
If I had the gift certificate I'd look through "Around My French Table" and figure out what cookware I'm lacking to prepare one of those recipes and I'd order the missing cookware.

Julie said...

Your cake looks super! I've been wanting a kitchen torch, so I'd probably want to get one of those.

Natalie said...

you've inspired me--I want to make apple butter!

as for CSN, I would love a roasting pan and rack!

Terri. said...

I would get a roaster. Great giveaway!

Liz said...

I would get an enameled dutch oven! Thanks! And that apple butter looks amazing!

Tammigirl said...

You are killing me with this cake. I had an emergency dental procedure today and all I've had to eat for two days are two stupid cups of yogurt!

I would love to get a few rolls of graham & brown paintable beadboard wallpaper from CSN.

Carol said...

I would leave the raisins out of this cake to. Looks good!

I would by cookies sheets and silicon mats and those cute Rachel Ray ramekins in Orange.

Anonymous said...

I could eat your apple butter with a spoon, and the icing? Don't get me started. So glad you baked along this week!!

Julie said...

I'd use it toward a kid table and chair set!

Flourchild said...

Great cake!! Im glad you and your family loved it!!

TruthHole said...

I want to buy a new cat litter box and maybe some cat toys or a catnip garden

Beth B. said...

I would love to have a beautiful wooden cutting board to cut those apples on,to use in the apple butter that goes in the cake that Katrina made! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Oooh- that network of stores is incredible! I just got lost perusing all of their stores. I think it's time for my kitty to get a new scratcher (they have a great Kong brand cardboard one) and some catnip toys. He's a love and deserves the same.
tiedyefrog at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Our bbq could use a cover since winter is coming and the dirt is piling up on it. This store carries lots of stuff under one roof.
jvhoff50 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

That apple pear butter looks amazing! I always weigh too, and go by weights rather than cups.

P.S - Did you shut down the other site, for giveaways? How come?

Laura said...

Though all of the kitchen toys are tempting (new scale, torch, etc.), I'd put the money towards a wine fridge for my father. He makes his own wine and stores it in the basement now.

Shanbanan said...

Wish list...new cookware or a scale.

Cake looks awesome!

Elissa said...

A kitchen scale or something for the walls (decorations). Looks like things are going well for you guys. Miss you.

Anonymous said...

I need a dutch oven!

and, homemade apple butter? you are martha stewart in Utah!

Anonymous said...

Ooh that looks so yummy! I'd love to get a kitchen food scale or maybe some new bakeware like cookie sheets and muffin pans. Thanks! :)

ahodge89 at gmail dot com

Cristine said...

Your cake looks great!

If I had the CSN gc, I would get a new bundt pan and some plates/bowls/placemats for food photos!

Mimi said...

I can always spend money on cooking gadgets and CSN has plenty to pick from.
I made apple butter too, but I didn't use my crock pot, that would have been so much easier.
You cake looks perfect.

Emily said...

Gosh, Katrina, the cake looks soooo good. I want! I love that your apple butter doesn't have sugar in it. Nice!

If I won the giveaway, I would pick a crock pot! I don't have one.

Tara said...

That cake looks so good and I LOVE apple butter!!! I think I need a new bundt pan now, CSN has a cute cottage one I want.

Food According To Karen said...

oooooo That cake looks absolutely yummy! I've just gotten back to baking after quite a few years, new oven = no burnt muffins or cookies. I need new bakeware, pans, cassaroles, etc., and have been looking at the Le Creuset line.

Jaime said...

ok so it is awesome you made your own apple butter but *gasp* you used asian pears? those are SO delicious on their own i think it is a waste to put them in the apple butter :P

great job, it looks delicious :)

Jaime said...

oh sorry, i forgot about the giveaway - i'd probably buy some new bakecare...need more muffin pans, mini muffin pans, and some mini springforms :)

spike. said...

the apple butter and cake look great. hmmm, if I won the gift cert I'd probably put it towards a new mixer or a good knife

luke & sammy said...

oooh what a yummy looking cake! I would have a list a mile long to choose from if I won the CSN card- we are on our way to getting a house and I am sure I will need lots!

Domestic Diva said...

I'd use it toward a guidecraft kitchen helper. Thanks for the chance!

And now I want cake -- off to bake!

LAMusing said...

Wow, I haven't had apple butter in years! It looks yummy.
I'd get the Jaccard mandoline slicer (or use it towards an electric fireplace!)

Norma said...

I'd get the Dansk steak knoives - I really need new ones!

Unknown said...

looks wonderful!

If i won I would get some new baking pans...mine are kinda sad :(

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of serving raisins on the side. I love them, but my husband doesn't, so I usually leave them out.

If I had the gift certificate, I'd like to buy a saucepan that's not nonstick. I want to be able to whisk away with a metal whisk!

Lynda Del said...

What a yummy-looking cake!
If I won I'd get the Cuisinart Panini & Sandwich Press.
lyndadawinda1074 at yahoo dot com

TinyStitches said...

YUMM!! I'm gonna have to make this for survivor night. From CSN, I'd have to pick up a pair of shoes for the toddler (just found the cutest pair there the other day - AM2515BR), and should have enough leftover for a really large stainless steel bowl for making caramel corn in.

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

Your cake is stunning. Save a piece for me.

I need a hand mixer. Mine has beaters that are stuck in them and after a month of trying to get them out, we have had no success. So, I need a new hand beater and would love to get it from CSN. They have the Cuisinart.

thatlittlehouse said...

I would buy two sets of Corelle Classic Cafe 16-piece dinnerware in Red!

nblexp at gmail dot com

Henria O. said...

Yummy cake! I never thought of using Apple Butter as a glaze/frosting!

I'd love to get the Guidecraft Classic White Bookcase for my daughter!
sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com

JudyR said...

Your cake looks delicious! I will be making it for dessert tonight - thanks.
If I win the gift certificate I would put it towards a new food processor as mine is an antique.

Rusthawk said...

That apple cake looks divine!

If I won the CSN gift certificate, I would put it toward some LeCreuset cookware.

Nicole-Lynn said...

Yum! That looks great!

I went to their site and would purchase this cake server set with champagne flutes for our upcoming wedding. We're on a tight budget and winning would really help us out.



Chrissie said...

I'd definitely get some new bakeware--my baking sheets and dishes are all old and warped.

Eliana said...

That glaze dripping down the sides of your cake is making it look irresistable.

Shari said...

Definitely some REALLY GOOD baking sheets. And maybe a digital scale and a digital thermometer that actually work...

Faith J. said...

If I won I'd get some shoes: CSN's Shoe's Got Sole site has a lot of them!

fjthoma at hotmail.com

Pamela said...

Wow! Nice bundt cake and the glaze looks great. I like measuring ingredients, too. However, I think my kitchen scale is not accurate. I guess if I won your giveaway, I'd be getting a new one! :o)

TeaLady said...

Cake is BEAUTIFUL!! Love that you made apple/pear butter.

I really need some new silverware. I got mine when we married - 37.5 years ago.

Unknown said...

That looks so yummy! I would LoVe to own the Nordicware Platinum Butterfly Cake Pan - 80248 ....Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

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