I finally got around to making the cured lemons in Thomas Keller’s gorgeous Ad Hoc cookbook. You can access the recipe here. It’s a really simple process, and I thought the lemon slices looked so pretty with the sugar/salt mixture. The instructions say to wrap up the dish and keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
We have used our newly cured lemons in a marinade for halibut, in an aioli (with the halibut) as well as chopped up and tossed into quinoa. The intensity of the lemon flavor is wonderful, and we continue to brainstorm about other dishes we can use these in. Any suggestions are always welcome!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my spring giveaway!
This year I decided I would start some of my favorite summer plants by seed. I’ve never done this before, so I thought it would be fun to see how long it takes and I figured the sense of accomplishment would be even greater (assuming these little seedlings survive:). I purchased my seeds from Renee’s Garden, a wonderful California based seed company which has a wide variety of heirloom seeds. I ended up purchasing some Alpine Strawberry seeds (seedlings pictured), some cherry tomato and mesclun lettuce seeds. She also sells some wonderful mixed green cat grass seeds. Your cats will thank you if you grow some of these!
So all of my seeds have germinated at this point, but they are absolutely tiny. I have no idea whether they will survive. It seems impossible that such tiny seedlings could become real sized plants!
My other project is finally setting up a compost bin. I’ve wanted one for a long time, and with spring in the air, it is time. I found this great video about making your own compost bin on Sunset Magazine’s website. I can’t wait to not throw away any more kitchen scraps!
What are you planting this year?
This cake is absolutely scrumptious! It is not only super easy to make (all in one bowl), but it really is quite healthy given traditional chocolate cake recipes. It also fits my criteria of eating whole grains as much as possible.
Give it a try, you’ll be hooked!
Recipe & photo from Eating Well:
* 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup hot strong black coffee
* Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a circle of wax paper.
2. Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan, peel off the wax paper and let cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.
Original recipe can be found here. Enjoy!
I think that borrowing a cookbook from the library is the perfect way to test whether you really need to own it. My latest discovery is the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook. Typically I ignore branded cookbooks, but I am really liking this one. Given that I’m committed to eating whole grains wherever possible, I am totally intrigued by it’s extensive range of recipes.
Just the other day, my husband (a huge pancake lover and connoisseur) and I tried King Arthur’s Simple Spelt pancake recipe. They were absolutely yummy! If you are not familiar with spelt flour, you must try it (I find it at Whole Foods). It has a wonderful subtle nutty flavor to it which worked wonderfully with these pancakes.
Simple Spelt Pancakes
Yield: 16 pancakes
Cooking Time: 4-6 minutes
2 cups whole spelt flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 teaspoons vanilla (optional) - I would recommend it :)
Whisk together the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the milk and melted butter, and the vanilla if you’re using it. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened: it will seem very wet, but will thicken as it sits. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes. (this is very important)
Heat a non stick griddle. If your surface is not nonstick, brush it lightly with vegetable oil. When the surface of your pan is hot enough that a drop of water sputters across it, give the pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to eliminate excess oil. and spoon the batter onto the hot surface, 1/4 cupful at a time. Let the pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cakes, 2 to 3 minutes. When the cakes are just beginning to set flip them and let them finish cooking on the second side until they’re golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute more. Enjoy!
The next recipe we are going to try is their chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes :)