Archive for February, 2011

I am always searching for desserts that are made with oil versus butter. As I was looking through my new cookbook Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours by Kimberly Boyce, I came across the Olive Oil Cake recipe. “Perfect!”, I thought. Aside from the olive oil, the recipe also includes spelt flour, rosemary, and chocolate chips. I was very excited to try the cake. I did try chocolate and rosemary together before. Kristin gave me a chocolate bar a few months ago that included rosemary in it. It worked beautifully!

The cake was very easy to make. You mix the dry ingredients, you mix the wet ingredients, then you mix the dry and wet ingredients together and voilà… you have the cake batter. Oh, and don’t forget about mixing in the chocolate chips. They are a must!

I did make a few adjustments to the recipe. Perhaps I should not have done that, since it was my first time making it. But I could not get myself to use 1 cup of oil. I cut it down to 3/4 of cups. I felt the same about the sugar. I understand that it is a dessert, but I don’t like overly sweet desserts. I only omitted a 1/4 of a cup, so that was not so bad. :) Since I cut down on the oil, I decided to compensate it with an additional 1/4 cup of milk. Lastly, I am not a huge fan of rosemary. I know what you are thinking… “Why would you make a cake with rosemary in it if you do not like it?”. Well, I like it ok, but just not in huge quantities. So I cut down the rosemary to only 1 Tablespoon versus the required 1 1/2 Tablespoons.

Well, even after all my adjustments, the cake turned out pretty tasty! The cake is somewhat dense, but still spongy. Also, the rosemary flavor was very prominent, which made the cake a bit savory. I really do like the chocolate and rosemary flavors together. In this recipe, the spelt flour is more for healthiness than flavor, since it has the benefits that are common with all the whole grains. It does have a slightly nutty flavor, but since the recipe does not use very much of it, it is not very apparent. (If you want to try other baked goods with spelt flour, you should give Newman’s Own Spelt pretzels a try. They are great! I like them more than regular pretzels.) My only disappointment was the olive oil flavor. I could not taste it too much. I guess I should have used the full cup of olive oil. HA!

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Friday evening was a very sad evening. As I mentioned in a previous post, Café Cibon on Park Avenue is one of my favorite places to eat in Rochester. I have been going to Cibon for about 12 years now. Also, for the past 5 or 6 years, I have been going to Cibon strictly for the Michelangelo panini. Pesto, shrimp, and goat cheese sandwiched between perfectly toasted bread… need I say more?

Well, the Michelangelo panini is no more!!! I know… so sad!! :(

As we sat down, the server mentioned that they have changed their menu and that a bunch of the paninis have been removed from it. I had a bad feeling about it. As I was scanning the menu, I noticed that my favorite panini was no longer on the menu. Even worse, I noticed that none of the paninis included goat cheese. Actually, goat cheese is not listed anywhere on the menu. As I was expressing my disappointment about the menu change to our server, she admitted that they discontinued the goat cheese. “Discontinued the goat cheese?? How can that be??”

I truly am very disappointed with the menu change. Ok, so I am being a bit selfish. But being lactose intolerant adds some complexity to eating out. And I could always count on Cibon to be able to get a panini that is not only delicious but is also made with goat cheese. I admit that there are many wonderful items on the menu to select from, including a delicious tuna panini, which will now be my favorite item. The server did mention that she will add my request of bringing back goat cheese in the suggestion box. I sure hope that it did not escape her mind.

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