Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kathiey's Recipe Review...."Fresh Applesauce" Southern Living Magazine Sept. 2011

Several weeks ago my cooking group The Food, Friendship, and Fabulous Fun Cooking Club had its first official cooking and eating event.  I couldn't wait.  We had all selected recipes to make from Southern Living Magazine the Sept 2011 edition.  I had selected two recipes,  ....a Broccoli, Grape and Pasta  Salad and the Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake found on the cover.  We gathered, food in hand, at Carol's house.   Everything looked great.  So much to sample and so much to enjoy.   I decided to select one recipe from the dozens I had tried that night to make at home for Joe and Erica.  Everything was so good it was hard to choose but I decided to make the Fresh Applesauce....

 ...before I get started let me share our enjoyable evening of great food and new friends....
Carol had 2 tables set and ready.  They were both lovely...
 Below you find an interesting addition to the evening.  Dr. B's wife made a batch of adorable little chocolate mice for our office.  Little did she know it was cooking Meetup day.  I took one along to share with the group.  They were all impressed.  I took a taste..Smooth Chocolatey Goodness:-)
 So much amazing food....
 Desserts.....
 There are some great cooks in this group...I have a lot to learn!
 Digging in....
 Cooking buddies....


 Time to make the applesauce....I gathered my ingredients...
Just apples, sugar and a lemon....easy.
 I studied the recipe..."Fresh Applesauce"

Ingredients

  • 12 large apples, peeled and coarsely chopped (6 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 cup sugar (I added just a touch more sugar & a couple sprinkles of cinnamon:-)
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced 
  • Preparation
  • Bring all ingredients to a light boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and juices thicken. Remove and discard lemon slices. Serve warm, or let cool to room temperature (about 2 hours). Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
  • I cored and peeled the apples mixed in the sugar and lemon slice and put it on the stove...


 Warm and tasty applesauce.  Joe loved it.
This month our club is cooking from a site called The Pioneer Woman.  I will be making a Caprese Salad (all new to me?) and The Best Baked Beans Ever (I don't know, my Mom's were pretty good:-)
I am looking forward my cooking adventure...
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kathieys Recipe Review ...."Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad" Southern Living Magazine Sept. 2011

I love my new cooking club. It forces me to try different cooking techniques and to hopefully learn new things. For last months meeting I chose two recipes to make for our Meetup feast.  I choose Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake and a Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad.

All the recipes for the meeting were to be taken from the Southern Living Sept 2011 Edition.  Everyone would choose a recipe, or two, and bring them all together for a food feast. I couldn't wait to get started....I studied the recipe....

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved 
  • cooked bacon slices, crumbled 

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. (I had never baked pecans before...easy:-)
  • 2. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • 3. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems. (This was new to me too:-)
  • 4. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat. Cover and chill 3 hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.
  • I gathered my ingredients....

 I had never cut fresh broccoli before.  I know, I am old enough to be a Grandma.  No wait, I am a Grandma:-)

Yes, Old Grandma's can learn new tricks.  I consulted Google and cut away.  Fun!

All my chopped goodies...
Finished product.  Creamy and delicious...
I would give it a 9/10 on my recipe scale.
It had a tangy sweetness and a freshness about it.
I will make it again.
Happy Cooking Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Restaurant Review...."Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub" Blowing Rock NC

Happy Anniversary!  

As of Aug Joe and I have been married 35 years.  Wow, long time, (I can't be that old:-)  We decided to head to the mountains to celebrate.  So off we went to one of our favorite towns in North Carolina, Blowing Rock. 
Now where should we go for our anniversary dinner?  There are several places to choose from.  We did not have a lot to spend so we considered our options.  As we were driving through town earlier we discovered a new restaurant.  The "Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub"


I went on a few restaurant sites and found mostly praise for the food and service so we decided to give it a try....
We were greeted by a very friendly staff. They said the wait was around 20 minutes.  We decided to head to the bar.  The bartenders were very friendly and helpful.  I ordered a glass of wine, which I sipped contentedly. There are several big screen TV's behind the bar.  If you can't find a seat at the bar there are several tables to choose from.  After an enjoyable wait time we heard the name "Joe" called and we knew our table was ready.
We were seated at a booth along the wall.  There are mostly booths, a few tables and a very large center table...which was soon full of happy folks...
  Photos along one wall...
Large center table....








Photo at our table.
The photo, Joe noticed, has fog in it.  Hence the name, Foggy Rock.
I really liked the
mountains in the glass above also.



















Now for the food.....
We ordered the Chips with Ranch Dressing for a starter.  Very good....

Joe ordered the Caesar Salad and I had the House.  I loved it,  fresh, crisp and delicious!
One more look at my beautiful salad.
I loved the little dried cranberries, nice touch:-)
Joe and I both ordered the trout.  Moist, flaky and wonderful!
We normally don't order dessert.  But it has been 35 years so it was time to splurge.
We shared a slice of Pumpkin Cheese Cake.
Delicious.  I really enjoyed the sweet nutty crust...Yum:-)
We had a great time at Foggy Rock.  We loved our server, Hannah, she was extremely nice, and made us feel welcome. If you find yourself in Blowing Rock I suggest you check out Foggy Rock.  I know you will like it.
Get out and try a new restaurant.
Enjoy Your World:-)

(note....it is stated on the urbanspoon site that the restaurant is in Boone, but it is really in Blowing Rock:-)

Foggy Rock Eatery& Pub on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake..."Southern Living Magazine"

Several weeks ago I signed up to be in a cooking club through Meetup.com.   The Food, Friendship, and Fabulous Fun Cooking Club.  For the month of October we were to study one specific Southern Living Magazine, Sept 2011, and select a recipe to try and bring it to a dinner held at a members home.   I love magazines and I love to try new recipes so this club was for me.  I selected 2 recipes to try.
The first one was "Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake.  I couldn't wait....




























I gathered my ingredients.....and studied the directions....

Ingredients

  • CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
  • (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • large egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • APPLE CAKE BATTER:
  • 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
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • PRALINE FROSTING:
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

  • 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. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  • 4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (took mine 1.5 hours) 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. (Then decorate with pecans)


Many ingredients....
Baked/toasted my pecans.
I had never done this before, very easy.
Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, until fragrant.







I love my little apple peeler and it cores too.
Makes dealing with apples quick and easy!

Many different steps to make a beautiful cake...











Finished product...


So how would I rate this cake? I guess a 9/10 on my cooking scale.
It was a lot of work.  Many steps.  Not difficult but time consuming.
Would I make it again?  I may make it for the holidays.
Try a new recipe...
Happy Cooking Everyone!
(Coming up soon, the pasta recipe I made for the party & I will be attempting the
amazing applesauce one of the cooks brought....Yum!:-)