Monday, October 31, 2016

Pear Dulce De Leche Cake

This is a month of five Mondays which means it's a Secret Recipe Club themed month. This month we're cooking and baking fall dishes. I was assigned to Cathleen's blog, A Taste of Madness. Cathleen cooks and bakes in Toronto, and has a ton of great recipes to choose from. I was pleased to find the perfect fall dessert on her blog, and it features something other than apples or pumpkin! Now don't get me wrong, I love apples and pumpkins, but sometimes it's fun to have variety.

This is a lovely spice cake baked over a layer of pears and dulce de leche. The fruit and caramel lend just the right amount of moistness to the cake. Your family and friends will eat it up! (Pictured here with pumpkin ice cream!)

In my post last week, I documented how to make homemade dulce de leche in the Instant Pot. Check it out! If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can make dulce de leche in a crock pot or on the stove - a simple google search will point you in the right direction.

Thanks, Cathleen, for a winning autumn cake!

Pear Dulce de Leche Cake

1-2 medium pears, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup dulce de leche
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 large

Place the sliced pear on the bottom of a greased 9" pie plate or cake pan. Spread the dulce de leche on top pf the pears.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger until fully combined.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until just combined.

Spread the batter over the pears, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fried Apple Sundaes with Dulce De Leche

I love fall baking with pumpkins and apples but we've had a week of warmer temperatures here which has prompted me to change up my dessert strategy a bit... last week, pumpkin ice cream, and now, delicious vanilla ice cream topped with apples sauteed (they're really not "fried" but close enough) in cinnamon and sugar, and then capped off with a dollop of homemade dulce de leche. Glorious.

I make dulce de leche in my Instant Pot. There are other methods (stove top, crock pot) that are well documented on the web, so google those if you've never made it and don't have an Instant Pot. Or just get an Instant Pot so you can have dulce de leche at the ready. You want to avoid dulce de leche emergencies at any cost.

But back to the sundaes. You'll love the way the ice cream gets melty under the fried apples, and the way the cinnamon sugar sauce complements the dulce de leche. Believe me, you'll love everything about this dessert. And bonus, it's SUPER EASY.

Find more inspiration at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Fried Apple Sundaes with Dulce De Leche

Dulce De Leche:
1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups chopped apples (no need to peel)
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

For the dulce de leche, pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a glass pint jar. Put on the cap and the ring. Place the jar on the trivet in the Instant Pot. Add about 12 cups of water to the pot; the water should come up about half way on your pint jar. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook, manual, for 35 minutes. When complete, release the pressure immediately. Carefully remove the jar (it is hot!) and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the top and then stir vigorously with a spoon to combine.

For the apples, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When sizzling, add the apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and stir well to coat. Cook the apples for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Scoop ice cream into six dessert dishes. Divide the apple mixture and sauce over the ice cream, then top with a dollop of dulce de leche. Serves 6.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Here in the north, the leaf colors have really popped in the last week, and I have started making soups and baking with pumpkins and apples. But it's never too far past summer for homemade ice cream.

So when I was assigned to Amy's blog, Savory Moments for October's Secret Recipe Club, I pinned several of her recipes, but finally settled on this one which seems to just scream all things fall.

This ice cream is SO easy to put together. And the best part? It's extremely delicious. When I served it at a dinner party, one of the guests said, "this is the best ice cream I've ever eaten!" WOW. That's high praise. Thanks, Amy, for a great recipe.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a large measuring cup or batter bowl until well-combined and the sugar dissolves. Refrigerate for about two hours or until well chilled.

Churn and freeze in an ice cream maker according to instructions. When at soft serve stage, transfer to a freezer container for four hours or overnight to harden. Remove from the freezer about 5-10 minutes before scooping. Makes about 12 servings.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cheeseburger Soup

Sometimes you just need to follow your feelings and change up the menu plan. That's how I made this soup. It was a chilly day and there was a football game, and what I had planned just didn't seem to fit. I had this recipe pinned, and had most of the ingredients, so decided to try it. Of course, I added my own personal touches (it didn't call for ketchup or mustard! so I added it!) and made it my own. And now it will be on the regular rotation!

Saying that this soup was a hit at my house would be an understatement. It was gobbled up. Even I was surprised at how much this soup TASTED like a real cheeseburger - and one kid was shocked at how much she loved it since "I don't even like cheeseburgers." So there you have it. Whether you love cheeseburgers or not, you will love this soup. It's comfort food at its finest.

There's more inspiration at Mix it Up, Inspiration Monday, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate.

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup shredded carrots
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
4 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper

In a Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and onion. Drain fat; add ketchup and mustard and stir until combined.

Add the basil, parsley, broth, carrots and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small saucepan, melt butter and add the flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until bubbly. Add the milk, then whisk well until slightly thickened. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the Velveeta, cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then serve. Makes 6-8 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Recipe Critic

Monday, October 3, 2016

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Oh, these cookies. Filled with so many good things - oatmeal, craisins, white chocolate chips, macadamia nuts. I swoon just thinking about them. I knew my waistline would be in trouble if I made these, but I did it anyway. And I'm glad I did. Even if I did eat five in one day. (True story.) I quickly packaged the rest of them up for kids' lunches. And they loved them too.

These are close to cookie perfection in my book. They'd be beautiful at Christmas time too, studded with red and white. But definitely do not wait until Christmas to make these. Make them now. And again. I know I will be...

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.

Add flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and beat until just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped macadamia nuts. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough and roll into balls. Arrange on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake AT 350 until golden on the bottom, 12-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Gold Medal Flour
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