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springtime chamomile tea cake with strawberry icing

 Good grief, Easter is in the rear view mirror and we are deep into this new year.  And once again it's tea time at my house.  This chamomile tea cake is a beautiful sweet addition to any tea ritual, especially my favorite, chamomile tea, which I rediscovered in my hotel room in Carmel earlier this fast moving year.  I highly recommend a slice of chamomile tea cake with strawberry 🍓 icing with a cup of chamomile tea to just take a moment and slow this year down.  Baking with tea is both creative and fun.  Earlier this year I made Earl Gray sugar cookies which are made using the same method of infusing the butter with loose tea.  For my tea cake I also rubbed the lemon zest into the sugar -another way to lend a pop of citrus to your baking. The strawberry icing is made using freeze dried strawberries, I pulverize them in my spice mill and then they are pressed through a fine sieve into the confectioner's sugar.  In addition to using lemon zest rubbed into the sugar for the cake
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butternut squash, leek and flageolet bean soup with sage walnut pesto

 Last week we were tricked, by our weather, to believe that winter was over.  One afternoon last week the temperature was over 85 degrees, almost 90.  I planted six tomato 🍅 plants, eggplants 🍆 peppers 🌶 two kinds of squash, cucumbers 🥒  and a few herbs 🌿  Just like that everything changed and a wintery bone chilling cold front blew in over the coast of Northern California and it was freezing 🥶 this morning. I'm also wondering why we don't have a squash emoji ??? with all the new emojis you think we would have one.  Today is a perfect soup weather day.  A spoonful of sage walnut pesto stirred into a hot bowl of soup is a small taste of wintered over potted herbs 🪴  I'm very thankful for these herbs 🌿 because they add so much flavor to my cold weather soups and other dishes, with a reminder of summertime.  I'm adding sweet basil to my garden as soon as this cold snap passes.  My husband and I loved this healthy flavorful butternut squash bean soup as I think you

Meyer lemon buttermilk pound cake with bright saucy lemon curd

  Attention readers: Today's post is a lemon buttermilk pound cake with lemon curd made using my Meyers.  One dozen medium small size Meyer lemons make a cup of fresh lemon juice, enough for about three cups of lemon curd.  I'm happy about that as I have a drawer in my fridge filled to the top with citrus, mostly lemons that need to be juiced and zested.  Making lemon curd is an annual event, making pound cake is more like semi-annual.  Looking for new lemon pound cake recipes is a casual hobby.  I find cake baking and curd making to be a nice distraction these days, I hope you enjoy my photo and the following recipes.  The lemon curd recipe for the pound cake makes extra (3 cups total) for your toast or as a dessert sauce.  Lemon curd sealed in a sterile canning jar will last several weeks in the fridge.  The Meyer lemon pound cake which is baked in a bundt pan isn't overly sweet while packing lots of lemon flavor, very nice for an afternoon tea. Ingredients and Recipes fo

Meyer lemon meringue pie with olive oil crust bursting with lemon flavor

  Lemon meringue pie is one of my favorite pies 🥧 Meyer lemons 🍋 from my potted Meyer lemon tree  and Eureka lemons from my backyard neighbor's huge lemon covered tree, work perfectly together to deliver both pucker power and brightness to my lemon meringue pies.  The olive oil crust was a new recipe for me, my go to pie 🥧  crust being all butter and we love it, but the olive oil crust is also a winner.  Olive oil pie crust is a good choice for this lemon meringue pie and while it's not a flaky butter type pie crust, it most definitely has a tender crumb with a rich flavor complementing the pie filling.  We go through bottles of olive oil, where does it all go?  Not just in salads, now I'm using olive oil in cakes and pastry, like, pie crusts-highly recommended.  I adapted this recipe from King Arthur Flour and I'm going to share it with you below 👇 with my instructions for a successful olive oil pie crust. Ingredi ents and Recipe for Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie with O

raspberry meyer lemon cheesecake bar cookies for valentines day

Raspberries and Meyer lemons showing up together here in a cheesecake bar cookie have this thing; it's a lively, tangy, bright and tasty flavor thing, I'm all about loving it and so will you. I love valentines ❤️  day.  The cards, gifts, treats, special dinners with your sweetheart, what's not to like? I made my raspberry Meyer lemon cheesecake bars to celebrate valentines ♥️  day yesterday so they would have an overnight in the fridge to firm up before cutting into bars, I still had trouble and they came out a bit messy, oh well.  They taste great anyway and I will make them again during our official raspberry season which comes earlier every year, not sure that's a good thing.  However, we are smack dab in the middle of lemon season and that feels normal and good.  My tree as well as all my neighbors who are lucky enough to have lemon 🍋  trees are all experiencing a huge lemon 🍋 crop.  I think lemon tart is my next baking project, meanwhile I'm enjoying 🍋  juic

goat cheese, fig and walnut apéro cake

  We're planning a trip to France 🇫🇷  this summer and of course I'm already thinking about the restaurants we will try and the meals, including apéro that we will be enjoying during our visit.  My husband and I are  going to the wedding of a dear friend in the South of France, in Antibes to be precise.  We are staying by the outdoor market which is wonderful, I visited the market a few years ago.  We will be surrounded by bakeries and cheese shops as well as assorted take away food emporiums.  Of course I had to take a small apartment in the middle of the old town which has many outdoor places to sip Rosé🍷  while nibbling on appetizers or apéro as they say in France, which sounds delightful.   I made this savory quick bread or cake inspired by Dorie Greenspan from The NY Times, so we could practice apéro -savoring small bites of thick sliced bread with glasses of crisp cold white wine- before dinner at home in Northern California before our trip this summer to the south of F

maple brown sugar bourbon blondies

  Besides the striking blonde color of these popular bar cookies, what makes a blondie a blondie?  Is it the lack of chocolate or is it the addition of brown sugar and the butter?  Or the maple or the bourbon?  Definitely not the maple or the bourbon, but don't leave those out.  Blondies have a dense texture, like a fudge brownie, neither gooey or cakey, we are not talking gooey bars here.  My vote is on the just right combination of brown sugar and the butter in the batter, they're just not blondies without a firm whisking to thicken these necessary ingredients. Also the nuts, I prefer chopped pecans sprinkled on top.  I've always been a fan of blondies, they are just so wholesome, almost a kind of health food.  I followed the NYT recipe fairly closely, with a few changes, so here is the recipe. Maple Brown Sugar Bourbon Blondies Ingredients and Recipe  Makes 16 bar cookies 1 stick or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 2 table