Fall Giveaway- Closed

Amanda's Plate Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who have enetered 🙂 Please visit my Instagram page to see who the lucky winner is 🙂

 

Fall… The season of change, of movement, of color. There is an indescribable crispness in the air, a scent that lingers in your sweatshirt long after an midday stroll and a warmth that fills the heart when a  warm apple pie is pulled out of the oven. There is something magical about the leaves changing colors and falling to the earth.

Who would expect that in its state of preparing for the harsh winter, that the earth would be so beautiful.

Fall is such a favorite time for many people. So, I decided to have a “fall” themed giveaway 🙂

The prize will include the following:

  • Seriously Delish cookbook by Jessica Merchant
  • Wilton Cupcake Decorating kit
  • Chai latte mix
  • William Sanoma “No Kid Hungry” Spatula
  • Sugar pumpkin decorations
  • Pumpkin mini cupcake cups
  • Bath & Body Works mini pumpkin cupcake candle
  • Pumpkin and Ghost Peeps
  • Sour pumpkin gummies
  • Farfalline Pasta

To enter, simple repost the giveaway photo on Instagram or Facebook and follow my blog! To follow my blog, enter your email address in the right hand corner of the homepage or in the bottom bar of the homepage.

Open to US residents only.

 

All entries must be received by October 24th. A winner will be selected on October 25th.

 

Good luck and happy fall!

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Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Yesterday evening, I attended a book signing event for Jessica Merchant’s new book “Seriously Delish” at the Book Larder in Fremont.

First of all, the Book Larder is absolutely the coolest book store I have ever been in. It is filled with cookbooks and only cookbooks! They also host several events, including lunch time cooking classes. What an awesome way to spend your lunch break!!

Lets get to the star of the evening… Jessica. She began by sharing the story of how her cookbook came into fruition/ She then opened up the floor to questions and let me tell you.. there were some good ones- How do you get a picky spouse to eat your food? A: Make it the only food available and introduce “crazy” things gradually. Jessica was so sweet and absolutely hilarious.

I then got my book signed and a took a photo:

Jessica and I

I made this special treat for Jessica. Now, I want to share the recipe with you all 🙂

I have now lived in two of the three top apple producing states in the United States; Michigan and Washington. Pretty cool, huh? I think so. I love cheesecake and apple cheesecake is a thing. Naturally, I had to escalate this traditional dessert and top it with salted caramel. Here is my recipe:

 

Makes 15 bars   Prep: 30 minutes   Cook: 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

15 ginger snap cookies

1 cup butter

3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

3 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

 

Topping:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Salted Caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup butter

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

Ingredients

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together ginger snap cookies, flour and 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until cookies are fine and everything is combined.

flour crust 2. Press crust into bottom of 13×9 pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

crust

3. Using a mixer, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup white sugar, salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until smooth. Add eggs in one at a time. Mix until smooth.

cheesecake

4. Make crumble topping, by combining flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon.

crumble topping

5. Layer cream cheese filling onto of crust. Then layer on the apples and the crumble topping.

6. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is firm.

7. While cheesecake is baking, make your caramel. In a sauce pan over medium heat, mix together butter, heavy cream, brown sugar and salt. Keep stirring until it thickens.

IMG_1761 salted caramel

8. Allow cheesecake to cool in refrigerator for a few hours.

9. Drizzle caramel over cheesecake. Cut bars into equal parts.

10. Enjoy 🙂

Salted caramel apple cheesecake

 

 

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Super Cheesey Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serve up a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup and you’re serving up a bowl of comfort. There are many recipes for this soup but mine differs in that is packed with both broccoli and cheese. Every spoon of my soup is full of creamy cheddar cheese and broccoli, which come together in a beautiful melody of spice, cream and a slight tang.

It is also important to grate your cheese by hand, as pre-grated cheese is coated in corn starch (to prevent it from sticking together) and does not melt as smoothly.

Also, it is a bit therapeutic to grate cheese by hand 🙂

cheese

 

 

Here is my recipe:

Serves 4

Prep: 20 minutes    Cook: 45 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium

1 cup carrots, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups broccoli florets

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

12 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients

Procedure:

1. In a heavy bottom pot, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from pan.

onion

2. In the same pan, make your roux using the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup flour. Melt the butter and stir in the flour until a thick paste comes together.

roux

3. Add in the cream and the stock. Simmer for 20 minutes until liquids thicken.

cream and stock

4. Add in your vegetables, spices and cheese and simmer for another 20 minutes.

veggies  cheese broccoli

5. Enjoy 🙂

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

 

 

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Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

Beef Stew

What can be better than a tender, juicy beef stew that his been cooking all day and creating a beautiful aroma throughout your home?

This is not a weekday recipe for the working folk, as it takes several hours to prepare. But is perfect on a dark, rainy Sunday.

I prefer to eat this meal earlier than our normal dinner time, as it is very hearty.

I have also include the recipe for my mashed potatoes, as the stew was served over these potatoes. It’s a simple recipe really: potatoes and a ton of butter and a splash of cream :P.

Please make mashed potatoes from “scratch”. It takes 10 minutes and is SO much better tasting than that weird powder stuff.

 

Here is my recipe:

Makes 6 servings  Prep: 20 minutes   Cook: 2 1/2 hours

 

1 1/2 pounds stew meat

2 cups chopped onion (2 large onions)

1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (2 large carrots)

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (3 stalks)

2 cups chopped turnips (1 large)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups vegetable stock (or beef) *Low sodium

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Ingredients

 

Procedure:

1. In large stew pot, heat olive oil and butter on medium high heat. Once butter is melted add meat and sear on each side. Remove from pot.

stew beef stew

2. Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook until onions are translucent. Add in tomato paste, salt, pepper, thyme, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vegetable stock. Add beef back in and turn heat to low. Place lid on pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

stew  stew stew

 

3. Add in carrots, celery and turnips. Allow to simmer for another 30 minutes, or until sauce as thickened and vegetables are cooked thru.

Stew

 

To make mashed potatoes:

Ingredients:

4 large russet potatoes  (about 2 pounds)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt

 

Procedure:

1. Peel 4 large potatoes and chop into 1 inch cubes. Place in a large pot of boiling water.

potatoes

2. Cook until potatoes are tender and slide off a knife that pierces thru it. Drain water.

3. Place potatoes back in pot and add in butter, heavy cream and salt. Smash with a potato masher until smooth. potatoesmashed potatoesI garnished the potatoes with thyme and a pat of butter.

 

4. Serve a large ladle of stew over mashed potatoes.

5. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

beef stew

 

 

 

 

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