Apple Spice Cake with an Adventure in Apple Flour

So I have not blogged anything in a really long time. I have a surface pro tablet and broke my keyboard and have not been blogging since. But since breaking my keyboard I have become more fluent with my on screen keyboard typing..its very awkward and odd but I am trying to get used to it. I am trying to stay ergonomic with it, and not finger type, but its still really slow and not effective.

But I am going to blog for the sake of blogging anyways. Just to be fresh, just to let you know what my favorite holiday recipe is so far. Because its so versatile and yummy. I have so far tried it with a few variables and yesterday even gluten free, and it still worked out fine.

The original recipe is a food network sponsored ‘giada’ recipe, here is the link for it.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/spiced-apple-walnut-cake-with-cream-cheese-icing-recipe.html

I was sitting at home bored one day, and turned the food network on and it was Giada’s holiday special for thanksgiving; I had to watch it for the cake she showed in the previews, looked and sounded divine.

Apple spice walnut cake, I mean just the first 2 adjectives got me. I love spicing my apples and I always seem to have a ungodly amount of them so, I knew upon hearing its title, that I had to see it made and see how easy it was to execute.

I had to wait a minute for the cake part of the show, but finally she was making the cake. She was chopping some apples from the transition from commercial and had a good bowl full of them, when she added the wet ingredients one by one. Maple syrup, eggs, oil, wait I have all these things, like all the time too. It was getting me excited. She put the ‘wet’ bowl aside and made a ‘dry’ bowl of flour, baking soda, baking powder and a nice splash of my favorite spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. The pure simpleness of this recipe and the fact that it did not use butter, got me hooked.

Then she grabbed the wet bowl and ‘Gradually’ added the dry mix into it. If there is two things you really learn the definition of while baking its “gradually” and “patience.” If you add your dry too fast you can get lumps. I have learned the term gradually whilst baking many things; meringue, you cannot add the sugar too fast or you can deflate the peaks of the egg whites.

Anyways seeing her create the cake so easily, in only 2 bowls with just a wooden spoon to mix, well that made me try making it later that day.

I made that cake so fast and so easy, even subbing a few things; like not having a bundt pan for one, but for 2, I only had generic maple not organic. I mean maple flavored corn syrup, so instead of the called for 1 ½ cups I used less than a cup of maple syrup, just for the flavor. I also did not have walnuts, so my recipe was without them. Also I almost forgot, I subbed some applesauce for oil, I hate using a lot of oil.

The first time that I made the cake I used all fuji apples. Everyone loved the cake so much that I was more then impressed. I prematurely cut into one cake and iced each slice with swirls and then iced the other one with one large swirl.

Here is a picture of the first attempt. It made two rounds which I iced with buttercream icing homemade.

my creations
my creations
glamour shot by my husband
glamour shot by my husband

Upon trying this loverly creation of mines, I realized that apples were not the only fruit that melded well with this spice mix, so the next attempt at this recipe for cake I used zuchinni and raisins instead of apples and walnuts. That one, was an even better hit I believe and I had way more taste testers who all loved it a lot.

Here is the best picture of the zuchinni version of this cake.

zuchinni version
zuchinni version

Also yesterday, I made the most inventive version of this cake recipe that I have tried thus far, and the picture will not do it justice, so I must indulge. I made this cake recipe gluten free. I had some oatmeal on hand from the food bank and some dehydrated granny smith apples.

Don’t ask me how but my first and foremost thought getting dehydrated apples is making them into apple flour. I know I am a little crazy. But I have been researching flavoring baked goods with fruit powder and finally I had the opportunity to make some. I have been looking for some cheap freeze dried fruit to do this with food stamps, but running into this bag of dried apple chips at the food bank was the next best thing.

So I did what any good mom would do and saved 4 snack bags of apple chips for the boy…then I pulsed the rest. I made about a cup of very fine and sour tasting pure granny smith apple flour, I was very pleased with myself. Then I figured I would stay gluten free and pulse some oats for some oat flour as a base and bake with the apple flour as a flavor and a binder. I added the usual apple cake ingredients but used the gluten free apple and oat flour and even chopped up a whole bunch of mini golden delicious apples from the food bank as well. Actually I added too much apple this time, and I cut the oil by using ½ a cup of applesauce. The cake still comes out very moist.

Here is a picture of that attempt. Very moist, very interesting medley of flavors, you can taste the spice blend, you can taste the granny smith, you can taste a hint of maple, and certainly you get a mouthful of apple chunks.

apple flour cake
apple flour cake

Conclusion is I love this apple cake recipe and I will be making fruit powder aka dried fruit flour again asap!!

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8/7/15 Food Bank Bounty

Yesterday I went to the food bank. I got lots of pantry items and a whole lot of produce. I go to the Fort Bragg food bank, because I am a low income mother and my son is always hungry as is my husband and our vegan dog. I go to the food bank once a week and it saves my little family from starving when we run out of food stamps. Yesterday was no exception, we do not get our food stamps until Monday and going to the food bank yesterday, Friday, is saving our whole weekend.

I did manage to take a few pics while I was there to show you the food bank.

Here are some pictures of the food bank and the line for food, I mostly show the pantry item section and there is another large selection of produce at the end that you cannot really see in the pictures. That is where I stock up the most, in the produce. I did however get a few neat and yummy items for pantry food.

inside of food bank pantry side
inside of food bank pantry side
stacks of canned goods inside the food bank
stacks of canned goods inside the food bank

Here are some of the great things I received from them; quiona crackers, sourdough bread and rolls, organic berry crunch cereal, pancake mix, lemon mousse, golden raisins, regular raisins, yougert, pudding, milk, a dozen eggs, even some local made cookies.

Here is a picture of the organic cereal, we are all excited to try and have. It tastes like organic captain crunch berry flavor and everyone loves it. I will update with a picture when it uploads.

The big score yesterday has got to be in the produce. I got so much I am so happy. Here are some of the great things I scored; yellow wax beans, purple green beans, fresh bag of basil, fresh bag of cilantro, fresh bag of spinach, potatoes, rainbow carrots, fresh ears of corn, fresh beets, fresh onions with greens, fresh celery greens, fresh kale greens, a lotus root, fresh salad mix, fresh picked still dirty fennel root and greens, ¼ of a Napa cabbage, fresh grown zucchini, fresh grown squash, and some oranges.

I am in fresh foodie heaven. I must start playing music and cleaning up the kitchen so I have a great clean space to work with it all. I am planning on making some more pesto with the basil maybe and also making a potato Au gratin with more veggies for dinner tonight. Last night we had baked potatoes with leftover rib meat and some cheese and sour cream, and the white corn from the food bank.

Here are some pictures of last nights dinner. I had overloaded baked potato with my rib meat on top and the boys had their rib meat on the side.

boy's plate
boy’s plate
my loaded potato
my loaded potato

Food Blog Challenge

I am going to start a challenge for myself and others. Finding creative things to blog about can be hard sometimes. So for this challenge, I am going to try to blog everyday for at least 90 days. Everyday I will blog 300-500 words about what I made to eat that day. that is it.

Catch is, I cook and bake a whole lot. So I will have some interesting food experiences to share and most likely more failures than successes. But that is what learning is all about, sharing our mistakes and learning from them. I invite you to join me on this challenge. Every night, starting tonight I will blog about what I cooked and baked that day. I will show you how to cook low income and on food stamps and more importantly, I will show you how easy it is to eat well without much money.

Today is Fathers day 2015. Tonight I will blog about:

Fathers day cupcakes

No churn Vanilla ice cream (without a machine)

Fathers day BBQ dinner

#foodblogchallenge #bohomomsfoodfun #foodstampchallenge #foodbankfabulous