Half Homemade Completely Delicious Crumbcake

crumb cake top.JPG

I'm not a roses and diamonds kind of valentine (but.. ok, if you must).  I like a quiet, simple, cozy valentine celebration.  I think having the most romantic holiday in the dead of winter was predestined by Cupid and meant to be spent supremely cozy.  To me, cozy means breakfast in bed.   And yes, breakfast can be cake- what do you think a muffin is?!   Also, its valentine's day. Time to splurge & be sweet!

This one is half-homemade and so easy, even your kitchen-phobic husband can do it!  (share blog post now)

** Cheers and gratitude to my sister, Denise. This is another great one from her recipe archives.  She used to bring this to family gatherings and the adults would share it with coffee.  So sweet! 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Here's what you'll do:

1.  Bake cake mix according to package directions in a 10x14 pan.   (You can get an aluminum pan from the grocery store).  Bake 25 minutes.

2. Prepare the crumbs:  In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg with your hands.  Pinch ingredients together until you get a pebbly- like texture.

3. Top cake with crumb mixture and return to the oven for 15 minutes.

4.  Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Don't forget to brew a pot of coffee!

Have a sweet day

xo & a pinch



Buttered Rum Pineapple Shortcake

I'm not the best baker.  Actually, I may be an incredible baker, I just rarely do it.  I'm a food person.  Usually the excitement of dinner preparation leaves me without much ambition for cake, and you know, there's that whole "measuring" thing that I don't do so well.   Dessert at my house is usually fruit or ice cream or a little of both... Oh, and liquor.  Also, when its cold outside,  don't you just love a hint of the tropics inside? 

The ingredients are easy:

What you'll need:

  • loaf of pound cake
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 1-3 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Dark Rum, about 1/4 cup

into the pan:

  • On medium -high add butter, pineapple and brown sugar.  Heat until warmed through, sugar melted and butter bubbling.
  • Add the rum, careful- stand back- it may be dramatic.!   and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cut the pound cake into slices and spoon pineapple mixture (2-3 pieces of pineapple) onto each slice.
  • top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sweet Dreams!

xo & a pinch,


happy ending

happy ending



Blueberry Pear Crumb Squares

Did you ever make something that you wish you didnt because it was too delicious and you wanted to eat ALL OF IT in one sitting?

So, I made these sweet, cinnamon-y crumb-covered things.  I tasted one, then two... then....

Fast forward to 1 AM, and I'm up, in the kitchen standing over these crumb things (rather, whats left of them), cursing them.   WHY DID I MAKE THESE?   [explicatives intentionally omitted]

I'm sharing this recipe, but warning you.  Please make them for a party or to share over the holidays.  If you're home alone with them, you'll eat them all and then curse me from your flywheel.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 cups of chopped pears (any variety) and blueberries, combined
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • baking spray
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

1.      Preheat your oven at 350 degrees.

2.      In a large bowl, combine fruit, cornstarch, vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, sugar, salt and lemon juice. 

3.     In another large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, melted butter.

4.     On a large cookie sheet, lay out a sheet of parchment paper and spray with baking spray.  Take half of the oat mixture and pat down into a thin layer (about 1/2 inch).

5.     Add fruit mixture spreading out over the oat layer.

6.   Add the remaining oat mixture on top, covering the fruit layer.

7.    Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.  Let cool.

Slice into squares and try to control yourself.

Don't be mad.

xo & a pinch



Measure & Pinch Guest Home Chef : Samantha!

Samantha's Cherry Tart 

The beginnings of something delicious!

The beginnings of something delicious!

Samantha is a dear friend of Measure & Pinch and whenever she visits the M&P headquarters, its a party!   Sam is a young, hard-working lawyer from NYC who loves wine, music and hosting dinner parties in her apartment.  Sam is a fan of the finer things like luxurious bed sheets and fancy cocktails, but she owns a meat slicer and loves cured meats.  She's just wonderful.

During her last visit, Sam made us a Cherry Tart.  A sweet treat to top off our festive end-of summer lobster dinner.  It was a great night and we're so happy to have this great recipe to share with you.



Cherry Tart  ala Martha Stewart (the master of "good things")

Here's what you'll need:

  • 6 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 oz. bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fresh sweet cherries, such as Bing, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry jam

Here's what you'll do:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar until finely ground. Add butter, and process until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Using your cute little fingers (see Sam's below) firmly press mixture into bottom and up the sides of pan. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.

2.   Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheesevanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add cream, and beat until soft peaks form; spread mixture in cooled crust. Scatter cherries on top with the help of the nearest toddler (see below).

3.  In a small saucepan, combine jam and 1 teaspoon water; heat over low until liquefied, about 2 minutes. Using a pastry brush, dab cherries with the glaze. Refrigerate tart at least 30 minutes or, covered, up to 1 day.

Sam firmly pressing

Sam firmly pressing

With her, cooking is fun, sweet and pretty.

With her, cooking is fun, sweet and pretty.

The boys love Miss Sam, so helpers are easy to find.

'lil help  (placing one cherry at a time)

'lil help  (placing one cherry at a time)

Sweet & creamy with a buttery graham cracker crust.   Perfection!

Sweet & creamy with a buttery graham cracker crust.   Perfection!

Thank you Samantha & Josh for this delicious dessert (and the gifted tart pan)!   We look forward to our next kitchen adventure with you!

Sweet Dreams!

Sweet Dreams!

We interview our Guest Home Chefs using a modified version of James Lipton's questions from The Actor's Studio because after all, you are a Star in your own kitchen!

M&P:    What is your favorite food?

Sam:    Cheese and bagels.  Cured Italian meats... whats on the table right now.

M&P:    What is your least favorite food?

Sam:     American lamb.   It has a strong after taste and smell.

M&P:     What turns you on?

Sam:     An amazing sample sale.  Yves DeLorme sheets.  Being comfortable.  "Being me;    ultimate happiness."

M&P:    What turns you off?

Sam:    (She turns to Josh, and asks, what turns me off?)   Self deprecation and narcissism.

M&P:    But those are opposite..?

Sam:     I don't like extremes.   Balance is most important to me.

M&P:    What or who inspires you to cook?

Sam:     My grandfather.  He was born in Iraq. He can make anything, Italian, Greek food, Kielbasi, steak tartar.   He married a Polish woman.  He and his wife would go to the Waldorf Astoria and recreate their dinner.   He made the most delicious steak tartar.   I inherited his meat slicer.

M&P:     What is your favorite drink?

Sam:     20th Century.   On our third date, Josh took me to the Flatiron Lounge.  I had the 20th Century.  Its a gin drink with lemon and a chocolate finish.   Its amazing.   It will be featured at my 30th birthday party.

M&P:    What profession would you like to attempt?

Sam:     Pilot

M&P:     What profession would you wish not to attempt?

Sam:     Sewage plant treatment worker.

M&P:     If Heaven exists, what do you wish to hear God say to you when you arrive to the pearly gates:

Sam:     "You did good."


 We love you Miss Samantha!  Thank you!!!


Measure & Pinch

Chocolate Bananalicious-Bread

Don't look away.... I know, the bananas look scary but, THIS is what you're looking for when you're baking banana bread! The blacker the better, truly! 

A photo of 4 bananas but, you need 6 for super yummy goodness!   

A photo of 4 bananas but, you need 6 for super yummy goodness!


You know how there are certain things that you just love to eat? Those things that when put in front of you, you eat the "entire thing.." A sleeve of Pringles. A sleeve of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies?  I dare say, this is one of those things, at least that's what I'm told. 

Inspired by an old colleague, at one of my all time favorite companies, this banana bread is insanely good. And, the best part? It only makes a double batch!!! 

Ok folks, have at it! 

  • 6 black bananas, please peel them, use the yummy goodness inside
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (very soft, if not melted) 
  • 2 beaten eggs. 
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract. 
  • mix all that up, if you have a kitchen aid, even better! throw it in there. 
  • Then, add 2 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons of baking soda! (Don't forget the baking soda, learned that one the hard way, the bread won't rise.. )
  • 1 1/2 cups of itty bitty chocolate chips! 

Mix it all up!

Before you start, butter your (2) loaf pans. I use glass ones. They have to be coated in butter! Split the batter in half and you're ready to bake.

Oven-wise, you'll pre-heat to 350. The first 1/2 hour, stay at 350, reduce to 300 and bake for 35-40 minutes. Check after 35, it shouldn't be drippy in the middle. 

....at the 30 minute mark, just before the change in temperature.   

....at the 30 minute mark, just before the change in temperature.


I don't have a finished product photo for you on this one because, and this is my personal opinion, when you cut into a piping hot yummy slice of bread stuffed with gooey gooey chocolate chips, it doesn't always look fabulous!

We will try to update the blog with a photo if we find one, every time we eat it though! We'll see, perhaps we'll be able to capture that yummy goodness but, if you take a photo when you try it maybe you can share yours! :) 


xo Measure