Monthly Archives: September 2013

Espresso-Walnut Cake

I’m kind of a sucker for coffee cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs and other savory dishes for breakfast but why not have something desserty first thing in the morning with your coffee? Or better yet, why not have some coffee IN your Breakfast? This Espresso-Walnut Cake does just that.

Basic cake batter, made with fat-free yogurt to keep the calories down, is given a flavor boost with instant coffee and walnuts. The best part of coffee cake, the crumble topping, also has instant coffee mixed in to give you an even bigger caffeine jolt. I used instant coffee instead of instant espresso which gave this cake a mild coffee flavor without it being overbearing. The addition of the walnuts adds a crunchy bite to this dish but could easily be left out if you aren’t a nuts fan. If sweet breakfasts aren’t your thing, you could also have this as an after-dinner dessert (just use decaffeinated coffee instead). What a perfect way to kickstart your day.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon espresso granules in a small bowl.

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Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until butter melts. Add granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs; stir well. Stir in yogurt, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Lightly spoon 1 1/3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and 2 teaspoons espresso powder, stirring just until blended (do not overstir).

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Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar mixture. Carefully spread remaining batter over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.

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Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Instant coffee

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Pickapeppa Chicken and Mango Kebabs

Sorry for my month long absence! I wish I could say that I’ve been off doing something fun but I’ve really been doing nothing more than living everyday life. Anyway, I hope to get back into a normal routine here so thanks for being patient and thanks for coming back! My favorite season is here so it’s got me itching to do some serious cooking again. But before I break out the soups, apple and pumpkins, I held on to summer for one more day and made these grilled Pickapeppa Chicken and Mango Kebabs.

Chicken is marinaded in Pickapeppa sauce (also considered Jamaican ketchup and usually found near the marinades and steak sauces in the grocery store) and garlic before being threaded onto skewers with chunks of mango and fresh red pepper. A quick trip to the grill (indoor or outdoor) and you’ve got a flavorful kebab that is great with a side of veggies or salad. Even if summer is over, kebabs can be made anytime of year and are a great way to jazz up plain old chicken and veggies. If you’ve never tried Pickapeppa sauce, pick up a bottle and try it with just about anything. You’ll probably be hooked.

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The ingredients:

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Combine chicken, Pickapeppa sauce, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag. Refrigerate 2 hours.

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Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread chicken, mango, and red bell pepper ­alternately onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers.

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Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until chicken is done, turning ­occasionally.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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