Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan and Yogurt Lemon Poppyseed Cake

So for the past few months, Bryant and I have decided to have dessert only on the weekends. I think it's a great system because then you can really enjoy dessert for those few days. (Well, Bryant isn't really a dessert person so he doesn't actually care. I, on the other hand, care much, much more.) But almost every Friday night after dinner, I scramble to think of a good dessert that I can whip together in a few seconds. Unfortunately, it's usually just chocolate chips or, if I'm really inspired, chocolate chip cookies.

So while I love dessert, I don't make a lot of desserts and don't really plan desserts in advance. I kind of lament this on the weekends and whenever I see all the cooking blogs with beautiful pictures of baked goods. However, since for the life of me, I can't remember to take a single picture of anything I make, you guys won't miss out on much, anyway.

All that being said, I finally do have a dessert recipe (and of course, no picture) to share! It's a yogurt lemon poppyseed cake that I actually planned ahead to make last night. However, when I looked in the refrigerator for the yogurt, it had magically disappeared. Turns out Bryant had enjoyed having "something different" for breakfast that morning. So I made him accompany me on a walk to the grocery store to buy some more. Despite this minor setback, the cake turned out so moist and good. Next time, I think I'll make a few changes to healthify the recipe a bit. (Yes, I realize that healthify isn't a word. You understand.) But it was still delicious this time.

Also, I have the weekly menu plan to share! We're actually planning a few more days in advance because the Evans family is coming to visit next weekend. We're so excited for their visit!

Weekly Menu Plan

Saturday: corn chowder, paninis, salad

Sunday: gyros w/ tzatziki sauce and whole wheat tortillas

Monday: baked fish and sweet potato chips

Tuesday: blackened chicken, corn on the cob

Wednesday: moo shu pork and vegetables

Thursday: coconut red beans and rice

Friday (Evans family arrives!): pizza - Chicago style and regular, salad, Bryant's "award-winning" chocolate chip cookies

Saturday: out

Sunday: picnic for lunch, Mexican for dinner

Yogurt Lemon Poppyseed Cake
Taken from: Ina Garten

**Also, Smitten Kitchen also had some good suggestions for other ways to make this cake, such as adding blueberries instead of poppyseeds, adding orange instead of lemon and then stirring in chocolate chips, adding walnuts or pecans, etc, etc. Whatever way you like it!
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cake Glaze (I think I actually preferred the cake without it, however!):
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray, grease a loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
-Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.
-In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil (I used a stand mixer on the lowest 2 settings).
-Slowly whisk (or mix) the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold poppyseeds into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean (Mine baked about an hour, so I covered it with tin foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent the top from burning.)
-Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
-When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.
-For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and then drizzle over the cake.

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