October 31, 2011

Porcini Mushroom Pizza

I have a list on the side of our fridge of restaurants I'm dying to try. It used to be a lot longer, but Mike and I have been slowly chipping away at it over the last couple of years. One of the places we hit last spring was a little place called Lucia's - we didn't have a full dinner, we just swung into the wine bar and shared a couple of dishes. One of the things we ate was the most amazing pizza I have ever had - EVER. This place is awesome, but the worst and best part about it is that they change their menu weekly. I love that they do this because then you always get something new and fun, but I hate it because I really really really want that pizza again. Soo, since it won't be around for another like 25 weeks, I had to re-create my on version.


Ingredients:
1 store bought pizza crust - someday I will learn how to make pizza crust well, until then this is the best solution ever!
1 medium white onion
1/2 pound porcini mushrooms - you can use whatever kind you want really, this is just what I had
1 and 1/2 cups gruyere cheese
1 and 1/2 teaspoons porcini salt - can't find it? Try Williams-Sonoma.
1 handful arugula


First, thaw the pizza dough, and preheat the oven to the package instructions. Slice the onions and caramelize them. When the onions are just about done, add in the mushrooms and cook them until they are darker in color and fragrant. Grate the cheese, and then piece together the pizza. Start with the onions and the mushrooms, then add the porcini salt, top with the cheese.


My version baked at about 400 degrees for 20 minutes. When you pull it out of the oven, place the arugula in the middle, slice and ENJOY!


Check it out...




I'm drooling just thinking about it again - this pizza is awesome.

October 30, 2011

Cake Pops

Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking with this one. Halloween is Monday and I guess I thought it would be fun to make something for it. I called up my friend Brit, asked her if she wanted to have an afternoon of baking. She of course said yes, thinking it would be a great time, she was wrong.

Turns out cake pops are not as easy as 1-2-3 like they seem. They are putsy, and a royal pain in the butt, and everything that could have possibly gone wrong today did. Thank God Brit and I were able to laugh the whole thing off.

Things that went wrong: we couldn't find lollipop sticks, we started using white chocolate chips instead of almond bark, my food coloring was bad, my camera battery died, and we had to go back to the store after thinking we were in the home stretch.

Lessons learned:
1. Food coloring can go bad - who knew?
2. Daylight makes for WAY better pictures - duh.
3. Almond bark is far superior to white chocolate chips for this
4. Brit and I have no patience
5. Brit is a perfectionist - I am not.
6. The final product tastes like... CAKE

Favorite quotes:
"Foodgawker is so not going to accept this!" - Brit (and no, they won't - the pictures are awful, you'll see them below)

"Seriously, who came up with cake pops anyway!?" - me

Let me just say that I got to Brit's at 1:30PM and we didn't finish these damn things until 7PM, and you know what? They look like crap, and they just taste like cake.

Ingredients (should you want to attempt these):
1 box cake mix - we used yellow
1 tub of frosting - we used cream cheese
2 packages almond bark
Lollipop sticks
Whatever you want to decorate with - we used black gel frosting

Prepare the cake according to the directions on the package, and bake it in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Then begin gently crumbling the cake with two forks - you want it to be completely crumbled. Then empty the entire jar of frosting into the crumbled cake bowl, blending it together until it's completely mixed.

Next, roll the mixture into balls—this is the worst part. Attempt to make them all relatively the same size for the prettiness factor. Put them in the freezer, uncovered, for at least an hour. The cake balls need to be very firm before coating them.


Melt the almond bark according to the package, and make as many different colors as you want. Insert a lollipop stick in each, if you have them. We used skewers. Roll them in the chocolate, or spoon it over the top instead, whichever way works best for you. Place them back on the cookie sheet. Then decorate as you see fit. We attempted to make ghosts, mummies, and some sort of green monster...





So, overall I deem this an EPIC fail, I'll leave the cake pops to bakerella - hers are to DIE for. Mine suck.

October 29, 2011

Tater Tot Hotdish

Mike was on his way home from work a couple days ago and called me on his way to have me preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I got excited thinking he was going to whip up something spectacular, he didn't. However, he did whip up an awesome tater tot hot dish - especially considering he had never actually seen a written recipe.

Ingredients:
2 can cream of mushroom
1/2 white onion, diced
1 lb. ground turkey
3/4 corn
3/4 cup peas
tator tots - to taste (his words people, not mine!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. chili powder

Mike did it a little differently than I would have. Bake the tater tots until they are golden brown per the package instructions. While those are baking brown the ground turkey, drain the grease, and then add the onion and cook until translucent. Add in the remaining ingredients and heat through.

Dish up the mixture in the skillet, stir in a few tater tots and top with a few more. He didn't want to bake the tater tots on top, because they always seem to end up soggy.


I swear it was good mom and Marty would love it (hint hint)!!

October 28, 2011

Cheesy Rice with a kick

I was looking for new side dishes the other night, scouring the cookbooks, and the internet. Rice always sounds good, and it always goes well with chicken - that is all my sister will eat, chicken and rice. I wanted a spicy rice, but nothing was hitting the spot just right. I ended up combining a few recipes to make up this one. We had this with a couple of grilled chicken breasts, and as I ate it I totally wished I was eating this rice on the side of a Mexican dish instead - noted for next time! :-)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white or yellow onion, minced
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 tsp. thyme - It's what I had, oregano or parsley would work too
1 (15 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 slices pepper jack cheese
parmesan-reggiano cheese for sprinkling

To a large saucepan, add the olive oil and the minced onion. Saute for about 5 minutes until translucent and fragrant. At that point, add the rice, water, thyme, tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper and give it a good stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. The rice will be tender, and the liquid will be almost completely absorbed.

Remove from heat, stir in the pepper jack cheese, and serve. Top with MORE cheese, and enjoy!!


*Recipe adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny

October 27, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap











This year Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen came up with the genius idea of doing a food blogger cookie swap!!

I have signed up and I cannot wait. How exciting to have three dozen cookies show up on your doorstep in December??

It’s pretty simple: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Squee!! You can eat them all yourself or share with your friends and co-workers. I think you’d become really popular if you shared! Post your cookie recipe on your blog. Check out everyone else’s cookie recipes. Hey, maybe you’ll get some great recipe ideas for a cookie exchange with your friends. Then, we do it all over again next year.

Want to participate? Here are the details...
Sign ups are open through Friday, November 18th. Matches will be emailed to you on Monday November 21st, and we ask that you please get your cookies in the mail no later than December 5th. Blog posts with your cookie recipes should be written and ready for publication on December 12th. Julie and I will be posting a full round-up of all the participating bloggers and their cookie recipes shortly thereafter.

Please note these deadlines and make sure you are able to meet them before signing up. We have no tolerance for flakes or no-shows in this swap.

Currently this swap is open to US and Canadian food bloggers, but we are willing to open it up to bloggers in other countries, as long as you can convince at least 4 bloggers from that country to sign up. Email us if you’d like to add yours. We will do our best to match folks with others in the same country to keep shipping costs reasonable.

October 26, 2011

Rolo Treat

It's that time of year again... Halloween... the pumpkins are out, and candy is starting to appear all over the place.

This past weekend while I was in Montana, my soon to be mother in law and I went shopping, and she had a specific cookbook in mind to buy. I was looking through it later that day, and it contained very fancy, elegant food for dinner parties, but at the very end of the cookbook were a few other recipes... one of which was this one. I don't have any idea what this dessert is doing in the middle of all those fancy recipes, but it was there... and these are delish!

I made two versions, the normal ones (pecans) and I made Halloween ones with the reese's pieces.

Ingredients:
Small twist pretzels
Rolos
Pecans, whole
Reese's pieces candies

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and a layer of pretzels...


Unwrap one rolo for each pretzel (that part is a pain) and place one on each...


Bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes - yepp, three. Then press a pecan, or a couple of reese's pieces into each melted rolo. Let cool, and enjoy!




No, it's not classy or fancy - but they are so good!

October 25, 2011

My Favorite Vacation

I just got home from my favorite place on earth - Red Lodge, Montana. It is where Mike and I started dating, where we have visited many times, and even where we spent our last anniversary. This small town has a way of making your whole body relax, which is great, but that feeling always makes it hard to leave. This time we got to bring our puppy, Abby!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend.

Abby LOVED the tall grass and wasn't happy with me when I made her come back in...

Abby again inside - sick of me taking pictures of her...

Mike laying on the couch after a long day of hunting, smiling at something - he will kill me when he sees this...

Stream at the bottom of the mountain...

And this is the awesome view from the deck...

Are you convinced that you should visit yet??

October 22, 2011

Flank Steak w/Balsamic BBQ Sauce

There is something you should know about my mother and I... we LOVE Bobby Flay. He has this tendency to make everything with lots of spices and bold flavors - and my favorite part is that everything seems to have a sauce. We have each eaten at MESA grill and watch all of his food network shows.

This recipe is a great compromise for Tuesday night dinners - Mike loves flank steak, and we love Bobby Flay. 

This BBQ sauce is better the next day, so I suggest making it a day before you want to eat it.
Balsamic BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
3 cups balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon molasses

First, saute onion til translucent, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from pan and set aside. In the same pan, pour in balsamic vinegar, bring it to constant simmering boil, and reduce by half (15-30 minutes). While the balsamic vinegar reduces, assemble rest of ingredients in a bowl. When balsamic is reduced, add onion/garlic mixture and remaining ingredients to the pot, stir together, and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Finish sauce by blending with immersion blender until smooth.

 Other Ingredients:
1 flank steak - roughly 2 pounds
bread - a baguette type loaf from the bakery at your local grocery store
olive oil
cheese - whatever you have is fine, we used parmesan-reggiano

Slice the bread into strips. Heat a frying pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, cook the bread on only one side until golden brown and crispy. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil (less dishes that way) and line the bread golden brown side up. Cover with cheese. Then you will broil until melted.


For the flank steak; salt and pepper both sides, then put it on the grill for about 6 minutes per side. You want the middle to be pink when it's done. Cover with the BBQ sauce and tent it.


Assemble your dinner by cutting the flank steak into thin strips and placing it on top of the crunchy, cheesy bread. Top with the BBQ sauce, and enjoy!

October 20, 2011

Bechamel Mac and Cheese

While we were in California last week wedding planning we hit a great restaurant in Old Town called the Public House. My mom had this awesome bechamel, fontina cheese, and broccoli macaroni dish. I have literally been thinking about it ever since and all I had was a few bites. So, this is a copy cat of that dish. 

Ingredients for the Bechamel:
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Other ingredients:
Fontina cheese - about 2 cups
1 head of broccoli - I used about half, Mike hates cooked broccoli!
Bread crumbs
1/2 box of macaroni

Cook the macaroni and drain when it's done. For the bechamel sauce, melt the butter and then add the flour and whisk together until smooth, cook on medium low heat until it turns a golden brown color. Add the milk, and continue stirring until the mixture boils, and gets nice and thick. Set it aside. Cut the broccoli, and steam it in the microwave with a little bit of water and salt for about a minute. Ditch any remaining water and place the broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Grate the cheese, and add it to the mixing bowl. Then add the cooked noodles and the bechamel sauce. Stir it up until it's well mixed, and pour into a ceramic baking dish, top with the bread crumbs.

Bake at 375 until the bread crumbs are nice and golden brown - about a half hour.



Viola! Dinner!

October 19, 2011

Cream Cheese Frosting

...Since this year for my birthday we were wedding planning in California, when I got home I decided to make myself a birthday cake. I had a tall tupperware container in the freezer with this cake batter in it. I waited for it to thaw, and whipped up a 9 in round cake, baked at 350 for about 20 minutes. Yes, I added sprinkles even though I'm just a tiny bit too old to enjoy them.

Topped it with cream cheese frosting:
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat until nice and smooth and spread all over your cooled cake. So good.


Mike LOVED it.

October 17, 2011

French Onion Soup

Mike and I have one hilarious problem in our relationship - he knows me like the back of his hand, and I love pretending he doesn't. What's even better is that this goes both ways. I swear Mike  loves marshmallows, but then he will tell me he doesn't. Even though I distinctly remember a night at dinner with my mom where he saw a fresh package in the pantry and asked if he could open them just to stuff two in his mouth. Who does that if they don't love marshmallows?? Oh well, one thing I know for sure is he loves caramelized onions - this includes french onion soup.

While I was in California wedding planning, we had a food tasting with the chef. One of the dishes he plated for us to enjoy was a pork tenderloin on a bed of caramelized onions and mushrooms. I knew Mike would love the dish. I have only ever tried to caramelize onions once and it didn't go very well. So, I asked the chef what the big secret is. Turns out there really isn't one, you just don't move them around too often.

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
3 White onions, sliced thinly
1 Teaspoon thyme
2 Bay leaves
3/4 Cup wine, I used Cabernet
32 Ounces of beef stock - the low sodium version, otherwise the soup will be too salty.
2 Slice of baguette for every serving
Gruyere cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper 

Add your butter and your olive oil to a deep pot. Slice all three onions thinly and add them to the pot. Add the salt, pepper and thyme. Turn on the heat to medium high and let the onions sit. Every once and a while go ahead and give them a turn, but as the chef said leave them alone more than you touch them. It takes about 30 minutes for them to be completely ready. They will be a rich caramel color.

Just after putting them in the pot...

Just starting to brown...

Almost done... I let them get just a little bit more brown then this


Add the bay leaf, then pour the wine into the pan and let it cook down and reduce a bit, for about 4 minutes. Pour in the beef stock and bring to a boil. While that is cooking shred the cheese, and slice the bread. When the soup gets to a boil, give it a taste and make any tweaks to seasoning as you see fit. Turn the broiler on high.
 
I do not have crocks (a mental note was made to register for some) so, I used coffee mugs for my soup. I covered a cookie sheet with tinfoil, and set the mug on top before broiling on high. Scoop the soup into the mug or crock, add the slice of bread on top, and generous pile of gruyere cheese.


 Broil for just a few minutes and you get this... Doesn't that just look amazing!?

 It is awesome.

October 16, 2011

Lazy Lasagna

My mother and my grandmother have the greatest lasagna stories from when I was little. Apparently, I LOVED lasagna, but I called in "Anya" so of course my mother was the only person on the planet that knew her toddler wanted lasagna.


There is also a great story my grandmother tells about how I got to spend an afternoon with her all by myself, and for lunch she made lasagna. When she served it, she apparently cut it up for me, and I threw a fit. I thought as a three year old that I could cut it and eat it all by myself. The best part is I apparently tried to tell her I wasn't going to eat it, and she promptly agreed that I didn't have to, but that it was the only thing she was going to serve me for lunch. I believe I lost that round.


So, as I was standing in the grocery store craving too many things to nail down something specific I passed the lasagna noodles and just went for it. I created a pretty basic lasagna, but it sure hit the spot.


Ingredients:
Lasagna noodles - boil or no boil noodles, this recipe is called lazy lasagna because I used no boil noodles!
Part skim Ricotta cheese - about 1 and 1/2 cups
Spinach - half a bag
2 cups of meat sauce - I used the leftovers from this meat sauce that I froze
Prego or whatever jar of marinara sauce you have in the pantry - to taste
Mozzarella cheese - about 2 cups
Cottage cheese - to taste
Olive Oil - about a tsp.
1 clove of garlic


Grease a 9x9 pan, and preheat the oven to 375. Pour a thin layer of prego onto the bottom of the pan to make sure the bottom of your noodles don't burn. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil into a frying pan, mince the garlic and cook for about a minute. Slowly add handfuls of spinach until it is completely cooked. Mix the spinach and the ricotta in a bowl, and scoop it on top of the noodles. One layer of noodles down, then meat sauce. Scoop the ricotta and spinach mixture onto the next layer of noodles, top with cottage cheese and a little bit of sauce. I ended up with two layers of meat sauce and two layers of the spinach, ricotta and cottage cheese. Top the highest layer with prego and the mozzarella cheese. Bake for about an hour.


*If you use the no boil noodles you need to make sure that each of the noodles are completely covered with sauce. My top layer didn't have enough sauce, so the corners were extra crunchy!




Enjoy!!

October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

This is the season for pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING and these are my favorite pumpkin cookies. I personally think they are good anytime, but since it's October and all I figured I would re-post this one.


This is a Martha Stewart recipe that seems to consistently turns out for me. The only problem is it makes about 4 dozen cookies and I will eat every single one. I tend to make the dough, make only about a dozen, and freeze the rest. Then I can pull it out, thaw it and have them whenever I get the next craving.


For the Cookies:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (14 ounces)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the icing:
4 cups confectioners' sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start with the dry ingredients for the cookies, then add the wet ones. Use a mixer to make sure that all of it is combined. Drop the dough with two spoons onto the bake sheet flatten the dough down slightly, since they rise. Bake these for 12-15 minutes, you do not want them undercooked since you are putting frosting on the top.



While they are baking, start cooking your butter on med-low heat, stirring often. Put the other three ingredients for the icing into a mixing bowl. Add the butter last when it's all golden and nutty smelling, there will be dark brown fleck floating around in it too - that's the good stuff!! Mix well until smooth. When the cookies are cool, frost them with as much frosting as you want!

The final product... so good people, seriously!!


October 10, 2011

5 Months and Counting...

5 months from today I will be married to my rock, the man who makes my world better and keeps me sane. I can't wait!


I love this picture - he looks like something out of a magazine in it! Yepp, soon he's all mine - legally!!

{Photo credit to Keely Joy Photography check her out here.}

October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

I love no day of the year more than my birthday. This year is no exception. Think about it people, you might be getting another year older, but this day really is the ONLY day of the whole year that is all YOURS! Maybe it's because my mom always made it into a big deal, letting us choose dinner, and a birthday dessert that she would happily make with "extra love" or maybe I just like it because the people I surround myself with know how much I love it and make it into a big deal even when it's annoying or inconvenient. (I love my people!!)



But my favorite thing is that my mother will call me every hour on the hour to tell me what she was doing on the day she went into labor. It's hilarious, I'm serious all moms should do this. I have heard the story a million times, but it never gets old. And, this year is even more of a bonus because this year I get to spend the day with my mom. No phone calls necessary, she can just talk me through the whole day while sitting next to me. (I sure do love you mom!)

October 5, 2011

Mushroom Quesadillas

This is an old one my mom used to make that I decided to dig up for Mike, since he loves mushrooms. For some reason when this recipe is made the men in our family start eating it and inevitably say something about chicken, "is this the one with chicken?" "I think these would be better with chicken"... well, they are mushroom quesadillas so they don't have chicken.


These are very easy to make, but no, they do not have chicken in them. Try them this way, see if you think it needs chicken, if so cut the number of mushrooms and add chicken!


Ingredients:
1/2 pound mushrooms - whichever kind you prefer
1 poblano pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
4 tortillas
3 slices of provolone cheese, cut in half - or whichever kind you prefer (I would have used pepperjack if I had it!)
Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


Start with a hot skillet, add the butter and wait for it to melt. Dice the onion and the pepper, and mince the garlic then add all three to the pan, as well as the mushrooms, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Stir until the chili powder and cayenne pepper are more or less evenly dispersed among the mushrooms. Add in the garlic, salsa and add some salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms are fully cooked.


I used what I like to call the panini press fake out for this - it's a pan that has the grates, but doesn't have anything more than a heavy top you press onto the top tortilla. It's perfect for this. If you don't have a pan like this that's ok, you can use a regular skillet, or you can bake these in the oven at 350 until they are crispy.


I greased the bottom of the pan, and put down a tortilla, then added half of the mushroom mixture. Then I added 3 of the half slices of provolone, and a small handful of parmesan. I then greased the top piece of my pan, and added the top tortilla, and placed the heavy top onto the tortilla. Then I turn the heat on my stove to medium and let it cook until the cheese is good and melted, which takes about 5-7 minutes. Repeat for the second one, cut with a pizza cutter, and enjoy!


The mixture when done in the skillet...

The finished product...

October 4, 2011

Perfect Fettucini Alfredo

This was a very happy accident at our house. It was almost 8PM, we still hadn't eaten, neither of us could make up our minds as to what we wanted. Mike decided he wanted spaghetti, but not marinara sauce. I suggested fettucini alfredo and immediately hoped I wasn't wrong about the inventory in the fridge. Thank God my mother used to make this stuff from scratch or I wouldn't have even known where to start. Sure enough we had all the ingredients and it turned out AWESOME. When Mike likes pasta - it's really good people!!


Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter - I had a little more than half a stick of butter, so I used it.
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon parsley flakes - fresh would be great, but I only had dried.
1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water
1/2 box fettucini


In one pot start boiling water, make sure to salt it and add a couple turns around the pan of olive oil. The oil is supposed to keep the noodles from sticking, I'm not convinced, but I do it anyway! In a medium sauce pan melt the butter, then add the heavy cream. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, making sure to whisk it often so it doesn't burn, then add the remaining ingredients. Bring the sauce to a low boil, and continue to whisk until it's just a bit thicker (about 4 minutes). When the pasta is done cooking and ready to drain, steal 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water and add it to the sauce - I swear this is the secret to good pasta sauce.


Add the drained noodles and the sauce in a bowl, and combine until well coated. The sauce will be thin right away, after a couple of minutes it thickens up.


As a side item I used up some leftover asparagus we had - fried it in a pan with a little bit of olive oil and my favorite seasoning on earth - broiled steak seasoning! (So classy I know, but my grandma Hazel would be proud!)


I am insanely proud of this - he asked for something and I just whipped it up like it was no big deal - it was just a bonus that it was so good! :-)

October 3, 2011

Epic Coffee Cake

Have you ever heard of the pioneer woman? If you haven't you should check out her blog - she's pretty great. One of her posts is called the "best coffee cake ever" I came across this posting about a week ago and I saved it.

I have a "little" through the big brother big sister program, and we have been matched for almost two years now. She loves to do anything outdoors, anything athletic, and her two favorite things to eat are mac and cheese out of the box and coffee cake. Naturally, I decided to make this recipe with her. I tweaked a bit to my own preferences, but the pioneer woman was right - it is the best coffee cake ever.

Ingredients: 

For the cake: 
1 and 1/2 stick butter, softened 
1 and 3/4 cups sugar 
3 cups flour, sifted - 2 cups all purpose, and 1 cup whole wheat 
4 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 and 1/4 cup milk - I used original almond milk 
3 whole egg whites, beaten until stiff - be patient, this takes a while

For the topping: 
1 and 1/2 stick butter, softened 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour - you can use all purpose, I was just using what I had! 
1 and 3/4 cup brown sugar 
1 and 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon 
2 ounces pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Beat the egg whites in a smaller bowl and set them aside until the end. Add the remaining ingredients except for the egg whites to the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Then using a spatula gently fold in the egg whites until mixed. Pour them into a greased 13x9 pan. 

Then move onto the topping, placing all the ingredients into a bowl, and using a pastry blender mixing them until it's well combine and crumbly. Sprinkle the topping all over the batter in the pan. Pop it into the oven, and bake for about 50 minutes, a toothpick will come out clean and the middle won't jiggle.


My little isn't the most patient either, so we decided to go play outside while we waited for the coffee cake to bake. On the windiest day of the year she decided to make a giant pile of leaves to jump in, which took forever (there were 2 minutes left on the cake when we came back in!). But, she was happy once she finally got to roll around in that huge pile of leaves!


The final product fresh out of the oven...

My piece completely falling apart, because I don't have the patience to wait until it's cool enough to take out a formed piece!

Check out how the topping melts down into the cake - seriously, this stuff is good.

Enjoy! Taylor is going to be so jealous of this one...
 
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