Monday, March 12, 2012

Apple Bundt Cake with Dulce de Leche

Hello! Long time no see. I've been MIA working on Hope and a Future Ministries (see my other blog). But, today, I had a day off and was wanting to bake something. Since I had apples that were going soft and some applesauce, I decided on an Apple Bundt Cake. I looked at a few recipes but nothing really looked right, so I made one up. It turned out perfect! Moist tender crumb with just the right flavor. Yummy! I personally think it is company-worthy with a cup of coffee. Hope you enjoy! 

Apple Bundt Cake with Dulce de Leche 
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour 
2 tsp. cinnamon 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used sugar/Splenda blend) 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups applesauce 
2 apples chopped small chunks (peeled or not) 
Dulce de leche 

In large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients, eggs, mayo, applesauce and apple chucks, and beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy. Grease & flour bundt pan or spray with baking spray. Drizzle Dulce de Leche in bottom & on sides of pan. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. 

Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Glaze with Dulce de Leche Icing. 

Dulce de Leche Icing 
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup dulce de leche 
1 tbsp Caramel syrup (like Torani) 
Blend all the three ingredients completely.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Healthy Meat Loaf

I've been making this meatloaf for several years now. Every time I make it I can't believe it is ground turkey. The mushrooms make it exceptionally moist with little fat. One loaf serves about 6 and is 163 calories a serving, plus 2.3 grams of fiber. Don't be scared in substituting bread crumbs for wheat germ, you'll never know the difference. Enjoy! 

Turkey and Shitake Mushroom Meatloaf 
1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
2 cups dried Shitake Mushrooms
1/3-cup wheat germ
1 egg
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Reconstitute dried mushrooms by covering in water and microwaving for 1 minute. Drain water off mushrooms and put in food processor. Pulse until the mushrooms are finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the mushrooms, ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper with a spoon or hands. Mix thoroughly. Spray 10-inch bread pan with Pam and then pack this mixture pan or shape it into a loaf and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for an hour at 350 degrees.

Nutritional Analysis
Good points
                  Low in saturated fat
                  Very high in manganese
                  High in pantothenic acid
                  Very high in selenium
Bad points
                  High in cholesterol
Very high in sodium

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black & White Stripes

I have loved black and white since the 1980s. Over the years, I've added splashes of red, pink or cobalt blue. My all time favorite is black, white and naturals (such as wood). It is no surprise that that I love these stripes, I've been seeing everywhere! I will try to give credit to where credit is due, but I've been saving some of these photos in my inspiration files for years. I hope they are inspiring to you, too.
Unknown Source

Simply Nattie

Unknown Source

Fric and Frac Blog

Fountaine Maury

Unknown Source

Unknown Source

Mecox Gardens

Sketch 42

Elle Decor
From Market On Newcastle in Brunswick, GA


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Succulent Wreath

I saw this Succulent Wreath on today and absolutely loved it! 
I like the starfish in the middle, too!
I do not have a green thumb (as verified by my husband), but think I may be safe with this plant. 
The wreath only requires water every 3-10 weeks. With it on the front door, I can't forget about, I may give it a try. I found the tutorial here

Here are some other succulent lovelies:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sugar Scrub Recipe

I was watching a craft show today where they made sugar scrub. I decided I'd make my own. It is so easy and rewarding: give it a try yourself. Here's my recipe:

Sugar Scrub

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup oil (grapeseed, olive oil or even canola)
2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
2 Tablespoons Honey
3-4 drops of essential oils (I used vanilla lavender)

Mix together and viola! That's it. Store in a glass jar.

Here's a link to more wonderful recipes: Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Beach Diner

After last night's disappointing diner experience, my husband and I decided to try the Beach Diner in Atlantic Beach this morning.  We were NOT disappointed with this one.
This cute diner is located right on Atlantic Beach Blvd approximately a block from 3rd St. They are open Monday through Saturday, 6 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. The first clue that it is a good place to eat is that it is always FULL!  Fortunately, we found a place at the counter. The decor is beachy leaning towards kitschy but not so much that it looks over done. Overall, it is visually appealing. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. I was a given a cup of coffee within the first few minutes of sitting down. There is a happy buzz of voices that contribute to the carefree atmosphere.  They serve typical diner food with reasonable prices. My husband and I both ordered the Sunrise Special, which consists of two eggs, any style, bacon (2) or sausage links (2), grits, hash browns, or fruit, toast or english muffin. I chose sausage, fresh fruit and the english muffin. My hubby chose the hash browns and an english muffin. Both of our eggs came back perfect (mine over medium well and his sunny side up).  The fruit was seasonal, sweet and fresh. All in all, a great place to eat and hang out with friends and family. We'll definitely return! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cheap Eats

Thought I would share this tidbit with you if you haven't already heard.  You can buy gift certificates for local restaurants at a discount. So you buy a $25 gift certificate, but you only pay $15.  If you get their emails, they run specials for 60%, 70% and 80% off the gift certificates. I bought a $25 gift certificate today for only $3.  Here's the info...

Only catch is you usually have to spend more than what the gift certificate is for...I bought a $25 one and have to spend at least $35. Plus, I have to pay 18% gratuity on the original amount. Still not so bad.

We went out last night to the 3rd St. Diner (in Jax Beach, FL) with certificate in hand and the owner refused to honor it!  I've used at least three of these vouchers and have NEVER had problems. On top of everything, he was rude. Churlishly, he said we had to spend $50 instead of $35 to get the $25 off. Apparently, that night there were two other guest using certificates. One of the guests said he was told that he had to spend $100 to get the $50 certificate (versus $75). This was at a diner. Can you imagine how much food you would have to eat to spend $100 at a diner (even for a family of 3)? Both parties were upset and said that although the food was good they would not return due to the service. As we were leaving, another party overheard the conversations and said he would not return to the restaurant. NOT GOOD for business. In one night they lost 12 return customers and lost 4 that night. We were meeting Carolyn-Marie and her husband that night. Fortunately, they were running late and missed the drama. But, after she heard what happened she said she was never going back either.