Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

I made chutney but I still had some fresh cranberries left. I have been wanting to try new cranberry recipes so I went on a search. This one looked easy and delicious. I decided to give it a try, on a week night even. After all, who doesn't come home after working all day and having an afternoon class to make dinner and bake a cake for dessert? Don't look at me, this was a one time moment of crazy, but a tasty crazy.

Actually this came together easily and it had time to bake while I put the pork tenderloins on the grill, made dirty rice, and steamed some broccoli. Multitasking is the only way to get things done, especially on week nights.

This will probably be the dessert I take to our Thanksgiving feast.

Recipe found on recipezaar

4 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated (optional)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, thaw first)


* 12 tablespoons sweet butter, very soft
* 7/8 cup white sugar (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 3/4 cups cake flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place 4 tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch cake pan. (The pan should have at least a 2 1/2 inch rim.) Place the pan in heated oven for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter is fully melted. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest (optional). Spread the sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the cake pan. Spread out the cranberries in an even layer over the butter and sugar mix.
3. To make the cake, begin by using a wooden spoon to cream together the butter, sugar and egg yolk for about 30 seconds. Switching over to a whisk, stir in the eggs one at a time. Continue to whisk another minute until the sugar crystals dissolve. Whisk in the vanilla extract, salt and sour cream.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Whisk everything together until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
5. Pour the batter over the cranberries and bake for 50 to 65 minutes. When done, the center of the cake should be dry to the touch and spring back when lightly poked.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes (no longer as the bottom begins to set as it cools).
7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Invert cake onto a serving plate and remove pan. Let it rest an additional 15 minutes before serving.
8. Best served warm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake and my love for Nordic Ware

I love Nordic Ware. I have so many different Nordic Ware bundt pans and other shapes. I love all the different shapes. They have pans for ever season, every occasion. I have big bundt pans, baby bundt pans, Christmas pans, Snowman pan, and many other shapes. Hopefully there will be more pictues of these to come on my blog. Have I mentioned that I love them.

One of my favorite cakes to make in my bundt pan is a lemon sour cream pound cake. My family loves it, especially the lemony glaze I put over the cake.

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake (baked in my chrysanthemum pan)


* 3 cups cake flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
* 3 cups sugar
* 6 eggs, room temp
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon rind
* 1 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease 16-cup tube pan.
Dust with cake flour; tap out excess flour.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition.
Beat in lemon juice and peel.
Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients.
Mix in sour cream.
Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 90 minutes.
Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes.
Cut around cake in pan.
Turn out cake.
Carefully turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely.

The glaze is simple. Lemon juice and powdered sugar. I mix quite a bit and let it sit over night. Then I add a bit more before I serve it. It's delicious.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Marmalade Glazed Chicken

Remember I said we eat a lot of chicken? We're going to be having even more because I came across whole chickens for 60¢ per pound so we will be having even more chicken. Good thing chicken is so versatile so we can have it a few nights a week but still it doesn't have to be the same old boring thing every time.

Tonight's chicken dinner:

Marmalade Glazed Chicken

1 (3-3.5lb) chicken, cut up


1 cup orange juice
3 TBS honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBS light soy sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 (12 oz) jar orange marmalade
1 TBS cornstarch
1 TBS water

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl except for marmalade, cornstarch and water. Place chicken in a ziploc bag. Pour in marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight. (Overnight is best) Heat grill and cook chicken until juices run clear, turning once. In a small saucepan combine reserved marinade with cornstarch mixed with water and a jar of orange marmalade. (I'm always afraid to reuse marinade even though boiling it is supposed to kill any bacteria. I just can't do it. I always make up another batch of the marinade recipe to put in the sauce) Whisk over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Baste chicken with glaze. Serve remaining sauce with chicken.

With this chicken, I served jasmine rice and roasted acorn squash.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cranberry Chutney: A Seasonal Favorite

Cranberries have such a short season and you can only find them in the markets here in November and December. I love seeing those little red orbs of goodness in stores. I know it's time to make more cranberry chutney. Last year I made it in batches and froze part of it. Only I didn't freeze enough because we ran out a couple of months ago. We use it on chicken, turkey, and pork all year long. Plus we take a big bowl of it to my Grandmother's for Thanksgiving.

Tonight we had it on roasted chicken. (I told you there would be a lot of chicken posts since it was on sale)


Cranberry/Apple Chutney

1 cup Water
1 3/4 cup Sugar
1-12 oz. bag of Fresh Cranberries
1 Apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (I used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar
1 Orange, zest grated and juiced
1 Lemon, zest grated and juiced
3/4 cup Golden Raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
3/4 cup chopped Pecans

1. In a medium saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat.

2. Add the cranberries, apples, cider vinegar, orange zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, raisins, and spices. Bring to a boil, than simmer gently for 10-15 minutes stirring often.

3. Remove from heat and add the pecans. Pour mixture in a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chutney.

4. Cool to room temperature and serve, or, cover and refrigerate. Bring chutney to room temperature before serving.

I leave out the raisins because we don't love them and the pecans because we have someone in our family who is allergic. This time I made a triple batch. I know there will be one more triple batch in my near future because it keeps well in the freezer all year. Plus I'll probably throw a bag of cranberries in the freezer for later.

Another reason to make this, it makes your house smell SO GOOD.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

What could be better on a cool rainy fall day than a spicy bowl of gumbo? No much. Only the day turned out to warm and sunny. The weatherman was all wrong but the gumbo was all right. We fell in love with gumbo on our first trip to New Orleans. I think we ate it at least four times that week. Every place it was a little different, just like mine. Every time it turns out a little different but it's always tasty.

The recipe I use is a variation of a Southern Living recipe and it is not an all day affair like most gumbos. I try to still make it early so it has time to cook on the stove for a couple of hours. The flavors seem to come together and leftovers are just as good (if not better).


* 2 pounds smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 3 to 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1.5 cup coarsely chopped onion
* 1.5 cup chopped celery
* 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
* 2 medium-size red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 2-3 tablespoons Creole seasoning
* 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
* 1-2 cups frozen okra slices
* Hot cooked rice


Cook sausage over high heat in Dutch oven 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Add enough oil to drippings in Dutch oven to equal 5 tablespoons, and whisk in flour; cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in broth and next 2 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add sausage and chicken; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Ten minutes before serving, drop okra in and allow it to cook. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Roasted Cauliflower: our favorite vegetable

I can not believe have not done a blog about roasted cauliflower. It is something we have probably once a week. Everyone loves it. My seven year old nephew asks for it when he comes over for dinner.

It's super easy and who doesn't love roasted vegetables?

Cauliflower sliced into planks
olive oil
salt and pepper

Roast at 400 for 20-25 minutes until tender and starting to brown. We love the little brown bits, so sometimes I leave it in a few minutes longer. For three of us, I usually do two heads of cauliflower because we love it so much.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall: Roast Chicken with Apple Cider Gravy

Tonight I made roast chicken. Two roast chickens to be exact. Half of one was dinner tonight and leftovers for my husband's lunch and the remaining chicken and a half was deboned, cut up and stored in the freezer. That chicken will find it's way into gumbo, chicken pot pie, and taco soup.

Tonight's chicken needed something new. Just plain roast chicken can get tiring. I had a bottle of apple cider in the refrigerator and decided to add some to the pan gravy. It was delicious and a great way to use fall flavors.

To the pan juices, I added a little flour to thicken. I then added 1 cup of apple cider and 1 cup of chicken stock. I let it thicken and served it over the chicken and with mashed potatoes.