Peace and quiet – Apple cinnamon pound cake

Apple and cinnamon pound cake

I can’t remember when I was little and I came home tired from school to find that delicious smell of apple pie in the oven and finding my mom in an apron with a tall glass of cold milk and a big smile on her face. Mainly because my mom never baked apple pie, doesn’t like milk and she was rarely around when I came home from school (she did wear aprons though, and she cooked a lot, hence the me). So whenever I have apple pie-cake/chocolate cookies/glasses of cold milk, I pretend I do have that nonexistent memory, simply because it appears to be something that everyone has in spite of rarely anyone actually having a mom who did any such things. And pretending that makes me find so much peace and comfort in those classic flavors. Because even though it’s not something I learned when I was little, there’s something undeniable warm and homey about apple baked goods. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s embedded somewhere in our unconscious, but there’s something about that smell, fresh from the oven, that makes me feel like I live right next to the orchard where those apples where lovingly hand picked and placed in an immaculate wicker basket, covered with a red and white checkered cloth and then brought inside, waiting eagerly to become a cake. It’s a pleasant image, and one not to hard to keep in mind as you munch away on your cake. This pound cake isn’t too sweet, so you can have it with your morning coffee or as mid-afternoon treat, and you won’t feel like you’re over-indulging. It’s not the kind of cake that will disappear in an instant but that will see you through three-four days, just sitting on your pantry, homey, familiar and warm. Ready to help you feel that comfort of fake memories, or if you’re lucky, real ones. Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

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En Cocotte – Rabbit with apples and potatoes

Lapin en cocotte

Mmm yeah, so I haven’t posted anything in a long time. I have good reason, but I won’t get into it here. Let it be enough to say that the past two weeks have been the worst of my life, and not even my kitchen has convinced me that the show must go on. And I know the show must go on. It’s just bloody difficult. Anyway, the following is a recipe with a lot of meaning to me – because it’s rabbit. But I won’t get into the melancholic details. One thing worth mentioning though, I made this about 10 days ago, on the day this very horrible streak of bad things began happening, but always with a silver lining; I came home (all puffy-eyed and exhausted from crying) with two very meaningful rabbits in my hand. My mom found me, and since she is such a wonderful mom, abstained from asking any questions and instead proceeded to have a cooking fiesta with me; we each took a rabbit, to be cooked in different ways. Now, this doesn’t sound like such a shiny silver lining, but my mom and me in the kitchen at the same time??? Never heard of before. We’re usually in each others way and always en up fighting because I have no tolerance to her every-two-minute remarks of how I should modify whatever it is I am cooking. But this rabbit is different, because it was a lot more about her being there for me, without questions, without trying to change me, (or my recipe!) and just keeping me company in a moment where probably nothing else could have saved me. After the rabbits, we also made salsa, and two apple cakes. And believe it or not, that day, a whole day in the kitchen, even being exhausted, was just what the doctor had prescribed.

Onions, apples, shallots, potatoes

This recipe is really easy, and it’ll take you no time to make (That is, if you’re not butchering your rabbit yourself, as I did). It does take long to bake though, so keep that in mind. It’s absolutely worth it though, the apples and potatoes melt in your mouth after having been in there with rabbit for almost two hours. Recipe after the jump.

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Dangerous Apple Cake

Dangerous Apple Cake

Over my years of baking sweet stuff (’cause let’s face it, I could eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner) I’ve come to find that, as a general rule, women love anything made of chocolate, and while men have a not-so-sweet tooth, almost all of them love apple pie. I fit into this rule, I adore chocolate in any of its presentations, I even eat the stuff I use for baking in chunks when the craving hits and there’s nothing else. And in the apple pie department, I like it, but I rarely order it off a menu. This cake, on the other hand, is guaranteed to be loved (read: devoured) by both boys and girls – Proof enough of this is that after I baked two and took one to an afternoon of coffee with three of my previously mentioned very thin and permanently on a diet girlfriends, none of it remained. Yup, three girls ate a whole cake, because as one of them accurately put it – “You shouldn’t have made this. This is an orgasm in my mouth” – of which you clearly cannot get enough of.

The recipe is a slight adaptation from the wonderful Deb at Smitten Kitchen, with a few minor adjustments, basically the shape and layering.

Apples in cinnamon and sugar  Batter 

Read more for the recipe

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