Makin’ Cakes! (Yogurt Cake Recipe Time)

In follow up to my lenghty and conflicted review of Bringing Up Bebe, I wanted to share the recipe for Gateau au Yaourt. (For someone who speaks zero French, these words are incomprehensible. Can I buy a consonant???) So, in English, Yogurt Cake!

(I’m sorry. I’m really not *anti-French* at all & don’t mean to be insensitive, but something about a word like that makes me laugh. I mean, my mouth just won’t do that. Yaourt? Other languages are weird.)

This recipe seems to have some buzz around it. The making of the cake is sort of the fun and different part. It’s slightly easier than if you were to make a *real* cake from scratch (thought not as easy as a boxed cake, baker beware). I’ve done it with Margo’s help twice now and she’s really enjoyed it. It’s fun to have her help and of course she loves to eat it.

Since the French are all philosophical about their child rearing (or at least Druckerman is in her telling about it), the theory behind this cake is that it teaches children to wait. One of the French values that is central to its culture is … willpower. I haven’t read it, but I think it comes into play in the “French Women Don’t Get Fat” book… they indulge in sweets and bad stuff, but not all the time. For their kids, they don’t do frequent snacks, but the afternoon snack is a standard. The author mentioned baking the cake together (or the child doing it alone!) in the morning and eating it for snack, teaching the child about waiting. *shrug* I guess.

Stirrin’ it up!

What’s special about the recipe is it calls for yogurt in serving-size containers as the first ingredient and you use those cups to measure all of the rest of the ingredients. At Margo’s age, I had her dump the ingredients in, but eventually I suppose she can measure stuff herself. She helped stir as well. Last week, we made some in a mini-bundt tin for Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s a different type of cake… but tasty and the process of making it is fun. A good toddler exercise!

Recipe: Yogurt Cake (gâteau au yaourt)

(copied from Cake Student bc I”m too lazy to type it from the book…:) )

Ingredients

  • 2 (6oz) containers of plain whole milk yogurt (keep containers for measuring the other ingredients) <- I couldn’t find 6 oz whole milk yogurt so had to use 3 4oz things. Involves math, baker beware.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 containers sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • just under 1 container of vegetable oil
  • 4 containers flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 container mini chocolate chips or 2 containers of frozen berries (optional) <- we’ve done it twice, once w/ blueberries & once with choc chips. OBV the chocolate was better, but fruit wasn’t bad & Margo ate it.
  • Crème fraîche (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Coat a loaf pan or 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray or oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stir until just combined. You can now add the chocolate chips or berries if using them.
  6. Scopp it all into your baking pan, bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden and the cake springs up when touched (or when a toothpick inserted is pulled out clean). Let it cool on a rack.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar (optional) and serve with the Crème fraîche (optional).

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

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The Ultimate Fruit Smoothie Post

I’ve been trying this new and earth-shattering (and, um, obvious) concept where I try to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It’s helpful that BCBSNC, our insurance, has this BluePoints program that gives me gift cards for doing it and logging it. Free stuff? Certainly helps.

And I’ll also say that getting that many servings in a day requires planning, and sorta makes it so that eating carby and fatty snacks is harder… There’s not room for them. Another obvious benefit… What can I say, this blog is all about revelations.

I have this recipe for fruit smoothies that was initially given to me as a recovery drink for after long runs. Scott and I have been drinking them as breakfast/big snacks to knockout THREE (that’s more than half, for you math types) of our required servings.

Trial and error has taught me the following:

  • Don’t use pineapple. Just… don’t. Scott and I both agree, it’s totally gaggy. <-not a word, but it fits.
  • Fresh spinach! It’s ok, you can’t taste it, I promise. Just blend it up really well and it’s truly like it’s not there. But you’re sneaking greens into yourself, you trickster.
  • Make a bunch. It makes a huge mess, so I try to do it every weekend once, clean up once. Then, I freeze them in ziploc baggies in one-portion sizes, laid flat so they stack nicely and thaw quicker. (The oldest breastmilk freezing trick in the book, amirite???)
  • I prefer drinking with a straw.
  • Also, don’t use pineapple. Seriously, bears mentioning twice.

With out any more blah blah ing, here she is. Not that all of my tweeps don’t already have it, but whatevs.

EW Veggies! (Shh, you won't even taste it.)

Smoothie Time
2 c frozen blueberries
2 c frozen blackberries
2 c frozen raspberries
(replace 2 c of fruit with a big handful of fresh spinach if you want to go for it!)
1 small banana
2 Tbsp apple juice
3 heaping scoops of 365 (Whole Foods) brand Vanilla Whey protein powder

Directions:
Partially thaw berries (blending fully frozen blueberries can hurt your blender). Add fruit and juice and blend till smooth. Add in protein powder and blend till creamy.

If you do 2 servings per batch,
Cal: 430
Pro: 28 g
Carb 77 g
Fiber 19 g
Fat: 3.5 g

I usually do 3 servings per batch which is a good boost, but not a full breakfast. 1/3 of the batch is:
Cal: 320
Pro: 21 g
Carb 55 g.
(&, I’ve figured it’s 3 servings of fruit.)

Also, I pretty much just try to put in 6 cups of any fruit. I use whatever I have… until recently I still had frozen peaches from the summer! Trader Joe’s also has a lot of berry blends that mix up nicely!

Try It!

We had an impromtu lunch date with my friend Kathleen & her son Nolan the other day. In between trying to coax the kids into trying the foods I (er, Trader Joe’s) had prepared, we ended up chanting this little ditty from Sesame Street. It’s SS propaganda at its finest.

Well, Margo totally took it to heart! All that day she kept looking up from whatever she was doing and saying “Ty it!” And at meals now if I say “try” in any way shape or form, she gets a cheesy smile on her face and says “ty it!! ty it!!”

So, that’s all adorable or whatever. But, guys, Thursday night? She tried and liked breaded fish and gnocchi. It was earth shattering. Whenever she takes a bite of something new, Scott and I are afraid to even look at each other, let alone utter the obvious. She ate fish, and she ate nearly as much as I had on my own plate. And gnocchi! See, kid? Some foods that aren’t mac and cheese are good too!

AND! She also tried freeze dried green beans – like picked it up on her own and gave it a good college-try bite – and didn’t like it. To which I say, hey, that’s cool. All ya gotta do is TRY IT!

I’m not going to belabor this whole new food method thing. It’s obviously going well for us. I think it’s given us all a little confidence to try new stuff and made us enjoy meals. Like Thursday night? One of our happiest at home meals. We were all eating square meals, enjoying each other’s company and left the table content and full. Win-Win-Win.

What food war?

I’m just tickled at how our Trying New Things initiative is going. I think it has taken this shift in how we do things for me to see how much better it is now.

Some changes:

1. I’ve noticed we’re all just *happier* and less stressed at meal times. It was very predictable before: I’d be frantically preparing something (rushing, bc she was whining/hungry) and get it on the table, only to have her not touch it. I think even the most saintly among us would be slightly to very annoyed at this… (right?) I certainly didn’t take it as maturely as I should have, some nights. I can own that. But now, having more options for her gives me less investment in her acceptance of any one dish. I nuked the green beans for 15 seconds, I don’t care if you don’t touch them. I’m not sure if that’s 100% it, but I’m chilled out and she is too. Before, Margo was stressed. Like, I’d throw a cheesy egg omlette in front of her and she’d whine “NOOO” and try to ask for something she can’t have (cheese, cookies, etc). Now = better.

2. She’s eating what we put in front of her. We’ve been able to sneak that variety back into her diet. Something like blueberries, which she asked for more of tonight! This spring & early summer, she was ALL ABOUT BLUEBERRIES! Just ask her diapers (wait, too far? Sorry). Then, being all excited that she was so excited about a superfood, I over bought (and then they were in season and I overbought again) so I froze. Now, our freezer is oozing superfoods. And I’ve offered her blueberries maybe a half dozen times to mixed reactions. I think offering this variety at meals gives us a chance to try some of the frozen stuff that has been a mixed bag.

Lunch today, she ate 5 whole cups in the muffin tray, leaving only the green beans untouched (and who can blame her. Woops, did I say that?) I mean, that’s a lotta food for a 20 month old!

3. The Foods She Likes list is growing! We’ve now added oranges, thanks to Harris Teeter samples (she had 3!), grilled cheese (Grammy introduced this one, she ate 3/4 of it), and lasagna. Said lasagna? Had meat sauce. I don’t think she knew it, so, folks, the vegetarian child has accidentally eaten meat. *fist pumps*

I’m not saying my kid was ever one to just not eat a meal or leave the table hungry, but we struggled to find WHAT she wanted to eat. And at least over the course of this past week, that struggle has vanished, with, really, not that much effort other than a change in my dinner prep routine. I guess you could say I’m a believer!

I did remember (thanks to a Facebook comment from Lucy – shout out!) that I have Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook on my shelf. Maybe my mom was playing the odds that I’d have a daughter “just like me” when she got it for me at my baby shower… 🙂 I cracked it open and while some of the recipes seem sort of involved, it definitely has potential. I might try one of those recipes this week!