Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

This weekend, hubby and I went east - Eastern Washington, where the air is dry, the trees are few, the pungent smell of farm animals surrounds you, and tumbleweeds blow across the road.  We joke that the state should be divided into two, so different is the east from the west. One notable difference - western Washington may have its share of wine tasting rooms, but eastern Washington, well that's real wine country.            

Our destination was about four hours from home, so on the way, we stopped for dinner at the Barrel House. When I checked Urbanspoon before we hit town, I saw that they touted, "the best burgers." and you know, they just might have been. Predictably, hubby and I ordered the same thing - a burger with gorgonzola and 'red wine relish'. When I asked the waiter what was in the relish, he replied he didn't know. (??) When he asked if I'd like him to ask the chef, I nodded silently.

Lucky for all of us, he came back with a three ingredient list: onions (minced), red wine, and sugar. Easy peasy. I'll be trying that.

We didn't have the time or appetite to order it, but there was an interesting item on the menu that I copied down for future reference. No recipe really needed here either.

Brie Brulee - A brie wedge caramelized with sugar and topped with toasted pecan pieces. Served with apple slices and crostini. Yum.

Over the years, vineyards have replaced alot of the apple orchards in that half of our state, but we still saw plenty of apples. Which made me think to share an apple recipe with you - one I've been making for years. It looks kind of lowly when served, but it sure is tasty!

Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sauce

  4 cups  peeled, cored, & chopped apples
  1 cup  chopped walnuts or other nuts (opt.)
  2 cups  flour
  2 cups  sugar
  2 teaspoons baking soda
  1 teaspoon salt
  2 teaspoons cinnamon
  2 eggs
  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  2 teaspoons  vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter & flour a 9X13" baking pan.

Combine apples & nuts in a large bowl & sift dry ingredients over top. Mix eggs, oil, & vanilla together; add to the apple-flour mixture & mix until well blended. Bake in preheated pan for 45 minutes.

Cinnamon Sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup pwd. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmet
1/2 cup water

In saucepan, cream together butter & pwd. sugar; add vanilla, cinnamon, & nutmet. Gradually add water; and stir over medium heat until thickened. Serve over warm apple cake.

(Recipe from The Seattle Classic Cookbook, published in 1983. No longer in print, this was the cookbook I used for entertaining when I was a newlywed.)

I'll be back later today and choose a winner for the giveaway {here}, as well as share the many ways you all stay creative and inspired. The list is an inspiration in itself!


  1. You know, I just had apple cake for the first time in my life about a month ago when a quilter friend of mine shared it with me. I'm hooked! I've made it twice since then. I guess I've been living under a rock or something. Your recipe sounds delicious, too!

  2. Sounds delicious, and ironically I was thinking apples this weekend too, and made my first apple pie! Yum! I love the fact that you and your husband ordered the same thing!