Archive for July, 2010

I found my thrill…in a Blueberry Coffee Cake

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Why is it when you take a vacation, you come home with less motivation than before the trip?  After having back to back vacations, I started the week with noble attempts in getting projects done,  but now mid-week I am zapped.   Vacation life was incredible…we were in  Napa (the town of Yountville) and I couldn’t have been more relaxed.  The biggest stress was deciding what to get from the demoniacal bakery literally next door to our hotel. Now back home I am having a hard time adjusting and can’t decide what to cook for the life of me.  And when I walk next door, I keep asking for fabulous chocolate donuts and coffee. My neighbor is getting madder by the day, insisting that her house is NOT Bouchon Bakery.

So for this week’s post I bring you breakfast…this was a recipe I made for the first of my two vacations…a gal pal trip to Galena.  I made it with farmers market blueberries and it makes a whole 9 x 12 pan of goodness, so there’s plenty to share.

This recipe comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan With a Vengeance.  You can use dairy in place of the soy items and it works just as well.  However I don’t think I would use anything but real maple syrup (but once you use real, Mrs. Butterworth will seem like a cheap whore to you…trust me).

Blueberry Coffee Cake

For the Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the Cake:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 (6-ounce) container vanilla soy yogurt
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups plain soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the topping:

Sift together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the oil a little at a time and mix with your fingertips until crumbs form. Add the walnuts and mix.

Make the cake:

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the wet ingredients until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the blueberries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle the topping over it. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Tastes great still warm.

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The Beet of the Moment

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Okay, if you didn’t catch the pun on the Asia song, my second choice for a blog title was  Glenn Frey’s. “The Beet is On”.  Moving on from bad food and

Straight from the garden

80’s tunes puns…you can see the summer’s heat has been affecting my brain *just* a little.   This week’s super delayed blog post will be short and savory, so you can get back to the slip and slide.  But stick around after the recipe for a fun website I just found that will make you giggle.

This week’s recipe is for Beet Salad.  Most of you aren’t a fan of the beet, but damn it, you should be.  I just tried them last year when I purchased a bunch at a farmers market.  The whole family loved them so this year I am growing some.  Warning for first time beeters:  Don’t immediately call your doctor the following day after doing your business in the oval office.  The red color in “that” is normal and yes, from the beets.

This is a recipe I developed after trying something similar at one of my favorite restaurants – Duke’s Alehouse.  It makes a fun, sit down appetizer or heck, I could eat it as a meal with no problem.

Savory Beet Salad
Serves 6 as appetizer

–  one bunch of beets (4-5 beets)
– 1/4 lb chopped bacon, cooked
– 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
– 1/3 cup candied pecans
– 1/3 cup granny smith apples, diced
– 2/3 of a head of endive, cut into matchstick or so size pieces

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
a few dashes of tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients and whisk together.

Peel beets and roast for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until tender, but not mushy (do smaller beets for less time) just so they are fork-tender.  When cooled, dice into cubes the size of sugar cubes or so.  Add all ingredients together, including dressing,  except cheese and nuts, and chill for 30 minutes or so.  Once ready to serve, add cheese and nuts.

Okay, here’s the laugh I promised you…if you like to watch Food Network, I found this site called Food Network Humor which basically makes fun of all the things I normally do when watching the shows (although I barely watch these days).  Enjoy and keep cool!

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