Sunday, September 7, 2008

Strawberry Coffee Cake

I was looking for a recipe using strawberries because I bought a bunch at the Brentwood Farmer's Market, and found this one on another food blog :) It turned out great... all my roommates loved it!



Crumble Topping
1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 stick of margarine (stick form is necessary), cold from the fridge

To make crumble topping, sift the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Place the margarine in the center of the bowl and sprinkle a little of the sugar and flour mixture over it. Place all 10 fingers on the stick and crumble it so the margarine turns into little pea sized bits. Keep the bowl of crumbles in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

Strawberry Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup margarine, melted
3 cups strawberries, sliced

Sift the first four ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla, and melted margarine together in a separate bowl. Add the mix of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Beat together with a handheld mixer until well incorporated.

Pour into a pre-greased 13×9 pan. Arrange the sliced strawberries on top of the batter. Sprinkle the crumble toppings. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes.

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Basil

I went to the Brentwood Farmer's Market this morning and picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables - strawberries, Roma tomatoes, yellow, orange, and chocolate (?!) bell peppers, basil, and an onion. This was my first experiment, aka my lunch.

I used this tomato sauce for penne pasta, and heated some leftover grilled asparagus and chicken in the sauce just before it was done.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 or 4 medium-to-large tomatoes, about 1 pound total, cored and roughly chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic in oil until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes; fish the tomato skins from the sauce as they separate from the pulp (or leave them in if you're not after elegance). Add most of the basil, reserving some for garnish.

Add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with reserved basil and serve with the Parmesan.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Peach Cobbler

My mom and I discovered a farmer's market secret when we went to the Pleasanton Farmer's Market a few weekends ago. We got there about 20 minutes before it was scheduled to end, and all the stands were beginning to pack up. The sellers began yelling, "half off, half off!" We took full advantage of their offer, and bought over 8 pounds of peaches for about ten dollars! The next morning, I made two peach cobblers from a highly-rated recipe I found on They were delicious!

From Gourmet magazine, September 1999


6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

For biscuit topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

While peaches bake, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. Topping will spread as it bakes.

Grilled Pizza

I shared this recipe with my family on our vacation in Santa Barbara - everyone got involved by putting on their own toppings. The result was an easy, fun-to-make, and delicious summer dinner! My brothers and I also made twisted bread sticks with leftover dough, grilled on the barbeque.

Note: The tomato sauce can also be used for pasta or as a base for soups.

1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Toppings (I recommend fresh basil, sliced red onions, and sliced bell peppers)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper, saute 30 seconds or until fragrant. Mix in tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While tomato sauce is simmering, stretch dough into a large rectangle on a cookie sheet; cut into four equal rectangles. Oil grill. Using a large spatula, place dough on grill rack. Cover and grill until bottoms are brown, about 4 minutes. Turn dough over and immediately top with tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings. Cover and grill until cheese is melted and bottom side of dough is brown, about 4 minutes.

Breadsticks: Twist or braid strips of dough, brush with olive oil, and grill for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally.


Kahlua Cake

Emily's delicious kahlua cake! Recipe coming soon...