Blueberry Citrus Coffee Cake


Happy sort-of-kind-of spring! I can’t speak for everyone, but here in the midwest we are still waiting for winter to realize it has overstayed its welcome and quickly yet sheepishly go away.

That being said, we may as well eat like its spring time while we wait. Earlier this month my husband and I had friends over for an Easter brunch/egg hunt for a couple of bunny crazed kids. One component of the meal was an absolutely delicious blueberry citrus coffee cake with a crumb topping and citrus drizzle. I found a recipe that acted as a great starting point from (find it here) and changed it to meet my tastes. It was a showstopper. To be fair, blueberries, orange, lemon, cinnamon, butter and sugar can only be so bad and the blueberries are like candy right now. Now to the good stuff– what you need and how to make it:



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Half of a vanilla bean scrapped (vanilla extract is also completely fine. I usually do an overflowing teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Crumb Topping-

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice (can also use orange juice)


Oven temperature- 350º

Cooking time- 55 minutes (ish)

Preheat oven to 350º and butter a 9 inch springform pan liberally. Dust the pan with flour to ensure that the cake does not stick.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take a while (5 minutes or so) and it is probably worth getting out the stand mixer. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix in lemon and orange zest. With the mixer on a low setting, add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in blueberries.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan. Mix the crumb toppings together in a small bowl until it has the texture of sand with larger clumps. Sprinkle the topping evenly on the cake.

Bake at 350º for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cake to completely cool before running a knife around the sides of the pan to ensure it doesn’t stick and then remove the outer ring of the pan.

To make the icing, mix the lemon juice and powdered sugar together with a whisk until you have a smooth consistency. If the mixture seems to thick, add more lemon juice. Conversely, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle the icing on the cooled cake. Enjoy!

Note- this cake is great to make the day before. You can bake it off and cover it in plastic wrap at room temperature overnight. Just wait to make and drizzle the icing until the day you are going to serve. 

You should be using ACHVR!


I feel like everywhere I look I keep seeing articles about this website ACHVR. I decided to check it out and had to share what I discovered.

It is one of those ideas that is original, but seems like something that should have been around a long time ago. Think of Facebook but, you know, useful. You can keep track of friends and their goals or make friends who have the same goals. Don’t worry, your “goals” don’t have to be serious things like getting a certain job (but feel free to set the bar high, you over-achiever, you). For example, you can state that you want to visit every local brewery or compete in an ice cream eating competition. ACHVR will then hook you up with people who want to do the same thing. Do yourself and favor and check it out now!

Buffalo Chicken Soup

Buffalo Chicken Soup

The temperatures are dropping quickly and all of the sudden, my feet are constantly cold.

It is soup weather. It is also football weather. When those two things collide, buffalo chicken soup is born. We like things hot in this house so both cayenne and hot sauce are included. Change the amounts to make it right for you. No need to blow out your tastebuds.

This recipe makes a large amount of soup that will serve 4-6 people, provide leftovers for a couple, or give the chef a weeks worth of lunch. Just like all soups and stews, this tastes even better the second day!


1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

4 cups of chicken stock

1 chicken flavored bouillon

1 rotisserie chicken

1 tablespoon of butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic

4oz cream cheese

1 cup half and half

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/4 cup hot sauce (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)



celery and blue cheese to crumble on top


In a large, heavy pot combine the cauliflower and chicken stock. Add the cube of bouillon once the water is simmering.

In another pan, sauté the onion in the butter. When the vegetables are soft, melt the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and half and half. Whisk until all of the dairy ingredients have melted. Add the hot sauce.

Once the cauliflower is tender, blend the cauliflower until smooth. You can use either an immersion blender or a traditional blender in batches. Stir the diced chicken and cheese mixture into the cauliflower puree. Warm through.

When you are ready to serve the soup, crumble the blue cheese and diced celery over the top. Drizzle with more hot sauce if you would like. Enjoy!

Friday Night Feast


Crab cakes with a spicy remoulade

(Makes 6 medium sized cakes)

Friday night and I am in the mood for something a bit indulgent. Having spent the past 10 years in Boston, I am very partial to seafood. After a little deliberation, crab cakes it is! This is a recipe open to interpretation. If you like red pepper or celery in your crab cakes, feel free. If you want to swap out the Essence of Emeril with Old Bay, do it up. Just make sure you have a glass of champagne or two….or three. This is a vital step. OR, you could just have the champagne and tell people you made crab cakes. It all works. Wink. 


Crab cakes-

8oz of jumbo lump crab

8oz of back fin crab

1 cup of panko

1/4 cup of mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce

 5 tablespoons of chives

1/2 tablespoon of Essence of Emeril seasoning

1/2 tablespoon of hot sauce (I prefer Cholula)

1 egg

Spicy remoulade-

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sriracha 

1/2 lemon, juiced. 


Crab cakes-

Place half of the panko on a large plate

In a large mixing bowl, pick over the crab to make sure there are no shells. Then, add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, worcestershire, chives, Essence of Emeril, and remaining panko. Try the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the egg to the mixture and incorporate. 

Make 6 equal sized cakes out of the mixture. Coat each cake with panko. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium flame. When the oil is hot cook the cakes for 2-3 minutes a side or until golden brown. 

Spicy remoulade-

Whisk the mayonnaise, sriracha, and lemon juice until smooth.

Plate the crab cakes and drizzle with remoulade. I chose to serve this with sliced tomatoes, generously seasoned with salt and pepper, and a little basil from my garden. It is a weird time in life when you find yourself saying things like “my garden” without a hint of sarcasm. Anyway, a light salad with a lemon vinaigrette would also be delicious. If you are feeling really scandalous, serve these with Old Bay sprinkled french fries. 


Pasta a la Steve

The first entry of a blog is a pressure filled situation. Lucky for me, no one reads it yet so there isn’t too much reason for worry. For my very first entry, I will share the recipe for something that has come to be known as “Pasta a la Steve.” It is one of the things I made for my husband early on in our relationship so it has the distinction of being named after him. It is easy, cheap, kinda-sorta healthy, and always gets a rave. Serves 4.


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 chicken sausage links (I prefer spicy but you can use any kind you like.)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Again, I like spicy so adjust this a bit if you are not a hot head.)

3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped

1 white or yellow onion thinly sliced

1 red pepper thinly sliced

1 zucchini cut in rounds*

½ pound of pasta (This is really up to you. I have made it with anything from angel hair to smoked mozzarella ravioli. Just use what you have.)

2 cups canned peeled chopped tomatoes

½ cup of cream or half and half (do not substitute with something thinner than half and half)

1 cup of grated parmesan

¼ cup of sliced fresh basil (Time to work out those chiffonade skills. Roll up the leaves like a cigar and thinly slice– then brag that you know how to chiffonade. Werk.)

splash of wine (optional)


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Remove the casings from the sausages and place in the pan. Break apart the links. Cook until no longer pink. Remove the sausage from the pan and place on a plate. Set aside. If there are little bits of sausage stuck to the pan, pour a bit (¼ of a cup or so) of wine and scrape with a wooden spoon).

In the same pan, add the olive oil. Wait about 20-30 seconds or until the oil spits when hit with a little sprinkle of water. Add the zucchini, red pepper, and yellow onion. Cook these veggies until almost soft.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2 minutes. Season the veggies with salt and black pepper to taste. You are going to season each layer to ensure good flavor throughout the dish. If you just add salt at the end, it will not enhance the flavor of the ingredients but instead just leave the dish with a salty taste.

Add tomatoes and lower heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes. When the sauce or until sauce has thickened a bit.

In the meantime, fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Before adding the pasta, add lots of salt to the water. It should be “as salty as the Mediterranean.” Add pasta. Follow cooking instructions on package.

Add sausage and pasta to the sauce. Remove from heat. Stir in cream, cheese, and basil.

*This recipe provides the opportunity to use any veggie in the fridge. If you have more peppers and no zucchini, just use the peppers. If you have some spinach you need to use, wilt it down in the sauce. Get creative!