This week, instead of making up my own recipe or finding something new and altering it to suit my purposes, I went for an old standby. I was a lacto vegetarian for years before I married my enthusiastically-carnivorous husband. I just found it easier, since I shop for our groceries, cook for us, and we eat together, to eat the same things he was eating. Plus, I’ve developed a taste for meat, so I’ll have to push myself to make the sacrifice if I decide to give it up again. In the meantime, I do like to find meatless meals we can enjoy so we’re not eating quite so much meat.
In my vegetarian days, I regularly turned to Isa Chandra Moskowitz for her great variety of delicious vegan recipes. One of my favorites was (and still is) her Orange Ginger Baked Tofu. Now that Bitsy is old enough for tofu, I was excited to make it for her. This dish has a subtle sweetness I knew she would enjoy, and I thought the texture would be one she’d chew well and enjoy feeding herself.
We’ve been very fortunate that Bitsy has shown no signs of food allergies thus far. Parents. com and Live Strong recommend tofu as a good food for babies around 8 months and older, as long as they aren’t allergic to soy. Ask your pediatrician whether your baby is ready for tofu.
I enjoy making this dish almost as much as I enjoy making it, because the marinade ingredients are so fragrant. It’s also pretty quick and easy. The tofu only needs to marinate for a few minutes. If you’re out of fresh ginger or garlic, it’s okay to use dried.
I baked the tofu in strips, then cut Bitsy’s portion into small, bite-sized squares before serving it to her. I was so happy to see her enjoy it, and eagerly pick up more and more pieces to feed herself. Even my tofu-adverse husband had to admit it was delicious, though he did say the sauce would be even better on chicken. I’ll keep making this for Bitsy, and try some other tofu recipes for her. I may try to keep up having meatless lunches for Bitsy and me, and save meat for dinner time.
Steel Magnolias is now on Netflix, which means it has been and will continue to be watched in this house. Of course, I already have so many of the lines memorized, but can’t get tired of hearing them delivered by that wonderful cast and looking at those glorious ’80s hairdos.
So when I was thinking up a spur-of-the moment dessert while preparing dinner one night this week, I must have been inspired by the easy recipe Truvy (Dolly Parton) shares with the ladies while styling Shelby’s (Julia Roberts) before her wedding. Her Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa is so easy you don’t have to write it down– a cuppa flour, a cuppa sugar, and a cuppa fruit cocktail with the juice. Bake until the crust is brown and the fruit gets bubbly. Serve with vanilla ice cream to cut the sweetness!
What I did the other night was slightly different, but almost as easy. It did involve some very minor prep work, since I used fresh fruit–didn’t have a can of fruit cocktail in the house. I baked it in my Lodge 8″ cast iron skillet. You may need to increase the amounts just slightly if using anything larger. I greased the skillet with just a little bit of butter, but you can choose to use oil instead, which would make this a nice vegan dessert!
This recipe can easily be made with whatever fruit you like. I used what I happened to have at the time (blackberries, grapes, plums, and pears), and it turned out so very juicy and delicious.
Here, at last is the recipe:
Short and Sweet Skillet Cake
- 1 1/2- 2 cups of fresh fruit, chopped
- Orange wedge, for juicing (about 1/2 tsp of juice)
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 1/4 cups of sugar
- Dash of cinnamon
- dab of oil or butter to grease skillet
- Combine chopped fruit in medium to large bowl
- Squeeze juice from orange wedge onto fruit
- Pour all of the sugar and cinnamon onto fruit and stir
- Let sit in refrigerator for about an hour, until fruit is very juicy
- Add flour to fruit mixture and stir until mixture is evenly combined
- Bake in 350F oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, until fruit is bubbly, and crust is browned. Cake texture will be a little fluffy and a little gooey. The fruit is the star of this show!
Enjoy for dessert and if you have any left over, it also makes a great breakfast!
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