Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Toffee Cinnamon Bunt Cake

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Sometimes life hands you strawberries, so you make cake.  I know, I know.  That is exactly what happened and how this cake came about.
I have had such a busy few weeks, could you tell by my sparse posting?

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After my girls came home from Greece, we had quite a few visitors who wanted to welcome them back home.  So I found myself making quick appetizers and desserts to serve.  This my friends was one of the fast, easy and absolutely delicious desserts I made.  It is so moist, and the addition of toffee & cinnamon just bring it over the top.  Did I mention to you it starts off with boxed cake mix?  I didn't?  This could not be any easier for an easy and fast show stopper!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

1 box white cake mix (can use yellow) - SEE NOTES
1 cup toffee bits (I used Heath)
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp flour

Notes: You can certainly use your favorite homemade cake recipe, I was just in a hurry.

-Preheat oven to 350F.

-Prepare your cake mix using the instructions on the box, set aside.

-Using a small bowl, add your toffee bits, cinnamon and brown sugar, stir till thoroughly mixed through, set aside.

-Grease your favorite bunt pan, sprinkle the 1 tbsp of flour on the bottom portion of your bunt pan and pour half the cake mixture into it.

-Sprinkle your toffee filling directly over the cake batter, evenly.

-Pour the rest of your cake mix directly over the toffee bits.  At this point I like to give the pan a couple of quick taps on the island to make sure to eliminate any air bubbles and have a uniform cake. 

-Bake as directed for a bunt cake according to box instructions, my box cake stated 45-55 minutes.  I baked it for 52 minutes.

-Take out of oven and let rest for about 8-10 minutes in pan, then carefully invert onto cooking rack to cool all the way through.

-You are going to ask me; "Didi why are we sprinkling 1 tbsp of flour on the bottom of the pan"?  "Aha, I thought you would never ask"?  The reason why is because the toffee will melt and become delicious and gooey and just stick to everything don't you know...
So when we add the addition of 1 tbsp of flour to the bottom, the cake being ever so moist now will have something to adhere to and the top of the bunt will not stick to everything in site and will easily slip out when inverted.
I know, I know... I told you I loved you guys!

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I served mine with fresh strawberries sprinkled with a little bit of sugar and just some non-dairy topping.  To be honest with you, IT WAS DELICIOUS!!  It was completely gobbled up and the cake disappeared before I could have more than one bite.
There is just something extra special about strawberries, cinnamon and toffee.  They just form a perfect marriage!

Till next time!

Dishin with Didi

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bratwurst & Arbol' Chili Rice - One Pot Dinner
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This one pot dinner is so very easy and absolutely delicious to make if I don't say so myself.
After a busy day, sometimes as "perfect" as we are; *insert grin* We forget to plan ahead.  Alas my friends, this was the exact case for me.

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Now I have to tell you, mu hubby did not really like rice when I first met him.  My exact question to him was; "You don't like rice, your kidding me right, what's not to love about rice".  Then I met his mother...
Yup, now I knew why!  Her idea of rice, was to boil it per package and never put seasoning or any other flavors in it.  No wonder he didn't like rice.  Yes, yes, that is an entire blog post of it's own I say!

I have since converted my "rice hater hubby"... he now loves rice, well, actually, truth be told, he "loves my rice"!!

This dish is a one pot meal that is so easy to put together, you would ask yourself why you didn't do this earlier.  Well that was my question to myself, alas I digress...

It's chock full of Johnsonville bratwurst, seasoned rice, Arbol' Chilis, green onions.  I know!  Plus it's ready in 30 minutes with no professional sous chef's working in the background.  

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

1 Pkg Johnsonville Stadium Brats
Stadium Brats
1-1/2 cups rice, (I used long grain)
2 Arbol chili's, diced
4 Green onions, diced
1 large garlic clove, fined diced or pressed
1- 2 tbsp fresh parsley diced fine, or 1 tsp dried parsley
1-1/2 tsp chicken base, or 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher or Sea salt or 1/8 tsp table salt
pinch of black pepper

3 1/2-3/4 cups water

-Slice bratwursts and set aside.

-Dice the green onions (including whites parts), Arbol chili's, garlic and parsley, set aside.

-In a large saute pan, add olive oil and heat to medium high.  Add in the chili's, and saute for about 40 seconds, then add the green onions, garlic, parsley and salt.  Once the onions and garlic have started to become aromatic, about another 40 seconds or so, add your rice.

-Stir in the rice and incorporate all the wonderful flavors.  Add in those amazing sliced bratwursts and stir till mixed thru.

-Pour in the water and your chicken base.

-Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low and let cook for approximately 18-22 minutes till rice is cooked through and all water has evaporated, and the rice is tender.  If you need a little bit more water and a few more minutes in pan (stoves & rice varying), now is the time to add it or let it simmer for a few more minutes. Don't forget to taste for seasonings.  Do you need more chicken base?  More salt?  Pepper?  See? I know!

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Serve up on a plate and dig in to an absolutely amazing bowl full of comfort! Spicy, but not too spicy, bratwursty (is that a word)?  However, it's absolutely delicious! Now you are going to ask me, "Didi really, these bratwursts are better than the other bratwursts I buy"? That would be a "yesmy friends!!  These brats are absolutely amazing, because of the seasonings in them.  They take away from the extreme heat, if you know what I mean.  
Better yet, you won't have to call your family twice. The aroma emanating from these amazing brats alone coupled with the green onions will draw them into the kitchen, asking when dinner is ready, trust me!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi