Lemon Iced Raspberry Yogurt Cake

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This time last year: Red Pepper Quiche Cups (2012)

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Sometimes you spend more hours working on a final project than on sleep. Other times, you spend more time giggling with your best friend than you do doing dishes. OTHER times, you have had a food blog for three years, and that feels like a milestone worth celebrating!

These last two weeks have been a little bit of all three for me.  Last week my first year of grad school came to an end. This week, I  celebrated my start to summer by laughing until my sides hurt, and gratefully realizing that this food blog project has been in existence for three years now! There’s a lot to celebrate there, and a lot of sleep catch up to do. Cue- cake and a pillow.

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I actually baked this cake last spring, while living in Richmond. I remember, it had rained for four days straight, and I was stir crazy out of my mind (not abnormal for me. I wiggle a LOT). I looked up cake recipes online, found this cake to look almost as good as sunshine, and got baking.

The YAY topping was a little note of joy left for my roommates. Because sometimes, when it rains for four days straight, “yay,” is not the first word to come to mind. However sometimes, if you bake a cake and eat it with your roommates, rainy days can look much less gloomy.

Thus, whether celebrating the first week of summer, a personal milestone moment, and last week of class, or coping with rain clouds on your doorstep and too little sleep- cake feels like a good answer to me!

If you disagree with that statement, feel free to take it up with Pinterest. For, according to pinterest, Julia Childs once said, “A party without a cake is just a meeting.” It is “always someone’s birthday somewhere,” and “Life is short, eat the cake.

(Thank you Pinterest, for the encouragement!)

Thus, on those positive notes, I bring you the YAY cake. Because sometimes, you just need a little somethin’ sweet in your life. 🙂

Happy eating, and thanks for being a part of my cooking adventures for the last three years!!

Lots of love, A Rented Kitchen

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Buttercream Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Zest & juice of 2 Meyer lemons
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 320˚F. Grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, and sprinkle with a thin layer of flour; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, setting aside the egg whites for later, and thoroughly mix in.
  3. One mixed, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined. Then mix in the yogurt.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the egg whites until light and fluffy with medium peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter, and then gently fold in raspberries.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the two pan rounds and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let the cakes cool for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Wait until thoroughly cooled to ice.
  7. Meanwhile- prepare the buttercream by blending the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Continue to mix on medium speed until the icing is light and fluffy. Chill for twenty minutes before icing.

* To make a four-layer cake, slice each round in half. Spread one cake round with buttercream, top with another cake, and repeat until all four cake rounds are stacked. Spread the top and sides with the remaining buttercream.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Store the cake in the refrigerator for best icing consistency.
  • Source: Kitchen Trial and Error
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious desserts from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

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This time last year: Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes (2013)

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This time of year, it seems as if every other week I have a potluck or a picnic to go to (because who wants to do school work when it’s so nice outside?!). I have absolutely zero complaints about this potluck schedule; however, casual group gatherings do involve some strategy regarding what dish to bring. Ie: something that might not need heating or isn’t too messy to enjoy while sitting on a picnic blanket. Choices, choices!

This recipe is one of those ideal dishes for a potluck or picnic. I introduce you to this scrumptious Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad! (you’re welcome).

This pasta salad is so easy to make. It only takes ten minutes, five ingredients, and two bowls max. In addition to preparation ease, this dish is also a win in flavor! This pasta salad is beautifully rich and light, with the beautiful smell of the fresh basil, sweet taste of the strawberries, and the delicious flavor of the balsamic glaze.

You can’t go wrong here folks!

Enjoy this pasta salad, and come back and see me!

Happy picnic season 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball mozzarella, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and roughly torn
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic glaze

 Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.
  2. Once soft, remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any further.
  3. Transfer the pasta back to a serving bowl and toss with the strawberries, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Drizzle the pasta with half of the balsamic glaze, and stir to incorporate. Once incorporated, drizzle the remaining half of the balsamic glaze over the top of the pasta, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • Gluten Free? Use gluten free pasta!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes form A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):
  • Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
  • Strawberry and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion
  • Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad

Strawberry Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion

quesadillas

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake (2014)

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I don’t know about you all, or if this is just a Georgia thing, but there are strawberries Everywhere! It’s awesome!

For the last few week I have been eating strawberries like they are going out of style, and I have no intention to stop.

My normal method of eating strawberries is to slice them up and put them in my morning oatmeal or on top of a bagel. However, I have grown to really love strawberries in the main course and in side dishes. People do not expect to see strawberries in their wraps or in their salad, but I have never received a complaint!

So, if you’re feeling a little springy, healthy, and like trying something new, give these delicious quesadillas a try! Strawberries on the dinner table or in the lunchbox will make everybody happy. 🙂

Come back soon!

Love, Sarah

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Ingredients*:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 box of button mushrooms
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar (or regular BV)*
  • 1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and sliced thin
  • 5 sprigs of mint leaves, rinsed and diced
  • 6 ounces honey goat cheese
  • 10 whole wheat tortillas* (Use gluten free quesadillas if needed!)

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion and mushrooms into small strips/ bite size pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and cook for another few minutes until the onions look slightly caramelized. Remove from heat.
  3. Assemble the quesadillas by spreading a layer of goat cheese on a tortillas. Top with sliced strawberries, diced mint leaves, and a hearty spoonful of the onion/mushroom mixture.
  4. Place in a large frying pan over medium heat, and top with another goat-cheese spread tortilla. (Do not use oil or non-stick spray! The oil will make the tortilla soggy and ruin the quesadilla!). Cook for a few minutes on each side, remove from the skillet, and cut with a pizza cutter.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • I made these quesadillas for a potluck, which is why there are 10 tortillas listed. Feel free to half the ingredient list to fit your own serving needs!
  • Looking for Black Cherry Balsamic Vinegar? I got mine at a specialty Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil store in Kansas City, however grocery stores such as Whole Foods also carry a variety of vinegars, and any fruit flavored balsamic vinegar will have a similar affect! If all else fails, regular BV will also work well!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other spring dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos!):

Tangy Strawberry Balsamic Tempeh Sandwich (or salad!)

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A few weekends ago my cousin and I were making dinner together. She suggested a salad, I suggested tempeh, she suggested strawberries, and it was a date! Together in her kitchen we were cooking and chatting away, as I volunteered to come up with a marinade for the tempeh.

My go-to ingredient for every sauce, dip, and marinade is always Balsamic Vinegar. I love it! My brilliant cousin Bekah, however, is the one who made this marinade awesome. Bekah came up with the dazzling idea to add orange juice to the marinade, which took this tempeh from delicious and traditional to exotic, fresh, and unique! I swear, I’m never going to want to make tempeh any other way.

Since that night I’ve made this dish in both salad and sandwich form, so I thought I’d share the sandwich variation with you. Although, if you are looking for a gluten free or low carb variation, check the notes and tips section below for the salad suggestion!

Yet again, I am grateful for rented kitchens, family, time together around the table, and experiments. Bring on the strawberries, and bring on the summer.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus 1 Tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon agave
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 2 Buns, toasted
  • 1 block of tempeh
  • 10-20 Spinach leaves, rinsed and the stems removed
  • 5-10 Strawberries, sliced into thing pieces
  • 4 thin sandwich slices of Havarti cheese

Directions:

  1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips. (I cut the block in half, turned those halves on their ends and sliced those in two. Then I cut those 4 thin squares into 2-4 long strips each!)
  2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, 1 teaspoon olive oil, agave, sea salt, and pepper in a shallow dish and mix well.  Add the tempeh to the dish and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Flip the tempeh pieces to allow equal soaking.
  3.  Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add the tempeh pieces to the pan once the oil is hot.  Cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip.
  4. Drizzle 1/3 of the marinade sauce over the tops of the tempeh pieces and tilt the pan to allow the sauce to slide under the tempeh pieces. As you continue to cook the tempeh and rotate it, continue to drizzle the sauce over the tempeh. This will create a caramelized exterior, darken the tempeh, and significantly increase the flavor.
  5. Once the tempeh is cooked, assemble your sandwich by placing a slice of Havarti cheese on each side of a freshly toasted bun (this helps the cheese melt!). Then stack with spinach leaves, strawberry slices, tempeh, and top with the other half of the bun. Enjoy while it’s hot!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 large sandwiches (potentially with a few pieces of tempeh left over!)
  • Gluten free and low carb variation: Prepare the tempeh in the same way, but serve over a spinach leaf salad. Crumble some harvarti cheese and slice up a few strawberries to throw on top, and you won’t even miss the bread! Other possible toppings: sunflower seeds and sliced purple onion.
  • Be careful when pouring the marinade into your frying pan- if your pan is too hot and you pour the marinade over the tempeh it may spit! If this happens, simply turn down the heat and wear an oven glove while you pour. I did not have a problem with this but do not want anyone to move too quickly and get burned!)
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this post, check out these other delicious meals from ‘a rented kitchen!’: