Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake and Part 21 | Parsley, Sage and Sweet

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake and Part 21

June 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Healthy | 89 Comments
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I forgot to add the baking powder.  This is why the loaf cake you see, which I made about a month ago, is flat on top.  It was still delicious and moist, but not something I wanted to put up here.  If you recall, I mentioned ‘so-so potential posts’ in my last post. This is one of them, but it’s such a delicious cake (or quick bread, since the method is similar), I didn’t want to hold it back based on aesthetics and making it again just for aesthetics (the last thing I need is more cake lying around – no willpower here.) would have been ridiculous.  We all make mistakes in the kitchen, and this is one of mine.

I annihilated my left wrist last week.  I’m okay outside of pain, a feeling of uselessness, and typing with one hand (poke typing).  If I hadn’t annihilated my wrist, you would be looking at and drooling over (one can hope, right?) a gorgeous, multi-layered cake loaded with texture and cool flavors – and topped with a candle, to celebrate 5 years of blogging.  Well, 5 years plus two or so weeks of blogging.  I can’t even be on time for my blogiversary.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Apparently, it was not to be, and now it’s my 5 year and three or so week blogiversary, so just one yipee.  Celebration over.  I’m sorry, but I’m in pain and I’m pissed.  I’m constantly injuring myself in such stupid ways and not being able to cook or bake is always a bummer.

That said, I want to apologize to all who are reading Bad Boy First Love and have waited so long in between parts.  Some of you are ticked off and rightfully so.  In fact, I’d be rip-roaring mad and frustrated as hell if I were the reader.  There’s not many more annoying things in life than starting a story and not being able to finish it because the person writing it takes so damn long to write it.  Injury, illness, life.. etc, keeps getting in the way, killing my ‘flow’.  I also think that trying to end it with every part since part 11 has played a role, so I decided to end it when it ends. No pressure should enhance productivity/creativity (knock wood), or so they say.

I was initially going to end the story HERE, with a nice, little epilogue to tie it up in a neat bow, but after factoring in a the enjoyment I’ve gleaned from reliving it and a few people asking me to stretch it out, I decided to keep it going for a few more parts. Little did I know where I’d end up. I loved writing it up until about half-way through, but once my grief at the time ebbed, it became harder and harder to remember all the little details, so I refrained until I could give you a full, detailed (as best I could) story with each part.

I can’t tell you how many times I scrapped most of what I wrote because there just wasn’t enough in the detail department, so I’d lie down, put on some music from back in the day, and chill, remembering every tiny detail until I could finally put it into text. As you can already tell, I scrapped ‘the end’ from the part I split in half (part 20), and started over.  It was too ‘cliff notey’- you would have hated it.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

On another note..I want to thank Stacie for sending me a bunch of coupons for free Wallaby Nonfat Greek Yogurt a few months ago.  I feel awful that it took me a while to get a post up using Wallaby, but all of the above applies here too.  Trust me when I say I’ve fallen in love with Wallaby.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have used it in this cake and I wouldn’t be waxing poetic on how custardy, super creamy and all around amazing it is ( I will never shill a product I don’t like). But, the best part is, it’s nonfat and it tastes just as rich and feels just as creamy as any full fat Greek yogurt (yes, I compared), if not more so.  In fact, I’m going to go as far as saying that this yogurt is similar to a rich pudding or custard dessert.  I’m now completely addicted and crave it at least once a day.

Whether plain or with fruit in a separate pourable container attached, so you can control the amount of fruit you want in your yogurt, you cannot go wrong with whatever you choose.  I’d give it 1000 thumbs up, if I had 1000 thumbs.

Finally, this cake is a combination of two recipes..This one and This one.  I lightened it up with the Wallaby Nonfat Greek Yogurt and made it a little healthier with coconut oil.  I also added lightly smashed blueberries because, well..I just felt like smashing them before adding them – hoping for the best.  It’s moist, fluffy, and delicious, the lemon contrasting beautifully with the sweet, juicy blueberries, and that was minus the baking powder.  Don’t forget to add it like I did.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake
Yield : About 8 servings

nonstick neutral oil spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup Wallaby Organic Nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut or vegetable oil (Make this cake 100% fat-free using apple sauce in place of oil!)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whole blueberries, lightly smashed
1/4 cup flour for coating the smashed blueberries*

* If you’d prefer to leave the blueberries whole, only add 2 tablespoons flour to coat them, and add two tablespoons flour to the 1 1/4 cups flour in the batter.

Lemon Syrup
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar

Lemon Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

UPDATE: A reader who made this said it’s even fabulous without the lemon syrup and glaze.  To quote her;  ” Alone, it is one big, moist blueberry muffin. All the extra bells and whistles are not needed for taste or calories. The cake is delish!!”

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil or any other neutral oil spray then coat with flour and tap out excess.

2.  Whisk the 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt together in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, rub the the tablespoon of lemon zest into the 1 cup of sugar until moist and kind of clumpy, then add to flour mixture..stirring until combined.

3. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together 3/4 cup Wallaby Nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup coconut or vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.

4.  Pour the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined.

5.  Place all the blueberries in a large ziplock bag.  Seal it and press down on the bag with a plate until the blueberries are slightly smashed  Open the bag and dump in the 1/4 cup flour and seal it closed.  Shake until all of the smashed blueberries are coated with flour..like Shake n’ Bake. Gently fold the flour coated, smashed blueberries into the batter – making sure they separate and don’t clump together.

6.  Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and top with extra blueberries if desired.  Bake in a preheated 350 F oven, middle rack, until puffed and golden brown on top..about 50 – 55 minutes.  A test skewer should come out clean.. a few moist crumbs sticking to it is fine. Let the cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes..

7.  While the cake is cooling, in a small saucepan stir together the lemon juice, zest and sugar.  Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear.

8,  Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and place the rack over a baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour the lemon syrup over the cake. Let the cake soak and cool completely.

9.  Stir together the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar until smooth, then pour over the cooled cake.  Let set before serving.

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If you’re tuning in for the first time, here are the previous parts to this story. Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, Part 12 is HERE, Part 13A is HERE, Part 13B is HERE, Part 14A is HERE,  Part 14B is HERE , Part 15 is HERE, Part 16 is HERE , Part 17 is HERE and Part 18 is HERE, and Part 19 is HERE., Part 20 is HERE.

“You ready?” Hockey Guy asked, his eyes searching mine for an affirmative.

I slid off the pillar.  “Yep!”

We walked together out of the quad, but once we were half way down Huntington ave, towards one of the gazillion pizza places on campus (at a city school, the campus is the city), I stopped.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t grab and eat a slice of pizza with him because the pizza was no innocent, pre-dinner snack here, it was a pathway to a hook-up, a crusty, cheesy, saucy metaphor for ”I wanna be startin’ something’.  If there had been no sparks between us, it would have been just pizza, but sparks were rampant, so pizza was a slice out of the pie of cheat, and there was a good chance we could finish the whole pie.

I didn’t like pizza that much, but I did enjoy writing that.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

I stopped short.  There was a test that day in the class I blew off, but I’d missed exams in other classes and was allowed to make them up in the professor’s office, which is what I had planned had I not had my pizza revelation.

“Damn, I think I’m going to have to take a rain check on the pizza” I said as I started to back up, “There’s an exam today in this class, and I want to take it while everything is fresh, instead of making it up and having to refresh, you know?” I said, almost pleading with him to hose us down.

He looked disappointed.  I felt disappointed.  BUT, I was doing the right thing.  There was no way our pizza run was ending with just pizza. I was superstitious and convinced karma would take Dreamboat away from me again if I rekindled whatever it was we had together in the first place.

“Oh…” he said woefully, then looked right into my eyes and asked, his New England accent really popping.  I’d never heard it that strong before.

“Are ya sure ya nawt backing out because ya feelin’ guilty over feelin’ something?”

Wow, I thought it really brazen of him to come right and say exactly what we were both thinking.  But I lied anyway..”No, no, no, I really don’t want to have to make up this exam.” I lied.

He looked at the clock on the roof of a nearby bank. “It’s quarter aftah, you’ve missed 10 minutes of it already.”

I had already started walking backwards during this exchange, at first slow, then quickening with each step.  Suddenly I was desperate to vamoose.

“Can we do it another time?” I asked urgently, stumbling over a crack in the sidewalk, but regaining my balance just in time to make the turn.

He pulled himself together quickly, shaking off the heat, then disappointment, of the past 20 minutes.

“Sure, I’d like that” he said with a smile, but I could still detect a slight glimmer of disappointment in his chocolate brown eyes.  I felt it too, so the urgency to get away was even more fierce than it had been just seconds before.  Damn, he’s so handsome, I thought, but quickly snapped out of it to avoid any pizza perfidy .

“Bye!” I shouted as I turned and started to jog, making sure I looked authentically rushed.

That was the last time I saw him.

For the rest of college, barring a few crushes and an almost kiss, I remained piously faithful to Dreamboat.

Once I moved back home, that summer and life couldn’t have been any better….for a lazy bum, that is.

I was offered (and took) a part-time job at a popular tanning salon in an upscale 2 level mini-mall in in Fort Lee.  I worked 3 nights a week, 5  to 10 pm and every other Saturday, 10 am until 2 pm, the only day I had to wake up before 2 pm, unless I was spending any of my days off at my raven haired friend’s pool.  The best sun was 10 am until 2 pm.  Couldn’t miss that!!  Ahhh, the days when youthful, naive immortality trumped all thoughts of disease or actually dying from disease.

Dreamboat had ceased with the baby talk, but was now slowly side stepping into the move in together talk.  I was not ready, so it started getting to the point where whenever we were together, I would chant silently to my conscience ‘please don’t let him bring up moving in together’, repeatedly, sort of like Harry Potter wearing the sorting hat –  ‘Not Slytherin, Not Slytherin’. I would actually tense up the minute the ‘talk’ started, trying to segue into something else, like,”How ’bout them Yankees?!’ or a kiss or ten, which always worked.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Outside of fun, sun, love, and trying to avoid move in together conversations, not necessarily in that order, my priorities were non-existent.  I got a brand new car, my dream car.  I was told we were just going to “look” – stressing just look, at cars, so I brought blondie and raven along (my two best friends you’ve read about throughout this story. I decided to give them some kind of moniker rather than ‘my friend’ or ‘my blonde friend’, et al).  We walked into the dealership and there she was, smack dab in the middle of the showroom floor, gleaming with come hither rims and a twinkle in her headlights, begging me to open her door and plant my butt on her plush seats.  I freaked, and I couldn’t stop freaking, loudly.  Then I noticed, with reservations, that it was a manual transmission, a stick shift.  Dreamboat once told me how ridiculous it would be to buy a car like this in automatic.

“You want to drive a car like that, take advantage of it’s performance, not just step on the gas.” he said one night when we passed my dream car on the road and I pointed it out, like I always did when we passed one.

Evidently, he could tell by the sound it made that that one in particular had a manual transmission.

With Dreamboat’s words looping in my head, I ran my hand over the stick shift. I would learn to drive stick for this baby.  I basked in her luscious new car smell, inhaling over and over. She was my female Dreamboat,  The ultimate chick car.

I didn’t want to get out when my father told me to.  In fact, I was planning on sleeping in her if that’s what it took to convince him how much we belonged together.  He was being incredibly mean, telling me to shut up several times in a harsh whisper.  I got out of Dreamcar and walked out of the dealership in tears, not realizing at the time that he wanted to make a deal with the salesman and I was effing that up, big time.

Within a half an hour, we were driving home.  My friends driving my father’s car and my father driving my brand new car while I sat in the passenger’s seat..wildly excited, but at the same time a little sullen since I didn’t know how to drive stick.

The minute we pulled into the driveway, I was out of the car in a flash, running upstairs to my room to call Dreamboat (circa the days when few people had cell phones and they were pretty pricey) and tell him the amazing news.  He was extremely happy for me, but I could also sense a slight underlying feeling of she didn’t have to pay a cent or lift a finger to get an amazing car like that.

He worked his whole life for small luxuries.  I felt like a spoiled brat, so I had to add in that part of what paid for the car was my money, well, money my paternal grandma had set aside for years and split up equally between me, my sister and two cousins, in her will. Then I realized I sounded even more spoiled because it wasn’t money I earned, unless you count a deep love for my grandmother as ‘earning’ it.  Nope, I didn’t think so and neither did he because he didn’t respond.

Trying to learn to drive stick with my father culminated in too many fights, it was hopeless.  My father admittedly has no patience.  Dreamboat had volunteered, but he worked all day and Saturdays and learning to drive stick on the roads at night scared the crap out of me. Raven and Blondie, bless their hearts, took turns teaching me, stress free, with lots of laughs, like when I couldn’t get into gear and the car would start shaking..

“OH NO…POPCORN MACHINE!” Blondie would yell..her voice shaking with the car, sounding Munchkinesque (We represent the Lollipop Guild…..).  Raven would always make some kind of dry wise crack from the back seat, like..”I’d like to keep my f@$%ing lunch down, thank you.”

In about a week, save for getting into first gear at a red light on a steep hill without the fear of rolling back and smashing into the car behind me, I felt confident enough to take the wheel alone.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

I couldn’t wait to show Dreamboat that I could drive a car via clutch/stick.  I’d watched him change gears probably hundreds of times, then take my hand in between, always thinking ‘How does he do that so effortlessly without thinking about which gear to put it in?”  Well, now I knew.  I drove cautiously to his house, dreading the steep hill he lived on, but I did it and after watching me drive stick as a passenger and giving me a few tips here and there, he was behind the wheel seeing “…what this baby could do”.  Watching him expertly maneuver Dreamcar made me happy as a pig in poo.  I wanted to share this car with him.

After about an hour, he drove to a park with a beautiful view.  I sat on a swing while he pushed my legs back and forth, a beer in one hand and a serious look on his face.  I knew that look and I knew what was coming.

“So, now that you’ve got your own transportation, are you ready to start looking for a place?” he asked, taking a swig of beer.

I forgot to mention that not having my own car was one easy way out.  Wherever we lived, whether it be down the shore or North Jersey, how would I get around?  He needed his car and there was no way my parents were officially handing over one of their cars to me, they stood firm at borrowed. Daily public transportation was not an option for me because I would literally miss the bus every.single.time. – this wasn’t Boston with ‘The T’ right at your doorstep,

Now that the ‘no car’ excuse was no longer in my pocket, I fessed up.

“Can we wait a few months?  I just need to settle back into life here before making a big move.” I asked tentatively.   The truth is, I couldn’t get a picture of me in a housecoat, rollers in my hair, and fuzzy slippers, like his Mom puttered around their house in, out of my head. Two little kids would be screaming and pulling at my hem, while I waddled along uncomfortably, another one on the way, by the time I was 25.

I braced myself for his response, which I was sure would be negative.

Sure, sweetheart” he replied in a low key tone, with a small smile, “A few months is no big deal.”

HUH?  It shocked me..I was waiting for something to spin it the other way, but it never came.  I jumped off the swing into his arms and bit his cheek playfully.  Then I realized how it looked.  I was celebrating him agreeing to my delaying us looking for a place together.  What the hell was wrong with me?  I immediately apologized, telling him the truth. I didn’t want to lose him because I wasn’t ready to take that step yet.  He told me I wouldn’t.  Hmmm.

Then fate intervened, a really shitty fate at that.

Just one week after learning to drive my new car, I was on my way to a DIY car wash when a car load of guys suddenly stopped in the middle of a quiet road in front of me.  I beeped, but they didn’t budge.  I assumed they were lost since it looked like they were reading maps, so I decided to back up and pass them on the left.  Just as I started to pass , they took a quick, sharp left, right into the front right end of my brand new girl.  It was smashed to smithereens, the headlight wasn’t even distinguishable.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

I was beyond devastated.  It was my fault and I knew it, since you don’t pass on the left no matter what the circumstance, unless you’re on a two or more lane highway.  I sat on a rock and cried while the police took information from us, my face in my hands.  I remember I was wearing an old, scrappy, tie dye t-shirt and cut off jean shorts since I was going to wash and wax my new baby.  I guess you could say I looked pretty granola. One of the guys from the crash walked over and asked..”Hey, are you a Dead fan?” For some reason, that made me cry even harder. Not to mention, I was scared as hell to tell my father.  Naturally, he wasn’t very happy, but I won’t get into those details.

It’s funny how tiny, insignificant details like “Hey, are you a Dead fan?” stick with you forever when remembering pretty significant moments in life. It’s the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think about that awful late afternoon.

So, my brand new dream car was off to the body shop for several weeks or more, since parts needed to be ordered before they even started the work.  Well, I guess I had the ‘excuse’ back in my pocket for a while.  Not even a small consolation, just a stupid thought, which I had loads of at that age.

That night Dreamboat brought me flowers and let me snot all over his shirt when I cried with my face buried in it. After I finally stopped blubbering, we went to a sports bar and grill for some amazing burgers.  As I stuffed my face, that serious look came over his face.  I braced myself….then;

“I know you want to postpone moving in together, but I was thinking..If you want to get married first, we could do that” he said in between sips of beer.

How romantic, I thought, but marriage now?  At 21?   I wiped the ketchup off of my mouth.  “Are you proposing?” I asked in jest.

He flashed his dazzling smile and said “Maybe” with a wink.   I laughed as I shoved some fries into my mouth.  I was always told to never talk with my mouth full, but this little exchange merited it.  “Wheresh my ring?” I sort of spoke/giggled.  Thankfully, he enjoyed me not taking it seriously;

“I do want to marry you, Goofy..even though you’ve got ketchup all over your chin” he said, as he wiped it off.  I wanted to marry him too, in the worst way, just not for a few years.

Marriage really scared me at 21 – not to mention, I was having so.much.fun. with my friends.  Most of them were not in very serious relationships at the time, so they were free to go out whenever the mood hit.  Living together or marriage would surely limit that, especially one of my favorite jaunts, ‘Tower Records Runs’.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

About once a week, my raven haired friend aka Raven, would come to my house around 9 or 10 pm on a night I didn’t work.  I was usually napping because of my crazy sleep schedule.  She would pull on my hair or bounce on the bed to wake me up, then whisper  “Come with me to Tower Records.”. “Tower Records” was code for a an all nighter (yes, NYC really doesn’t sleep) in the city.  The reason she called it that was because she was amassing a monster collection of CD’s for the CD player in her new car, so we’d always head to Tower Records in Greenwich Village first, where she could peruse and purchase, usually racking up at least 10 new CD’s each time.

After that, it was wherever the night/early morning took us.  We were legal now, so no place was left unvisited, from uptown to midtown to downtown – from the upper east side preppies to the downtown goth scene, we were everywhere.  We would stay in the city until the sun started to come up..hitting tons of big and little nightclubs, rock bars, talking to people on the streets, visiting friends/parties and occasionally eating up a storm.

One night, out of the clear blue, which is commonplace in NYC, some guy handed us a huge bunch of giant helium balloons on thick rope because I guess he was done selling them at 1 am.  We ran down Columbus avenue, this mass of giant, colorful balloons, some of which we sucked the helium out of, almost camouflaging us. We shouted hellos to anyone and everyone we passed, our temporary ‘chipmunk’ voices a perfect high G – handing some people balloons for their own helium recreation.

Those colorful helium balloons were so symbolic of who I was at that point in my life. Happy and free-spirited, grabbing life by it’s thick chord and letting it take me wherever the wind blew.

Each night, we basically did whatever we wanted when the mood struck, letting loose, no matter how kooky it was, and it was a big part of what made the ‘Tower Records Runs’ so special.

Naturally, Dreamboat didn’t like our ‘Tower Records’ excursions, and admonished me several times about it;

“Two young girls shouldn’t be all over the city at all hours of the night.  You could get attacked..even raped.”  He said, conjuring up memories of my father giving me just that lecture about him six years before.

I listened and nodded, but our TR runs continued. Fast forward to one night the following winter when we went to see the tree at Rockefeller Center and ended up hanging out with Emilio Estevez, Johnny Depp and a few of their friends.  Okay, not the real Emilio Estevez and Johnny Depp, but they looked so much like them, we initially thought it was them and couldn’t help but hang out with them when they started following and talking to us.

They were seniors at St. John’s University and so.much.fun.  After introductions and about an hour of small talk, we were taking swigs from a bottle or two of cheap wine in paper bags that were passed around. Within a half hour after that, we were singing Christmas songs off-key and laughing so damn hard, tears were drenching and freezing on our red-cheeked faces.

It was a magical night, the lights from the tree and streets sparkling around us..some blinking and twinkling into halos of red, green, blue and white, our noses and cheeks bright red from the cold as we sauntered up and down 5th avenue and the surrounding streets making up funny and sometimes naughty stories for each gorgeous Christmas window. We even danced to a reggae band on one corner for a good half hour.

Soon, we were all holding hands, running together.  I guess I was pretty buzzed because for a good 20 minutes I didn’t notice that the our chain of hands had broken and it now was just me and Johnny Depp holding hands.  There was an attraction developing and that was when I knew it was time to go, and that maybe these city nights needed to be curtailed a bit since oftentimes, the temptation and desire to get to know other cute boys was starting to border on intense.

He asked for my number, and I admit, it was hard to say no, but I did, pulling out my well-punched boyfriend card.

Once I was in Dreamboat’s arms again the next night, I was glad I said no, chalking up my occasional attractions to other men as being young, and on that particular night, the wine. I loved him so much, it hurt, and I wasn’t going to do anything to eff that up. The only problem was his desire and need to make a serious, lifelong commitment so soon.  One night, snuggled on his couch watching TV, he told me he had always planned on having kids by the time he was 25.  25 was a year and a half away for him.  I asked if there was any leeway in that statement.

“For you, of course, but not too long” he said nonchalantly while running his fingers through my hair.  It was then I realized that we were at two totally different points in our lives.  He was ready to start a family life.  I was ready to start living life.  I just loved being his girlfriend and the thought of marriage and living together was too heavy for my young brain.  At the same time, the thought of losing him was also too heavy for my young brain,

Since his parents were slowly making a permanent move to their house down the shore, he was basically living with his brothers, becoming sort of the father figure and he wanted out of that situation, which only made his need to shack up increase.  This led to him getting a little snappy and short-tempered over insignificant things.  When we’d go out places, if a guy looked at me or just looked my way, he would react, and that had never happened before.  He wouldn’t react instantly, but I could see his warning look, a sort of heavy-lidded glare, no discernible expression, and if the guy looked again, he’d say something.  One time he almost punched a guy over it.

I told him he was being ridiculous, especially since 1) I had no interest in anyone but him, and 2) Did he see me reacting to all of the girls who batted their eyes at him?  (well, not since the shore incident with the girl on the pier who earned me the nickname ‘killer’, the summer before my freshman year of college.).  He never really answered me, so I knew he meant business and let it go.  I also knew a lot of it stemmed from having to sort of ‘wait’ for me to grow up.

Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf Cake made with Nonfat Greek Yogurt

The following April, one chilly night after a movie, we ended up at a parking lot (where else?), the one where I first met his friends at the ‘engagement’ celebration.  He pulled me up on a concrete ledge of a large, closed garage window.  I remember I had my hair in a ponytail that night, an up ponytail, and I never wore my hair in an up ponytail, outside of when I was home, alone, cleansing my face or popping PMS zits. He’d been pulling on it all night, teasing me.

Yep, another one of those insignificant details that you never forget, as I mentioned above, but this one does tie in.

We stood on the ledge like two teenagers with nothing to do on a Saturday night, his car stereo blasting Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker. I hated Led Zeppelin back then.  They were a bunch of old guys who screamed and hadn’t been together in like a million years. Now I like their music and occasionally use their songs as ring tones.

I looked at him staring out at the horizon to the right of the lot with his hands in his jean pockets..a light wind blowing his collar length, thick, silky hair in all different directions.   He was actually wearing a jacket even though it wasn’t 10 below, a well-worn bomber jacket, and it looked good on him.  I couldn’t help thinking what a great album cover photo he would make.

With my over-sized jean jacket and jeans with a rip in one knee, I felt like we were teenagers again.

It was like he was reading my mind.

He turned towards me, almost in slow motion, then walked over, pushing me up against the concrete wall, an arm on each side of me, locking me in.

“So, what time do you have to be home?” he teased, but I liked it.  He used to ask me that on our first few nights out in North Jersey during my senior year of high school.

He didn’t wait for an answer, just started kissing me, holding me firm against the wall. We made out to Led Zeppelin for I don’t remember how long, like teenagers, but I do remember when he broke the moment.  He pulled back, looked me right in the eyes, his baby blues shooting hot lasers through every pore on my body, and said;

“Are you ready to start looking for a place together?  It’s going on a year now..I think it’s time.”

Suddenly a cop car pulled up and a police officer got out, shining an industrial size flashlight on us.

“What are you two kids doing here?” he asked in a loud, accusatory voice. The light made it impossible to see him.  I squinted and put a hand above my eyes in salute fashion to try and see anything through this laser beam like, obnoxious light.

“We’re just hanging out, officer.” Dreamboat replied in a sarcastic tone.  Dammit,he was going to challenge a cop.  I started shushing him and whispering/begging him to “Stop“.

The cop moved closer, shining the flashlight on a 6-pack of beer on the ground.

“I need to see some ID.” the cop said, injecting a little sarcasm right back at Dreamboat.

“Dreamboat reached into his back pocket for his wallet, but not without sass.  “You gotta be kidding me, this is f$&ing bullsh*t, we’re just hanging out.” he growled.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing..what had gotten into him?

That was more than enough to rile up the cop.

“OK, turn around and put your hands up against the wall!” he shouted, reaching for the hand-cuffs in his belt.

Part 22 coming soon.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated monetarily for my review of Wallaby Yogurt, but I did receive the product for free.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. looks fantastic

  2. you’re rockin’ girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you just made my night!!–> blueberry smashin’ cake and the *next* episode :))))))
    i’m not crazy about baking powder health-wise, so i think i may skip it as well…that cake looks even more yummy slightly dense than if it was more ”cakey” with the powder.
    And, i have to COMPLETELY agree with you on Wallaby Greek Yoghurt: it is awesome!! i have it *daily* with whatever fruit is in season–currently fat juicy strawberries– although i don’t buy the non-fat version.
    Also, FYI, because Wallaby dairy is a few minutes from our house and i can see the cows out on grass pastures all day munching contentedly, i also feel very good about this yoghurt compared to other brands where i can’t be sure, even if Organic, that the cows are on grass vs being inside in the barn or a feedlot 24/7 getting only corn/soy grain….
    *disclaimer: i am not affiliated with Wallaby in any way* :))

    • Hey Johanna! I’m actually eating one this very minute! You’re so lucky you live right near the dairy! Do you buy it there? That said, I love that their cows are happy! ;D

      • they keep some of the cows there, and the farmers live there, it appears, but i’m not sure where the actual creamery is–probably in the town somewhere close by; i wish they DID sell it on the farm–that would be awesome!! but that’s a whole other license and $$ probably..so i buy their greek yoghurt at local markets, who all carry their stuff.

  3. Mmmhhh, delicious! It looks good despite the fact that it contains no baking powder…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  4. Happy 5th blogging Anniversary! Your flat cake was so delicious looking that it was almost distracting me from your captivating story. Take Care of yourself. BAM

  5. I think it looks pretty darn good for no baking powder! I´m kinda liking that the story is very slowly approaching it´s end. And congrats girl! 5 years is a lot, no matter we do.

  6. I was so excited to see a post from you in my email this morning! I’m also glad this isn’t the end, although I’m worried about Dreamboat now! Never, ever sass a police officer! Your cake looks amazing, despite the missing baking powder!

    • LTNS, Dinavia..but glad you’re still reading! Thanks so much for the sweet comment and I totally agree..never talk back to a cop!

  7. Happy blog-anniversary ! Loving the story!

    • Thank you, Linda!!

  8. The cake looks fantastic, as soon as blueberries are ripe around here, I’m going to make some! Enjoying the story, as usual! and NOT surprised that there’s more to come! lol But thank you for sharing this part with us anxious fans. I hope your wrist heals quickly with minimal pain, and have a wonderful summer!

    • Thank you, Riversana! Have a lovely summer too! Hopefully I’ll have a lot of reading material for you throughout it! ;)

      • Whoo hoo! lol

  9. Happy blog birthday girl! Hahaha… I missed mine too! Only by 2 days but still… We’re both the same age…:) or at least our blogs are….! And I would always come back to hear the next episode of the bad boy series… No matter how long it takes! It’s like a good novel; you can’t wait for the end but you’re sad when it arrives as you really want it to go on….

  10. Your recipe came just in time!!
    I’ve never baked with blueberries, but finally I have a bag of frozen ones in the freezer. Lemon-blueberry cake would be perfect!
    With or without the baking power it looks delicious :)

  11. Who cares about aesthetics when something tastes delicious! And in fact this looks divine anyway, yummy!

  12. Gosh, this is loaded with berries and goodness! I totally love this! The photos are a$$-kickingly beautiful and mouthwatering!

  13. Happy Blogiversary my friend, this cake looks smashing (pun intended) :D
    Hope your wrist heals soon though!
    Yay no more hockey guy, but I am intrigued as to where your story is going to go next, this is my favourite book!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  14. I came for the lemon blueberry loaf and found a great story. I went back and read part one and couldn’t stop. I stayed up all night to find out what happens next. I need more! Please hurry. I also need the story about what happened with your freshman year roommate. You are a fabulous story teller. Have you written anything else?

    • HI, Karen..I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and thank you for your kind and flattering comment! My freshman year roommate transferred to a school near her home at the end of that year because she wanted to be with her boyfriend, but we never really clicked anyway, so she was kind of insignificant in the story. As for writing anything else, outside of a journal I kept as a tween, just what you see here. :)

      • Oh. You really should think about writing a book. I would definitely buy it. Having a blog must be time consuming and a lot of hard work but please know that I appreciate it. I love the recipes and the stories. Now hurry up cuz I can’t wait to read some more! HaHa.

      • Wow, thank you, Karen, although I’m not sure I’d ever have the patience to write a book, at least at this point in my life. Yes, blogging is time consuming, which is why I don’t post as much as I’d like to, for now, but readers like you make it worth every minute :)

  15. Hey Lisa,

    I am so sorry to hear about your wrist! Hope it heals soon. And I so know what you mean about stuff getting in the way etc, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from trying to blog everyday for 30 days, it’s to just let go and post. Even if it’s not perfect, just get it out there :)

    So glad you’re writing (even if one-handed). Looking forward to the next installment.

    Oh, and happy blog anniversary and that cake looks so juicy!

  16. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury :) I’m a total klutz and am constantly hurting myself in silly ways. Fortunately I’ve been injury free for a while now. Hopefully it stays that way!

    Baking soda or no baking soda, this loaf looks divine!! Love the glaze and those little zesty curls on top. Beautiful!! And Part 21, love love love! As always. I like that you’ve cut yourself some slack and are just gonna go with the flow and see when and where the story ends with no pressure. I’ll be looking forward to the next installment. Patiently, no pressure ;)

  17. Great yummy looking cake mmmmmhhh. If you didn’t mention the baking powder I wouldn’t have known lol. As for your story great job as usual. We now know hockey guy is off shooting pucks and eating pizza by himself or at least without you :). As for Dreamboat the pressure is on and seems like a decision is imminent unless you can find a way put him off further or you break down and marry him. Can’t wait to find out – great job and love the cliff hanger.

  18. You really could’ve left out the part of the baking powder b/c your cake is gorgeous…simply gorgeous. All those berries and that topping. It’s so thick and looks so moist. I adore Wallaby yogurt. Loved reading the comment from Johanna and that she sees the cows near her house. How cool is that?? Super installment and you know what, let it keep going b/c we all love it! (hope your wrist feels better soon!)xx

  19. I think the loaf cake looks just perfect. So sorry to hear about your wrist. And man, another cliff hanger!

  20. Looks delicious and damn….another cliff hanger! I was happy to see you this morning. I have been grabbing blueberries since the strawberries are past their prime in the South, this bread may be in my future..looking forward to the next chapter.

  21. I’m so glad I found your blog!! I just finished reading the whole story and I’m addicted and crushing on dreamboat lmao. I love your writing and can’t wait for the next part! Great recipes and photos too!

  22. Yay!! An update!! I know your wrist hurts but pleeeeease don’t take 2 months for the next part!!

    • I just started it..one paragraph in lol I’m going to do my best, Mrs, Gorkev..I need a ‘chill’ listen to music hour or so before I continue ;D

  23. Hey too cool our blogiversaries are so close! Happy blogiversary to you! Love your blog always. Funny I have baked with lemon and blueberry this week too. We are so synched ;-) I am sorry you hurt yourself, get better real son xoxox OMG the story is turning into sweet torture! I smell jail?

  24. Happy anniversary, Lisa!!! Your cake looks darned wonderful even without baking powder. Looking forward to Part 22 :)

  25. This blueberry loaf is calling my name! Never thought about smashing them for a recipe, but looks like a fantastic way to deliver more of that great blueberry flavor! Photos are fabulous!

    Happy Fifth Blog Anniversary…keep feeding us your wonderful dishes and stories!

  26. I love this idea of episodes, I’m going to have to start from one! Love the sound of this cake and happy bloggaversary!

  27. Hi Lisa, your bread looks so yummy and moist, I love blueberry bread or cake. Happy blog anniversary 5 years is a long time girl. You got me hanging with this story :) I had to laugh at the Tower Records run, how I remember buying cassette tapes there :O. I hope you are doing well…

  28. Just made this! Came out so moist and delicious! Thanks for your recepie :)

    • You’re welcome, Rachel, so glad you liked it! :)

  29. This cake and your story are the bomb! So glad I found your blog! Thank you!

    • Thank you, Annemarie..glad you found my blog too!

  30. Dear dear Lisa… before delving into part 1125…. or so it seems :-) I have to comment on the cake. Forgot the baking soda? Who cares! It looks perfect! The texture looks moist and tender not wet or gooey… the berries are mouthwatering… it is perfect and although I have made a similar cake before (that was not half as pretty or perfect looking) I will try your recipe. I love lemon loaf cakes with blueberries! Love them! I so hope you are feeling better quickly quickly!!!

  31. Ohhhh and HAPPY 5 YEARS OR SO!!!! I have always loved your blog and LOVE your baked goods and food. Wow are you the best!!! Never fret, your food is amazing and authentic, nary one ounce of crap in site :-) and it always blows me away, no matter how simple, no matter how complicated. Your stories are funny, spontaneous and from the heart. And I still count on coming and spending a long visit with you, baking, gossiping and laughing.

  32. Man oh man, Lisa…. I still have to wait for the next part???!!!! You like driving me crazy, don’t you?

  33. Love the generous amount of blueberries and the yummy density of your bread…I think I need to use up my fresh picked blueberries (now in the freezer) for this recipe:)
    It’s good to hear from you again, and read part 21. Mmmmm, how many parts did you say your story is?!?
    HAPPY 5-year anniversary, Lisa!!!

  34. Lisa darling! Your cake looks absolutely moist and delicious no doubt! And oooohh the blueberries are so inviting! Yuuuum… how I crave for them now. Haha. The touch of lemon seems almost perfect too! Haven’t read bad boy in a while! Glad to be reading it again! :)

  35. Ooh Lisa, even that you forget the baking powder, it did rise a lot, I think! Your cake looks smashing & fabulous even! Waw even!

  36. Bummer that you’ve been sick! Hope you’re feeling better and it’s nothing too big of a deal. Sorry you hurt your wrist! And Happy 5 years plus some.
    Seriously, once you can type with both hands again, you need a book deal. Who do we call? ;)

  37. Well….i tried the recipe. I actually cut a small piece before I added the syrup and put it aside. I can honestly tell you….as delicious as the syrup is (absolutely perfect mesh of lemon zest and syrup), the cake was better without all that extra sweetness. Alone, it is one big, moist blueberry muffin. All the extra bells and whistles are not needed for taste or calories. The cake is delich!!!.

    • I’ll have to try it without all of the lemon syrup and glaze. I love the description of it being ‘one, big, moist blueberry muffin’! I’m glad you liked it, CI!

  38. Love it- making it today!

  39. Hi Lisa
    I have no idea how I missed this awesome cake! It absolutely looks heavenly and I must try it

  40. Stumbled on your blog through a pinterest recipe and got hooked on your Dreamboat Story… Where is part 22?!?!?! Dying to hear the end! Great writing!

    • Hi, Jenna,..hopefully soon! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  41. Injured, Oh no, I am so sorry! I hope you are feeling better! I have been on vacation in Michigan, enjoying family time. I still keep up with blog love, and totally thought of you the other day. I am happy to see a delicious new recipe! I have fresh blueberries I just picked, I need to totally make this delicious cake! Sending hugs, Terra

  42. This doesn’t look like a disaster at all!

  43. Looks delicious-going to make it soon. As for your bad boy stories… Dying to read the next one.
    Etta: nettarosa.weebly.com

  44. hello lisa, first of all i’d like to thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes, pictures and stories with the rest of us, it is a truly inspiring thing you’re putting together here! I made this cake and made a few tweaks to it, but unfortunately it didn’t come out as expected :-( Instead of using whole wheat and all purpose flour i used white spelt flour (i always substitute all purpose with white spelt, there have been no problems so far), and replaced the natural cocoa powder with melted 70% chocolate. I used Guinness beer and plain whole yogurt, the runny kind, as stated in the recipe. The result was a cake very much like the ones Hannah and Tallin came up with. Pudding like texture, gorgeously baked on the outside but waaay underdone on the inside. Don’t know if this may be due to the tweaks i made, or whether i should have left it a bit longer in the oven. I baked it for 45′, did the knife test and seemed perfectly baked to me. Could it have something to do with folding the batter properly, i believe i am not very good at it, yet! Anyway, i want to do this recipe again because, apart from the texture, the flavor was so delicious, but i’d appreciate if you could give me your opinion on what you think may have gone wrong… Thanks and have a good day!

    • Hi, Hannah..are you referring to my chocolate zucchini cake? This cake has no chocolate in it..and I always use Greek yogurt, not the runny kind.

  45. Way to celebrate 5 years of blogging – with this Smashed Blueberry Lemon Loaf – that to me looks totally scrumptious! I can’t use baking powder anyway because it’s too high in sodium. Glad you decided to continue the story – it’s getting better and better. Love your metaphors and the inner struggle of living Tower Records adventures vs. settling down. Don’t do it!!! Hope you’re able to type and cook again soon :)

  46. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog especially this bad boy series. It’s been so much fun! Thanks for sharing your story with the rest of us! I am looking forward to the next one. You have great talents!!

    • Thank you so much, Annika! I’ve been working on the next part little by little due to some real life personal stuff.

      • Real life always has to come first!

      • I know..but I feel so awful that everyone has to wait so long for the next part :( I wish the stuff that’s happening wasn’t happening.

  47. Lisa, Just wanted to say HI and let you know i’m thinking about you. Hope all is well, my friend! Take care.

  48. Made the lemon smash cake…mine is a bit ” sour” could be the regular lemons I usually cook with Meyers could have been my blueberries…anyway it tastes good …just tart! My husband and friends added scoops of Icecream Yummy treat!

    • Yes..it could most certainly be the fruit being very tart because this cake should taste like a sweet, moist lemon-blueberry muffin. Maybe try it next time without the lemon glaze and syrup? Several people have and loved it, but make sure your blueberries are plump and ripe :) Glad you enjoyed it regardless, and I agree..it is great with ice cream!

  49. I can honestly tell you….as delicious as the syrup is (absolutely perfect mesh of lemon zest and syrup), the cake was better without all that extra sweetness.

  50. All those berries and that topping. It’s so thick and looks so moist. I adore Wallaby yogurt. Loved reading the comment from Johanna and that she sees the cows near her house.

    • I´m kinda liking that the story is very slowly approaching it´s end. And congrats girl!

  51. I have always loved your blog and LOVE your baked goods and food. Wow are you the best!!!

  52. HO-LEE crap….ran across your blog because of Pinterest and totally got sucked into the Dreamboat story. Left work an hour late because I couldn’t stop reading!! Cant wait for the next installment.

    • Thank you, Anne! I hope to have something up soon..it’s been tough to finish due to some forks in the road.

  53. I am totally making this. Looks amazing. Nice blog post. So many things I forget. You have the best memory ever! Love you!!!

    • Love you sister!! Xoxoxo xox

  54. Even without baking powder, this looks fantastic! I’m craving some blueberries now..

  55. Love this cake! Wow need to make it soon. Miss your posts esp the rest of the Dreamboat story. Hope you are ok been following your blog for 3 years and love your creative recipes.

    • Thank you so much, Mary..trying hard to get back soon xoxo

  56. Dear Lord….I’ve been sucked over her via Pinterest as well. Like some of the other commenters, i came because of a recipe and got totally sucked into your story. I was up until 3:20 a.m. this morning reading until I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up this morning and YES….I still tuned into the blog to go to the next part only to find it’s not yet posted. LOL….now I have to say, it reminds me of my avid reading days when I simply could not put down a book until I finished it..and that is saying something because it’s been a good 25-30 years since I was an avid story reader as I moved on to ‘how-to’ books and studies.

    Yes! Yours has been the very first story I’ve read in that long. My God, my God had I ever forgotten not only ‘that’ feeling I get from a good read, but also the thrills of my own teenage years and first love. You, my dear, have awakened a good thing inside of me! Your writing/storytelling skills are spot-on. I think I would be hard-pressed to find a good book to read these days that would have me so totally entranced. I don’t really like any kind of fictional romance novels…something about the fictional part kills it for me, but reading real-life stories I love. I guess for me, fictional is playing on my imagination and a fantasy life. Real-life, however, is far more stimulating when it is presented as you have done. I guess I can liken it to listening to my bestie telling it to me. There’s the actual real-life element which makes me feel as though someone is not toying with me. I don’t know if that makes any sense whatsoever, but in my mind I totally get it! LOL

    Let me end with…..I can’t wait for you to continue this saga. As a matter of fact, you have such a skill for telling your story I would love to read more stories of your life. Another commenter said you should write a book….I think you just need to continue blogging your real-life stories. You really have a gift and with that you have already started to get a following. Is that eerie? I hope not….hehehheehee! You are ‘that’ good. As mundane as you might think your life is, you have a way of seeing and describing things in such a way that is natural and magnetic.

    Now I’ve had to go an sign up for emails so I can eagerly anticipate the next episode! LOL

    • Oh, Anita..your comment really brightened my day. I’m smiling ear to ear and it’s been a while since I’ve smiled that hard! I’m so glad you’re loving my story and trust me, I’m doing all I can to get the next part up (health issues have postponed it). I almost want to cry because I can’t give it to you right now, but I’m writing a paragraph about once a week or so…when I have moments where I feel better. Eventually, when I get back to blogging, I will be writing more life stories with each recipe, but not 20 something parts that keep people waiting..I promise! That said, the next/last part is going to be pretty long, so stay tuned..and thank you again for your amazing comment! xoxoxo

  57. I found your blog following a recipe from Pinterest…. your recipes and pictures are amazing, but I confess that I skimmed right over them because the Dreamboat story immediately had me hooked and I went back and started from the beginning…. and read all evening! I stayed up WAY too late reading and then read too long again today and missed my chance to nap (I have an 11 month old)….. I’m exhausted!!! I was a little concerned when the story just stopped and it’s been months. I see from your comments though that you are still “there” and will eventually tell us the rest of the story. I hope and pray that you will feel better soon! I feel like I know you just a little bit now (in the least creepy way possible), and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. :) I’m so hoping to hear a happy ending, but take your time! I know what it’s like to feel pressured to publish posts but “real” or current life keeps getting in the way. So just take your time. :) I also want to agree with Anita that you have a GIFT for storytelling- it’s enthralling! And your memory- my goodness it’s amazing!! I usually remember details and conversations very very well also, but you’ve surpassed me by far. I’m very impressed! :) Your story is so relatable, so truthful and honest; it really brings me back to what it feels like to be young and in love. And that slow change from girl to woman. What an intense time of life! I love that your story is real, and I think the fact that you are re-telling it as an adult is so special because you have wonderful insight into your thoughts and motivations at that time that you probably wouldn’t have had if you’d written about it as it happened. Can’t wait for the next bit!

    • Wow…I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me. It’s been quite bittersweet reliving it all, and I’m trying really hard to get the next part up soon. I’m close to finished, but I never know when I can get those last paragraphs in. Thank you so much for staying up and reading it (with an 11 month old..phew!) and thank you so much for loving it and understanding my situation. I hope you enjoy the end when it’s up :) xoxoxo

  58. Have really enjoyed your blog, recipes & story. I subscribed so I can get the next installment, as well as recipes. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Get better soon!

    • Thank you, Kim! I’m so happy that you’ve enjoyed my blog enough to subscribe. Once I get over this thing (knock wood), I plan on blogging pretty consistently :) xoxo

  59. Hi Lisa.I don’t know if you remember me, but I met you about 12 years ago at Maxwells in Hoboken. You were hanging with Dennis and a girl with blonde hair (I think her name was Katie but you called her Cricket??). I was the girl with the red beaded braid on one side and you loved how sparkly the beads were. I told you that I was expecting you to be snobby because you are so gorgeous, but you were so sweet and down to earth. Ring a bell? Anyway, I ran into Dennis not too long ago, and he told me about your blog. Now I’m totally addicted to this story and my gosh, I’m blown away by your prowess en la cucina and with the camera! I’m so looking forward to the next part of the story and more beautiful recipes! I’d love to talk and catch up if you have a chance..we had so much fun that night! I put my email in the box, and I also sent this message via your contact form, so I hope to hear back from you soon! ~ Stacey

  60. I just stayed up til 2 in the morning reading your bad boy story from the beginning after randomly running into it from Pinterest. I am so disappointed….where is the ending?

    • Hi, Lauren…I’ve been working on it for like 6 months now (I’ve been dealing with some health issues), and it’s near done. I’m so sorry, but on a bright note – the ending is like three or four parts long, so lots of reading :) I’m hoping to have it up before or by Valentine’s Day.

  61. Hi, I love this recipe but was thinking of making them into muffins today instead. Any ideas how long to cook them for? Thanks xx

    • Hi, Tammy. I’m thinking you could get about 6 muffins out of it. Bake at 350F anywhere from 18 to 22 minutes (start checking with a skewer at 16). :)


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