Cranberry Apple Walnut Cake

I love to bake and I have not been doing too much of it.  Usually, I bake for my husband.  I rarely eat what I bake but he makes up for that.  The problem, I do have, is that with only two of us, at home, it is for special occasions, I make the chocolate and the cookies, pies or cakes.  For my husband, it is coffee cakes, nut cakes, and tons of muffins.  They are all easy to do and I am limited but I love to bake, anyway.

I decided to surprise my husband with what I hoped would become a favorite cake.  This cake can be made with many variations.  In fact, the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is for a cranberry pear cake.  I changed it to an apple – cranberry walnut cake because I have apples handy.  I would like to make it with pears and use another dried fruit or maybe fresh cranberries, when in season.  Of course, the nuts can be changed as well.  Even the seasoning lends itself to the fruit selected.  Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice sounded right for the apples.

Cranberry-Apple-Walnut Cake


cups gluten-free flour mixture

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 pumpkin pie spice

2 tablespoons margarine

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup  brown sugar

2 eggs

 1  cup Rice Dream

1 cup dried cranberries

2 apples, peeled and diced

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup additional gluten-free flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a  9-inch baking pan.

Combine 2 cups of the  GF flour mix, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

In a large bowl beat the margarine on medium to high

Ocean Spray Craisins brand dried cranberries

speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugars.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with Rice Dream beating on low after each addition until combined.

In a bowl mix cranberries, apple, and walnuts with remaining 1/2 cup flour. Stir into batter. Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake for  50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes .

This is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays        Cozy Home Party     Trick or Treat Tuesday         Pennywise Platter 

Crazy Sweet Tuesday       Full Plate Thursday             Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays     Cast Party Wednesday           Sweet Treats Thursday        Sweet Tooth Friday

Menu Plan Monday – Delight Gluten-Free Magazine

Recently, I subscriber to the Delight Gluten-Free magazine.  I have never wanted a GF magazine because, I usually alter recipes to make them gluten-free.  I had second thoughts, hoping there would be up to date information on Celiac in the magazine, as well as  other articles.  I figured, my husband could have his own cooking magazine.

Most of the recipes listed are from Delight.  Thursday’s dinner is from Ellie Krieger’s latest book, Comfort Food Fix.  The feta stuffed tomatoes are from the Internet.  The magazine is responsible for the remaining recipes and hopefully, I will be thanking them for some good eating.

Sunday – leftoversMonday – Goat Cheese Chive Corn Pudding with Feta Stuffed TomatoesTuesday – Harry Potter Inspired Recipes (Individual Meat Pies, Buttered Peas & Glazed Carrots)

Wednesday – Baked Vegetable Lasagna – Green Salad

Thursday – Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Parmesan Crisps (Ellie Krieger)

Friday – Lemon Chicken – Chinese Style – Herbed Mashed Sweet and Russet Potatoes – Sautéed Green Beans

Saturday – Saturday Night Pizza Plus

This is linked to Organizing Junkie.

Kasha Varnikes

Kasha Varnikes

Another grain for those who eat a gluten-free diet is kasha.  I usually use  it for the recipe, I am sharing today.    I also add it to my husband’s cholent, Sabbath lunch which is similar to a stew.  Most people use barley and we substitute either rice or kasha or sometimes both.

Kasha buckwheat groats are cooked with onions and chicken stock, then mixed with pasta for a classic Jewish dish. This was traditional comfort food for Russian Jews, brought to America by immigrants. It continues to be a favorite in the Lower East Side district of New York City, as well as across the U.S. This is a great source of fiber, perfect for a side dish.“

Kasha Varnishkes   Home Cooking  Adapted


  • 1 cup kasha buckwheat groats
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  onion,chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shells  (It is common to use bow-ties for the pasta, in this recipe, but to my knowledge, there are not gluten- free bow-ties.)

In a small bowl, mix the kasha with the beaten egg.

Be sure all the grains are covered with egg.

Place a medium non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat.

Add the kasha to the pan and  flatten it out a bit, stirring and moving it about the pan until the egg dries and the grains have mostly separated.

Set aside.

Place a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta . (Do not cook them yet.)

In a 4-quart heavy stove-top covered casserole, heat the chicken fat or oil and saute the onions and

Add the vegetable broth and one cup of water and bring to a boil.  Add the salt and pepper and the reserved kasha.  mushrooms.

Stir a bit and cover.

 Cook  over low heat, stirring now and then, until the kasha is tender, about 10 minutes.

If it is not done to your taste, cook for a few more minutes.

In the meantime, boil the pasta  just until tender. Drain well and stir into the kasha.

Serve hot.

This is a hearty dish and a good change of pace.  I should make it more often.

Penne Rigate Macaroni and Cheeses

The Penne dish was scheduled for Monday and it feels good to have accomplished sticking to my schedule.  Tuesday is also as planned.

I made many changes to this dish.  The most obvious one is that I used gluten-free penne.  I also had to substitute some of the cheese, using Pizza flavored cheese for the Muenster and using yellow Cheddar in place of white.  I could not use bread crumbs so I used processed Rice Chex, an idea I got from another gluten-free cook.

I was fortunate to find this recipe online.  I was prepared to type it out, from my book, Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking.

Penne Rigate Macaroni and Cheeses   (adapted)


  • 3/4 pound penne rigate or mostaccioli
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1  cups milk
  • 1  cups half-and-half (can be reduced-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pizza flavored cheese, diced
  • 4 ounces cheddar, diced
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, diced
  • 1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  egg beater or 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup ground Rice Crispies or bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, taking care not to overcook because it will cook more in the oven. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk.
  4. In a deep saucepan, whisk together the remaining 1 cup and 2 tablespoons milk, the half-and-half, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to a low boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened.
  5. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and add the cheeses, one at a time, and leave on the lowest heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring constantly.
  6. Place the cooked pasta in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or oversized gratin dish. Place one-third of the pasta in the dish, then pour over one-third of the sauce. Make two more layers, then top with the crumbs and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.
 “Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, by Beth Hensperger, © 2008, and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.”

This is linked to Daily Organized Chaos
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Cinnamon Lovers’ Quick Bread

I love the aroma of cinnamon which means, I am happy, baking with lots of cinnamon in the batter.  I was  visiting Kitty’s Kozy Corner    and that magic word, jumped out at me and I was hooked.  All plans of other cookies and cakes went out the window and I almost ran to the kitchen to make this gem.  It is a simple quick bread but my husband called it cake, as soon as he tasted it.  He also gasped out the word, “cinnamon.”  I queried, “You like cinnamon?”  He enthusiastically shook his head up and down, while grabbing another slice.  He, really is a civilized person and normally would have reached the table, before the first bite but this time, he cheated and tasted it, standing up.   This bread will, very likely, be around for a while and I am not speaking of this loaf.

 Cinnamon Lovers’ Quick Bread  adapted  from Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen, a great place to visit and to stay awhile


2 cups flour  (I made this gluten-free so I used a gluten-free mix)
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs


3 tablespoons ground almonds
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Canola oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease & flour  9 x 5- inch loaf pan.  Lightly spoon flour into cup; level off.  In large bowl , combine all bread ingredients & beat for 3 minutes on medium speed of mixer.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

In small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over batter & swirl lightly to marble.   Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pan immediately.

Cool completely before slicing.

Bake With Bizzy
Tastetastic  Thursdays