Also Goes Great With Tea Coffee Cake


I know that Mother’s Day has come and gone, but I just had to share this perfect everyday, great with tea or Coffee Cake.

One of the many things that I’ve learned through my Nana and her baking is that men love coffee cake. It’s a crazy notion, but you can go ahead and quote me on this. So with all my motherly advice aside for now, I’d been eying this recipe handed down from my Nana. Originally called Sour Cream Coffee Cake, it’s moist and satisfying and it’ll wrangle afternoon peckishness like the dickens.

Seeing that I have a habit of buying up anything organic or that I’d want to see in stock at my local grocery store just to send a message, I was the new owner of some soy yogurt. I’m good with tofu but I won’t be eating the “soygurt” à la carte again. However, as an equal replacement for the original sour cream in this recipe, I know I’d buy it again.

Although a nice bundt pan would be pretty, my Nana is of the depression generation so you can put it in what ever pan fits. I used a square 8×8 and it worked out really well, just could have been bigger since, even with all the birthdays lately, this is about the fastest I’ve seen cake go around here in a long time.

NANA’S COFFEE CAKE

1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Margarine, softened
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Soy Vanilla Yogurt, plain is o.k. in a pinch, just add 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup Plain Soy Milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

TOPPING
1 Cup Walnuts, broken
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Toss the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream the sugar with the margarine, then add the baking powder and continue to mix until fluffy.
In a measuring cup, combine the yogurt, soy milk and baking soda.
Add half of the yogurt mixture to the creamed sugar, then half of the flour, mixing until each is combined, repeating with the remainder.
Lightly spray and dust an 8×8 cake or bundt pan with flour.
Add half of the cake batter to the pan. Add half of the walnut topping. Finish with the remaining batter, then evenly sprinkle over the last of the topping.
Bake in the center of the oven for 45 – 50 minutes.
Cool completely in the pan before turning it out to a serving plate.

Warm New Potato & Dandelion Greens Salad


Officially spring when the weeds beat out the flowers – even in the grocery store.

Today was one of those exciting days at the market. Everywhere I turned there was new, fresh seasonal produce. I was greeted by thin, crisp greens, herbs and miniature everything like these potatoes which were about the size of fallen acorns.

I was worried that they might be too bitter. I had always been a little nervous about dandelions, unsure of what to do with them. I figured they must be pretty damn good though, judging from the number of elderly Mediterranean women I’ve spotted out along the highway boulevards collecting the young greens.

Knowing that you can neutralize a bit of bitterness with lemon or by choosing early, fresh leaves of any bitter greens, I set out to do just that with the dressing I had in mind for the salad. Of course, my live-in partner in crime’s first curiosity was to why I would buy weed, since I would soon be able to harvest from my very lawn in a matter of weeks, naturally.

But spring has sprung and I just couldn’t have waited any longer.

WARM NEW POTATO AND DANDELION GREENS SALAD

1/2 Lb Dandelion Greens, one big bunch with the tough stems removed
1/2 Lb New Baby Red Potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon Good Quality Grainy Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice, juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 Lemon
8 Capers, finely minced
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
1 Garlic Clove, slivered

Boil the potatoes until just fork tender; about 10 – 15 minutes depending on their size.
Combine the lemon juice, oil and mustard in a medium sized bowl with tall sides.
Whisk throughly to emulsify.
Mince the capers and add to the dressing along with 3/4 of the lemon zest, reserving the remainder for garnish.
Continue to whisk to incorporate.
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain potatoes and cover to steam while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Rinse the dandelion greens well and spin to dry.
Remove any of the lower, tough stems then tear leaves into about 2″ pieces.
Peel and very thinly slice the garlic clove on the diagonal.
In a small sauté pan add the pine nuts along with the slivered garlic and dry toast until golden and hot.
Toss the greens in the dressing then add the potatoes.
Transfer to your serving plate and top with reserved lemon zest, pine nuts and garlic.