I’m going to count this one as a success because it was edible, good even, and I didn’t burn anything.

I made this dish last week for Jeremy’s birthday dinner.  It was pretty good, although I don’t think we liked it enough to become a regular.  Which is a good thing, because all that cream and pasta can’t be good for us.  : )
If I ever do make it again, remind me to cut it in half.  Or by two-thirds.  There was a ridiculous amount left over.

 Pasta with Chicken and Squash (creative name, huh?)

1 pkg spiral pasta

2 cups whipping cream

1 TBSP butter or margarine

2 cups (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar

1 small onion, chopped  (I used dehydrated)

1 garlic clove, minced

5 TBSP olive or vegetable oil, divided

2 medium yellow summer squash, julienned

2 medium zuccini, julienned (skipped this)

1-1/4 tsp salt, divided

1/8 tsp pepper

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, julienned

Cook pasta according to pkg directions.  Heat cream and butter in a large saucepan until butter melts.  Add cheese; cook and stir until melted.  Rinse and drain pasta; add to cheese mixture.  Cover and keep warm.  In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in 3 TBSP oil until onion is tender.  Add squash; cook until tender.  Add 1 tsp of slat and pepper; remove and keep warm.  Add remaining oil to skillet; cook chicken with remaining salt until juices run clear.  Place pasta on a serving platter; top with chicken and squash.  Yield 8 servings (guess that could have been my hint that it’d make too much).

This is the cake I made for Jeremys birthday, also trying a new recipe.  It was good, although I have to admit that (for me) coffee cake is never as good as it seems like it will be.  The pictures always look so tempting but I’ve never been super impressed with a coffee cake yet.  There’s got to be the perfect recipe out there, though, right?

This recipe was fairly labor intensive compared to most cakes I’ve made in recent years.  Lame, I know.  It just seems like cake mixes are so much better than homemade these days.   And, prepare yourselves, I really followed the directions super closely this time.
And I still messed up.  Aurgh!  As I was spooning this gigantic streusel layer into the middle I was thinking, man this is a lot of filling.  And yep, turns out that was the topping.  Whatever.

It really would have been so much prettier with that gigantic struesel topping.  Ah well.

Cinnamom-Struesel Coffee Cake

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING AND FILLING

1 3/4 cup flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Coarse salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

FOR THE CAKE

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

2 cups flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Coarse salt

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

FOR THE GLAZE

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 TBSP whole milk

1) Make the struesel topping: mix together flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt.  Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until medium clumps form.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2) Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

3) Preheat oven to 350.  Make the cake: butter a 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.  Sift flour, baking pwder, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt into bowl.

4) beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on med speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Beat in flour mixture in 3 addtions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour.  Continue to beat until well combined.

5) Spoon half the batter into pan.  Sprinkle steusel-center mixture evenly over batter.  Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using a spatula.  Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.

6) Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes.  transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  remove cake from pan and transfer to parchment. (I used a plate.)

7) Make the glaze: Mix together powdered sugar and milk.  drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides.  Can be stored at room temp for up to 5 days.   (Although I suggest you give 2/3 of it away, like I did, so you don’t eat the whole thing by yourself).

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