Apple Cake

In Desserts, Recipe On September 19, 2014 10 Comments

My Aunt Rose was famous for this cake and I’m lucky to have the recipe. It’s easy to assemble and works in a 9″ X 13″ pyrex pan or 10″ round cake (with removable base).

If you know the apples are pesticide free and not waxed, leave the skin on (more fibre and flavour). Enjoy this recipe — I know it will become a family tradition in your home too!

Method to make apple cake: In a large bowl, mix sliced apples with ½ cup sugar and set aside. Preheat oven to 350º F. In a mixing bowl, put eggs, 1½ cups sugar and oil. Beat well. Sift flour and baking powder. Add alternately with orange juice to egg/sugar/oil mixture. Grease a baking pan (9” x 13” or 10” round) with 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil. Pour in 1/3 of the batter. Place apples evenly over the batter and sprinkle with raisins and sundried cranberries. Pour over remaining batter. Sprinkle top with ½ cup sugar and 2 tbsp cinnamon. Bake for 1 hour or until top and bottom are golden brown. If using a pyrex baking pan, turn over down 25º and note that baking time may be a bit less than an hour.

Serving suggestions: Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, ice-cream or caramel sauce.

mashed potato pancakes

Mashed Potato Pancakes

In Blog On September 18, 2014 11 Comments

The flavour of these pancakes will vary depending on what potatoes you use and what you add to your potatoes. I’m a huge of locally grown small potatoes and when I know the grower, I leave the skins on, chop and cook in salted water until done. Make sure you drain your potatoes well and that they are ‘dry’ before mashing. Now, here is where flavour can really vary. I will add butter for sure, whipping cream if it’s in the fridge or sour cream or Greek yogurt, salt and pepper to taste. I don’t use a ricer or food mill as I prefer a rougher masher. Voila, easy delish mashed potatoes.

Mix mashed potatoes with ½ cup bread crumbs, eggs, parsley flakes, salt and pepper. If mixture is too soft add more bread crumbs until mixture will hold a pancake shape. Dust hands with flour and shape into patties (using a half cup measure for size). In a medium frying pan, heat the frying oil on medium high heat. Add potato pancakes and reduce heat to fry slowly. When pancake is golden brown, turn and fry the other side. It takes about 2 minutes per side.

You can turn this dish into a main course by adding cooked protein such as canned salmon or tuna, finely chopped cooked chicken, beef or pork and of course, finely chopped cooked bacon with chives or chopped onions and grated cheese.


Portuguese Roasted Potatoes

Portuguese Roasted Potatoes

In Accompaniments, Recipe On September 17, 2014 8 Comments

The potatoes cooked in this style are one of my favourite food memories from my culinary tour to Portugal in October 2014. We enjoyed this dish at a lunch hosted at the Quinta do Crasto, a family vineyard, olive orchard, winery and olive oil producer, way up on the banks of the Douro. The lusciousness of the extra virgin oil mixed with lots of garlic and paprika, make this simple dish extremely flavourful. To ensure the best flavour, go with really good extra virgin olive oil and locally grown potatoes if you can (if locally grown, keep the peels on, if not, peel).

You can also surround a turkey or roast of beef or pork with these potatoes, basting them with savoury pan juices. The seasonings create a heady fragrance that stimulates the taste buds. Put them in the roasting pan an hour before the roast is ready.

Method to cook potatoes: In a large bowl combine the potatoes with the garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Gently mix, evenly coating the potatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley; mix to coat evenly. Place in a roasting pan (or add to a pan of roasting meat) and roast at 350 F, turning occasionally for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.