Amazing Cranberry-Orange Sauce

I learned how to make this Amazing Cranberry-Orange Sauce when I dated a guy who was an Executive Chef before meeting my husband, Ernie.  This guy was so good as a Chef he cooked for three US Presidents.  As outstanding as he was when it came to cooking he was not so hot as a boyfriend.

So, the relationship was short-lived.  But once it was over I took with me some great recipes like this one. I also took knowledge I never had about food and cooking before that you’ll see sneaking in my posts now and then.

Always look for the good in every experience even though at the time it may not seem like it’s so great.  There’s always a silver lining if you look for it.  Now, I’m so grateful for that experience because I finally came to the understanding that I deserved more. Deserved better.

A little over a year later I met Ernie and he has been the love of my life since the day we met in August 1997.

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November 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Hot Apple Cake w/ Caramel Pecan Sauce

When I was a girl growing up in Michigan, every autumn in October we’d head off to the u-pick-it apple farms and pick apples.  It was a Saturday adventure we all enoyed.  After climbing trees and tossing apples gently to my younger brothers waiting below it was apple cider and donut time at the mill.

The cider was always just pressed the same day – often within a couple hours. It had the most amazingly sweet, pungent, apple-y flavor.  The donuts were the cake style rather than raised.  They were golden brown. Crispy outside, coated with cinnamon-sugar, tender inside and still warm from the fryer.

This cake reminds me of those once a year Saturdays from my childhood in the fall.  It’s from a 1985 cookbook I’ve owned all these years titled, “The Dessert Lover’s Cookbook” by Marlene Sarosky.  It simply wouldn’t be fall without making this dessert. The batter is buttery, cinnamon-y and it’s loaded with chopped apples. The Caramel Pecan Sauce and a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream make it sheer heaven.  It’s not fancy to look at – but the flavors say pure autumn.

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November 10, 2010 at 6:14 am 4 comments

Maple Walnut Granola

  • This is my kind of breakfast. Crunchy, lightly sweet and tangy tart all at the same time.  Served up with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt and a handful of berries. It’s perfect breakfast chow in my opinion.
  • Okay, okay. I’ll be honest with you.  Left to my own devices, I would rather have leftovers from dinner the night before nuked in the microwave rather than actual, dedicated breakfast food.  But that’s not always an option – nor should it be. So, the question of what to have for breakfast looms large some mornings.
  • I’m not a big egg person. On the other hand, my husband Ernie’s knickname is, “The Eggman.” Remember the ol’ Beatles song? “I am the walrus. I am the eggman.”

November 10, 2010 at 5:38 am 2 comments

Mediterranean Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sometimes when I’m blogging around in the foodosphere I will come across a recipe I like. Let’s be honest. I like the idea of the recipe but while skimming it over I’m thinking, “If I was preparing this I would do it differently.  It’s not a case of better or worse. It’s just about different. Do you tend to do the same thing?

Such was the case when I stumbled upon “Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash” a couple days ago on a blog called “Cake, Batter and Bowl.”

This is a winter-y kind of dish. The acorn squash screams, “Late fall, almost winter.”  It’s hearty but not too heavy. The brilliant gold squash is loaded with vitamins and fiber. It’s nurturing and satisfying without adding a heavy gravy or sauce or anything to make you feel, “Gee, I guess shouldn’t have eaten that.”

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November 9, 2010 at 6:06 am 2 comments

Best Ever Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread is a taste of the tropics and comfort food all rolled into one.  What could be better?

Knowing how to make a great loaf of Banana Nut Bread is one of those things every cook should have in their list of “go-to” recipes.  Take a loaf to a friend or family member’s home when you visit and you’ll always be welcome.   It’s as hospitable as bringing a bottle of wine.  However, it’s less expensive and counts for more “brownie points” because it’s homemade.

My husband, Ernie, loves anything with bananas. He eats them au naturale, in bread, cake, sliced on top of ice cream with a little caramel sauce. When I want Ernie to know in a culinary way that I love him, I make him something with bananas.  When I see a few brown-speckled bananas in the big fruit bowl on our kitchen counter – I know he’s hinting for a taste of Banana Nut Bread.

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November 8, 2010 at 7:44 am Leave a comment

Spinach Souffle Quiche

Okay, I admit it.  I used a pre-made crust for this quiche.  Even after my post about Pastry Blenders a couple days ago, I still copped to the easy way this time.  The reason? There is a layer of Swiss and Gruyure cheeses underneath that Spinach filling and I thought the flavor of a real homemade crust wouldn’t come through in this particular dish.

You may have a difference of opinion.  That’s okay.  I’m more attached to making cooking work for me and my life rather than the other way around.

It was a pretty busy day even though it was a Sunday with an extra hour.  I got caught up blogging, re-writing copy for one of my other websites and getting together with a friend later this afternoon.  I’m sorry if I’m not like some of the other foodie bloggers who write about their inspiration seeing the most perfect produce in their perfectly dewy garden or at the Farmer’s Market.  I wish that was me. But it’s just not.

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November 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm 3 comments

Tis the Season for Pumpkin Pancakes

You know you want ’em. So why not surrender to the siren song of pumpkin and the glory of autumn spices?

This time of year I make Pumpkin Pancakes almost every weekend. Well, until pumpkin no longer shows up on the store shelves after the holidays.  These pancakes just feel and taste extra special this time of year.

The bonus is you’re enjoying the flavors of the season without a ton of extra fat and calories.  After all, if you were going to make pancakes anyway for breakfast – these don’t add a lot of fat and calories like an extra dessert or a few cookies.

Pumpkin is a fat-free vegetable and doesn’t contain a lot of calories. Spices add layers of flavor without calories.  Yes, there’s a little extra sugar in this recipe.  Brown sugar to be exact. But you’ll probably end up using less maple syrup at the end as a result.

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November 7, 2010 at 12:11 am 4 comments

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