Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cranberry Coffee Cake

I had a chance to become reacquainted with my kitchen over the holidays. I took a break from throwing together the usual dinners, and helped prep a meal of steak filets. (I left the cooking to a more seasoned expert.) On another night, I tried a new recipe for smoked chicken with roasted red peppers. The key ingredient there? Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Yum.

I also spent a bit of time baking. Wanting to use some of the leftover cranberries from the garland-making festivities at my holiday party, I found a recipe for Cranberry Coffee Cake. The dates and brown sugar really add an extra kick of sweetness to the cranberry topping. It’s an upside down cake, and when flipped, it didn’t look like the prettiest creation. It did serve as a delish breakfast for the week. It also reminded me that I want to spend more time baking (and cooking!) when I’m not off traveling. I’ve already made plans to host two dinner parties this year. Huzzah!

Cranberry Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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The Makings:
Cake:

  • Cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

The Sweetness:

Cranberry Coffee Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to coat 9-inch baking pan and then dust pan with approximately 1 tablespoon of flour.

2. In a small bowl, mix together cranberries, walnuts, dates and orange rind.

3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in brown sugar, orange juice and cinnamon, mixing frequently for 3 minutes.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

4. Pour brown sugar mixture into pan and cover it with cranberry mixture.

5. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, use a mixer to blend butter and granulated sugar. Add in vanilla and egg.

6. Alternate stirring in flour mixture and buttermilk into granulated sugar mixture. Be sure to start and end with flour mixture. Once blended, pour combined mixture into pan atop cranberries.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

7. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along edges of pan and once cooled, invert cake onto a serving plate.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

8. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, butter and orange juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop coffee cake.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

This recipe is from Cooking Light: Comfort Food

More Sweetness:
Blueberry Pie Bars  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls  Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Blueberry Pie Bars

Blueberry Pie Bars

I’ve made my share of pie “cookies” – apple and cherry – so when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Blueberry Pie Bars, I thought why not? (One of these days, I’ll get around to making an actual, regular ol’ pie. :-P)

These bars ooze blueberry flavor. The blueberry yogurt I used added an extra berry kick. The bars also hold their form well, thanks to the packed crumble crust.

Blueberry Pie Bars

The Makings:

Blueberry Pie Bars

For crust and crumble to use as topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used a blueberry flavored yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For blueberry layer:

  • 1 12 oz  package/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (use 1/2 cup if you have tart berries)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and then coat foil with baking spray. You’ll be able to pop out the bars in a snap this way.

Blueberry Pie Bars  Blueberry Pie Bars

2. To create crust and crumble, first melt butter and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in both sugars followed by the flour. Reserve 3/4 cup for crumble topping and use remainder to line the bottom of the pan. Mixture will be sandy. Use fingers or spatula to pack down the crust into a tightly pressed, even layer.

3. In another bowl, mix filling by stirring together egg, Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Next, whisk in flour. Pour filling atop crust and distribute and smooth out mixture evenly using a spatula.

Blueberry Pie Bars

4. In a third bowl, toss together blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Pour blueberries into filling. Use spatula to spread out berries evenly.

Blueberry Pie Bars

5. Take crumble that was set aside and sprinkle clumps of it out atop blueberries and filling.

Blueberry Pie Bars

6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until filling is bubbling at edges and in center, and the crumble topping is golden. Allow time to cool for at least a couple hours. Carefully remove bars from pan using aluminum foil and slice them to desired size. Serve warm or cold. (I preferred mine after they’d sat in the fridge for a bit first.)

Blueberry Pie Bars

Blueberry Pie Bars

This recipe was first found on Averie Cooks.

More Sweetness:

Cherry Pie Cookies  Lemon Strawberry Cookies  Apple Pie Cookies

Red, White & Blue Rice Krispies Treats

 

Patriotic Krispies

Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone! :) I spent the long weekend visiting my alma mater in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Go Blue!) I waited in line at Zingerman’s for sandwiches, sampled a beer flight at Ashley’s, watched some of the World Cup at Conor O’Neils and listened to live music at Summer Fest. I did not see any major fireworks, but managed to catch a few impromptu displays, and definitely spotted some folks sporting over-the-top patriotic outfits.

I made the above Red, White & Blue Rice Krispies Treats for a World Cup game watch party a few weekends ago. They just scream ‘merica, no? Back then, the U.S. was still in the mix! Sadly, they’ve since been eliminated, but Tim Howard did his team proud!

To make the treats, I followed this Kraft recipe, dividing the cereal, marshmallows and butter into three portions, to make the red, white and blue layers. I prepared a single color batch at a time, mixing in food coloring for the red and blue layers. (Tip: Be sure to mix in food coloring right after you’ve added the melted marshmallows, and THEN add in the cereal. Do this fast, as the marshmallow mix will start to harden if left to sit too long.)

While prepped in a dish (using LOTS of nonstick cooking spray,) I used my circle cookie cutter to cut out individual treats, and added fresh berries and light whipped cream atop the treats in a made-to-order fashion. The whipped cream actually melted into the treats, making them SUPER sticky sweet to eat.

How did you celebrate this weekend? Did you watch any of the World Cup games?

Patriotic KrispiesPatriotic KrispiesPatriotic Krispies

More Sweetness:
Cherry Pie Cookies  Lemon Strawberry Cookies  Watermelon Cookie Slices

 

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

I have some RIDICULOUSLY fit colleagues. One of my mentors teaches boxing and spinning classes. Several colleagues plan to participate in multiple marathon events this year. Some of my clients also spotlight athletes’ amazing feats.

Inspired by their collective fitness achievements, I recently decided to set my own personal summer goal. I’ve registered to complete my first 10K in July! While fitness has always been a priority for me, I’ve tended to shy away from running races. For me, its always seemed easier to take a dance/aerobics/cardio class or complete a timed workout on the elliptical versus hitting the open road. There’s an extra bit of motivation needed – both mentally and physically – when you don’t have an instructor or a TV show attached to the machine to urge you on. To help prepare for my first 10K, I’ve been following a six-week online training plan. I’ve also been scoping out smoothie recipes.

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie
So for this Fiesta Friday, I present you with my first green smoothie. It’s a Green Strawberry Pineapple Banana Smoothie that features spinach as the leafy greens. (I’ve got kale waiting in the wings to try out sometime soon, too.) The banana provides a creamy texture and the pineapple juice and fresh strawberries lend their natural sweetness to the drink. (Big thanks to Andrea for the strawberry heart inspiration. :) You should check out her recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Blondies.)

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? Do you have any fitness tips to share with me?

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

The Makings:

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup ice cubes

The Sweetness:

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1. Pour 1/3 cup pineapple juice into blender.

2. Slice strawberries and banana and add in blender, followed by 1 cup spinach leaves.

3. Blend mixture until smooth. Next, slowly add in ice cubes in small batches – 2 or 3 at a time. And voila! No extra sweeteners needed.

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Green Strawberry Banana Smoothie

”Fiesta

More Sweetness:
Strawberry Banana Bread  Cranberry Avocado Salsa  Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots