Saturday, August 2, 2008

Recipes: Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cake and Rosemary Olive Oil Bread dip

I started the day with a slice of raisin oatmeal cake, 1/2 cup of frozen berries and my own blend of coffee: 2 parts Ethiopian Yergachaffe coffee beans from the Allegro brand at Whole Foods and 1 part Cinnamon Hazelnut Praline roasted coffee from Market Spice at Pike Place Market.

The cake recipe was from this site that has an incredible inventory of delicious recipes. I modified the recipe a make it into four servings (just for two persons in the house) and made it a little less sweet to cut down on calories (and thereby allowing me a generous portion of whipped cream). (1 serving Cake: 230 cals; 8oz. coffee, black: 10 cals)

Spent the most part of the afternoon going to consignment stores to sell my last season winter jackets - a side note, don't stand next to the buyer while she calculates how much your "stuff" is worth, she'll break your heart and you'll want to rip hers out ; stopped by Crate and Barrel to pick up a cocktail shaker for the boyfriend and then I had lunch at Ram Brewery and Restaurant in the University Village. There I had a kids meal of one hotdog and a cup of steamed broccoli. I bet the cook was wondering what lunatic child he was preparing for. But anyway, the purpose of stopping there was because it was 75 degrees and sunny and I HAD to have a cold beer. I ordered the Big Horn Hefeweizen which is an unfiltered Bavarian-style hefeweiss with hints of banana. Not as good as the Widmer stuff, but cloudiness from the yeast was rather interesting. (Hotdog with mustard and ketchup: 250cals; 16oz Hefeweizen: 236cals; 1 cup broccoli: 50cals).

Dinner tonight is going to be light: I'm having a Parisian style baguette from Essential Baking Company that's topped with sesame and poppy seeds. I made a bread dip with some rosemary from the garden and top grade extra virgin olive oil. The wine pairing is a bottle of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand (The best stuff is from Marlborough!) which I got on discount from QFC. The taste is very earthy, typical of Sauvignon Blancs, with slight hints of citrus and honey melon.

Applesauce-Oatmeal Raisin Cake
(Serves 4)
Prep time = 15 mins
Cook time = 45 mins

1/2 cups water
1/2 cup wholegrain old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup dark raisins (or dried cranberries)
Pinch salt
1/4 dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1.5 tbsps. vegetable oil
3/4 all-purpose flour
1/1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp allspice
One egg (beaten)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum

5 by 9-inch baking pan

1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan over moderately high heat.

2. Stir in the oats. When the liquid returns to a boil, stir in the raisins and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed.

3. Remove from heat, stir in the maple syrup, applesauce, liqueur, and oil. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Put the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and allspice into a large bowl. Stir to mix well. Stir the eggs and vanilla extract into the oat mixture. Add the flour mixture, and stir just until moistened.

5. Spread in pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake starts to shrink from the sides of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool completely.

** Top with powdered sugar if you want. I served it with frozen berries and a dollop of whipped cream. It also goes well with some jam as the cake isn't sweet at all.

Rosemary Herb Bread Dip
(Good for four slices of 2 inch sliced baguettes)

1/2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Italian chili flakes (or to taste)
1/2 tsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Sea salt to taste (Parmesan cheese will make dip salty, so becareful!)
Black Pepper to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Whisk in a dipping dish and let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving with slightly toasted bread.

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