Friday, September 26, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Cake

**Susan's note: While this cake was good, I found there was a disconnect between the slightly dry cake and moist topping...easy to make cake, but not "the best moist apple cake ever." I'd say it's pretty for a bake sale though. I used 3 small Granny Smith apples.

Apple-Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake

You'll want firm but ripe apples that are sweet, such as Empire or Gala. With the cinnamon in this homey cake, they'll hit the spot. Take a few minutes to arrange the apple slices in neat circles on the bottom of the pan -- when the cake is baked and inverted, you'll find them decorating the top.

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours

Serves 8

* 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
* 3 apples, Empire or Gala (about 1 1/2 pounds), each peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 wedges
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup whole milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and side of a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle bottom with brown sugar. In a medium bowl, toss apples with lemon juice; arrange in prepared pan in two concentric circles (you might not use all of them).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until incorporated. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture in three parts and the milk in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Spoon batter over apples in pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack, at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours (if cake has risen above rim of pan, simply push back inside rim).
5. To serve, run a knife around edge of pan, and invert cake onto a rimmed platter.

Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Roasted Tomatoes, Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms

Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Roasted Tomatoes, Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms

***Susan's Note: I love love love this recipe. My whole family enjoyed it. Only change was I used whole grain Italian style breadcrumbs from a can, and half whole milk and half skim milk. YUM! Make sure you get the tomatoes ready first. I made the apple cake above for dessert, as recommended. For the green beans, I skipped the boiling steps 1 & 2 - I used two bags of Wegmans prepackaged cleaned and cut green beans and microwaved them for 6 min.

Macaroni and Three Cheeses

This luxurious macaroni and cheese keeps unbaked in the refrigerator for up to a day; in the oven, it turns piping hot and creamy inside, and golden brown on top in less than an hour. Substitute your favorite melting cheeses (mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and fontina are great options), or vary the proportions of the ones listed here.

Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Serves 8

* 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 1 pound medium pasta shells
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
* 4 cups whole milk
* 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
* 4 ounces Havarti cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
* 4 ounces Muenster cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup)
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 6 slices white sandwich bread


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking dish (oval or 9-by-13-inch rectangle); set aside.
2. Generously salt boiling water; add pasta. Cook, according to package instructions, until 2 minutes short of al dente. Drain pasta, and return to pot.
3. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a small bowl; set aside for topping. Add flour and mustard powder to remaining butter in saucepan. Cook, whisking, 1 minute (do not let flour darken). Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove sauce from heat. Gradually whisk in cheeses; add Worcestershire sauce, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add sauce to pasta, and toss to combine; transfer to prepared baking dish.
5. Place bread in food processor; pulse until very coarse crumbs form (you should have about 3 cups). Add reserved melted butter, and pulse just to moisten. Scatter crumbs over pasta in baking dish. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
6. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. (If refrigerated, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.) Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Garlic-Roasted Tomatoes

Serves 8

* 4 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 3 pounds), cored and halved crosswise
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 thin slices
* 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* coarse salt and ground pepper


1. Place tomato halves, cut side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Dividing evenly, top with butter and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Bake tomatoes until tender, 40 to 45 minutes, in a 400 degree preheated oven.

Sauteed Green Beans and Mushrooms
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Serves 8

* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 pounds green beans (stem ends removed), halved crosswise
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1 pound button mushrooms, stems trimmed, halved
* 2 shallots, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings


1. Fill a large skillet with 1/2 inch water; bring to a boil, and salt generously. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
2. Add green beans to skillet; cover, and steam until crisp-tender, 5 to 10 minutes (time will depend on size and freshness of green beans). Transfer to ice water to cool; drain and pat dry (if making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day). Wipe skillet dry.
3. In same skillet, heat butter over medium-high. Add mushrooms and shallots; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 8 to 12 minutes more.
4. Add green beans; cook just to heat through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

***Susan's Note: Tried this last night, and my husband really liked it, more than any other pork tenderloin recipe I've made. He grilled one 1.64 lb tenderloin on medium high indirect heat for about 35 min (until an instant read thermometer read 140 degrees). I substituted sherry vinegar for the sherry - you could also substitute balsamic vinegar or apple juice. I only marinated it for 4 hours.
Served with green beans and sweet potato fries, apple crisp for dessert.

"A slightly sweet marinade that makes for the best tasting pork you will ever have."



* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons sherry
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried minced onion
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pinch garlic powder
* 2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins


1. Place soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry, dried onion, cinnamon, olive oil, and a touch of garlic powder in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal, and shake to mix. Place pork in bag with marinade, seal, and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
2. Preheat grill for high heat.
3. Lightly oil grate. Place tenderloins on grill, and discard marinade. Cook 20 minutes, or to desired doneness. Slice into medallions, and serve.

Nutritional Information
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving

Calories: 303

* Total Fat: 12.8g
* Cholesterol: 79mg
* Sodium: 1020mg
* Total Carbs: 16.9g
* Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
* Protein: 28.6g