Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cabbage & Noodles

When I was trying to figure out what to do with some of our many heads of cabbage, I had two recipe requirements:  it used a lot of cabbage and it wasn't coleslaw (I have a non-traditional slaw recipe on the way!).  One of the suggestions Crystal gave me was cabbage and noodles.  I've never had them before so I gave it a whirl.  
This is Old World peasant food at it's finest.  I didn't know what to expect and didn't have high hopes, but I was pleasantly surprised!  It's not the most exciting dish I've ever made, but it was so easy to throw together and I really enjoyed it (good thing too because the leftovers went on forever!).  The smoked meat added a nice component to the mellow cabbage and onions.

Cabbage and Noodles
Original Recipe
Yield: 6-10 servings (if not more depending on your cabbage size)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (don't be afraid of the butter, look how many servings it's being divided into)
2 large onions, chopped
2 small heads of cabbage, chopped
1 (12 oz) package egg noodles
Salt & pepper to taste
Herbs to taste (Caraway seeds are traditional choice, but I didn't have any so I used herbs de provence, feel free to sub whatever you want)
2 lb kielbasa (or other smoked sausage), grilled and sliced
Cook the egg noodles in salted boiling water until they are al dente.  Drain well and set aside.
Heat the butter in a large pot at medium heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the onions and saute for 5 minutes before adding the cabbage.  
Stirring occasionally, cook until the cabbage is tender (time varies depending on the size of your pot and the amount of cabbage).  
Stir in the egg noodles and kielbasa until everything gets warm again.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and herbs.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food News: Event, Cookie Swap, Giveaway

Willoughby Junior Women's Club Holiday Luncheon

I will be selling baked goods at the Willoughby Junior Women's Club Holiday Luncheon!

The event is on Saturday, November 10 at Normandy Party Center in Wickliffe from 10am-2pm.  It's one of two major fundraisers put on by the Club.  The holiday luncheon raises money for various donations made throughout the year, about $10,000 goes back into the Willoughby/Lake County area.  The event features a large Chinese auction, crafters and various vendors, and a 50/25/25 raffle (2 winners get 25%).  It's a great way to kick off the holiday season and get started (or at least start thinking about) your shopping.  By the way, Julie will be there selling Stella & Dot jewelry!

If you're interested in attending, please contact me.  Tickets are $30/person, and the money is due by Monday, November 5.

If you live or work in Willoughby (or a neighboring city without a women's club), come see what we're all about!  Our next meeting is Monday, November 5 at 7pm in the basement of Willoughby City Hall.

Disclosure: I'm a member of the Willoughby Junior Women's Club, all opinions are my own.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

The 2nd Annual Great Food Bloggers Cookie Swap
Last year I participated in the first cookie swap and it was fantastic.  Over 620 food bloggers sent cookies around the world!  I got some really interesting flavors and look forward to doing it again this year.
All the details can be found at the official cookie swap blog.  There are a few basic rules this year so make sure you check to see if you/your blog qualify for the swap.  I definitely recommend participating, it's a great way to "meet" new bloggers and discover new recipes.  It's great fun, and who doesn't love cookies?!
Cleveland's a Plum 1,000th Post Restaurant Giveaway
Alexa over at Cleveland's a Plum has reached a huge milestone and wants to celebrate!  Head on over to her blog and sign up for her ridiculous giveaway!  One extremely lucky person will win $1,250 worth of food and drink from various local hot spots!  Two additional people will win a runner up prize yet to be determined.  If you live anywhere near Cleveland, you can't not sign up!  If you don't live near Cleveland, I'll gladly help you spend those gift certificates.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Roasted Cabbage

Is everyone still playing along with Pinterest?  I know I am!  I saw roasted cabbage go by recently and since I have a surplus of cabbage, I decided to give it a try.

I think this might be my favorite way to eat cabbage!  I was really surprised how good it was.  The intense flavor of the cabbage diminishes and picks up a roasted sweetness.  If you prefer, pass a bottle of vinegar to sprinkle onto the cabbage, they go great together.  I thought it was great without it, but either way you should definitely try this recipe!
I've got a few more cabbage recipes up my sleeve so stay tuned!

Roasted Cabbage
Adapted from Everyday Food, April 2010
Yield: 6-8 servings
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tsp caraway or fennel seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with one tablespoon of the olive oil. (My cabbage was large so I needed two baking sheets and a little more oil). Place cabbage in a single layer and brush with the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with caraway or fennel seeds (if using). Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I love baking with apples and pumpkin this time of year. When I heard about a charity bake sale at work, I knew I wanted to use one of these flavors. The bake sale turned out to be HUGE, there were tons of goodies brought in (we raised over $600). I was surprised to see that I had the only apple treat and there were only a few pumpkin choices. Over 90% of the donations were based on chocolate or contained chocolate. Now I love chocolate, but come on people!

This recipe makes a 9x13 cake and I baked it as two cakes (one for the bake sale in a disposable pan and one for me). My cake was cut into slices and turned out to be a hit! There were easily over 50 baked goods to choose from so I was happy that my cake was gone by the end of the sale.

This cake had a nice apple and cinnamon flavor and the crunchy brown sugar glaze was a nice topping. It was definitely moist, but a tad oily for my taste. Next time I'll try reducing the amount of oil or substitute applesauce for some of the oil. Did you know you can do that? For a healthier version of baked goods you can substitute up to half of the oil for applesauce. You'll sacrifice some moistness, but sometimes cakes can be too oily anyway.

This is a great recipe to try if you're looking for a taste of fall.

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
Adapted from The Biscuit Pusher, originally from Southern Cakes
Yield: 9x13 cake or two 8" or 9" cakes (16 servings)

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Whipped cream for serving (optional)

Brown Sugar Glaze:
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk, half and half or cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 13x9 inch pan, or two 8" (or 9") pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a mixer at low speed until pale yellow and frothy. Add the oil and vanilla, beat well. Add the flour mixture and continue mixing until it disappears. Add the apples and nuts and stir with a wooden spoon to distribute them into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 50 minutes (depending on size of pan), or until the cake is golden brown.

To make the glaze:
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat stirring often until the mixture comes to a gentle boil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Spoon the hot glaze over the hot cake and let it cool completely.

When serving, add a dollop of whipped cream to each slice of cake. 
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