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Vanilla 1/2 Pound Cake

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There is nothing better than a “made-from-scratch” Sunday dessert. Pound cake is not only an easy recipe, but with slight ingredient varations, can be extremely versitle! Pound cake refers to how the cake was traditionally made. The recipe usually called for a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. Honestly, that’s a lot of cake —so I split the recipe in half. Here is my version on a vanilla 1/2 pound cake. Just as yummy on a much smaller scale. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla and salt. With mixer on low, gradually add flour, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  (tent loaf with aluminum foil if it’s browning too quickly). Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack, and turn upright to cool completely.

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Finished with freshly cut strawberries and a vanilla bean soy whipped topping.
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Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to rerun one of my first blog posts. My recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It’s one of my family’s favorite recipes and a tradtion that we partake in every year. Enjoy! ~M

Original Run Date: October 30, 2016

It is Halloween weekend! Where did October go? One of our favorite family Halloween traditions is roasting pumpkin seeds. It’s the perfect treat after spending hours gutting, carving and crafting the perfect jack o lantern face.

Here is a quick recipe to roast the perfect pumpkin seeds. My family likes them plainly salted but the seasoning choices are endless! Enjoy and have a safe and spooky Halloween! 🎃👻👹

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Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Rinse pumpkin seeds off in a colander

It’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on the seeds (it adds flavor) clean off any chunks.
Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the 2 Tbs of melted butter, vegetable oil or olive oil.

Pour and spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.

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Sprinkle on the seasonings of your choice. Try: Salt, Garlic Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper (for a little heat), Cajun Seasoning, or Seasoning Salt. (We prefer regular salt and oilve oil)
Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Store leftover seeds in an air tight container.

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A Guide to the Best Baking Apples

It’s that time of year again — apple picking and fall baking! With so many apple varieties to choose from, it can be hard to decide which apple is the best to use when baking. The best baking apples offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as firm flesh that doesn’t break down in the oven while baking.

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Here is a list to help when deciding what apples to use in your fall baking.

8 “go-to” apples for the perfect Fall apple dish:

Jonathans
A classic American variety, and widely regarded as one of the best flavored with a good sweet/sharp balance. You’ll recognize Jonathans apples by their deep red-stripe skin and classic apple shape. Grown in many Midwest states, Jonathans are a great apple for pies, juice and cider.

Honeycrisp
The name says it all! Honeycrisp apples are one of the sweetest apples around. They are distinctively crisp and firm, holding their shape while baking. Mix Honeycrisp apples with a tart apple like Granny Smith for a stellar pie packed full of flavor!

Granny Smith
These pretty green apples are tangy and tart with a firm flesh. One of the most popular apples for pie making, pair them with your favorite sweet apple for the perfect flavor combination.

Braeburn
This deep red beauty is spicy and sweet. It’s stores well with it’s firm texture and holds it’s shape well while baking. A great apple to eat raw. It makes the perfect portable snack!

Golden Delicious
This golden beauty is sweet with a thin skin. Golden Delicious apples require less sugar in recipes due to it’s innate sweet nature and breakdown quicker in the baking process. These are the perfect apple if you like your apple pie to have a softer texture. Great sliced in salads and to make apple butter.

Cortland
The cousin to the very popular Macintosh, Cortland’s are sweet with a tart aftertaste for a little kick. This  red, plump apple has a snow white flesh that is slow to brown after slicing.

Gala
This crisp apple has a sweet, mellow flavor. A beautifully marbled apple is ideal for applesauce and is the perfect apple to eat raw.

Macintosh
Sweet and juicy, Macintosh apples have a thick red skin with a soft, meaty flesh. Macintosh apples flesh is softer in consistency and will breakdown quickly while baking. Pair Macintosh apples with a firm, crisp apple like Granny Smith for the ultimate pie combo.

Ok, now that you are educated on all the apple facts, it’s time to make something yummy and I have just the recipe, Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble.
Enjoy ~M

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Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning

It’s Tuesday which means only one thing… TACOS! Taco Tuesday! It’s my favorite dish, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to share my homemade taco seasoning recipe with you.

Taco salsaPhoto by: Mrsiraphol 

Store bought seasoning packets are quick and easy, but once you’ve made your own blend — you won’t go back! This homemade taco seasoning is quick, easy, inexpensive, and packed with way more flavor than it’s store bought counterpart. I personally have a sensitivity to high sodium foods. This was a perfect way to still enjoy my favorite dish, but tailor the recipe to my dietary needs.

Why you should make your own taco seasoning vs buying store seasoning packets?

  1. You can adjust the seasoning to your own taste. Make it spicer, make it less salt. Play with the mixture until it’s perfect for you.
  2. Make larger or smaller quantities to fit your needs. I like making a lot at one time so I always have it on hand. It keeps for quite awhile as long as you keep it stored in an air tight container.
  3. Cut out all of the unhealthy additives, preservatives, and food coloring. Who needs all that extra junk? Not only is homemade better for you, it tastes better too!
  4. Get rid of all of that extra sodium. The homemade version has a lot less salt than it’s store counterpart. If you’re on a low sodium diet substitute regular salt with a low sodium alternative.

To make this recipe even easier, the 8 ingredients are all equal parts. If you want to make an even bigger batch just make sure all eight parts measure out to be the same.

Taco_SeasoningFenway Taco Seasoning Recipe

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili peper

1 tsp Sazon Goya

Measure out all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Then taste and adjust the salt or spices as desired. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

More than just tacos!

This seasoning recipe is very versatile and can be used on so much more than taco meat. Here are a couple of great ideas:

  • Pan-roast some raw almonds with a tablespoon of  olive oil and a couple teaspoons of taco seasoning.
  • Grill marinate boneless/skinless chicken breasts with olive oil and a generous helping of taco seasoning.
  • Taco Dip! 8oz of sour cream, 8oz of room temp cream cheese, a couple tablespoons of taco seasoning. Blend until smooth and dip with your favorite tortilla chip. Yum!

 

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Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble

Fall is creeping up on us quickly and I can’t help but have fall comfort food on my mind. Septembers in Wisconsin are the prime time for apple picking. Apple pie, homemade apple sauce, tarts, apple butter, you name it — with the abundance of apples on hand, the skies the limit! One of my all time favorite Fall recipes is Apple Crisp. It’s super easy to make and I usually always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry. Here is my favorite version of this recipe. It’s topped with a yummy oatmeal crumble. *mouthwatering*Enjoy!

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Ingredients

6 apples – peeled, cored, and sliced

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oat

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup cold butter

Apple Crisp Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a  fork to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the crumble topping gently until distribued even.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.