April 08, 2014

Back on Xeloda

I am back on another cycle of Xeloda (round 15) and have one more dose of Methotrexate before I see Dr G this week. My tumor markers drawn last week are about the same as the previous time; we'll see how much they change this week after the fourth dose of Methotrexate.

Meanwhile I am still easily fatigued but trying to keep accomplishing what I need to do. I had a busy weekend: I lead musaf services at synagogue (and someone told me my voice was "ethereal" -- that was really nice to hear!); we joined friends for smoked meat i.e. pastrami sandwiches and a to watch basketball game on TV; there was a congregational meeting Sunday morning; and our Food and Friends group met for the last time Sunday night. I did make an excellent Anarchy Cake thanks to G loaning me the recipe, but forgot to take a photo. Of course I made a few changes to incorporate some chocolate. I really recommend this recipe.

Yesterday I hacked at the ivy and trimmed back some ferns, then visited a friend in the hospital. Rik and I watched the very funny "Lone Ranger" movie starring Johnny Depp. This morning, however, it all caught up with me and I stayed in bed until noon. Now I am going to try to get the ironing done. I haven't even thought yet about what new tricks to include in Passover seder. Thank goodness friends are hosting us both nights!

Anarchy Cake (6-8 servings)

8 ounces / about 1 ½ cups sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
¾ cup cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment paper, brush with oil and lightly dust with flour.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the fruit with 1 tbsp of the sugar and set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg with ½ cup sugar and lemon zest until light, fluffy and pale. (This could take as long as 3 minutes.) Add the oil, then the milk and the balsamic vinegar, beating until fully combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and drop the strawberries over the top. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is a beautiful golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove sides of pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with whipped cream!

Note from Seattle Times: I’ve found that when you use fruit, the cake comes out like a cross between a torte and a cobbler. It’s a tender, low profile cake that’s not too sweet. A great emergency dessert that also works for tea time.

From Faith Willinger, "The Best American Recipes 2002-2003," edited by Fran McCullough

My Substitutions:
Sub ¼ cup cocoa for ¼ cup flour
Sub ¼ cup coffee for ¼ cup milk (to make it parve)

Okay to omit lemon zest
Sprinkle a handful of cocoa nibs over the batter
Top with coffee-flavored whipped cream
To make it for Passover, you could even sub some matzo meal cake flour for the pastry flour and use the 1/4 cup of cocoa.

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