Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spiced Apple Cake

Today I made a spiced apple cake. Tonight is our monthly rotation dinner and the food theme is Foods from Australia. I have book called The Australian Heritage Cookbook, published in 1988. I believe my grand Aunt Monica gave it to me years ago.

I'm not a huge dessert baker but this recipe that was very easy and something I'd do again.


2 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
3 T. flour
15g (3/4 oz) melted butter or margarine

The Cake:

3/4 C. milk
1 C. muesli (purchased at Giant)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C. brown sugar
60g (2 oz) melted butter or margarine
1 C peeled, grated apple
1-3/4 C. self-raising flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Mix dry topping ingredients together and stir in the butter.

Combine the milk and muesil and stand for 5 minutes, then add the egg.

Add the sugar, butter and apple, then fold in the sifted dry ingredients.

Pour into a prepared 8" springform tin. [I buttered/floured the tin].

Crumble the topping over the cake mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Allow cake to stand 15-20 minutes before turning out.

Eat within 2-3 days. [Yeah, right].

My Notes:

Boy, this didn't "pour" into the pan. It was very thick. I might have made the mistake of draining the apples.

The house smells wonderful of cinnamon and apples!

I baked it for 36 minutes and checked with a knife and tooth pick. 

Will write a post-note after I have some tonight.

Okay, so it was a little dry. Next time maybe just 30 minutes and not drain the juice from the apples. Maybe even some apple sauce for mositure. Will make this again just to see if I can adjust correctly.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brazilian Potato Salad

Today I made a Brazilian potato salad for a group rotation dinner tonight.

I found several recipes for this potato salad. I followed most of this one: 

4-5 potatoes
2 carrots
100-150 g of green beans
1 cup of frozen green peas
10 olives
1 small can of hearts of palm
1 jar of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of olive oil (optional)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion (optional)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse the potatoes and cook them in water and salt.
Peel the carrots, cut them into small pieces and cook them in water and salt.
Rinse the green beans, cut them into small pieces and cook them in water and salt.
Cook the green peas in water and salt.
Drain the palm hearts and cut them into small pieces.
Cut the olives into small pieces.
Once all vegetables are cooked, drain the water: allow them to cool down and save them for later.
Peel the cooked potatoes and cut them into small pieces.
Put all ingredients in a bowl, add the mayonnaise, the oil, the onion, the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well all ingredients, cover the bowl with a plastic film and keep the bowl in the fridge until serving.

My adaptation

2 lbs red potatoes (9)
1 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
1.5 cups frozen corn
1.5 cups frozen green peas
25 pimento-stuffed green olives
1 small can of hearts of palm
1-3/4 cups of Helman's mayonnaise
tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse the potatoes and cook them in water and salt.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots, onions, olives, and hearts of palm.

Blanch the carrots, peas, and corn, about 5 minutes or so -  I took some of the boiling water from the potatoes and added it to another pot with the vegetables. 


Once all vegetables are cooked, drain the water: allow them to cool down and save them for later.

Peel the cooked potatoes and cut them into small pieces.

Put all ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the mayonnaise 
Gently toss the ingredients. Cover the bowl with a plastic film and keep the bowl in the fridge until ready to serve.


Peeling the potatoes after they've cooled was time-consuming. Next time I may just peel, quarter and then boil them. I don't know if keeping the skins on while boiling keeps the liquid out.

This made a huge batch.

It's delicious!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Carnitas

23 April 2012: Yesterday I made a huge batch of pork carnitas. This is one of my favorite foods. I made it for a party. This is from All Recipes. My notes are below of what I did or did not do.

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth

Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.

Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 5 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.

What I did or did not do:

I tripled the rub and added a teaspoon of paprika. I didn’t use bay leaves or the cinnamon.

I marinated the pork overnight.

I cooked two 5.5 (approx.) pork shoulders (Costco doesn’t package pork shoulders individually), each in its own pan and covered tightly with tinfoil; and cooked for 5 ½ hours at 300 degrees. I could have taken it out at the 5 hour mark. Cook until 170 degrees inside temperature.

I added towards the end, a large onion, sliced thin. Next time I will cook separately in a pan so that the onions don’t cook all the way down (add after shredding the pork and toss to combine). I didn’t really taste the onions when eating.

I added the chicken broth after shredding the pork (remove all fat), as there wasn’t enough juices in the pan (which I drained the fat first).

I served with corn tortillas (healthier than plain white soft tortillas - warm up first or else they’ll fall apart) and fresh-made salsa.

This recipe could use a little kick, therefore, next time I’ll serve with hot fresh-made salsa or will add some hot sauce to the shredded pork.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Polpettone alla Toscano (Tuscan Meatballs)

This is a recipe I made from the following web site:

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (panko)
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1 pound ground beef
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped fine
[I used bacon]
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly chopped [flat leaf] Italian parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup white flour

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoon grated carrot
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups tomato sauce

Parmesan cheese for garnish

Soak the breadcrumbs in milk for five minutes. Strains and squeeze to remove excess milk, then loosen crumbed and spread over a plate.

In a large bowl, mix together with the beef, prosciutto, egg, salt, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix well with your hands.

Moisten your hands with a little water and form the meat into 8 meatballs of the same size. Be sure to pack them well and not leave any openings, otherwise the meatballs will fall apart while cooking.

Place the flour into a small bowl and roll the meatballs lightly in the flour until evenly coated.

In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Gently brown meatballs all over, allowing a nice, savory crust to form. Turn the heat to low.

To the pan add the carrot and onion. Cook gently just until the vegetables start to brown, then pour in white wine and tomato sauce. Allow to cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, nudging occasionally with a spatula to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Gently turn meatballs over, cover the pan, and finish cooking until they are cooked through, about 7 more minutes, again nudging to prevent sticking. If you like, you can remove the meatballs from the pan and continue cooking the sauce, uncovered, until it thickens.

Allow meatballs to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve meatballs hot, covered with tomato sauce and garnished with parmesan cheese. Also, feel free to serve these bad boys on a sandwich with a little provolone, which is most definitely Italian!

I followed this recipe in the making of the meatballs. However, I always bake mine in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes (about 1.5 ounces each) in order to cook out some of the fat.

I prepared the sauce in a large/deep skillet and added the meatballs. Covered and cooked on low for one hour.

I really liked the flavor that the bacon added to the meatballs. I usually make mine with beef and hot Italian sausage.

No photos for this recipe! I thought I saved them but must have cleaned up my memory card. The photo above is of a similar meatball recipe.