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!!

Reflections of me..

I have made all effort to make this webpage reflect what I stand for.

I have constructed everything from my name, my home page, my theme, my categories and all my posts to reflect what I would like to represent in life. This is my ideal Self that is represented here.

I am a Mom, who lives low income and on Food Stamps and I am an artist-writer/overall creative person. I showcase my creative efforts here in a WAY MORE ORGANIZED manner than Facebook. I came over to WordPress with a page title the same as my way older Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/MomsOrganicBohoFoodFun/

I started my Facebook page with the same name in 2012, when I was learning so much ways to local food from the farmers market every week, and I wasn’t paying for any of it. Food stamps and generousity of others supported my family then, and I learned a whole lot directly from the farmers that were raising and growing my food on how to cook it.

I started this blog in November 2014 when I realized that I had so much information to share and now years worth of photos on Facebook to round up and organize and I had no place to do it.

So I started this page, and the first blogs that I wrote is a reflection of how I wanted to be represented to others.

Here are a few of my favorite early blog examples:

https://momsorganicbohofoodfun.com/2014/11/30/how-to-survive-being-a-mom/

https://momsorganicbohofoodfun.com/2014/12/01/moms-organic-eating-and-cooking-tips-1/

https://momsorganicbohofoodfun.com/2015/04/25/how-to-cook-like-a-pro-without-recipes/

I also came to realize that the recipe research that I conducted on a daily basis, when I get free food that is new to me, is so extensive that it deserves to be documented and shared. I got weekly food from the farmers market before and now I get free produce weekly from the local food bank.  Most of the time when I was asked a question on Facebook on how I came to realize how to cook certain things, I had already lost the link, and now I try to document each new thing that I make, so that I can reference it later in life, for myself or others. I have a whole category on my “ingredient breakdowns”, in my menu if you want to check out some of those well researched blogs.

I also am trying to branch out a bit more lately with this blog and showcase some of my art & writing skills. I have been an artist and a writer since I was a young child and also studied each extensively later in life in Junior College. I have joined Blogging University to prove to myself that I can appropriately write about any subject that is thrown at me, and so far I think I have been doing pretty well. I am going to try my best to keep posting my creative writing as it comes to me, I do have the courage to have a pretty nice “Poetry” category in my menu. And to be honest I am pretty proud of my recent poetry, enough to post it on the internet at least.

So if that doesn’t explain enough, just look at my clean design, ready for long and lengthy content- like my writing; look at my awesome menu that is navigable and clear to read; check out my blogs that are more low income foodie authentic then anything; check out my sidebar which last night I worked hours on adding a “Sweet and Savory” photo gallery to; check out my tag cloud on the bottom of the page that showcases the things that I have most written about, and more importantly remember that I am the one and only Boho Mom!

In response to today’s daily post challenge “Mirror Mirror on the wall”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

9/22/15 Vanilla Ice Cream Cups

Happy Birthday Boho Dad! ❤ ❤

Today I made Ice Cream cups. The other day I was thinking of making them and now that most of the berry curd-meringue treats are eaten, I decided to make another dessert for the family. That and its my husbands birthday tomorrow, so I wanted to have something special to snack on anyways.

I had the idea from a recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s show, she made cookies and cream cups in the freezer easy to eat for her boys before she took her girls on a college trip. It was such a great idea; to have already made, ready to eat ice cream cups. I decided to make my own version with what I had.

I did not have Oreo cookies, or anything like them. But I did have leftover pulsed animal crackers from the other day when I made curd bars. So I used that with some melted butter and a bit of shortening and I crumbled in the fat with a pastry cutter. It was a good consistency then I put it into cupcake liners into a cupcake pan. It filled up about 2/3 of each cup. Then here was the fun part.

I took a round ice cream scooper, an old fashioned one, as a presser to mold my cups. I pressed the crumble into the foil liners and made walls with the round edges of the scooper in each one. I thought I did pretty well, and I had some really smooth looking cups here. I wish I would have taken pictures of this step.

Then I froze the cups until they were set. Then I took the giant vanilla ice cream bucket we got from schwans out and I used the nice round ice cream scooper to put a scoop into each cup. Then I smoothed the ice cream down with a bit of finesse and pressure from the scooper and made each top smooth. I made sure to try and make the ice cream touch all sides of the cups in this step.

I also had defrosted and slightly heated up some raspberry and blackberries from my schwans frozen bag of them and then I scooped 2 berries unto each cup and some leftover berry juice. Then I froze them until they set again.

Here are some pictures of how they turned out.

ice cream cups in molds
ice cream cups in molds
topped with berrys
topped with berrys

Aviary Photo_130874464224515040

8/29/15 Ribs and Rice

For dinner last night I made ribs and rice again. I have been making this a whole lot lately because it is one of my families favorite meals to eat. Its also really stress free and prep easy for me to make. I can prep the ribs the morning of or the night before and its just a matter of putting them into the oven for 3 hours before we have the best BBQ ribs ever.

I have already made a post on how to make these ribs in the oven, you can see it here:

https://momsorganicbohofoodfun.com/2015/07/06/7515-bbq-ribs-in-the-oven/

The steps for making them is really easy, I was able to get other things done like cleaning the house and blogging done whist they were cooking. After 1 ½ hours I covered them with tinfoil so that they would not get dry. We had the best ribs we have had in a while last night, as they cooked all the way through, sorry mom, the time I made them when you were here, they were slightly underdone. But this time I made them great. The rub was lightly on, and I used a specialty Dijon mustard from Napa valley for the rub to stick. They turned out really good.

Here is a pic of them.

bbq ribs
bbq ribs

 

I also made some jasmine white Thai rice on the side in the rice cooker. I also steamed some frozen green beans and some fresh broccoli from the food bank in the oven while the ribs cooked. I loved the way the veggies steamed and the rice turned out great.

The best thing about last nights dinner, was I was able to lay down while my kitchen cooked it all for me. The oven ran for 3 hours, from 2-5 pm and about 4:30 I started the rice and the veggies. It was a stress free dinner and it was nutritious and yummy. I was pretty happy.

When I was laying down, my husband came in to ask if the ribs were cooking, and I said they have been cooking for a while now. He got so excited! We love slow cooked meat around here, so the more it cooks the better for us. Yesterday I even lowered the temperature of the bake time to 300 most of the time and it turned out great cooked Slow and Low. I loved it, we ended up eating both sides of the rack last night and we rarely do that, I guess it was really made well.

Yay for good food. Here are some pictures of dinner and my plate:

dinner
dinner

20150829_173743 (1)

my plate
my plate

8/28/15 Baking to Save my Sanity

Yesterday I baked a whole lot, and made a Taco dinner. I just had a relentless baking bug and picking the boy up from his second week of school was like tapping a baking race bell. I raced home to bake intentionally all weekend. I have been so darn tired since Eli started kindergarten that I have not baked but 1 thing all week, the pumpkin muffins. And even though our apartment fell apart around me, I was surprised that those were all that I had baked all week. I felt drained from the second week School and relieved that it was finally Friday so that I could not be on a schedule. I am not even sure how I managed to bake so much so tired; I slept like a baby though without herbs and even woke up tired, but at least I woke up to fresh made baked bread to reheat.

Unfortunately I used all my bread flour last night, aka Friday, the first night of my 2 ½ day school day vacation aka ‘the weekend’. I felt like their was nothing I couldn’t bake, even though I am still learning. My confidence was up a little since my sourdough starter was doing great and I had just been able to retire it to the fridge for weekly bread making instead of daily. I was making bread every day for a week while I started the starter.

So time to make bread for the weekly ‘discard and replace’ part of having a fridge sourdough starter ‘pet’, I actually took 2 cups out in recommendation of my landlord who does the same thing at home with his sourdough ‘pet’. I put a cup into 2 small mixing bowls. I activated each bowl with some brown and white sugar and some 100-110 degree water. Never any hotter then that, and I use a laser thermometer to be precise. I do not want to kill my starter babies. I replaced a cup from each one back into my ‘pet’ in the fridge after they bubbled up good. I had it in the fridge for a while my ‘pet’ and it did not bubble well. I was scared I did something wrong, so I consulted a baking book I just found in my room.

I said just found in my room, because I honestly forgot that I had this book, free from the food bank. I grabbed it and never read it and put it away and now I am so glad that I did keep it. Its called “Adventures in Sourdough” by Charles D. Wilford, from the 1970’s. Part of my instinct I guess to stock up on all the relevant 1970 recipe books. I do have quite a collection that I cannot part with for the life of me.

Anyways the book said when you replace the sourdough aka pet with discard from the babies of your pet, that you leave it out for a few hours before you put it back into the fridge, so I did that and I got the results I needed. In fact, I kept it out the whole time that I bake all day, and tried to joke with my husband last night after baking and said “ Ain’t nothing to rejuvenate your starter like baking all day.” it had like doubled on my by the time I put it away. I was happy.

I decided to make 2 different kinds of dough. Last time I made bread I made it really dark, with 2 cups of whole wheat flour in the dough along with 4 ½ cups of white. It turned out really dark and really hearty and although I loved it, the boys prefer a more whiter sandwich bread.. aka, more blonde bread flour. So I played with the ratios,for one of the doughs I started with 1/3 cup of whole wheat flour and the rest of the ratio used white flour. For the second dough I added more whole wheat about 1 cup, maybe a table spoon or two more was added when I rolled this dough out also, so it turned out heartier and darker then the first one, but not as dark and hearty as the last time that I baked.

my autolyse step
my autolyse step

For the process of my bread yesterday I tried to Autolyse, but I think I added ½ cup too much water to that process, both of my doughs were ok in this part, then I added the yeast starters to each one and they were way way too wet. I thought I could work with it. I certainly tried my best, but ultimately I know that I added too much water in the Autolyse step.

But I worked with it anyways, I added way way more flour to both of them after realizing my mistake and eventually got them out of the mixing bowls and into a proofing bowl each. One distinctively being darker then the other, but not too dark. I tried to let them bulk proof at room temperature in the kitchen for 2 hours then I gave up because they were just not rising in my house and shaped them.

I rolled half of the darker one into balls and placed into oiled muffin tins, I did the same with the other dough, I wanted to try dinner-yeast muffin topped rolls with them both. I then shaped the rest of the dark loaf into a ball and put it into a cookie sheet to make into a round loaf. I put the rest of the whiter dough into a loaf pan and left it out to rise. I put the yeast rolls in the muffin tins and the round loaf into the oven at about 200 to rise for an hour, then I baked them all at about 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I thought the muffins turned out great and I ate a few. My husband can tell that the dough is wet with every bite of yesterdays bread, it sucks. I need to measure more. I get confidence and think that I can bake anything without measuring much and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometime it does.

I did end up cooking the last loaf the one I placed in the loaf pan ,after rising it for a long while on the oven while I was cooking the other bread. Unfortunately the pictures look great but once I took it out of the loaf pan, it was the wettest of all, and this morning I had to cut the wet bottom off and throw it away. I am so mad about that, but I have to be honest with ya’ll. I made a mistake, I did not measure my water yesterday and it killed me, precision is key in bread making. I tried making the boys pizza bread with the round loaf for lunch today and the wet bread killed the whole experience. I was stupid to even try and serve it, but I thought some time under the broiler with yummy toppings would revive the bread. Not so much.

The rolls I am still gunna eat, so that’s the problem here. I do not understand why the rolls are edible yet the loafs are not.. I am confused and now I have a whole lot of wet bread to deal with. But that was not the only things I baked yesterday. I decided to make some cake also, and I burnt that too, which made me even more mad and being tired I just must have not been thinking.

muffins and cake
muffins and cake

I made a “mystery box” cake out of the following ingredients; some buttermilk pancake box mix, baking soda, brown sugar, already made homemade jar of strawberry butter cream frosting (cause I was out of butter), 2 eggs, and some veggie oil and some vanilla extract.

The fact that I even produced an edible strawberry flavored cake is a miracle in my mind. I mixed the dry first and then mixed the egg yolks with the sugar and added the butter cream to that. I mixed the wet and dry together well then folded in the egg whites for a better shaped cake. It almost worked. I accidentally put it into the oven too hot, the top cooked perfect even poofed on me nice but the inside was not all done. I had to put it back into the oven at a lower temperature for a long time for it to cook inside and then the top deflated on me. I was upset, but after a while it was baked enough. I took it out to cool and it popped right out of the cake pan upside down on the cooling rack, it surprisingly looked and smelled really good. I was relieved but mad about how dark it got and the top deflating on me. But upside down it looked pretty good.

When I cut into it, the caramelized sides and corners were yummy and the inside was fluffy cake like, almost sponge cake but not enough eggs for that, and you can really taste the strawberry frosting that I used in the batter. I am happy because I made that frosting myself, and it needed to be used in something. Surprisingly we are still eating pieces of the cake the next morning, that cake was a better hit than most of the homemade bread I made yesterday. Funny how life works like that, you put all your efforts into one thing and then do something on the side that turns out better.

Hope you enjoyed another day in the boho kitchen, hey at least I tried baking something. The boys and I cleaned the house this morning really good and I almost feel the baking bug coming back again, and its not even Saturday night yet. That’s what I get for being a bakaholic I guess.

Here are the pictures from the baking day..

rolls I made
rolls I made
my round loaf
my round loaf
side view of rolls
side view of rolls
yeast roll blonder muffins
yeast roll blonder muffins
darker whole wheat round
darker whole wheat round
large loaf and muffins
large loaf and muffins
cake cut and round and muffins
cake cut and round and muffins
everything I baked yesterday
everything I baked yesterday
homemade pizza bread from my round loaf
homemade pizza bread from my round loaf
pizza bread from homemade bread
pizza bread from homemade bread

8/27/15 Back to School Night

Last night we went to our first back to school night as new parents together. This experience of Elementary school all over again as a parent this time, is a really crazy experience. I swear that I am young enough to remember most of my elementary school experience, so its really surreal to be taking my own son to school now. The best part is that everything seems to be better the second time around.

I loved elementary school; I went to a school that went K-6 grade. My son is getting a much better experience then I did, this school is only Kindergarten through 2nd grade. I am really happy that he gets to go to a school without any much older kids, and full of cute little children to transition into the school system with.

Back to school night consisted of a Book Fair and classroom curriculum overview. I never realized that even kindergarten grade children have curriculum. They have what 1st graders used to have to do, kindergarten isn’t just playtime and naps anymore. I do certainly remember nap time at my kindergarten, we had mats. But my son doesn’t get to go through that. I feel bad about not ‘playing school’ now more with him at home, I never realized how much would be expected of him as soon as he entered the school system.

I expected to have a bit of transition between being at an institution, and learning how to learn. But Elijah did not get that transition time, I feel horrible about not getting him into daycare before school, because now he is learning how to behave and how to learn and retain information that he will need forever all at the same time. I feel bad. When he gets home everyday, his little brain and body is so tired, and now after last night I realize why. Its not all fun and games in kindergarten now.

Granted his teacher is awesome, she is trying to keep them learning while keeping it friendly and fun. Each day he is learning a new letter that corresponds with a ‘letter animal’ like “Andy Alligator”, and “Benny Bear.” He is even learning some nursery rhymes each day to learn how to rhyme. I am really happy for him, and excited. I am just nervous because I did not give him enough social training, nervous that I am not a good enough teacher at home; but that’s just mommy anxiety and I will probably have that for my whole life. I am so proud of him too, he is doing so well, and is learning so much so fast. He is growing up like a weed, and everyday is changing and learning how to be a better human, its crazy.

We got a book at the Book Fair, a Star Wars book. And his teacher told us everything they would be doing all year with a whole packet of things to take home. Being a mom, is crazy, and now seeing Elementary school through an adults perspective is pretty cool, I am so happy he is going to this school. We have learned how healthy the cafeteria is, and we have learned how great his teacher is, I am now satisfied that I got him into a GREAT school. It took a few days to get him used to going, but now I am feeling really ‘grown up’ and awesome to take and pick my son up from school each day. I better get used to this, cause school lasts a long while. This back to School night, marks a whole bunch of more to come, and in a great school district, so I am excited, and Elijah is too.