Apple Bundt Cake

Is it a bunt? A boont? Why is there a ‘d’ in there? All of these questions about a cake pan? Why yes. This pan mimics a traditional European style fruit cake.

There is a scene in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding  (which my sisters and I have watched at least 50 times), when Mrs. Portokalos receives a bundt cake and does not know what it is or how to pronounce it. You can view the clip here:

Throughout my childhood, my mom, would bake up amazing cakes. Can you guess where I get my love for baking from?

She never feared adding fruits or spices to her cakes. If we had a pineapple, she threw it into her carrot cake. If we had berries, she would create a delicious compote to top a moist golden butter cake. My mom would get requests from family members for her banana bread on a weekly basis!! She is my inspiration for this cake.

As the holiday season approaches, I will be posting more dessert recipes as they have been highly requested. Here is my apple bundt cake…


2 cups Granny Smith apples, chopped

3 cups all purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs


For the glaze:

2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine apples with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

2. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, orange juice, and sugar until combined.

mixing ingredients

3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in with wet ingredients.


4. Gently fold in the apples into the cake batter.

5. Spray your bundt pan with non stick spary. Pour batter into the pan and place in oven. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when poked into the cake.

IMG_2728 IMG_2729

6. While cake is baking, make your glaze. Using a whisk attachment on your mixer, whisk together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and organge zest. Add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time. You want the glaze to be a consistency which is thinner than a traditional frosting.


7. Allow cake to cool and drizzle with glaze. Top with pecans.

8. Enjoy 🙂

bundt cake

I love my new spatula! I got it at Anthroplogie 🙂

bundt cake

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When making my pumpkin puree, I kept thinking about the flavors I would use to season the pumpkin seeds. I knew I wanted more than just the traditional salt and I also knew I wanted some spice. It is really important to note that these are kid tested and approved 😀 wohoo!

Here is what I came up with…



Seeds of one medium sized pumpkin

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper



1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds

2.Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes.

pumpkin seeds

3. Strain pumpkin seeds and then pat dry. Add in spices, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.

pumpkin seeds

4. Arrange on baking sheet and place in oven.

pumpkin seeds

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until seeds are crisp.

pumpkin seeds

6. Enjoy!


*These are great on salads and soups. The shells become crunchy and can be eaten with the inside seed!


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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?  Pumpkin Pi… Baa-Dum Tshhh!! Lol.. I am funny right?

A few weekends ago we went to a pumpkin patch because it was a beautiful day and it is fun! We picked some pumpkins and since that I have been thinking about what I wanted to do with them.

The possibilities for pumpkin puree’ are endless.. but how do I get that from a large raw pumpkin to puree?

I did some research and the process is quite simple. Cut. Roast. Skin. Puree.

I want to share the details of this process with you all, as I imagine now that Halloween is over, you have many pumpkins around your home (if the squirrels didn’t get to them).

I also roasted the pumpkin seeds and wanted share that process because frankly I haven’t enjoyed pumpkin seeds as much as the ones I made 😛


Here we go..

You will need…

A pumpkin 🙂



1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut off the top of your pumpkin and clean out the inside. Place seeds in a bowl (see next post for how to roast these).

3. Cut pumpkin flesh into 3 inch sections. Then cut those sections into smaller, equal size pieces. Arrange on baking sheet and bake with 40-50 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender when a fork is inserted into it.


4. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Using a knife, remove the skin off the pumpkin.

skinned pumpkin

5. Using a food processor, puree pumpkin until smooth. This took about 5 minutes.

IMG_2868 pumpkin puree pumpkin puree

6. Create your favorite pumpkin recipes using your fresh, homemade pumpkin puree 🙂

*This also freezes well!


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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


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



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



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.


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.


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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Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

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 broccoli, carrots 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.

When making this broccoli cheddar soup recipe, it is 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 🙂 But you can also use a food processor to speed up the process.



Here is my recipe: 

Super Cheesey Broccoli Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 2½ cups broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a heavy bottom pot, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. In the same pot, make your roux using the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons flour. Melt the butter and stir in the flour.
  3. Add in the cream and the stock.
  4. Add in your vegetables, spices and cheese and simmer for another 35-40 minutes. Until soup thickens.
  5. Top with additional cheese and serve with croutons, if desired.
  6. Enjoy 🙂




Ingredients cream and stock




veggies  broccoli


Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me using #CreateAmandasPlate



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Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes

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)




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.



To make mashed potatoes:


4 large russet potatoes  (about 2 pounds)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of salt



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


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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Eggless Pumpkin Caramel Cookies

I get many requests for recipe that accommodate different allergies. My father in law has an egg allergy and has been unable to eat the yummy treats I create, so I made it a priority during this visit to create an egg-free dessert. I also wanted to continue creating with the flavors of fall.


A few notes on this recipe. This is not a traditional cookie, but is very delicious. It is very important to not over mix the cookie dough. The dough itself is sticky. To make it easier to stuff with the caramels, dip your fingertips into cold water. If you have young ones that want to help in the kitchen, have them unwrap the caramels. This is a great way for young children to be involved and work on fine motor skills :D.


Here is my recipe:

Makes 4 dozen



3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bag Kraft Caramels, unwrapped


Pumpkin caramel cookie ingredients


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar using mixer on low speed. Add in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Using large spatula, mix flour into wet ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX. Batter will be a looser than a typical cookie dough.

cookie batter

3. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 tablespoon cookie dough into the palm of your hand. To keep the dough from sticking to your hand, coat with cold water. Gently press 1 caramel into the center of the cookie dough. Cover caramel with the dough.

pumpkin caramel

4. Place the caramel stuffed cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges of cookie are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

5. Enjoy 🙂


*The caramel centers will harden as the cookie comes to room temperature. Simply pop in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to warm up and have a gooey caramel center 🙂


Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies




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Curry Roasted Cauliflower

As some of you already know, I am currently visiting my family in my home state of Michigan. Yes, I am from the mitten state. The south east side to be exact. If you have ever met someone from Michigan, I bet they have raised their right hand and shown you exactly where on the map they live(d). If not, they can not be trusted as a true Michiganader.

Since I have been home, I have been to many family gatherings, outings, parties, ect. So there has not been much time to cook. But alas, a quite afternoon and the perfect opportunity to prepare a vegetarian meal for my mother; whom I can never repay.

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable, whose versatility I did not appreciate until recently. I have made cauliflower ‘mashed potatoes’ and pizza crust. It is also very healthy and has almost a full days recommended amount of Vitamin C, in just one serving.

Since the florets of the cauliflower absorb flavors so well, I decided to make a curry spice blend. I served it with a side of wild grain rice and a spring mix salad. This would also be great with chicken breast, tofu, potatoes, or a white fish.


Here is my recipe:

Serves 4-6



12 cups cauliflower florets (approximately 2 large heads)

3 cups red onion, chopped in large pieces

4 large cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup raisins (I used golden)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon curry

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons table saltcurry cauliflower spice blend




1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut up cauliflower into small florets. Chop red onion into 1/2 inch sections. Slice garlic cloves.


2. Toss cauliflower in a bowl with onion, garlic, curry, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, salt, olive oil and vinegar. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.


3. Pour mixture onto pan. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Add in raisins. Cook for another 20 minutes.


4. Toast almond slivers in pan on stove until golden brown.

cauliflower cauliflower8

5. Remove roasted cauliflower from oven and mix in almonds. Top with flat leaf parsley.


6. Enjoy 🙂


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