Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Demolition Derby

Dr. C and I have lived in our home for 23 years.  In the past few years, we have done some major projects to update and remodel.  Our most scary project to date began Monday:  remodeling our master bathroom, and the other 2 bathrooms.  Demolition began this morning with sledgehammers, and about 7 guys taking debris out of the house. 

 We are tearing out the tub--it has a view of the ocean, but we never use it.
  Need to get rid of this vanity and soon!

That was easy!! Thanks Carlo!

 a bit of debris!

The worst part was when they opened up the shower and found mold and rot in the wood behind the shower.  It's a wonder the shower was still standing---thank you Pardee builders for your great work-there was no backer board, or water proof sheathing behind this---Pardee is the company that wouldn't pay for bills relating to a sewer and water leak in the house 10 years ago until I threatened a lawsuit---what other uglies are lurking in this place???  Fortunately, all the other walls are looking good, and we are ready for framing, rough electrical and plumbing. I can't wait for the gorgeous new shower!
Lest you think that I was slacking while the workers were working, I set to work to use up fruit that we hadn't eaten while our Italian family was visiting.  These apples were perfect in an apple pecan cake that is more apples than cake (love that!)

Into the bundt pan--look at the chunks of apple in that cake!


Voila!  This cake is great as a coffee cake, or you can slice it for tea, or have it for breakfast, or warm it up and serve it vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. 

Apple Pecan Cake
Makes one 10-inch Bundt cake

 1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups chopped apple, peeled and cored (about 4 large)
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat the inside of a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla paste.  Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, apple and pecans, and beat until well combined.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  The cake keeps stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. 

I'll be back tomorrow with more -- I've been working on recipes for the next book and they are going to be so much fun for you to make (it's coming in the fall of 2012)  I hope you had a great day!

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