Is dinner time nuts at your house, too? As soon as I announce that it is time to set the table and get the dogs fed, it is like the boys have suddenly been let out of a cage. There is running, shouting, climbing of walls, well, door frames, anyway. Absolute bedlam! There is a brief period of quiet during dinner as they either are feeding at their individual troughs or sizing up the perceived atrocity and silently trying to figure out how they can get a hotdog instead. After years of struggle, I have recently decided that if they don't like what is on their plate they can go make themselves a peanut butter and jelly. It makes the DH crazy, but it helps my sanity, so....
Anyway, we had an amazing dinner tonight of pasta with Bolognese....I'd share the recipe if I could, but I got it through the kindness of a local restaurateur, so it is not mine to share. :( But, the scrumptious Apple Cake that I made for dessert is up for grabs--and I took pictures of it! (Food photography is a real art, an art that I am not really up for, I'm afraid, but I gave it a lash.) I first got this recipe during the recipe testing phase of our local Junior League cookbook and LOVED it because it is ridiculously easy and it makes me feel like a pioneer woman because it can be mixed with just a wooden spoon. I was talking to my mom last week and she mentioned this great apple cake she had just made with a buttermilk glaze... we compared notes and it turned out to be the same cake recipe I had, but hers came with an additional glaze that she claimed was amazing. Well, after making it: I concur! It is to die for.
So, this recipe is strange. And it looks even stranger when you make it. The dough is thick and lumpy, the apples don't mesh with it. The glaze has buttermilk and Karo syrup in it.... All around just weird. I promise it all comes together in the end. Make it for a crowd, if you can, and serve with vanilla ice cream. I made it just for my family (and my kids who hate nuts wouldn't eat it) so I am stuck with this giant pan of it that I cannot resist taking a forkful from every time I walk through the kitchen.
Apple Cake with Buttermilk Glaze
4 cups sliced apples, pref. Jonothan
1 cup oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (can omit, but need to add 1/2 cup oil to replace)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
optional: 1 cup chopped dates
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350˚. 1. Mix apples, oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, nuts & dates (if using) together, by hand, in a large bowl. Combine well. 2. In a separate bowl; mix flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon. Add to apple mixture--mixture will be thick. 3. Put mixture in an ungreased 13x9" baking pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Karo Syrup, dark (but light will work in a pinch)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
10 minutes before the cake is done baking, mix all the ingredients of the glaze together in a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, watching carefully so it doesn't expand out of the pot. Boil for 10 minutes and then pour over finished cake. Add more chopped nuts to the top, if you like.
1. Mixing the ingredients.
2. Lumpy dough, all ingredients mixed.
3. In the oven.
4. Boiling the glaze.
5. The cake before glaze.
6. The sinful, caramel-y glaze sinking in.