Eat it For Breakfast Cake: with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

strawberry, blueberry, raspberry cake

Four years ago I was participating in Project 365 where you are challenged to take at least one photo every day for a year. I did this for two or three years – it was hard and fantastic and frustrating and inspiring. I think it improved my photography immensely (which is not to say that I’m an expert now, just better than I was before) and I also met some cool people and learned some cool things.

One of the women whose photography I just loved – and it’s been so long now that I can’t even remember her name – traveled with her husband each summer to their vacation home in Nova Scotia (I think). Her photos of this town absolutely drew me in to her world – their summer cat who seemed to show up at their door every year without fail; the amazing festivals and town events that always seemed to be going on; her friendships there and the easy way of life that she was enjoying. Basically, I want to be her when I grow up.

Another thing she shared with us was this cake which she made often for friends or just for breakfast. It’s a highly adaptable cake that works well with any fruit you have on hand. I first made it with blueberries and more recently I made it for BB’s 5th birthday party last month. It was the perfect cake for the day because we were having a morning party so something that felt more like breakfast was called for. And the friends we shared this cake with are those laid back easy friendships that make me feel like we’ve found a touch of that Novia Scotia lifestyle that I dream of right here at home. Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy it with your favorite friends, too.

Eat it For Breakfast Cake

Best Served with good friends and whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fruit – I used a mixture of chopped strawberries, blueberries and raspberries but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (Don’t have buttermilk? Use a scant 1/2 cup of milk and a 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for 5-10 minutes)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a 9 inch pie plate or cake pan (or use that awesome baking cooking spray from Pam).
  3. Prepare your fruit (berries can be left whole, slice any larger fruit) and set aside.
  4. Beat butter & sugar. Add vanilla, egg and salt.
  5. Add flour, baking powder & baking soda; mix well.
  6. Add buttermilk. Pour into pie plate. Top with fruit.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool a bit and enjoy!

blowing out the candles

On Neighborhood Pranks, Mufflers and Dunkin Donuts

I’m writing on my father’s laptop at their house while watching MM while the guys pack – or rather while the moving company packs and the guys supervise. MM is playing with toys, watching Word World, the usual. His meme is grocery shopping and I’m on banana bread duty (i.e. I need to take it out of the oven when it’s done). 

It feels very weird knowing that all of my belongings are being put into boxes as I type this. Having faith in professionals to do a good job… yeah I’m trying. I think it was a good idea to take myself out of the way, I know I’d rather be here watching MM and just sort of relaxing. It’s nice. I kind of can’t wait to get on the road, but I’m also glad to have a few more days here.

The drive here this morning was very nostalgic I guess. I drive past this beautiful reservoir from a couple of sides to get here and it’s one of my favorite local landmarks – I always love driving by it and it’s one thing I know I’ll miss. I’m sure Dream State has plenty of gorgeous waterscapes to drive by, but you know these ones are mine – I grew up with these reservoirs, etc. I’ll have to post pictures sometime – they’re on my iMac somewhere which is of course in a box now.

So I wanted to write about two or three things, the first is the Feud story that I mentioned in my Aloha Friday, which is a friendly feud and kind of funny. It started I believe with a Yankee Swap that Dan’s parents do with the neighborhood folks every Christmas season. It’s one of those “bad santa” types in that alot of the gifts they swap are of the prank variety, and those blow up Christmas ornaments have made the rotation between Dan’s parents and the next door neighbors a couple of times and recently they’ve been making even more rotations, between seasons. They each have keys to the others’ homes for “emergency purposes” which has led to these ornaments showing up in the other’s homes when they have time to sneak in and well I think you can imagine. So those photos were taken shortly after the last “occurance” – before being taken inside and hidden somewhere so that the ball is back in “our court” while they plot their next move. That’s really about it – they decided to take some family pictures to use this Christmas now while we were in town. So weird to know that we won’t be much longer…

Anyway, so yesterday we dropped MM off with my parents to spend the night so that we could un-baby proof his bedroom. We left their house to pick up some drywall spackel stuff – you know for patching holes? And also to pick up some pizza for dinner for the two of us – so we’d called to place an order and were on our way to pick up when, I shit you not, the muffler fell off my car. Seriously.

Some things to note: My car just got out of the shop, after having the car aligned, the tires replaced and some sensor fixed that was acting wonky. It also had the breaks replaced recently. My car is only 7 years old – a Toyota Corolla – so it just seems absurd to me that all of these things have happened in such a short amount of time, right before this big road trip. Anyway, it was just the bracket that broke – one of the bolts rusted off or something and it’s already fixed, but you can imagine how I was feeling when it happened – like – seriously? What else would like to break before or during this trip? Dan assures me that he thinks we are in the clear now and the bolt was very easy to fix and the muffler was fine – it stayed attatched and all that, but man. It didn’t seem like a good sign to me. But I’ m a girl, what do I know? 😛 We called my dad who came by with a wire coat hanger to reattatch the bracket long enough to drive to a hardware store to buy some new bolts and that spackel for the walls. And off we went to get our pizza (2 hours late) and finish packing for the trip, etc. Fun times, right?

The other thing I wanted to mention was that we had Dunkin Donuts for breakfast this morning – I tried their new cinammon twist thing and Dan had the new egg white flat bread sandwich thing and I wanted to mention that both were delicious – if you have a Dunks nearby and haven’t tried either yet, I highly recommend them. The end.

I think that’s all for now. Lord knows when I’ll get online again and I figured I’d mention all those things now while they are on my mind – I’m sure I’ll have plenty of other things to blog about the next time I get online. 😛 Have a great weekend and week and all that. 🙂

Six Dishes I Wouldn’t Kick Off My Breakfast Table

Today’s Small Talk Six topic is “6 breakfast foods that you love or hate.” You can answer this with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, 6 photos, 6 videos, etc . . .

  1. Pancakes – I grew up on Bisquick pancakes and love them dearly, but we just tried this simple recipe from scratch and yeah, they might be better. Dan will tell you they are a ton better. I love pancakes – so versatile, you can put blueberries, chocolate chips, whatever in the batter, top with fruits or syrup, etc. No two pancake dishes need be alike.
  2. Waffles – I know, I’m copping out right off the bat by separating pancakes and waffles, but I’m a bit worried I’m going to run out of steam shortly after this, so I’m covering all my bases. We especially love making waffles with our new Calphalon waffle maker – makes the whole waffle making process a breeze. For the most part, I like my waffles plain – no mix ins, but I do love topping them with fresh fruit, especially if it’s a whole wheat waffle, which I don’t like as much as the regular less healthy stuff.
  3. Southern Biscuits and Gravy – It doesn’t get much better than this for me and I don’t get to eat it often. There is a small little breakfast place near the college I went to that makes the world’s greatest southern biscuits and gravy, at least the best I’ve tried. And I am picky – I’ve had a lot of people’s lame attempts at this dish and it’s not always pretty. But a good southern biscuit and gravy breakfast will have me on cloud nine. Dan has made it for me at home a few times and has pretty much mastered the recipe, but it’s a bit of work, so we don’t do it often.
  4. Corn Bread – I’m even pickier about my corn bread than I am southern biscuits and gravy. Go figure, that breakfast place I mentioned in #3 makes a killer corn bread, too (there isn’t anything there that I’ve tried that wasn’t amazing though). I don’t like it too dry or too crumbly. It should be moist and sweet and hold up at least fairly well. “Bad” corn bread (i.e. not moist and sweet) is pretty much disgusting so it’s a bit of a crap shoot.
  5. Cinnamon Rolls – Pillsbury pretty much has the market on cinnamon rolls and I don’t deviate with that much – it’s good, it’s easy, it’s so horrible on my diet – but it’s always worth it.
  6. Muffins – I think blueberry is probably my favorite, but I like most basic muffins. I like baking them myself especially so that I get a normal serving size muffin and not some gigantic 1,000 calorie muffin. I don’t like that hardened sugar stuff on my muffins and none of that bran junk. I do love chocolate chip muffins and apple streusel muffins, etc. but for the most part I like to stick to blueberry.

Serve me any of these dishes with a bowl of fresh fruit and some delicious breakfast sausage or bacon and I am one happy woman. Thankfully for my diet, I rarely eat any of these things, although with Dan home from work, we have had pancakes and waffles a bit more often than normal. Such sacrifices… ::sigh::

What are your favorite breakfast foods?

My Awesome New Breakfast Plan: Brought To You By The Biggest Loser

Friday I asked you all what you eat for breakfast, hoping for some kind of miracle inspiration – for a couple months now I’ve been subsisting on my Morning Sickness Breakfast of Choice – plain toast and tea. Basically – Bland with a Capital B. And now that my morning sickness has mostly faded, I was looking for something better and much more filling. The problem? I suck at breakfast. I don’t like eggs – really, I eat eggs about 3 times a year and 1 or 2 of those times, I’ll regret it. I love pancakes and waffles (too much?) but couldn’t eat them every day, especially when I’m trying to watch my figure (I know I’m pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I want to eat like an ass and gain another 75 pounds that I’ll never get back off). I love southern biscuits and gravy (again way too fattening) and the occasional corn bread (but I can’t seem to make corn bread that I like – only a small restaurant about 2 hours away makes it the way I like it, so really, why bother discussing it, am I right?).

But what I want – is a breakfast choice that is light, but filling and delicious and easy to tweak in new, interesting ways.

I’m sorry to say, you guys didn’t really deliver – a lot of you eat eggs, which is kind of an obvious choice – many of you eat cereal, something I’m never happy with consistently. I’m just not that person. Some of you don’t eat breakfast at all – I’d be joining you except I’d be starving if I ate nothing, especially while pregnant). With the exception of my friend Jean who commented:

A big old blue berry muffin and lots of fruit and maybe some bacon is my kind of breakfast…though I rarely ever get this for breakfast. I’m just not a big breakfast person. Its usually cereal..Cinammon Toast Crunch or a waffle. Pretty boring I know.

I think I could love this breakfast, but it’s actually too big for me – the muffin would be high in calories and not filling enough, the fruit on its own – not enough to fill me at all – and the bacon is a huge maybe – I know, I’m weird. But I kept thinking about my breakfast dilemma and this weekend I came across a solution in an interesting place – The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook – I have never watched The Biggest Loser (in fact up until this weekend I couldn’t figure out why the show was called Biggest Loser (as in losing weight, and not being a big fat loser) and thought the title was kind of insulting but now I’m all, ohhhh I get it – haha funny!), but my good bestie Ange @ Red Knows How loves the show and I saw this book while perusing our local Barnes’n’Noble and I thought, “I wonder what kinds of foods they’d recommend.”

And sure it was a lot of eggs and obvious stuff that I’m not going to eat, but there tucked in the back of the breakfast section of this book (there are sections for lunch, dinner and desserts, too – the book was really cool and I almost bought it – but the part that I found helpful for me – for breakfast – I knew I could remember and pick up at the store easily, so I decided to save my money for now) was it – the perfect solution. So here it is – my new breakfast plan, adopted from the hit tv show, The Biggest Loser:

Fruit’n’Yogurt, etc.

The Recipe:

  • 1 100 calorie serving of yogurt – I like Yoplait Light Apple Turnover
  • 1 or 2 small servings of fruit – I tried half of a small apple one day and half a banana and 3 strawberries (cut in halves) today
  • 1/4 cup of a high fiber cereal like Post Trail Mix Crunch (totally optional, I left it out this morning)

The banana strawberry recipe from the cookbook also drizzled some fat free / sugar free chocolate syrup on top, but I decided forgo that luxury, because too many sweet foods still don’t agree with me and BB Kumquat in the morning and I get plenty of chocolate fixes later in my day. But this little fruit and yogurt mix is delicious and filling – so far I haven’t even been able to finish these small servings, but I put what I don’t finish in the refrigerator and have it for a snack later in the morning. And it’s super light in calories and feels like a treat. Can’t beat that.

So if anyone else is looking for something new to eat for breakfast, I’d definitely recommend this and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook for more healthy meal solutions. I think I might even start watching The Biggest Loser on tv. It’s on NBC at 8pm on Tuesdays.

Aloha Friday: What’s For Breakfast?

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Lately I’ve been having a really hard time finding things to eat for breakfast – okay so I’ve always had a hard time – I don’t seem to like anything consistently and end up with a lot of half eaten boxes of things that I no longer want. When my morning sickness started in this pregnancy I began eating just plain toast with butter and a cup of tea – but now I’m practically into my second trimester, the morning sickness is gone, and that’s still what I’m eating. So my Aloha Friday question this week is.

What do you normally eat for breakfast? What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Monday Morning: Monday Afternoon Style

Well my friends, it’s time once again for Monday Morning with Karen @ Write From Karen. This week’s hodge podge of questions are about happiness, breakfast foods, politics and growing pains. If you decide to play along on your own blog, be sure to comment and let me know and also link up at the main post here.

The September 29th Questions are:

1. How do you define happiness? I guess to me, happiness in the long term means being surrounded by people I love who also love me, succeeding at the things which are important to me and knowing I’m living the best life I can. Short term? Happiness can be anything – a pound lost, a good book gained, your child’s laughter – knowing my son is happy makes me very happy indeed.

2. What did you have for breakfast? (If not this morning, tell us what you had the last time you had breakfast). This morning I had a glass of strawberry carnation instant breakfast and half a mug of coffee (and a glass of water with my gargantuan multivitamin).

3. On a scale of one to ten, how sick are you of the presidential campaign? Do you talk about politics on your blog? What about in real life? Why or why not? I’d say I’m about 75% sick of this election. I have talked about it a bit on my blog, but not too much as it’s not a topic I’m normally giddy to read about myself, but being an election year, it is important and thus more interesting to me than usual. In real life, I do talk about politics, especially in an effort to further my own knowledge on subjects, but I try very hard not to argue about politics, because that can be draining and pointless.

4. What about your life today would surprise your teen-aged self? I think she’d be surprised to know that I’m not working, but rather a stay at home mom, and probably also a little surprised to learn that, in fact, her entire family WAS right and that because she kept eating “like that” and exercising “not at all” she would gain the weight eventually and have a very hard time putting the weight off (as evident by the weight still being here at present).

In the meme-time, Thursday 13

Thirteen Things about mommablogsalot: the letter of the day is B
1. Baseball: I’ve never been a big fan of baseball in general, but I do have a weak spot in my heart for the Boston Red Sox – my heart can’t help but go out to the under dogs – I know they might not be considered under dogs anymore, but hey, for 86 years the Bambino curse certainly merited them such a status. However, since the loss of Johnny Damon, my favorite cave man, I actually haven’t watched a single game… hmmm…

2. Beer: I don’t like it. It’s kinda gross – husband disagrees. That almost makes him gross. But only almost. I swear.

3. Bedtime Stories: I read my son a bedtime story every night, but it might be more for my benefit than his. I actually feel a sad loss of time with him if I don’t get my bedtime story, and then have a hard time sleeping because of it.

4. Balloons: Something about balloons has always felt wasteful to me – especially when people “set them free” which I’ve heard enough times is bad for the environment that I’ve stopped doing so. But even so – what happens to balloons after we lose interest in them?

5. Blueberries: My father loves blueberries and eats them all the time – husband agrees, they are delicious. I however, am weird. If it’s not in a muffin, pancake or pie – leave me alone. My father will tell you in a long, drawn out way, that every blueberry tastes different and that you have to eat several at a time to counteract the “bad blueberry effect.” I will tell you to make me a damned pie and get back to me later.

6. Breakfast: Breakfast and I have a bad relationship. You see I am cursed with a dislike of eggs, orange juice, and consistency, as in, I will not eat the same thing every day – even if it sounds good today, I will not eat it five days in a row. Not happening. I also don’t like cooking in the morning – so don’t expect me to make myself eggs or pancakes, it won’t likely happen. My best times involved living at a school with a breakfast buffet, meaning loads of choices every day but no pressure to pick something NOW because a 2 year old is hungry and waiting…

7. Burritos: I like burritos and mexican food in general but I’m PICKY – I’d rather go to Taco Bell than eat your healthy tofu burrito or like steak and peppers or grilled chicken – it’s a friggin burrito – give me some beef and beans and cheese, make some sauce and cut up tomatos and lettuce – but seriously cut the veggies up – don’t put strips of veggies in my burrito – if I wanted to eat healthy and see my vegetables, I’d eat a salad. Except I don’t like salad so I probably won’t do that either.

8. Barbies: Growing up I think I had 3 barbies total. It was never a big deal. I had a cute convertible and a few choice outfits but it never took over the house like some girls’ collections. And I’m not saying this with envy, just stating a fact. The best barbie was Midge, Barbie’s best friend – her real best friend, not Christie or Courtney or any of those other girls who didn’t even merit their own wikipedia page and thus cannot possibly matter to Barbie very. much. at. all.

9. Books: Seriously how did books make it all the way to number 9 without being mentioned? I live and breath books. I sleep next to them and think about them while I’m eating. I married in close proximity to a book. They are a pretty important part of my life and as such take up more space than anything else in the bedroom except maybe the bed.

10. Bread: For years I was a white bread kinda girl – it just tastes better and I didn’t buy into the whole health factor – one day you can’t eat bread the next day you don’t eat enough, whatever. When I met my husband, his complaint is the texture – white bread simply didn’t pass muster with him when spreading condiments, to which I figured his freakishly large build must be to blame, but now 2 years later, after switching to butter split wheat bread, I find I agree with him, completely. White bread no longer tastes as good and is a freakin pain in the arse to spread peanut butter and jelly on. It’s like pretend bread and I’m not sure what was wrong with me…

11. Butter: some people put butter on and in everything and have issues with this butter versus that butter. Me, I use it when I need it and do without otherwise. I use “I can’t believe it’s not butter” in all it’s varieties because I honestly cannot tell the difference and I’m told it’s better for me. I almost never butter my bread, because I believe a good bread doesn’t need butter to compensate for it (so if you catch me buttering your homemade bread, I’m probably not a fan, unless the butter is homemade also and I’m being supremely polite). Other things I find over rated: salt and pepper. Seriously, put it away, I don’t need it, with a few extremely rare exceptions.

12. Body: My body mystifies me – I am almost incapable of buying a bra, because my size simply doesn’t exsist to most bra companies. I am overweight and forced to wear sizes that I normally only see on much larger girls than myself and I’m not sure how this is possible… And no I don’t think I’m delusional, I just seriously don’t get it. In regards to my diet, it is such a complex mix of terrible habits and extremely good ones that I suspect I am riding a very thin line. Someday I hope to have nicer body, and in doing so, hope that my body is nicer to me in kind.

13. Bordeom: I find it strikes me a lot – anyone else?

Remember, you can join the Thursday 13 fun, by clicking here and then blogging about 13 things about you as of today, Thursday. Have a good one!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!