fresh ginger-lemon cake

Ginger-lemon cake
January seems to be the month people flip their internal switches from out-of-control, wild bingers of rich food and drink to wholesome souls sucking down juice meals, promising to spend each and every day at the gym sweating out their toxins.

Or so that’s what some major retailers want us to think, according to the huge display I saw at Whole Foods on January 2. It was a tower more than 15 feet high, precariously constructed out of crates of lemons, bottles of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and jugs of maple syrup; all the ingredients necessary for the Master of Cleanses.

lemon ginger sugar fresh ginger

Post-holiday detox probably isn’t a bad idea, considering the amount of wine corks that pile up around me, but I’ve never submitted to a juice fast, for 2 reasons:

1. I’m afraid I might perish from hunger and then get very, very cranky; which is what tends to happen when I don’t eat in regular 3 hour intervals.

2. I associate the word “cleanse” with “not clean”.  As in dirty. You can take it from there.

My approach is a little gentler and keeps the tremors at bay. I just stick to eating all the real, fresh food I usually do and drink lots of water. The sugars and alcohol get pushed back into careful moderation.

I believe moderation includes a slice of cake, and my very favorite kind of cake is plain and simple, one that I can toast for a snack with some really good apricot or raspberry jam.

This is the most basic of pound cakes,  hit with enough ginger and lemon to freshen your inner being. Way better than drinking juice, I think.

fresh ginger lemon cake

Fresh ginger-lemon cake

Serving Size: 10 - 12 servings

Ingredients

  1. 1 tablespoon plus 2 sticks butter at room temperature
  2. 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
  4. 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  5. 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  6. ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  7. 2 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325; butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 –inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Put ¼ cup sugar in a pie dish or shallow bowl; add the lemon zest and ginger and massage the two together with your fingers. You can also use a small wooden spoon or a fork, but you will miss the aromatic therapy.
  3. Beat the 2 sticks butter in a heavy-duty standing mixer on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the ginger-lemon sugar and beat for a few seconds before adding the remaining 1 cup sugar; beat 2 minutes, until lightened and fluffy.
  4. Lower the mixer speed and drizzle in the eggs and salt; beat on medium-high speed for 2 more minutes – the mixture might look curdled but don’t worry. Slow the mixer to stir, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add half the flour; mix 15 seconds before adding the remaining flour. Mix just until there’s no more flour visible.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake 1 hour; insert a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the cake. If wet crumbs cling to the skewer, bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack 15 minutes before carefully loosening the sides with a knife. Turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely.
http://familystylefood.com/2013/01/fresh-ginger-lemon-cake/

Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

When I was in Portland recently, I tasted turnips for the first time without thinking they were just another form of rutabaga – in other words – old, starchy tubers.

The pickled turnips I ate at Nedd Ludd restaurant were small, tender and sweet; a revelation.

A few days later I took some home from the farmer’s market, tiny, bright garnet – colored babies that looked very much like radishes.

I cooked them simply, inspired by Julia Child. After blanching them briefly I cooked them again in a skillet until they were glazed in caramelized butter.

I liked them so much I was inspired to post the recipe on my other blog, Dinner with Julia. It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to do that…go check it out for the recipe.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

Serving Size: 2 -4 side dish servings

Ingredients

  1. 2 bunches small turnips (about 4 cups)
  2. 2 tablespoons butter
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1/2 cup stock or water
  5. Sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the turnips and trim the greens, if attached, and reserve for steaming or sauteeing, if desired.
  2. If the turnips are young and tender, there is no need to peel, otherwise peel larger turnips and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Blanch the turnips in a small saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the sugar. Add the turnips and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring now and then, until the turnips are coated with the glaze and nicely caramelized.
  5. Season with some sea salt and black pepper before serving.
http://familystylefood.com/2010/08/baby-turnips-in-caramel-butter/