TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

How many different ways can I serve a sour cream bundt cake? Breakfast in the car, after dinner on a plate with a linen napkin, after a take-out lunch of Potbelly sandwiches with the in-laws. It was THAT good. Continue reading TWD: Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake

pickles!

What’s a girl who doesn’t like cucumbers to do when she receives a bumper crop of cucumbers from her father’s garden?

Make Pickles!

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I found a slew of canning jars in said father’s basement and this recipe for quick pickles from The Spice House, and I was off to the races. Just about everyone I know right now is enjoying fresh pickles on their turkey sandwiches.

TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

There are certain things I think everyone keeps in their pantry. Rice. Flour and Sugar. Olive Oil. Chocolate Chips. And when you run out of these staples, you know it has been FAR TOO LONG since your last trip to the grocery store.

That’s the wake-up call I got when I went to make the oatmeal bread that Oven Love selected for Tuesdays with Dorie and found myself short on oats. I used instant low sugar apple cinnamon oatmeal to make up for what I lacked, and it turned out just fine. I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, blueberries and golden raisins from Trader Joe’s golden berry mix, which I love.

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This was a spectacularly moist breakfast treat that Another Eater and I enjoyed every morning last week on our ways out the door: mine was perched in my lap while I drove to the train station, his came in finger-full bites while he fed PT before daycare (which PT loves).

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Do you know what I could do with $231

It does not involve a stroller that keeps my watermelon cold. Are refrigerators going out of style?

From Engadget.com:

So far as we can tell, this here watermelon cart (priced at ¥19,950, or a whopping $231) serves to keep your voluptuous fruit cool when being transported from market to mouth, but everything beyond that is lost in translation.

Happy Birthday TWD!

  I am so excited to be celebrating Tuesdays with Dorie’s second birthday by posting on time and in synch this week.  Congratulations to our founder, and to those who have kept up faithfully for the last 104 weeks.  You all should be proud of your accomplishments.

I must say, though, that I think the celebration makes this week’s Tarte Tatin selection especially enjoyable.  It was the simplest of recipes (butter, sugar, apples, pastry dough), but I’m just loving it.  Even though mine looks nothing like the photo is the cookbook, I’m loving the clean flavors. It’s really cold in Chicago right now, and warm apples with whip cream are just what the doctor ordered for when I’m snuggled up on the couch trying to stay warm and awake through the 10 p.m. news. Nevertheless, I think I would be equally comfortable serving this dessert for a dinner party in the dining room.  It’s just that nice.

Apple Tart Tartin

So tonight when I settle in for another slice of Tart, I’ll toast (with my fork) to another 104 weeks of baking with Dorie!

(You can find our host’s analysis and a link to the recipe here)

Housekeeping

Between working on the house, working at my job, celebrating with family, hosting overnight guests, and just sheer exhaustion, I’m WAY behind on my posting for TWD. But know, dear bakers, that I’ve been eating right alongside you and loving most of our creations.

I just recently pulled the photos of our Applesauce Spice Bars off of my camera (they were just before my niece’s Christening photos), and they were one of my favorites! I baked them over one of the first really cool fall weekends using Farmer’s Market apples, and they were popular both at home and at work – so popular that I forgot to photograph them before they were all gone:

Applesauce Spice Bars

Mine came out like a thin piece of apple cake with a sticky icing (which I enjoyed – it wasn’t too sweet)  but it made them very difficult to transport to the office in one piece.  We had to scrape the icing off the tin foil covering. Nevertheless, the tart fresh apple bits, plump golden raisins and wonderful fall spice blend made them worth it! I highly recommend these for an at-home treat.

They were F-A-R better then Rachel Ray’s Tiny Grape Upside Down Cakes. Mine tasted like overly dense pancake batter topped with apple jelly, and looked like something you would feel an elementary school classroom’s pet turtle:

Grape Upside Down Cakes

But maybe you’ll have more luck than I did.

Web find: guiltless orange dessert

Hungry Girl calls this dessert Scoopable Creamsicle Crush Pie, but since I turned it into parfaits, I’m not really sure that the name still applies. But it tastes darn good. You can find the recipe at her site in celebration of National Creamsicle Day (Aug. 14).

frozen orange

Two things appealed to me about this recipe: 1) it uses Nilla Wafers, which I love, and 2) it doesn’t mandate anything I din’t usually have in the house – most especially, no mass quantities of Splenda. I made the creamy filing with instant pudding mix, yogurt, Cool Whip and the juice from a can of mandarin oranges, and then layered it with whole orange slices and cookies that she recommended you break up.  I think my way was much better, if only because it dictated single servings in the cute parfait glasses I got at a second hand store for 25 cents a piece.

Plus, I could eat them with the excuse that Baby needed fruit and calcium and maintain some truth to my story – the ingredients are that real. Life is good.

(Alas, the dessert would be far cuter if I had a can of cool whip to spray on top, but that would have mandated another trip to the grocery store, most likely in my pajamas, and nobody wanted that.)

TWD: Banana Bundt Cake

As I’ve come to expect, Dorie’s creation is moist, delicious, sweet, perfect even without icing, blah blah, blah. It’s also easy to make, and produces few dishes to wash. The Other Eater in my Household likes that part, especially.

Banana Bundt

My challenge will be to find reasons why it is ok to eat this for breakfast the rest of the week. I am proud to say that I made it with fat free yogurt rather than sour cream, which is always nice. Also, the cake does have 4 bananas. These offer potassium, fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin B, (Thanks, Tao of Good Health).  Practically good for me!

What never fails to amaze me is how other TWD bakers move past the excitement of simply having fresh baked good in the house and think creatively.  Confectiona’s Realm added almond extract and apple butter (and considered other stuff) before putting hers in the oven. Prudence Pennywise added maple extract, wheat flour and nuts. And Ezra Poundcake is thinking about peanut butter cream. A hat tip to you all!

You’ll find the recipe for Dorie’s masterpiece at The Food Librarian, where Mary touts all things Bundt.  I kind of agree that I love my bundt pan and the beauty it brings to the table without icing or frosting or in-some-other-way polishing a less-than-perfect dessert. I’m going to have to check out some of the other 10 bundts she’s blogged about this year…

Side Note: While looking for reasons to eat more of this cake, I found that:

  • An average American eats 26 pounds of bananas every year – that’s about 150 bananas.
  • Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in the early years (1892-1920s) were given bananas to eat. Many had never seen them and didn’t know how to eat them – some ate the whole thing, peel and all.
  • Bananas were introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the same expo that introduced Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone.

TWD: Honey-Peach Ice Cream

oh, honey-peach ice cream, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…This was seriously the best weekend treat I could have asked for.  I fire up the ice cream maker a lot during the summer, and previously my favorite was Nutella ice cream.  But now that Dorie has given me this, I’m not so sure.

honey peach ice cream

Even though I used frozen peaches (it’s too easly for fresh peaches in this part of the country, and frozen peaches come already skinned. SCORE!) for this treat, I found it wonderful.  I like to think it’s the locally produced farmers market honey I used,  rather than that flavorless glop that comes in the plastic bear.  The ice cream was rich and fresh and summer-tasting.  I can’t wait to make it again!

So, to justify my passion, I found several health benefits to my indulgence (via DinineCaroline and Health24):

  • Peaches are low in calories and one 100 g peach provides almost three quarters of the daily vitamin C requirement.
  • The fruit has a gentle laxative effect.
  • Peaches are also rich in iron and potassium.
  • When allergy season hits, locally-produced raw honey may be an effective treatment. Local honey works best, according to some, because it contains pollen from the same local grass and trees that are making you sneeze. However, few controlled studies support the efficacy of honey as an allergy treatment beyond those showing that it works as well as a placebo. If you have severe seasonal allergies, consult an allergist before self-medicating with honey.
  • Honey might improve your oral health. Studies have shown that the anti-microbial properties of manuka honey, thanks to enzymes, can help clear bacteria from infected wounds and can be used to treat gum disease and gingivitis.
  • Honey contains the same level of antioxidants as spinach and strawberries, according to some research.  The antioxidants in a gram of honey equal the antioxidants in a gram of fruit.

So, eat up, readers! Visit Brown Interior for the recipe – she added amaretto to her ice cream! Might this be another place for my beloved bourbon?

TWD: Fresh Mango Bread

I baked this two weeks early and STILL didn’t get it posted on time…AARGH!!

Regardless, I really enjoyed this selection by Kelly, of Baking with the Boys. Thanks for picking the recipe and posting it on your blog.  I don’t think I would have tried this on my own, but I’m glad we all did it together!

Mango Bread

I trusted the title of this recipe and served this “bread” alongside a Caribbean chicken (cooked in orange and lime juices in the crock pot for several hours) and some carrot pudding.  HA!  While we all certainly enjoyed the sweet bread at the main meal, it was far more breakfast cake then bread.  I’ve been eating it every time I walk through the kitchen (before work in the morning, after I get in from the train in the evening, on my way to bed….).

I should have known when I pulled the ingredients for this cake that I was too sweet for a main course Sunday Supper, but by then I was too close to dinner time to scrap it and shop for some other starch – and I made so many substitutions I thought maybe it would be more savory that Dorie had intended. So I continued on: white sugar, brown sugar, golden raisins, frozen mangos, lime zest, ginger and cinnamon.  YUM to all of it, and especially when it’s baked with oil and butter.

Keep in mind, though, that I was short on vegetable oil so I used some olive oil.  I diluted the white flour with whole wheat flour. I used frozen fruit rather than fresh.  AND, mangoes are a good source on antioxidants A, C and E, and potassium – so there are health benefits to this sweet treat.

The bread browned quickly on top, so I wrestled with the aluminum foil as I tried to tent it while wearing oven mitts. It stayed in the oven longer than the  90 minutes the book recommended, too, and each time I took it out of the oven to test it with a knife I had to readjust with the foil tent WITH THE OVEN MITTS.  I must have been quite the sight, but I soldiered on and it was worth it.

The browned crusty top was wonderfully crunchy in contrast to the moist cake and sweet fruit. The Other Eater and I gobbled it donw for breakfast every day that week.

Next week: chipster-topped brownies.  I am SOOO looking forward to these!