Honey Cake

My husband has a Honey fetish along with a life long dream of being a bee keeper. I have been meaning to make some kind of recipe with honey in it for ages and only just got around to it this weekend. Doesn’t hurt that I just bought a copious amount of honey at Costco and also had two containers of honey with dregs that needed to be finished.
Now I know the Honey Cake looks pretty with the Honeyed Almonds on top but in hindsight, the topping was a bad idea. Tasty, but a bad idea because the Honeyed Almonds was pretty much Almond Bark minus the chocolate. Again, tasty, but a bad idea for the top of a cake.
Honey Cake with Honeyed Almonds
Honey Cake with Honeyed Almonds

3 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each: ground Cloves, ground Allspice, ground Ginger
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Honey
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
3 large Eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup warm Strong Coffee
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Rum
1/2 cup slivered or sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a bundt pan and a 9″round cake pan with vegetable oil spray and dust with flour; gently tap out excess flour.

In mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; make a well in the centre.
In a small mixing bowl combine oil, honey, sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee, orange juice and rum.
Pour liquid ingredients into the well in dry ingredients, and mix on low speed for 1 minute then increase to medium speed and mix for another 3 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 – 75 minutes for the Bundt pan, 30 – 45 minutes for 9″ round cake pan or until pick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven to wire rack and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Run knife around pan to loosen cake, turn out to cool completely on wire rack.
When cake is completely cooled, drizzle with glaze, top with toasted almonds and dust lightly with icing sugar.

Serves: 12 – 16

Honey Cake with Honeyed Almonds
Honey Cake with Honeyed Almonds

For original recipe head over to Smitten Kitchen.

Honeyed Almonds

1/4 cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 – 1 1/2 cups Almonds

Melt honey, sugar and butter in heavy skillet over medium heat.
Stir in vanilla and almonds; continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, watching for the almonds to start turning golden brown.
Remove from heat and cool completely.
Break into bite size chunks.

What I did
I carefully spread the hot honeyed almonds on top of the cake and allowed it to cool completely before lightly dusting with icing sugar.
Again, it was a bad idea as I basically had Almond Bark on the top of my cake.


Salisbury Steak

I definitely did not want to cook dinner tonight but since I already took LAST night off from cooking I HAD to get in the kitchen tonight! There was a pound of ground beef thawing in the fridge so at least I had a starting point…I hate it when you are racking your brain trying to suss out what to cook for dinner and you don’t even know where to begin so you start going through the entire contents of your fridge and pantry in your mind. For one, it usually gives you a huge headache.
Alright, so knew I had to cook that ground beef (by the way, I take zero pleasure in cooking poor ol’ Bessy ); I started thinking about the things my mother used to cook with ground beef besides Cabbage Rolls, Meatloaf and Spaghetti Sauce…I was about to search google for ideas when I remembered Salisbury Steak! Not sure why they call it “steak” but whatever.

Salisbury Steak
Salisbury Steak

1 package Onion Soup Mix
1 lb Ground Beef
1 slice Bread, crumbled
1 Egg
1/3 cup Milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 small Onion, sliced

1/4 cup Ketchup
1 cup Water
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard Powder

In medium mixing bowl combine 2/3 of onion soup mix, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper, and milk.
Form into 6 oval patties.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties, about 4 -6 minutes per side.
When you flip the patties over to the second side, add sliced onions; stir onions around occasionally while browning second side.
In measuring cup combine ketchup, water; whisk in flour, remaining onion soup mix and dry mustard powder.
Pour over patties in skillet and bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 4 – 6


Hamburger Stroganoff

After a long day all you want to do is veg-out  in front of the fire.  This is a super easy and super quick meal to throw together to get you back in front of the fire in no time at all.

Quick and Easy Hamburger Stroganoff
Quick and Easy Hamburger Stroganoff

1 lb Ground Beef
1 small Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
15 Mushrooms, sliced
1 (10 1/2 oz) can condensed Cream of Celery or Mushroom Soup, undiluted
1 cup Sour Cream or Greek Style Yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon Tarragon leaves, crushed
Hot Cooked Pasta

Saute ground beef, onion and garlic in butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
Stir in flour, salt, pepper and sliced mushrooms; continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in  soup, add a bit of water if you feel it is too thick, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
Stir in sour cream and tarragon;  heat through.
Serve over pasta.

Serves 4 – 6

Applesauce Bundt Cake

I have had it in my mind to make an Applesauce Cake for absolutely ages. On my last trip to the shops I even bought a great big bag of apples; truth be told, I have bought a big bag of apples a few times before but the Applesauce Cake just never seemed to materialize, go figure.

It just so happens I had a few plans go awry on a Saturday and when you have to shift to Plan B, but wait, there was no Plan B; well, that is a good time to head to the kitchen and do some Baking! Coincidentally I had also just made a fresh batch of applesauce so I simply had to dig out the Applesauce Cake recipe.

It used to be that I would flip through my Betty Crocker cookbook but in this day and age, I enter what I want to make in the google search field on MY iPad* and sift through the multitude of recipes on offer. Good Ol’ BC has an Applesauce Cake recipe for a 9×13 cake which I guess I could have used but I wanted a tried-and-true recipe for a bundt pan because I bought a bundt pan in June and it was still sitting in the cupboard, unused!

I made only one substitution in this recipe and one addition: I used chopped dates instead of raisins and I added a layer of Cream Cheese Frosting to finish it off. You see, the picture in the old BC cookbook has a lovely 9×13 Applesauce cake all decked out in Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkled with chopped walnuts so I had this vision in my head of my Applesauce Cake being frosted rather than merely dusted with powdered sugar.

Many thanks to Cookie Madness for breaking away from Cookies and making an Applesauce Spice Bunt Cake.

*My husband keeps absconding off to the bedroom with my iPad at the most inopportune times! And the nerve, sometimes he even closes down the pages I am using! I NEVER shut down his Geek pages!

Applesauce Bundt Cake
Applesauce Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
1 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
2 cups unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup coarsely chopped Pecans
1 cup chopped Dates or Raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup Butter, softened
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups Icing sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Milk, to right consistency, about 1 1/2 teaspoons

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray a 10″ Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, add 1 tablespoon of flour, tilting and lightly tapping pan to coat pan lightly with flour; turn out excess flour.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice; set aside.
In mixing bowl beat butter until smooth then add sugar and continue beating for about a minute.
Add brown sugar and resume beating for another 2 – 3 minutes until.
Add egg and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in applesauce on low setting.
Turn mixer off, raise paddle and add the flour mixture; lower paddle and stir at lowest setting until well blended and no lumps remain.
Stir in chopped pecans and dates.
Turn batter out into prepared Bundt pan and bake in 350F oven for 60 – 70 minutes, until golden and pick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool, in pan, on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Turn out of pan onto wire rack and cool completely.

While cake is cooling prepare Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream butter until soft and no lumps remain.
On low speed, stir in 1 cup of icing sugar until incorporated.
Add vanilla and continue stirring on low speed.
Add another cup of icing sugar, again stirring until incorporated.
Add final cup of icing sugar and a bit of milk, if needed.
Beat on medium-high speed for 2 -3 minutes until light and fluffy.

When cake is completely cooled frost with Cream Cheese Frosting, sprinkled with chopped Pecans and drizzle with a bit of Maple Glaze (icing sugar mixed with a bit of maple flavouring and enough milk to drizzling consistency)

Yield: 12

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

A basic cookie with a hint of something to make you go, “Hmmmm…..”
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 cups Flour
2 cups Quick Oats
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 cup Coconut
2 cups Raisins
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line baking trays with parchment paper.
In medium mixing bowl combine flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
In large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in eggs, one at a time.
Add vanilla.
Gradually stir in dry ingredients, stirring well after each addition.
Stir in Raisins.
Drop by heaped tablespoons onto prepared baking trays.
Flatten slightly.
Bake in 350F oven for 8 – 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Remove to wire racks and cool completely.
Store in airtight container.
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies.