Sunday, September 20, 2009

Catching up

It's been a month, give or take a few days, since I've last written anything. We homeschool and started our lessons on September 8th, right in the middle of harvesting and preserving our garden produce and then processing chickens last weekend. It's been BUSY around here!

Yes, autumn is here, and here in northern Michigan it's getting colder. Time for stews, warmer meals and anything to use up those apples and pumpkins!


In skillet brown beef. Place carrot, celery, green pepper, onion, corn and green beans in crock pot. Put meat on top. Combine tomatoes, barley, parsley, bouillon, salt and basil. Pour over meat. Add water. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.

Served this stew with:


Mix together warm water, yeast and sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes. In large bowl, combine yeast mixture with oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour. Stir well to combine. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in and turn to coat with oil. Cover with cloth and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Deflate the dough and turn out onto floured surface. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and form into rounds. Place rolls onto lightly greased baking sheet at least 2" apart. Cover rolls with cloth and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake rolls for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

OR Place all ingredients in bread machine in the order suggested by bread machine manufacturer. Set on dough setting. When cycle is done, form into 16 balls and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Let rise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

Here's a yummy apple cake!




Set oven to 350°F. Set oven rack to second-lowest position. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan.

In a bowl, sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture into the Bundt pan and tilt pan to coat. In another bowl, place the chopped apples and 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture; toss to coat.

In another bowl combine 1-1/4 cups brown sugar, 1 cup white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla; beat with an electric mixture until combined and thick (about 4 minutes). Gradually beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined. Fold in the chopped apple mixture and pecans into the batter. Transfer to prepared bundt pan. Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake tests done. Transfer the cake to a rack then prepare the caramel glaze.

To make the glaze: melt butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup brown sugar then the half and half or cream. Continue whisking until the glaze is smooth and comes to a boil. Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla, and remove from heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the hot glaze over the warm cake that is still in the pan. Let the cake sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the glaze. Turn the cake onto a platter, then pour the remaining glaze over the cake. Let stand until cool (at least 1 hour) before slicing.

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Before beginning, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease and flour two loaf pans.
Mix eggs and sugar together, then stir in the pumpkin and butter. Stir dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in the zucchini and nuts.
Divide into pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the loaves test done.
Cool in pans ten minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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