Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Autumn Apple Cake and Last Night's Dinner

It's Tuesday and I've remained grocery store visit free for the week. Seriously, I feel like I'm part of a grocery-store-a-holics anonymous program. My wallet feels fatter, our pantry less cluttered, and our nights free of the "what's for dinner?" debate that so many of you share.
{If only solving our economy's woes were as easy as meal planning.} *sigh*

Here's a recap of this week's meals:
  • Sunday - Creamy Seafood Risotto see post below
  • Monday - Asian Stir Fry (usually made on the go, sans recipes)

  • Tuesday - Italian Goat Cheese Fritatta post to come
  • Wednesday - leftovers may end up cooking. We eat too much & don't have leftovers
  • Thursday - Jamie Oliver's le migliori polpette di tonno, the best tuna meatballs
  • Friday - eat out downtown
  • Saturday - I can't plan that far ahead
The stir fry came together very quickly and it's always one of my favorites to start off a week. Like I mentioned I don't really use a recipe so it comes out a little differently each time. I used shrimp, chicken, zucchini, broccoli, snow peas and cold Jasmine rice seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce and kecap manis. Throw it all together in a wok and taste as you go!

So as not to leaving you hanging sans recipe today, I also made an (unplanned) Autumn Apple Cake that required no additional trips to the store. Chock full of raisins (I added extra) and fall's favorite fruit, apples, this cake is tender, sweet and perfect for the fall.

Like Grace, I have a slight obsession with cinnamon and tripled the amount of called for in the original. Do it. Don't be afraid.

It's delicious! As usual, hubby and I scarfed this down way to fast. Good thing we're active people.

For those of you who mentioned you've been meal planning forever, kudos! I admire your organization and discipline.

For those of you who like to live by the seat of your pants, I'm enjoying my brief grocery store respite, but I'm sure I'll be with you in no time. I just feel so organized. That in itself will probably end this streak.

I suppose meal planning is as difficult as solving our economy woes.

Autumn Apple Cake
adapted from Cooking Light

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar (use baker's sugar if you have it on hand)
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cup finely chopped and peeled sweet apple (about 1 large Gala or Pink Lady)
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Coat a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Dust with flour and shake to coat evenly.
3. Spoon and level flour into measuring cups. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk.
4. Place softened butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Beat in vanilla and egg.
5. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour.
6. Fold in apple and raisins
7. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Cool 10 min on a wire rack. Carefully remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar once cool.


Unknown said...

i get crazy grocery shopping too! i love it too much! i tried my very best not to buy anything i am not about to use and i've been quite a good girl so far...but sometimes there were cases of some stray chocolate chips or black sesame powder...wat's a girl to do? ^_^

kat said...

even though i do a list & a menu I still end up going to the grocery store a second time, seems there's always something i forgot.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your apple cake looks so good. Congrats on your grocery store detox ;-)

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

They know me at Whole Foods by name - I shop there 2-3 times per week, haha :0)

GORRRGEOUS apple cake!!

Maria said...

I want to make this cake! It looks so tasty! I love cinnamon and raisins..and apples. I love everything about it!!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, this apple cake looks lovely!! I love fall and baked goods involving apples, pumpkins, etc. I am big on meal planning - have been doing it since getting married, mainly b/c we don't live close to a grocery store so it is very inconvenient to have to make trips during the week. Also, working full time and having a lengthy commute makes meal planning essential, unless we want to eat at 10:00 p.m. :) Glad you are enjoying it! Your menu for the week looks absolutely delicious!

Bunny said...

Before I meal planned and went to the store every week I realized I was buying multiples of things I already had,wasting money buying things that were already in my pantry. It's a good thing feeling be organized. I love baking with apples, your cake really looks good!

Any Little Reason said...

The only thing more validating than sticking to your meal plan is being able to make something extra with what you have on hand! I love the looks of that apple cake!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm sure I could whip up your cake for a couple hungry old folks. :)

Anonymous said...

I am so laughing about the eating too much, that's hilarious! And the cake...oh yum.

Katie said...

That cake looks so good, and I actually have everything...but the apple! Good thing I'm going grocery shopping today!

Leslie said...

I wish I could make your kind of dinners. My kids would starve!
I sooooooo love shrimp but no one else in the family likes it :(

Jenny said...

Mmmm, that apple cake is calling my name! I love all the apple recipes around lately. Can't wait to try this one!

grace said...

atta girl! more cinnamon = more yumminess--i think that's just an unspoken rule of nature. :)

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

The apple cake looks wonderful. I am a grocery store addict too! I just can't control myself.

RecipeGirl said...

Bring on the cinnamon. I'm with you and Grace... I love it!

That Girl said...

I'm so glad the meal planning is working for you!

Emily said...

Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. Lots of cinnamon.
What a cake!

Prudy said...

That cake looks fabulous! I'm more of a middle of the roader with planning. Sometimes it works well but other times I'm looser. I never plan so tight that if we get invited out for dinner, we opt to stay home. I like to live spontaneously as much as we can.

FROGGITY! said...

delicious looking! i think we'll be making this for sure sometime this fall. thanks for these great recipes!!

KirkK said...

Hi Sharon - You a pretty good at planning. I usually don't even know where my next meal is coming from!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Good for you for keeping it up! Very nice meal and a great cake all grocery free! Well done you! I'm for extra cinnamon as well!

Mo said...

Wow Sharon, I don't know which looks better, the cake or the stir-fry! (I love sweets, but ooh, shrimp, rice...)

Your photos are looking very professional - great job!

Aggie said...

You are doing so good Sharon! I'm proud of you! I did good this week...although I meal planned, I still had one little trip to the store to make a cute little banana snack I saw on Picky Palate...and of course picked up a million other things while I was there...ugh!

Your stir fry looks so delish and healthy! And that apple cake, yum, will really have to try that one! I looooove apple cake!

Heather said...

i'm a cinnamon tripler, too! this looks delicious! i just made an apple cake, too. they're so tasty :)

Deborah said...

I really try to meal plan, but it just doesn't always work out!! I would love a slice of that cake right now!

Cakespy said...

Good thing you're active people...yea! I am actively drooling over this cake. Awesome!

La Bella Cooks said...

Yummy! Apples and cinnamon are always a perfect combination.

Laura said...

This cake sounds fabulous. And heck I might've used 1 FULL TEASPOON (gasp!) of cinnamon. :)

I used to meal plan when I lived closer to a decent store. Now since I cook out of a pantry it is nearly irrelevant. But when I did plan, I could never plan more than 3 meals or I risked stuff going bad. And my other pet peeve was ending up at the store for unrelated reasons and seeing produce so much fresher than what I was using.

Snooky doodle said...

wow this looks nice Ilove apple cake :)

EFG said...

I just made that gorgeous looking apple cake and it was really delicious! I did adjust the baking powder that the recipe asked for though. I think it's supposed to be 2 teaspoons, instead of tablespoons...

Thanks for the great recipe!

Sharon said...

efg - thanks so much for letting me know! It's been fixed. Glad it was yummy!

Esi said...

I am trying to plan my recipes for next week. We shall see how that goes, but your apple cake looks fantastic. I too have an obsession with cinnamon!

Mary said...

Wow, I'm very like the apple cake. Thank you for your recipe.
It looks so tasty!

I add you to my blogroll.