Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. -John Muir

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lemon Yogurt Cakes

I really love lemons.  Some people love chocolate deserts; I cannot resist lemon desserts.  These light and tart lemon cakes are a lot like pound cakes.  I added a layer of fruit to the middle to make them really perfect. 

What you will need:
3 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 6 oz containers of plain yogurt (2 cups)
2 cups of sugar (plus 2 tbsp)
6 eggs
4 lemons
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
1 16 oz bag of frozen berries (thawed and drained)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, the zest of the 4 lemons, vanilla, and oil.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine.

Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 350.  Pour 1/2 the batter evenly between both pans.  At this point you want to add the fruit to the top of the batter in an even layer.

Add the rest of the batter on top of the fruit layer (see below).

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  At this point you want to combine the juice of the 4 lemons with 2 tbsp of sugar.  After you take the cake out of the over allow it to cook for 10 minutes and then baste the cake with the lemon juice mixture several times to allow it to soak up the lovely juice and become super moist. 

When serving, dust generously with confectioners sugar.  You can cut the batch in half, but if you do, you may find that you will not have enough to share with others for yourself.


Cinnamon Almonds

These babies don't need much of a story or an intro.  They are tasty, enough said.

What you need:
2 eggs (whites only)
6 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups almonds (raw)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy.  Next, add the vanilla.  After the vanilla and eggs are combined, toss the almonds in this mixture.  After the almonds are coated, add the sugars and cinnamon.  Make sure the almonds are coated evenly.  Pour this onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  YUM!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


     During a mad search for a really good homemade hot sauce i came across this recipe. Although it is quite hot, it has a refreshing sweet/fruity tang.  I put it on everything from sandwiches to eggs, and it makes a great base for a red enchilada sauce.

8oz red fresno chiles
4 garlic cloves
1teaspoon koshers salt
1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons palm sugar (or 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon molasses)

-chop the peppers and garlic, add salt and vinegar and let it sit in the fridge over night. aside from allowing the flavors to mingle, the time in the vinegar will dilute the heat.

-transfer all the contents to a saucepan, add the sugar and bring to a boil. lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. remove and allow it to cool.

-throw everything into a mixer and blend for 5 minutes. strain the mixture.

you will end up having this magnificently bright orange sauce.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheesy Potatoes with sauteed Garlic and Caramelized Onion

2 medium onion
4 large russets
7 cloves garlic (or more if you'd like)
olive oil
romano cheese
parmigiano reggiano

I cant believe its been over a month since I posted anything! My apologies. So, ive really been trying to give a little extra thought to my side dishes lately. I usually spend all of my time and energy on the main course and by dinner time all I have on my plate is a piece of meat. These potatoes were a huge hit and im really happy with how they came out. Here's the play by play:

-Start by caramelizing some onions (any onions will do). Just slice them thinly, melt some butter in a pan over med-low heat, season, and let them do their thing. Make sure you stay with them and stir randomly so they dont start to burn. when the are nicely caramelized remove them and set aside.

-In another pan saute about 7 cloves of minced garlic in a little olive oil until golden. set aside.

-Peel 4 russets, and slice them about 1/8 inch thick. rinse them under cold water to remove some of the starch.

-Now its time to layer. Take the potatoes and make a layer in the bottom of a baking dish. (think "fish scale" pattern), season, sprinkle some of the garlic and onions, and then grate some parm and romano on there.  (p.s. im getting hungry again writing this). add another layer of potatoes and repeat.

-After you cheese the final layer scatter a little butter on top, cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a knife enters easily. uncover for the last 15 minutes, or stick it under the broiler to crisp-a-fy

-Rough chop some fresh parsley for the final touch and then serve.