Monday, October 31, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - by Lisa

I've never been a huge fan of pineapple upside down cake, but my husband has a fondness for it, so I was looking forward to seeing how he liked it. It was pretty easy to make. I think the longest part was cutting the pineapple (which Hubby helped with) and laying it out over the caramel. I also noticed that the batter was really thick and was a little concerned it wouldn't spread easily over the pineapple and caramel. I needn't have worried tho! I had no problem spreading it.

Since I am still working on learning my oven, I set the timer 10 min shorter that the minimum recommended baking time. Well, about 27 min in, it started smelling really good. I did the toothpick test and it came out clean, so I gave it a couple more minutes and then pulled it out of the oven. I let it rest 5 min before inverting it on the plate. Once I did that I noticed the top of the cake was awfully gooey. So like a fool I dumped it back into the pan and popped it back into the oven for another 10 min!!!  When I pulled it out the second time, it seemed a little more cooked, but not by much, so I figured maybe that's just how it is supposed to be.

We got to share this cake with my niece Katie (who was babysitting for us that night) and then again with Hubby's mom and his sister the following day. Finally! Sharing these baking projects with lots of people! :) Anywho, everyone thoroughly enjoyed this treat, including me! I loved the little bit of kick the ginger added, and the caramel was just divine. I was very happy with how it turned out and how much I liked it! :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - by Summer

Lately I haven't been very deliberate about making the desserts, especially this month.  But this was the one exception.  My Grandma is turning 90 on Monday and this weekend we are headed to Wisconsin to celebrate her birthday with lots of family.  Her favorite cake is pineapple upside down cake.  There is going to be cake at her party, but I thought I would make this before we left, and bring her a slice. 

My little guy - ready to help
It seems like this would be a hard cake to make, but really, it was super easy.  I bought pineapple that was already cored from the store to help save a step.  The caramel was easy - just brown sugar and butter.  I thought maybe I could have let it cook longer, because it still seemed pretty grainy.

The batter for the actual cake was simple - but was pretty stiff.  I was surprised at the amount of ginger the recipe has - 2 teaspoons.  I chose to omit the rum that was listed as an optional ingredient.  The batter spread nicely over the pineapple and into the oven it went.  The cake baked for 40 minutes and it was ready to come out.  I thought for sure while it was baking that I had completely messed this up.  I could smell caramel burning, but it was simply because it was bubbling up and over the pan.  Next time I would place foil underneath to catch any caramel.

I was pretty excited to dig in after waiting about 10 minutes (5 to remove cake from pan and another 5 that Beth says to wait before serving.)  It turned out way better than I expected.  I thought the ginger flavor was a bit strong, but I really like this cake.  I had some later at night, but decided that I like the taste of it best when it was warm - just out of the oven.  I sure hope my Grandma likes it too!
Baked - just out of the oven
Just out of the pan!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baked Apples - by Lisa

Why I kept putting this one off is beyond me. It was so easy to make and tasted oh so good! Hubby said he was trying hard to eat it slowly so that he could savor each bite! I pretty much had everything I needed on hand, and both the cider and (Jonagold) apples were fresh from a recent visit to the local orchard! I had to make sure to get these baked before we polished off all the cider!

Like Summer mentioned, I was a little apprehensive about using a melon baller to remove the cores, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked! It really made a nice size well in the apple for the filling.

The apples softened pretty nicely although one lost most of its peel during the last 15 min. Again, the whole house smelled delicious. I just love baking fall themed items when the weather turns! These will definitely be something I make again. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Bread - by Lisa

I know I had every intention of spreading out my baking throughout the month. However, Hubby was out of town for two weeks, so that made baking a bit of a challenge! Besides, it's not as much fun when he isn't here to sample the goods. :)

Oh my - this bread made the whole house smell amazing! Pumpkin flavored items are hit or miss for me, but this one was for sure a winner (of "full of win" as some would say). I included everything listed in the recipe save for the nutmeg and walnuts. The only thing I needed to purchase for this recipe was the canned pumpkin which is no problem to find this time of year! :) I also didn't have quite enough mini-chocolate chips on hand, so I added in about a quarter cup of regular cc's.

This recipe was super easy to whip up this afternoon. The bread cooked for about 50 min on the convection setting. I let it cool for about an hour before I could no longer resist trying a bite. The bread was perfectly moist and the chips were evenly distributed. The pumpkin flavoring was just right, and the whole thing was simply delicious! I will definitely be adding this to my list of quick bread recipes!

Cherry Clafouti - by Summer

After reading Lisa's post on this one, I decided to make this on Sunday morning for a late breakfast.  I had my little guy help stir the flour and powdered sugar (truth be told - he asked a fork once I had put the two of them in a bowl - he knows his task when I bake something!)  Like Lisa - the only two things I had to pick up were the half and half and cherries.

I was expecting this to be similar to an apple pancake that is baked in the oven, but it was definitely more custard-like.  I also let mine bake for almost 60 minutes.  It might have even cooked for longer. 

It had an interesting taste.  Because it was more custard than cake - I wasn't a huge fan.  Of course you know who did like this?  My son . . . his response was "yummy!  More?!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Baked Apples - by Summer

We finally have some nice cool fall weather, so I couldn't wait to try making these apples.  The only thing that I needed to pick up extra was the apple cider for this recipe.  And then I had to keep my husband from drinking all of it before I made this recipe.

It was actually fun to put together.  I wasn't too sure about using a melon baller to get the core out of the apple, but it worked really well.  I managed to get these in the oven just before we sat down to eat dinner.  I had to get up a few times to baste the apples with the apple cider, but it was super easy to make.

I really liked the taste of the apples and the filling.  I thought they could have baked a little bit longer.  They weren't quite as mushy as I would have wanted them to be.  I don't know why it always seemed like making baked apples would be a lot harder.  My son thought these were really tasty too.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Bread - by Summer

One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin!  I love pumpkin-stuff and only discovered it as an adult.  I'm always searching for new recipes that include pumpkin - cakes, cookies, pies . . . so I was thrilled to make this pumpkin bread recipe.  October is the perfect time for pumpkins!

Stirring the flour mixture
This recipe was really easy to make.  I have canned pumpkin on hand, so I didn't have to make any additional purchases for this recipe. My little guy loves baking, so he helped me make the bread!  It's super easy to pull everything together.  The recipe called for mini-chocolate chips, which I didn't have.  I thought about putting in regular chocolate chips, but my husband likes his quick breads (banana/zucchini) plain, so I omitted them. 

Mine baked for about 60 minutes.  My pan was slightly larger than 9x5, so I think it could have been pulled out a couple of minutes sooner.  I really like the flavor of this bread.  I think the ground cloves is what made the difference.  I will definitely be making this bread again and again.  As my son would say - "Yummy!"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cherry Clafouti - by Lisa

In an effort to get a better start on the baking for this month, I have completed recipe number one before the last week of the month! Woo hoo! I decided to start with the Cherry Clafouti (pronounced clah-foo-TEE in case you were wondering). I wish I had started it earlier in the day because this would have made for a really yummy brunch treat!

This came together really easily. So easy in fact that I was able to simultaneously feed my one year old his lunch while working on this dish without messing anything up. :) The ingredient list was clean and simple. The only things I didn't have on hand were the frozen cherries and half 'n' half. I also got a chuckle out of a couple of Beth's parenthetical comments in this recipe. (Use the egg whites for breakfast tomorrow! Use the whole egg, but not the egg shells, of course!) I like recipes that liven things up a little. :)

I baked this for a little over 40 minutes in my smaller convection oven. The finished product came out looking very similar to the photo in the cook book, so it was easier to know when it was done. After letting it cool for about 10 minutes, Hubby and I each had our slice. We both agreed that it was very reminiscent of pancakes. I mentioned to him that it was meant to be like a cross between a pancake and a custard. I was a little weirded out by the texture, but I got over it fairly quickly. It will be neat to try this again with different kinds of fruits.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cool Blueberry Soup - by Summer

I guess I should have held off on this pick since blueberry season is over with this year.  But like Lisa, I went the frozen blueberry route and I think it turned out fine.  I was intrigued by this recipe because I have never heard of blueberry soup before and I have never had Greek yogurt either.

As Lisa mentioned, this was very easy - you throw into a pot and let it cook.  I do not have any sort of wine collection, so I just picked a pretty cheap white wine out.  I also decided to cut the recipe in half so we wouldn't have a ton of leftovers.  I decided to forgo the food processor and just used my hand masher to mash the blueberry mixture.  It worked great and there were still a few lumps. 

I really liked this soup a lot.  While I was eating it, I thought about how it sort of tasted like a sauce and then had a brilliant idea.  I took some leftover pound cake and had that with the soup - very, very tasty!  I would definitely make this again!