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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

It’s rhubarb season!  And as my friend Susan will tell you, “everyone should eat more rhubarb.”  Why not, when it’s so easy to make this sweet little cake highlighting summer’s best?

I’ve seen this described as rhubarb “tres leches” cake, and although it actually only contains dos leches, the fruit and cream do sink to the bottom and create a delectable custard.  We demolished several slices with friends recently and continued picking at pan scraps and “shaving” off corners to make the rest “more uniform.”  I take that as a good sign.

When the sight of neon pink and green stalks at the market finally proves irresistible, be sure to make this cake.  Enjoy!  And happy summer!

Yellow cake:

-1 1/4 (scant) c. all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-3/4 c. sugar
-1/4 c. oil
-1 egg
-2/3 c. milk
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fruit & custard layer:

-2 c. chopped rhubarb (about 3 large stalks)
-1/2 c. sugar
-1 c. whipping cream

1.  In a medium bowl, toss rhubarb with the 1/2 cup sugar.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour an 8-in. round baking pan or large glass/ceramic baking dish.

2.  Prepare cake batter: whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  In a larger bowl, mix eggs, vanilla extract, oil, and milk.  Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet until thoroughly combined.

3.  Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  Scatter chopped rhubarb and juices evenly across the top.  Pour the cream over top.

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What in the world makes these “Avatar” muffins,  you ask?

Let’s just say that if James Cameron’s blue characters were looking for the perfect camouflage muffins to eat on the go, they needn’t look further.   Oh, alright, fine: I made these muffins with weepy frozen blueberries, which dyed the batter a swirly blue.

Image via thefilmtalk.com

But I like to think these blueberry muffins are lovable in their imperfection.  Just like your best friend or that favorite chipped coffee cup you refuse to toss out. You know which one I mean.  Simple, straightforward, and good.

These blueberry muffins are homey and comfortable—ideal for savoring over a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. They’re moist, fluffy, and just sweet enough without veering into dessert territory.  Plus, they’re loaded with lots of bright fruit (you know how I feel about getting color into our diets).  If you want to ramp up the nutrition even more, you could substitute whole wheat pastry flour or quick-cook oats for a bit of the white flour.  Should you prefer non-Pandoran muffins, just use fresh blueberries, which bleed less than frozen.

(Adapted from Alton Brown via Thyme for Food)

-11 oz (2 1/4 c.) all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/8 tsp. salt
-3/4 c. sugar (I used demerera/raw)
-1/2 c. vegetable oil
-1 egg
-1 egg yolk
-1 c. plain yogurt (approx. 1 3/4 containers)
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. almond extract, optional
-2 c. blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 12-count muffin tin.  Alternately, you could fill the muffin tin with liners and then spray those with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss with the blueberries in a separate bowl.  (This reduces sinking while baking.)

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and yolk, yogurt, and extracts.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until barely combined. Do not mix completely, or your muffins will be tough and flat.

Stop stirring!

5. Fold in the blueberries and any residual flour just until evenly dispersed. Do not overmix.

6. Drop the batter into the 12 muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake 17-20 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Have I mentioned that I’m incredibly spoiled?

Saturday morning I lounged over a cup of tea (reading food blogs, natch), while my dearly beloved made these:

raspberry-pancakes

raspbery-pancakes-iii

raspberry-pancakes-ii

Raspberry pancakes—a treat on Valentine’s Day, or any day 🙂 (more…)

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breakfast

Not all at once, mind you.  Eating breakfast at the office is new to me.  For a year and a half, I was getting up early every morning to prepare breakfast pour deux.  It was stressful rushing to make something, sure, but I felt deliciously self-righteous starting my day with an over-easy egg or Cheerios and banana.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?

Well, this past November, I took a new job requiring me to be at the office at an ungodly hour.  I’m the only one getting up this early in my household.  So there went any romantic breakfast ideas, along with my resolve.

Fortunately (but not for my thighs), my new gig is at an events-centered office with free food on a nearly daily basis.  Namely: mini croissants, muffins, bagels, juices, coffee with cream, cookies, carrot cake, and more.  If I don’t eat that, I starve until lunch.

It only took, oh, 2 months for my conscience to kick in.  Yesterday, I rushed down to CVS, breathless (remember the croissants?) and full of resolve to find something healthier to eat.  Yes, at CVS.  (Guess I wasn’t hired for my good judgment).  Anyway, absent any fresh food, I tried to find things that were high in fiber and whole ingredients and low in my new dietary staples of icing, marzipan, and white flour.

That was the idea at least.  Right now, one of my desk drawers resembles a mini bomb shelter packed with dried fruit and nuts, popcorn, Kashi granola bars, (generic) Fig Newtons, Triscuits, peanut butter pretzels, and Fiber One cereal. 

Hopefully, supplemented with whatever fresh fruit I can pilfer from food service, I can cobble together a decent, pastry-free breakfast.  Maybe I’ll even start bringing yogurt cups.  That might just be too wholesome.

How do the rest of you manage breakfast?

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