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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Cake - New Book! Applesauce Spice Cake

Hello everybody! Today I am excited to make some revelations...

We are now baking from a New Book at "The Cake Slice" (like us on facebook here) ... it wasn't easy to let go of the amazing book Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson but it had to be done... We choose a different book every year and then we vote on a cake each month... so... I am about to reveal our new book that we'll be using from now until October 2014... ready? - Drumroll -

We all vote each year for a different book and this one was a winner based on the reviews, etc.... When I (and some of my fellow bakers) received it ... I must say we were a bit disappointed to see that it doesn't have many pictures, the whole "look" of the book, especially the way the recipes are put together seems very old fasioned... BUT... we are not giving up on it... I think there must be a reason why this book has pleased so many people for so long and Carole Walter is definitely known for her desserts and wonderful cakes... So.. our first Cake is the "Applesauce Spice Cake" and here's my experience with it:
  1. Making this cake was a delight, the batter was rich and fluffy, the aroma of the spices and the apples flooded my kitchen! I couldn't wait to have a taste of it!
  2. The book specifies that the baking time for this cake is from 55-60 minutes. Thankfully I was in a hurry so I kept checking on the cake, which was ready at about 34 minutes (and actually looking a bit too browned)
  3. I got scared it could be overbaked (nothing better to ruin a cake than overbaking it!) so I didn't want to leave it in the pan for the recommended time to cool off because I knew it would continue "cooking" with the heat IN the pan so I forced it out of the bundt pan right away which resulted on big (BIG) pieces of cake getting stuck to the pan! I wanted to ... CRY!
    Doesn't look as bad as it could've looked -sigh-
  4. I managed to get the pieces unstuck and kind of put them back on the cake, making it look as "good as possible" it still didn't look pretty but the delicious Brown Sugar Glaze on top of it definitely helped things. 
  5. We loved the cake! Just loved it... Especially hubby! I decided to go for cubed granny Smith apples which I think was key to add some freshness/tartness to this cake, the grated lemon rind also helped brighten the rest of the flavors.
 Want a slice?

I also want to mention real quick that we have new members in our group (and even 2 returns)! We accepted people that would join and I am so excited to see how they enjoyed this first cake! If you'd like to join us stay tuned! We'll be opening another window of opportunity in the middle of our baking year around February/March and then another one at the end (around September).

© Paloma K.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stewed Sausage with Onions, Garlic and Peppers

Ah! Talk about comfort food! This weekend I decided to make it "extra special" when it comes to food! I just felt industrious and wanted to make something that would be extra warming and inviting... perfect to enjoy in a rainy day... but different from what I usually make...  at the same time I knew I would have busy days so I wanted to make something delicious, yes... but also practical and not too time consuming...

so... when I went to the store I decided to buy "Italian Sausage". I never buy that kind of thing so I knew it would definitely be a "twist" and something different from what I always cook... and ah! I am so happy I did... I also had some cookbooks from the library and I used them for inspiration to put this together... I hope you will try it and let me know how you liked it... This is something I am definitely going to be making again!

Stewed Sausage with Onions, Garlic and Peppers

  • 1 lb. raw sweet Italian sausage (in its casing)
  • 3/4  lb. raw mild Italian sausage (in its casing) -you can buy the whole package with one pound and just leave one sausage out)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper (seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • roughly chopped fresh basil for garnish


In a big bowl mix the onions, green/yellow pepper and garlic. Set aside

  • Using a very large skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sausages and turn occasionally making sure all sides are browned (this will take about 10-12 minutes). Stir in the oregano and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for a minute or two. Add the diced tomatoes with the juices, the water and the 1/4 tsp. salt; simmer for 3 minutes.
  • In the bottom of a slow cooker arrange ONLY half of the onion-pepper mixture and then cover with half of the sausages and their sauce, cover with the rest of the onion-pepper mixture to form another layer and top it all with the rest of the sausage/sauce. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Serve and garnish with fresh basil. You can serve this with pasta or buttered egg-noodles with grated parmesan or just serve it in a bowl and enjoy with some delicious artisan bread. 
 Honestly... you will love me after you eat this! ;)

© Paloma K.