Archive for December, 2014

Applesauce Spice Cake

applesauce spice cake

Do you remember Cookie Crisp? Those little, delicious, “chocolate chip cookies” posing as breakfast cereal used to be just about my favorite junk food on the market. As a child destined for a life of copywriting, I’d plead, “They’re part of a balanced breakfast” while trailing behind my parents at the grocery store. It was an uphill battle that often ended with that soul-crushing ultimatum – “I’m going to count to three.”

Was it the flavor I was after? The satisfying crunch of each tiny cookie? Perhaps it was the sweet milk left behind or simply the feeling of power associated with eating tons of cookies in one sitting. Most likely though, what I loved about Cookie Crisp was that it was dessert for breakfast.

Six year old me would be disappointed with twenty-two year old me for not buying Cookie Crack – I mean Crisp – regularly, now that I’m my own boss. Yet, even though I’ve outgrown my sugar cereal phase, my morning sweet tooth hasn’t gone anywhere.

I’m a pumpkin pie for breakfast (extra whip) kind of gal. So when Savta (grandmother in Hebrew) suggested we make her Applesauce Spice Cake for family dinner, I was way into it.

Cake for breakfast, you ask? Did you hear the part about applesauce? Plus there’re nuts and raisins in there, so it’s basically healthy, right? Right?!

chopped raisins

There’s something about this cake (more like a loaf, really) that follows a roast chicken as seamlessly as it accompanies a cup of coffee or Chai. Where allspice, cinnamon, and cloves are just a part of the ensemble in pumpkin pie, they take center stage here, especially when freshly ground.

rainbow grocery spicesbreakfast cake

Side note: get your spices freshly ground, people! Little did I know what allspice was supposed to smell like until Rainbow Grocery came along and rocked my world. This is the real deal. Try it.

apple spice cake

All in all, this cake is a hit. Thank the applesauce for its moist and dense consistency and subtle fruit flavor. The unapologetic addition of butter and sugar makes this a worthwhile indulgence for pastry lovers, cake admirers, and Cookie Crisp recoverers, alike.

applesauce loaf

Whether it’s morning or night, this Applesauce Spice Cake is just what you need.

apple walnut cake


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ cups applesauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sift together first seven ingredients.
  3. Mix in applesauce, water, eggs and butter, beating very well.
  4. Fold in walnuts and raisins.
  5. Place batter in a greased and floured Bundt pan or 9” x 13” pan. Bake for 45 minutes.


Garden Green Smoothie

pantry raid blog

Going home to Los Angeles means hanging with my Labradoodle, eating Dad’s homemade pizza, and evidently sitting in a lot of traffic. It also means smoothies…if you can call them that. Despite their categorization in the breakfast food group, my dad’s liquid concoctions end up looking more like wet cement than like anything edible.

Do you remember your Crayola days? In an attempt to change things up, you’d mix all the colors together, creating what usually resembled a big brown blob. Such is the LA smoothie conundrum. Between seeds, greens, powders, and frozen fruit, the stuff I eat for breakfast in LA (and that my dad eats every day, bless him) looks a lot like mud. There’s so much (good for you) stuff in there that it’s difficult to tell what it all tastes like. I’m often left forcing down the second half by the time Dad’s rushing me out the door for a run or a real estate showing.

green smoothie recipe

Now, you can probably imagine that, by this point, I’d be pretty darn turned off by smoothies (unless, of course, they’re sandwich themed). Believe me, I’m just as confused as you are about the presence of this post on this here blog.

vitamix smoothie recipes

This smoothie, however, is a game changer. It’s a wake-you-up kind of cocktail that’s lightweight, healthy, and fresh tasting. Not fresh tasting like wheatgrass shots (which are almost worse than regular shots), but fresh like your taste buds are taking a siesta in a garden.

sweet green smoothie

Without any dairy or fake dairy (almond milk, soy milk, rice milk), the produce stands on its own, without relying on the flimsy disguise of a milkshake-like thing. Drink this, and you’ll feel your insides get healthier. Again, not in the self-loathing what-was-I-thinking way of wheatgrass shots, but in the this-is-delicious-I-feel-effing-awesome kind of way.

garden green smoothie

In so many words, this smoothie has reversed my former objections to liquid breakfast. Granted, I’m still a peanut butter toast on weekdays, frittatas and pancakes on weekends kinda girl. But this recipe gives me the pick-me-up I sometimes need these days to get through the week without falling flat on my face, right into wet cement.

vegan smoothie recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • ½ large apple (I like Honeycrisp)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 leaves Lacinato kale
  • 1 large handful fresh curly leaf parsley
  • 1 handful frozen mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • A few ice cubes
  • 1 cup water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a heavy-duty blender. Add more water to achieve desired thickness.
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