Sunday, October 27, 2013

Apple Bread with an Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Hi all, can you smell it? That unmistakable scent of fall! Pumpkin, apples, cinnamon…leaves! UGH…yes…leaves. I am staring out my window looking at the yard and dreading what happens when Fall comes. Raking. Hours and hours of raking. So how do I console myself? I bake. I may not eat what I bake, but I do have people for thatJ.  Now here comes the true decision. What to bake? Cookies, Cake, Bread? I take a quick peek in the refrigerator and find some apples that really need to be used up. Off to Pinterest I go. I found this fantastic Apple Bread recipe on The New Modern Momma’s (looks like a guest post by Candice) blog and thought it would be perfect. There was nothing in the recipe that I didn't have in my pantry, but I did make a few alterations (removed the walnuts, added a touch of nutmeg). The way the recipe was written, the first thing I thought of was a dryer version of an Apple Crisp, so when I went to make this, I decided to top mine with an oatmeal crumb topping. Since I didn't have just plain Oatmeal, I used Mueslix (Bob’s Red Mill cereal), which is actually a cereal, but the result was fantastic! I hope you all enjoy!

Cooking spray
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups of peeled, cored, and sliced apples {your choice}
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg

Crumb Topping:
1 cup Mueslix
½ cup flower
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Prepare 1 square cake pan with cooking spray. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, walnuts, and apples in a large bowl. Whisk oil, sugar, eggs, and cinnamon together in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and mix until just moistened. For the topping, in a bowl mix the Mueslix, the flour, the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Put in the cut up butter and mix together with your hands, kneading a bit until the mixture kind of sticks together forming a crumble. Spread the batter into a square cake pan (instead of a bread, I wanted to make more of a coffee cake since I had the crumb topping). Dough will be thick. Evenly spread the crumble over the batter. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Oriental Roast

 Good morning friends! This is about a week late, since we had this for dinner, but I wanted to get this posted. I am using the slow cooker again today to make Chicken Cacciatore and if it turns out as delish as it looks, will post that one tomorrow. Last week, I bought a beautiful roast at the grocery store, and knew I was going to make a pot roast. I know some of you are traditionalist and would go the route of the normal beef stew type of meal, but I am kind of getting tired of that and wanted to try something different. I decided to go oriental in flavor. I had all of the vegetables needed (your usual beef stew culprits) it was just the broth that I needed to concoct. Whenever Dave or I make an oriental dish, we will usually throw a bunch of ingredients together for the sauce and make something up instead of using just your soy sauce or teriyaki. The resulting roast was fantastic. I cooked it long enough that it fell apart and I ended up shredding it, and I served it with linguini (unfortunately I did not have any low mien). Hope you all enjoy!

1 2lb beef roast
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
½ cup white whine
½ cup soy sauce
¼ rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp garlic chili sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp ponzu sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil

Set the slow cooker to medium and 9 hour cooking time. In a large pan, bring 1 tbsp olive oil up to heat. Sear the roast on all sides until browned. Place the roast in the slow cooker. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. In the slow cooker, put in the carrots, onion and celery. In a mixing bowl, mix together the wine, and remaining ingredients and mix together well. Pour over the roast and vegetables. With about 1 hour left I knocked the slow cooker down to low, took the cover off and quickly shredded the roast. Replaced the lid and just let it cook on low for the remaining hour. I served this over linguini noodles but it would have been excellent over rice as well. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Shepherd's Pie

Now I am not one to usually eat “comfort food” but sometimes the day, weekend, week you are having just calls for it. It seems I get into a rut every now and then with the food I make and I long (yearn even) for something different. My mum used to make shepherd’s pie way back when we lived in St. Petersburg and I absolutely adored it. Granted, she just used ground beef when she made it and I am pretty sure she used cream corn and I only used regular corn, but either way, this dish took me back to my childhood. My two men that I fed adored it…so I had four thumbs up when I served it. Once in a while, diet be gone with ye…and just eat what you feel like. This is the dish for you. I apologize in advance for the picture too, by the time I got the camera, the dish was ¾ of the way gone, and so I didn't have a good photo opportunity. That isn't saying much either, since I am not much of a photographer

Mashed Potato topping:
2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 3/4 pounds ground sirloin
1 lb cubed stew meat, tenderized and cut into small pieces
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
½ pound green beans, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 cup homemade beef stock (or boxed low sodium)
1/2 cup frozen corn, a couple of handfuls
Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan. Saute the onions until translucent about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the carrots and the green beans and cook until just tender, about 7 – 10 minutes. Add the ground sirloin and the stew meat and cook till browned.  Season everything with salt and pepper.  Add the butter and flour and mix together, making sure to cook about 3 – 5 minutes. This will be the beginning of your roux. You want to make sure the flour cooks a bit so you don’t have that raw flour taste. Stir in the stock and the golden mushroom soup. Add a bit more stock if it becomes too thick. Stir in the corn.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with cheese and cook for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.