Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process
A light strawberry lemon snack cake, fast and easy to make and delicious warm or chilled
Warning: This is a long post. But there's cake at the end, so I think it's worth it.
"Cake makes everything worth it." (Meghan McCarthy)
Apparently I'm continuing last week's trend of writing lots and lots and then sticking a recipe at the end. Instead of teaching you about nurturing your garden soil, this week I'm giving you A Peek Into My Process. Blame Meghan for all this--she roped me into it by asking me to answer the following questions. She wanted me to tag other bloggers to keep the chain going but I'm a chain letter breaker. So--if you'd like to answer these 4 questions, please comment and I'd be delighted to link to your writing process post. Let's get this over with.
- What am I working on/what am I writing?
- How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
- Why do I write what I do?
- How does my writing process work?
|Old school--writing on paper, scheduling on paper, losing countless papers.|
|Blogging while on vacation--that's dedication, folks.|
#2. This one is easy. More
cowbell Pizza! When I first found other CSA bloggers, the primary thing I noticed was that they shared photos of their farm share boxes (which appeals to the voyeur in me) and talked about how they used the items that week. That's inspirational, but I was looking to provide more practical support for local eating. Inspiration's great if you've got the skill set to run with it, but some practical support helps you to succeed.
I see this with my kids all the time. Setting them up for success with appropriate supports results in far better outcomes than just telling them to wing it. In the kitchen and in life. Once you have a foundation--then wing away, baby, wing away.I feel what sets my blog ever-so-slightly apart is that while I'm showing you how to use the farm share produce via my recipes, I'm also showing you how I put up the produce we can't consume right away, how I use that in the off season, and I'm helping you find ideas for other produce via my recipe index. Indexes.
And every once in a while I'll show you what's in my box, too.
|Ah, one of my favorite meals--and one of my favorite posts.|
#4. This is the long answer. Let's look at that cake to remind us why we're sticking with it.
Since we eat seasonally, even though I just grilled up the last of the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve [butternut squash are particularly long-storing] I won't post that recipe until Fall. But the photos have been taken, uploaded, and indexed so I can find them when I need them.
In a perfect world the spouse would edit the photos to make them pretty, but apparently I'll "never learn to do this until [I] just do it" (the whole Worlds Collide thing) so I am painstakingly--with a blunt object instead of a surgical scalpel--doing this myself. I know I want a horizontal/landscape photo at the top because I think most food looks best this way and for Food Frenzy Digest to pull, plus a square photo for the food porn websites when I remember to submit, plus a vertical/portrait shot that I can add a title to for Pinterest. When I photograph the food I take a variety of images to get all bases covered. But this post is supposed to be all about writing. Ahem.I also jot down the recipe notes, hopefully in a notebook but sometimes on a sticky note or on my FB page, so that when I go to write the post I've got the recipe info. Otherwise it's back to the kitchen, and if it's a seasonal item I sometimes have to wait a year. Best just to jot down as I go.
Often, while I am cooking, I will think about what I want to say in the post. When I've got ideas flowing it works best to sit down and write them out. This post just poured out of me while the pizza was baking. If the words don't come, I move on to something else. With 50 posts in some form of the publishing process [they've got at least 1 of the 3: recipe, photos, or headnotes entered in the computer] as well as more in the notebooks, I don't need to force it, I just pick something else.
|where I was writing this post--on the porch, with Vincent as a lap |
Let's have some cake, shall we?
This cake is a frequent flier at our house when local strawberries are in season. My favorite way to eat a fresh strawberry, besides naked, is by dunking it into sour cream, then brown sugar, then popping it into my mouth. I found this cake years ago--I think it may have been on the Bisquick™ box--and I make it every Spring.
Over the years I've tweaked the recipe a bit. For one thing, you store this cake in the refrigerator and this time of year [who am I kidding? any time of year] I just don't have room for a 13x9 inch pan to hang out for days until our family of 4 finishes it. So I adapted the recipe for an 8 inch square pan. I also added a bit of lemon curd to brighten up the berries--not that a local berry needs a darn thing, mind you.
My spouse loves this cake chilled. I prefer it slightly warm, so I'm pretty confident that you'll like it at a variety of temperatures. If you're serving a crowd I recommend grabbing the original recipe linked below. If you're feeling a bit more muffin-y, may I offer my Strawberry Sour Cream Brown Sugar Muffins? Of course I may. It's my blog.
Strawberry Lemon Bisquick™ Snack Cake (inspired by this cake)
¼ cup (2 ounces) milk
1¼ cups (10 ounces) sour cream, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon prepared lemon curd, divided
1½ cups Bisquick™ baking mix
2 cups mashed strawberries
¼ cup brown sugar
Spray an 8x8 inch square baking pan with oil (or rub with a butter wrapper) and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 (glass pan) or 350 (metal pan) degrees Fahrenheit. Get the cake in the oven first, and while the cake is baking make the topping so it can hang out and let the flavors blend.
To make the cake: in a mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer but used to use my handheld) combine egg, milk, ½ cup sour cream, vanilla and 1 Tablespoon lemon curd until well blended. Dump Bisquick™ on top, and beat on low a minute until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then crank up the mixer to medium high and beat 3 minutes until the batter is uniform, like thick cake batter. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then check it. Mine needed another 5 minutes--then the edges were lightly browned and the toothpick test came out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes then pour the topping over.
To make the topping: in a large bowl combine strawberries, 1 teaspoon lemon curd, brown sugar and the remaining sour cream. Set aside to allow flavors to blend. When the cake is still warm, though not fresh out of the oven, pour the topping all over the cake. Use a toothpick or a chopstick to poke holes in the cake so the topping flows down through the cake.
I like this best served warm, but my spouse loves it best straight out of the fridge.