A festive winter breakfast: dutch baby with cinnamon apples A festive winter breakfast: dutch baby with cinnamon apples

A festive winter breakfast: dutch baby with cinnamon apples

Cranberry Cake

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For years I’ve coveted a Kitchenaid standmixer with irrational fervor. Thanks to some very generous friends, I’m finally a proud owner of a pistachio-colored mixer! By chance, I stumbled upon this recipe for Cranberry Cake from The Kitchn, which was the perfect inaugural mixer project because this cake gets its volume from vigorously beating the eggs with the sugar, not from traditional leavening agents like baking powder.

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My precious…

Moist, with bright, tangy bursts of fresh cranberry, this cake is incredibly simple and easy to make. The cake can be baked in a variety of different pan sizes. It takes some time in the oven, so bake for at least 30 minutes and check periodically to see if an inserted toothpick comes out clean. With the batter I made, I was able to fill one loaf pan and one 6 inch cake pan, which I baked for 60 to 70 minutes.

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To balance the tartness, I added a sugared pecan topping to one of the loaves.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (one 12oz. bag)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pecan topping:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

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Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a standmixer (or hand beater) beat the eggs and sugar for about 8 minutes. The mixture should turn pale yellow and double in volume. This is the step that makes the cake fluffy, so take care to make sure it is well-mixed, leaving ribbons on top when you lift the beater.

2. Incorporate the butter and vanilla until combined, mixing for a few minutes.

3. Gently fold in the flour, salt and cranberries. Spread into pans of your choice that are either greased or lined with parchment paper.

4. If you’re using the pecan topping, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, stir in the brown sugar, and mix in the pecans so that they are coated, then spread atop the cake batter.

5. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, checking after 30 minutes. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, free of any batter. Cool before eating.

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Happy Halloween! 

Can’t wait to cook with this spooky and gnarly Buddha’s Hand Citron.

Sunsets over the East River Sunsets over the East River

Sunsets over the East River

Ginger Bourbon Apple Butter

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Another great way to celebrate a bounty of apples! This recipe is simple but just requires a little time and patience. 

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lbs apples
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gingerbread syrup (Note: I used Stonewall Kitchen’s gingerbread syrup, but maple syrup would do just fine.)
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Method: 

1. Quarter the apples - no need to remove anything but the stems - and place in a large pot with the vinegar and enough water to cover most of the apples.  Simmer and cook covered for about 40 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the apples and run through a food mill to separate the seeds and skins from the pulp. Note - my food mill was not up to the task, so I ultimately pushed the apples through a colander instead. 

3. Return the pulp to the pot (make sure to pour out the water first), then mix in the sugars, syrup, bourbon, and spices. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the mixture achieves your desired thickness. This recipe yields approximately 16 oz of apple butter and keeps for several weeks if refrigerated.

Gratuitous apple-on-apple action

Apple Pie Muffins

Whether you’ve spent the weekend apple picking and are looking for a way to use up your big haul or are simply inspired by this brisk weather, this recipe from The Kitchn is the perfect way to commemorate the beginning of fall. In fact, if you bake nothing else this season, bake these! If all goes well, you’ll end up with 12 fragrant muffins, moist on the inside and crunchy on the top. 

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Ingredients:

… Muffins …

  • 2 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced

… Streusel …

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

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Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. In a second bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, cream, yogurt, and vanilla. Add the melted butter, whisking the mixture continuously.

2. Combine the liquid and the dry mixtures by gently folding until barely combined. Gently stir in the chopped apples. Fill the muffin tin to the top with the batter. 

3. To make the streusel, stir the dry ingredients in a small bowl, then pour in the melted butter and stir with a fork until mostly combined (there should be some pebble-sized pieces). Carefully top each mound of batter with a spoonful of the streusel, pressing gently into the batter.

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4. Bake muffins for 20 minutes. They are ready when the tops are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. The muffins can be kept in an airtight container for three days, though I recommend enjoying them fresh out of the oven!

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The First Taste of Fall … Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting The First Taste of Fall … Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The First Taste of Fall … Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Steamed snow crab legs 

Creamy Salsa Verde
At 450 degrees, roast one large onion (sliced), four garlic cloves, and ten tomatillos for about 15 minutes. In a food processor, blend the roasted veggies, with one avocado, one cup cilantro, and two serrano peppers (include the seeds for some heat). Add salt and pepper to taste. Creamy Salsa Verde
At 450 degrees, roast one large onion (sliced), four garlic cloves, and ten tomatillos for about 15 minutes. In a food processor, blend the roasted veggies, with one avocado, one cup cilantro, and two serrano peppers (include the seeds for some heat). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Salsa Verde

At 450 degrees, roast one large onion (sliced), four garlic cloves, and ten tomatillos for about 15 minutes. In a food processor, blend the roasted veggies, with one avocado, one cup cilantro, and two serrano peppers (include the seeds for some heat). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake.  Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake.  Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake.  Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake.  Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake. 

Play-by-play construction of Emma’s birthday cake.