Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Low Calorie Apple Pie

To use a math term, this is apple pie...squared...or more appropriately, apple pie squares. It gets better, they'll only cost you 100 calories per square. Marlene Koch who wrote Eat What You Love Quick and Easy, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe for the squares, and how she makes them low-cal. Marlene told Tonia her secret includes using copious amounts of cinnamon and an apricot glaze. That way, you cut down on the sugar, but keep all of the taste. Give these a try and find out why you really can eat what you love...quick and easy.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (like Pepperidge Farms)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 medium apples, about 1 pound
1/2 medium lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons reduced-sugar apricot jam
1. Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle the flour on a flat surface and lay the pastry sheet on it. Roll out the pastry lightly to make a 14” x 10” rectangle. Transfer pastry to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the apples.
2. Peel, core, thinly slice the apples (1/8” thick) and place in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and gently toss to coat the apples. Sprinkle the chilled pastry evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar. Arrange the apples over the pastry in rows, slightly overlapping the slices and leaving a 1/2” pastry border around the outer edge.
3. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir the jam with 1 teaspoon of water and heat on high for 15 seconds. Brush over the apples and crust. Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately, or set aside and serve at room temperature.
NOTE: Another name for this dessert is Apple Slab Pie. If you cut the finished pastry in three equal parts on the short side, and four on the long side, you will have 12 3-inch squares. For a “pie” sized serving cut it into 6 portions (and double all of the nutritional information)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Fall Classic That Has a Twist

That classic is none other than Shepard's Pie, and the modern twist; using Bison meat and sweet potatoes.  Kristen Johnson, who wrote the cookbook Target To Table stopped by Tonia's Kitchen with her ideas on this cold-weather classic that people having been warming up to for years.  Kristen told Tonia that she also uses onions and garlic...along with another twist: taco seasoning.  Kristen also says she uses coconut milk to give the pie a cream texture.  This update works very well, but it still does the job, keeping its eater happy!

3 large sweet potatoes
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 lb. Pederson’s Wenzel All Natural Ground Bison*
1 pkg. Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning
1 (14.5 oz.) can of organic diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded Crafton Village 2 Year Aged Vermont Raw Milk Cheddar Cheese, divided
½ cup of coconut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for 90 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, pepper, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove vegetables to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add bison to skillet and sprinkle with taco seasoning.  Heat until cooked through and browned.  Add in the cooked vegetables and canned tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes or until mixture comes to a low boil.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
  5. When potatoes are cooked, peel off skin and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.  With a hand held mixer blend in coconut milk until creamy.  Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
  6. Spread bison mixture evenly on the bottom of casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Spoon the sweet potato mixture evenly over top.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes and let sit 10 minutes before serving.  Now that’s comfort food!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Roll Out the Lemons!

You'll be on a roll, with this cake! Abby Dodge, who wrote the cookbook The Everyday Baker, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about My (her) Mom's Lemony Roll Cake. Now here's the scoop, at its core, this is a Lemon-filled sponge cake that has an incredible dessert flavor at home in either a fancy dinner party or a casual get-together. Abby told Tonia that when the cake is hot from the oven, you roll it up to give it the shape of the name.  Abby also says this cake is bursting with flavor, thanks to the goat cheese that's enhanced with the zing of fresh blueberries. That of course, is combined with the decadence of sugar and heavy cream for an amazing treat you'll be sure to enjoy many times over.


Happy Spring everyone and remember that Everyday is a great day for baking!
Lemon-Poppy Seed Roll Cake with Whipped Strawberry Mascarpone
Makes 8 to 16 servings.
For the cake
Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter + flour, for preparing
the pan
1 cup (7 oz./198g) granulated sugar, divided
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups (6 oz./170g) cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
4 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup (120 ml) neutral oil (safflower, canola or vegetable)
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Confectioners’ sugar (sifted if lumpy), for dusting (about 1 cup/4 oz./113 g)
For the filling
1 quart (1 lb./454g) medium-sized, fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried
2/3 cup (4 5/8 oz./131g) granulated sugar
1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, chilled
3/4 cup (6 oz./170g) mascarpone
Pinch of table salt
Make the cake
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (180°C /gas 4). Lightly grease the sides and bottoms of a 13x18x1-inch (33x46x2.5 cm) half sheet pan and line the bottom with parchment. Lightly grease and flour the parchment and lightly flour the sides of the pan.
  2. Put 3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz./149g) of the sugar and the lemon zest in a blender or food process and pulse until the zest is finely chopped and the sugar is fragrant. Sift the cake flour into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters), add the lemon-sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk until blended. Add the egg yolks, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat on medium-low speed until blended. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until lighter in color and thin enough to form a ribbon of batter in the bowl when the beater is lifted, 3 minutes. Add the poppy seeds and mix briefly until blended.
  3. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters) and beat on medium-low speed until foamy. Increasing speed to medium, and beat until whites are opaque and climbing about half way up the bowl (the tracks from the whisk will be beginning to hold their shape) forming very soft peaks. Continue beating while slowly adding the remaining 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz./50g) granulated sugar. Beat until the whites are thick, shiny and form medium peaks. (The peaks should droop over gently.) Do not over beat or the whites won’t expand during baking and the batter won’t rise as high.
  4. Scrape about a quarter of the whites into the flour mixture and, using a large silicone spatula, gently stir until blended. The batter will become lighter and make it easier to fold in the remaining whites. Add the remaining whites and gently fold until just blended with no visible streaks of either the whites or batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, using an offset spatula, gently spread into an even layer. Bake until the cake is pale golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched, 13 to 15 minutes.
  5. While the cake is baking, have ready two long strips of paper towels (two large squares per strip), the confectioners’ sugar for dusting, a fine- mesh sieve, and two large racks.
  6. Move the pan to a rack and run the tip of a small knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the pan. Let cool 10 minutes. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the cake in a generous layer. Cover the top of the cake completely with the strips of paper towels and cover with a rack large enough to overhang the edges of the pan. Gripping both racks with towels and with the sheet pan sandwiched in between, flip the pan and racks to invert. Lift the pan from the cake and carefully peel away the parchment.
  7. Beginning on one short (or, to serve 16, long) side, roll up the cake and paper towel layer together. Do this while the cake is still war or it will crack. Arrange, seam side down (the seam will not be directly under the cake but just to the side facing down), on the rack and let cool completely.
Make the filling and assemble
  1. Hull the strawberries and cut each in half then each half in half or quarters, if large. You should have about 4 cups of chopped strawberries. Scrape about half of the berries into medium saucepan and the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the berries have released their juice and burst when lightly pressed with the spatula, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining berries and cook, stirring, until the syrup is thick and jam-like (you will have about 1 1/2 cups), 6 to 8 minutes. Slide the pan off the heat, let cool completely and refrigerate until chilled. For faster cooling, Scrape into a bowl and set the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water, stirring and scraping the sides frequently.
  2. Put the mascarpone, heavy cream and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters) and beat on medium-low speed until blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Increase to medium-high speed and beat until thick enough
to hold firm peaks when the beater is lifted, about 2 minutes. Add the cooled strawberry mixture and, using a silicone spatula, fold until just blended.
  3. Carefully unroll the cake and remove the paper towels. It will look a bit wavy, uneven and will be curled at one end. Scrape the filling onto the cake and, using an offset spatula, spread evenly over the cake to within 1/2 inch of one of the short sides, the two long edges and to 1 inch of the remaining short (or long) side. Beginning with the shorter side with the filling almost to the edge, gently roll the cake without the paper towels. Using a long metal spatula, place the cake, seam side down (the seam will not be directly under the cake but just to the side facing down), on a flat serving plate or board. Refrigerate for 2 hours then cover loosely and continue chill for another 2 hours or up to 12 hours before serving.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator. Dust the top of the roll with additional confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake on alternate angles into wedges about 2 inches thick at the widest end and serve with additional fresh strawberries, if desired.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Apple Cider is for More Than Just Drinking

Case in point, Maple-Bread Pudding made with soaked Fuji apples and Angry Orchard Hard Cider.  Sounds delicious doesn't it! Erin James, who wrote the cookbook Tasting Cider, stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about this wonderful dessert dish!  Erin told Tonia she combines the apples, the cider and dark maple syrup to create this concoction. And while Erin is the author of the cookbook, she's also the editor of Cidercraft Magazine. Check out the magazine at

8 large eggs
1quart heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups dark maple syrup, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure maple flavoring or extract
1 cup Fuji apples, peeled, diced and soaked overnight in dry cider
1 pound brioche, cut into 2-inch cubes
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, 1 cup of the maple syrup, vanilla and maple flavoring in a large bowl. Add the soaked apples and brioche; stir to coat. Butter a 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking dish. Transfer the bread mixture to prepared dish and let stand at room temperature for 1½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown, slightly risen in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and, using a small knife or skewer, poke holes all over the pudding. Pour the remaining 1 cup maple syrup over the pudding and allow it to cool until just warm. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Long Name, Simple Ingredients

Making delicious food, simple and easy. Many have tried to simplify recipes, but one cookbook is trying to take a different tact. Tieghan Gerard, who wrote Half Baked Harvest Super Simple, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about one of her very simple, yet scrumptious dishes, Red Wine-braised Cranberry Short Ribs. Tieghan told Tonia this ribs go great with the holiday season and have an amazing flavor for any holiday dinner occasion. If you like, you can substitute pomegranate juice for the wine, which Tieghan says, might give a slightly sweeter flavor. Serve the ribs with creamy mashed potatoes, and you have a dinner that's sure to bring in the flavor of the holidays!


Slow Cooker

  1. 1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, sear the ribs on both sides. Remove the ribs and transfer to the slow cooker. 

  2. 2. To the slow cooker, add the onions, shallots, and carrots. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, gently stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. During the last 2 hours of cooking, add the cranberries. 

  3. 3. Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Serve the ribs over a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the pan sauce. Enjoy!


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  2. 2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, sear the ribs on both sides. Remove the ribs to a plate. Add the onions, shallots, and carrots, cook 5-10 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize. Add back the short ribs. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Sprinkle over the cranberries. Season with salt and pepper, gently stir to combine. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone.

  3. 3. Remove the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Serve the ribs over a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the pan sauce. Enjoy!