Tag Archives: Coffee Cake

Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Simple and delicious, the secret ingredient in this dish is black garlic.

Our suggested wine pairing is a viognier or a chardonnay. Happy Cooking!

Pasta, potatoes, rice, greens, what’s your side? We would love to know!

Creamy Tuscan Chicken


  • 2 large chicken breasts sliced lengthwise
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves black garlic pureed with 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce jar water packed quartered artichoke hearts, well drained (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped


  1. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Coat in flour.
  2. Melt the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes/side or until golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and Dijon mustard. Scrape up any brown bits and let it simmer with chopped garlic and black garlic puree, for 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cream, spinach, artichoke hearts (if desired) and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chicken back to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce reduces a bit.
  5. Stir in the basil and season with extra salt & pepper if needed. Serve immediately. 


We used The Black Garlic Market’s Black Garlic for superior quality and flavor.

If the sun-dried tomatoes are not packed in oil, you may want to add a bit more – the oil-packed ones taste more concentrated. I drain the oil prior to adding them to the pan.

If you have particularly small chicken breasts, I recommend leaving them whole and cooking them for a few minutes longer.

BONUS Recipe to make ahead or the night before

The perfect romantic Italian dessert for two. Prepare it together and chill 4 hours or overnight.

Classic Tiramisu

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


For the Cream

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone, 8-ounce container

For the Assembly

  • 1 ¾ cups espresso or very strong coffee
  • 2 tablespoons rum or cognac
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  •  About 24 ladyfingers, one 7-ouncepackage
  • 1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, for shaving, optional


  1. Using an electric mixer in a medium bowl, whip together egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until very pale yellow and about tripled in volume. A slight ribbon should fall from the beaters, or whisk attachment when lifted from the bowl. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it creates soft-medium peaks. Add mascarpone and continue to whip until it creates a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks until combined.
  3. Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Using a sifter, dust the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish or an 8×8-inch dish, or a 9-inch round cake pan, with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.
  5. Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture — work quickly, if you leave them too long, they will fall apart, and place them rounded side up at the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, using half the ladyfingers, until you’ve got an even layer, breaking the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any obvious gaps, a bit of space is okay. Spread half the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers in one even layer. Repeat with remaining espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
  6. Dust top layer with remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated chocolate, if desired.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (if you can wait 24 hours, all the better) before slicing or scooping to serve.

Blackberry Cake

The beauty of late summer. Large berries bursting with sweetness!

I can’t think of a better way to enjoy Mother Nature’s late summer bounty than with scratched up arms from picking berries.

Blackberry Cake


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease springform or tart pan – 9″ or square baking pan.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar, making a well in the center.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Add sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Whisk until blended. Slowly add melted butter, whisking constantly until combined. Pour mixture into the well of the flour and sugar mixture. Stir with spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. Note: Batter will be thick.
  4. Pour two-thirds of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of blackberries over the batter. Using a large spoon “dollop” the remaining batter over blackberries and smooth with spatula. Top with remaining berries, lightly pressing berries into the batter.
  5. Allow cake to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before baking. Sprinkle course sugar on top (optional)
  6. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with no wet batter.
  7. Cool cake for 20 minutes, then remove sides of springform for serving or serve directly from tart or baking pan.

Can you freeze blackberries? Of course you can!

Freezing your freshly picked blackberries is a breeze! Do not wash, lay out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and simply place in the freezer. The berries will freeze individually for easy storage. I measure out 5 1/2 cups of frozen berries and place them in a large, gallon size zippy bag, seal well and quickly put back in the freezer.

When I’m ready to make a pie or other dessert, I remove the bag, add berries to a strainer and rinse with cold water to remove stems, leaves and (gasp!) any stray bugs.

Blackberries are my favorite berries and I have been cooking with them as long as I can remember. This year after canning jam, baking a tart, pies, hand-pies and using the berries in salads, I wanted to bake a blackberry cake. I tried a few difference recipes on the web and ultimately fell in love with the Blackberry Breakfast Cake by Saving Room for Dessert. If you have a chance, pop over and look at the pure deliciousness on her site. The only change I made, was not using the coarse sugar on top.

Tantalizing Fall Cuisine

Gorgeous cuisine is coming our way.  That is exactly how I see the fall harvests.  Summer months bring fresh fruit and lighter eating, fresh salads and grilled meats, while the autumn brings us heavier foods, laden with flavors and aromas that make my taste buds dance.

I love the deeper colors of September through November and the heartier meals sprinkled with autumnal spices.  I have been creating my menus and have chosen a few that are on the docket in the month of September to share with you.  Please click on the links provided, poke, browse the sites and discover more tantalizing foods.

Photo: Food Network

My first choice to write about today is a breakfast or brunch favorite that I simply cannot have enough of.  I have chosen Emeril Lagasse’s Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze, from Food Network.  The preparation time is low, 30 minutes and the ingredients list is very basic and loaded with flavor. I love this Coffee Cake recipe but doubly so because of the Brown Sugar Glaze addition.   Click here for the recipe and to connect with Emeril on Food Network.

Two salads are posted here, one after the other, simply because I could not choose between them.  Both of them grabbed my attention equally and I can tell you it will be the same for my sweet three when they are seated at the dinner table.  I am thinking I should double the recipe for each one.

Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Sissy Lamberton for Southern Living

Southern Living is a great magazine and their site is just as stellar.  I was cruising through this morning and found this recipe, I have to be honest, it was the Vinaigrette that caught my eye and made my hand hit the print button.  Prep time is 20 minutes and the list of ingredients is full of flavor.  Click here to connect with Southern Living

Spinach-Apple Salad with Maple-Cider Vinaigrette

Sugared Curried Pecans

  • 1 96-0z.) package pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

Maple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil


  • 1 (10-oz.) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
  • 1 Gala apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled goat cheese


1. Prepare Pecans: Preheat oven to 350°. Toss pecans in butter. Stir together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer in a nonstick aluminum foil-lined pan. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.

2. Prepare Vinaigrette: Whisk together cider vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.

3. Prepare Salad: Combine spinach and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of Maple-Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve salad with any remaining vinaigrette.

Note:Pecans may be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container. Vinaigrette may be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Photo: Williams-Sonoma

The second salad my taste buds are lusting after is over at Williams-Sonoma, no surprise there.  The cuisine on their site and in their catalog is sheer delight and this particular gem is gorgeous to the eyes as well as the tongue.  The ingredients list deviates a bit from the norm, but with beautiful results, as you can see.  Chef Chris Cosentino’s Grilled Peaches, Gorgonzola and Dandelion Greens.  Please click here to connect with Williams-Sonoma and for this stellar recipe.

Photo: Tina Rupp for Food and Wine

Food and Wine Magazine is simply one I cannot do without.  I am consistently poking around on their site and in their publication.  You can subscribe to receive a delicious recipe daily and “like” their Facebook page as well for additional inspiring ideas.  I am extremely fond of Halibut and combining it with the following ingredients to create their Halibut and Fall Harvest Saute is autumn cuisine at it’s very best.  Total time to create is only 30 minutes and serves 4

Ingredients list Click here for full recipe and connect with Food and Wine

  • Unsalted butter
  • Large shallot
  • Large garlic clove
  • Butternut squash
  • Medium parsnip
  • Small turnip
  • Dry white wine
  • Thyme sprigs and leaves
  • Bay leaf
  • Chicken stock
  • Halibut Fillets
  • Olive oil

Last and not least of course is dessert.  A post simply does not feel complete without something sweet and decadent to follow up a tasty meal.  Country Living Magazine is a publication that I subscribe to in print, follow on Facebook and is a site on the web I visit frequently.  When the holidays are approaching their site is one of the first ones I hit for inspiring ideas and trends.  Pay them a visit and you will see why.

Photo: Rita Maas for Country Living

Fall Apple Cranberry Pie Filling Ingredients (for full recipe, please click here)

  • Granulated sugar
  • Packed brown sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Grated Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Baking apples
  • Dried cranberries
  • Lemon juice
  • Cold unsalted butter