Monthly Archives: April 2012

Strawberry Banana Coffee Cake

I can’t seem to stop shoveling strawberries in my mouth.

Anyone else having this problem?

Okay. Good. Glad we are on the same page.

I love when you can tell the true changing of the seasons by how produce tastes. I took one bite of a particularly vibrantly colored, delicately sweet and meaty strawberry about a month ago and said, “You guys! It’s officially spring!” The Dude and Monkey looked up from their plates with little to no interest and continued on with their respective lunches.

Oh well. I’m not sure what kind of grand response I was expecting from my exclamation.

Okay that is a lie. I was actually hoping for a little mini fiesta break, like in that commercial for the taco shells.

The one where they are lamenting over the round taco shell and the little kid says in subtitles “why not make it flat on the bottom?” and then the commercial cuts to a little party where they fling him up in the air and throw confetti.

So yeah, that is what I was hoping for. A quick springtime party with confetti and a mariachi band.

Digress much?

So when I can hold on to a few strawberries without eating them, I actually really really love to bake with them. (Remember these little cookies?)

Here is my latest strawberry concoction. A lovely little coffee cake, if it pleases you.

Oh and yes you may notice that there does not appear to be a large amount of strawberries on this cake…well…I’ll be honest with you. I ate too many before I baked up this batch for the pictures. Woopsie. (P.S. It is also the reason that I have all of two pictures of the cake in this post. Hey. This is real life. And strawberries get eaten in real life.)

This cake is sweet and dense, offering a nice contrast to the crumbly struesel layer all over the top. And the nutmeg and cinnamon thing going through it all? Sign me up! I love the way that nutmeg tastes with strawberries. The spiciness stands up so well to the smooth sweetness of the fruit.

Love it!

Happy Spring, ya’ll!

Strawberry Banana Coffee Cake

1/2 cup (heaping) diced, fresh strawberries

1/2 tablespoon sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup (about 1 medium) mashed black bananas

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl combine strawberries and sugar. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, while mixing the other ingredients.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine bananas, eggs, honey, vanilla, butter, and milk.

Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into a well greased, 8×8 baking dish.

Drain strawberries and scatter them over the top of the cake batter. Gently press strawberries into the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle struesel (recipe below) over the top of the cake. Note: I only used about 3/4 of the mixture to top the cake.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Streusel Topping

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

In a small bowl stir together the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and flour.

Then using your fingers or a fork, quickly work the butter into the flour and sugar until it becomes the consistency of cornmeal and only small pea-sized chunks of butter remain.

Advertisements

Almond Butter Fruit Dip

Sometimes unexpected things happen in the kitchen.

Sometimes they are more of the unwelcome variety. For example, this morning I was getting supper ready to go in the slow cooker. I quickly reached into the refrigerator to grab a box of chicken broth and immediately started shaking it up. Suddenly everything was covered! If I had been a little bit more careful and had payed any attention to what I was doing at all, I would have noticed that the little tab was not secure. So I totally covered not only the kitchen, but also my poor Little Monkey who happened to be standing right in the line of fire. And let me tell you, she did not appreciate it either. I, being the very picture of maturity, thought it was pretty darn funny; and proceeded to teasingly tell her I was going to eat her since she smelled so delicious.

That probably didn’t help her feel better about the situation. Oh well. The Dude would have appreciated it, but she was at preschool. Le sigh.

So there are the not so great unexpected kitchen happenings, but there are also some delicious ones.

Remember back when I made this breakfast cake? Well, when I was tasting as I went along making that cake, I found out something quite unexpected.

There is a second little recipe hidden inside.

A tasty fruit dip recipe.

Oh yes.

If you stir together a little almond butter, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and vanilla; bam! Sliced fruit just turned into a more interesting and filling snack.

This stuff is crazy good. Super rich and nutty (duh!) from the almond butter, with a little tang from the yogurt. It is sweet, obviously, but not so much that it overpowers the sweet fruit slices you have going on. And it really does make a filling snack (ahem…or lunch..oops), thanks to all of the protein and healthy fats that are packed in from the almonds and yogurt. Score!

Almond Butter Fruit Dip

3/4 cup almond butter (you can whip up my recipe found here)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir together almond butter and brown sugar until well combined.

Fold in Greek yogurt and vanilla.

May be served immediately or after a couple of hours left in the refrigerator to chill with fruit slices, graham crackers, pretzels, etc.

Hawaiian Risotto

I have been waiting a whole year for this.

It has to be one of my favorite leftover recipes I have ever made. I think it will be one of your favorites too.

Cube up some of that baked ham you are going to have sitting forlornly in your refrigerator after tomorrow along with some of the pineapple that sat prettily on top, and toss them into a rich and comforting bowl of risotto. Maybe you turn around to say something to your Little Dude and a little bit (or maybe a lot a bit) of the sweet pan juices and glaze you used on the ham dribbles its way into your pan. I don’t know. It probably wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened in your kitchen. In fact, it might be one of the best.

The rice is creamy and rich with the salty cheddar cheese. The ham cubes offer a hearty filling bite, while the pineapple bursts with their sweet juice giving you that addicting salty-sweet contrast.

Oh and might I suggest swirling in a generous helping of Sriracha? It is definitely the right thing to do.

Mahalo, and Happy Easter.

Hawaiian Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1/3 cup white wine

4 cups simmering chicken broth

1 cup simmering water

1 cup cubed ham

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1/4 cup pineapple tidbits

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onion. Cook until translucent and soft.

Add rice and garlic and toast for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Pour on white wine and stir until absorbed.

Ladle in the warm chicken broth about 1/3 cup at a time. Stir until the liquid is absorbed by the rice before adding more.

When all of the broth is gone, heat some water in a pot. Begin adding the water 1/3 cup at a time until the rice is soft and creamy (I used about 2/3 cup).

When the rice is done, stir in ham, cheese, and pineapple.

Serve immediately.

Hot Cross Bun Pancakes

Brace yourselves. I’m about to do something really mean.

“Hot Cross Buns.”

“Hot Cross Buns.”

“One a penny. Two a penny.”

“Hot Cross Buns.”

Hahahahaha! Now that song is going to be stuck in your head for the rest of the day, like it has been stuck in mine ever since I made these Hot Cross Bun Pancakes last week.

Okay. Okay. I’m sorry.

I’ll make it up to you by leaving you with this amazing recipe that you should make for your fam on Friday morning. They taste every bit as spicy, sweet, and festive as the buns but are waaayyyy less work.

And look on the bright side. At least with the song on constant replay in your head, you aren’t as likely to forget to make them.

Hot Cross Bun Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3-1/2 cup raisins

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

In a medium bowl mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, orange zest, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in raisins. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together milk and eggs.

Add melted butter to milk and eggs, whisking the entire time until combined.

Dump the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until combined.

Spoon pancakes onto a preheated griddle or pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until bubbles have formed.

Flip and cook about 2 minutes more.

Transfer pancakes to a warm oven until ready to serve.

Pour Vanilla Glaze onto pancakes in a cross shape. Serve immediately.

Vanilla Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons milk

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl. Continue stirring in milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time until desired thickness.