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Blueberry Coffee Cake

What I love the most about this recipe is the resulting size. You don’t need a pound of butter, sugar and a giant bundt pan. I shared this with my best friend Jen and her sweet grandmother – and there were only a few crumbly slices left after gossip and coffee.

I used a smaller spring form pan so the ratio of crumbly topping to cake was vast. I like lots of streusel topping. Use a loaf pan, brownie pan – whatever you’ve got.

INGREDIENTS

For the streusel topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Sponge cake batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups blueberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 8 inch square pan or small spring form pan.

For the streusel topping: Mix together the flour, sugar and ground cinnamon. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it in with a fork. This mixture will resemble coarse crumbs. If the mixture is not dry enough, add in more flour. And then set aside.

For the cake: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar until light yellow and creamy with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat with hand mixer. Mix in the flour and milk in alternate steps. (flour – milk – flour – milk).

Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the blueberries on top of the batter. Top it off with the streusel.

Bake for 50 minutes. When a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean – it’s ready.

The Original French Chef Omelette Pan: Sausage & Mushroom with Goat Cheese & Manchego

Most days I feel really lucky. The day I found this omelette pan for $5 at a garage sale was one of those extraordinary lucky days. It was dirty and laying on a dusty table underneath an old wok. It was the oddest-looking pan I’d ever seen. The metal looked sandy and there was no shine to it. But for $5 I decided it could at the very least be good to pound chicken cutlets.

It ended up being the best $5 I’ve ever spent. The omelet pan was created in 1963 when Julia Child asked The Pot Shop of Boston to design it, and where it is still sold today. My pan dates back to 1963 or 1964 – the only 2 years the pan was made with a dark wood handle on my workbench. To be 46 years old, this pan has held up incredibly well and still turns out a “flawless omelet that is perfectly golden with a creamy center*”.

*Cooks Illustrated, Jan. 2009, Winner of the Best Omelette Pan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 links Chicken Italian Sausage, sliced into thin rounds
  • 8 ounces Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Manchego, grated
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup Half & Half
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add mushrooms, sausage and season with salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together eggs and half & half.

Preheat the pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Turn the heat down slightly. Pour eggs into the pan. Using a spatula, let the eggs begin to set and slowly lift up the edges and tilt the pan so the egg goes to the bottom of the skillet. Repeat this step until the eggs are almost cooked completely. The top should still be wet. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the eggs with the sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheeses. Place in oven for 5 minutes until top is set.

Remove from oven and top with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar if you so desire. I do.

Vegetable Omelette with Pecorino Romano and Aged Balsamic

My most recent indulgence is a bottle of aged balsamic vinegar… it was worth every penny. The problem is I am now hooked and can’t stop putting it on EVERYTHING. It lacks the acidic hit its younger and cheaper sister is known for and is the perfect accessory to bring excitement to some pretty boring food.

Try it on a salad of arugula & spinach topped with figs, Pecorino Romano and a hard boiled egg. Or for dessert: vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic.

I realize there are worse addictions to have… and I will hold out on that second job until I see just how long this little bottle lasts on my counter top.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup roasted broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 tomato. diced large
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Pecorino Romano
  • Mozzarella

 

DIRECTIONS

 

Preheat oven to 450±.

In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add broccoli and spinach and season with salt & pepper. Sauté until spinach has wilted. Add tomato and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add eggs on top of vegetables and cook until egg whites are almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Top with a few pieces of mozzarella and shaving of Pecorino Romano cheese.

Bake in oven for just a few minutes for cheese to melt. Top with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

 

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