Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Gingerbread Cake

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
1 cup hot water
1 cup sorghum molasses or regular molasses
¾ cup brown sugar
1½ t. ground ginger or 1 T. fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2  3/4 cups flour*
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

In a saucepan combine all ingredients through the cinnamon.

Bring to boil, stir until well blended. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add the cooled molasses and sugar mixture and stir. Stir in the well-beaten eggs.

Pour into a generously-greased and floured 9 x 12 inch baking pan. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 25 to 35 minutes. The dark sugars and syrups tend to burn easily, so watch the cake closely for the last 5 minutes.

Serve warm or cooled with whipped cream, cream cheese frosting or my apple butter.

*I normally cook all gluten free. This recipe has been adapted for gluten-containing flours. For gluten free, just cut the flour by 1/4 cup and use gluten free flour blends.

Many recipes are from my cookbook: "Delicious! The Very Best of Gluten Free and Wheat Free Cooking. It is available at:   

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home Made Apple Butter

Tart and deep amber-colored, this apple butter is the best you will ever taste!

16-20 Granny Smith or other apple*, peeled, sliced, and chopped
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed**
½ cup honey, sorghum syrup or maple syrup
½ cup apple cider or water
1-2 T. lemon juice, fresh
½ t. ground cloves
½ t. nutmeg
2 t. cinnamon
¼ cup apple brandy, added at the end (optional)

Need: 6-8 pint sized glass jars with lids, preferably canning quality.

Place all ingredients in a large capacity crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until apples are very tender. Use an immersible blender wand to work out any lumps. Cook until mixture thickens.

Spoon hot mixture into sterilized jars leaving ½ inch head space. Place lids on jars. Place jars in a large pot full of boiling water. Bring rolling water boil 1-2 inches over the top of the jar lids and prepare in a water bath. Process fifteen to twenty minutes depending on your elevation. Remove jars and cool. Lids will make a popping sound when properly sealed.

Notes: *I used Fujis and the recipe required less sugar. **I used coconut sugar for a lower glycemic index.

Friday, October 14, 2011

What do you do with yarrow?

This Fall I am finding my garden has an abundance of this pretty flower with fern-like, lacey leaves. It is surprising how many uses there are for yarrow!

Yarrow is pictured at the front and near the center of this fresh picked bouquet. Cut the flowers or hang them upside down to dry them.