WELCOME TO DIABETIC ENJOYING FOOD

I have chosen this name for this blog because it truly states my story. I am a type II diabetic who most certainly enjoys food. When I was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my blood sugar level was over 400. With some oral medications, a lot of research and some trial and error, I have found that unlike my ancestors I truly can continue to enjoy food. I hope this blog will help you to also enjoy food and be healthy. Some recipes are my originals and some I have collected.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ORZO PILAF

4 oz uncooked orzo
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can (14-oz) artichoke hearts; drain and cut into 4ths
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
dash of salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
sliced black olives for garnish

Cook the orzo according to package directions but omit any salt for fat.  Drain and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion to the skillet and saute about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook, stirring 1 minute.

Add the zucchini and the chicken broth to the skillet; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes; zucchini should be crisp tender.  Stir the orzo into the skillet. Add the artichoke hearts, tomato, oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, for another minute or until heated through.


Sprinkle with the feta cheese and olives.

Yield: 6 servings of 1/2 cup each
Per serving: 7 g protein to 23 g carbs.  Serve with fish or a lean piece of meat for more protein.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TASTY CHERRY PIE

pastry for a 2-crust pie
1 to 1 1/2 cups Splenda granulated (depending on the tartness of your cherries)
4 tbsp minute tapioca
4 cups tart pitted cherries (fresh, frozen, canned - your choice)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry, leaving enough hanging over the edge to seal later.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the Splenda and tapioca until the tapioca is well blended into the Splenda.  Gently fold in the cherries, however, if you are using canned cherries, drain and add the juice to Splenda; set cherries aside.

Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil; remove from the heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir the almond extract, cinnamon, and butter into the cherry filling; add the cherries if using canned ones.  If you want a really red pie, add a drop of red food coloring.  Allow the mixture to cool before adding to the crust.

Place the cooled filling into the prepared pie shell.  Cut air vent slits in the pastry for topping the pie; place over filling.  Seal and flute the edges.


Bake pie for 30 to 35 minutes at 400 degrees until bubbly and crust is browned.

Monday, October 29, 2012

BARBECUED CHICKEN FOR SANDWICHES

3 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts and thighs, cooked and shredded
1 cup catsup
1 3/4 cups water
1 medium-size onion, chopped fine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend, packed
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
6-8 whole-grain sandwich rolls, buns, or thins
pickle slices, optional

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken, catsup, water, onion, salt, celery salt, chili powder, Splenda, pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Heat on medium until hot then lower temperature to simmer and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.


For sandwiches, pile chicken on rolls, top with pickle slices or other condiments as desired.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ITALIAN-FLAVORED HAM OMELET

8 large eggs
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp hot sauce, optional
1 tbsp butter
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped lean cooked ham

In a mixing bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, and hot sauce only until blended.

Melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet or omelet pan.  Add the above mixture to the pan.  As omelet cooks gently lift the edges of the omelet with a spatula, tilting pan so uncooked mixture flows under the cooked mixture.  Continue until the eggs are set.

Gently loosen the omelet with a large spatula and slide onto serving plate.


To serve, divide the omelet into 4 to 5 equal portions and serve while hot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TUNA CUCUMBER SNACK BITES

1/2 block (8-oz size) light cream cheese
1 can (6-oz) tuna packed in water; drain well
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp lemon juice
18 thick slices of cucumber (seedless works best)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine the cream cheese, tuna, parsley, onion, oregano, pepper, and lemon juice; mix together well.

Top each of the cucumber slices with approximately 1 rounded tablespoon of the tuna mixture covering tops of cucumbers completely.

Set the tuna topped cucumbers on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 500 degrees for about 10 minutes until the tops are puffed up and browned.

Note: Stock photo

Monday, October 22, 2012

STUFFED YELLOW PEPPERS

1/2 lb lean ground beef or chicken
3/4 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
3 cups fresh spinach*, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups water, divided use
4 large yellow** bell peppers
1/2 cup roasted bell peppers
1/2 cup tomato sauce
dash of ground red pepper

In a small nonstick skillet that has been sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray, brown the ground beef or chicken until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, lightly toast the couscous.  This will take about 5 minutes, stirring often during this time.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the large skillet, heat the oil and add the onion; cook a couple of minutes until translucent.  Add the spinach, oregano and salt; cook until the spinach is wilted.  Add 2 cups of the water and bring to a boil.  Stir in the couscous and bring back to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook, covered, for about 8 minutes or until the light is absorbed.

Cut a half-inch off the tops of the bell peppers; remove the seeds and membranes.

Combine the browned meat with the couscous mixture; use to fill the bell peppers then replace the tops.  Place the peppers in a deep skillet or pan that will allow peppers to stand upright with the lid on.  Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of water into the bottom of the pan or skillet.  Bring the water to a boil; place a tight-fitting lid on pan and cook on medium to medium low for 8 to 10 minutes or until the peppers are slightly soft.  Remove peppers to a serving plate with sides or a shallow dish.

While peppers cook, make the sauce by combining the roasted bell pepper, tomato sauce, and red pepper in a blender or food processor.  Process until the mixture is smooth.  Transfer mixture to a small microwave-safe bowl and cook in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. 

To serve, pour the sauce over the peppers or divide the sauce onto 4 serving plates and set a pepper in the center of each.

*Or 4-oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
**Red or Green bell peppers may be substituted

Saturday, October 20, 2012

NOT YOUR USUAL VEGETABLE SOUP

1 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 medium-size green bell pepper, diced
1 medium-size red bell pepper, diced
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
2 cups chopped eggplant
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14.5-oz) Italian-style diced tomatoes
3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 can navy beans
2 tsp Splenda granulated
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add the onion and bell peppers; cook until transparent - about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring several times.  Add the eggplant, mushrooms and garlic, oregano, and 2/3s of the basil;  cook another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.  Add the diced tomatoes, water, and vegetable broth; stir well,  Stir in the beans, Splenda, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes; cover, and simmer for about a half hour to 45 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times during cooking.

Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes.  Dip soup into serving bowls and top each of 6 bowls with a fourth cup of the shredded mozzarella.



Friday, October 19, 2012

MINI TOSTADA APPETIZERS

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp instant minced onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can (8-oz) refried beans
1 can (4-oz) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup taco sauce (watch sugar content)
48 round tortilla chips
1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Sour cream for garnish, if desired
Chopped green onion for sprinkling, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef with the onion until beef is cooked.  Drain mixture in a colander and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

Return the beef/onion mixture to the skillet and add the garlic powder, beans, chilies, and taco sauce, cooking while stirring until bubbly and heated through. 

Lay the tortilla chips out in a single layer on baking sheet/s.  Top each chip with a heaping tablespoonful of the beef mixture.  Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped green onion, if desired.


Note: The ground beef and beans make this a good diabetic snack/appetizer. There is plenty of protein to counter balance the carbs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GARBANZO BEAN SKILLET DISH

2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 large green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp ripe olives, diced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

Spray a large nonstick skillet lightly with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion along with the broth and cook a couple of minutes.  Add the red, green, and yellow peppers, stirring well.  Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, olives, and spices; stir well to mix.  Reduce heat and simmer until the peppers are tender.  Remove the bay leaf; add the lemon juice and lemon rind.  Taste and add more seasonings, if desired.


Yield: 6 servings

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SAGE MEATLOAF

1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp fresh snipped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup catsup
1 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1 tsp dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, milk, crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, sage, and pepper until well combined.  Shape into a loaf and place in baking pan; bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Combine the catsup, brown sugar blend, and mustard.  Remove meatloaf from oven and spread catsup mixture over the top.  Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes.

Allow meatloaf to set 5 minutes or so before slicing to serve.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

RESTAURANTEUR B. SMITH'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2/3 cup stick butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cups Equal Spoonful or 16 packets Equal sweetener
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips*

Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended.  Mix in Equal and brown sugar until combined.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix into butter mixture until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Place teaspoonfuls of dough on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown in color.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen

*The recipe above is Ms. Smith's direct recipe and it is approved by the American Diabetes Association.  However, I make the following changes for myself:
2/3 cups Splenda granulated instead of the Equal
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp firmly packed Splenda brown sugar blend instead of brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole-wheat flour instead of 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips instead of regular
I also add at least a half cup of pecans or walnuts since they are helpful in controlling blood sugar.


Per Cookie (following exactly Ms. Smith's recipe): 67 calories, 1 g protein, 8 g carbs, 4 g fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium
Exchanges = 1/2 starch, 1 fat

Friday, October 12, 2012

DIABETIC'S STREUSEL TOPPED SWEET POTATOES

3 cans (1-lb each) sweet potatoes in light syrup, well drained & mashed*
1/2 cup sugar-free maple-flavored syrup
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup raw oats
1/4 cup rounded and firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, maple-flavored syrup, and orange peel until well blended.  Transfer to the prepared casserole dish.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the the flour, oats, brown sugar blend, and cinnamon; cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir the pecans into the mixture and sprinkle over the top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.
Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.


Yield: approximately 8 servings

*Cook your own sweet potatoes and mash, if you prefer not to get the sugar from the canned ones.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SAUSAGE & EGG BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

1 lb bulk sausage, browned, crumbled, drained well
6 slices whole-grain bread
6 large eggs, beaten
2 cups low-fat milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 cup grated low-fat cheese

Lay out bread slices to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish.

Sprinke the prepared sausage over the bread.

Add the milk, salt, mustard, and cheese to the beaten eggs and mix together well; pour over the sausage and bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Bake casserole in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until set.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 9 to 12 servings


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ORIENTAL NOODLES WITH CHICKEN

1 lb cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 oz whole-wheat thin spaghetti, cooked according to the pkg directions
1 1/2 tbsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp water
2 tsp firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
1/3 cup chopped green onions, including tops
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Using a wire whisk, combine the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, water, and brown sugar in a large bowl until well blended.

Add the chicken, spaghetti, cabbage, and green onions to the vinegar mixture, tossing to coat well.

Sprinkle the peanuts and cilantro over all before serving.

Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: Approximately 280 calories, 34 g carbs, 22 g protein.  This is a very good carb to protein ratio for diabetics.  So diabetics, you can get your pasta fix with this meal!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

FRESH CRANBERRY SALAD

2 lb fresh cranberries
3 cups Splenda Granulated
2 cans (20-oz each) crushed pineapple in its own juice, completely drained
6 oranges, peeled
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Grind the cranberries and oranges; mix together with the Splenda, pineapple, walnuts and cinnamon.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight before serving.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

LINDA'S DIABETIC-FRIENDLY PUMPKIN STICKY-BUNS

Tonight I noticed I had a can of pumpkin in the pantry and decided to try a diabetic-version of some Sticky-Bun Pumpkin Muffins from pre-diabetes days.  They actually turned out to be very good and I think you will enjoy them.  My 19-year-old grandson who is not diabetic ate three of them and I told him, "no more."  My husband, who is not diabetic and swears he can't stand "diabetic food" ate one and said it was very good!  My diabetes is controlled so I used a little sugar figuring the nuts compensate for it.  If you need to totally avoid sugar, use Splenda instead of sugar.  I used 2 cups of Splenda and 1 cup of sugar (less sugar than Splenda Baking Blend) but you can use 3 cups of Splenda.  I only had chopped pecans but next time I would like to place a pecan half in each muffin cup along with the chopped ones.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 24 to 30 muffin cups lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

1 cup chopped pecans + 24-30 pecan halves
1 stick butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
2 tbsp sugar-free maple-flavored syrup

Spread the pecans out on a cookie sheet with sides and toast in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once; set aside.

In a small bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar blend, and maple-flavored syrup until well blended. Place one teaspoon of the butter mixture into each of the muffin cups.  Sprinkle with a teaspoon plus of the chopped nuts and place 1 pecan half in each cup.  Use all the chopped nuts. Set aside.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups Splenda Granulated
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water

In a large mixing bowl, combine the two flours.  When flours are well blended add the Splenda, sugar, pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt stirring to mix together well.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Using a wire whisk, whisk together the pumpkin, canola oil, eggs, and water.  Add the pumpkin mixture to the well of the dry ingredients and blend together with a silicone spatula just until moistened.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups atop the butter mixture and nuts.  Fill each cup approximately 3/4 full.  Place in 350 degree oven and bake approximately 25 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove muffins from the oven and immediately invert onto the cookie sheet you used to toast the nuts.  Gently replace any nuts left in the muffin cups to the top of the muffins, pressing down gently to stick in place.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before eating.


Tip: These are really good warm.

Note: As you can probably tell from the picture, I added some chopped peanuts because I only had a handful of pecans since this was a last minute decision.  The peanuts were great but next time I will use all pecans, just because pecans are my favorite nuts.




EASY, CHEESY, CHICKEN-BROCCOLI-RICE SKILLET

4 (1-lb total) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tsp canola oil
2 cups small fresh or frozen (thawed) broccoli florets
1 can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1/8 lb pasteurized cheese product (Velveeta-type), cut into small cubes
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook, turning once, about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and place on a warmed plate.  Cover loosely to keep in heat.

In the same skillet, add the broccoli, chicken soup, and cheese; stir to mix well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted.


To serve, divide the rice onto 4 individual plates; top with a chicken breast and 1/4 of the broccoli-cheese mixture.

Variation: You might like cream of broccoli soup or cream of mushroom soup as a substitute for the cream of chicken soup.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A TOUCH OF ORIENTAL PORK TENDERLOIN

1 lb pork tenderloin
6 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup no sugar added apple juice
1 tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sliced green onions, optional
nonstick cooking spray

Combine the soy sauce, apple juice, Splenda, vinegar, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl; stir until well blended.  Divide mixture in half and set 1/2 aside.

Place the tenderloin in a pie plate or shallow dish; pour half the above mixture over the meat.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to marinate at least 15 minutes but up to overnight, refrigerated.  Turn often during the 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray a baking sheet or pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove tenderloin from the marinade and throw out the marinade.

Place the meat on the prepared pan and sprinkle black pepper over the tenderloin.  Bake at 425 degrees about 25 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove to cutting board and allow to set for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

While meat rests, place the reserved sauce mixture in a small pan or skillet.  Bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Scrape bottom and sides of pan frequently during cooking. 

Arrange sliced pork on meat platter and pour sauce overall.  Sprinkle the green onions over the meat and sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

Note: This is a stock photo and it is two tenderloins.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

SWISS 'N TURKEY-VEGGIE CASSEROLE

1 cup light mayo-type salad dressing
4 cups chopped cooked turkey
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups whole-grain bread crumbs
2 cups sliced celery
1 garlic bulb, minced
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix all the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well blended.  Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.




Monday, October 1, 2012

MARBLED CHOCOLATE LOAF CAKE

1 cup Splenda Granulated
1/4 cup sugar (or another 1/4 cup of Splenda if your diabetes is severe)
2-oz Neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup canola or coconut oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
dash of ground cinnamon
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp tap water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In large mixer bowl beat the Splenda, sugar, cheese, oil, egg, egg white, vanilla extract, and sour cream until smooth.

Sift the the flours, baking powder, and cinnamon together a couple of times into a small bowl.

Remove 1/3 cup of the batter; set aside.  Pour the remaining batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Place the reserved batter back into the bowl and stir in the cocoa powder and water until well blended.  Pour over the batter in the pan.  Using a butter knife, swirl the chocolate mixture into the batter to marbleize.

Bake cake in center of oven for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cake is done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for several minutes then turn out onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Serve cake sliced into 1/2-inch slices with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.