This past weekend we were busy mudding, sanding, sheet-rocking, banging, priming and painting. Our kitchen is coming along and we now have two of the kitchen walls painted. I chose a shade of yellow and absolutely love it. It is amazing how it brightens up the somewhat dark and small space and instantly gives the room a lift. While we were eating dinner last night and admiring the newly painted walls I said to Brad "I think it would be impossible to be in this room and feel grumpy". It is so true, since we have painted even just the two walls; I find myself just standing in the kitchen staring at the walls. It feels like a little slice of summer sunshine even though it is cold and snowy outside!
Our next task is to choose tile to go on the backsplash above the counter tops and then we will finish the painting once the remaining walls are patched up. I am so grateful to have a husband who is so clever and talented when it comes to building and remolding our little old house.
Here is a swatch of the color I chose. It is called "Song of Summer"
This past weekend amongst the dusty madness that was our kitchen I still managed to get in some cooking therapy. Ever since I found the recipe for Apple Bars and loved it, I have been on the hunt for other yummy apple recipes. Last week I found this one for Apple Cake at http://blog.cooklikeyourgrandmother.com/. It was delicious!
6 medium apples (about 4 cups)- See note
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3 large eggs
3/4 cups oil
1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pre-heat the oven to 350° and peel the apples and dice into small bite size pieces. Set aside.
With the apples set aside, combine the oil, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix each one in well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a sifter over the bowl with the wet mixture. It is not necessary to sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl before combining with wet mixture. Tap the rim of the sifter until it's all in, and then mix again. Stir until there are no lumps. Add half the diced apple and half the chopped nuts to the mixture and combine. Once combined spread mixture evenly into a 9X13 greased pan.
Distribute the rest of the apples evenly over the top of the cake and press them into the batter. Then top with the rest of the nuts.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. You might have to hunt around to find a spot you can stick it in without hitting an apple.
Let it cool for a couple of minutes before serving. I served mine with a drizzle of caramel ice cream syrup over the top. Yummy! This is definitely a cake I would make again.
NOTE- This cake was delicious, bit there is something I would do differently next time. I almost felt like there was a little too much apple in the actual cake. The cake itself was very tasty and I found myself wanting more cake at times. Next time I think I'd only use 3 cups of apple. I'd put 2 and a quarter cups of apples in the batter and reserve the remaining 3/4 of a cup for the top.
Ever heard of it? I hadn't until last week when I found this recipe on http://mmmcafe.blogspot.com/ I made this for dinner last night and LOVED it. I'm all about anything Italian so I may be a little biased. However, this was quick, easy and fun to make. It is like a warm, soft, and crispy on the outside roll filled with your favorite pizza toppings. I can't wait to make it again and experiment some more with different fillings.
To make the dough from scratch-
2 ½ cups lukewarm water
2 tsp. yeast
1 Tbs. salt
3 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
6 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in water, add remaining ingredients, let sit for 20 minutes knead for 2-3 minutes. Divide dough in half, let sit 10 minutes. Roll each out into a rectangle.
OR cheater style (this is what I did as I was making this while we were still working on the kitchen)
Rhodes Frozen Loaf dough
Thaw 1 loaf of bread by following package directions. I used the Rhodes loaves and it took maybe 2 hours for it to be thawed enough that I could work with it.
Divide dough in half. Roll each out into a rectangle. (See note) One frozen roll cut in two makes two Stromboli’s. Once rolled out, cover with a thin layer of olive oil and then spread with mozzarella cheese. Once you have done this, you can let your imagination run wild.
NOTE- When I was rolling out the dough I was a little worried that it would be too small. Don't panic. When these bake they get quite large. I made two Stromboli and it could have easily fed four people.
I made two of these. The first one I made with Canadian bacon and pineapple (for Brad). On mine after I spread olive oil on it, I added some dried Italian herbs and some garlic bread shake I had, then I added chicken I had cooked in alfredo sauce and Canadian bacon.
Once filled- Roll rectangle lengthwise and pinch together at seam. Place seam down on a greased 9x13 cookie sheet. Tuck ends under to prevent fillings coming out during baking. Both rolls can be placed on the same baking sheet. Top generously with egg whites, garlic salt, and oregano. Cook rolls together at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
The finished product
NOTE- Although Brad liked these; he thought he would have liked it even more if I had of added some tomato based sauce to his as he is a fan of sauce. I thought these were wonderful as they were as I love to taste the bread which can sometimes be masked by sauces. So it is all a matter of personal preference. The great thing about these is you can personalize them to suit individual likes. The possibilities really are endless when making these rolls. Let your creative juices run free! Next time I think I'll try adding some ricotta cheese to mine.