Yogurt Cake

imagePut aside your measuring cups and spoons, because you simply won’t need them for this quick French cake.  It’s great as a last minute, friends are coming over for coffee, kind of deal.  Kids will also love it as an after school snack.  You can dress it up (with a little fruit coulis, like I did here) or serve it au naturel.  No mater how you slice it, (pause for pun appreciation) it’s an easy and delicious dessert.

So what’s the deal with no measuring cups or spoons?  Well, since it’s a yogurt cake, you use your little old yogurt container to measure out all the other ingredients.  Guess I should have also mentioned that clean up is a snap with this one – you toss the yogurt container and only have one mixing bowl and spoon to wash.

In exactly this order, here’s what you plop in the bowl:

  • 1 personal size container of plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/2 of the yogurt container full of oil
  • 2 yogurt containers full of sugar
  • 3 yogurt containers full of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder (OK, so you will have to measure one thing.  Here in France the baking powder comes in little individual serving packets and you just need to dump in about half a packet)
  • Some lemon zest – your call on the quantity.  I like a good lemon flavor and so zested a little over half of a lemon.


After all the ingredients are in the bowl, you simply mix with a spoon until  well blended.

If you have an interesting or cute pan, it’s fun to use it here.  I searched high and low and this is the best I could come up with – a pan typically used to make a Charlotte.  I was a bit worried that the batter would be too deep and thus take too long to bake, but ultimately, it worked out OK.


I baked in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes.  Like I said, my cake was quite deep and so it took a bit longer.  If you go with a standard depth cake pan, you can count on closer to 30 minutes.  Just keep an eye on it and watch for that just right, still moist, golden brown stage.


I flipped it out of the pan after about 10 minutes.  I let it cool completely and then just dusted with powdered sugar. I blended some frozen raspberries to make a little coulis and served it to 4 hungry mouths as an after school snack.  Silence in the room for at least 3 minutes as they all devoured it.


I Surrender – Too Many “Gnos” to the Gnocchi

I am really blessed by the fact that all the birdies in my nest are very good eaters.  From Big One right down to the Wee One (yes, that’s from 19 years old to 21 months old – a whole lotta girliness in one house), there’s not much complaining that goes on – as far as food is concerned anyway.

For anyone who is interested, I have a few opinions about what makes a kid a “good eater”.

1) Introduce lots of food early on – one of my kiddos was eating olive tapenade at the ripe old age of 8 months.

2) Assume the best – I cringe every time I hear a parent say “Oh, s/he won’t eat that” whenever the kid is offered something new or different.  Let the kid decide.  Don’t limit their tasting experience.

3) Don’t give options – In our house one meal, and one meal alone, is served.  There’s not a “kids menu” and an “adult menu”.  You would be surprised what gets eaten when there’s not a “pizza, mac & chesse, bagel, chicken nugget, etc.” option offered in place of the main meal.

4) Let kids experience food with all their senses early on. OK, tasting is obvious, but I’m also encouraging smelling, and yes, the one most loathed by parents, touching.  I really believe that this full sensory experience of food is very connected to kids loving food.  So let your toddler eat with is/her hands and enjoy the full eating process.

5) Don’t fill them up on snacks. I know it’s “in” in some circles to consider your kid a “grazer”.  But come on, who would want to eat a Chard and Onion Torta, when they’re jammed full of gold fish, Craisins, and string cheese.  In order to enjoy eating, you have to be hungry, right?

6) Eat with your kiddo.  Seriously.  Do you like eating alone?  Well neither does your child.  So don’t fill up his/her plate and then think you have time to send that e-mail, finish that chapter in your book, or unload the dishwasher.  Sit down with your child (even if you’re not eating) and interact during the mealtime.  There are some fascinating studies out there about this, including video footage of the difference in kids’ eating quantities when parents / caregivers sit and eat with them vs. loading up their plate, serving it, and walking away.

I really could go on a lot more about this topic.  I’m passionate about it, and have definite opinions about the matter.  But I digress way too far.  What I am really here to tell you about is Gnocchi.  And in spite of all my musings about my children and their glorious eating habits, they ALL dislike gnocchi.  ALL 5 of them.  Gnocchi – a simple, bland as it gets, potato pasta.  How can can someone slurp down Curried Lentil Wraps and yet shun something like gnocchi?  I just don’t get it.  But alas, I have tried too many times and the objections remain unified and strongly stated.  So as of this posting, I will be retiring gnocchi from my menu rotation.  However, I love this sauce too much to let it go by  the wayside, so I’ll just be serving it over bowties or penne.  I hope you will enjoy it too, whether over gnocchi or some other pasta of your choosing.

Lemon Gnocchi with Peas and Spinach

Start by grating a little lemon zest which will give this sauce just the right zip.

grated lemon

Then simmer some frozen baby peas, with half and half (cream if you are feeling sassy), red pepper flakes, some garlic and salt.  You will want to cover it and let simmer until the peas are tender – usually around 5 minutes.


Then add in some baby spinach and continue cooking until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest.


While all of this is going on, cook your gnocchi (or other pasta of choice). Drain and add it, along with some freshly grated parmesan, to your sauce and serve immediately.

final gnocchi

Hey, and if your kids will eat it, let me know.  I’ll have a moment of quiet jealousy!

Want the complete recipe?  Click here.