Tagged: butter

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me by now, but I’m not really much of a baker. I can safely say this is the truth for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I’ve always been more of the “creative” type in the kitchen and I always have a very hard time following recipes. It’s not that I’m incapable of doing so. It’s just that baking is so exact that, personally, I can never get that excited about it.

What’s so exciting about following directions??

Nothing, I say!

That’s what I’ve always loved so much about cooking. Sure, there are techniques that I may need to know or ratios that are important but, ultimately, every time I whip something up in the kitchen the best part, for me, is that I don’t need to think about measuring or having things precisely a specific way and I know that whatever I make will still turn out delicious!

Another thing about baking is that the result of baking is so rarely healthy that I can’t  justify even bothering to bake something. Sure, there are some baked goods that I adore. I love a buttery croissant or cheese danish, I swoon over carrot cake, and I have a hard time saying no to brownies (especially if there are nuts in them!). Luckily, though, it’s always pretty easy for me to refuse a slice of chocolate cake, apple pie, or a big deli blueberry muffin.  As someone who typically advocates eating healthy, when I DO bake it’s usually something  like my banana oat muffin/bars or something similar, where there is no white flour or butter to be found!

For Easter this year, though, when I decided to make breakfast for the family I knew that I wanted to have something sweet to accompany the quiche I was making and although fruit is delicious (and was had in abundance) I decided to give baking  something a whirl.  Another pastry that I enjoy and my husband in particular loves is coffee cake. Nothing too crazy about it. Not some fancy, fruity, glazed nonsense.  Just a lovely cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

I found a fairly basic recipe for a standard classic coffee cake and spruced it up to make it my own (because I just can’t help myself). The batter is spiked with lemon zest and cinnamon and uses white whole wheat flour to get some fiber in your diet! I also used plain, nonfat greek yogurt to replace the traditional sour cream used in most coffee cake recipes and this recipe turned out perfectly moist and tender.  The cinnamon swirl contains oats and walnuts to bulk it out because I wanted as much swirl as possible without adding anymore sugar to the recipe.  The resulting coffee cake was delightful, especially paired with a steaming hot cup of English Breakfast Tea with milk and honey (or ya know…coffee…if you’re like most people.) I hope you enjoy this recipe!

coffee cake

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

For the Coffee Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

For the Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×9 inch baking dish with some nonstick spray and set aside.

To make he cinnamon swirl: combine the sugars, oats, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small dish. Add the vanilla and the softened butter and, using your hands, smush everything together until the butter is distributed and the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer if that what you’ve got) cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture with your mixer on low speed. Add 1/2 of the yogurt and combine. Add the remaining flour and combine, followed by the yogurt.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Top with the remaining batter, making sure you spread it out to cover the swirl, and top with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake the coffeecake for 45-55 minuets, or until a toothpick (or heck, I always just use a knife) inserted in the center of the coffeecake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving…preferably to people you love…because you’re not going to want to share this coffeecake with just anyone.

 

Do you have a favorite breakfast pastry??  

Do you prefer coffee or tea??

Last, but certainly not least,  don’t forget to grab a badge and link up with your favorite real food recipe, today!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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Real Food Recipe Roundup #2 – Shrimp Scampi

It’s Thursday, ya’ll!! That means it’s thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss close to the weekend!! I’m particularly excited for a pretty chill weekend. I’ve got yoga on Saturday morning and I’m meeting some of my favorite gals for coffee on Sunday. Otherwise, I plan to read, clean, cook, and eat….and that’s about it! Does that make me lame? I don’t really care! It brings me joy…just like shrimp do!! (I am a fantastic transitioner – obvi!)

I was cravvvvvvvvvvvving shrimp for weeks. I still wish I could eat my weight in them. But alas, they cost monies. These particular shrimp were free, though, thanks to Kyle and Melinda!! (Woot! You guys rock!!) So when ya got shrimp, ya make shrimp scampi!

This recipe is sooooooooooooooo simple. The ingredient list is pretty short, too, which makes it even better in my book! And they’re all just real, tasty, albeit not the most healthy, but if you’d like you can go ahead and substitute whole grain pasta if you’d like. My hubby doesn’t love it, so this time around I stuck to plain old pasta. I also use a combination of real butter and olive oil here…the butter is important so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it completely, but if you’re more comfortable using more oil than butter I’d say go for it! Here’s the recipe!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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shrimp scampi Shrimp Scampi

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish

Bring a large, salted pot of water to boil. Prepare the spaghetti to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until fragrant.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until pink. Add the wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and toss in the parsley.

Serve immediately over spaghetti!

shrimp scampi close up

Do you have a Real Food Recipe you’d like to share?! Share your Real Food Recipes with other folks like you and me who love to cook and eat!! No judgement. Nothing fake. Just the real deal!!

Blogiversary Bananer Bread

HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO ME!!!

One year ago today, I started this blog with little hope that I would find anything of interest to me on the big ole blogosphere and lookie where I am today. I couldn’t be happier with this endeavor, the community I’ve found, and of course the food. 🙂

I promised you this recipe last week.

And thennnnnnnnnnnnnnn I worked all week and didn’t post it.

So please forgive me for the delay, but here it is in all of its buttery glory.

Brown Butter Banana Oat Bread

Fun fact: Brown butter is quite common in French cuisine and is commonly referred to as ” beurre noisette” which is pronounced ( for all of us non-french folk) “burr nwa zett.”  Don’t you love learning?!

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Begin by heating the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will melt and bubble. Swirl the pan around and allow it to continue heating. The butter will become fragrant and start to turn brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine the banana, sugar and vanilla. Gently incorporate the browned butter. Add the dry ingredients, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown.

Also, don’t forget, voting for Challenge #2 for Project Food Blog starts today!!!!!! Vote for me here!!!!!

Happy December!

Gee wiz!

Can you believe it’s December already?!?! I am completely befuddled!!!

Where did the year go?

Thanksgiving has already come and gone and, I must say, mine was absolutely wonderful!!! There is nothing better to me than getting together with all those near and dear to me and eating delicious homemade food to my hearts content.

Typically on Thanksgiving, my responsibility consists of my two favorite dishes; sweet potato casserole and a dessert of my choice. This year, I decided to change things up a bit. I took my two favorite dishes and combined them into one and created this delectable dessert.

Spiced Orange Sweet Potato Tart
with Pecan Shortbread Crust

For Filling:

  • 3 sweet potatoes (baked, peeled, and mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nonfat, sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Several whole pecans (for garnish)
  • One whole pecan shortbread cookie  (for garnish)

For Crust:

  • 1 package pecan shortbread cookies,
    crushed into fine crumbs ( minus one to  use for garnish)
  • 1/2 c crushed pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To make crust, combine crust ingredients in a large bowl.
    Mix well, until it reaches the consistency of wet sand.
  3. Pour into an ungreased tart pan and press firmly to set,
    making sure to bring the crust up the sides of the pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  5. For filling, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  7. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  8. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, or until crust is brown
    and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour,
    ideally overnight, before slicing and serving!