Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

I have a little bone to pick … with life that is.

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Why is Meyer lemon season seriously .0823123 seconds long?!?! And how the heck to I get my hands on some without them going bad?!

See, originally I wanted to make this recipe using Meyer lemons – because they’re so little and cute and lemony, but not super tart. So I bought a bag ( I could have bought a car for less … by.the.way. – not the point) I ended up keeping them on my counter for a couple of days – and poof – they turned.

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Heartbreak.

So I used regular lemons. And this bread came out spectacular however if you have Meyer lemons, please use them instead and kindly send me a slice of bread … and a box of tissues.

Rant over.

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Also, why do people say, I have a bone to pick .. that’s gross – I’m kind of wishing I didn’t say that now. But what’s done is done – when life gives you lemons – make bread … okay, now I’m definitely wishing I didn’t say that. Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t on the floor laughing.

….

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Normally, I share what I bake for the blog with family, friends and co-workers – this bread though, it didn’t even make it out of our home … the top gets so crusty and it smells so lemony as it bakes. I’m clearly welcoming spring with open arms with the combination of lemon and coconut – it was a gamble with the citrus and sweet coconut buuuttt Daaaamn, Daniel!

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Lemon, Coconut Sweet Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp Malibu rum
  • 2 c milk
  • ⅔ c olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine brown and granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, sea salt, lemon zest and dried coconut.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, lemon juice, milk, Rum and olive oil.

Combine, the wet and dry ingredients.

Pour into a well-greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour ( it should pass the crumb test by this point)

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Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

If I send out spring energy into mother nature, do you think she’ll reciprocate and make spring actually come to be?!

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So we’re a week into April, and I won’t complain too much – I know we didn’t have a terrible winter but dudes – I’m so ready for spring! I want to wear open toe shoes, cute flowy dresses, I want to be able to finally leave my huge-mongous winter jacket behind!! Also … there’s tons of ice cream to be eaten on bright balconies – priorities.

Could there BE anything more spring than lemons?! Well, tulips maybe … and I’ve been trying to flood my kitchen with them – but lemons to me, with that burst of tang – ahhhh brrring on the spring!!

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Today’s Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies are dainty and kind, but relatable. They would fit in beautifully over tea, but put them out at a lemonade stand ( do kids still do this?!) and they’ll be gone in no time. The cookies are sweet, savory and a little tangy – most importantly, you’ll want them in your face as soon as they come out of the oven!!

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Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar + 2 tbsp (separated 1/2 cup by 2 tbsp)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tbsp lemon zest  (separated 1tbsp x 1 tbsp)

1 tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)

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Directions

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Pre-heat oven to 350 oc.

In large bowl, combine margarine, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl whisk together baking soda, cornstarch, flour and 1 tbsp lemon zest.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp thyme. Massage together to release all of the lemon-thyme extracts.

Scoop out cookie dough using a 1 tbsp scoop, roll into a ball and gently roll in lemon-thyme-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 9 minutes, and remove from baking tray right away.

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Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

Like most holidays eater weekend means …

An extra day off – yay!!

Tons of food – yay!!

Tons of easter/bunny/spring themed snacks – yay!!

And chocolate – yaaaaay! Yaaaaayyy!! Yaaaayy!!

And naps, there are bound to be a couple naps!

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Again, this year we’ll be doing our annual Easter egg hunt for my parents – seriously, this is the best thing ever. Often my parents would forget where they hid the candy, normally turning into a huge mess, so one year – I think my brother and I were probably in our early 20’s- we turned the tables, and decided to hide candy for my mom and dad.

Best.idea.ever.

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I’ve never seen anything as funny, and they totally get into it. ahhh parents, gotta love them!! Speaking of parents, I feel like I haven’t been home in forever – seriously, I live less than an hour away, and the last time I saw them was like a month ago. It.breaks.my.heart.

But also, real life … I guess. So I’m even more excited than ever to be spending the weekend with them!! Also, there’s nothing like mom’s home cooking in exchange for making her Easter bread…. And carrot cake.

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DEAL!!

Take a lookie look at the cake I got for you today – carrots, cinnamon pecans, annnddd ohhh look at that cream cheese frosting! Sooo … a muffin with frosting?! – pretty much, at least that’s how I was able to justify it when I ate it for breakfast – plus carrots, nuts, dairy in the frosting …. I’m pretty much eating kale.

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Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 1/2 cups + 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( divided 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp – 2 tbps)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cup brown sugar

6 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 ½  cups flour

¾  cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp. + 1 Tsp ground cinnamon (divided 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

¼  tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 large carrots peeled ( 1 finely grated – 2, coarsely chopped)

1 tin pineapple rings

2 Tbsp Honey

Prepared cream cheese frosting  (or you can make your own … )

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine chopped carrots, 2 tbps oil, 2 tbsp honey and 1 tsp cinnamon and pineapple rings. Roast for 30 minutes. Once finished removed from oven.

Lower the oven to 350 oc and allow carrot-pineapple combo to cool.

Grease and flour  one large 12-inch round baking pan or two 9-inch round baking pans.

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients flours, remaining cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, ginger until combined.

Add cooled carrot-pineapple mixture to a blender, and blend to a thick paste ( it should resemble apple sauce) – you may have to add a little bit a water to help the process.

Combine all wet and dry ingredients.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare cinnamon pecan brittle

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Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 egg white

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg white, honey, salt and cinnamon.

Toss nuts in the egg white mixture to coat.  Pour nut mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, until nuts are browned.

Allow nuts to cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.

 

Assembling the cake

Once cake and brittle has cooled, level off both carrot cakes and break apart brittle.

Divide each cake horizontally (leaving you with 4 or 3 cakes depending on the size of pan used), between each layer, slater on the prepared cream cheese frosting, top with next later of cake. Repeat for all layers. Top the last layer of cake, with your brittle.

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Happy Easter everyone!!

 

Raspberry Rose Gin Lemonade

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I’m back from Cuba… and if I’m being honest real life is so blah compared to vacation life.

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Real life = responsibilities. Waking up early. Eating healthy. working out. Grocery shopping. Doctors appointments. Aka BLLLAAAAHHH … as compared to vacation life where my most pressing decisions were; pool or ocean ? What colour bikini should I wear? To nap, or not to nap? Let’s eat French fries at 3:00 am with Cuban ketchup that tastes like barbecue sauce!!

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Is there a world, where real life could equal vacation life? If so, can someone show me the magic door … I’ll race you to it.

In case anyone was wondering, the trip was amazing … the beach was BEAUTIFUL … the food was surprisingly pretty good ( I honestly had absolutely no expectations for good food)… and the drinks were mehh; for those who know me, I’m a Gin girl. The gin in cuba was just different, I couldn’t drink it …. So I had Vodka and OJ / Lemonade all week … I know snnnnooorreee.

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And while they tasted incredibly strong, they weren’t … there were at least a dozen times I should have been drunk… and I just wasn’t.

Soooo … in a way, I’m glad to be back … and to have my gin (how much of a lush do I sound like?!?)

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 Raspberry Rose Gin Lemonade

6 cups water

2/3 cups sugar

1 cup lemonade concentrate

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsps rose water

¼ cup Gin

1/2 cup crushed raspberries

Sprigs of fresh Thyme ( it just makes things pretty… and it’s completely optional)

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Directions: 

Place 2 cups of water and the sugar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Mix the lemon concentrate, salt, and cooled simple syrup together.

Add remaining water to taste. Stir in rose water.

In a large pitcher add crushed raspberries & gin.

Add lemonade. Mix well.

Chill for 2 hours, or serve immediately over ice.

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So Fresh, So Clean, So Summer!! Cheers ❤

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Victorian Sponge tea Cake

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Woooooooooooo it’s May 2-4 weekend … except it’s not May 24th heh. But we’re full on celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Vicky-darling, you look marvelous in your blingout crown and swanky dresses!!

What that means for us regular folks iss…..

Fireworks

Strawberry Short cake

Suuuunnnshhhiiinnne

And the cottage …

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YEEESSSS – for most Canadian’s this weekend is the official – unofficial first weekend of summer!! And I can’t wait to get it started 🙂 … ironically I also always start celebrating my birthday this weekend … even though it’s still a couple days away. It’s part of our family tradition… while I refuse to blow out my candles earlier than the actual day ( apparently it’s bad luck) I WILL be indulging in cake, ice cream, and wearing pretty things that make me want to shoot sparkles out of my fingertips.

I’m puuuuuuuuuuuuuumped!!

Mr. LTSL and I actually have a crazy packed weekend ahead of us … spending the weekend at my parent’s place … engagement … wedding … Food Truck Eats at peller estates ( HELLO … pretty much my idea of a mini Disneyland … and there will be wine) .. picnics at the lake… brunching… laughing … loving… did I mention there will be cake?!

Speaking of cake, look at this beauty.

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Victorian sponge… it’s a thing. And its crazy delicious … and wicked *that word that rhymes with joist  … but starts with an “M” and makes my blood crawl when anyone says it*aaaannnd it’s so pretty and dainty.

Whether with a cup of afternoon tea, or downed with ice cold lemonade … I feel like you should get jiggy with this cake ( I welcome anyone that wants to pull me out of the 90’s … except don’t because I secretly want to forever be Kelly Kapowski)

This would also be an amazing base for a strawberry short cake … ooorrr double/triple the recipe for a layered naked cake …. WINNING!

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Victorian Sponge tea Cake

 Ingredients:

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/4 cups 2% milk

2/3 cups butter

Raspberry jam

Icing sugar ( for decoration)

Berries ( optional, for decoration)

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Directions:

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1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large doughnut pan or an 8 inch cake pan . Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, beat eggs thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar and vanilla.

3) Sift flours and baking powder. Gradually add to batter, beating at low speed just until smooth.

4) In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter just until butter is melted. Gradually add to batter and beat just until combined.

5) Pour baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

6) Once cooled –  on one half spread with a thick layer of raspberry jam, on the second half spread with cool whip. Sandwich the two halves together

7) heavily dust with icing sugar & top with berries if desired

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Happy days my lovely interweb friends

Condensed Milk Pound Cake

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We should eat cake

You know, since it’s almost bikini season and all that jazzy-ness!!

Heh. Bikinis … such a joke.

They’re such itty-bitty, stress inducing son of a guns.

I saw we forget our worries and fill the voids of our life with delicious – dense Condensed Milk pound cake?!?!

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Obvs.  Like there is another rational option. Hiiii – and life is all about balance ( no, not a slice of cake in each hand … hehehe )

This cake is lightly sweetened, crazy smooth, and extremely dense – it would make the perfect base for a strawberry short cake,– or loaded with ice cream on top, or a fruit trifle!! Side note … every time I hear the world trifle – I think of Destiney’s child – You triflin’, good for nothing type of brother….. Silly me, why haven’t I found another? Stop it, don’t tell me, you don’t listen to a little Destiney’s child now and then.

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Maybe you don’t maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m super addicted to 90’s music right now .. Maybe this post is super random and I should stop babbling and just get to the cake recipe.

Done.

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Condensed Milk Pound Cake

  •  1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Margarine at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

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 Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8½ x 4½ inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. In the bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg until well blended. Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and lemon juice to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn the pound cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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Wisdomist Wednesday : Spring Time

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Dudes and dudettes ….

I’m SO ready for spring!! Ironically, last Friday … the first day of spring – I crashed with the flu.

The flu.

In March.

WTF.SOMEONE.BRING.ME.WINE.

I was all – cough cough – warm blankets – crazy hair – snooze control. Seriously, I was all 7 dwarfs rolled into one!!

Thankfully, through amazing babysitting from Mr. LTSL ( it was babysitting … he was all – eat your veggies, don’t stay up to late … and I was all like –  and crazy amounts of Gatorade I’m much better. Annnnnddd now all I want is sun sun sunsssshhhhiiiinnne.

I already have huge spring plans, first – loose the million layers and dark colours I seem to always be wearing.

I want floral – I want flowy – I want bright.

Bring on the walks in the park – fresh markets and heeeeellllllloooo food festivals.

There’s already so much going on in Toronto – fashion week just finished, underground foodcentric partaaays, St. Lawrence Market ( not that I need it to be spring time, but it makes walking there so much nicer). I’m reeeeeaaaaaaddddddyyyyy for it all!!

I sound like a brat in today’s post … sorry for the squealing and ranting. I’m just over winter, it’s so 2014 – aren’t you craving patios, sunglasses, pretty tulips, lemon desserts and sangria’s ?!?