Lemon Pound Cake

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A classic pound cake by itself is basic and simple to make, but with the addition of lemon and lemon-glaze topping will transform and elevate it to another level of deliciousness.  The cake is moist with a subtle lemon flavor and the sweet/tart glaze rounds it out well.  Pair it with coffee or tea for a late morning or an afternoon snack will be wonderful.  The following Lemon Pound Cake recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine.

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A quick tip before assembling the ingredients, grate the lemon zest first, then squeeze out the lemon juice.

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Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

Pound Cakes
1    cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3    cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
¾   cup low-fat buttermilk
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
⅓   cup fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoon salt
½   teaspoon baking powder
½   teaspoon baking soda
2     cups sugar
5     large eggs

Lemon Glaze
2    cups confectioners’ sugar
2    tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 tablespoon water {depending on the desired thickness of the glaze}

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°

1.  Butter and flour two 4½-by-8½-inch loaf pans or similar size.

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2.  With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

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3.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice.

4.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

5.  With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts and buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat just until smooth {do not overmix}.

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6.  Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth the top.

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7.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes in pan.  Turn out cakes onto a rack to cool.

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To make the lemon glaze:

1.  Place 2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.

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(Caleb was my assistant in whisking the icing)

2.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water until smooth, thick and pourable.

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3.  While the loaves are slightly warm, spread the icing over the top and let it drip over the sides.

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Cut the Lemon Pound Cake into thick slices and serve.

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Mother’s Day is not too far away, make the lemon pound cake a day ahead and it will be a lovely addition to serve on this special occasion.

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· print recipe ·

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Posted by Kay

1 comments

Invite a touch of Spring Into Your Home

Spring flowers

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The beauty of the spring season is upon us, bare branches have been replaced with emerging soft green leaves and buds.  Colorful flowering bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and blue bells are blooming and brightening the landscape around us. By bringing a little bit of spring flowers inside, we can enjoy the season even more. The use of flowers is one of the simplest ways to set the mood and change the decor of a room. For me, it’s like having a little bit of sunshine inside the house on a gray and rainy day. The selections at my local grocery stores have been a joy to see and in abundance.  Recently I spotted these soft yellow and white double-flowered tulips {above left} there and decided to pick up a few bundles to bring home. Without having to fuss much with them but to clip a little bit off the bottom of each one of the stems and provide a pretty container filled with water, they were ready to be on display.  Flowers such as hyacinths {right, bottom} will fill the room with natural fragrance. Pink mascari bulbs {right, top} were used in an arrangement as a part of the table centerpiece, here. There are many ways to invite a touch of spring into your home, here I have shared a few simple ideas that I hope you will enjoy.

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Spring flowers - tulips

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Spring flowers - tulips

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Spring flowers tulips

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Kitchen things & cleaning

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Spring flowers - daffodils

To give these daffodils structure and interest, the stems were gathered together and tied with a rubber band and place in a glass vase at an angle. A small bundle of flowers can brighten a corner of a room or any other part of the house.

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Spring flowers hyacinths & chicken 2173 wh1000x1200-1

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Spring flowers & chickens

I purchased these hyacinth bulbs with the intention of replanting them in another container and bring them inside the house.  As I started to assemble the bulbs, our chicken came to see what I was doing.  She is a curious one and very friendly.  When I’m outside, she will follow me around and wait for me to give her something wonderful to eat, especially when I’m digging.

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Spring flowers

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Spring flowers - hyacinths

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Spring flowers & inspiration board

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Easter flower-egg arrangements

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Easter flower-egg arrangements

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Easter flower-egg arrangements

To get the step by step on how to put this arrangement together, click here.

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Spring flowers - tulips

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Spring flowers - tulips

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Spring flowers - tulips

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Spring flowers - tulips

A beautiful flower arrangement doesn’t have to be time consuming  or expensive.  By picking just one or two types of fresh flowers like these tulips will create an elegant and beautiful bouquet. Less time and big impact.

I hope you enjoy the spring season!

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For more spring flower arrangements: 〈  1  〉〈  2


Posted by Kay

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Roasted Zucchini and Carrots

Roasted vegetables - zucchini & carrots

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I hope you are enjoying and embracing all that the spring season has to offer.  As the seasons change from winter to spring, I look forward to the warm weather and the newness of things to come.  Trees are blossoming and flowering bulbs are emerging from the ground here in the Pacific Northwest.   I’ve been trying to get a good head start on planting, cleaning, and organizing the yard and garden…a little progress so far. We lost a few plum trees over the winter from the heavy fallen snow.  Bill was able to remove those fruit trees and made room for a new fig tree.  I hope to have a nice harvest from it this fall.  The rain has been constant with few breaks in the sky and as a result the lush green vegetation is vibrant and new again. Change is constant and as the seasons change, so do we.

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Roasted vegetables - zucchini & carrots

As I prepare to move forward and start blogging again after a long break from it, a simple blog post on how to prepare and roast young baby carrots and zucchini is a nice start.  The recipe is easy to prepare and requires almost no trimming and some peeling {optional}.  By roasting the vegetables, they caramelize and it brings out their natural sweetness. I have chosen to combine a variety of baby carrots of different colors along with baby green zucchini for a visually pleasing and pretty presentation as a side dish.

Roasted vegetables - zucchini & carrots

Roasted vegetables - zucchini & carrots

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· print recipe ·

serves 4

Ingredients:

1  pound of mixed baby zucchini and carrots {optional – peeled}
2  tablespoons olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves {peeled}
salt and pepper to taste

{Here is a list of other vegetables that will be just as wonderful for roasting: potatoes, asparagus, green beens, mushrooms, beets, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, cherry tomatoes, and peppers.}

Preheat oven to 400º F.

1.  Wash and dry the vegetables.  Trim off any long tips or stems.

2.  Place the vegetables and garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3.  Drizzle vegetables and garlic cloves with olive oil and toss to coat.

4.  Spread vegetables out in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5.  Bake at 400º F for 25 to 30 minutes until tender.

Roasted vegetables - zucchini & carrots

A healthy and simple side dish to make this spring.

· print recipe ·

Other recipes you might like:
roasted butternut squash soup
roasted potatoes & haricots verts


Posted by Kay

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Pretty and Simple Packaging Idea for Valentine’s Day

Valentine packaging

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Today I am sharing a pretty and simple packaging idea to make for Valentine’s Day. With a few basic supplies, some sweet treats of your choice {macarons}, and a little bit of time to assemble, these gifts will be ready to give. For something as simple as these mini packages, a little care and attention to detail was important to make them special.  To dress up the basic glassine bags, pink ribbon was used to give the bags a nice pop of color. The handmade heart tags were added for a personal touch. A wonderful way to share with others the yummy treats enclosed inside the gift package.

 

I hope these ideas will be fun to put together for Valentine’s Day or for other occasions.

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Valentine packaging

As an alternative to chocolate or candy for Valentine’s Day, each one of the treat bags will be filled with a French macaron.

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

Supplies:

1  glassine bags {3¾ X 6¼ inches}
2  treats to fill the bags {macarons}
3  scissors
4  decorative paper for cutting
5  glue stick
6  decorative tape
7  twine
8  ribbon
9  hole punch {⅛” hole size}

To get started, fill each glassine bag with a macaron and tie it with a ribbon.  Repeat the process until all are the treats are packaged up.

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Valentine packaging

To make heart tags:
Choose a decorative paper and cut it into smaller rectangular pieces,  approximately  3½-4 inches by  2-2½ inches.  Fold one of the small pieces of paper in half and cut out with scissor a heart shape to make two paper hearts {see above pic}. If you are not comfortable cutting freeform hearts with a pair of scissors, you can lightly trace out a heart shape on the paper first then cut them out. Glue the back sides of the two hearts together to give strength and weight to the tag. Repeat the steps with the other pieces of paper.

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Valentine packaging

After cutting and gluing the two hearts together, punch a hole near the top center of the heart shape paper.

To attach twine to the hart shaped paper:
Cut a piece of twine about 10-12 inches long, fold it in half and insert the folded end through the punched hole, pull about an inch or two out, and loosen it apart to make an opening. Take the two loose ends of twine and pull them through the opening to tighten and attach it to the paper.

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

Attach a tag to a bag by tying or taping it.  Personalize it with a written note or a person’s name.

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

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Valentine packaging

a simple and sweet gift to give for Valentine’s Day.

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Posted by Kay

2 comments

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Fresh Pink Roses

Valentine's Day Cake and Misc

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This is a rich and decadent chocolate cake that you will want to make for Valentine’s Day or any other occasion.  There is no flour added and with just a few basic good quality ingredients you will be able to make this light and very moist cake. As it bakes, a thin crust will form on the surface and break apart slightly for a pretty and delicate appearance.  Enjoy the cake with a light sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar or a dollop of whipped cream on the side.

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