Thursday, April 4, 2013


The calendar says it's Spring, but here in the Northeast it is still just 29 degrees. Enough already! It's April for goodness sake. The weather did not cooperate when we were in Los Angeles either to celebrate Chris' birthday. What was predicted to be 80 degrees and sunny was really cool and cloudy with a marine layer that never lifted. That being said we were never deterred from eating at Chris' and Jess' favorite restaurants.

We had great burgers at Plan Check in their funky West L.A. neighborhood. Well-crafted anejo honey sours at the Peruvian restaurant, Picca. And fabulous fire-roasted vegetables and pizzas at Gjelina in Venice Beach--just to name a few outings.

Back at home I was still hoping for Spring when I came across this beautiful and delicious radish salad to brighten the day.
Next came Easter. Our Easter celebrations usually range from large gatherings to very large gatherings, but this year was a much smaller group. We were to be six adults and three children,  so I decided to keep the cooking low key.

There was no mixed antipasto, no glazed ham this year, no sweet potato casserole, no baked rigatoni with beschamel and prosciutto. And I don't remember the last Easter that I did not make Aunt Louise's Cheesecake.

Instead, I  served a shrimp cocktail to accompany a glass of champagne before dinner. Then came a perfectly cooked, if I do say so, filet of beef  served with slender haricot vert, parboiled then sauteed in butter,  and roasted new potatoes, followed by a salad of baby lettuces. Dessert was easy--cupcakes for the kids, and a very simple coffee cake along side a bowl overflowing with ripe strawberries and whipped cream.

This was the surprise--the coffee cake was the hit of the day. Who knew?
I found this recipe in one of my old kitchen notebooks. I used to make it a lot when we were first married and have no recollection where it came from. This unpretentious cake is quick to put together, small enough not to last forever and delicious!
Ready for the oven
Out of the oven

I knew it was a hit when my niece's 8 year old son said,"This is the best coffee cake I ever had. I wouldn't mind taking the rest home."  With pleasure, Tucker.


For Cake:

3 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8 inch square or round baking pan.

Mix butter with sugar; add egg and beat until creamy.

Mix together dry ingredients. Add to sugar mixture alternately with milk and mix to incorporate. Add vanilla and stir. Spread batter evenly in a buttered 8 inch square or round pan.

Sprinkle with topping and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until done.


Mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoon cold butter until crumbly.


  1. Your quick cake does look tasty. "small enough not to last forever" works for me. Too much of a good thing is often what keeps me from baking for the two of us. And...I love when 8 year old boys say things like that.

  2. He's cute, smart and funny and has an old soul.I think you'll enjoy the cake.

  3. That sounds like a very good easter meal. I do love a coffee cake and I am going to try yours next time. The crunchy topping looks delicious.

  4. Spring finally showed up here this weekend-sunshine and 70 degrees. let's hope it doesn't fast-forward into summer.
    Your coffeecake looks terrific--a what fun to rediscover a recipe from the past that still is a crowd-pleaser.

    1. I'm going to try to go through some my old notebooks this summer. It should be fun.

  5. Spring - schming. We're expecting snow here tonight too - lows at 6 degrees. Yet, that's part of living here. Radish salad sounds SO spring and cannot wait to have the weather to match! Yum! xo

    1. I did hear that Colorado got snow, but Spring is bound to around the corner. Right?

  6. An unpretentious cake. i love it. I'm totally over pretentious food. Happy Spring!