Yo! I have a cake for you today.
And if you bake this cake…you will have cake tomorrow.
It goes along the lines of the proverb … give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish…
Proverbs don’t just pop into everyone’s brains randomly?
It happens to me all day long…well, not proverbs, but thoughts that have no purpose for being there.
Such as, when you walk down a wide hallway (i.e a hospital hallway) and you pass someone going the opposite way, you both keep to the right, same is said for bike paths, and sidewalks. We go to the right. So, in England and other parts of Great Britain (all of Great Britain drives on the wrong side…err the left side of the road, no? I need to wikipedia this…), do they then keep to the left? I don’t remember encountering this situation when I was there years ago…but I was in a large group and we just took up the whole damn sidewalk. Suppose I go back … I need to figure this out…don’t want to look like a silly American or get run-over on a bike path.
And I wonder this in all seriousness.
Also, we are getting purple scrubs for the pharmacy department. They are considered lilac in color. Or Barney-esque. I am super pumped to wear scrubs when I roll out of bed 20 minutes late (or later…let’s be honest) and every pair of dress pants I own are scattered about the floor and wrinkled and the rest of my clothes are in the laundry room half in/half out of the dryer…and did I mention that I still need to jump in the shower? And they call me a grown adult! Ha! These mornings I will gladly darn my purple scrubs. However, this week I thought it great if the whole department could wear the purple scrubs, take a group photo, and title it ‘What a Grape Bunch’. Even right now, this makes me giggle uncontrollably. Do you get the pun?? Hilarious. Picture the fruit of the loom grape dude (minus the horse).
Seriously. Puns. Funny.
No one found it as funny as I.
And if they did laugh, they were probably just laughing at the mere sight of me doubled over in laughter.
The picture has to happen.
Randomness just pops in. And has a habit of staying awhile.
But this cake…not so random. This was 100% premeditated cake baking. My CSA two weeks ago provided me with fresh yogurt, peaches, and blueberries. The yogurt, while I am sure would have been excellent eaten alone, in a parfait, blended into a smoothie, etc…but when I get fresh yogurt I prefer to bake with it. Nothing adds moisture like yogurt. If a cake calls for sour-cream or buttermilk (anything with a bit of an acidic bite) – I substitute with yogurt, if available.
And the peaches and blueberries…well I refrained from just eating them, straight up. It was tough. I LOVE BLUEBERRIES. And there is nothing better than eating a peach while perched over the kitchen sink while juice runs down your chin and forearm, eventually finding its way to the tip of your elbow. That my friends, is summer.
The yogurt cake I have for you today is amazingly simple…and quick. I almost guarantee that you have all the ingredients. And the pan…well, I recommend using a springform pan because it does rise, but I think a regular round cake pan (with high sides) would do the trick. I think. But don’t shout if things go a-rye…I confessed that I truly had no clue. So if you are worried and are cursing me that you don’t have a springform pan, I am sure your neighbor does…or perhaps your sister or that weird aunt across town. Just ask. It is totally worth it.
And the compote. Seriously easy. Seriously delicious. And the leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have them) can totally be eaten by the spoonful or swirled into your morning oatmeal, morning parfait, or atop your waffles and pancakes. Oh! and don’t forget about ice cream or perhaps lemon sorbet…holy smokes. DO THIS. NOW! It is a total summer must.
Also another summer must…blowing a bicycle tire and walking the remaining 3-ish miles home…Total summer must. I think I am about to learn how to fix a bicycle tire…
- 1+1/2 Cups Full Fat Yogurt
- ⅔ Cup Olive Oil – use best quality you can get your hands on
- 1 +1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2+1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- Peach and Blueberry Compote
- 2 Peaches, peeled and diced (large)
- 1 Cups Blueberries
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch (so there is no clumping)
- ¼ Cup Water
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper ( or grease with butter).
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt – set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk in dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth and no bumps remain.
- Pour cake batter into prepared springform pan and place in preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Place tinfoil over cake towards the end of the baking time if the top begins to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.
- While cake is cooling, prepare compote.
- In a medium sized saucepan, combine all ingredients for compote and set over medium heat. Bring contents to a boil and then reduce heat and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until mixture thickens. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let cool before spooning over cake.
- Store in refrigerator in a sealed container and use as you like. Can be reheated in microwave (about 30 seconds, stir).
Cake recipe is slightly adapted from The Kitchn
Note: This cake would be great with any kind of citrus zest. Lemon, lime, or orange zest, grated and rubbed into the sugar and then go on with baking as you would have otherwise. Oh! and no peaches? Try some plums. Or straight up berries. I’m not sure you could screw this up.
My hands are tan. The tops at least…the palms are pinkish/orange (my carrot intake might be a touch out of control…again). They don’t look like my hands. Honestly, I think they look dirty…I am just so darn used to them being pale. My mind is weird. I can see the million tiny crevices and lines much easier now and they don’t seem sooo veiny right now. The skin on my knuckles are more reddish than tan…perhaps brick red? My scar on my left hand near my thumb, right at the wrist…the exact spot where your hand would hit the top oven coil if you were pulling a tray of cookies from the oven…that scar is almost invisible – blending nicely with the tan. And by most accounts…I am still pretty pale.
My hair is lightening up…nothing like it was when I was a little tike (see below)…but definetly blonder…especially the baby fine hair around my temples. I love the effect that warm sunshine has on my hair. P.S … I was not a photogenic child. There are a few hundred photos of me, in my parents hutch, of me …with that same exact face…
Freckles across my nose and cheeks have popped and are in full bloom. They make me look younger than I am. No matter the amount of sunblock will stop the freckles from sprouting….Freckles have had a permanent residence on my face from spring to fall since I was a child. I welcome them with open arms…I enjoy seeing them when I glance in the mirror, always a bit of a surprise that first week or so of spring. I wonder if there will be a summer where they won’t show up…most adults don’t have freckles. Or maybe they are just wearing makeup, hiding the little guys.
Iced coffee is becoming my morning ritual. It has thrown the barista at the hospital’s coffee cart for a loop. Nate now asks if I want it hot or cold…he is a quick learner. For some reason, iced coffee needs a touch of cream. Why? Hot coffee is taken black. Iced…I need cream. It is something I don’t understand. But Nate knows to give me the room for cream when I drink it iced. He is this good with the entire hospital staff and our insane coffee addiction.
Popsicles have found their way into my fridge. I bought a mixed box (strawberry, lime, and wild berry) and a coconut/banana box yesterday. I devoured a lime one on the short car ride home. I couldn’t wait. It is a childhood habit. Remember those Good Humor Strawberry Crunch bars…those were our favorite. I have switched to all-natural, real fruit, popsicles…but the feeling of summer in the air is the same. I am thinking of sticking one in my gin and tonic tonight.
I guess what I am saying is that summer has entered into my little world and is letting istelf be known. Hi. Welcome. I’ve been expecting you. Stay awhile. Warm my skin, lighten my hair, and brighten my days.
I have been craving lime for weeks now. The almost nightly gin and tonics with a squeeze of lime have been hitting the spot as of late, but I want more. I want to put it in everything I cook and bake. A squeeze here, some zest there…So, when I saw that Joy had whipped up a lime and berry bundt cake…I knew it would be recreated in my kitchen, sooner or later…or sooner rather than later. I swapped mixed berries for strawberries and added a lime glaze to make it really limey…and ladled roasted strawberries over each individual slice – a total must! Roasted strawberries in general are a total must, but that is for another blog post…
Not a lime fan? Swap it for lemon. Only have raspberries? Ok. No bigs. Make it your own and enjoy it in the late evening with perhaps another gin and tonic. Eat it as the sun is setting and the shadows are getting longer and the air begins to cool. Enjoy it as you relax on your patio and smile as you hear the squeals and laughter of the kids next door as they play late into the evening. Eat it as you sit and listen to baseball on the radio like your grandparents did… Eat it as you welcome summer…
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 cups Fresh Strawberries, hulled and cut in half
- 8 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 to 3½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- Zest of 1 Lime
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a bundt cake pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and lime zest and with back of a spoon or fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar. Voila..you have lime sugar!
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lime sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together eggs, butter, buttermilk, and lime juice.
- Pour wet ingredients over drying ingredients. Stir until all dry ingredients are combined and moistened. The batter will be thick. Fold in strawberries to evenly distribute.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and place in preheated oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes until a toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes before inverting cake onto wire rack – let cool completely before icing.
- Once cool, prepare icing. In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, powdered sugar, lime zest, and salt. Whisk until smooth. The icing will be thin. Pour icing over cake and serve immediately. Note: I refrigerated the icing, making the icing thicker without adding more powdered sugar.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Well, Hello there!
Katie from Katie at the Kitchen Door and I are joining forces today. If you have never been to her blog – you must, you just have to head over there. Katie is oh so talented…her talents in the kitchen and behind the camera are out of this world. When she asked me to write a guest post for her blog, while she is on vacation, I couldn’t but jump at the chance.
And if you are visiting my little space on the Internet because you are wandering over here from Katie’s blog….then you totally know what I am talking about. She is awesome, right?!? And welcome! I am so very glad to have you here today.
Let’s get going!
The sun is shining. The trees are budding. Daffodils are waving ever so slightly in the breeze. Tulips are testing the waters…soon to be in full bloom. The grass is growing fast and furious, aided by the April showers. Spring is starting to slowly and finally roll into Ohio. It has been a long winter and we want nothing more than warm afternoons and long lazy evenings. Spring in Ohio requires us to practice patience.
In the spring, we have this internal urge to clean out the old and bring in new. Start fresh – Spring, to me, has always represented a new year more so than January 1st ever has. Something takes hold and before we know it windows are being cleaned, floor boards scrubbed, closets sorted and organized, and if you are me – fridges and freezers are overhauled. It has been a long winter – heaven only knows what I have stocked and stored away over the cold months. I am like a squirrel hoarding nuts. So it was no surprise to me when I found 2 extra bags of fresh frozen cranberries in my freezer last week. Left over from Thanksgiving/Christmas. Stored away just in case. Just in case I needed to whip up a cranberry sauce. Or jam. Or needed a another loaf of orange cranberry bread.
Honestly, I had forgotten about them. Big Surprise. So, when Katie asked me to guest blog and I was scratching my head and standing in front of my refrigerator wondering what recipe I would offer her readers…I spotted the cranberries. And instantly thought…I bet there are more people out there like me. Spring cleaning and finding extra bags of cranberries (among many other things… why do I buy so many packages of frozen spinach?!?).
I know, I know…cranberries are generally eaten around winter holidays, but I think they are perfect this time of year ( and I am not just saying this because I have an abundance). They have a bright tart flavor, matching the feeling of an early spring afternoon. A coffee cake with a thin layer of sweetened cranberries and a coconut streusel top is just what a Sunday afternoon calls for. A lazy Sunday afternoon spent on your porch, soaking up the sunshine, getting lost in a good book, with baseball on the radio in the back ground. All while you nibble away on an extra large piece of coffee cake that is studded with little flecks of vanilla bean. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Always coffee.
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1¾ cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ⅓ Cup Flaked Coconut, unsweetened
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter and line bottom with parchment paper. Grease parchment.
- Make vanilla sugar: With the tip of a paring knife, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and place in a food processor with 1+3/4 Cup of sugar. Pulse to combine. Transfer to another bowl – you will need the food processor again.
- Place cranberries and ½ Cup of vanilla sugar in food processor and pulse until chopped but NOT pureed.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt – set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
- Pour ½ of batter into bottom of prepare pan – the batter will be very thick, so spread it out with a butter knife.
- Spoon cranberries over the batter, leaving a ½ inch border around edge. Spread the remaining batter over cranberries. (With the batter being so thick, the best way to do this is by dolloping spoonfuls of batter all over cranberry filling and very carefully with a buttered knife, gradually spreading the batter over the filling)
- Prepare crumble topping : In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup of vanilla sugar, flaked coconut, tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon of flour. Crumble with fingers or fork until pebble like.
- Spread evenly over top of cake.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (don’t test into cranberry filling).
- Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes before removing from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
- Serve with coffee and good conversation.
Adapted from Gourmet December 2008Read More
The holidays are long gone, resolutions have been made and broken, snowmen have been built and hills have been sledded, the Super Bowl has been won and lost, and the groundhog has seen his shadow…Dear Winter, all that is exciting during your months (and I am including a large mean fat rodent checking out his shadow like Peter Pan in this list) have come and now are gone. You are free to leave this shin dig whenever you see fit. No one would be upset. Promise.
I have been wearing a heavy coat for what feels like months. Boots have replaced flats and cute shoes. I couldn’t imagine wearing a short sleeved shirt anywhere. And honestly, I haven’t been warm since August. I also haven’t felt fully rested in months…or at least since the sun brought warmth and not just light….and lets be honest, that light is waning.
I think I am part bear. Winter hits and I need 2-3x more sleep than spring, summer, and fall. And not only do I need more sleep, but my desire to do anything productive is absent. My level of productivity is about 30% – as I look around, my house is proof of this. Laundry is piled as high as the dishes (college roommates reading this…it is worse than normal, yikes!). Coats are strewn over backs of chairs and banisters and boots, flats, and wedges are scattered throughout. I have forgotten how to dust and does mail need to be sorted during the winter?
I become a big ole sleepy lazy bear. Or a human of a bear. Or a bear of a human. I don’t know…but I hibernate.
And about this time of year…yep, February is about right. I get a wee-bit annoyed with myself , but there is no getting me out of this funk. It just lingers until the days get longer and the sun begins to provide warmth again. I can push myself to do the things and chores and daily tasks that need to happen, but it takes an enormous amount of effort. The bed is too warm and my eyelids to heavy to wake-up and be productive. Dishes or exercise be damned. The couch too appealing and the book too good to start any laundry. Trips to Target even seem like work…how wrong, right? Suppose I have a touch of seasonal associated depressive disorder? Nah, I wouldn’t take it that far…I am by no means depressed. I am just saying sweat pants and a warm blanket and long novels and naps are more attractive than grown up duties. Also, if you stop by…don’t mind the mess…it’ll be cleaned by March. Or mid-March. Perhaps April…March is still rather frigid in my parts.
With all of this being said…I still make it into the kitchen and whip things up … just the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned up as quickly as it should or would in other seasons. And I still have to eat and I still need a snacks and my sweet tooth never hibernates. Never ever. And what is better than a good book, a hot cup of whatever gets your goat this time of year, and a piece of snacking cake? Nothing. That is the answer. And I have the perfect snacking cake for you today. It is great as a light dessert, a mid afternoon sweet treat with your mid-day caffeine boost, and quite excellent as a Saturday morning breakfast. Oh, and it tastes like oranges. Not overly so…just perfectly so.
- 1 + ½ Cups Pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 4 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 + ½ Cup Granulated White Sugar
- ½ Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Zest
- ½ Cup Olive Oil ( good quality)
- Powder sugar for dusting/serving
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray springform pan with a non-stick spray or olive oil (bottom and sides).
- Grind pecans in food processor until finely ground (not powdery). Whisk ground pecans with flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until they have lightened in color and they are frothy – about 2 minutes.
- Slowly add sugar and beat until mixture is pale yellow and thickened – about 4 minutes.
- Gradually add pecan/flour mixture and then mix in orange juice, olive oil, and orange zest, mixing just until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Place springform pan onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in preheated oven and bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, until toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely in pan on a wire rack.
Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2007Read More
Any pistachio lovers out there? What a qui-dinky-dink. Me too.
Not long ago, I was able to pick you/we pistachio eaters out of a crowd. Those red fingers were a dead give away. Anyone know why they dyed them red? I am fully aware that a quick Google search ‘why were pistachios dyed red?’ would return multiple pages providing me with an adequate answer (and probably a correct one), but sometimes and quite often, I still like to ask questions. Similar to how I still like buying real books and compact discs. Old school livin’.
I will text and or ask questions when I can readily answer the same questions using my magic phone or the handy dandy computer I always find myself in front of. Personal Googles is what I like to call them. Each question directed to the person in my life that would be able to answer it best and most quickly. Why is the sky blue? How do I get a grease stain out of my favorite sweatshirt? Where does the wax go when candles are burned? Is there a trick to keeping your cat out of a Christmas tree? I ask game scores when I have an ESPN app made specifically for scores when you are on the go, or at work, or at a wedding. Same for the weather. I am always asking about the weather…but this may be because I stink something awful at small talk.
So my question today…red pistachios. Why red? and then also, why are they no longer dyed red? (besides the fact that we no longer prefer to ingest copious amounts of red dye #40) So many questions…also, why are they so darn addictive? Abby Sciuto was right, have you ever just eaten one pistachio? I think not. Which means, and I apologize in advance, you will probably not be able to eat just one slice of this cake. I have already eaten two slices and wondering how long I must wait before I eat a third.
This cake may become my ultimate nemesis. Self proclaimed pistachio addict and a life long lover of pound cake. Yep, I am doomed. Doomed I tell you! I beg of you to bake this…risk the doomed-ness. Totally worth it. Promise.
Shell your pistachios. Ha! Please buy them shelled, it’ll take you all day otherwise. It is worth the extra cost. Your thumbs will thank you. You will leave some whole, some roughly chopped, and others will be ground into a paste….
Ground pistachios, pistachio paste. Guess what? Pistachio paste does not look like I had imagined. What happened to the green? Where did all the brownish-yellow come from?
Cream cheese and butter need to be creamed. Martha was onto something here. I don’t think I will ever make a pound cake with just butter ever again.
Add the pistachio paste into the mix. We are gonna hide its ugliness among cream cheese and butter.
Where it will discolor your cream cheese and butter mixture and you will realize that your cake will not be green, but a light brown. I now understand why Jell-O adds green food coloring to their pistachio pudding. Light brown pudding that is not chocolate = not appetizing. At all. Or ever.
Eggs, vanilla, sugar, flour, salt, mini chocolate chips, and more pistachios are heading to this shindig.
Mini chocolate chips and the chopped pistachios get folded in last.
I should have left more in the bowl. This batter is delicious. Head in bowl, licking out the last bit delicious I however by no means suggest you should eat raw eggs.
A drizzle of a sweet glaze and a handful of chopped pistachios finishes this cake off.
I am thinking this cake would knock off the socks of relatives and co-workers for the upcoming holidays. Plus, it can be made ahead and frozen. Conquering the holidays is all about prep work. It’ll make you look like a rock-star.
- 1+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Pistachios, shelled and divided
- 10 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
- 3 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1+1/2 Cups White Granulated Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- 1 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons Milk
- pinch of salt
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Cup Pistachios, roughly Chopped
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line a loaf pan (8½ by 4½inch) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place ½ Cup shelled pistachios into a food processor and process until a paste forms (about 3 minutes). Roughly chop the remaining ½ Cup shelled pistachios. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add pistachio paste and cream until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Beat in sugar and remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add room temperature eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg into the mixture before adding the next. Add vanilla.
- With mixture on low, add flour and salt, mix until just combined.
- Fold in roughly chopped pistachios and mini chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven. Bake for 80-90 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean (with a few crumbs attached) when inserted into the middle of the cake.
- Place on wired rack and let cool. Remove from pan after 15 to 20 minutes and let cool completely on wire rack.
- Once cool, drizzle cake with icing and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
- To make icing: Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use enough milk until desired consistency is reached ( I used 2 tablespoons of milk this go around).
Adapted from Martha Stewart.