Orange Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 11.34.45 AMLisi from Lisi’s Luscious Desserts shares the perfect cake recipe for fall. This cake is rich in color and texture. Though there are a number of steps, it’s so very very moist with a hint of citrus. It’s not as pumpkiny as you may think.
2 sticks or one cup of soft butter
1 cup sugar (which reader Anne pointed out that I forgot to include my in initial post as she was getting started.  thank you!)
1 tablespoon grated chopped orange zest
1 large egg
2 large eggs, separated
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fine-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fresh orange juice from about 2 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
Butter a 9 inch bundt pan (click to show better butter detail – scroll down in baking tips) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate your eggs and keep both whites and yolks.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal.
With your paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.  Add the egg yolks (one at a time) and then the egg and beat well after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl, and beat again.  Beat in the pumpkin puree and vanilla.
In three additions, slowly add the reserved dry mix to the mixer – stirring on lowest speed (or gently by hand) until just incorporated.
Beat the 2 egg whites until soft peaks form.  I find this easier to do by hand with a whisk but you can certainly do with a hand mixer.  Or, you can transfer your pumpkin batter into another bowl, clean the mixing bowl well, and then beat your eggs with the whisk attachment.  (If you bake a lot, you may want to invest in a second bowl for your stand mixer.)
Then gently fold the egg whites into the pumpkin batter – until you can’t see any more streaks of whites, but be careful not to over due it here.
Pour the batter into the prepped pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes (mine took 43 minutes).  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool.
While the cake is cooking, make the orange syrup.  Juice the oranges and place the fresh juice in a saucepan with the sugar.  Mix until sugar dissolves and there isn’t any white sugar on the bottom of the saucepan (it will burn if so).  Boil the mixture for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
When cake is warm, brush with the orange syrup.  You can repeat when cool if desired.  For service, dot the  syrup on the side of the cake (if plated) or serve on the side and accompany with vanilla yogurt.
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New England Apple Cheddar Galette

apple-cheddar-galette-verticalFall is the season for fresh local apples and  farmstead cheddar so with that in mind we’re sharing a deliciously simple recipe from “There is a tradition in New England, and some parts of the midwest, to serve a slice of cheese, usually sharp cheddar, alongside a piece of apple pie, or even melted on top. For those of us who didn’t grow up with this tradition, even though we may love eating apple slices with cheese, the whole idea of cheddar cheese with a pie is well, just wrong. As in, “are you kidding?” wrong.If this is you, I understand. But just let the idea percolate a little while. Apples and cheese are good together, right? A slice of apple with a slice of cheese—bare, naked perfection. Why? Because apples are both sweet and a little tart, and cheese is salty with plenty of umami. So your taste buds are firing on all cylinders when you eat them in combination.”
Still, the idea of cheddar with or in a sweet apple dessert is weird, to those of us unaccustomed to the idea. So, you’ll have to just trust me on this one. It’s good. Like “where has this been all my life?” good. I’m speaking from experience here. I have shunned the idea since the first time I heard of it. But this week I decided to take the plunge and make a simple galette, a rustic tart with apples, some maple syrup for sweetener, cheddar, in a buttery, cheddar speckled crust. All I can say is WOW. Thank you New England.”

New England Apple Cheddar Galette


  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cups, 6 ounces, 170 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (85 ml) sour cream (full fat, not light)
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated sharp cheddar cheese


  • 4 good cooking apples, such as McIntosh, Courtland, Jonagold, Pippin, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Fuji, or a mixture of various cooking apples (NOT red delicious)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 half of a lemon, or the juice of half a lemon (to acidulate the water for holding the apples while you peel them to keep them from discoloring)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons minute tapioca or instant tapioca for thickener (can substitute corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed grated cheddar cheese
Make the pastry dough
1 Cut the butter into cubes. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour.
2 Use your clean hands to squish the flour and butter together, breaking up the butter into smaller pieces until the mixture resembles a rather shaggy coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter. Add the sour cream and a couple tablespoons of finely grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir with a fork until incorporated.
3 Gather the mixture with your hands and form a ball. Shape the ball into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to a day ahead.
Prepare the galette
1 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Prepare a large bowl half filled with water. Squeeze into it the juice of half a lemon (and put the squeezed lemon in too if you want). Peel, quarter, and core the apples, and place into the acidulated water while you work to keep the apples from discoloring.
2 Remove the apple quarters from the water. Slice each apple quarter into 4 or 5 slices, lengthwise, about 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch thick at the widest end. Return the apple slices to the acidulated water.
3 Drain the apple slices. Place the apple slices back in the now empty bowl. Sprinkle with maple syrup and cinnamon and gently toss so that the apple slices are lightly coated with both. Add the minute tapioca and the lemon zest. Gently toss again.
4 On a clean, lightly floured, flat surface, place the disk of dough. Roll out with a rolling pin to an even thickness and about 14 inches wide.
5 Gently move the rolled out pastry dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Starting from 2 inches from the perimeter of the pastry round, arrange the apple slices, side by side, in a circular pattern, filling the circle. It’s okay if some of the apple slices overlap a little.
6 Sprinkle the top of the apples with grated cheddar cheese. Gently fold the dough up over the apple slices, forming pleats with the dough every few inches.
7 Place an egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water, beat with a fork or whisk until smooth. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the exposed border of the dough (don’t put on the apples, just the dough). Sprinkle the egg washed crust with coarse sugar.
8 Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (until beginning to brown) at 400°F (205°C). Then lower the temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until the apples are cooked through and the crust is nicely browned.
Cool until just lightly warm before serving.

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Lisa’s Cream of Broccoli Soup

creamofbroccoli(web)Now that it’s officially fall, we all love a good creamy soup that doesn’t stretch the waistline. Lisa Corrado of Lisa Corrado Nutrition suggests this creamy soup gets its texture from evaporated skim milk, rather than heavy cream. You’ll find cans of evaporated skim milk where you find sweetened condensed milk, but don’t confuse the two! This freezes beautifully, so make extra.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Makes about 2 quarts


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 medium onion, chopped

1½ cups evaporated skim milk

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoons each salt & pepper

1½ pounds frozen broccoli florets


Heat oil in large stock pot.  Sauté onion and bay leaves until onion is golden, about 8 minutes.  Add broccoli and sauté for 1 minute.

Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until broccoli is tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly, and remove bay leaves.

Using a stick blender or a regular blender, carefully purée mixture until smooth.  Stir in evaporated milk and season with salt & pepper. Reheat over medium heat until hot through and serve.

Download the printable Cream of Broccoli Soup PDF and bring it to the store for shopping! 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut-2If there’s a recipe that says “It’s Fall!” more than this one, we’d like to see it. This is a rich and creamy (but cream-less) soup from Lisa Corrado that wards off the chill and satisfies in so many ways. Plus it’s a nutritional power-house, packed with antioxidant rich vegetables and loads of flavor. Makes about 2 quarts.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 
2½ pounds peeled & cubed butternut squash (from a 3 pound squash)
3 large shallots, cut in half lengthwise
1 head garlic
olive oil spray
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut top quarter off the garlic head and wrap in aluminum foil. Spread squash cubes, shallots and garlic head in a single layer on a baking sheet (use two sheets if needed). Spray with olive oil, season with salt & pepper.
Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, and garlic is softened. This will take about 40 minutes total. The shallots will be browned after about 15 minutes; remove them from the oven when they’re done. Using tongs, toss squash cubes every 10 minutes to encourage even cooking.
Add cooked vegetables to a soup pot along with chopped thyme and vegetable broth. Cover and heat over high heat until soup begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer soup for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a hand-held stick blender or a regular blender, carefully puree soup until smooth. Return soup to pot (if using the blender), and heat soup until hot through.

Lisa Corrado, a long-time resident of New Canaan, is the owner of Lisa Corrado Nutrition. Lisa is celebrating 10 years of providing nutrition services and is the author of a Moment in a Busy Life blog.

Simple Fall Appetizer – Feta-Fig Tartlets

Busy New Canaan mom, Eila Johnson, writes the full plate blog. The site, which was named to Forbes’ 2012 Top 100 Sites for Women, teaches busy parents how to make simple, nourishing recipes for their families and friends. Here she shares her go-to appetizer recipe for Fall entertaining with Walter Stewart’s shoppers:

Feta-Fig Tartlets

It’s 2:45 pm, the school bus is just about to rumble home with your kids, you have an afternoon of activities to drive to and from… and you offered to bring an appetizer to tonight’s {pick one: book club/preschool mom’s night out/YWL meeting/dinner party}. Your first thought? “Maybe I’ll just bring wine instead?!” Before you resort to pigs-in-a-blanket or throw the towel in completely, bookmark this super simple Fall appetizer. It’s my go-to. And, if we both bring it to the gathering…? That’s ok! Everyone loves this appetizer!
As an added bonus, I’ve listed where you can find each ingredient at our local Walter Stewart’s Market, so no excuses for you not to bring along these little bits of Fall fabulousness!

Feta Fig Tartlets
(makes 30 appetizers)

  • 2 pkgs Athenos Mini Phyllo Cups (freezer case)
  • 8 oz. brick of organic cream cheese (dairy section)
  • 4 oz. tub crumbled Feta cheese (cheese case)
  • Dried figs (found in a tub in the produce section), sliced
  • Fresh rosemary (optional, produce section)

Preheat your oven to 350.
Leave the cream cheese on the counter for a few minutes to soften a bit.
Pop the phyllo shells out of the plastic tray and onto a rimmed cookie sheet and put them in the oven for 3 minutes, just so they crisp up.
While the cream cheese is softening, feel free to feed or bathe your kids, or go do bedtime stories . . .
Then, in a small bowl, blend the cream cheese and Feta. (I use a hand mixer to make it easy.)
Fill each phyllo cup with a dollop of the cheese mixture, a slice of dried fig, and a sprig of rosemary.
Voila! Done. So easy, and you will be the hit of your next gathering.
You can see what Eila made with the leftover cheese mixture here.
[Photo credit: Eila Johnson]