Found Recipe: Swedish Apple Cake, or “Äppelkaka” 

This recipe was posted on a Swedish news website (SVT.se) and given to me by my mom’s neighbor after he made the cake – and I think I ate half of it myself.

The quote above is from a friend and colleague’s Facebook page, where she posted a picture of the marvelous apple cake she brought to our Thanksgiving potluck at work last Friday. She was happy to share the recipe when I asked (although she had to translate from Swedish, converting the measurements from deciliters), and added:

“It’s super easy to make, with a sort of a sugar cookie base with apples on top. I use Granny Smiths because of their sourness to contrast with the sweet cake.”

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Photo credit to my colleague

This cake was terrific! The tart green apples balanced perfectly with the cookie-like base, and the texture contrast between the softness of the baked apples and the slight crunch of the crust was also very appealing.  It was a great dessert for our Thanksgiving lunch at work, and would be a perfect addition to any holiday table.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • Rounded 3/4c sugar
  • Scant 1c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large apples or 4-5 small ones
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

Cooking Instructions

Core and cut apples into 1/4″ slices. Toss in a bowl with cinnamon. I also add some nutmeg and allspice.

Whisk Eggs and sugar together. Then add flour and baking powder. Mix well. Will be a very thick batter consistency.

Take a spoonful or so of the melted butter and grease a round baking dish. A large shallow tart pan is best but I have also made in a large pie dish as well. Pour in batter and spread. (Tip: spin the pan on counter top to help the batter spread – it will be very thick)

Arrange the spiced apples on top and pour the remaining butter all over the top.

Bake at 350 for about 30 mins or until golden brown. If using a deeper pan, you may need to cover with foil if the top is browned but you can see that the batter is still wet in places.


The only thing that would make this cake better would be to serve it warm with some very rich vanilla ice cream or gelato. But who has room for that kind of decadence after a holiday meal? As made, I can convince myself that this is a healthy dessert because of the apples. Right?

 

 

The Yard Misses You! (says the Grill-Meister)

When I travel, the Grill-Meister keeps me posted on happenings at home. I love it when he sends flower photos – they make me feel so connected to Glover Gardens. This week was no exception.  I was in Washington, where it was cold and rainy all week (although I was almost never outside because I was attending a conference), and these pics with the Grill-Meister’s cheery messages provided all the sunshine I needed.

“Frank-biscus is showing off!” (The hibiscus below is named after my Dad; see Death is Life-Affirming: Hibiscus Haiku).

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“….So is Mahogany Splendor aka Hollywood Video….” (The Grill-Meister gives nicknames to many things, and calls this unusual hibiscus with the red foliage and velvety maroon flowers Hollywood Video.)

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“And Yuletide Camellia sez ‘Don’t Forget About Me!'” (This winter beauty is blooming early this year.)

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I love how the Grill-Meister’s shadow is in the photo above, and how he keeps me grounded in the flora of Glover Gardens when I’m away.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

Haiku: Colder Days Ahead

 

Fall weather has finally arrived in Southeast Texas, and I’ve been thinking a little about the seasons of the year as a metaphor for the seasons of life.  Perhaps this is because of the death of my father this summer, followed by this first beautiful autumn without him. These thoughts formed the second and third line of the haiku below, which I carried around in my head for days without finding the right opening line. And than I saw this hauntingly beautiful autumn leaves art photo from The Storyteller blog, which almost sang out the first line to me and finished the haiku.

bittersweet beauty:
autumn’s lingering farewell
a foreshadowing

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Photo by Ray Laskowitz; see the original post here.

Thank you for the inspiration, Ray.

More Glover Gardens haiku is here, and more musings about autumn are here.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

Happy Halloween from Glover Gardens (and Orphan Annie?)

We never get any trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, so this is our whole Halloween celebration, right here, with you, Dear Readers. No candy, no costumes, no curses, no ghouls.  Just a couple of photos and a memory.

Happy Halloween!

This is what late afternoons in Southeast Texas look like; the temperature on Sunday when I took this “spooky” photo was just what you’d imagine from the looks of it, a perfect 68°F. Our sole nod to Halloween this year (other than this post) is the Talavera pumpkin on the table – do you see him? For the rest of the year, we turn him around, and he’s just a big, lovely gourd.

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And, just because I found it while going through pictures on my Dad’s computer recently, here’s a Halloween postcard from days gone by, circa…1968? I think I was Orphan Annie, but can’t be sure. No one in my family is left but me from those days.

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I still remember how scratchy that mask was (why did Orphan Annie need a mask?!!?). My mother made the costume, as she did every year.  I felt inadequate years later as a working mom because I bought my son’s costumes and didn’t live up to her standard of handmade Halloween heirlooms.

I now realize that it is being there, listening, and caring about their Halloween experience that makes the difference for a child, not who made the costume.

What are your Halloween observations this year, or memories?

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

Comfort Food Catch-Up

There’s not much cooking going on at Glover Gardens of late; it’s been all travel and restaurants and take-out – oh my! But last Sunday night, the Grill-Meister and I caught up on comfort food all at once with a big pot of red beans and rice, with plenty of sausage. And of course, jalapeño cornbread. Yum!

Would you blame me if I had triple helpings, but only confessed to two?

I’m still tweaking the recipe to perfection, so it’s not quite time to share, but here’s a picture.

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Hiking Around Jefferson Lake in Autumn

When we are at Little House in the Rockies, we try to take in as much of the wonderful central Colorado environment around us as possible.

Today we visited Jefferson Lake, our first time in the fall weather. It is a beautiful, calm body of water nestled high among 12K+ mountains in the South Park National Heritage Area. We’ve been there before, in the cold, cold summer (we saw snow on the ground during 4th of July week in 2014), but hadn’t done the full hike or seen the fall colors.

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Jefferson Lake in the summer of 2014…brrrr!

This is a worthwhile trip! The 1.5 mile trail that circles the lake might be called an “easy hike” by experienced hikers, but I think “moderate” is a better term. There’s an easy part, but about half of the trail requires a little more endurance and careful footing – and hiking boots, definitely.

If you decide to do the whole circle of the trail, start on the more challenging side by going to the left and traversing the trail clockwise. When you get to the furthest point from the start, you’ll be able to walk along the “beach”, and it is all downhill from there (figuratively; it’s actually pretty flat for the second half).  The whole trail hike took us about 2 hours, which included many, many photo-op stops, as you can see.

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The verdict: Jefferson Lake is gorgeous in autumn.  Can you hear it calling your name? Find out more here: Jefferson Lake Recreation Area.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Blizzard on a Train!

Well, maybe not a blizzard, but pretty close! As our Girl Who is Always Hungry said:

We started out in fall and ended up in winter!

I recently blogged about our upcoming trip on the Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad for its Fall Photo Weekend Special. Today was the day! We anticipated an adventure made perfect by gorgeous autumn weather and Crayola-colored aspen trees lighting the way along the special 3-hour version of this storied train ride above the Arkansas River Valley, starting in the quaint old town of Leadville, Co.

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Looking down the street from the depot; the sky is indicating some bad stuff might be coming down
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The depot

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It was an adventure, all right.  But we lost autumn in the first ten minutes of the trip. It was a winter adventure. In fact, we were joking that we got the Winter Photo Weekend Special for the same price as the Fall one.

fullsizeoutput_170aI was wearing jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, a vest, a heavy Eddie Bauer leather jacket, a scarf and a hat with ear flaps, and even with all that, I would be hard-pressed to think of another time I’ve been so cold. The aspen trees have been cold, too, and many of them dropped their leaves early in protest.

It started snowing about 45 minutes into the 3-hour journey, and never stopped.  It is September 30! And these weren’t just gentle little flurries; there were great big, wet snowflakes landing on our faces. The sky wasn’t just gray, it was umpteen shades of gray. (but not 50 – don’t go there).

Our next-gen millennial newlyweds took a video to document the snow situation.

But it was so much fun. There was hot chocolate. There were families, and dogs, and a tour guide with lame jokes that were funny simply because they were so lame.

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The tour guide was also the ticket-taker, a charming and self-deprecating 20-year old with a bright future
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A very nice Burnese Mountain Dog, perfectly “suited” for the weather (I’m no stranger to lame jokes, myself)
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The Best Eater, the Girl Who’s Always Hungry, yours truly, and the Grill-Meister (see how cold we look!!!???)

Even though the skies were gray, we took home some nice photo memories of the trip.

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Check out the gray clouds coming in over the top of the mountain

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Our next-gen millennial newlyweds, the Best Eater and the Girl Who’s Always Hungry; that’s the Grill-Meister waaaay behind them on the track

Would we do this trip again? Heck, yeah! Would we maybe wait to buy our tickets until we checked the forecast? Maybe. The bottom line is that life is an adventure, and you can’t schedule it perfectly every time. Sometimes, it’s ok to get cold, and wet, and miserable, then come home to a big, hot, toasty fire at Little House in the Rockies and make inside-the-cabin s’mores.

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Watch this space for more adventures, and a post about our spring excursion on the train.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

 

 

 

 

Flashback to Colorado’s Fall Colors; Looking Forward to a Train Ride Along the Mountainside

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Photo courtesy of Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad

Only two days until we head out to embrace all the beauty that fall has to offer in central Colorado. On this next trip to Little House in the Rockies, we’re going on a train ride, the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad. The Fall Photo Weekend Special promises “sweeping vistas of the Arkansas River Valley” and “amazing displays of gold, red and orange Aspen trees lighting up the mountain side”. I can’t wait!

In anticipation, I dug out some pictures to share from our trip in the autumn of 2014. Watch this space for more!

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Call This Baby (Carrot) Ugly

Epicurious sends a message every day, just for me (and their umpteen zillion other subscribers).  I usually don’t have time to read it right away (or ever, sometimes), but today’s caught my eye.  It listed their top ten stories of 2016, and as a food blogger, I was interested to see what generated the most interest.  They introduced the list:

Cooking made us happier in 2016 (there’s proof!), and so did these stories, which are our ten most loved, clicked-on, and shared stories of the year.

They’re all interesting, and I’ve provided the link to the online version at the end of this post.  But the one that stood out was #6 on the list, “The Case Against Baby Carrots”  by Adina Steinman.

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Here’s the scoop: baby carrots aren’t babies at all!!!  They are full-grown carrots masquerading as cute, younger, fake versions of themselves after some vegetable-style cosmetic surgery.

Sez the story, which is subtitled “Why Baby Carrots are Evil”:

Baby carrots are in fact full-grown carrots, whittled down into earplug-shaped cylinders. They aren’t sweeter, fresher, or younger than the bunches of carrots they’re sold alongside. In fact, they’re often made from older carrots, hence the starchy, not-very-sweet flavor you get from some bags.

It’s an outrage, and as the writer says, these carrots are pure evil.  I will never, ever buy these manually-midgeted carrots again.  I have no idea why I didn’t realize they were a sham, but from today forward, I am committed to peeling the authentic full-grown versions.

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Beautiful, authentic, full-grown and unmodified carrots – the real deal

In honor of the noble, full-sized root vegetable, here is a picture and a recipe that a friend of mine brought to a wine party, made with beautiful heirloom carrots.  They are tossed with sumac and mint, topped with toasted pistachios and served on a bed of marvelous whipped feta.  They were delicious!

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My friend’s heirloom carrots on their bed of feta, topped with pistachio goodness

Here’s how it looks in the magazine where he found the recipe.

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Photo from Shape.com by Sang An

New year’s resolution: no more baby carrots!!!

Links:

 

Copyright 2016, Glover Gardens Cookbook

Found Recipe: A New Holiday Sweet Potato Favorite

We love our holiday food classics here at Glover Gardens, but it is also fun to mix it up a bit.  At Thanksgiving this year, my Aunt-Mom (there’s a story for another time) did just that with these wonderful sweet potato “stacks” she found in Cooking Light.  Yum!  And look how attractive they are.

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These sweet potatoes were just right – not sweet and just the right savory level.  And the serving size is excellent.  Photo by Frank Harvell (AKA my Dad).

My Aunt-Mom says she doesn’t like to cook but is really, really good at finding great new recipes.  This one can be found online at Cooking Light’s site here:  Sweet Potato Stacks with Browned Butter.

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Photo for Cooking Light online by Jennifer Causey