Cinnamon Apple Cake! (a recipe from Shelly)

wpid-wp-1445819002238.jpgApple season has started and I picked some up at my local farmer’s market last weekend.  Half got eaten on their own, but I wanted to make something delicious with the last couple!  I came across this recipe from The Baking ChocolaTess and decided to use it as the base, but I made some modifications based on my preferences ;).  Mostly, cutting down the butter and sugar because using a whole stick just didn’t feel right to me.  I also like to use some whole wheat flour in there – it’s not enough to notice, I promise.  And the most important addition…

wpid-wp-1445812941393.jpgCinnamon chips!  They’re basically white chocolate chips with a ton of cinnamon flavor.  I love these, and they only come out around this time of year.  (Actually, I stocked up last year, and this was the last of those :P)

Check below the cut for my version of the recipe!

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Green Velvet Cake with Ombré Cream Cheese Frosting

My first post! Hello everyone, this is Sabeen. I apologize for taking so long to finally write one. I tend to make things all the time but find the task of writing about it a little daunting…so this is my first go at it. 
It all started after a conversation with my dearest friend Saira who asked me to make her wedding cake…I was terrified. I mean, yes, I’ve baked before. A lot. But things change when it’s for a lot of people. This is where she reassured me that it can just be a small cake that she can cut into during the ceremony. Less pressure. Not so bad. Let’s give it a shot?

Now she’s wearing a green and gold wedding dress and wanted the cake to have some green in it. 

So I went with the cake recipe I found on Love From The Oven (with a couple tweaks) and it was divine! As I was stacking this cake and cutting off the tops as needed; my siblings and parents were happily munching away. This is pretty big since the entire household is constantly on a diet. 

  
Cake recipe – I doubled this for four 8″ layers. 

(Tweaked a tad from Love From The Oven):

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (this threw me off too, trust it!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Green food coloring gel (I like these better than the 2 oz bottles. Tend to not change the flavor as much.)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray two 8″ round cake pans. (I really really wish I had used bake even strips so please do so! The sides had become super crispy and the center was still raw—If you don’t have them, preheat your oven to 300 degrees for a little longer baking time) 
  2. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl and add all the wet ingredients (oil, mayo, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring as desired)
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in seperate bowl (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, baking soda)
  4. Combine wet to dry ingredients and mix on low for a minute or two (so nothing flies) and then on medium until combined. 
  5. Pour batter evenly into cake pans and bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees (with bake even strips) OR 40-55 minutes at 300 degrees.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe (from Five Heart Home

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, straight from fridge
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • Green food coloring gel (optional for decor)
  1. For perfect consistency, whip butter in medium bowl until no longer lumpy. 
  2. Add cream cheese and beat on medium until smoothly combined.
  3. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time and vanilla. 

Note: I ended up doubling butter and cream cheese in this recipe with only 4 cups powdered sugar for the filling. It was a mistake but a beautiful one…it wasn’t too sweet on the inside as this cake is already so sweet! 

Outside frosting was this recipe as I needed a nicer consistency 🙂

Decor

  • Add green food coloring a little bit at a time to get that nice ombré look at the end
  •  Use a 2D Wilton star tip to make roses (YouTube is your friend)

  
So much love to you for reading all this. Enjoy!

What’s Jamming?

Hi readers, I don’t think I’ve posted in here before- I was invited by Shelly, Akhi, Sara, Sabeen, and Mariel to contribute despite the fact that I don’t cook or bake very often. I generally blog at Dorothy Ann Writes, and I’m currently an Americorps Intern through the Student Conservation Association (aka a professional tree hugger) in the Hudson Valley, New York, USA. Hopefully in the future I’ll get into some fun Polish family recipes, but an odyssey into the forest is still an odyssey, right? This recipe is going to be less of a recipe and more of a story of my experience making jam for the first time, from foraged berries. So let’s take a hike!

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Oh, what’s this I’ve found in the forest? Could it be wineberries?

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Space Food and SkyLab Butter Cookies

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Here at Odyssey of Flavors we like to give our followers a worldly reading experience. But sometimes that just isn’t enough, and that is when you have to leave our lovely planet and go into space! And who better to do that than me, their resident aerospace engineer!

Food has also been a big topic of conversation for anyone exposed to the space world because of how vital it is to human beings. Can you imagine being told to eat an entire meal through a toothpaste tube? Talk about a yucky situation! But that is exactly what the Mercury astronauts of the early 1960s had to go through. Today, meals are designed to be a lot more palatable because of the length of current missions (astronauts typically stay on the International Space Station for 6 months at a time). Astronauts also have a variety of options ranging from ramen to borscht with meat to shrimp cocktail (an astronaut favorite). 

Just add water for some Oolong Tea!

Packaging has also evolved. Gone are the days of toothpaste tubes and tiny 1-cubic-inch freeze-dried sandwiches! A large amount of meals are sealed in plastic pouches and then freeze dried to preserve the food and flavor (it also helps make it lighter because weight is everything when launching a rocket). One would simply add hot water to prepare the meal.

While the types of food are akin to those on Earth, adjustments are made to provide appropriate nutritional value in a microgravity environment. For example, food needs extra calcium and vitamin D because bones don’t get as much exercise on orbit. Astronauts also need 100 percent of their daily vitamins and minerals.

While astronaut meals are required to be healthy, it doesn’t mean they are not allowed to have an indulgent snack once in a while. Astronaut Edward Gibson considered butter cookies to be the basic monetary unit in the economic system of SkyLab. Not only were the little cookies popular with the astronauts, but they were also easy to store and produce and did not contain any significant amounts of nutrients that could affect the metabolic studies being conducted during the mission. The following recipe is from Charles Bourland’s The Astronaut’s Cookbook. Be sure make your cookies bite-size, otherwise you might have crumbles floating all over your space station! 😉 

(click below to read more!)

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Mustard Greens & Red Pepper Pasta (A Recipe by Shelly)

Hi everyone!  This is Shelly here with my first post.  If you’re new here, don’t forget to check out our first two posts:  Omurice and Momos.

Last Saturday I went to the local farmer’s market with some friends – but we were a bit late, so there wasn’t that much left in the way of produce.  I had some blueberry-basil sorbet, bought a handmade soap, and then a lady at one of the stands convinced me to try some mustard greens.

Mustard greens are spicy and a little tougher than greens like spinach or cabbage – to me they seemed to have the texture of kale with the bite of arugula.  (If you don’t have them, I’m sure any of those would work as a replacement.)  I’ve never cooked them before, and I saw a lot of soup and salad recipes, but I really wanted some pasta.  So here’s my experiment!

(Click below to see the rest of this post…)

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Momos (Dumplings from India/Nepal/Tibet)

Hey everyone. This is Akhi, one of your bloggers. Thank you for following our new food blog. Our first post, by Sara, went up yesterday. Please check out whatever posts interest you and the cuisines you’re interested in.

This post is about Momos, which is basically an East Asian dumpling adopted first to Tibet and then spread throughout Nepal and India. As a result, it has some unique characteristics and ingredients. Traditionally, it is made with yak in the Himalayas but throughout most of India and Nepal, you can substitute chicken, goat or lamb. Due to cultural reasons, it is unlikely you will find momos made from beef or pork, and due to geographical reasons (they’re more common in the Himalayas), you won’t find many seafood momos. That is one distinguishing factor between momos and Chinese and Japanese dumplings, which are also a bit more sweet. The buuz of Mongolia, however, are similar to momos.

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Omurice (A Recipe by Sara… Kind Of)

Omurice 1

Omuraisu aka Omurice aka Omelet Rice is a Japanese dish that most Japanese people seem to think is from England. (I have been assured by my British friends that it is not.) It is essentially flavored rice covered in egg and is surprisingly delicious. If you’re one of those people who eats scrambled eggs with ketchup you will like this recipe. I can’t take credit for this recipe as it has been only slightly adapted from Nami’s version at Just One Cookbook. For the original version and detailed pictures, check it out here.

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