Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm Back!

Well, one week of hell down, only three left to go. September is a super crazy month for both me and Aaron. For work, I wrote one final report last week (actually finished last night - gotta love working on the weekend, which is something I'll probably do every weekend this month), I have one final report to write this week, a couple of grant proposals to get out the door, revisions to do on the two reports as needed, and, just to make it a little more interesting, a nearly week-long business trip the last week of the month. Fun, no? Aaron is equally busy at work, so I'm sure we're a fun bunch to be around right now.

I did take one day off this weekend. On Saturday my friend Molly and I had a girls' day because Aaron was up north doing some more packing/cleaning for his parents. We were going to go to one of those places where you paint your own pottery, just to do something creative with our day, but every single one was closed. We think the universe is trying to tell us something. Maybe it was a bad day for us to be around breakable things or something.

Anyway, so then I took Molly hostage in my car and made her go grocery shopping with me and push the cart. Aren't I a great friend? But then we came back home, baked a caramel apple upside down cake, made pot roast for dinner, and watched two movies that Aaron would never watch - Just My Luck with Lindsay Lohan, and Kicking and Screaming with Will Farrell - and had a couple of glasses of wine. Very fun.

The caramel apple upside down cake turned out awesome, so I thought I'd share the recipe here:

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
(source: Cooking Light, September 2006)

Cooking spray
1/3 cup fat-free caramel topping
2 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 10 ounces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Drizzle caramel over bottom of pan. (Caramel will not completely cover bottom of pan.) Arrange apple slices over caramel, overlapping slices slightly.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in applesauce and remaining ingredients. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour batter over apple slices in prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of cake; invert onto plate. Serve warm.


And there you go! Not only is it yummy, it's pretty healthy too. I did do a couple of things differently: Instead of fat free caramel topping, I made a caramel sauce out of brown sugar, butter and corn syrup, a la caramel cinnamon rolls. I also used soured milk instead of the buttermilk called for in the recipe. To sour milk, put 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup, and then add enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The cake turned out light and moist, and just to make it a little more delectable, we added extra caramel sauce on top of each slice as we ate it. It made an awesome breakfast cake yesterday morning too.

So, there you go. My weekend. Exciting, no? But, I am back. For now.


At 9/11/2006 8:18 AM, Anonymous TB said...

I haven't gotten my Cooking Light since we moved. Thanks for reminding me :o)

I think of all the things I won't miss about the end of summer/beginning of Fall, the one thing I will be sad about is the lack of apple orchards here. There's nothing like fresh cider or crisp apples in autumn.

Hang in there with the workload. September's almost half over already!

At 9/11/2006 9:07 AM, Blogger Mrs. Ca said...

Oh, TB. Don't remind me that time is slipping away so quickly! It just makes it worse!

At 9/11/2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Julie said...

YEAH!!! You're back!! And the cake sounds delish! Your weekend sounds about as exciting as mine. I have been studying for a test that I just know I will flunk. (FYI - I say that about every test I think.) But I was lucky enough to escape for a bit and go to a 5 year old's birthday party. The main excitement for me was seeing how many grown men were fishing with little kiddie poles. One man, a true cowboy, was fishing with a pink & purple Dora the Explorer fishing rod. So I was able to have a little fun.

Good luck getting all your stuff done. :) I need some extra time as well.

At 9/11/2006 10:59 AM, Blogger Sizzle said...

um, that sounds Deeeelicious.

At 9/11/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Welcome back!


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