Orange Juice Coffee Cake

Today was a coffee cake day. It’s summer and we are in lazy mode. :p What is better for brunch than an orange juice coffee cake?! Nothing.

Light and refreshing this is a great treat for brunch or tea!

Orange Juice Coffee Cake

  • Servings: 1 loaf or 12 muffins
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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CakeINGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup olive oil (this combo makes it very light, use all butter for a slightly denser cake)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (approximately 1 orange)
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and grease a loaf pan or 12 muffin tin
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Whisk in egg, orange juice, milk, and zest until fully combined.
  • Gently stir in dry ingredients. Careful not to over mix.
  • Pour into greased loaf pan/muffin tin. Fill muffins 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Muffins will be done. Cover loaf pan so as not to burn the top and bake for 15 minutes more.

Chocolate Port Cake

This is a recipe I have wanted to try for quite some time. The original can be found here. I thought today would be the perfect day. I was not disappointed! Fortunately a friend came over to help me eat it 😉 It is definitely a cake for the over 21 crowd, as there is still alcohol left after you bake it 😀

Chocolate Port Cake

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Time: 1hour 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:IMG_5262

  • 8 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup port
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a bowl combine 1 cup of the flour with the dry ingredients
  • Cream together the butter and sugars
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • Gradually add in the wine and vanilla
  • Stir in the dry ingredients. If the batter is too wet add a bit of the extra flour. I did not have to add any.
  • Spoon into a buttered loaf pan
  • Bake @350 for 60 minutes. The cake was done in 45 minutes in my oven, so keep an eye on it. It can dry out if over baked.

Avocado Brownies

Sometime the oddest things turn into the best things. My grandmother is the queen of interesting ingredients. She bakes the most wonderful things! As a little kid I would eat and enjoy her baking only to find out there was a can of tomato soup in her spice cake (Mother’s Conversation Cake)  or beets in her chocolate cake (Polish Beet Cake)…. It was so very tasty that I didn’t care a bit what was in it. From those early memories I learned to love baking with different and unique ingredients, so when I found this recipe of Avocado Brownies (Frugal Mom Eh!), I was ecstatic! They turned out beautifully and I will be making them again! They were soo good I forgot to take a picture of the finished product 😮 oops.

 

Avocado Brownies

  • Servings: 24 brownies
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • BROWNIES:
    • 300 g dark chocolate (chopped or chips)
    • 2 tbs butter
    • 2 hass avocados, pitted and peeled
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup less 1 tbs flour
  • FROSTING:
    • One medium sized hass avocado, pitted and peeled
    • 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 tbs maple syrup or honey

DIRECTIONS:

  • BROWNIES
    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Line a 9 x 13 in pan with parchment paper, allowing some overhang.
    • Put the dark chocolate and butter in a double boiler or bowl set over simmering water, without it touching the water.
    • Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth then remove from heat and set aside.
    • Place the avocado into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
    • Stir the avocado, honey and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate.
    • Next, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well mixed before adding the next.
    • Stir in the flour and cocoa powder until the batter is smooth.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to cover the pan and fill the corners. Smooth the top.
    • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch.
    • Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan before lifting the brownie from the pan.
  • FROSTING:
    • Place frosting ingredients in a food processor or blender along with the cocoa powder and maple syrup.
    • Blend, scraping down the sides as needed until very smooth.
    • Add more cocoa powder or maple syrup if needed to taste.Spread over completely cooled brownies.
    • Cut the brownie into 24 pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

A Week of Smoothies

Since it is getting so beautiful and summery here , I have taken to having a smoothie for lunch after my workout. It is the best way to  cool down and hydrate.  Using what ever fruit is on sale at the local store keeps me from feeling like I have the same smoothie over and over. When I see fruit at the store, I buy it, chip it up, and put it in the freezer to be dumped into the blender at my earliest convenience. Voila! an ice cold smoothie without watering it down with ice!

IMG_5030

Fruit for a week of smoothies:

  • 1 can of Tesco Peaches in juice, divided in half and frozen
  • 1 package of Strawberries, topped and frozen
  • 2 Braeburn Apples, chilled and cored, skin optional
  • 2 tbs Peanut Butter and 2 tbs Nutella OR 4 tbs Peanut Butter
  • 4 Kiwis, skinned, quartered, and frozen
  • 1 bag fresh Spinach, washed, de-stimmed, and frozen
  • 1 package White Grapes, de-stimmed, washed, dried, and frozen
  • 4 Bananas, room temp or frozen

FOR EVERY SMOOTHIE MY BASE IS: 1/2 CUP GREEK PLAIN YOGURT AND 1 CUP MILK. Anything will work though as long as you have around a cup and a half of liquid you are good to go.

 

~~~    Sunday: Peach and Strawberry    ~~~

1/2 can Peaches in juice

5 Strawberries

211 cals

~~~   Monday: Apple and Peanut Butter   ~~~

2 Braeburn Apples

2 tbs Peanut Butter

375 cals

~~~   Tuesday: Strawberry Kiwi Banana   ~~~

4-6 strawberries

2 Kiwis

1 Banana

317 cals

~~~   Wednesday: Peach Strawberry and Spinach   ~~~

1/2 can canned Peaches

4-5 Strawberries

2 handfulls Spinach (about a cup)

313 cals

~~~   Thursday: White Grape Kiwi and Spinach   ~~~~ 

1 cup Grapes

2 Kiwis

2 handfulls Spinach (about a cup)

353 cals

 ~~~   Friday: Chocolate Banana   ~~~

2 Bananas

2 tbs Nutella (or Peanut Butter if you prefer)

499 cals (splurge day :D)

~~~   Saturday: Kiwi Banana and Spinach   ~~~ 

2 Kiwis

1 Banana

2 handfulls Spinach (about a cup)

300 cals

~~~~~~

Have a beautiful and refreshing week!

 

 

 

Cinnamon Tea

I have been on a cinnamon kick lately. I cannot seem to get enough of it. It makes every thing it touches taste sweeter and just better. 🙂 Here is one of my favorite discoveries on this cinnamon kick.

Cinnamon Tea, aka 73 calories of deliciousness

1 tbs honey

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 mug boiling water

Mix it together and enjoy!

 

 

Fool Proof Brownies

As my college roommate can tell you, I am not a natural brownie maker. So when I found this recipe that I could make perfectly every time I tried, I labeled it Fool Proof. These brownies are always fudgy and excellent. The bake time varies with the oven, but usually they take about 30 minutes for me.

 

Fool Proof Brownies

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:Brownies1

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  • Melt butter and stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder.
  • Spread batter evenly into the pan.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes.

Pi Day Pie!

Happy Pi Day!

Today is a beautiful day here and in honor of the sunny Spring weather I am in the mood for a lemon tart. I am going to try my hand at some mini Tart an Citron. I am so excited.

I started with a half recipe of Easy Dessert Tart Crust from Chowhound. I was not sure how much this would make since the original recipe was for a 9 inch tart case, but half worked out perfectly and I had just enough crust for 4 mini tarts.

Next, I made a lemon curd recipe from prettysimplesweet.com. The recipe is so simple and easy, this coming from someone who has trouble making pudding pud.

Here is my wonderful day of baking.

Tart Crust

  • Servings: 4 mini tarts
  • Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tbs salted butter (if using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbs all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine the butter and sugar, in a large bowl and stir until evenly incorporated. Add the measured flour and stir until just combined and a soft dough forms.
  • Sprinkle the dough over the bottom of your mini tart cases. I used silicon cases for easy removal. Using your fingers, evenly press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cases.
  • Cover the tart shells with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Once chilled, prick them all over with a fork and bake until golden brown, about  10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling and removing from the pan.

Lemon Curd Tart

  • Servings: 9 inch tart or 8 mini tarts
  • Time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time
  • Difficulty: easy-ish
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INGREDIENTS:

  • Fully baked and cooled tart crust(s)
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons for both zest and juice)
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
DIRECTIONS:
  • In a medium heatproof bowl, place eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and heavy cream and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook on moderate heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick. For me it was 20 minutes, but it could be less. If you have a thermometer, it should register 170F/75C; otherwise, it should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear pass if you run your finger through it. The curd will thicken more once cooled.
  • Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a sieve. Add butter, a few cubes at a time, and whisk until completely melted and incorporated, and mixture is smooth. Take your time with it—the whisking makes for an airy and light texture. Allow to cool to room temperature before filling the tart.
  • Fill the tart shell with lemon curd, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until chilled.

Tarts1