Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Lemon Loaf Cake

A comedy of errors right from the start.  First, I accidentally made this 2 weeks ago before I realized that Pizza Rustica was the "Easter" recipe.  Surely you can understand my confusion.  Anyway, it was a good thing I made it then.  I needed a non-messy dessert to go with dinner for a sick friend's family.

[PLUG HERE:  if you haven't discovered Meal Train, it's absolutely wonderful!]  

The first cake was really quite dry so the second one (which I sent with the dinner) got a good dose of lemon glaze. Which brings us to attempt #3, finally at the right time on the Tuesdays With Dorie schedule.  The recipe can be found here or here, and links to the other bakers are here.  Let's get started.

I've had a Swan's Down cake pan in my kitchen for at least 20 years. Couldn't resist letting it sit in on the proceedings since I was actually using Swan's Down Cake Flour. 

Notice those organic labels on the lemons?  Thought it was well worth the extra 20 cents apiece to not worry about pesticides.  Especially since we're using the skin.

Naked lemons!  I pretty much love any excuse to use the microplane. Oh, I did juice one of those lemons and added it to the batter. Also mixed the juice of another with powdered sugar to make a thin-ish glaze.

WARNING! It's time to avert your eyes if you can't deal with gross things...

The batter was coming along nicely and it was time to add the cream.  Earlier, I left the carton out on the counter (along with the eggs) to come to room temperature while I went to the grocery for lemons.  At some point you'd think I would've noticed the imprinted date...

Yuck-o!!!  Solid and Black!
Definitely NOT left-over from the previous two Lemon Loaf Cakes!

Off to the grocery again.  Don't know if it hurts to leave cake batter partially mixed, but I didn't have a choice. Half an hour later, the cake finally made it into the oven and I set the timer for 45 minutes. Much time passed and I finally decided to check on the timer. Uhhhhh. Not timing.  As my daughter would say, "epic fail." I probably set it for 4 minutes, 50 seconds and didn't hear it go off 40 minutes early.  But amazingly enough, the cake was not burnt.  Heck it wasn't even done. So I baked it longer. No idea how much total time, but the toothpick was the decider. When it finally came out clean, I poked lots of holes in the cake with the toothpick and poured on the glaze.  

You can see that some of the glaze pooled up around the bottom of the cake. After a few minutes the extra had soaked in and I popped it out of the pan to finish cooling.

This is the shoe I saw this week.  A loafer would've been nice, LOL!  But instead I got a running shoe.  Well, yesterday WAS the Boston marathon...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Liebster and The Compliment Box

Out of the blue, something unbelievably sweet happened.
Marilyn, of cook bake learn grow picked me to receive a Liebster blog award!

The Liebster is a way of recognizing small blogs.  The rules are to:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them
2. Post the award to your blog
3. Present the award to 5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value
4. Leave a comment on those 5 blogs letting them know they've received the award.

I'm totally new to this blogging thing and it feels funny to know that anybody at all is even out there. So now I have a confession to make. I have a secret. The secret is that NOBODY in my life knows about the blog.  Not my husband or my kids or any of my real-world friends.  I wanted to get my feet wet without worrying about what they thought. Too intimidating. And then a stranger reached out and was kind to me.

It reminded me of the compliment box. In my daughter's Montessori 3rd grade class, the children could write compliments and put them in the box. The teacher would read them to the class during circle time.  I have one of those little slips of paper on my refrigerator door.

These girls are now freshmen in college.  Different colleges.  They went to different high schools too, but they've kept in touch all this time and they're still as close as friends can be.  In fact, I took them to Harry Potter World just a few weeks ago. They have grown into thoughtful, kind, happy young women and it was a pleasure to be with them.  Makes you wonder about that compliment box.

So, THANK YOU Marilyn!  And in honor of this auspicious occasion, a very special shoe.  I seriously could not believe it when I saw this one!

Now for my 5 picks:

1. Clare, the Dordogne Quilter- an English quiltmaker living in France with a wonderful liberated style of design
2. Cher, of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler... - makes me laugh and writes the thoughts I have but can't put into words
3. Emese, from A Bear's Pastry Workshop - creates some of the most beautiful cookies I've ever seen
4. Helen, HelenNoBlog, a quilter from Long Island who always has something gorgeous and interesting to share
5. Mina, of Kinda Quilty - I can't believe how much this woman gets done!  Constantly challenging herself. And her color sense is amazing. Plus, she's got a cool dog.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Pizza Rustica

Here's the "done" picture right up front.
Can't figure out how to arrange the pics,
so it's a spoiler!
When is a pizza not a pizza?
When it's "Pizza Rustica" of course!

 When I saw what we were making this week, I envisioned some sort of free-form crust with Margherita-like toppings, but this is what I call quiche. After a little research (my default position on anything odd), it has become apparent that Pizza Rustica is a totally traditional and beloved Italian dish.  Seriously, the things I'm learning from this project!  So, on with the cooking. The recipe can be found here or here, and links to other bloggers in the group are here.  Oh, and I loved it!  I read that some people thought it was "bland" or that the crust was too sweet, but for me it was perfect.  Maybe there's something wrong with my tastebuds...
Easy processor dough

The filling.  Hate to admit it, but up til now
I've been a prosciutto virgin.

Rolling along.  That dough scraper has changed my life.
Ready for the oven.  Tossed the scraps with a little
cinnamon and sugar.
Love me a cook's treat!
OK, so I dropped
a little cheese...

Since it's Holy Week, I thought a flip-flop spotted in the church parking lot would be appropriate for this week's shoe

You can always tell it's spring in Atlanta when you start
to see flip-flops.  That's my friend Merle who saw it first!