Orange-Olive Oil Cake

Another cake post, I know. For some reason I have been on kind of a baking spree lately. Perhaps it's the crazy weather, 70 one day and 50 and raining the next. Perhaps it's waiting for spring produce to arrive. Or maybe I've just been craving sugar. Either way, this cake is not very sweet and could possibly be called somewhat healthy, due to all of the olive oil (healthy calories!) and orange juice. Or at least that's what I tell myself after my second slice. So far I have resisted eating it for breakfast, but it's been close. Throw a dollop of yogurt on there and some (unsweetened) berries, and you are basically eating a yogurt parfait. With cake, but that's beside the point. Orange-Olive Oil Cake (adapted from Food & Wine)

3 cups cake flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup olive oil

1 cup milk

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

For strawberries:

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced

2 tablepoons sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Plain greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, then line with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil, milk, eggs, orange juice, zest, and Grand Marnier. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and invert cake onto rack, letting cool for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, mix strawberries, zest, sugar, and Grand Marnier in a medium bowl. Let sit for about half a hour, until juice begins to form.

Slice cake, and top with a spoonful of greek yogurt, strawberries, and more orange zest.

Simple Winter Salad

As an effort to be slightly healthier, I have been trying to eat more salad lately (and something needs to counteract all of the artichoke dip) Since I quickly become bored of the same old goat cheese-dried cranberries-walnuts salads of winter, I came up with this one to spice things up and add some more interesting fruits and vegetables to my diet. I am a huge fan of citrus, and since it is in its prime season right now, what better way to use it than in a healthy (but of course delicious) salad?

Simple Winter Salad (serves 6)

8 oz mixed greens

2 large oranges, such as blood or valencia, peeled and cut into thin sections

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Toss first four ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small glass or bottle, whisk vinegar, mustard, and honey until well mixed. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until fully emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well with salad ingredients until well coated. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese if desired.