Sunday, July 31, 2016

Marbled Mocha Pound Cake

I like coffee although I'm not a regular coffee drinker. And when I make myself a good cup of coffee I may have a hard time finishing it. Really?! - you ask. I know..

So here I was with leftover coffee and a craving for pound cake. A little Google search and I came up with the following recipe the following day. Special thanks to my mother in law who inspired me to use coffee grounds in a cake (I remember she made a similar cake 10 years ago..)

This cake was so good fresh out of the oven I almost ate half of it! Those that know me won't be surprised at all.

Marbled Mocha Pound Cake
Makes one small cake.  Adapted from here.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup + 1 T yogurt, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 1 T sugar, divided
1/4 cup oil
1-2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cocoa

1 T used coffee grounds
1 T strong coffee, cold
  1. Heat the oven to 425 F
  2. In a small bowl mix the flour and baking powder
  3. Beat the eggs with the 1/2 cup sugar and lemon zest
  4. Slowly beat in the oil
  5. Stir 1/2 cup yogurt with the baking soda and wait for a few seconds to proof
  6. Add the yogurt mixture to the egg one and stir well
  7. Carefully stir in the flour
  8. Divide the batter in two (you can use the small bowl from the flour)
  9. To one side stir in the extra yogurt, to the other stir in the cold coffee, cocoa, coffee grounds, and extra T sugar.
  10. Butter and flour the pan (I used Pyrex loaf pan as you can see)
  11. Layer the yellow mixture first and top with the dark one. Feel free to layer it in smaller portions for better marbled effect
  12. Bake for 30 mins (lower the oven temp to 380 after the first 10 mins)
  13. Make sure to check with a toothpick (mine was ready at this time)
  14. Enjoy with a glass of milk, coffee or yogurt!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Well, this is not a cooking recipe.. I wanted to share with you our success with cucumbers this year. The picture above is our bounty from today. Pretty good!

Here is what we did this year. I planted 2 pots with 5 seeds each in June. I don't remember the day, but it was probably late that month. By July 10-20 all 10 seedlings had emerged and had grown a set of true leaves. At the time we planted them in 4 mounds with respectively 2, 3, 2, 3 seedlings. They got full afternoon sun and plenty of water. I think I have been watering them almost every day. We also feed them every couple of weeks or so with a slow release organic fertilizer. They were still small mid-august, but they grew quickly after that and started producing Sep. 1. Once grown make sure you pick the cukes daily because I missed one that grew so big it got stuck between the fence (see pic below). :))

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cornbread Muffins

I was craving some cornbread.. It tends to be sweeter almost like cake so I was looking for something with a bit less sugar. I adapted the following recipe:

I used homemade yogurt instead of buttermilk and probably 1/2 T less sugar. Baked in paper lined mini muffin pans for 10 mins at 375 F so I ended up with 24 muffins. They still looked pale when I took them out but were perfectly cooked. Note, while still warm they tended to stick to the paper liner, but I had no such problem on the next morning. The are buttery, crumbly, with the right amount of sweetness.
I also had these with maple butter, but I don't think it is quite necessary, although it makes them a bit more special I think. These would probably store well in the freezer, too, so you can enjoy a quick bite whenever you crave it. ;)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pretzel Rolls

I was browsing through Epicurious and the following recipe for pretzel rolls caught my attention: I have made pretzels only once before and I found it a bit harder to keep them in good shape, so I thought rolls would make it much easier and it sure did. It didn't take too long to do, either. I mixed the dough in a bowl with electric mixer with dough attachments instead of using food processor to minimize the amount of dirty cookware. Other than that, I followed the recipe. I ended up with only 6 rolls, though, since we used the last two dough pieces for pizza. :) These were best while still warm, still good on the next day, and they were gone by day 3.
I think I would still make regular shaped pretzels next time, since they are better for dipping. ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lemon Chicken Drumsticks over Israeli Couscous

We usually brine our chicken to add more flavor. This time I was looking for something a bit quicker and lemony. I found the recipe on Epicurious (you probably know by now I often cook recipes from that site :) ). Here is a link to the original recipe:

I served the chicken over israeli couscous that was cooked according to the package directions - with some sauteed onions, garlic and homemade chicken stock. I also added some of the juices from the pan where the drumstick was baked.

It was a really delicious dinner. Definitely a keeper!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Peach Crisp

After our recent move I now feel more comfortable in the new kitchen. It is right in the middle of summer here and given our love for peaches we had overabundance in the fridge. It didn't take long to find a great recipe for peach breakfast. Here is a link to the one I followed. I really loved it and even without vanilla ice cream it tasted great (we had drinkable plain goat yogurt instead). I forgot to take a picture of the plate, but as you can see there is not much left in the baking dish, so it must have been good. ;)

Note: I used 3 medium peached and baked in a good old glass 8x8 inch Pyrex dish uncovered for about 25 minutes, and another 5-10 minutes covered with foil.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baked Whole Branzino

I had bought two whole branzinos from Whole Foods. The first I grilled on a pan and finished in the oven (based on a recipe not worth sharing). We found it bland and somewhat overcooked, so we hoped the second one would turn out better, so here is how we prepared it. The result was so tender and flavorful, so I just had to share it! We had sides of mashed potatoes and green salad. Yum!

Baked Whole Branzino
serves 2

1 whole branzino (about a pound)
1 lemon
lemon zest from the lemon half
1 small garlic clove, minced
2-3 T minced parsley
2-3 T dill
4-5 scallions (bottom to middle part), cut in 1 inch lengths (optional)
1 yellow onion, cut in circles
2-3 T olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Generously grease the bottom of a pan (I used 9x13 pyrex one) with about 2T olive oil.
  3. Rinse and dry the fish and season with salt and pepper all over (inside and out).
  4. Mix the lemon zest, garlic, and parsley. Spread over the inside of the fish (if you have extra you can top it over the skin).
  5. Cut 3-4 lemon slices (half lemon) and stuff them along with the dill in the inside of the fish. Add a couple of the scallions if using.
  6. Place the fish in the pan and top with scallions.
  7. Spread the onion slices over the fish and its sides (it is supposed to keep the fish from drying out).
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Serve with the remaining lemon half.
Note: If you like crispier skin you can broil the fish for the last 3-4 minutes. We skipped that and had the fish ready at the 22-23 minute mark.