Sushi Cake

Our youngest son turned 5 in August and he requested a “sushi cake.” The child LOVES sushi and frequently requests it for special events. I share his love for sushi and was only too happy to oblige! I searched for ideas and then created my own version of a sushi cake using cake, candy, fruit roll-ups, rice krispies, marshmallows, chocolate, Swedish fish, and coconut. It was so fun and turned out better than I could have imagined! The only inedible part was the chopsticks. The base cake was mint chocolate as requested by the birthday boy and the sushi rolls were vanilla cake. Hope you enjoy!

Sushi Cake

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

For all you chocolate lovers, I have the perfect dark chocolate cake for your Valentine’s Day celebration! I dusted mine with some powdered sugar, but this would be lovely with a chocolate glaze, a thin layer of icing, whipped cream, or a puree of berries. It’s delicious, simple to make, and naturally gluten-free! Plus, Jeremy gave it two thumbs up. So, whether you’re dining out or in, make sure you end your night with something sweet.

As a conversational aside, for my wedding 3 1/2 years ago someone gave me a His and Hers heart shaped baking pan. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. The batter was a little too much for these, but I still thought the heart shape was fun for the occasion. (I definitely would not buy a pan with such infrequent uses, but I guess it’s fun to use every once in awhile, since I already own it! 🙂 )

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
(ever so slightly adapted from epicurious.com)
Print This Recipe

4 oz quality, bittersweet chocolate (I used a 72% cacao)
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with wax paper and butter paper.

Chop chocolate into small pieces. Cut butter into 8 pieces. In the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Garnish as desired.

(When completely cooled, cake will keep in an airtight container up to 1 week.)

Baker’s Delight: Lemon Pound Cake w/Lemon Cream

I adapted a recipe for plain pound cake into a lemon pound cake. And I came up with a lemon cream to add the lemon flavor. Any kind of berry would be delicious topping this cake – I chose lightly sweetened strawberries. It was the perfect dessert for a summer dinner party!



LEMON POUND CAKE
Print This Recipe

1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Using a mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well vlended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in extracts and zest. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake cake until golden and tester comes out clean – about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes. Cute around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely.

LEMON CREAM

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

Whip the cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add zest and juice and mix until fully combined. Add whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form.

Baker’s Delight: Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

As promised, here is the lemon cupcake recipe! We really enjoyed these. I still want to tweak the frosting a little bit but it’s really good. Don’t skip the lemon curd, it’s excellent and it will make more than you need which is a happy bonus.  You can print all of these recipes here.

LEMON CURD
(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine lemon zest, sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan.

Cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate – place plastic wrap on surface of curd while it cools.


LEMON CUPCAKES

2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
5  eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
2/3 c. buttermilk
Zest of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.

Into a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Add vanilla and lemon extract and zest. Add buttermilk and dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks before filling and frosting.


RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6-8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Using a hand-held mixer beat cream cheese and butter together until light and smooth. Add vanilla extract and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time until thoroughly incorporated and desired thickness is reached.


TO ASSEMBLE:
Remove a small amount of cake from the center of the cooled cupcake and spoon in the chilled lemon curd. Use a pastry bag or Ziploc bag to frost the cupcakes. Store finished cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Baker’s Delight: Orange Cranberry Poppy Seed Cake

My mom actually shared this recipe and cake with us and it’s delicious! So yummy. My youngest son even wanted bites of it for a potty training reward – if that isn’t high praise, I don’t know what is. It would be great for brunch or dessert. It is baked in a bundt pan – so pretty. Oranges are seasonal right now which makes this recipe even greater!

ORANGE CRANBERRY POPPYSEED CAKE (adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
Print This Recipe

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
2 T. poppy seed
1/2 c. cranberries, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 2 Oranges

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Mix well after each addition.

Fold in the poppy seeds, cranberries, vanilla, and orange zest. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.

Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges shrink away slightly from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inerted comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning out. Let cool completely.

When cooled, prick holes every 1 1/2 inches apart with a long toothpick and pour orange glaze (recipe follows) evenly over the top.

ORANGE GLAZE
1/2 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c. sugar

Combine orange juice and sugar in a small pan and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a light syrup forms. Remove heat from the heat and keep warm until ready to use.

Off the Shelf: Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy is That

We are so delighted to have Sarah Bailey return with a guest post today!
Please join us in welcoming her!
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(Sarah) If you want to make Hors d’oeuvres that would impress some dinner guests without acting like a slave to the stove, you might appreciate How Easy is That? (Barefoot Contessa).
 
Ina Garten’s latest cookbook, which sits at number one on The New York Times bestseller list for hardcover advice, offers a beautiful picture for every recipe and cuts ingredients to the bare essentials. The colorful book with pictures for every recipe helps those who lack the imagination of knowing how to make a sophisticated yet nearly effortless dish.
 
However, the mediocre reviews on Amazon suggest that the Barefoot Contessa has executed better cookbooks in the past. One reviewer, for instance, complains that some of the recipes (think red velvet cupcakes) are pretty easy to find on the Internet.
 
Since my husband prefers less creamy dishes and ingredients he can easily identify, the many of the sections—cocktails, starters, lunch and even desserts—offered little benefit to me. As delicious as they sound, I can’t convince him to take a bite of “savory coeur à la crème,” “rum raisin tiramisù,” or “roasted eggplant companata.”
 
The finest section of the book premieres with the dinner section, where Garten makes divine dishes—provençal lamb, roasted shrimp with feta, and panko-crusted salmon—look like a piece of cake. A cook with an herb garden could especially appreciate the recipes as she blends fresh herbs throughout the dishes.

Sprinkled throughout the book, she includes 68 easy tips to help smooth out the cooking process. However, if you work in a small kitchen space, some of the tips are somewhat impractical. I don’t have room for a second dishwasher, since we don’t even have one dishwasher to begin with. Or, for instance, she suggests you have Le Creuset dutch ovens, All Clad sauté pans, and an extra bowl for a food processor and your Kitchenaid mixer, which might lean on the pricey side or take up too much room for some cooks.
 
She also recommends a Cooks Illustrated subscription, but I prefer to cut down on the paper and get the website subscription (where you get excellent video demonstrations and a rich archive of recipes). On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree with her recommendation to own or save up for a large stockpot, thermometers, a box grater, and a cooking scale.
 
The book doesn’t just showcase recipes; it also includes tips for entertaining. In describing how she sets the table, she balances elegance with simplicity. “We’ve all seen some pretty over-the-top settings with a million crystal glasses, ceramic dishes filled with candy, lots of flowers, candles napkin rings, place cards, and chargers. Frankly, I’ve never known that kind of party to be more fun; in fact, it’s usually just the opposite—it’s more intimidating!” Instead, she recommends a one-color theme appropriate for the season.
 
I tested the cookbook, serving the “weeknight bolognese,” “garlic-roasted cauliflower,” and the “easy cranberry & apple cake.”

Weeknight Bolognese
Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?  Ina Garten
serves 4-5
 
2 Tb. good olive oil, plus extra to cook pasta
1 pound lean ground sirloin
4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 Tb. dried oregano
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 ¼ c. dry red wine, divided
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 Tb. tomato paste
Kosher salt & black pepper
¾ pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ c. chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
¼ c. heavy cream
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
 
Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a large (12 inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbs salt, and 1 ½ tsp pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
 
While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
(How Easy is That?)
Serves 6

1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
4 1/2 Tb. olive oil, divided
kosher salt, ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 Tb. pine nuts
2 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, pee, and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
 
On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Spread the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.
 
Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, the parsley pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another ½ teaspoon of salt, toss well, and serve hot or warm.

Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake
(How Easy is That?)
Serves 6-8

12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
½ c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 Tb. grated orange zest (2 oranges)
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
11⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ c. sour cream
1 c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.

Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1⁄8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Market Fresh: Persimmons

For the first Thanksgiving that I lived in Indiana, a friend made persimmon pudding for us. I had never heard of persimmons before, but immediately fell in love with the moist, fruity dessert.

Persimmons are native to Indiana. Last year a friend let us pick some from her tree and I found myself imagining pioneer times and the women picking up persimmons to feed their families.

Once I got my persimmons home, I rinsed them off and threw them, skin and all, into a sieve. I pushed them around the sieve until most of the yellow flesh fell through and only the brown seeds were left.

Here’s my persimmon  pulp:

If you don’t have a source of fresh persimmons and you live in the Midwest, you can check the grocery store frozen section for persimmon pulp, or your local orchard store. I even came across a sign in the front yard of a house in my area advertising persimmon pulp.

Persimmon cake is just a bit more sophisticated than persimmon pudding and perfect for the holiday season. Don’t be surprised if your cake sinks a little. That’s just characteristic of cooking with persimmons.

PERSIMMON CAKE
(Cooks.com)
Print this recipe
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
4 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. canola oil
3 c. persimmon pulp (I only had 2 cup bags so I used 2 cups persimmon and 1 cup applesauce)
3/4 c. black walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In small bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In large mixer bowl, combine eggs, sugars and vanilla; beat until smooth. With mixer at slow speed, gradually add oil in steady stream. Add flour mixture and beat until just blended. Fold in persimmon pulp and nuts.

Spoon into prepared pans and bake 40-45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks. This cake is delicious frosted with cream cheese icing made with 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel and 3 cups confectioners’ sugar. Beat until light and fluffy and garnish with 1/2 cup finely chopped black walnuts. This cake is even better after it is aged for a couple of days.

NOTES: I baked my cake in a bundt pan — just one layer, but thick. I also just served it with plenty of whipped cream rather than making icing.

Baker’s Delight: Cinnamon-Apple Cake

I seriously just want to bake when the weather gets cold! This cake was a perfect fall dessert for a gathering. You could also serve it for brunch. It was delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Look for our November magazine reviews next Wednesday! I love the Thanksgiving issues – I’ve been browsing them for a couple of weeks as they have trickled in – can’t wait to try the recipes!

CINNAMON-APPLE CAKE
Print This Recipe

3/4  c.  sugar, divided
1 – 8 oz. block-style cream cheese, softened
1/2  c.  butter or stick margarine, softened
1  tsp. vanilla extract
2  large eggs
1 1/2  c.  all-purpose flour
1 1/2  tsp.  baking powder
1/4  tsp.  salt
2  tsp.  ground cinnamon
3  c.  chopped peeled apples

Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat 1/2 c. sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, and beat at low speed until blended. Combine 1/4 c. sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 Tb. of the cinnamon mixture and apple in a bowl; stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 8 or 9-inch springform pan (you could use a regular cake pan also) coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes-1 hour or until cake pulls away from the sides of pan. Cool cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.

Favorite Fall Recipes

In my opinion, fall is one of the best seasons for cooking and eating. Harvest provides the bounty to cook with and hungry appetites, whetted by the cold weather, are eager to devour the fruits of the kitchen. Here are our favorites:

Rustic Apple Tart: I love to make these tarts because they are easier than a pie, and you can get two of them from one recipe of pie crust. Apple pie is a perennial favorite and a must for the autumn.

Spicy Butternut Curry: this was a random selection from a squash cookbook that turned out to be a winner. I served it to company as well as just to our family.

Spiced Cider Punch: We enjoyed this at a friend’s wedding and then used it for parties here at home. It is easy, seasonal, and very delicious.

Roman Apple Cake: This was most likely the first apple recipe I ever made growing up and it has stuck around as my go-to for a comfort cake.

Treacle Scones: these scones are filled with the scents of autumn and perfect for tea time on a windy wet day.

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SAUSAGE LENTIL SOUP: We love this soup – It’s filling and absolutely delicious!

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BEET, GOAT CHEESE, & AVOCADO SALAD: This was such an unexpected and fabulous combination of flavors.

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PUMPKIN DESSERTS: Pretty much anything pumpkin tends to be my favorite! The pumpkin cake, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cheesecake are all wonderful.

cranberry pie
CRANBERRY CHESS PIE: I stumbled on this recipe a few years ago and it’s become a family favorite.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES & MAPLE BACON: While I didn’t love how the photo turned out, we have continued to return to this pancake recipe.  Very fallish!

Off the Shelf: October Magazines

The weather is cooling and filling the house with good smells is one of the best activities! Our October magazines arrived and fall is officially ushered in – at least in our kitchens. We talked about magazines we would review and we have chosen four but the reality is – you can’t go wrong with any of the fall magazines. I have Bon Apetit and Cooking Light in my menu plan ideas with several recipes marked. All of the magazines have wonderful, seasonal recipes and there is a good chance you will see a few more recipes featured here during October and November.

Everyday with Rachael Ray (Alaina) – This magazine has a great variety of recipes. It was such a tough choice of what to make. The Pear & Goat Cheese Crostini, Spiced Squash with Browned Butter Glaze, Maple-Walnut Chicken Thighs & Cheddar-Apple Rice, and Apple Tart Tatin were all tempting. I think I’m just ready for the fall fruits and vegetables!

Mini Meatloaves Smothered with Onions finally made the cut and they were delicious. The combination of beef, dates, bacon, and onions with worcestshire sauce and balsamic vinegar made for flavorful and moist meatloaves.

MINI MEATLOAVES SMOTHERED with ONIONS
(Everyday with Rachael Ray, October 2010)
Print This Recipe

1/2 cup pitted dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/3 pounds ground beef
3 onions, 2 thinly sliced and 1 finely chopped
3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°. In a bowl, combine the dates and breadcrumbs, working the mixture through your fingers to separate. Mix in the beef. Mix in the chopped onion, bacon, egg, worcestershire and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Divide into 4 mounds and, on a baking sheet, shape into loaves. Place on the upper rack and bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, on another baking sheet, toss the sliced onions with the butter and season with salt; spread out evenly. Bake on the lower rack, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve the meatloaves with the onions.

Food Network Magazine (Alaina) – I love this edition of Food Network. The recipes all look wonderful and again it was such a hard decision. How can you go wrong with a pull-out full of 50 delicious Panini ideas?! And the use of fall ingredients is impressive.

I’m still planning to make the Pumpkin Waffles with Trail Mix Topping and the Slow-Cooker Squash Stew and perhaps a few more!  The Caramel Apple Cake, Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, Honey-Mustard Chicken & Apples, and Portabella Fries all sound so good.

After many requests for more side dish recipes, I decided to try a couple of the recipes included in this magazine. So, we enjoyed Sweet Potato Mash and Sesame Broccoli. We really liked both dishes.

SWEET POTATO MASH
(Food Network, October 2010)
Print This Recipe

Pierce 4 sweet potatoes with a fork; microwave 8 minutes. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, then mash. Brown 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet, then add 8 sage leaves and fry until crisp; transfer to a plate. Cook 4 chopped scallions with salt and pepper in the browned butter. Drizzle over the sweet potatoes; top with the sage.


SESAME BROCCOLI
(Food Network Magazine, October 2010)
Print This Recipe

Cook 1 bunch broccoli spears in a steamer set over simmering water, 10 minutes. Pulse a 1-inch piece peeled ginger, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons each water and sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and a pinch each of sugar and salt in a mini food processor. Drizzle over the broccoli and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Midwest Living (Heather) — Although Midwest Living is not technically a food magazine, the Sept/Oct issue included a huge spread focused on cranberries. The article was so beautiful and inspiring that I felt it was worth mentioning here.

The cranberry article included things such as cranberry scones, cranberry layer cake, and cranberry apple sweet potatoes. I chose to try the Crimson Slaw and it was delicious. The color, taste, and texture were right on and paired perfectly with my baked ham, roasted sweet potatoes, and steamed green beans.

CRIMSON SLAW
(Sept/Oct Midwest Living 2010)
Print this recipe

1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dry red wine (optional — but added a great depth)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
4 cups shredded red cabbage (1/2 of a medium head)
1  6-ounce package dried cranberries (I used half this amount)
1/4 to 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced

For vinaigrette: in screw-top jar, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, wine (if you like), salt, pepper, and mustard. Cover and shake well.

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, cranberries and onion. Pour the vinaigrette over cabbage mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. (I had to serve it immediately and it was great.)

Serves 6.

Victoria (Heather) — Victoria has always been my favorite magazine. The beauty and romance of its pages capture my heart. I enjoyed flipping through this magazine while on our recent “staycation”. Since I am a devoted Anglophile (more precisely a UK-phile), I particularly enjoyed this issue.

Page 38 contains a beautiful photo of an amazing cake: who knew it was gluten-free?! I had to make it. The result was beautiful, but strangely tinny. After some reflection I realized the recipe had been altered in translation and the “tablespoons” should be read as “teaspoons”, especially where baking powder is concerned!!! So, if you’re going to make this cake, be sure to follow the recipe below, or remember the proper translation when you read the magazine!

APPLE AND CINNAMON CAKE
(Victoria Magazine, Sept/Oct 2010)
Print this recipe

1 1/2 cups butter, softened (margarine can be used if you can’t use butter)
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill with great results)
4 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 large eggs
4 apples, peeled and coarsely grated

garnish: 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped; 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line two 9-inch cake pans.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at medium-high speed, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture, and mix at low speed until combined and smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and grated apple; fold into butter mixture.

Divide batter between prepared pan, and bake for 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble cake, place one cake layer on plate and spread half of the icing over top; top with second cake layer, and spread remaining icing over top. Garnish with walnuts and dried cranberries, if desired.

ICING
(Heather’s Recipe)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and whip (slowly at first) until cheese is thoroughly mixed in and mixture has thickened.