Tosca Reno


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yogurty Coffee Cake Recipe and Loads of Pics

So we were in the kitchen for most of yesterday getting some food prepped for Christmas day.

The first pic is one of Bob doing his painting. A blogger asked about the art work at the house and this how we get most of it.

This is Teresa, my wonderful helper, who is cleaning the oven so we can make it dirty again.

Here is Chelsea making Grandmother’s Favorite Oatmeal Cookies from the Eat-Clean Diet book. It’s a family favorite. No holiday is complete without it. She is making big ones!

Here is me making a new cookie recipe (tested and created for an upcoming cookbook). The result? They taste delish! Sure to be another family favorite.

Trays of cookies waiting to go in the oven.

Ahhhh! The Big Bird has come home. He is from our local butcher – Howard the Butcher in the village of Caledon. His meat is always fresh, farm raised and antibiotic and hormone free. This should feed 12 with leftovers.

This is the beginning of my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (from the Eat Clean Diet Cookbook). I have decided to play with the ingredients for the new cookbook and here is a preview of what it looks like. It smells heavenly.

I use my trusty commercial immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pan. The resulting soup is delicious and of an even consistency.

Dinner tonight was wilted spinach, Brussels sprouts, grilled pork tenderloin and brown rice. Yummy! The rest of the day was a bit of a wash but I did have the Tosca Standard Breakfast (oatmeal with flax, wheat germ and Salba plus 4 hard boiled egg whites, coffee, water and wheat grass).

The result of a long day in the kitchen – loads of cookies!

I bought some fresh potted herbs from our local organic food place. You can’t get them any fresher!

My mom is preparing the yogurt to strain overnight. I will use this for the Yogurty Coffee Cake which I will bake today (see recipe below). It will strain overnight and be perfect for tomorrow. For more details on this see the Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. I will also use some of the strained yogurt (aka yogurt cheese) for my Mashed Potatoes which I will also make tomorrow.

By the way, my daughter Kiersten is flying home from Holland tomorrow. She will be arriving (with luck and good weather) around 4:00 pm and I can’t wait to see her. The last time I saw her was at the end of September. Wow! How the time flies. I am soo excited.

Love and hugs to you all. Special hugs to anyone who is feeling lonely. Remember you are not alone and I am always listening. I will keep a special place in my heart for all of my sisters in Iron.

Feel the hugs??

Yogurty Coffee Cake

***requires overnight straining of yogurt***

Streusel Topping

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 c. whole-wheat flour
1/3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. Sucanat sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each baking powder and sea salt

Methods for Streusel Topping
In medium saucepan melt butter until just melted (not bubbling). Remove from heat and cool. In a medium bowl combine remaining ingredients. Stir with a fork. Add butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a fork. It will be crumbly. Set aside.

Ingredients for Filling
1 c. toasted pecans
3 tbsp. Sucanat sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 tsp. natural cocoa powder

Methods for Filling
Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. The pecans should be chopped. Set aside.

Ingredients for Cake
1 1/2 c. sifted unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 c. unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. super-fine Sucanat sugar (put Sucanat in a food processor and pulse until very fine)
4 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. plain, low-fat yogurt (s

Methods for Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use a 10" tube pan (the one where the bottom comes out). Coat with butter (or olive oil) and flour.

In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a whisk to stir well. In a mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add Sucanat sugar slowly until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to get all sugar and butter in. Add eggs in to beat one at a time (again scraping sides). Add vanilla. Set mixer to low speed. Add applesauce. Scrape the sides until well combined. Alternate adding batches of yogurt and flour with the machine still running. Again, scrape the side to make sure everything has been mixed in.

Pour 2 c. of batter into prepared pan creating an even layer. Sprinkle 1/2 c. of filling over the batter. Do this repeatedly until you run out of batter and filling. It should create about 4 layers.

Grab a handful of streusel topping. Compact in your hands. Then break it up over the top of the cake. Do this until you run out of streusel topping. Using a large spoon or spatula gently press the streusel into the cake.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.


  1. Such lovely family and food photographs!!

    Tosca, I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas - I hope tht your celebration is nothing but wonderful and magical.

  2. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    Have a very Merry Christmas!


  3. Merry Christmas, Tosca. The Cookies look wonderful! We made the Chocolate Cookies from the latest CE Magazine and your Lucky Ginger Snaps last weekend - they are SO good!

  4. I am very impressed with your Husbands art! Tell him I think that is very cool that your home is adorned with his pieces!
    Have a Merry Christmas!

  5. Tosca. I love your husbands art work and am so glad you said where it comes from as I had wondered that myself. Does he sell it?

    I'm so stoked that you are looking at doing another cookbook. I was so hoping you would :)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and thank you for changing my life. I have been trying for 9 years to get to 128 lbs and today after a few months of clean eating and exercising I have reached 128.5

    You couldn't give a person a greater gift than the gifts you share each day. Thank you.

    Helen (Molly229)

  6. Tosca,

    Wishing You and your Family the best Merry Christmas!!


  7. I am going to try this cake, it sounds really good!

    Thank you for all you share.

  8. Tosca, I was just given your Eat-Clean Diet cookbook for Christmas. I have read it cover to cover so far. I am on a weight loss journey this past year, but I certainly need to kick it up a notch! I am also 40 and need to lose 50 more pounds, and I am inspired to know you were in the same boat too at my age. It makes me think it is possible! Happy Holidays!

  9. Tosca, I noticed that your coffee cake and some other recipes have 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour. I have another cookbook that calls for whole wheat PASTRY flour and it says you can substitute 1/2 regular and 1/2 whole wheat if you don't have whole wheat pastry flour. So I am wondering the the opposite would work for your recipes. Instead of 1/3 cup regular and 1/3 cup whole wheat, do you think 2/3 whole wheat pastry flour would work? I might give it a try since I bought a large bag of it!

    Thanks for being such and inspiration!


Tosca's Instragrams