Sunday, July 31, 2011

Happy lazy Sunday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lavender Tea Cake

1 cup granulated sugar

5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh lavender leaves, or 1 Tbsp. finely chopped dried lavender
cooking spray

1/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and set aside.

For the cake: Beat sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until well-blended, about five minutes. Add the egg and egg white, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lavender. Pour into 8-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Glaze: Combine ingredients, spread over hot cake. Cool in pan for 20 minutes on wire rack. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Squash with Lemon and Mint

Recipe adapted from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater

1 to 2 small zucchini or summer squash (about 14 ounces)
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt to taste

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then slice those halves into segments approximately ½-inch thick.

Peel the garlic and chop it coarsely. Warm olive oil in a shallow pan, then add the garlic, letting it fry for a minute over medium heat.

Add the squash to the pan and cook, turning the segments occasionally, until they are lightly golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Then, sprinkle the mint and parsley leaves over the squash, increase the heat, pour in the lemon juice and let the mixture bubble briefly. To serve, dress with a simple crumbling of sea salt.

Yield: 2 servings as a side dish

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.

—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) Sonnet 18
(before 1598)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
Sea Fever by John Masefield

Monday, July 4, 2011


Makes 1 quarts

Serve ice cream with ginger snaps or crumbled graham crackers.


  • 3/4 pound diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 pound diced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt 5 egg yolks


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine rhubarb, strawberries, ginger, 2 tablespoons sugar, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Transfer rhubarb mixture to a blender and carefully puree, in batches if necessary, holding a towel over the lid of the blender while blending. Remove lid and allow to cool. Refrigerate until chilled.
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup heavy cream, milk, remaining sugar and salt. Heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and temperature reaches 175 to 185 degrees F.
  4. Place eggs yolks in a 2-quart mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Place mixing bowl in a larger bowl and add ice to the larger bowl. Slowly pour half of the cream mixture into eggs, whisking vigorously to avoid curdling the eggs. Whisk egg mixture back into sauce pan and return to heat.
  5. Cook custard mixture, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do not boil. Add remaining heavy cream and rhubarb mixture, stirring to combine. Pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing firmly with the back of a spoon.
  6. Transfer strained custard back to the mixing bowl. Add water to large outer bowl and place mixing bowl in the cold water and allow to cool. Place in the refrigerator to chill. 7. Transfer custard to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until your are ready to eat.