Friday, July 23, 2010


TA-DAA! The cake was somewhat of a success. The first layer stuck to the pan, the second layer caved and the third layer was a dream so it was progessional success. Nothing wrong with that. The crumb of this cake is super moist and dense but the taste is nothing more than pure vanilla delicious-ness. After visiting the Bloom Baking Co. at the River Market last weekend and sampled a Bloomberry cake, I was determined to make my own. The owner Janet O'Toole has created the perfect combination of true vanilla pleasure meets super simple whipped dream frosting. I courageously asked about the frosting since it was nothing short of perfect for this cake and she shared 4 simple ingredients. I found my own combination and created my own bloomberry cake. Renamed the following:

Whipped Dream Vanilla Cake (with fruit):

2 c + 2 T cake flour
1 c milk
6 large egg whites
2 t vanilla
1 vanilla bean scraped
1 3/4 c sugar
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
8 T butter unsalted
4 T oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Grease two 9 in cake pans. (I used 3-6 in cake pans.)

Combine milk, egg whites, vanilla, & vanilla bean in bowl. Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients into bowl. Cut in butter and oil until mixture resembles small crumbs. Gradually add in wet ingredients. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Scrape bowl and beat again another 30 seconds. Divide batter among pans. For two 9-in pans, bake approximately 30 min. For 3-6 in pans, bake 25-30 minutes. Watch the smaller pans because the time largely depends on how hot your oven runs. Mine baked closer to the 30 minute mark but because the cake is so dense and damp, I had to bake each one a few minutes longer. Let cool completely and frost. Between each layer and before I frosted I placed sliced strawberries. Yummy!

Whipped Dream frosting

1- 8 oz container mascarpone cheese
1-8 oz container cream cheese
1 regular size container cool whip
1 t (or more depending on your taste buds) almond extract.

Cream together the mascarpone, cream cheese and almond. FOLD in the cool whip. Keep cake chilled. Now go EAT UP!

BTW, this cake totally reminds me of a book I'm reading called Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray. It's terrific. Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To be or not to

Well I have officially begun the trek towards what I call, a healthy approach to my family's future. I have started the transition of creating an entirely organic kitchen. No more processed, enriched, additived, preservatived foods. So far.....good. I have to admit this isn't the easiest process. I realize that I'm sacrificing the oh so sacred Kraft Mac N Cheese which I've held dear since childhood or BC's ever so decadent and buttery yellow cake which is oh so (gulp) moist and delicious and I'm embracing the new and unfamiliar territory of fresh and safe.

The reason for the change is twofold: for baby girl #1 and baby boy #2. I want to be around for a LONG time to enjoy my two kiddos and I know that something has to change. I'm no expert but from what I've been reading, this is a good lifestyle change to make. As I've been reading, the list of what's lurking in today's Western style food is shocking. In all the books I've read they are all saying the same things; toxins, free radicals, enriched, neurotoxin, and other things of the like. These don't sound to me, like things I want in my body or more so, in my kiddos' bodies. So we're making the switch.

Where to start? Me? I started with the spice cabinet, of all places, I know. But having been out of town for 6 weeks, it was the perfect time to start considering the only things in my fridge were a jar of strawberry jelly, pickles and an empty egg tray. Soooo, I planned my meals, processed food free and headed to Whole Foods. Here's what we tried and liked. We're two for three which I think is a great start.

Mixed Berries with Vanilla Bean Syrup
from Fresh & Quick 2010

serves 4

1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c water

Put ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer 7 minutes.

In 4 small bowls put

1 pint fresh raspberries

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 pint fresh blackberries

1/2 pint strawberries, halved

Pour about 3 T of syrup over berries and serve.


Bison Burgers with caramelized onions and dates

from Grilling 2010

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 t ground black pepper

1 lbs ground bison

2 T olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c chopped pitted dates

2 T dry red wine ( I subbed red wine vinegar)

sliced cheese, opt

In bowl combine Worcestershire, 2 cloves garlic, black pepper with bison. Do not over mix. Form into patties.

In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and 6 cloves garlic. Saute 10 min or until onions are tender and golden. Stir in dates and wine. Cook 1-2 minutes further. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.

Grill patties to liking. Top with onion mixture.


Lime Chicken with Tomatillo-Corn Salsa

from BHG June 2010

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c olive oil

juice and zest of one lime

1 T minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

1 1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 t black pepper

1 recipe tomatillo corn salsa

1/2 c sour cream

1 T Evoo

In bowl, combine olive oil, 2 T lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate chicken 1-2 hours.

Grill to liking. Prepare salsa.

Tomatillo Corn Salsa

2- 1/2 in thick slices yellow onion

5 tomatillos (about 1/2 lbs)

1 ear fresh corn

1 med poblano chile

1/2 c packed cilantro leaves

1/2 t brown sugar

Because I like to grill, I grilled these on a piece of sprayed foil for about 10 minutes. Then I put all except the corn into my Blendtec. Pour into a bowl and stir in corn. Once chicken is grilled, top with sour cream and salsa. This was an EXCELLENT summer recipe. It's a new fave.

** I also like my salsa to have some heat or kick. This salsa had neither but the flavor was perfect. I'd recommend adding some jalapeno for some heat if you desire.