Saturday, December 20, 2014

Extra Crumb Topping Coffee Cake

Two layers of moist cake with a thick layer of sweet cinnamon sugar and topped with a whole bunch of crumb topping.

My favorite tradition for Christmas morning is waking up to do stockings. We do it first thing in the morning once everyone has gotten up and prepared a cup of coffee. It is amazing how long we can draw out the process of opening the little packages that fit into our now stretched out stockings.  

By the time the stockings are completely done our bellies are rumbling for some food. My family always has coffee cake Christmas morning. My mom wakes up early so we rise to the sweet smell of cinnamon.  

There is no official recipe for her coffee cakes although I know she rotates between two or three tried and true recipes from older church cookbooks. I tell you Midwest church cookbooks are a plethora of good things.  With Christmas coming oh so soon, I was getting in the mood for coffee cake. We aren't celebrating with my family this year so I thought I would whip one up for our own "mini" Christmas morning. 

This coffee cake is not the simplest to put together. More so it is huge and takes a while to bake. If you are like me and wake up hungry you will want some other snacks to munch on as you wait for this to come out of the oven.  But it is worth the effort. The best part is the massive amounts of crumb topping. It crumbles a bit with each forkful. 

Extra Crumb Topping Coffee Cake

by Emily Morris, Joy the Baker Cookbook
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast cake
Ingredients (serves 12)
    For the Topping:
    • 1 3/4 cups (about 12 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    For the Filling:
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    For the Cake:
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups (about 10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 3/4 cups (about 18 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
    Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and set aside.
    To make the topping:
    In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter and stir until thoroughly combined and the mixture resembles moist corn meal. Set aside.
    To make the filling:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
    To make the cake:
    In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until well combined, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

    Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape the bowl down between each egg addition to ensure that everything is properly mixed. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
    In another small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk. It may be a bit lumpy. On low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter. As it incorporates, add half of the sour cream mixture. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remainder of the sour cream mixture. Mix until barely incorporated and add the remaining flour. Finish incorporating the dry ingredients with a spatula to ensure that all of the flour is well incorporated.

    Spread about half of the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it to the edges with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the filling on top of the batter.

    Dollop the remaining batter across the top of the filling and use a spatula to spread batter across pan. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter with a few gentle strokes.

    Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter and bake the cake until is golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Cake will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.
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    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Three Meat Bolognese Pasta

    Tonight is an exciting night. For us it is the beginning of the holidays.  Mr. J has been running non-stop for the last several weeks. And although it helped a lot that I am no longer traveling as of this week it was still lonely and stressful with him being so busy.  So even though we both have to work tomorrow the fact that we are both home with no where to go makes everything seem so much better.

    Because of all the hectic schedules we have barely eaten dinner together in the last month let alone made dinner. This pasta dish was a rare occasion a few weeks ago when pasta was one of the only things appealing to my taste buds. The fact that the recipe has 3 types of meat was appealing to Mr. J's.

    As far as bolognese sauces this one comes together quickly.  No need to stand over the stove for hours in the afternoon. Plus it is not a huge quantity either.  We had two big servings for dinner and then enough for two lunch servings the next day. In my mind that is just the right amount of food. 

    Three Meat Bolognese Pasta

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: entree pasta pork ground beef Italian
    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 1 (3/4-ounce) slice French bread
    • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 4 oz ground veal
    • 4 oz ground beef
    • 4 oz ground pork
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 4 cups hot cooked pasta (about 8 ounces uncooked)
    • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    Pulse bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine crumbs and milk in a bowl.
    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 8 minutes.
    Add garlic and tomato paste; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
    Add vinegar; cook for 30 seconds. Add oregano, salt, peppers, and beef; cook 7 minutes, stirring to crumble.
    Stir in breadcrumb mixture and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Serve over pasta and top with cheese.
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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Nesting and #WIAW

    The last few weeks have been a dozy. I do best when both my feet are firmly planted on the ground. Unfortunately I had work trips planned months ago during a time when I was unaware of what was to come. Motion sickness is a very bad thing when you travel.  I had two flights two weeks in a row. Let's just say it did not go over well.  Come 24 hours later, I start to feel better but that pretty much is half the week when you take to flights.   

    Luckily this week I was able to cancel my trip and I am not planning on doing any more travel till this little baby is born.

    Not feeling well has lead me to really watch what I have been eating.  When I am not doing great I try to eat but crackers are about all I can handle. Once I feel better though I am able to handle a lot more. Not that I get too daring. Yesterday I woke up early and was hungry. Hello cereal at 5 am. 

    My second breakfast came around 7:30 with a green smoothie. I have been adding more PB each more to make sure I get my protein in.  And yes, that is my belly sticking out over the counter.  Bumping into things with my belly is now the story of my life. 

    Another snack came around 11 am with an apple. 

    Followed by a 12:30 lunch of leftover frozen pizza. My second serving of greens for the day. I am counting this as a win.

    Mr. J was out and I opted for an easy frozen mac and cheese dish. I think I eat mac and cheese most days of the week. With the exception of my green smoothie I think I eat like a two year old. Spicy food is completely out of the picture.  

    I am wondering once my body realizes I am not traveling any more if I will be able to add a bit more variety to my diet. 

    What is your favorite frozen meal?  What did you eat Wednesday?

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