Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fresh Apple streusel Pecan Cake

This was the perfect recipe for a cool day like today. It wasn't difficule to put together, smelled heavenly while it was baking, and tasted great with a cool glass of milk. I was a bit suprised with how it turned out. The dough was very stiff for cake batter. I plopped the batter in the pan and greased my hands so I could spread it around without it sticking to my fingers. Glad it turned out so well! Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Streusel Topping:
2/3 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (I used old-fashioned)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 Tbl canola oil

1 cup granulated sugar
1 container (6 oz.) Yoplait Greek Fat Free Honey Vanilla Yogurt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups finely chopped, peeled apples (2 medium- I used Pink Ladys)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer until blended. Add all remaining ingredients except apples; beat on low speed about 1 minute or until blended. Stir in apples. Spread batter in pan. Sprinkle evenly with topping.

3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with an ice cold glass of milk.

Makes 16 servings.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40-45 minutes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sweet Potato Soup

Though the temperatures in the Treasure Valley are still in the mid to low 90's, I've been craving fall foods! I cannot wait until the temperatures begin to cool, the breeze kicks up, and the leaves begin to turn. I love comforting fall foods like sweet potato soup, jambalaya, zuccini breads, acorn squash, etc. Here's a very versitile recipe that you can customize to whatever mood you're in:

Sweet Potato Soup

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbl olive oil

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" chunks

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes

2 quarts chicken stock



  1. Heat oil in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add onion and garlic and cook on medium-low heat until onions are soft and just begin to turn brown. Add a little sprinkling of salt- this will help pull the moisture from the onion so it breaks down and caramelizes faster.
  2. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, and chicken stock. Cover, bring to a boil. Once to a boil, remove the cover from the pot and simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until the carrots and sweet potatoes are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender or blend batches of the soup until smooth. Now flavor as desired and enjoy! If doing the sweet versions, you may need to add a bit of sugar.
Suggestions for flavors:

  • fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme
  • Indian spiced (curry and ginger)
  • Thai spiced (curry paste and coconut milk)
  • Mexican spiced (cumin and chili powder)
  • Sweet Spiced (cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar & cream-- serve with a spoonful of marshmallow fluff or a toasted marshmallow on top)
  • Praline Pecan (make the sweet version and add toasted caramelized pecans to the top)