Monday, November 28, 2011

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsulphured molasses
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup of Guinness stout
1 tablespoon baking soda

Simple Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
2 TBSP lemon juice

1. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 cake pan or bundt pan. You can also line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, molasses, and crystallized ginger. Add the lightly beaten eggs and whisk until smooth.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk the molasses mixture into the flour mixture until evenly combined.

4. In a small saucepan bring the Guinness to a light boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Whisk the hot water slowly and gradually into the batter until just combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes for 9 x 13 or 55 minutes for bundt pan. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack.

5. Meanwhile, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl (adding a dash of water if glaze is too thick).

6.. Once cooled, spread glaze evenly over the top of the cake. The glaze might seem runny at first but should harden after a few minutes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mexican Lasagna and Organizing on my Staycation

I am using my week very wisely, taking advantage of having both kids in school for 3 of the 9 days. I cleaned and organized my refrigerator. I did not post of picture of that because it really wouldn't do it justice without a "before". I cleaned and organized my pantry.

My nicely organized Pantry. Allowing for more efficient meal plans.

We have also instituted a weekly meal planning calendar that has an included shopping list by store area. We have incorporated the kids in selecting a meal one night of the week, as well as dad. Mom fills in the blanks. I take that and sit online, printing what coupons I can and head to the store. This week, I saved $50.00 in coupons and Kroger savings.

In part of the organizing and planning I realized I needed to use up some of the items I had in the freezer, pantry and fridge. What I ended up with was a mexican lasagna. Be patient with me - I didn't write down an exact recipe but its close enough. I'll get more diligent, I promise.

Non stick spray
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion - diced
8 button mushrooms - chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
Homemade Taco Seasoning
1 can of vegetarian or fat free refried beans
1/2 container of Weight Watchers whipped cream cheese
9 corn tortillas
1 12 or 16 oz can of sliced stewed tomatoes - drained

Saute' onions until they are translucent in the olive oil with a little dash of salt.
add mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes.
Add turkey mixture with taco seasoning and turn until well broken and fully done over medium heat.
Reduce heat once the turkey is fully cooked. ( I did not drain )

Spray the inside of the casserole dish with the non stick spray
Layer bottom of the dish with three tortillas, covering as much ground as you can.
On top of the tortillas, spread about 1/3 of the can of beans all over.
Add a large spoonful of the turkey mixture.
Add 3 teaspoons of cream cheese mixture, placing them in an evenly spaced triangle points.
Add 3-4 of the tomato slices.
Repeat this two more times.
At the end, you should see cream cheese and the final tomatoes over the meat mixture.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until the center is well warmed.

At the end, Sprinkle lightly with finely grated 2% cheese - flavor of your choice.
I didn't have any so I cut up one of the kids cheese sticks and sprinkled them on the top.

Replace in oven for another 5-10 minutes being sure not to burn the top.

Let sit for 10 minutes to allow for easier slicing. We got 8-9 servings and everyone loved.


My Thanksgiving Menu

This Thanksgiving, we will be hosting the festivities. Its my favorite holiday. After much decision making, here is the menu:

Anne Burrell's Brined Herb- Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy recipe found here. I have not ever brined a turkey before but I understand, what you brine, you never go back.

Makeover Spinach Gratin from Gina @ Skinnytaste I'm trying to cut carbs and this looks very appetizing to me.

Other contributions will be a sweet potato casserole and a sauerkraut casserole from my mother in law for which recipes I can include later. Also fruit salad and some pies to boot!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope to be posting more often.
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