Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream/Cottage Cheese Coffeecake

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yes it is necessary to put sour cream/cottage cheese in the lengthy title because that is the whole reason I made this! I had a bunch of fun baking substitutes in my fridge that I wanted to use up before the went bad. Things like buttermilk, sour cream, and cottage cheese. How fun would it be to substitute theese in a recipe and see how it turns out?

I would love to start tweaking recipes and even creating my own. As a young blogger, I have always followed recipes to a tee and hardly ever stray from the beaten path. But as I'm growing in my skills I want to start getting creative! This was a small small start, but hey it's something!

It was a great texture, and it didn't even contain the signature streusel that coffee cakes usually do. I loved the chocolate chips throughout; they definitely made this cake. Of course I can never leave well enough alone, so I made myself a cinnamon confectioners sugar glaze, but you honestly don't even need it.

Nom Nom!

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Sour Cream/Cottage Cheese Coffeecake
inspired by The Food Librarian

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt

Filling and Topping
2 cups or 12 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. If not nonstick coated, cover the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper. Set pan aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl. Alternately mix in sour cream and cottage cheese and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick. In a medium bowl, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold into batter.
In a small dish, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for filling and topping.
Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a rubber or offset spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips. With the palm of your hand, ever-so-gently press the chocolate chips a bit into the batter. No need to submerge them, you just want to make sure they adhere bit.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Baked Spaghetti Dinner

Sunday, May 8, 2011

With school winding down, I haven't been blogging a lot. I read plenty of blogs, but mine seems to get pushed aside. Whoops! I'm caught up with end of the year stuff, and preparing for college next year. Which, I will tell you guys more about later in a special post=)

This dish was easy, though I didn't think some of the instructions were that clear. The good thing is that it is so flexible. So do it how you want=) I didn't use real pesto leaves, but like a squeeze tube bottle my mom bought. I was still very good with this substitution.

I liked eating spaghetti like this. The sauce and meat are distributed nice and it was quite tasty. It was a hit in my family=)

Interesting tidbit, I took these photos with my phone. I think they turned out pretty well. Then again, most of my pictures are pretty mediocre so it doesn't really make that big of a different haha.

Baked Spaghetti Dinner
found at How Sweet It Is

serves 4-6
3/4 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep water to boil for pasta. I cooked a spaghetti with a 10-minute cooking time for 7 minutes since it was going in the oven.

Heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Season ground beef with the teaspoon of salt and pepper and add to skillet. Break apart with a wooden spoon and brown on both sides. This should only take about 5-6 minutes.

Stir in one cup of pasta sauce and half of the chopped fresh basil. Mix to combine. Spray a 9×13 baking dish (or baking dish of your choice, I used an 8-inch round, 4-inch deep dish) with non-stick spray. Add half of the spaghetti mixture to the dish, then top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and half of each cheese. Add the remaining spaghetti and top with the rest of the sauce and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Granola

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I just love eating granola with my yogurt in the morning. Straight yogurt just doesn't feel right to me. I love having contrasting textures in my foods, and granola fits the bill perfectly! For my first attempt at making granola, I went to a health food blog I certainly trust to steer me in the right direction! Healthy Food For Living.

I only made three slight changes. Instead of cashews, I used walnuts. Instead of puffed brown rice cereal, I used chex mix. And instead of dried apple pieces, I use real apple chunks! Note: Good idea if you plan on eating this over the first few days. Two weeks later, you will find mold...

Apple Cinnamon Baked Granola
found at Healthy Food For Living

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (I used Chex Mix)
6 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds (I used walnuts)
1 cup chopped dried apple rings (Use real apple chunks with caution as I mentioned before)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Measure the oats and rice cereal into a large bowl, set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until very smooth.
Pour wet ingredients over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the nuts into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp.
Remove granola from the oven, toss with the dried apples, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.