Friday, October 31, 2008

Oven-baked Caramel Corn

Here's a fun Paula Deen recipe from her Paula Deen Celebrates cookbook. I couldn't find the same one online. It's so addictive, and great for movie nights, game days, or food gifts!

This is for one bag of popcorn (obviously, double the ingredients for two bags, but I've found that one bag is enough for me and four friends on girls movie night!):

Bring 1 stick of butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1/2 t. salt, ¼ cup corn syrup, 1 t. maple syrup, and 1 t. vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If it starts to boil really hard, I lift it off the burner for a few seconds. You can scorch this if you let it get too hot for too long. And it is HARD to clean out of a pan and to air out your house afterward! After five minutes, remove from heat and add 1 t. baking soda. Spread this over popped popcorn on a cookie sheet and stir it up as best you can, but don't worry about coating every piece yet. Bake at 250 for an hour, taking out to stir every 15 minutes or so. By the third or fourth time of doing this, every piece should be perfectly coated!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall's Perfect Breakfast!

Oh you voluptuous fall fruit, how I desire your tasty innards! Being surrounded by jack-o-lanterns and decorative pumpkins only increases my love of all foods pumpkin. Here's a great way to get rid of that pumpkin craving first thing in the morning: Pumpkin Waffles! Jay and I have eaten these three or four times, and we love them! I might even double the recipe next time so I have leftovers to freeze for a quicker weekday breakfast.

Pumpkin Waffles
by the Taste of Home test kitchens

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, pumpkin and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Apple Bonanza!

I've been well-supplied with fresh apples since midsummer, thanks to a couple sets of very generous Maucks. I've frozen them thinly sliced with cinnamon-sugar for Diane's apple pie, and I've made apple cake and this week, I tried strawberry applesauce. Both are de-lish and worth sharing. I used tart apples for the cake, and Red Delicious for the applesauce.

Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia
by Paula Deen

I've never seen a recipe title this long, OR so many positive reviews from Food users: 531 reviews with a 5-star average rating. If you've got apples, you've got to try this one.


Butter, for greasing pan
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a tube pan.
For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples, coconut, and pecans into batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven. Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Applesauce
by Dave Lieberman

This one is very easy, and a flavorful change from regular applesauce. Last time I made homemade applesauce, I made it plain with cinnamon, and Claire didn't care for it too much. This one got her approval, though! Beware: I didn't get the heat high enough for a while, and had to cook it longer. It's okay, just make sure you add water to keep the sauce from getting too thick.

3 pounds McIntosh or other apple of choice (about 9 apples)
10 large frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Peel, core and slice apples 1/4-inch thick. Place apple slices in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until a sauce consistency, about 45 minutes. Use a potato masher, if necessary, to break up any lumps, but leave slightly chunky.