Upside Down Cake – Eat it for breakfast!

Upside-down cakes are a major comfort food. They have been a mainstay over the years at church suppers and family picnics. When I was a kid, my mom’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was one of my favorites, partly because it was so mysterious and amazing to see it being put together with the pineapple in the bottom of the baking dish and then have the wonderfully gooey, caramelized pineapple slices end up on the top. Magical!

But hey, upside down cakes are not just for dessert. For a tasty wake-up variation I whipped up a Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside-Down Cake. This moist cake is not too sweet and is a real treat for a weekend brunch. My tasting team especially liked it topped with a pouf of yogurt.

Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside-Down Cake
Makes one 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

2/3 cup rolled oats
½ cup golden raisins
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Apple layer:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
Vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray and set aside.

To prepare batter: Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and the pecans; pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

To finish batter: In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and oil; mix well. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter to the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Copywrite 2005 Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on April 1st, 2008  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, dessert, other

Spring Asparagus & Easter Brunch Asparagus Scramble

Asparagus is springing up! And though a lot of people have the perception that the skinny asparagus is preferable — wrong! The fatties are much better in flavor. The first is coming on the market right now from California.

Tasty asparagus has been a mainstay at fine restaurants forever. You see it on almost every grand steakhouse’s menu as a side dish — slathered in hollandaise. And, really, who doesn’t love that little splurge!

An equally delicious way to serve up this local short-season wonder is in a scrumptious A.M. dish just perfect for Easter morning brunch — Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble. This medley of flavors melds beautifully — the garlicky herby Boursin giving it its final yum factor.

Another popular way to prepare fresh asparagus is grilled on a BBQ and served with a great dip. Hot off the grill, warm or even chilled, the grill adds a nice smoky character to the “grass.

But alas, no hollandaise or boursin cheese for me. I have been on a low fat eating plan for the last 6 months –so last night I made a very flavorful and low cal saute. First I cooked sliced sweet onion with shitake mushrooms for a few minutes in a non-stick pan and then added fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and broken in half. I added some fresh garlic and about 1/2 a cup of some brewed red chai tea and a splash of tamari. Then covered the pan for about a minute to get the asparagus steaming. I then removed the lid and continued to cook till the asparagus was tender and the tea was reduced. Yum!

So get your spring on with some fresh asparagus!

Asparagus, Shrimp & Boursin Breakfast Scramble

Makes about 4 servings

8 eggs
2 tablespoons water
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup bias-cut fresh asparagus
4 oz. wt. (1/2 cup) bay shrimp, drained well (you can also use crab meat)
1/2 cup Boursin cheese (garlic and herb)
chopped parsley for garnish if desiredIn a large bowl whisk together the eggs and water until very foamy; season as desired with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large, non-stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring often, until barely tender, about 2 minutes.Add in the egg mixture and move the eggs around the pan with a spoon or spatula, turning them as necessary until they are three-quarters cooked, about 1 – 2 minutes, and have just started to thicken.

At this point add the shrimp. Fold into eggs, heat through and serve immediately. Dollop 2 tablespoons of Boursin on top of each serving and sprinkle with parsley if desired.

Copyright 2000 by Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy on March 17th, 2008  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, breakfast, other