vegetarian

My adaptation of the Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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I tried making this Caramel Apple Poke Cake  from Delish.com (a recipe by Lindsay Funston). It was definitely delish!

According to Delish.com, here are the ingredients that this recipe requires:

2 tbsp. butter, plus more for pan
All-purpose flour, for pan
1 box spice cake mix, plus ingredients needed for batter
5 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped (peeled if desired)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 c. jarred caramel, plus more for drizzling

FOR THE FROSTING
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 tbsp. butter, softened
2 1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

My dilemma? I couldn’t find spice cake. My other dilemma? I didn’t want to make the frosting from scratch. So I bought a yellow cake mix, added some spices to make it a spice cake and I bought ready made cream cheese frosting.

So here is my adapted list of ingredients for the caramel apple poke cake that I made:

CARAMEL APPLE POKE CAKE- Sweet Monday style

1 box of yellow cake mix, plus ingredients needed for batter (which in my case was 3 eggs, water and vegetable oil)
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. of cinnamon
1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsp. corn starch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
one jar of Smucker’s caramel flavored topping (12.25 oz.)

-Butter a 9-x-13″ baking pan or dish.
-Mix the yellow cake mix, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg together.
-Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions (i.e. add eggs, water and oil) and pour into the prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Let cool, about 20 minutes.
-Prepare the apple layer: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the brown sugar and white sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and stir until combined. Add the corn starch and lemon juice and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
-When cake is cooled, poke holes using a thick straw or the end of a wooden spoon, all over the cake.
-Pour the caramel all over the cake, especially over the poked holes.
-Spread the apple mixture on top.
-Spread the cream cheese frosting over apple layer.
-Dust the top of the cake with cinnamon.

I have a great idea on how to adapt this recipe into cupcakes. After the cupcake has cooled,  poke one big hole in each cupcake and fill it with caramel. Instead of spreading a layer of apples and then spreading the cream cheese frosting on top of that, mix the apple mixture and cream cheese frosting together to make it an apple pie cream cheese frosting. Sounds pretty good, right?!

I must admit that I was a little hesitant about this recipe. It sounded like it would be too sweet with all the spices, the caramel, the cream cheese frosting and the sweet apples. But actually, it was the perfect combination together. The spices blended well together with all of the other ingredients and it was the perfect amount of sweetness. It reminded me of an apple pie with caramel on top.

 

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White Chocolate Cupcakes

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Here is a recipe for white chocolate cupcakes that I have tried and resulted in delicious cupcakes. I used a cupcake recipe which includes sour cream. Sour cream results in cupcakes that are light in texture and most importantly, moist. To make this a white chocolate cupcake, I added white chocolate chips in the cupcake batter. So delicious. I added 1/2 cup of melted white chocolate in the frosting. However,  keep in mind that the white chocolate might make the frosting a bit stiff. Making sure to fold in the melted white chocolate will help. Also adding a little bit of milk to the frosting if it becomes stiff will also help.

So let’s get started!

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
1 3/4 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. I made mini cupcakes and this batch makes approximately 48 mini cupcakes.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
Add in the eggs and mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla and mix.
Add the flour, salt and baking powder.
Add one cup of sour cream and mix.
Fold in the white chocolate chips.
Fill each mini cupcake liner about ¾ full with batter.
Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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To make the white chocolate frosting, you will need:

1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of melted white chocolate chips

Beat the butter for at least one minute.
Add vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, while beating.
Fold in the melted white chocolate. Add a little milk if the frosting ends up a little stiff.
Place in piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.

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A delicious and heavenly white chocolate cupcake display.

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I am happy and grateful for birthday celebrations.

My favorite must-have foods for a healthy WOL

I think everyone has those “must have” foods that they eat as a part of their healthy WOL (Way of Life). Exercise or just moving, no matter how small or large, is a big part of a healthy WOL. What you eat is important too. Everyone has their own list of “must have” foods that work for them. Their favorite, tried and true foods. These are mine:

-Vegan plant based protein powder. My favorite is Orgain Organic Protein™ Plant Based Powder in Vanilla Bean. I like it because it is vegan, plant based and tastes so good. I have mostly used the vanilla bean flavor which is my ultimate favorite, but I have also tried and like the chocolate flavor. Drinking this is great to get your protein in for the day. In fact, it contains, 21 grams of organic plant based protein. In addition, it contains, 5 grams of organic Fiber, has only 5 grams of net carbs and is only 150 calories per serving. It is gluten free, kosher, vegan, non-GMO, and soy free. This may be my favorite brand, but I am open to trying any vegan plant based protein powder especially if it’s vanilla flavored.

-Unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I use almond milk for my protein shakes. I blend it with ice and it is so delicious. Almond milk contains proteins, lipids and fiber. It also contains calcium, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. There is no cholesterol or saturated fats in almond milk. Almond milk is great if you are vegan or want to be dairy free. It has less calories than 2% milk and even skim milk.

-Almonds. Almonds make a perfect snack. It curbs your hunger and gives you energy. Because it reduces hunger, it can promote weight loss. It contains healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. Eating almonds can lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.

-Old Fashioned Oatmeal. Oatmeal is great because it is nutritious, keeps you full and keeps that cholesterol down. I like the old fashioned oatmeal even though it takes longer to cook. The oats are thicker and I think tastes better. Oatmeal has many health benefits including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Oatmeal is nutrient dense since it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Oatmeal can lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage. Oatmeal can also improve blood sugar levels by lowering blood sugar levels. Since it is very filling, it can keep you fuller longer and therefore help you lose weight. It’s also full of fiber which is great for your diet.

-Green Tea. Green tea is great for a healthy lifestyle. It can lower cholesterol and improve blood flow. It has antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. It can also help keep blood sugar stable. Green tea is a perfect substitution for sugary drinks.

-Hard boiled eggs- Eggs are incredible. And edible. Incredible edible eggs. They are full of protein and healthy fats. Yes, eggs are high in cholesterol. However, they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol in most people. In addition, eating eggs increases HDL cholesterol, that ‘s the good cholesterol. Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. Eggs are great for eye health because they contain the antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Eggs are very filling and helps you stay fuller longer. This helps with weight loss.

– Bananas. Bananas make a great snack. Not only are they convenient to pack as a snack or breakfast, they contain several essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Eating bananas are beneficial for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Bananas can also help regulate blood sugar levels.

So those are my favorite must have products for a healthy WOL. What are your tried and true healthy products?

Today I am grateful for good health.