Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

I took the girls to a "pick your own" apple orchard last weekend. The weather was perfect and we left with what seemed like a million pounds of apples and sour stomachs from eating so many of them as we picked.
I have been eyeing this bundt cake recipe from Southern Living for months, so I decided to give it a try.  The Cake is TO DIE FOR.  The sweet cream cheese filling and praline frosting make it rich and creamy which is offset nicely with the tart apples.  I have been eating this for breakfast and dessert so my next post will probably have to be some sort of spinach shake.

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups peeled and finely chopped apples - I used a few different varieites
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan.  Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.


Monday, September 15, 2014

pumpkin banana muffins

We had to turn on the heat this weekend.   Our thermostat read 62 degrees and the girls wouldn't take off their winter jackets, but I still feel guilty about turning on the heat before October!  

Fall is here, whether we like it or not, so in an effort to celebrate its' arrival, I whipped up a batch of these delicious pumpkin banana muffins.  

'Pumpkin Banana Muffins
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if desired. Pour batter into the prepared tins.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.


Make sure to try out a few more of our favorite pumpkin recipes herehere, herehere, here and here.  Obsessed with pumpkin....maybe :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fusilli alla Caprese

We have tomatoes coming out of our ears and as a result, we have been enjoying an unhealthy amount of BLT's.  Nothing is better than a juicy, salty, and crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, but for fear that our arteries were clogging beyond repair, a more heart healthy dinner option was in order.

Our whole family loves caprese salads, so naturally caprese + pasta = mom is a super hero.  The dish was creamy, delicious and it tasted like summer.  

1 pound fusilli pasta
1/3 cup Basil Pesto
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a medium skillet heat the pesto over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.