Recipe roundup

Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, shown here as lemon yogurt blackberry cake (with spearmint leaves a a teeny little pansy flower).

Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas from Cooking Light.  Just the thing for a hot summer night.  Easy and cheap to put together and they take barely any time on the stovetop, so the house doesn’t heat up.  I had some leftover fried chicken from the deli which I skinned and shredded and added to the mix (to appease meat-loving Matt) but I think they would have been just fine without.  The corn is sweet, the goat cheese is savory and tangy, and the tortillas get just a little crispy.  The serving size hit the spot, but left to my own devices I could have eaten a dozen.

Wheat Berry-Cranberry Salad from Cooking Light.  This is a ridiculously versatile recipe.  The day I made it it was just too hot to go to the store for anything (except maybe to sleep in the Frozen Foods department overnight) so I decided to make do with what I had on hand.  I subbed damn near everything: orange juice for cranberry juice, honey for maple syrup, sunflower seeds for pecans, dried cranberries for fresh, and red onions for green. And it was fabulous.  I think you can make this work with whatever you have in your pantry.  Add diced apples!  Use walnut oil instead of olive oil!  Use sorghum or cane molasses for the maple syrup!  Balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar!  Also, I toasted the wheat berries and then tried cooking them in my rice cooker: success!  They were perfectly toothy without being a jaw workout and the toasting made them even nuttier.  My new favorite lunch.  And travels well, too, so when I’m looking at a long day of errands I can scoop some into a container and grab a spoon and I know I have a healthy lunch on hand that I will actually want to eat.

Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake from Smitten Kitchen.  Don’t do it!  Don’t make this.  You’ll regret it.  Why?  Because you’ll eat it all in one sitting!  This recipe is based on one created by one of my Mom’s favorite chefs, Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  This has all the flavors I love: bright lemon zest; cakey, pillowy crumb like a perfectly moist muffin; aromatic vanilla; bursting berries.  I used fat free yogurt because it’s what I had taking up space in the fridge and blackberries (because it’s August in Washington and they are advancing on the house like a zombie hoard).  My diet is ruined — but spectacularly so!

— Amanda

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