Saturday, October 28, 2017

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

A friend recently came to my house bearing a jam packed gallon zip bag filled with fresh frozen raspberries from her garden. Wow!  That is such a nice gift to get.  I had to think on it... should I make jam, cake, what would be best?

We had a co-worker with her birthday last week, so I whomped this up on Sunday night to be ready to celebrate Monday.  
Woo hoo, it's so fun to have a surprise!  
Except she was sick... 
So while we couldn't celebrate her, however, we did make everyone else quite happy.

This recipe is very adaptable to other flavors and fruits, I might try thin sliced apples with some cinnamon, or blueberries, or heck, why not chocolate chips?  When it's coffee cake, it is always good! I adapted from this recipe from Smitten Kitchen where she originally made this with blueberries.  I mixed powdered sugar with a little cream and drizzled over the cooled coffee cake. In the morning, we had some yummy crunchy icing over the streusel, which was fantastically yummy.

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold is fine
Pinch of salt

2 cups (less 2 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla)
1 pint fresh, or frozen, raspberries
1/2 cup half and half cream

Drizzle icing or powdered sugar over the top

Heat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch round baking pan (with at least 2″ sides) and dust it lightly with flour; line it with a round of parchment paper.

Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by 1/2 the milk; repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, finishing with the dry mixture. The batter will be very stiff, but don’t fret. Fold berries into cake batter until evenly distributed.

Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is flat. If using walnuts, scatter them on top. Sprinkle with prepared streusel. Bake in heated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. You can let the cake cool complete in the pan on a rack, or just cool it in the pan for 20 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper lining, and flipping it back onto a plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

Do ahead: Cake keeps covered with plastic or foil at room temperature for three days. If longer, it might be best to keep it in the fridge. It gets more moist each day.

A little coffee cake is always a yummy thing to have when you're at work.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Greek Lentil Salad

Crunchy, sweet, savory and so healthy! Make up a bunch of this and enjoy it throughout the week.  

We had this salad recently at a great Greek restaurant in Vancouver BC (The Greek by Anatoli) and immediately loved it.  Such a different assortment of flavors and textures, and very satisfying too. I just knew I needed to make it when I got home.

I buy the Trader Joe's French Lentils regularly and love them.  I used one full package in this recipe, which is about 2 cups. I used the last of the fresh corn, but I think frozen corn, or even canned (and drained) corn would work in a pinch.  

In full disclosure, the photo above is from our meal at the restaurant because I forgot to take a picture of mine!  I made this for a family party of about 20 people and it was a big hit, and my sister asked me to blog it. My photo (if I had one...) would look a bit different....I forgot to buy kale.. so used fresh spinach instead (more people like spinach in my opinion).  I also added the feta at the last minute, and I really think most dishes are improved by feta.

Makes enough for 8-10 (keeps well for lunches)

16 oz French green lentils, dried (about 2 cups)
4 cups water or broth
1 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 ears of fresh corn, parboiled and cut off the cob (or 1 1/2 cups frozen, thawed)
9 oz bag of baby spinach, chopped- About 2 cups chopped (kale is also a good substitute
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or a couple cloves fresh garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Greek Yogurt for topping, sprinkle with a bit of cumin, if desired

In a saucepan over medium high heat, add all the lentils, salt and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to low simmer until they are cooked, about 30 minutes.  They should be firm, but not hard.  Drain and let cool.

In a large bowl, add the diced bell pepper, the corn and the shredded spinach (or kale).  Add the lentils, the olive oil, lemon and spices.  Stir to combine.  Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper.  Add feta and combine, sprinkle top with a bit more feta and a dollop of yogurt.
Serve either chilled, or at room temperature.

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