Upside Down Coffee Cake

This Wine & Dine Wednesday is Mister Sive walking you through his crazy yummy coffee cake. Above is a blueberry version he made a few weeks ago. Below a cherry concoction he made the other evening, which we have been enjoying since. Morning, noon or night, this coffee cake is sure to please. Take it away TPS!

My mother encouraged us kids to cook from a very young age.  I remember the first “adult” dish I cooked was a paella, I think in 7th grade, and in high school I cooked one dinner a week. Like many households in the 70’s, The Joy of Cooking was a key reference, and inspired the following recipe. Ted and I have Mom’s old copy, with her notes on the sides of which of us five kids liked which dishes. I’m not sure, though, that Mom would approve of the importance of Breakfast Dessert in the Watson Sive Household… Maybe I’m old enough now to ask her on my next visit.

This coffee cake uses a pastry dough and has a marvelous caramelized top. I bake it in a 9” springform pan, which makes the flipping-over-after-baking-and-keeping-it-all-together a bit easier. 

Grease that pan with a good 2 tablespoons of butter, to be sure the cake slips out easily. Mix together ½ cup lightly chopped walnuts and ½ cup dark brown sugar and spread evenly in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

For the dough, stir with a fork: 2 ¼ cup flour, 1 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of baking powder, a tiny pinch of salt, and ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Then, cut 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of cold butter into ¼ inch cubes, and cut into the flour mixture. Everyone has their own favorite method; mine is with a quick, light touch by fingers. As always with pastry dough, less is more.

Whisk together: 1 whole egg and 1 egg white, ¾ cup of whole milk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Pour this over the pastry mixture, and stir lightly, maybe ½ way to fully mixed. Then, add 2 cups of fruit in small bite sizes (perhaps whole blueberries, half cherries, or cubed peaches) and lightly fold, until just mixed.

Spoon the wet dough over the sugar and nuts, and spread evenly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes, until it springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean.  

Transfer to a cooling rack, run a knife along the side, and immediately release the side of the springform pan. Let cool a few minutes, and then carefully flip the cake and peel off the bottom layer of the pan. 

Serve while warm and you’ll be someone’s favorite person for the day.

 

 

 



 

 

Molton Brown Geranium Nefertum at WK

Just In, a new scent from London based Molton Brown, Geranium Nefertum. Available in both bath & shower gel along with body lotion, it is a summery duo that will be enjoyed year round. You know I am crazy for anything with geranium in it–this fits the bill through and through. I put a few healthy dollops in the bathtub before I take my shower in the morning. The whole bathroom a symphony of geranium goodness when I get ready to step in. The exquisite packaging makes for a lovely gift too.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 209

To spice things up when wanting to set a creative table, chose one color and run with it. From the flowers to the dinnerware to the linens, use the hue in many forms. Have fun with playing with it all!



 

 

Once Again—Potato, Tomato & Zucchini Tian with Gruyère and Thyme

For the 4th of July I made the above Potato, Tomato & Zucchini Tian with Gruyère and Thyme. Mister Sive was cooking away on the grill. I posted the above on social media and was asked to give out the recipe. I had written about it for the blog several years ago. This time I also added minced garlic to the onions as they initially cooked away. The Vashon Island Thriftway had gorgeous looking garlic bulbs so I just had to give one a try. Aside from that, it was just like I wrote about in 2014. This is a great thing to make for a crowd or for a table of 2. You can assemble it hours in advance and pop it into the fridge to sit until ready to bake. As guests chat away, it can bubble away in the oven–the juices it creates a welcome little sauce to the meat or fish it saddles up next to.

Heat oven to 375 degrees while you get things chopping. Cut up one sweet onion. On the stove top in a skillet, brown the onion with extra virgin olive oil. (Add the minced garlic a tad before the onions are done and cook for just a few minutes. Always careful not to overcook the garlic as it becomes bitter fast. You want sweet.) Once done, line the bottom of a baking dish with the sautéed onions and garlic. Add thyme that you pull off the buds and just sprinkle around and on top of your onions. This is the base. Fine that this cools a bit while you start chopping away.

Next, you want to choose Roma tomatoes, small Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini that are very similar in circumference. Cut each into quarter inch sizes. On top of the onions, start stacking the slices, alternating the 3 as you go. Once done, add a liberal sprinkling of salt over the top of things. A bit of pepper too. Add more thyme leaves over the lot as well. The herb is so mellow and really adds to the lusciousness of this dish. Finally add a few whole springs of the thyme to the dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake in your now hot oven for 45 minutes. 

Once the 45 minutes has passed, take out of oven, remove the foil and the whole thyme stems and discard. Add a generous, make that a super generous about of grated Gruyère cheese to the entire top of the dish. I take extra care to make sure the cheese has also fallen down the sides of the mixture. You really want all of this cheesy goodness spread everywhere once it is done. Put back into the oven uncovered, for another half hour so the cheese melts and the mixture finishes cooking. Trust me, you will be quite pleased with yourself. It is so darn good! The cooked and melted mixture of the onions/garlic with the potatoes and the tomatoes and the zucchini mixed with the herbaceous goodness of the thyme is really all quite something.



 

 

A Saturday Rumi Thought



 

 

Blue Hydrangea

Flower Friday comes to you from WestWard where we are spending the week. Summer means hydrangea! I love massing a bundle together tightly for the simplest of arrangements. The leaves are so pretty too. Those I float in low bowls for a little natural hit of glorious green.



 

 

Independence Day 2019

Bailey is now up at 5 a.m. like clockwork. I snapped this photo right after I took her out. The marine layer over Colvos Passage so thick this early morning you can’t see the water. I love the peacefulness it brings. A symphony of bird song fills the air. Later tonight all the little beach communities will each set off their fireworks, which is always a treat. The energy completely different than it is at this quiet moment. Red, white & blue play a major part of the design scheme here at WestWard. Along with flags. It makes it the perfect place for us to be to honor the day. Happy 4th of July!



 

 

A Host/Hostess Gift Idea

As the 4th of July festivities kick into gear and parties/gatherings begin, I thought I would share a few go-to host/hostess ideas starting with a jar of jam. While flowers and wine can be lovely, we try and think a bit out of the box most times when it comes to gift giving. There are so many good jams out in the world and I have yet to meet someone who could not benefit from a good jar of jam. Insert large smile. Then spiff it up. Add a big block of French butter, a fresh baguette and wrap it all in a dish towel. Or go the cheese route, choosing a yummy piece of cheese that you think goes nicely with the jam, then add a horn spoon, presenting the trio on a little cutting board. Let your gift giving imagination run wild!

Have a lovely & safe Independence Day all. From WestWard. X, T2+B



 

 

Jot Off a Quick Thank You

I find the surest way to send off a ‘Thank You’ note is to have a variety of cards/tags at the ready. That way you have one at your fingertips easily and can get down to business of jotting a quick note.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 208

Stop and small the flowers. Truly. For real, stop and smell those roses and peonies and sweet peas. Time will stand still for that moment. It is a natural reset. Good for the soul, the mind, the body AND the nose.