You will be a welcome guest if you show up for a weekend at a friend’s house with a warm blueberry loaf cake.

Writing this post is a bit of self-torture. You see, I haven’t eaten sugar or white flour  in the past week and I don’t intend to for the next four. Just gazing at this photo has me salivating! I’ll explain.

I have been grouching about the same 8 pounds for years. I never lost them after Mini Whipped was born and they are still glued to my bones a year and a half after I welcomed Baby Whipped. I have tried to rid myself of the weight through exercise programs, calorie counting and will power but to no avail. It seemed as if my body was stuck on a plateau. Whether I ate whatever I wanted (within reason) or reduced calories dramatically, the stubborn pounds wouldn’t budge.

An old friend paid me a visit a few weeks ago. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a year and I was amazed to find that she had lost over ten pounds and was the lowest weight she’d ever been. My admirable comrade has two little kids, commutes nearly an hour a day each way to her full time job and has every excuse to keep a few extra pounds. But, she implemented what she called her “hard core” diet plan and now looks and feels incredible!

A week after she left, I put my new diet plan into action , WWMD (What would Marianne do?)  I don’t think that she necessarily cut out all the things I did but she was able to set strict rules for herself and stick to them. For me, baked goods, sweets and treats (including an occasional cocktail) are my downfalls. And so, I decided to treat sugar, white flour and alcohol like an addict would and cut them out completely.

My darling niece is getting married on Labor Day weekend. She and my sister also look amazing and fit – there is nothing like a wedding to motivate weight loss! My sister is not only hosting the wedding by also making the wedding cake. I have decided that her cake will be the next treat I sink my teeth into and the drink I hold in the air to toast the occasion will be my next drink.

Is my WWMD diet working? Yes! For a week, I have exercised regularly and have repeatedly fought off cravings. It is getting easier and easier to do so as I feel more energy and watch the pounds disappear. I’m using My Fitness Pal to track my eating and exercise and that, along with the pals I am connected to through the iPhone  app, helps keep me on track.

I suppose it is a bit depressing to write about diet details while leading up to a delicious cake recipe. Sorry! This cake was a new creation that I finalized to bring as a hostess gift. When visiting a friend’s home or cottage, I like to bring a freshly baked treat along with other edible offerings. This blueberry cake loaf is between a bread and a coffee cake, perfect as an afternoon snack or alongside your breakfast.

Blueberry Cake Loaf with Streusel Topping
Makes 1 loaf, can be doubled

for the cake
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed or frozen blueberries, drained

for streusel topping
1/4 cup flour
3 Tablespoons Brown sugar
1/4 cup oatmeal (I use old fashioned oatmeal)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 T butter

Preheat oven to 350. Heavily grease a loaf pan (mine is 8.5 x 4.5 inches but slightly smaller or bigger will work). Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Make streusel so it is ready. Combine all streusel ingredients except the butter and use a fork to combine. Drizzle melted butter over the dry ingredients and use the fork to mix together letting clumps form and wetting all the dry ingredients. Set aside.

For the cake, cream butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes until fluffy. Add sugar and beat another minute. Add vanilla and eggs and mix thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix in sour cream until just combined.

Fold blueberries into the batter gently. Put the batter into the greased loaf pan. Top with streusel. Bake in preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or longer if needed until the center is just set. Remove the oven and cool.

If you want to remove the loaf from the pan, use a knife to release edges and gently tip it on its side over a plate. Put the loaf on the plate and sprinkle any fallen streusel back over the top.