Monday, February 4, 2013

Ginger, Pear, and Walnut Cake


Feed me!

This girl is so happy to be eating again.  I unfortunately fell victim to the norovirus (or food poisoning? Does it matter?) last weekend and thought I'd never be able to eat anything again.  Nothing sounded good and the things that I did manage to choke down all tasted like cardboard.  Not fun.  Also not fun when you're breastfeeding a baby. 

But not this weekend!  I felt a million times better and couldn't get my hands on enough food.  I took advantage of little A's good mood on Saturday afternoon and simultaneously prepped ingredients for dinner and a dessert.  Also, can I mention how good my baby is?  If he's not hungry, he'll sit contentedly with me in the kitchen, watching my every move and cooing softly while I cook and bake.  It's a lovely time.  I'm hoping that some of this will rub off on him and he'll share my love of food.

Back to the food.  I had bookmarked this recipe for pork chops and scallion dressing awhile ago and decided this weekend was a great one to try it.  I ended up sautéing the scallions, ginger, and the leftover marinade in the pan with a big handful of mushrooms, and served that alongside the chops, all on a bed of napa cabbage and shredded carrots.  I'll be honest, I think the marinade was lacking in flavor - either that or I just didn't marinade it long enough.  We skipped the sweet potato fries because someone does not like them (I think he's crazy).

As for the dessert, I've been on such a ginger kick lately (I almost always have fresh ginger in our vegetable drawer, specifically for recipes like the one above!  Or, this one).  So it only made sense to bake this Ginger, Pear and Walnut cake (with some tweaks, of course).  I subbed in apples for the pears, and thought I'd be clever and bake it in two loaf pans instead of a bundt pan - that way, we could slice it up and pretend that it's perfectly suitable to eat as a breakfast bread.   I discovered that it didn't quite make enough batter to fill two loaf pans (or at least mine, which I think are 9x5...it would probably work with pans that are 8x4), so I ended up with two short and stout loaves of crumbly (but amazingly good) gingery cake breakfast bread.  If you're like me, and can justify eating cake for breakfast, than I highly recommend this, despite the short loaves.  I may cut back on the sugar next time, but as is, the recipe is a keeper.

Sunday was almost as enjoyable as Saturday, despite the fact that a certain little baby seems to be going through a three month growth spurt and insisted on eating every. single. hour.  Exhausting for momma!  Between feedings and Skyping with my parents (not at the same time, ha!) I managed to make Baked Ziti for dinner.  I followed the recipe as is, and it was good, although could probably use some doctoring up - maybe more red pepper flakes, or a ton more basil.  Either way, a hot and bubbly meal on Sunday night is almost always the perfect way to end the weekend.

I'm already plotting my next lineup of weekend recipes...any suggestions?  

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