Wednesday, July 22, 2009

North Woods and Cakes

I went on a lovely 5-day ladies trip to Wisconsin with 3 co-workers. It was such a nice, relaxing time. While there I read The Jane Austen Book Club. I have seen the movie and was looking for a light and easy read for my trip. It was enjoyable and just a fun little read. If you need a quick pick- me-up, look for it at your library. Side note: Isn't it so interesting how books can be transformed by a movie? There are scenes and characters in the book that are blown-up, vamped, and made to be the proverbial mountain out of molehill. The book is sweet, the movie is sweet, but in different ways. While I was gone a beautiful little thing happened. I had a NEW oven and dryer delivered from Sears. My new oven is not only clean and new, but has a ceramic top, 5 working and smell-free burners, a steady temperature in the oven, and there's a light! I love it! The dryer is great too. It runs in a normal amount of time and makes a nice loud 'ding' sound when done. So happy!

Which brings me to my next point. I made a delicious honey vanilla pound cake with cherries as the inaugural bake in the new oven. It was so yummy.

Here's the recipe from Ina Garten, THE Barefoot Contessa.

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake (Ina Garten)

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ a jar of maraschino cherries or another fruit of choice, cut in half (my own addition)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8½ x 4½ x 2½ inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and add the fruit by folding gently. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely.

Good eats to you and to my "roomies".

Here's the results if you cook like Ina and photograph like Quentin Bacon
(I kid you not, a food photographer named Bacon).


  1. I love that you love the Barefoot Contessa & The Jane Austen book club. Both 2 of my faves... Thanks for blogging. Look forward to following you guys!

  2. The cherries were my idea! Tasted great, but didn't quite look the same. If only Mr. Bacon were here...