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Truly, I used to hand shred or fork shred chicken for recipes, like chicken salad. I saw this tip and I was WOWed at how easy and fast this is. Try it once and you’ll for sure add it to … Continue reading
One of the sad things about strawberries is how quickly they go to mush after you pick them. There are a few glorious days of eating perfect berries, then BAM! – mush. They are too good to toss, even at … Continue reading
To say that my 4 year-old son is a picky eater is a bit of an understatement. Just when I’m sure I’ve got his likes and dislikes figured out, he changes them. Last week, he loved baked salmon. This week … Continue reading
I have this little problem. Well, it’s not a problem for everyone else, it’s just a problem for me. I have a problem saying no. As a result, I find myself one very involved little chick. And, my job requires … Continue reading
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa, not keen-oh-a, please) and I are trying to become close friends. I understand that it has some excellent health benefits and should have a place in my diet. Up until a few weeks ago, I had not ever … Continue reading
I’m on a bit of a bread kick. Make that a BIG bread kick. A few weeks ago, I attempted to make my own English Muffins. They were delicious, but they were a lot of trouble – multiple risings, shaping … Continue reading
Homemade pizza is a weekly staple in our house. For some families, going out for pizza is a treat. For us, homemade pizza nights are our treat. I haven’t always been good at making pizza, but I’ve certainly honed my … Continue reading
Baking is really my favorite, hence this name of this happy little food blog, but I can’t keep these delicious things around the house all the time. I’d be as big as a barn and probably need some medication to regulate my cholesterol. So getting invited to a friend’s house for dinner is always the perfect excuse to make something that I would not and could not otherwise.
This little gem of a cake is baked in two layers. The bottom layer is like a giant, fluffy sugar cookie, crunchy around the edges. The top layer bakes on an egg/cream cheese mixture with those berries floating in it. This is the Ooey Gooey part and it is by far the best reason to make this cake. Take this to contribute to a meal along with some vanilla ice cream to dollop on top and you’re sure to be a big hit.
Ooey Gooey Berry Butter Cake (adapted from here)
– INGREDIENTS –
For bottom cake layer:
5 tablespoons melted butter (don’t you dare try to use margarine or some light crap)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the top ooey gooey layer:
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
– PREPARATION –
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment and lay in the bottom of the pan to easily remove after baking.
3. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and 1 egg until pale and thickened. Beat in sour cream. Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and soda – in a separate bowl and then beat the flour mixture into butter mixture until smooth. Spread evenly into your prepared pan.
4. Bake until cake is pale golden and springs back slightly when gently pressed, approximately 20 minutes.
5. While the cake layer is baking, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and remaining egg in a medium bowl until smooth. When the cake is removed from the oven, spread this mixture over the cake and arrange berries on top. Bake until edges of topping are set and lightly browned, but center still jiggles when pan is gently shaken, about 30 minutes.
6. Allow cake to cool completely on a rack. Loosen sides with a knife, then remove the rim. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. May be made a day ahead if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
Working part-time and being a mother full-time, there are just some nights when I’ve got to cook something fast. Before I knew better, those nights usually consisted of something frozen with a long list of not-meant-to-be understood ingredients. Thinking shifted and a new arsenal of quick food has emerged. Thankfully, my 4 year-old is a huge asparagus fan and the goat cheese, olive oil, lemon and pasta water come together to make what passes of as a rich, creamy and cheesy sauce. Perfect.
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta (not changed much from the recipe at smitten kitchen)
– INGREDIENTS –
1 pound whole wheat rotini pasta
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons tarragon, plus more for garnish
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
– PREPARATION –
1. Add pasta to well-salted water and boil until just shy of done – 3 minutes less than the package directions.
2. Rinse and chop the asparagus. Pick one spear and bend the end until it breaks. Chop all the stalks to this point, then chop the remaining stalks into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Toss them into the pot with the pasta and cook for 3 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and asparagus, reserving one cup of pasta water.
4. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and goat cheese (crumbled up). Add the hot pasta and asparagus and part of the pasta water. Toss to combine. Add more pasta water if needed. Season with salt, pepper and added lemon juice for more of a kick.