Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Recipe from May 2016 Real Simple Magazine.
Photo credit goes to Marcus Nilsson.

10 oz (1 1/4 cups unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for pan)
1 lb rhubarb, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup full-fat plain yogurt

Vanilla or strawberry ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment.  Butter the parchment.

Toss the Rhubarb, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar together in a bowl.  Layer the rhubarb across the bottom of the pan in a grid pattern, adding any remaining sugar mixture to the pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter, remaining sugars, and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Stir in the yogurt on low speed (the mixture may look curdled).  Gradually add the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter over the rhubarb and spread evenly.  The pan will be almost full. (The batter will be very thick.)

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour 15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then un-mold onto a platter and discard the parchment paper.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Active time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour, 45 minutes (includes cooling)
Serves 9 to 12

I made this and it was DELICIOUS!!!  I didn't have lemon zest and it was still really good without it.  The cake was very thick (right up to the top of the pan)...I would suggest making this in a 9x11 pan instead of an 8x8.  Then you would have a smaller (not as thick) cake, and you would get more of the rhubarb flavor when eating.  The recipe would make PLENTY enough dough to cover that area.  I will also not cut the rhubarb next time either.  I had a limited amount, so I cut each piece in 1/2 lengthwise...and it almost melted away.  I especially loved the grid pattern that it made once you flipped it over.

I'll definitely be making this AGAIN SOON!!  SO easy and SO yummy!

This recipe came from the May 2016 issue of Real Simple Magazine.  Photo credit goes to Marcus Nilsson.

Pan Fried Trout Recipe

I had to save the link so I don't lose these instructions...this was the best trout I've had in a while.  I love how my husband fixes it for me, but wanted to try something new.  I could even eat the skin with this recipe.  YUMMMM!  I'll type it up more formally later.


German Pancakes

These are a little different version than plain ol' pancakes.  They are a little higher in protein.  Kind of a cross between an omlet and a pancake.  Slather them with syrup, top with fresh strawberries or just sprinkle powdered sugar over them.  Any way you do it, they are delicious and make for great breakfast variety.

4-6 Tbs butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
7 eggs
1 tsp salt (I like Kosher)

Place butter in pats in a 9 x 11 pan and place in hot oven at 400 degrees.  Mix flour, milk, eggs and salt in a blender or in a bowl.  Sometimes I add shredded cheese, ham, bacon, etc to make them more like a yummy omlet.  As soon as the butter is bubbling (I wait until it's browned a little) open the oven and just pour the batter in.  Cook for about 20 minutes and serve how you like it!

This is a recipe from my sister's recipe blog.  I love it, so I'm putting it on my site too...with a link to hers.  Feel free to check her blog out too...she has a TON of great recipes on there.


A Bit Healthier Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

2 cups non-fat cottage cheese
2 cups light cream cheese
1/2 cup yogurt cheese (see below)
3 eggs
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened frozen cherries
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly coat a 10-inch spring form pan with canola.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and applesauce.  Mix well.  Press into the bottom of the spring form pan.  Set aside.
In a blender container, puree cottage cheese until smooth.  In a mixing bowl, combine pureed cottage cheese, cream cheese and yogurt cheese and blend with an electric mixer on high until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time and blend well.  Add flour, sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend well and pour into crust.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Turn off heat to oven and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in oven for 30 minutes more.  Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before refrigerating.

In medium saucepan, combine cherries with sugar and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved and cherries begin to break down, about 10 minutes.  Add water, if necessary to keep from scorching.

When cheesecake is cold, remove spring form sides and slice into 16 portions.  Serve 1 Tbs of cherries over cheesecake.

Cooks Note (Yogurt Cheese):
Yogurt cheese can be made by wrapping yogurt in cheesecloth and inverting over an open container.  Place in refrigerator overnight and excess water in the yogurt will drip to the bottom of the container.  The remaining yogurt cheese will be richer and creamier.

(HOWEVER, If you were like us...and didn't want to wait overnight for the yogurt cheese, just use an equal amount of cream cheese and add it to the amount of cream cheese already in the recipe.)

We also used the pre-made graham cracker crust (not as healthy).  Keep in mind, if you go that route, you will need to graham cracker crusts to fit all of the filling.  :D

Nutritional Analysis:
Make 16 servings.  Each serving contains approximately:
175 calories
9g protein
20g carbohydrate
6 g fat
59 mg cholesterol
328 mg sodium trace fiber

Love Notes to our Moms and Other Women of Influence.
The Book Volume V, page 27

Interesting Facts:
This cookbook was produced in 2007 by an organization called Speaking of Women's Health
Motto:  Be Strong * Be Healthy * Be in Charge
Website with more info:  www.speakingofwomenshealth.com
National Honorary Chair is Florence Henderson (Mom of Brady Bunch).
All the recipes in the book are by Women who are all higher-ups and executives in companies that range from L'Oreal Paris to Kellogs. It has a couple pictures of them and a page about them before their recipe.
The recipe above is from: Beverly Lybrand, VP & General Manager of HPV Franchise, Merck.

Holiday Danish Butter Cookies

14 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Colored holiday sugar sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Mix in the egg, vanilla and milk.  Stir till evenly incorporated (might not look entirely mixed until next step).

Add the flour and salt  and stir until the dough comes together.  It shouldn't be sticky or too wet.  If it is, just add a bit more flour until the dough is soft and only somewhat moist.  If it's too dry and doesn't come together, add a splash of milk.

Place dough into a cookie press and press out onto prepared baking sheet.  You  might find it difficult for the dough to stick to the parchment paper.  I found it really hard, so I pressed out the cookies ontl a dry, room temperature baking sheet without parchment paper (counter works too) and then transferred them to the prepared baking sheets with a metal spatula.  Sprinkle the top of the cookies with the sprinkles.

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until lightly brown around the edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Store cookies in a tin at room temperature.  Will keep for up to a week.

Yields about 50 delicious mini cookies.

I didn't have a cookie press, so I put dough into a gallon baggie and cut the corner and pressed out into round cookies and some circle shaped cookies.  Make sure you press them down just a little bit if you do it this way.  The sugar sprinkles don't stick well to rounded surfaces...plus they back a little better when they are flatter and all similar in size.  NEXT YEAR...I WILL own a cookie press.


Chewy (not cakey) Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 Tbs pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (save some for top of cookies)

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, and sugars together until no brown sugar lumps remain.  Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, toss together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large sppoon or rubber spatula.  The dough will be very soft.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  They may not tick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed in the dough.  Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.  Chilling is mandatory.

3.  Take the dough out of the refrigerator.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

4.  Use cookie scoop or roll dough into balls about 1.5 Tbs each.  Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly  spread in the oven.  Put a couple chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough balls (makes them really pretty when they are done.

5.  Bake the cookes for 8 to 10 minutes.  The cookies will look very soft and under baked.  Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out.

6.  Allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.  The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be.  Let them sit out for at least an hour before serving.  Their chewiness and pumpkin flavor are even better on day 2.

Additional Notes:
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, you can use:
     1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
     1/4 tsp ground cloves
     1/4 tsp allspice

Make ahead tips:
Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the regrigerator for up to 3 days.  Allow to come to room temperature before baking.

Baked cookeis freeze well up to 3 months

Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to 3 months.  Either bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute (without thawing), or allow to come to room temperature before baking.

Source (The recipe above is a doubled version of the one found online.  I changed it just slightly, but not much because her recipe was just SO PERFECT!!)

Pesto Chicken

Here's a recipe idea that I didn't want to lose.  It was super simple, required very little time, and it was delicious.

Chicken Breast
Mozzerella Cheese

Prepare a casserole pan and preheat your oven to 350 or 375 degrees.  Put the chicken breast in the pan, then top with a layer of the pesto.  Then slice your tomato and put tomato slices over the pesto.  Top it with mozzerella and put it into the oven.

It's done when the chicken is done.  Chicken should be 165 degrees or above.

I found this online...I don't remember the source, but it is super easy and delicious.  I've had it several times.  Pesto is kind of expensive, but a small jar will go a long way.