Recipe Round-up: March

March seemed to fly by, but not so fast that we didn’t savor the slow thawing of the earth and the promise of warmer days to come. There is something marvelous when the color of budding leaves makes its appearance on the trees, seemingly overnight. All of a sudden, there is an abundant chirping of birds and cacophony of frogs too. A striking shift that creeps in unawares. It never ceases to surprise.

Read More

Vintage recipes: Blitz Kuchen

Once, a long, long time ago, I embarked on a project called Vintage Recipes. Remember? You probably don't, and that's OK because it sure looks like I didn't either. But I'm finally getting a start! I'm looking forward to finding some unexpected winners. 

What's my idea for this project? First step, to interpret and flesh out the recipes. Some of them are very bare bones with obscure ingredients and directions.  I figure I'll follow the recipe with only minimal, if any, adjustments; then, if it seems to hold promise, I'll gradually fine tune it into a recipe I'll save forever. 

Up first: Blitz Kuchen. Lightning cake. Sounds like my kind of thing. From just a glance at the ingredients I knew not to expect anything wild and crazy, but simple and basic often produce classic, winning results (like my favorite scone and sugar cookie recipes).

Read More

Coconut crusted brown butter banana cake

The coconut topping gets caramelized during baking and creates a sweet, buttery, chewy topping. The browned butter adds depth of flavor and the cake is moist and tender. It's like the dressed up sister of banana bread. Plus, it passes for dessert and is still totally acceptable for breakfast. 

Read More

pumpkin cranberry cake with brown butter frosting

This is a recipe I discovered in a food magazine in high school, and I've been making it every fall ever since. The cake batter is so easy to mix up (no mixing aid required). It uses one full can of pumpkin puree (no leftovers to deal with). The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, adding a subtle earthiness and a delicious moistness to the cake. The cranberries add a bit of zing, and the Brown Butter Frosting takes this treat to the next level. 

Read More

Honey Almond Fig Cake

My husband's great-grandfather Giovanni was an avid and skilled gardener. He often comes up in family conversations, especially how he had twenty bee hives, how he would check on his bees every ten days without fail, how huge his honey extractor was, and how he would ever have on hand a little bear jar of honey to gift. One legacy of him remains in the fig trees in our backyard. They were branches from his very own fig trees that my in-laws replanted and cultivated until they became full-grown trees of their own.

Read More