Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Banana Pound Cake With Caramel Glaze

Our grocery store recently had a pretty good sale on bananas.
So I got way more than we could finish before they started turning brown.
Which was just fine by me.
They’re perfect for making a cake.

Canadian Thanksgiving is next week.
Squash, carrots and/or yams are usually served with the turkey.

Now that’s quite a bit of orange coloured food for one meal.
Pumpkin pie - yes pumpkin is another squash - always seemed like just too much of a good thing to serve at the same meal.

Ma’s Banana Pound Cake With Caramel Glaze looks very festive.
And it uses four overripe bananas. 
Now would be a perfect time to make it.

Still have a few more overripe bananas?
Why not make a few loaves of Ma’s Banana Bread?


Have a fluted tube pan or bundt pan?
Now’s a great time to use it.

Don’t want to make a glaze?
After the cake has complete cooled, place it on a pretty platter and then dust it with confectioners’ sugar.
Hey, you worked hard enough making the turkey dinner!

                        Banana Pound Cake

Grease and flour an angel food pan

Sift together
3 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt 
Set aside

Peel and place in a large bowl
4 large very ripe bananas
Mash well.

Preheat oven to 325º

Combine in a large mixer bowl
1 Cup butter
1/2 Cup vegetable shortening
2 Cups brown sugar
1 Cup sugar
Beat until light and fluffy.
Add the mashed bananas.

Add, one at a time, beating well after each addition
5 large eggs

Beat in
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with
1/2 Cup milk
(3 liquid, 2 dry additions)
Stir just enough to blend.

Stir in
1 Cup chopped pecans 
Stir just enough to evenly blend in the nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
A toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
Cool cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
Cool on a wire rack.
Place cake on a pretty serving platter.

While the cake is cooling prepare the glaze:

                        Caramel Glaze

Place in a medium saucepan
1/2 Cup butter
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 Cup heavy cream
Stir continuously over medium heat until the sugars are dissolved. 
Simmer for 1 minute.
Pour over the cooled cake. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Appletini and Hot Apple Pie Vodka Drink Recipes - Margaret Ullrich

On Sunday, October 4 it will be Vodka Day.
What wine is to folks in the Mediterranean area, vodka is to middle and northern Europe.
And to the North End of Winnipeg.
Yes, we’ve learned to enjoy it, too.

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe for a Pumpkin Smoothie.
Smoothies do not have vodka in them.
Today I am posting a recipe for two drinks, Appletini and Hot Apple Pie.
Yes they have vodka in them!

Vodka  is also used in the vodka martini, Cosmopolitan, vodka highball, Screwdriver, Greyhound, Black or White Russian, and 

There is also a cocktail called the Rose Kennedy, named after the matriarch of the Kennedy Family of Cape Cod and the mother of President John F. Kennedy.
It is a cocktail popular in the Northeastern United States, and consists of vodka and club soda with a splash of cranberry juice for colour and and a bit of sweeting.
It is garnished with a lemon or lime wedge.

The Appletini has had its moments on television.
In The King of Queens (aired 2010), Carrie becomes sweet after drinking Appletinis, a state Doug calls "sober plus".
Along with a rum and diet coke, it is also the favourite drink of Alan Harper from Two and a Half Men.


You could use a flavoured vodka, such as citrus, pear or caramel-flavoured.
A sweet and sour mix can also be added before shaking.
Vermouth may be included, as in a regular martini.
The appletini can also be made with martini bianco in a long drink glass and filled with apple juice.
A variation of the appletini is the Rumpletini, with a light rum in place of the vodka.

Want to eat your vodka?
Try Carmela Soprano's Penne alla Vodka / Penne in Cream Sauce


Dip a green apple slice in lemon juice to preserve its colour.

Pour into a shaker filled with ice cubes
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce green apple schnapps or Calvados
1/4 ounce lemon juice or Cointreau (optional)
Shake very well.
Strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with 
an apple slice and/or a maraschino cherry

Back to that pumpkin smoothie…
This drink will give you the taste of a hot apple pie.
This is for you, not the kiddies.  Seriously.
Along with the kick, it does have calories.
Well, nothing’s perfect.


You can also prepare this as you did the Appletini, by combining all of the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes and served in a chilled glass. 

                        Hot Apple Pie

2 ounces apple cider

Pour into a shaker 
1 1/2 ounces vanilla liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Squeeze of lime juice
Shake very well.
Strain into a mug.
Add the warmed apple cider.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick (optional).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Anna Sultana’s Apple & Walnut Cake and Apple Pie Spice

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Pumpkin is usually included in our traditional holiday meals.
But what’s Autumn without apples?
MacIntosh, Ambrosia, Granny Smith…
Pies, Cobblers, Cakes…
There are so many new apple varieties and new apple recipes to try.

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe for Ma's Apple Kuchen.
Hope you tried - and liked - it.

The new varieties of apples can be a little overwhelming.
Not sure if you’ll like a different type of apple?
Here's a quick guide to some of them to get you started:
Ambrosia - aromatic, sweet
Braeburn - tart, spicy
Cortland - mild, sweet
Fuji - juicy, sweet
Granny Smith - tart, tangy
Honeycrisp - crisp, juicy
Jonagold - snappy, sweet
MacIntosh - tangy, classic
Pink Lady - tangy, crisp

And they can be served in so many ways!
Here are a few of Ma’s favourite recipes:

Apple Cobbler & Apple Crisp (also Rhubarb and Peach Variations)

Have leftover Ritz crackers after a holiday gathering?
They can be used to make a Mock Apple Pie.
Waste not, want not!


Don’t have applesauce?
Use a mashed ripe banana instead.

Prefer an all Granny Smith, or all Gala or all Macintosh apple cake?
Use what you like - or what was available at a good price.

                        Apple Pie Spice Blend

1/4 Cup cinnamon
2 Tablespoons nutmeg
2 Tablespoons allspice

Makes 1/2 Cup
Apple Pie Spice would also add a nice touch to apple cobblers and warm apple sauce.

                    Apple & Walnut Cake

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan

Mix together in a medium bowl
2 Cups flour
1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice blend

In a small bowl combine
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Peel, core, and dice
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 medium Gala apples
Set aside.

Chop enough walnuts to make !/2 Cup.
Spread on a cookie sheet and toast at 325º F about 2 minutes.
Watch so that they don’t burn.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
Place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Preheat oven to 350°F         

In large mixer bowl place
1/4 Cup oil
1/2 Cup applesauce
Mix well.
Add, one at a time, beating well after each addition
2 large eggs
Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and stir just until mixed.  
Make 3 more flour mixture additions, stirring just until mixed after each one.
Then add 
the diced apples 
the toasted walnuts 
Stir until just mixed.
Turn batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes.
A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. 
Cool cake in pan before serving. 

Before serving dust with
Confectioner’s sugar (optional)