Although most people I know don’t ever think of cake as something easy to make, I think you’ll agree that as far as cakes go this is pretty darn easy AND tasty! I love Kashi cereal and I especially love the Kashi Go Lean Crunch but for those of you who eat it too you might agree that eating a bowl of it is a workout for your jaw! It’s got great flavor but it’s a little too crunchy for me some days. So as the box sat there staring at me in the morning I asked myself how can I convert this great cereal into something else without completely destroying its redeeming qualities of being high in protein and whole grains?
A cake of course!
A few weeks ago, a colleague brought in the most amazing bread – not sweet, but crunchy, buttery, and extremely addictive. I’m also going to go ahead and speak some truth here, using the “m” word – the bread was also moist (I know how everyone hates that word, but I can’t help it – it’s a really good adjective, plus the word itself sounds like it’s own meaning).
Anyway – about the bread – I asked my co-worker for the recipe, and turns out that it’s not only super adaptable, it’s crazy easy and I could make it my own by baking it with ingredients that I always have in my kitchen. Since I love citrus flavors, I decided that a lemon bread would be perfect for us. But any flavor (orange, grapefruit, etc.) will work.
I was sitting on my couch reading a book at way too early of an hour yesterday morning and got hungry. I opened the refrigerator and stared into it like most and thought about how there was nothing in there I wanted to eat.
For breakfast, I am usually a protein junky. I love my fresh duck eggs or a nice turkey sausage to go along with my hot coffee.
However, yesterday morning I wanted a cookie, not a chocolate chip cookie but some kind of granola-y type cookie. I also wanted it to be simple and quick. Within 30 minutes I was eating this cookie and back to reading my book…
“What She Left Behind” by Ellen Marie Wiseman (if you were wondering).
This cookie is only slightly sweet and has a bit of a muffin texture. Very hearty and sustaining for my morning tasks of trimming shrubs and cleaning out the garage. It would be great to take along on a hike as well for a quick carb boost!
It’s “quick and easy” month here at S&S – not just because we’re lazy (though admittedly sometimes this Strudel can be the wee-ist bit unwilling to stand up and instead harasses her partner to bring the cookies to the sofa) – but also because things just feel hectic right now. Streusel is short-staffed at work, and putting in 55-60 hour weeks, and I’m going on vacation so will be gone for a week… absolutely nothing to complain about (hola Mexico!) but I’m also trying to pack in some extra work before I head out of town too.
So our recipes this month are to prove that there’s still time for baking, and blogging, amidst all the other business needing attention. The coffee cake perfectly fills the “quick and easy” description – via a secret ingredient, it’s ready for the oven in about 5 minutes, and is perfect to throw together for a meeting/event at work, or take to brunch or even dinner with a group of friends (just remove the word “coffee”, call it a “sour cream cake” and voila! dessert!) It’s also super tasty – the cake is rich and moist, and cinnamon-sugar swirl adds a sweet/spicy bite.
About that secret ingredient… it’s a box cake mix. I KNOW! Still totally worth it, and best part is – you can’t really tell. And if you can tell, you don’t care because it’s so darn tasty.
I got this recipe from my dad, and apparently he got it from a friend in January of 1991… so it’s been floating around my family for a minute. While I don’t make the cake a ton, I’ve kept the recipe because I love having it for when I’m just not in the mood to bake (or don’t have the time/energy). It’s a good recipe to have at the ready!
We have a new Ice Cream Shop in Denver called Twisted Cream and they inspired me to create this ice cream. Alcohol in ice cream? More please!
You may remember when I traveled to Italy a few years ago that I fell in love with Limoncello and the home of Limoncello, Sorrento. As I started to think of all the liqueurs I could turn into ice cream, limoncello immediately popped into my head.
I have never made ice cream with alcohol and let’s just say I didn’t go about it the right way. In my mind, the more alcohol the better, right? Duh, alcohol doesn’t freeze real well due to its… alcohol! I had to add way more milk than I would have liked to get it the right consistency and probably should have added even more but let me just say this is frozen and perfectly potent. The true essence of my favorite liqueur!
While there are many very wonderful places for dessert in Seattle, two of my favorites are Molly Moon Ice Cream and Top Pot Doughnuts (I know that doughnuts are considered a breakfast, but since they’re truthfully fried cake with frosting, I tend to consider them a dessert). A few weeks back, we went to dinner with our friends, and rather than eat dessert at the restaurant, we decided to head to Molly Moon for our treat. As we walked out, my friend Aimee commented that, in her neighborhood, Molly Moon and Top Pot happened to be right next door to one another. And why, Aimee mused, had they not joined forces? Why had no one created a doughnut ice cream?
I’ve always known that Aimee was smart, but this (obviously) took my understanding of her brilliance to a new level. I know how to infuse flavors into ice creams, why should doughnuts be any different?!
I used to be wildly opposed to incorporating fruits into desserts. To me, the inclusion of fruit meant the exclusion of two of the world’s most wonderful foods – chocolate and peanut butter. And you couldn’t tell me that a fruit-and-chocolate something made sense. It doesn’t. If there’s more fruit, then there’s less chocolate. So stop it.
And then I got into a relationship with a man who grew up eating, and ultimately worshipping, fresh-fruit pies. And makes statements like, “I can’t eat that brownie, it’s too much chocolate” (I think we can all take a moment to acknowledge my maturity in not immediately kicking him to the curb. I mean really, too much chocolate?! Gah!!) However, I can acknowledge that the first time I had one of the pies his mother bakes, well, I discovered something kind of amazing. And it did open me up to the possibility that fruit can be good in desserts – maybe I don’t have to order it myself when we’re out, but I also don’t have to disparage it when it happens (I know, my maturity is unparalleled…)
That being said, I still don’t really believe in fruit ice creams (see above comments about chocolate and peanut butter, and add in some thoughts about salted caramel). But with Strudel and Streusel’s ice cream month in full swing, a freezer full of blackberries, a great base for an ice cream recipe, and an extremely enthusiastic partner, I forged ahead. And you know what?! Darn thing is actually pretty tasty. Truthfully, it’s delicious – creamy, tart, and satisfying, the ice cream feels perfect for summer and has helped me (almost) understand the desire.
Are you getting ready for summer? I certainly am! Although this post is not going to help me fit into my bikini. Neither are the subsequent posts we have for you this month. Strudel and I thought what better way to get you ready for summer than to tempt you with ice cream. I was so committed to this month’s theme that I went out and bought a new ice cream maker.
For many years I’ve owned the kind of machine that you pack with ice and rock salt. It was a pain and I never made ice cream, which I am now realizing was a good thing. My new Cuisinart ICE-30BC makes it so easy I could make it everyday!
Maybe I should stick to every other day.
I got the idea for this ice cream driving to work Friday morning.
I’ve been mulling over what to make for the last installment of cake month here at Strudel and Streusel… lots of ideas have been floating around in my brain, but everything was either too fancy (I’ve been feeling pretty lazy lately) or uninspired (I attempted a single-serving mug cake and it was a disaster; I won’t return to that for a while).
And then, seriously, I had a dream about carrot cake cupcakes. I have no idea why – I don’t think that during my conscious hours I’ve been thinking about cupcakes or carrots much (at least, not more than usual). But I took that as an (extremely helpful!) sign that my dream should be my inspiration for this week’s post (as an aside, I don’t remember any context of the dream – which is probably a good thing, since hearing about people’s dreams usually isn’t very interesting…)
Since I remain hyper aware that summer is creeping toward us, I made these cupcakes low-fat… and then I added the frosting. So we won’t call them healthy or low-fat, but we will acknowledge their attempt at balance, with the lower fat cake and the higher fat frosting.
Even though we got snow this week here in Denver, Spring is certainly in the air. My grass is growing like crazy along with all my Iris and Lily plants. The ducks dart out of their pin every morning in search of worms in the yard! This wonderful change of season inspired me to make these cute little cakes.
Not sure why but when I think of Spring I think of bridal showers and brunches and these cakes. I have never been one for a big slice of cake. I prefer to eat my cake as a cupcake or better yet, a petit four. I have never been brave enough to attempt these little bites and this week I finally mustered up enough courage to give them a try. Not sure what I was waiting for because they are actually quite fun (and not too difficult) to make. Admittedly, the poured fondant icing requires a little patience and being OK with making a huge mess! They are so pretty and dainty that I think they are worth the effort.