Category Archives: Dessert

Apple Squares

I participate in several Food Forums, I may have mentioned this before; a nice gentleman posted a recipe that his Sister gave him for what they call Apple Squares, me, I say pure yumminess is much more along the line!

Apple Squares

courtesy of Andy M.

Serves 9

 

130g (1 C.) All Purpose Flour

240g (1 1/4 C.) granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg

2 tsp. Baking Powder

3/4 C. Chopped Walnuts (I used Pecans)

3 Macintosh Apples, peeled, cored and diced (I had Ruby Frost Apples that needed using)

2 Eggs, beaten

 

Preheat the over to 375°F

Grease and line with parchment paper, an 8″ x 8″ pan

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the Apples and mix well.  Stir in the beaten Eggs thoroughly.  This makes a very stiff batter, but be patient, it will come together.  Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly with an off-set spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick test comes out clean.  Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, in the pan.

Using the parchment paper, remove carefully to a cutting board and slice with a serrated knife into 9 equal pieces.

YUM!

Why not guild the lily and serve your cake ala mode?  😀

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A New Brownie Recipe for My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

If you’ve been following my blog with any regularity, you’ll know that we just love our Brownies here In The Middle Of The Desert.

 

I’ve made so many different kinds, flavors, add-ins and so on and so on.

Recently I found this recipe …

https://www.shugarysweets.com/bakery-style-brownies/

… on a social media site, I can’t remember which one, but they looked pretty dang good.

My go-to recipe for Brownies has been from Hershey’s, I mean come on, who knows chocolate in America better than Hershey’s… by the way, have you ever been to Hershey Pennsylvania?  The entire town smells like chocolate, the light posts have Hershey Kiss shaped shades and geez, it’s just a super neat place.

But I digress, back to the topic of Brownies.

I took Aimee’s recipe and made it my own by adding a half teaspoon of Espresso Powder to pump up the chocolate volume and a half cup of chopped Macadamia Nuts.  I think though next time, a full cup of Nuts would be better.

Look at THAT!!!

Man oh man oh man OH MAN!!  Them’s some good Brownies, let me tell you buddy.  My husband, who doesn’t comment on food too often, has exclaimed with each and every bite “… these are just the best Brownies you’ve ever made, really!”

They are quite rich and decadent, I gotta tell ya, so I cut this 9 by 9 inch block-o-goodness into 16 pieces.

This is from batch #2 made with chopped Pecans, topped with Mint Cookie Crunch Ice cream, YUM!!

AND they are over the top delicious  with a scoop of Ice Cream on top!

Brownie, Ice Cream and then warmed Blueberry Preserves over the top

OR  take it one more step with the Brownie, Ice Cream and then your favorite Preserve, warmed and drizzled artfully all over.

Mahalo, thank you Aimee, for sharing this fabulous recipe with all of us.

Did I Say That I Made Cheesecake?

Yup!  Only the second time in my entire life that I’ve ever made Cheesecake.  I had no idea where to start, so I turned to my girl Martha, Martha Stewart that is.  I kinda-sorta followed the recipe, but I remembered that the first time I did this, the recipe made me TWO HUGE CHEESECAKES!!

AND I didn’t have quite enough Cream Cheese this time around.  I had three blocks left over from my Carrot Cake frenzy of this past Spring.  When I checked the “use by” dates on them it was all hands on deck!

My changes were 3 bricks of Cream Cheese instead of SEVEN, 3 eggs rather than 5 and half of what was called for all of the ingredients for the filling.  The crust was a standard crust recipe off the box of the Graham Cracker Crumbs, simple.

It came out very dense and not as sweet, I really liked it better actually.

That’s a lot of Cheesecake for two people though, so I frozen probably half the cake, in slices, for later.

Homemade Caramel Sauce, Kitchen Fail!

HA! 😀

Y’know, sometimes stuff  just happens in the Kitchen…

I saw on one of these new fangled social media thingys, Serious Eats Easy Caramel Sauce, Hmmm … I just got a carton of Tillamook Old Fashion Vanilla Ice Cream for the deep freeze (it is starting to get warm here in the middle of the desert 😉 ) and I do like Caramel Sauce.

It looked good

It smelled good

and it tasted GREAT!!

For dessert that night, I poured my homemade sauce over a nice parfait glass of creamy goodness and … the sauce froze up HARD AS ROCK!!!   😀

Oh well, the Ice Cream was good   😛

I gotta say, I do like Serious Eats, all of their recipes and videos, but this was my one and only fail from them.  I’m sure that I did something wrong along the way, sorry Kenji.

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #15 ~ Last Stop

I’m going to leave out Cheyenne Wyoming, mainly because it was simply a stop to sleep as we made our way to our final town, Durango Colorado.

DH and I have been here a few times before for visits with a friend of mine, but honestly, we really like it there.

The drive from Cheyenne though was a little harrowing to say the least. As we approached a mountain pass, we could see that a pretty bad looking storm was coming. Unfortunately it hit us full force as we got to the top of Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

I have never, in my life, been so scared.

Hail, snow, sleet, ice, all coming down in buckets, the first winter storm of the season, great! My husband pulled off of the road twice, mostly because we just couldn’t see and we don’t have four wheel drive. Somehow, we made it down the other side of that mountain and were only 3 hours beyond our estimated time of arrival at our hotel.

Well, the next morning the sun was out and there was oodles of snow up on the mountains, so we took a drive from Durango to Silverton. A little cold for a gal from Hawaii, but just gorgeous!

Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl @ Rice Monkeys in Durango Colorado

My friend is a chef in Durango, so who better to ask where to eat, right? We had lunch at Rice Monkeys. We ordered Edamame to start and then Teri-Chicken rice bowl for DH (didn’t get a photo `cuz hubby wolfed it down) and Sautéed Sesame Beef rice bowl for myself. That hit the spot!

The following day we were having dinner at our friend’s home, so we figured a big breakfast or brunch as it was, would be best. On my DF’s suggestion, we went to Durango Doughworks. The best  bagel that we’ve had in a very long time, good call Joey! In fact, we wound up eating breakfast here twice on this visit and I’m sure that we’ll be back again the next time that we are in town.

Dinner at my chefy-friend-Joey’s was the bomb-diggity! She pulled no punches, she put out a spread of so many different dishes, I wasn’t sure where to start. The best plan of attack was to try a little of everything!

Our last night in Durango, we went to dinner at Mutu’s Italian Kitchen, once again on my girl friend’s recommendation. She knew that my husband would enjoy his meal, and he sure did.

Our Great Western Adventure

Now it’s time to head towards home, we’ve been on the road for a month, though neither of us really felt like we wanted this to end.

 

What Do You Put In Your Easter Baskets?

At lunch the other day, my mother reminded us that Easter is coming early this year. WHAT? Sure enough, I pulled out the calendar and Easter Sunday falls on March 31st. Last year, rather than make up baskets of candy for my DH and mom, I made Iced Sugar cookies.

Easter Cookies instead of Candy

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

This was the absolute first (and probably last) time that I will undertake such a long, drawn out project. I should say though, it was fun and I was quite pleased with the outcome. These are just the cutest cookies I’ve ever made. I adapted a recipe from Martha Stewart and the FoodNetwork Magazine, morphing the two together. I probably should have rolled out the dough a touch thicker, it was a fragile final product. The royal icing was a challenge, as I’d never done this before. It took driving all around town to several places to find the meringue powder. I used just plain ‘ole liquid food coloring from the supermarket to tint the icing. I piped it using simple sandwich baggies with the corners snipped.

I was on my feet for most of the day and my back was aching! Normally, if I know I’m going to be in the kitchen standing for periods of time, I put on my walking sneaks. I was so excited to get this ball rolling that I was in my bare feet and didn’t think about it until it was too late. But it was a blast and both DH and mom were impressed, they thought I bought them at a fancy bakery.

 

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #14 ~ Onward!

It’s eight o’clock in the morning and we’re already headed down the the road before us. We wanted to get a good head start to the day as we made our way towards the Badlands National Park.

A~MAZ~ING!

I found it fascinating all the different colors of the rock formations. We stopped at one of the overlooks, walked up to the rail and here’s these two Big Horn Sheep, MAN! And the Prairie Dogs here, I’ve never seen so many in one place, and fat !   We had a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center and then motored on to…

Wall South Dakota

What, you’ve never heard of Wall Drug and the free ice water? It was a blast, I didn’t know that it was so big. We decided on a snack after walking and shopping.

Their doughnuts were outstanding, so were the pies, we tried our slice ala mode along with some free ice water, that’s what they’re known for.

our hotel in Wall South Dakota

We found our hotel, not that difficult, Wall South Dakota is not very big. We only stayed one night, so we made supper just a simple salad in our room and it was to bed early, so that we would be fresh for our next stop.