ARF/5-A-Day #30

by Cate on July 26, 2006

Do you see something wrong with the picture on the left (other than the lack of clarity)? Where’s the seasoning? The buttery goodness? The presentation? Geesh, they couldn’t even have cut the potatoes in half? Nicholas and I were on our own for dinner tonight, so we stopped to get take-out from a local restaurant. THIS is their side of new potatoes. Puh-leeze. I swear, I just don’t get restaurants and their procedures sometimes.

As we were leaving the restaurant, I gave Nicholas a small brown bag to hold for me. He asked me what it was and I said, “tartar sauce.” He makes a face, drops the bag on the ground and says, “Ewwww, gross!” “What is the problem?” “Turtle claws? I’m NOT holding turtle claws! Yuck, gross!” I had to open to bag to convince him he was NOT holding turtle claws.

Now for my ARF/5-A-Day contribution. A few weeks ago, Susan from Farmgirl Fare kindly sent me her recipe for Mexican Monkey Cake. I’ve been meaning to make it ever since then, and finally got around to it tonight. With the bananas and antioxidant-rich chocolate, it’s perfect for tonight. Nicholas could barely wait for me to cut it, grabbing at a piece before it had a chance to cool. It was very simple to make, tasty and sweet. When I make it again, and I will, I’ll cut back the chocolate chips to a cup. I think it was a little too sweet with that much and the brown sugar. Other than that, delicious.

All for tonight. On with your round-up …

A year ago today … nothing special.

Ali from Something So Clever keeps her Montana kitchen cool with a deliciously healthy snack, Radishes with Herb Butter and Salt.

Cheryl from Free Range Living in Canada hits the blueberry patch with her Zabaione Con Crema. Forget that – I love the turquoise plate!

Peanut Butter Etouffe makes a sweet treat with her Cantaloupe Sorbet – sounds so refreshing!

Eggplant makes its first appearance this week with Urban Drivel’s Crispy Eggplant Layered with Tomatoes:

Patti from Adventures in Food and Wine in Indiana uses her fresh-from-the-garden-bounty to make Pasta with White Beans and Golden Onions:

Purslane? Never heard of it before Catherine’s Grilled Zucchini Salad with Purslane and Tomato … this round-up is proving to be quite educational!

Claire from Cooking is Medicine in Mississippi also goes to her garden … for Fresh Tomato Salsa.

Mary from Alpine Berry in San Francisco joins us for the first time with her Peach Blackberry Cobbler — looks divine!

Everyone is definitely taking advantage of berry season. Next to have a go at them is Meeta from What’s for Lunch, Honey? in Germany with her Very Berry Dessert:

And speaking of berries, these Berry Berry Berry Perfect Muffins come from Food, In the Main in the UK:

OK, I think we have a theme this week. Nobody told me. ;) The Cookbook Junkie takes the Berry Baton next with her Lemon-Blueberry Bundt Cake:

Food for Thought serves up the very ARF-friendly Moong Sprouts Curry:

Kalyn’s Kitchen in Utah has her way with vegetables with her Soy-Grilled Shrimp and Asian Veggies dish:

Jennifer from The Weekly Dish takes a trip down memory lane with her Calypso Bean Salad:

Stacey from Just Braise in New York does lemons proud with her Lemon Meringue Pie.

Another New Yorker checks in; The Chocolate Lady needs inspiration to use up this adorable eggplant:

And to finish up our round-up chock-full of berry goodness, Mixed Salad Annie from New England finishes us off with her Low Fat Blueberry Muffins.

Farmgirl’s Mexican Monkey Cake
Makes One 8-Inch Square Cake
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) butter, softened (or 1/2 cup trans-fat free margarine, such as Earth Balance)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (they cannot be too ripe)
2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan such as Pyrex). Grease an 8″x8″x2″ baking pan. In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts (if desired), and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and egg with an electric mixer until fluffy (I use a hand held mixer). Add bananas, yogurt, and milk, and mix well. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt just until blended.

Spread slightly more than half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon streusel. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the streusel and then top with the rest of the streusel. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This cake tastes even better the next day, and it freezes beautifully. You can freeze the cake whole or cut it into pieces, wrap them tightly in plastic, and place them in a zipper freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature–or in the microwave if you are being attacked by The Chocolate Force.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicat July 26, 2006 at 4:13 am

oh my gosh that lemon meringue pie looks heavenly!!

thank you for hosting cate! :O)


Patti July 26, 2006 at 9:41 am

Great roundup! So many new things to add to the “to try” list!


Jean July 26, 2006 at 3:05 pm

I agree on the pie. And the blueberry recipes look amazing. Going to have to try them out now that I have blueberries freshly picked and tucked away in the freezer. Thanks Cate!


Annie July 27, 2006 at 12:25 am

Everything looks so great. There are some fabulous cooks out there!


farmgirl July 31, 2006 at 10:10 pm

A delicious roundup–great job as always. And thanks for featuring my Mexican Monkey Cake. So glad you all enjoyed it! : )


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