Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

This is one of my favourite recipes to use when I want to make a cake quickly. I make this all the time. You can use different berries and nuts depending on what you have at home.

You can use either yogurt or sour cream in this recipe. 

I prefer this cake the day after it's made, when it's completely cool.

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
Adapted from
Makes 12 slices


1 cup fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a cake pan with cooking spray. I've used 8" round or 8x8 square. Sometimes I line with parchment. You know your pan better than I do so you be the judge.

Combine berries and brown sugar in a bowl. Set aside. 

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix together sour cream, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond extract and egg, then pour it over the flour mixture. Stir just until moist.

Spoon 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread berry mixture evenly over the batter. Spoon remaining batter over the berries and sprinkle the top of the cake with almonds. 

Bake for 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let it cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

To make the glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla until there are no lumps. Drizzle over the cooled cake.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing - The Salad Bar

This month's theme for The Salad Bar monthly blogging challenge was avocados. I remembered my mom making Rachael Ray's Green Ranch Dressing and thought if I could thin it out a bit more, it would work really well as a dressing for salad. Normally it's pretty thick and we use it as a dip or spread. You can add buttermilk to thin it out as much as you like. And if you really wanted to be bad, you could add some grated cheese to this recipe.

Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing
Dressing adapted from Rachael Ray
Makes 1/2 cup

1 large head of lettuce, chopped
2 ripe avocados, diced
1/2 cup fresh or canned corn kernels
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup buttermilk (or more)
1 tablespoon TexMex seasoning
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
Juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate. Easy right?

Place all the dressing ingredients in the blender and let it go until everything is well combined and creamy. Add more buttermilk if needed. Refrigerate then toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zucchini Bites - Secret Recipe Club

My assigned blog for this month was Little Bit of Everything. This blog has such a large selection of wonderful recipes to choose from! It was really hard to decide, but lately I've been making recipes based on what people have given me from their garden, or what I've picked at the farm, so that helps narrow it down a bit.

I also had some fresh Ontario peaches and was also considering Julie's recipe for Peach Caprese Salad and Peach Muffins, but then decided on Zucchini Bites instead. My cousin gave me some really big zucchinis from her garden and I wanted to do something different with them. This recipe is very simple and everyone loved it! Next time I'm going to add more eggs and make them for breakfast on the go.

Julie also has a list of 50 recipes that she wants to try on her blog, and I thought that was a neat idea. Maybe I need to come up with a list of my own and get to work on it!

Secret Recipe Club

Zucchini Bites
Adapted from Little Bit of Everything
Makes 6 - 8 servings

1 1/2 cups grated and squeezed zucchini
1 large egg
1/3 cup grated cheese (Cheddar or Swiss would be good)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 400F and spray 6 or 8 reguar size muffin cups with cooking spray.

Grate your zucchini and squeeze out the excess liquid, then place the squeezed zucchini in a large bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix well.

Divide the mixture among the muffin cups and bake for about 23 minutes or until they turn golden and the middles are set.

Cool slightly before serving.