Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nathan's Lemon Cake

After taking several years to consider the following statement, I am ready to announce that Nathan's Lemon Cake is my favorite dessert ever. So refreshing and so sweet. The lemon flavor is so fresh every bite feels like a summer time picnic, playing whiffle ball on fresh cut grass, all while taking down a cold glass of recently pressed lemonade.

Nathan's Lemon Cake

Servings: 16
from Cooking Light Magazine, May 2008

Cooking Spray
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
lemon rind strips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare cake, coat two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Dust pans with 2 tablespoons flour, and set aside. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.

Place granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended
(about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon rind and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Pour batter into prepared pans; sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack; remove wax paper from cake layers.

To prepare icing, combine powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients (except lemon rind strips) in a large bowl stir with a whisk until smooth. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread half of icing on top of cake. Top wit remaining cake layer. Spread remaining half of icing over top of cake. Garnish with lemon rind strips, if desired.

Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ice Age Headphones

Without counting the obvious and ever-important things such as my wife, my family, the Gospel, and food, perhaps the thing that I have a hard time going an extended perioud time without would have to be music.

Life is well-deserving of a soundtrack. There is plenty of recorded sound out there to pair with almost any weather, mood, setting, necessity out there. And until someone (my guess would be Apple) figures out how to create some omnipresent playing of music that somehow only you can hear as you walk down the street (a la "Stranger Than Fiction"), I will gladly confine my OST to a pair of headphones.

Here comes the dilemma.

One week ago, my headphones mysteriously went missing.

This is not the first time. I have a horrible habit of leaving important things in unimportant places, particularly my car keys under the church pew. However, the lost item is usually found within the day, or at least the next. I was missing out on prime listening time. The grounds of Provo were covered in snow and nostalgia always brings me back to Bon Iver's "For Emma, Forever Ago" to appreciate the calm peacefulness that a snowfall can bring. But without headphones, I was stuck with my own thoughts and the sounds of rubber tires spinning on ice.

7th day without headphones...the plot thickens.

This brings me to today. I had been especially missing my headphones. I knew I had a walk to campus and a trip to the gym on my schedule today, two activities that should hardly ever been attempted without music. I drove to work in the dark morning, taking in as much iPod as I could in the car. The snow around town has mostly melted by this point. A warm front and brief rainstorms had helped clear the streets. I pulled into my favorite workplace parking spot (its free picking at 6:30 AM) and put the car in park.

As I opened the door my eyes looked down and I beheld one of Winter's most beautiful sights: a pair of silver headphones! Not just any headphones either, these were my headphones. My heart leapt with joy as my brain fired away, trying to figure out how they got there, and how they went seven days untouched.

My conclusion is this:

My headphones must have dropped from my car/pocket/backpack/jacket sometime last week at work. Not noticing, I must have driven away, completely satisfied with the speakers in my car. My headphones must have been preserved in the snow, like Brandon Frazier in "Encino Man," held in a safe place until one week later, the snow would melt and I would find them, lying perfectly next to my parking spot.

When it comes down to either a pleasant day in the sun, or a chilly winter's snowstorm, I will almost always choose the former, but this time, I am in debt to a nice coat of snow.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And we're back...

Well, look who's back. Sorry it has been a long time since we last posted (over 18 months if you were curious). The New Year has found us busy as always, but hungry as ever.

The blog you are reading is heading into a new direction. Due to the consistent encouragement of a few select friends, we will now be widening the parameters of our posting and including more general adventures of Katie and Keith (we do do some fun things that don't involve food...doodoo hahaha).

But for now, enjoy a classic completely consumptual post: Roasted turkey breast, potato-gruyere gratin, roasted vegetables. Oh yeah, and Katie's RIDICULOUS honey-peanut butter rice krispie treats.

Roasted asparagus with grape tomatoes


The completed meal

please stop staring.