Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blueberry-Lemon Tea Cake

I'll admit I haven't been posting with any regularity at all lately. This is largely due to the fact that I'm trying to lose weight and get into better shape. So, while I'm sure you all appreciate an occasional healthy recipe, I'm fairly certain it's the decadent ones that get the attention.

That said, I'm excited that plenty of gorgeous berries are back in the picture! They are so very healthy on their own and mixed into other good stuff, like yogurt and oatmeal.

As you can see, I like a little oatmeal with my fruit...

Awhile back, I found a recipe via Pinterest for a Blueberry-Buttermilk Breakfast Cake. It's perfect for a little weekend treat and I'm sure you could sub any kind of berry.  I've made it a couple of times...once with a little lemon glaze and once with a crunchy, sugary topping. They are both awesome! Not health food, by any means...but not horribly decadent, either. A beautiful compromise, yes? And I daresay, it's not just for breakfast...let's just call it a Tea Cake....

If you prefer, skip the icing and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the batter before baking.

Blueberry-Lemon Tea Cake

Adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen

Swap the blueberries for raspberries or blackberries...anyway you like it, this cake is easy and addictive!


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.; spray a 9" square pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the lemon zest until well-incorporated. Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
  3. Whisk together 1 3/4 cups of the flour with the baking powder and the salt. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour and set aside.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the batter 1/3 at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
  6. Mix together the powdered sugar and enough lemon juice to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cake.

I loved the extra lemon-y flavor from the lemon icing.

Which berry would you use?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Salad Shakeups

Are mornings as crazy at your house as they are at mine? Holy seems like I put in a full day before I even leave the house! Lately, my husband and I have been trying trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. What this means to us is that it's even crazier in the morning as we try to get our "healthy" lunches put together. 

A few weeks ago, Red Gold Tomatoes sent me a "Spring Shake-Up" pack to help me get motivated for the new season. There were, of course, several cans of diced tomatoes, but they also included some great Springtime recipes and a big canning jar so that I could make a little shake-up of my own. Now, I realize I'm a little late to the salad shakeup party...but I am totally hooked!

I actually started experimenting with different salad combinations right after Easter. Hello--leftover eggs and ham? Luckily, I had two jars since my husband was totally on board with having his own to bring to work. 

There are no real rules for making these things, except maybe to keep the salad dressing on the bottom, so nothing gets too soggy. If you like croutons, bring them along separately. Then, just layer your favorite salad fixings or leftovers in the jar. Make it as colorful as possible...all of your co-workers will be jealous! 

I like to use a light ranch or a vinaigrette so that the salad dressing isn't too thick to shake. To help it along, I actually turned the jar upside down for a few minutes. Need an easy recipe? Here you go:

Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

A quick and easy salad dressing!


  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk all the ingredients together until well-blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Total time: 5 mins.

The best part about these salads is that you can make them up ahead of time using whatever you have on hand. Chicken and bacon? How about a Chicken Club Shake-Up? Leftover steak? A Philly Cheese Steak Shake -Up would make a great meal.

What about Spring inspires you? For some quick and easy recipe inspiration, visit Red Gold Tomatoes ..... While you're there, share with them your own Spring Pinterest Pins for a chance to win a Picnic Basket worth $350! Hurry--this promotion runs from April 22-May 20.

Disclosure: I was given Red Gold Tomato samples for inspiration, but was under no obligation to post. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Cookies

I read the other day that the secret to successful weight loss is to start small...change one bad habit at at a time. So, I swapped out a cup of white flour for white whole wheat flour in these cookies. This is not diet food--way too much butter and sugar for that--but it's got dark chocolate and some whole wheat flour! And peanut butter! If you haven't guessed, I'm in the midst of trying to lose lead a healthier lifestyle. My motto has always been "everything in moderation". Somehow, that moderation got away from me....time to reel it in.

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Cookies

Simply swap one cup of regular flour for one cup of white whole wheat flour to make these tasty cookies just a bit healthier!

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 (12 oz) package dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs; continue to beat for another one to two minutes.
  4. Combine the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add the oatmeal and mix thoroughly. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies just start to brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to set on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes about 4 dozen.
Yield: 4 dozen
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 12 mins.
Total time: 22 mins.


  • Calories: 138
  • Fat: 6.9 (g)
  • Totalcarbs: 19 (g)
  • Dietaryfiber: 1.3 (g)
  • Protein: 2.1 (g)
  • Sodium: 143.4 (mg)
  • Cholesterol: 16.4 (mg)

Tags: cookies, oatmeal, peanut butter, healthy, dark chocolate

Use a cookie scoop to get them all the same size.....

Next time, I'm going to freeze these dough balls to make fresh cookies quick.

Believe it or not, this changing one small thing at time thing is working quite well. I may never be a health fanatic, but I've learned to appreciate all things cauliflower (have you tried cauliflower rice? life changing!) and exercise is becoming routine. Cookies, however, will always be part of my diet.