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Monday, September 1, 2014

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have apple fever, and today, following a visit to a local orchard, I officially opened my fall kitchen. Jars of cinnamon and nutmeg moved to the front of the spice cabinet where they now share space with the other pumpkin spices, ginger, clove and allspice. I have some new apple recipes that I want to test this fall, and I can't wait for their familiar aromas to perfume my kitchen. Time prevented me from trying any of the more complicated recipes today, but this easy one, from Nina Simonds, was perfect to get me started. It is a coffee cake that can be served for breakfast or dessert. It is a moist sweet cake that I think is best when served warm, but warm or cold, it is delicious. It is simple to make and I know you will enjoy it, and should you decide to make it, I suspect its aroma will drive you wild. This is a great season-starter recipe. Keep your apple slices thin to insure they cook through and make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin to make the cake. I used a one piece tube pan to bake mine. To insure easy release, I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper that I also greased and floured. If you are ready for the heady aromas of the fall kitchen, this cake is a perfect way to start. Here is how the cake is made.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

An Easy Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Despite practicing polite refusals for most of the summer, I let my guard down, just for a moment mind you, and said "yes" to a request for cakes for a large holiday picnic. That would not have been so bad, but it also happens the picnic was scheduled for the same day I was having company of my own. Sheet cakes and freezers proved to be my salvation. Starting mid-week, I began my version of a baking marathon and by week's end I had made two Texas sheet cakes and four of the lemon buttermilk cakes I want to share with you today. I really think the lemon lovers among you are in for a treat. This is a wonderfully moist cake that has a rather remarkable sugar crust that sets it apart from other cakes of its type. It also happens to be remarkably easy to make. The recipe was developed for Cook's Country magazine and it is simple to follow, but I want to stress how important it is to use fresh lemon juice if you decide to make it. No substitutes, please. The cake, covered with plastic wrap, keeps well at room temperature for a day or two, but I don't think you'll have any problem with leftovers. If you are still looking for a holiday cake, why not give this treasure a try? It would be a wonderful way to end a barbecue. Here is how the cake is made. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Frugal Foodie Friday - Poutine

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect that many of you have never heard of poutine. It's the French Canadian equivalent of comfort food and it's a favorite of our neighbors to the north, where some refer to it as the "National Dish of Canada." Poutine, by the way, is from a Quebecois slang word that means "mess". While it sounds dreadful, and doesn't look much better, poutine, a dish which consists of French fries that are topped with cheese curds and gravy, has crossed the border and has developed a committed following here in the United States. The exact origin of poutine is unknown, but as best as anyone can tell, it started in Quebec in the 1950’s, when cheese curds and gravy were added to orders of carry-out fries. A version of the dish known as "disco fries" was made in New Jersey soon after that,  but it used shredded mozzarella cheese rather than the cheddar curds that identify the classic dish. The curds are finger-tipped sized chunks of cheddar that have a briny taste similar to that of cottage cheese. They are usually sold in a bags, and if you are fortunate enough to get them freshly packed, they will actually squeak when you bite into them. Your grocery store may carry them and they can also be ordered online. Poutine was once an embarrassment to the French-Canadian populations of Montreal and Quebec, where great value was placed on their reputations for high-end cuisine. They considered it to be a low-end rural food, but as homely cooking gained international recognition it became more acceptable, not unlike our mac n' cheese to which lobster and crab can now be added. While the correct "gravy" used to top the fries can be debated, it is most often shown as being dark and rich. I decided to use Emeril LaGasse's recipe because he used a roux to make his sauce and I suspected it would be delicious. It is, but it took much longer to develop color and thicken than his recipe suggested. I've included my times along with his in the recipe that appears below. He also blanched the potatoes before frying, which gave them a wonderful crust while allowing their interiors to remain soft as they cooked. I LOVE THIS DISH and were it not so high in calories I'd have it once a week. DO TRY THIS RECIPE. It makes a poutine that will have your socks going up and down. It is not expensive to make and it can be served as an appetizer or main course, depending on your sensibilities and the state of your waistline. Here is the recipe for this week's Frugal Foodie Friday feature.


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