Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It seems like we spent months counting down the days to our beach vacation so it's hard to believe we've been home almost two weeks. Where does the time go? I try to be very careful about wishing time away; afterall, doing so is really only wishing that life would go by faster, and who wants that? But you can't make time stand still so when you're planning to leave home for awhile you always have that one chore in front of you that can sometimes seem like a challenge: Use up everything fresh in your refrigerator so it doesn't go to waste.
These are frugal times. So far we've been lucky that the economy hasn't hit us too hard, but we've been making a conscious effort to trim our spending and save more dough (hee, hee) just in case our jobs are the next to disappear. That means we're eating at home much more often and taking lunch to work, and, as I said above, I'm trying to not let any food go to waste. So there was a lot of bakin' and a-shakin' going on the week before our trip. First up? A container of yogurt and a basket of fresh blackberries from the farmers market. Oh! And a lime. A leftover lime from our Chipotle Chicken and Rice, to be exact. (See? No waste!)
I could have simply eaten the yogurt (and I did, several times, with fresh peaches for breakfast), but you see I had a BIG container of yogurt. I have to admit that I bought it to feed Cash, but when I got home I realized it was fat-free, and since getting rid of his luscious fat rolls is not on my to-do list (ever) I had to come up with another way to use it. Enter stage right: Cake. I mean if you want cake you might as well make it with fat-free yogurt, right? Because the yogurt would cancel out the calories from the sugar, right? Right. (Don't judge me.)
So the search was on. I looked at recipe after recipe, but none of them seemed quite right. They were all missing something, but what that something was I did not know. So I did what I always do when editing a story and writing a headline - I took a step back from the situation to clear my head and let an idea come to me. Et voila. I realized immediately what my search was missing: France. Another search later and I had my recipe: Dorie Greenspan's French Yogurt Cake. (I mean seriously, if you're trying to go French, Dorie is the lady to take you there.)
Let me just say that this cake was almost perfect. Almost as in my blackberries sunk to the bottom even though I tossed them in flour before gently folding them into my batter. But no matter - I'm not sure this cake could have been any better otherwise. I took it to work and was immediately asked twice for the recipe. My co-workers thought it was a poundcake, and I was excited to tell them that I had actually made it with fat-free yogurt. They were as astounded as me. (Okay, okay. So maybe there were only a few calories saved with the yogurt, but every calorie counts these days. In my world.)
The week before vacation always moves slowly, but when you fill your days with loveliness like this cake you can't help but enjoy counting down the days. It's going to be a year before we head back to the Crystal Coast, and that means I have many days to try many recipes. Can't wait!
You can find Dorie's yogurt-cake recipe at How to Eat a Cupcake. Here are my changes:
* I used all flour instead of ground almonds.
* I used the grated zest of one lime instead of a lemon.
* I used fat-free yogurt.
* I added a cup of fresh blackberries, tossed in flour (to no avail. Help!)
* I used a cup of vegetable oil.
* I skipped the glaze.
You may also enjoy: Dorie Greenspan's Perfection Pound Cake (with cocoa)