It’s been a few years since I last visited Chicago and boy have I missed it ,from the people, to the culture, the food and even the architecture of this wonderful city. And then a couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to take a trip to Chicago to spend some time with the folks who create Safeway’s O Organic products (http://www.albertsons.com/). I got to meet several other bloggers including my friends, Ashale, Jeanine , Ashley and Irvin among many other bloggers. Needless to say this was an event full of food and learning about good food practices when it comes to sourcing and make healthy changes in our lifestyles.
We kicked off our first night with dinner at the Windsor restaurant in downtown Chicago and ate a meal prepared entirely from ingredients from O organics but the best part was to come the next day when we actually got to step into a kitchen and cook! We started our morning with a breakfast bar that had a bunch of different types of slow cooked oats flavored with maple syrup, chocolate chips and fresh and dried fruit. Then we proceeded on to a quick demo with a dietician and picked up some quick tips on how to make our food friendlier to our own personal needs and diets yet keeping it as flavorful and tasty. Now comes the fun part, we got to cook in the Rick Bayless kitchen!!! After getting a few pointers on how to operate in the kitchen, I teamed up with Ashlae and we made a stove top nut and mixed berry crisp and flavored it with all sorts of lovely fresh herbs such as tarragon and mint. It was sweet, jamy and heavenly and also one of the most colorful things we could eat. Later we got to photograph our creations (you can see the image below). All the ingredients provided to use were from the O Organics line and I was really impressed to see that they have an organic version of every ingredient I could think of using and I know I do in my kitchen.
Using their ingredients, I’ve baked this simple yet flavorful fall themed pound cake that uses toasted walnuts and a little bit of ginger. It’s more of a tea cake though you could add a powdered sugar frosting on top to add a little bit of extra sweetness!
Just a couple of notes about getting access to Safeway’s O Organic products across the country. At the recent O Organics ‘Organic for All’ event in Chicago, I had the opportunity to work with a vast selection of O Organics products, but please check your local Albertsons family store to see what’s available in your area. I get my O Organics products at Safeway, but if you are outside of the SF Bay Area, O Organics products are available at Albertsons Companies stores across the country, including Albertsons, ACME Markets, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Pavilions and Star Market.
walnut ginger pound cake
yields: one 9 inch loaf cake
1 cup/16 tablespoons/227gm unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature plus a little extra to grease a nine inch loaf pan
1 cup (198.5 gm) sugar
3 large eggs
198.5 gm all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
99gm toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Place a wire rack at midlevel and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf pan with a little butter and parchment paper cut to size.
Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Then slowly start to add one egg at a time to the batter and beat until completely combined.
In a large mixing bowl, dry whisk the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using the paddle attachment beat the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in three installments. Fold the toasted walnuts into the batter using a silicone spatula and transfer the contents to the prepared cake pan. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking process. The center should be firm when done and the edges golden brown, a knife/skewer when inserted should come out clean from the center. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then release it from the sides using a knife and allow to cool on a wire rack completely before serving.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Safeway for sponsoring this trip and post, however, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
I’m so digging all of your fall & pumpkin recipes! The nut and mixed berry crisp sounds fab as well. I’m excited as I finally purchased a scale so that I can bake properly.
This looks so great! I could probably just consume an entire loaf by myself, YUM!
Wow. Your trip to Chicago. I lived most of my adult life there. It’s where I went to culinary school, married, gave birth to my son. I miss it every day. Thanks for bringing back memories of that magical place. I’m so glad you were there and made yourself a part of it.