Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Cake

Right now, Bones is in the hospital, awaiting an ultrasound of his liver, to figure out why he was sick and acting strangely yesterday. I am anything but relaxed. However, I've been meaning to write this post for ages, so I'm going to do it anyway.


Terri's Jewish Apple Cake Recipe

A long time ago, when I was in the later years of elementary school, my mom bought a home and school produced cook book from one of my younger cousins. You know the kind, with recipes contributed by kids' moms, spiral bound, and with some student art on the cover. At some point, my mom started making this recipe for Jewish Apple Cake. It was (and is) really good.

Sixteen years ago today, CPM and I had our first date (heh, did not realize that until just this minute). You know how in the first blush of a relationship, you go over all the reasons that you are "meant" to be with this person? I claim this cake as one of them. The recipe, you see, was CPM's mom's contribution to the elementary school cook book. (He and my cousin had attended the same elementary school.)

I can sort of recall the moment that I realized this...I was standing in my mom's kitchen, and somehow the topic of the cake came up. I pulled out the cookbook, looked at his mother's name next to the recipe, and it smacked me in the face, that my family had been eating and enjoying this cake of his mom's for years before I ever met CPM. If that isn't destiny talking, I'm not sure what it was.

I make the cake every year at Christmas. While CPM and I don't actually observe the holiday, preferring instead to eat Thai food and watch bad TV or a movie, some things are sacred, like the annual cookie baking. This cake is one of those things. It's easy to bake, and is quite amazing tasting. Make it. You won't be sorry.

I keep the recipe on the same piece of spiral notebook paper that I copied it onto. The paper is stained, and crinkled, from being used so many times.

3/4 cup sugar
1 TBSP cinammon
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
4 TSP baking powder
1 TSP salt
1 cup orange juice
1 cup oil
4 large applies, peeled, cored and sliced thinly

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 3/4 cup sugar with 1 TBSP cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Grease and flour a tube cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream eggs and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the apples, and mix well. The batter will be very thick.

Add 1/2 of the batter to the prepared cake pan. Add apples and 2/3 of the sugar mixture, gently smooshing apples into the cake batter. Add the remaining batter, covering the apples evenly. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove cake from oven, cool on wire rack.

Getting this thing out of the pan can be a challenge. I normally loosen it with a cake spatula, put a plate on top of the cake (it will have risen over the top of the cake pan), flip the cake out of the pan, then put a plate on the bottom of the cake, and flip it back over. You will get cinnamon sugar all over yourself and the floor, but this is the only way to get it out.

Eat and enjoy. (Sorry for the crap photos, I've been using my iPhone for everything lately. My poor DSLR sits lonely in a basket in the foyer of the house. I think I need an EyeFi card for it.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Stuff

In no particular order...

The post "work holiday party", free-drink happy hour...I haven't attended a post holiday party happy hour in ten years. It was time. I walked ten blocks through the city back to my car carrying my heels. Thankfully, it was not as cold on this day as it has been in years past.

Live animal nativities. Even though I am not religious at all, put a baby animal in my path, and I'm happy.

This salmon recipe from Martha Stewart Whole Living. I've made it twice. It's dead easy and delicious.

Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies (made with Kerrygold salted butter, because I am a baking rebel).

My new, go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I only waited five hours for the first batch, but the rest of the dough is currently "curing" in my refrigerator. Based on my sample tastes, these are incredible. Also, I got myself some Silpats! Finally!

Not so good stuff...getting peed on by your favorite girl puppy, while laying on the couch with your feet safely tucked beneath her bottom, because she recently received a steroid shot and sleepy time is now also temporarily known as "pee on mommy while sleeping time." I still bought her the squeaky holiday hedgehog, which she eviscerated in ten minutes.

Monday, December 12, 2011


At the vet...Bones says, "Get me out of here."

The following list is in no particular order and the photo above has nothing to do with anything. Bones is just awesome.

-My holiday shopping is done. I cannot wait for the day when all of my various nieces and nephews are old enough to be okay receiving a gift card or cash. I'm half way there. I firmly believe that the ones who still believe in Santa deserve to open up some annoying toy from me. Hence, Amazon, Target and "the mall" have all received hefty infusions of cash from me. Bleh. Thankfully, the mall was eerily empty on both of my visits. As usual, there is not one decoration chez moi. I will however, probably be baking cookies this weekend. I still maintain some vestiges of holiday cheer, even if they are not present in the other half.

-Four weekends, four seasons of Breaking Bad down. Am I late to the party? A little. The spouse and I prefer to watch television this way, obsessively staying up too late to cram in just one more episode. It is everything that Dexter used to be...engaging, thought provoking, frustrating, maddening. Good television.

-My new favorite supermarket is the Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting. I may just be purposely scheduling my shopping trips to lunchtime so that I can eat the pizza from their brick oven. It is awesome! They have beer! And a taco truck! They will make you a burger and fries!

-Ate at Distrito, discovered that there is a reason Jose Garces is an Iron Chef. Great food, fun atmosphere, and a crane game where CPM and I almost won a Mexican wrestling mask. Still, I think I prefer Cantina Feliz, for locational convenience and familiarity.