other people’s recipes

Food for fun is taking it easy this week. After the excitement of last Thursday’s crazy Halloween bash, it’s time to take it down a notch. Instead of offering original fare, I’m paying it forward by sharing experiences with recipes found elsewhere.

If you’re looking for recipes and photos that make you drool, a trip to Cottage Grove House should do the trick. Last August, a post for Cherry Yogurt Cake stopped me in my tracks. I was struck by the recipe’s simplicity. What would one need to make this pretty little cake? Only butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, yogurt, and cherries. Last week brought time to make the cake and it was everything I hoped it would be: spectacular in its simplicity.

Of course there were changes, though none made deliberately. About halfway through slicing through the bag of cherries I’d frozen last summer, I realized there were no pits (can you say “autopilot”?) and upon closer inspection saw that the cherries were red grapes. Huh. Well, why not, thought I and went ahead with my newly named Grape Yogurt Cake. I also neglected to use vanilla yogurt and didn’t add vanilla to the plain yogurt I did use. But in the end it was a stunner. As much as I love fancy-pants desserts, there’s something so lovely about a simple white cake.

PB&J Cake

PB&J Cake

The grapes had me thinking peanut butter, so I added a spoonful of two of chunky-style to warm caramel sauce and served it alongside, christening it PB&J Cake. I’m certain the cake would be smashing made with only cherries as well. Three cheers for Cottage Grove House!

Moving on: I’m always thrilled when others take me up on my invitation to post their fun food finds at deLizious facebook. Amb, of Words Become Superfluous fame, thrilled me over the weekend by posting her bananarrific muffins. They looked most festive propped with a Christmas-themed plate and topped with Halloween candy. (It’s a must-see you haven’t already. Follow my deLizious link above and look for 11/3’s post.) She also credited the original recipe, and it was drool-at-first sight. These muffins looked tender, moist, and so very banana-y. (And we all know food for fun loves a good overripe banana recipe.)

Glad for yet another excuse to bake, I set out to make the muffins. A note on the recipe mentioned the option of turning it into banana bread–even better. The loaf still got a generous topping of chopped Snicker’s and peanut butter cups per amb’s photo. Glorious and amazing, this quickbread makes breakfast and snack time very bright. Thanks, amb!

candy-topped banana bread

candy-topped banana bread

all sliced up

all sliced up

Finally, I’ll share a healthier recipe, with which I was also enamored. True to form, it took me a while to get around to making a Weary Chef soup that caught my eye back in February. My daughters love Panera’s chicken wild rice soup, and this seemed a healthier but equally lovely version. I went totally DIY with this one, starting with a large kettle of water and a whole chicken. After making stock, I proceeded with WC’s recipe and ended up with a pot of mmmm-good soup. After two large bowls, I was full and warm and happy. My girls enjoyed theirs as well, and I liked that it was chock-full of veggies, whole grain, and lean protein. Weary Chef is about much more than her Happy Hour, people!

DIY cream chicken wild rice soup

DIY cream chicken wild rice soup

So that’s the recap. Though I’ll close with a link to my latest Minnesota Soybean project. No need to click over unless you like pumpkin waffles πŸ˜‰

Wishing you a most excellent and delicious week.

37 thoughts on “other people’s recipes

  1. I love this post, and your spontaneity!
    I always add and subtract ingredients from recipes, but am much more calculating about it. For example, I probably wouldn’t replace cherries with grapes just because I had opened the wrong bag, because I wouldn’t think that grapes made as much sense in a cake. But then you went and added peanut butter caramel sauce and turned it into the funnest and tastiest-sounding spin on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich ever. I am loving how you think. And the cake sounds fantastic. πŸ™‚

    • Awww, shucks and thanks. Though you would’ve done the same–how could I throw out a cake batter that I’d spent time putting together AND that contained eggs, butter, etc. Also, I’d seen baked goods recipes with grapes before (thought not many) and they always seemed sophisticated, so figured I couldn’t get it too wrong. Spontaneity does seem a way of life around here.

      Appreciate you being here and your kind words. Also appreciate that I finally get notices on your posts. Funny that it’s always at least 24 hours after you post, though. ?? Just the same, glad to be on your List πŸ™‚

    • haha, fair enough, Mimi. I do tend to stay plenty busy. But by “taking it easy” I meant that I didn’t have a project for the blog post. Just wrote up stuff that I had already done. But I do love that I was able to highlight other bloggers’ recipes. There’s so much good stuff out there!

      Speaking of “out there,” I need to get over your way. Saw something about mud and being stuck. Doesn’t sound good πŸ˜‰

  2. Wonderful! My goodness that spin on the yogurt cake is fabulous. You are brilliant! πŸ™‚ Love the sound of your soup too. Especially preparing your own stock. It really does make a difference in the soup doesn’t it! I don’t make it often, never enough time. Love your post and thank you for your kind words!

    • So glad you found the cake. Would have circled back if no as I wanted you to see how it turned out. Not bad! Really did mean to follow your directions exactly, but best of intentions and all that…

      Yes to DIY chicken stock. Too easy not to make and have on hand. I also save cooking water for dried beans and call it “bean broth” for when darker flavor is needed. Not sure if it’s something I’d make as often if I worked regularly outside of the home, though it would be a good weekend project. But YOU are the culinary genius in my mind πŸ˜€ Your recipes always look fabulous.

    • Thank you, Fannie. Will say it’s one of the best soups I’ve made. Creamy, but not like paste. And lol “taking it easy.” Was referring more to the blog post (rehashing what I’d already done in the past week instead of coming up with something new). True enough that taking it easy doesn’t have a place in my life. On some level, I wish it did, but so used to running around with the kids, working for clients, etc, that even when I do have downtime, I fill it. Maybe someday… Until then, I’ll keep trying to do everything πŸ˜‰

      Appreciate you being here always!

  3. Liz – you totally amaze me!!. You ‘taking it easy’ exceeds a week’s worth of cooking in my world. Geeesh!! I love how you just roll with it – that cherry cake that became grape cake. Oh, and no vanilla? “I am Liz, watch me roll!” And then adding PB to the caramel. C’mon, you are killin’ me! In such a great way! I am so sorry I missed the halloween party, life was anything but a party for me that week, and I just had to duck and cover for a few days. It looks like a fabulous time and next party I am sooo there with shaker in hand!

    I have a soup recipe that I adore for the fall..this is the third motivator to dig out the recipe and get busy..perhaps I just might make it happen and if so, I will definitely share with you!!


    • Ah, Bonnie. You never fail to make me smile. I think I misled folks with my “taking it easy” line. I don’t tend to take things easy (save those daily naps that I adore). My cooking/baking was the same as any other week as the kitchen is my job. I don’t work outside the home 40+ hours like most grown-ups; instead, I cook and bake and edit and write, etc. Taking it easy only meant that I didn’t do up a batch of a new liqueur or teach a new class, etc. The post was thinking back and writing up what had been done.

      But I love that I amaze you—awwwww…. fun to have others fooled πŸ˜‰

      Hey, the Halloween party isn’t over if you stopped by. It’ll go as long as it has guests coming through the door.

      Circle back with your soup and cocktail shaker (but don’t put the soup in the shaker, haha) and let me know how things go on your end. Thank you, Bonnie!

  4. I love yogurt cakes! It’s great how you adapted and changed it to make your own version–both yours and the original cherry one sound so delicious!
    The banana bread looks scrumptious and moist, and the candy toppings make it even better πŸ˜‰ Would love to have some with my coffee right now haha.
    The soup looks delicious–I will definitely make something like this for a weeknight (when my kitchen is available–going through some renovations right now)!

    • Thanks, Ada. I think the yogurt part is what drew me in. So simple. And it did mention switching up the fruit, so I wasn’t too far off base.

      FYI: I also wanted to post your avocado bread, but didn’t have good photos on file. Am sure there will be more.

      Love that you give each recipe a play-by-play in your comment. Appreciate the thought you put into your time here. Your kitchen renovation comment has me wondering: What are you doing?

      • Happy to hear you thought of the avocado banana bread πŸ˜€

        I’m not doing any major kitchen renovations (I would if I had the budget for it!), although I did replace the sink recently. Right now I’m having all the walls repainted, so I’m trying to avoid cooking anything in the kitchen–don’t want anything getting on the walls before the paint is fully cured! We also plan on replacing all the carpet with hardwood floors, so I will be stacking a lot of furniture and random things in the kitchen (one of the few spaces in the condo that won’t have new flooring installed).

    • I’m getting a long weekend? Says who?

      You’re welcome for including your soup–definitely deserved a shout-out. I liked how it was creamy, but just barely. If it’s too rich, I never feel good about eating a lot of it. And I like to eat in large quantity πŸ™‚ Never doubt that I’ll make something I say I’m going to make. It may take me a long while, but I’ll do it. Am good with promises like that.

      Am working all day at a client’s tomorrow, so my Happy Hour will be later in the day…

  5. Liz !!! You spoil me. A facebook note and a blog shout out?! You are too kind. (and you have perfect timing too, as the muffins have all been eaten here, and I was needing a banana fix). And everything else on today’s menu looks delicious too – you had me at “caramel sauce” πŸ˜€

    • oh, amb, that bread is excellent excellent excellent. I’m just glad you take me up on my posting invite. Fun to give Canadian food some play πŸ˜‰

    • Hey, thanks πŸ˜€ Put together, it would make a lovely–if high-carb–meal. Though I think I’d still stop by your place for more baked goods!

    • never too late here at food for fun, Suzanne πŸ™‚ Would have included your chicken dish, too, if I’d had a better photo. Agreed on the yogurt cake! Many thanks for your comments.

    • It’s a great cake–nothing fancy, but sometimes fancy isn’t necessary. I did seem to throw people with my “taking it easy” comment. Addressed that in my latest post, but also it was about this being a recap of projects I’d done during the course of the week. Usually I think up a blog topic and go from there. This time, I looked at what I’d done and wrote that up. Seemed an easier route to me.

      Appreciate that you’re here. Thanks for the visit and comment πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for coming by, dedy! The fun thing about reading blogs as you can eat with your eyes and leave the calories (and sugar) on the screen πŸ™‚ Appreciate you stopping by very much.

  6. Pingback: syrupy sweet | food for fun


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