Cherry Yogurt Coffee Cake

1 Cherry Yogurt CC The Curvy Carrot

I have my younger sister to thank for a recent onslaught of nightmares.

Does anyone else out there watch The Following on Fox?  I know this might be completely random, but not only is this show addicting, but it’s completely nightmare-provoking as well.  My sister recommended it (and I usually like what she likes, so I gave it a shot.) I’m usually one who avoids horror movies or anything of that type of genre (why increase my already-high baseline stress levels by voluntarily watching something that will send my blood pressure through the roof?), but I got sucked into this show one weekend while doing some major spring cleaning of my apartment.  You would think that I might have the discipline to just stop watching it, since I’ve been a little spooked while walking the dog before bed or in the middle of the night when I hear a funny sound, but I just can’t.   Maybe I secretly love this kind of thrilling sense of fear, I don’t know.  But it’s an interesting show, to say the least.  Which makes me wonder why there are so many shows out there featuring serial killers.  And then I get spooked because I live in Milwaukee, where one of the most notorious serial killers was active.  I don’t get it.  Maybe it’s rooted in my history of forensics, and I’m bringing up bits and pieces of the crazy things I’ve seen firsthand (not food blog appropriate).  I’ve got some pretty interesting stories, though (why those things didn’t give me nightmares and how a fabricated, acted story does is a good question.)

Which makes another random segue into this recipe, I know.

I wanted something sweet and warm for breakfast one morning, and since I had some Greek yogurt in the fridge, this recipe fit the bill.  You can use fresh or frozen fruit here (I used Earth Bound Farm’s frozen pitted sweet cherries).  And, honestly, you can use whatever kind of fruit or combination thereof that you like.  Since I was using cherries, and I love a cherry-almond combination of any sort (see here  or here), I added in some almond extract for both the batter and the glaze.  If you aren’t after this kind of flavor profile, just substitute in some vanilla.

Serve with some coffee or warm tea, and it will make any bad nightmare disappear.  🙂


3 Cherry Yogurt CC The Curvy Carrot

Cherry Yogurt Coffee Cake

Servings: Makes one 13×9-inch pan



For the streusel:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

For the filling:

One 10-ounce bag frozen sweet pitted cherries, thawed

For the batter:

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/4  teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups white whole wheat flour

For the glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk (I used skim)

1 teaspoon almond extract



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Generously spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray.

3. For the streusel:  In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl using an electric handheld mixer), beat the butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Reduce the mixer speed and add in the flour, beating until small, coarse crumbs form.  Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and clean out your mixer bowl.

5. For the coffee cake: In the bowl of your standing mixer still fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

6.  Add in the eggs, yogurt, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

7. Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and evenly spread the cherries (or other fruit) over the batter, slightly pressing in the cherries.

8. Sprinkle the prepared streusel over the cherries evenly.

9.  Bake for about 40 minutes or so, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

10. For the glaze:  In a small bowl (or again, using your mixer-I know-lots of mixing here), beat together the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract until smooth.

11. Once the coffee cake has cooled for about 30-40 minutes, drizzle glaze evenly over the top.

Source:  Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company.

April 1, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Maria Tadic - This looks awesome! I love cherries! Think the filling would get too soupy if I added in chocolate chips?? Because cherries and chocolate are awesome!

April 1, 2014 - 4:32 pm

srlacy - Hey Maria-

I love the way you think! Add in that chocolate-what a great idea!

April 1, 2014 - 5:46 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - Now that was some segue. Laughing. I am a heavy duty coffee cake maker. I am also a real believer in having yogurt in the dough. BUT I don’t normally use whole wheat flour. So this is I have to try. Of course cherries make everything delicious—–

April 1, 2014 - 10:23 pm

Joanne - I find it really hard to watch scary/gruesome stuff before bed otherwise I have very very vivid nightmares. And yet I find myself in the middle of Breaking Bad. No idea how I get any sleep at all.

Cherry and almond are such a perfect pair! I would love them for breakfast in this cake.

April 2, 2014 - 7:03 am

Erin - Looks delightful! Quick question though, was room temperature butter used?

April 2, 2014 - 2:43 pm

srlacy - Hi Erin-

FOr the streusel, I believe I used slightly chilled butter. And for the batter, I used butter that I had left out at room temperature for about one hour prior to baking (it may not have been exactly room temperature, but it was not chilled.) Hope this helps!

April 2, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - This would definitely make any nightmare go away! Beautiful!

Spaghetti al Vino Bianco


5Spaghetti Al Vino Bianco The Curvy Carrot


I have been craving all sorts of pasta dishes. I had planned on making some glorious fettucine alfredo with some homemade alfredo sauce, and then something incredibly ironic happened. I bought some fresh Parmesan at the grocery store, and it ended up rolling out of the grocery bag in the back of my car on my way home.  I didn’t realize this (as it was the only thing that rolled out), so when I went to make some more homemade alfredo sauce (which needed way more Parmesan than I had), I ended up swearing just a bit (ok, a lot) because I couldn’t find it in my fridge.  I found my receipt where I noticed I had been charged, so I just sucked it up and figured something else out on the fly with the full idea of hopefully getting a refund on the next trip to the store.  So, the other night, as I was loading the car after a “heavily productive” trip to Target (are trips to Target ever not productive?), I realized the Parmesan was just sitting there, all nicely wrapped and innocent-looking (I embellish.)  I had to laugh.  Because what actually came out of this pseudo loss of the Parmesan ended up with a pretty nice and filling pasta dish substitute.

This pasta is made with lots of white wine (with enough left over for a couple of glasses with dinner).  And cheese.  And lots of other good things, like artichokes and kalamata olives.  Oh, and pine nuts.  Throw in some fresh spinach and a few sun-dried tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent meal.  It’s quick enough for a weeknight meal and makes enough for a few days’ worth of leftovers, too.  Add in what you like, omit what you don’t (omit the cream and Parmesan for a vegan version)-that’s the beauty of the simple white wine base here (use a drier white wine)  I halved the recipe with a ton of pasta leftover (I’m posting the halved recipe here.  If you are serving a small army, just double all of the ingredients.)  Enjoy.  With extra Parmesan on top.


1Spaghetti Al Vino Bianco The Curvy Carrot



Spaghetti al Vino Bianco

Servings:  about 4



1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Red pepper flakes, to taste

1/2 bottle of dry white wine, divided

One 14.1-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

1/2 pound (8 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


6Spaghetti Al Vino Bianco The Curvy Carrot




1. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, in a separate pan filled with salted water, cook the spaghetti until flexible but not fully cooked, about 4 minutes (reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water for later possible use) .

2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the sauté pan, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and lightly golden, about 1 minute.

3. Add 3/4 cup of the white wine and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring occasionally.  Cook until the wine is reduced to about 1/4-cup, about 5 minutes or so.

4. Add the salt, and stir until combined.

5. Add the half-cooked spaghetti to the sauté pan, and, using tongs, lightly coat the spaghetti with the wine mixture.

5. Add the remaining wine, about 1/4-cup at a time, stirring after each addition.  Add in the artichokes, olives, and sun-dreied tomatoes, stirring to thoroughly combine.  Cook the pasta until it is al dente, adding some of that reserved pasta water if necessary.

6. Add the spinach in small batches, stirring after each addition, until all the spinach is added and wilted. (Again, add some of that pasta water if the pasta looks a bit dry.)

7. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan, stirring until combined.

8. Divide the pasta among your serving bowls and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.


Source:  Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

March 27, 2014 - 10:43 am

Abbie @ Needs Salt - This dish looks so delicious! I love all the different colors and flavors going on.

March 27, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Katrina @ WVS - I absolutely love all the wine in this – it looks great! I’ve been craving pasta like mad as well – trying this!

March 27, 2014 - 6:31 pm

Joanne - I have a HUGE bottle of white wine in the fridge that needs using up, so I’m super excited about this recipe! So few recipes out there use enough to make a dent in a bottle, but this is really the exception!

March 29, 2014 - 7:31 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - Your description of this totally sold it to me! Love the wine and Mediterranean flavours. It looks almost like an ‘expensive’ dish, as if you ordered it in a restaurant. That’s got to be a good thing, hey?!

March 30, 2014 - 4:15 am

pizzarossa - This looks sooooooo good! Pinned!

March 30, 2014 - 5:31 pm

Laura Anna - I made this today and it’s so good!

April 8, 2014 - 5:00 am

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Bread » The Curvy Carrot - […] bread was sort of an after-thought accompaniment to this pasta dish.  I had originally planned on making some garlic bread for a side and had even roasted a giant […]

Banana Cream Pie Smoothies

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie4 The Curvy Carrot


All right, everyone.  I’m trying to make a dedicated pledge to making some positive changes in my diet (that being said, I also have a few deep fried indulgent treats coming your way…so everything in moderation, right? Right.)

Beginning with breakfast-my often much-neglected meal of the day.  During the week, I run out the door with a big thermos of black coffee and usually a banana in my bag.  I usually don’t get around to eating that banana until about 10 am, so it probably doesn’t still count as a breakfast, but it works for me.

On the weekends, I can usually take some time to invest in making something a little bit more filling to keep my energy levels up throughout the day. (I’m also trying to increase my exercise time as well….that’s a work in progress, though.)  There’s this pretty awesome little cafe in my neighborhood that makes incredible juice concoctions…which I indulge in from time to time.  But if it’s still cold out (yes it is) or I don’t want to get out of my pajamas (my happy weekend place), a from-scratch smoothie fits the bill.  And this one sounded intriguing.

Here’s the deal with this smoothie.  It’s definitely not on the sweet side (depending on how ripe your bananas are), so if you are a fan of sweeter smoothies, add in some honey or agave nectar and adjust to taste.  To increase the protein content here, I added in some nonfat Greek yogurt instead of a sweetened, vanilla flavored yogurt (as originally recommended by Cooking Light).  It’s a thicker smoothie as well, so I thinned out mine a bit by adding in some more almond milk (adjust to your own desired consistency here).  If you want, add in some ground flax seeds or maybe even a few chia seeds for a little bit more texture/flavor.

It’s like a dessert for breakfast, and I am a fan.


Banana Cream Pie Smoothie6 The Curvy Carrot



Banana Cream Pie Smoothies

Servings: 2



1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen (I sliced my banana and froze it for about 45 minutes prior to making the smoothies.)

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy milk or skim milk)

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder (I used a whey protein powder)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Ice cubes (about 4-5)

Whole wheat graham cracker crumbs, crushed (You’ll want about 2 tablespoons total of crushed graham crackers.)



1. In your blender, combine the frozen banana, yogurt, milk, protein powder, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Blend until smooth.

2. Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth.

3. Pour the smoothie into your cups and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over each smoothie.  Enjoy.


Source: Adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

March 25, 2014 - 8:24 am

Ricky Albert - I would like to add your blog to the Top Food Blog list in . Your blog is impressively BEAUTIFUL and it deserves to be included on the Top Blog list!! Great recipes!! We will feature your blog so that people will see it on our site and we will make a lot of shout out about your recipes on our fanpages. If you would like to join, here is the link .


March 25, 2014 - 10:27 am

Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl - I LOVE that you added graham crackers!! This sounds delicious 🙂

March 25, 2014 - 6:39 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Breakfast is my favorite meal, and I love adding a smoothie to the mix. Great recipe!

March 25, 2014 - 9:50 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I love breakfast. I eat breakfast every morning. However since I work, my weekday breakfast is pretty boring. This wouldn’t take any time to speak of—-don’t want to tighten that morning schedule anymore than I have to, don’t you know. The end result would be a special treat with no guilt. I like the concept. Laughing—thanx

March 25, 2014 - 9:53 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - Mmmm I posted a comment that didn’t post. I am going to try again. So if a double shows up, that’s my story and I am sticking to it. I love breakfast, but my working day breakfasts are pretty darn boring. This would be a treat for me that wouldn’t take anymore time. Can’t add any more time to my already tight morning routine, don’t you know. Laughing, but still serious. This would also be a guilt free treat. A concept I particularly like.

March 25, 2014 - 10:50 pm

Joanne - I am a diehard breakfast eater (greek yogurt and PB FTW!) but I could always use new smoothie ideas! I love how creamy this is….I feel like I could convince myself I was having a milkshake!