Wednesday, October 10, 2012


"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer and oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."

~ Stanley Horowitz




~ Delicious autumn flavor ... the maple syrup infuses both the apples and the cake (FOOD & WINE

1  cup pure maple syrup 
3  Granny Smith apples ... peeled, cored and cut into eights or smaller
2  cups all-purpose flour
1  tsp. baking powder
1/2  tsp. baking soda
1  tsp. salt
3  large eggs
3/4  cup buttermilk
1  Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1  1/2  sticks, unsalted butter, softened
1  1/3  cups sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan (I used a 10-inch springform pan). In a large saucepan, bring maple syrup to boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Pour thickened syrup into cake pan. Arrange apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping slightly. 
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In glass measuring cup, whisk eggs with buttermilk and vanilla. In bowl of standing electric mixer fitted with paddle (or use a hand mixer), beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until batter is smooth; scraped down the side of bowl.
  • Scrap batter over apples and spread it in an even layer. Bake cake for 1 1/2 hours, until golden on top and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes. 
  • Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto a plate; tap light to release the cake. Remove the pan. Let cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with creme fraiche or rich vanilla ice cream. (12 servings)


Monday, October 01, 2012


"The sweet calm sunshine of October, now

    Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
    drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold."

~ William Cullen Bryant

awesome Autumn fare, perfect while tomatoes are still in abundance
(slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen)


3 lbs. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 'unpeeled' large cloves garlic
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried
1/4 tsp. (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock


4 slices rye bread
(toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side)
1 Tbsp. grated raw red onion
1 cup (or more) coarsely grated white cheddar

  • Soup: Preheat oven to 400º. Wrap garlic cloves in tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour or longer depending on thickness of tomatoes. Cool slightly. (Can be made ahead, refrigerated, and reheated before finishing recipe.)
  • Unwrap garlic packet and peel or squeeze garlic from peel. Transfer garlic, tomatoes and any accumulated juiced to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper and stock and bring t a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Topping: Preheat oven to 350º. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on large foil-lined baking sheet. Float toast slice in each bowl, buttered side up and divide grated cheese generously over top. Top with grated red onion. Bake on tray for 15-20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. (If desired and needs more browning, preheat broiler and finish for a minute or two under broiler.) Serve immediately. (4 servings)
Note: Easily doubled ... the soup is delicious and stands on its own.