Chef Sharon Stroko
Sharon Stroko is a registered nurse who specialized in infusion therapy. At the peak of her nursing career, Sharon had the chance to turn her hobby and passion for cooking into a career when her sister Marcia invited her to become a partner in the bed & breakfast and conference center. She took the plunge and has been enthusiastic about creating tasty and healthy meals for the guests at the Inn.
Sharon has always been a cook. By the age of 10 she was boning chickens and making beef stew. Because of her Polish heritage, Sharon has also honed the art of making pierogis.
Her reputation for delicious meals has grown and guests are always enthusiastic to try Sharon’s latest creations.
Inn the Kitchen with Sharon
This has been a banner year for apples in West Michigan. After a dismal 2012 season where the buds and blossoms were frozen off after an early burst of warmth, followed by a more typical month of March, the 2013 season has been beyond bountiful.
My favorite variety is the Honey Crisp. I know a lot of people who bake use less expensive varieties like Jonathans or MacIntosh, but I love the sweet juiciness of the Honey Crisp. It allows me to cut down the amount of sugar in a recipe, and lets the sweet goodness of the apple stand on its own merit. So all the baked goods and apple sauce at the Inn this fall is always made with the Honey Crisp variety. After a season of suffering through apple withdrawal, it has been a most delectable fall.
I am sharing one of my favorite cake recipes with you:
Autumn Apple Cake.
Autumn Apple Cake
Autumn Apple Cake
3 baking apples
½ sticks of butter, room temp
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups of flour
¾-1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup of raisins
Powdered sugar for dusting
Peel, core, and quarter apples then cover with water to prevent browning
Cream together butter and sugar
Add eggs and pure vanilla extract
Beat until well mixed
In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon
Add sifted ingredients plus raisins to the butter, sugar, egg mixture
Gently combine in a greased 9 inch cake pan
Push apples into the batter and bake for 60 minutes until the sponge is
golden brown and coming away from the edges of the pan (at 375 degrees)
Dust with powdered sugar and serve
Makes 6-8 servings