Monday, October 11, 2010

One-Bowl Easy Apple Slices Cake

Like most desserts, only ovo-lacto vegetarian, and not remotely vegan.

Box cakes are great--except that I have a hard time remembering to keep the mix on hand for when the impulse to make cake strikes.  I like this recipe because it uses vegetable oil, so it's as easy as a box cake: no separating eggs, no creaming the butter into the sugar.   And, my version takes advantage of my apple peeler-corer.

I suppose though it is based on a basic one-bowl cake from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, the way we're making it would put it in the genre of Breakfast Cake or Snack Cake or Coffee Cake. Does anyone say Coffee Cake anymore?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 8x11 glass baking dish

Throw in the mixing bowl:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 2 teas vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, not necessarily packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Mix it like pancakes or muffins--just enough to get it barely mixed, like less than ten strokes.

  • Then slice/core 2 or 3 apples, depending on size.  Quarter the slices, fold them in.

Bake an hour.  The basic recipe is supposed to take 30 minutes, but it always takes an hour at my house.

And no, I don't frost it.  Happy FHE.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Family Salad Nicoise

I'd only had Salad Nicoise at a restaurant, so it never occurred to me to make a family version. Instead of composing each plate, you just compose one platter or casserole dish for everyone. In our family, this works because it lets one person take more potato, while the next person skips the spuds, another person skips tomatoes, and I require everyone to take certain number of green beans.

I like the sensible Nicoise Salad recipe directions at Simply Recipes, which tell me what to do while the potatoes are boiling so the salad comes together quickly, and how to lay out salad for a group beautifully.

In general terms, Nicoise Salad is:
warm boiled small potatoes
warm cooked green beans
hard boiled egg
thin small slices red onion (but I use the scallions I have on hand.)
capers (sometimes we forget)
oil-cured olives (but we substitute familiar canned ones)
tuna (canned is fine--we skip the tuna sometimes and up the eggs.)
And all dressed with vinaigrette.

It's really fun with french bread and Orangina.  Viva la Faux France.