Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gooseberry Crumb Cake

Adapted from Closet Cooking

I made this a couple of months ago, but just before going to the USA for a month in August my gooseberry bush just EXPLODED with berries. Now if you haven't had a gooseberry before (I hadn't) they look like a grape and taste a bit like a cranberry. They are very tart, and not easy to eat raw. So I had buckets of these berries on my hands and didn't know what to do with them. This was my first effort and it turned out quite good. Two cups of berries down, about 30 more to go...

2 cups gooseberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Cake Batter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 325 F (162 C)
Rinse the gooseberries and toss with the sugar, cornstarch and ginger to coat. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Then mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ones a little at a time. Once mixed, pour all but 1/2 cup of batter into a greased 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) baking dish. Then pour out the gooseberry mixture on top, trying to get even coverage of berries. Top off with the remaining batter.

In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, butter pieces and flour. Pinch together to make coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of batter and put in the oven to bake until the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Couscous Confetti Salad

I got this recipe from a friend and brought it to a barbecue this weekend because I hate showing up and all there is to eat are chips and cookies. At the end of the party, this salad was nearly gone, but there were several bags of sweets leftover and this got me thinking: Most adults I know are trying to maintain a healthy weight and have trouble sticking to their diets at parties. While I love a good cookie as much as the next person, I'm coming to firmly believe that you should bring healthy food to every party.

Healthy food makes everyone feel better!

2 cups cooked Couscous + vegetable bullion
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 red onions
1 red beans
1 cucumber
2 cups corn
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the couscous according to the box directions, including the bullion cube in the water for flavoring. Set aside. Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters, dice the onion thinly, chop up cucumber and mix altogether.  Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well with couscous. Enjoy!