Food Crushes and a New Upside-Down Cake

I have food crushes…it’s not really about the food but more about the chef/foodie/food bloggers…etc.. If you, like me, watch a lot of Food Network and read about a 100 blogs a week, then you might know what I am talking about.  I would love 5 minutes with MANY chefs and bloggers.  I just would love to have them over for dinner, pick their brains and completely take advantage of their knowledge.

Here are a few (I will keep this list short I promise)

Rocco DiSpirito: yummy….

Susie Fogelson (from the Next Food Network Star): this lady knows her stuff

Robert Irvine: it’s the accent

Chuck Hughes: not only a fellow Canadian but my oh my he’s one hot dude

Laura Levy: I just want to be her friend…great blogger: Laura\’s Best Recipes

Anne Burrell: I just want to hang out with her

Mel: blogger Cooking with Mel, like a little sister, she just makes me smile

Nigella Lawson: again with the accent and her cooking is fabulous!

Scott Conant: just make me a bowl of pasta….heaven

Giada DiLaurentis: OK this one is for my husband 😉

I could go on but I’ll spare you….

I have to admit, I talk to my television and computer a lot.  By that I mean,  if I agree or disagree with what a chef or blogger has said or posted I feel it is my duty to react.  I am perfectly aware this is completely crazy.  Just know that even when I disagree I still come back for more.  In life, we have to agree to disagree, right?

One show that really gets me going is Iron Chef.  Especially when Cat Cora is battling, I want her to win…always.  I found her cookbook at the library and it is absolutely lovely.  She is so creative and her southern accent is to die for.  I can hear it even when I read her recipes.  So today I decided to make her special upside down cake:  Blueberry-Lemon Poppyseed Upside-Down Cake.

Look at the beautiful color of this cake! wow!


blueberry-lemon topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large lemon

2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw)

butter cake:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from lemon used in topping)

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk (shake before measuring)

1 tablespoon poppyseeds

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350F

For the topping:  Melt the butter and the brown sugar together over medium-high heat in a 10-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle.  Boil for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat.  Let cool for 2 minutes.  Grate 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest and set aside for the cake, then use a paring knife to cut off all the peel and white pit.  Cut the lemon into 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Arrange the slices decoratively on the brown sugar topping in the skillet.  Fill in all the spaces with the blueberries, pressing on them gently so they sink into the topping.  Set aside while you make the cake batter.

my attempt at a pretty topping

For the cake:  In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift the dry ingredients together; flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  With mixer set on low add your dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Do not overmix.  Add your poppyseeds.  Pour the batter over the lemon-blueberry topping and gently spread it to the edge.

I love poppyseeds 🙂

Bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Fresh out of the oven and Cat Cora's cookbook

Run a knife around the edge of the skillet, loosening the cake.  Invert a serving plate over the skillet and turn the cake our onto the plate.  Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

I love the combination of the creamy yellow of the cake and the purple of the topping


Printer Friendly: Blueberry-Lemon Poppyseed Upside-Down Cake

Peace and Crushes,


Recipe also linked on:  

21 thoughts on “Food Crushes and a New Upside-Down Cake

  1. ahhhhh, you are too sweet!!! Thank you for including me in your post!!!! I feel honored to be among some of those amazing people!! 🙂 🙂

    You JUST made my Monday!!! I am having a hard time getting started up today. LOL

    Talk to you soon! 🙂

  2. Oh… AND THAT CAKE IS MARVELOUS!!!! I might have to give it a try… do you think it would flop without the poppy seeds?? I’m not a huge fan of those bad boys!

  3. I LOVE this post! I have so many food crushes, too! I’d LOVE to hang with Anne Burrell! As for Robert Irvine – it’s not just the accent…it’s the guns! Iron Chef is my favorite, but I love to see Michael Symon compete.

    The blueberry lemon poppyseed cake is incredible! I would love to have a piece….with a cup of coffee, please!

  4. Isabelle, I LOVE the whole idea of this post! And you’ve mentioned some folks that ring my bell! Robert Irvine, for example… yes, I love the accent too, but more than that I know that he’s a great guy as well, heart of gold, a real giver. He and my son Keegan are buds :)) I don’t know Cat Cora, but since she’s from Jackson MS (where I’ve spent quite a few years, off and on) I feel as though we have a certain connection in addition to food 🙂 And of course I love, Love, LOVE Mel! There are so many more, but I’m like you, “I could go on, but I’ll spare you…” Thanks for this wonderful post!

  5. Hi, Isabelle! Well, you certainly struck a chord with all of us Food Network devotees! (If Scott Conant agrees to make you pasta, I’ll bring the Hope Butter.) 🙂 Your cake turned out beautifully — I’ve had lemon poppyseed cake before, but blueberries added to it… YUM!

  6. I’m shocked…SHOCKED…that I didn’t make this list. 😉

    Just kidding, but I totally know what you mean about foodie crushes. I have a few myself and gush over them on a regular basis, completely looking like a tool most of the time. LOL

  7. I have a total food crush on Nathan Lyon (A Lyon in the Kitchen) and I agree with Nigella Lawson. She’s gorgeous. My ex-boyfriend’s mom and I used to watch Aaron Sanchez and Jamie Oliver on the Food Network and giggle over them when I was in college, too!

  8. Looks great! I think I will try that one as it sounds delicious! “sounds delicious”? The cake must have been speaking to me!!!!

  9. Beautiful cake! I love reading your postings.
    I don’t think there’s a cookbook, or cooking show out there I don’t like 🙂

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