Almond Poppy Seed Cake
Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Recently, the taste of raw almonds has become pleasurable. The crunchiness of nuts has always been enjoyed when mixed into a dish. A bag of raw mix nuts isn’t a nice treat. It was a return flight from Europe to New York that started the appreciation of almonds, although it was unknown at the time. My seat was next to a window. A lady seated next to me kindly asked if I could switch seats with her new husband, for he was sitting in the middle aisle, next to an Italian family with a young boy. That’s a big favor to ask when looking forward to seeing the welcoming skyline that defines home. Read more

Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven
Buttermilk Pound Cake after being removed from the oven

As a child, the starting sound of a cake mixer being roared into action would lure me into the kitchen. My father gave me a spatula, and I would scrap the sides and the bottom of the bowl after each ingredient was added. Behind his back, I would lick the spatula and the spoon rest. The best taste was the creaming of the sugar and butter. The taste test would temporarily cease when the eggs were added. When the flour was added, the taste test would restart. After pouring the batter into the pan and placing it in the oven, my father would allow me to lick the bowl and the mixer’s beaters.

When I made this Buttermilk Pound Cake this past weekend, I recalled those taste tests as a child. Today, as an adult, there are no restrictions to the amount of cake batter I consume. Instead of scooping the batter with fingers or licking the spoon rest, a clean spoon is used each time I want a taste. I’m usually in a sugar-high state of mind by the time the cake goes into the oven. If the boyfriend caught me, he would remind me how unhealthy it is to eat cake batter because of the raw eggs. Some type of regulation is needed. I treat myself to the batter, because cakes are rarely made in this household of only two. Besides, when the cake was done and cooling on the rack, I went outside to run for 30 minutes, in freezing temperatures. Such sweet indulgences of childhood reminiscences are well deserved.

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Matcha Lemon Cake
Matcha Lemon Cake Garnished with Almonds
Matcha Lemon Cake Garnished with Almonds

If this recipe is made, would I receive the same sweet neurological reaction as that beloved Fried Green Tea Ice Cream? Two cups a day of Japanese Green tea helps keep the complexion clear. Green tea is a great detox drink after enjoying a fried and greasy meal. I can’t wait to try this recipe in the future… when I commit to five days of exercising and eating no sweets. Read more

News of Gourmet magazine’s future demise is disheartening. I’ve been trying to find the time to make this recipe since it appeared in the March 2009 issue. Between work, aspirations and promising myself, “If I do five days of exercise, I give myself permission to bake a cake,” I still haven’t found time to test this recipe. I thought I’ll salvage this recipe before Gourmet magazine’s website goes under. If you’ve made this recipe before me, let know how it comes out. Especially, if your version is different than Gourmet magazine’s version. Read more

Lavender Pound Cake
Lavender Pound Cake
Lavender Pound Cake

Please Note: This post was updated on Wed., Aug. 11, 2010.

During the weekend, a visit was scheduled to help a girlfriend who recently moved into an apartment. I can sympathize with anyone’s move. I once moved three times in one year. The experience of packing and unpacking is exhaustive. Being upended from familiar friends, a neighborhood and an apartment are unsettling. Moving has never been a good transition. I have the personal horror stories to validate horrid feelings.

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