Monday, April 19, 2010

Olive Oil Cake after a great weekend away ♥

Everyone deserves a little reward or two. Before leaving for the Women's Retreat on Friday afternoon, I baked a lovely Orange Olive Oil Cake based on an Anna Olsen and Bon Appetite recipe. Does Anna ever disappoint? I loved the moist and very flavorful cake and wolfed down a couple of still warm slices before wrapping it up for dh to enjoy whilst I was enjoying myself in the company of women. 
Our destination was in the forest at a camp for disabled children and their families. It was a wonderful place, and looking at the drawings and pictures of very smiley faced campers, I would say every child who is fortunate enough to attend this facility comes out refreshed and rewarded. The bedding was super soft and the rooms were pleasant enough, but it was the camaraderie and the fresh outdoors that were the best! We participated in an interpretive obstacle course which had most of us howling with laughter! I know I was only 6 inches off the ground but when you're blindfolded, perception is reality.
The rain stopped long enough for us to wander to the lake and stop to talk to the animals at the petting zoo. Gisele and Billy were born 4 days earlier to a frisky goat, chickens wandered about doing their little dance and the burro and horses were content. Well, I take that back. The burro proved to be a stubborn a** when the ranch hand tried to pull him away from the grassy area. 
But, lest I regress more, I came home to overripe bananas and decided to carry on with the olive oil cakeathon. Today I baked a very simple cake and topped one with milk choc chunks and toasted pecan pieces strewn with abandon over the top and left the other plain, only because my guilt overtook me. I added a little shot of amaretto to it instead of vanilla. Love the almond anything! See how pretty the dessert fork is, a gift from my late mother-in-law.

This cake is the easiest recipe and if your home is like mine, we always have bananas that get too ripe, too quickly.
Set the oven to 350, I use 2 pie plates but you can use a 9x13 greased.
2 1/4 c flour
1 2/3 c sugar ( I use 1/2 white 1/2 brown sugars)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder, baking soda
1 tsp salt
2/3 c evoo
2/3 c buttermilk
3 eggs
3 large bananas, mashed (1 1/4 c or more)
shot of bourbon, amaretto or vanilla
and 2/3 toasted walnuts, pecans optional
Blend all together for 3 minutes in a large mixing bowl. Bake in greased containers 45-50 minutes. If you use the cake for lunches it is very moist and doesn't need icing but, if you are having company or it is for a special dinner, then a cream cheese icing is wonderful on it. Keep in fridge, if iced. It just doesn't get any easier than this! 
Since the cake has that 'comfort food' feel to it, I decided to make meat loaf, acorn squash, fried potatoes and broccoli for dinner. 'Sufficiently suffunctified' as my dad would say, bless his heart. Where did that expression come from?
I planted the second raised bed with lima beans, green beans, purple beans, golf ball carrots, mixed lettuce, beets and filled containers with purple onions, cherry tomatoes, turnip and leeks. The third raised bed now has summer and winter squash and peas. 
Hope I'm not too early for everything, but I was in the mood for planting. 
Today has been a good day, I hope yours was as well. ;)

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