Hoar Frosted World

January 29, 2012

“The frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind.”
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Frosty flowers in a winter garden

“Thick blows my frosty
breath abroad;
and tree and house,
and hill and lake,
are frosted like
a wedding cake.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson

The frost-gilded world is magical.  It’s amazing that a gray palette can be so varied and interesting!  Here are some photos from a cold winter morning in Seattle:

Our bushes

Frosty paths at Green Lake

Delicate leaf skeleton in the grass

Frosted purple cabbage

Green cabbage rimed in white

Frosted seed head

Frosted flowers in a winter garden

Another view, new focus

Single frosted flower

Red Berries

June 28, 2010

Red raspberries, some ripe for the picking

Succulent red strawberry

“Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”
     — Wendell Berry (whose name is very apt for this quote!) 

I wanted to serve fresh strawberries for dessert accompanied by some kind of lemon cake.  So I looked through my stash of yet-to-be-tried recipes and found this one from Cupcakes:  Luscious Bakeshop Favorites from Your Home Kitchen by Shelly Kaldunski: 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes 

1 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 c sour cream 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I used cupcake liners instead.) 

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon extract, and beat until combined.  Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.  Add the sour cream and beat until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 – 20 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. 

If desired, spoon a lemon glaze over the cupcakes.  The glazed cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcake

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes ready for glaze

Seasonal Berries

June 20, 2010

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake

Who can resist eating seasonally when it’s berry time! 

I recently came across a cake recipe that used strawberries and raspberries.  But what appealed to me was that this was a coconut cake.  When I saw this magic combination of ingredients, I resolved to try the recipe.  It was as good as it sounded.  I think it would also make a delicious and fancy coffee cake for breakfast.

You can find the recipe at http://www.heyladygrey.com/2010/06/raspberry-strawberry-coconut-cake.html#more, but I’ll reproduce it for you here as well:

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 cup)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup raspberries (use frozen or fresh – but put in freezer for 10 minutes before mixing in, so they retain their shape).
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch cake pan.
Beat the butter & sugar until creamy. Then beat in the eggs & milk.
Mix the dry ingredients, and gently mix into the wet.
Very gently fold in the strawberries and frozen raspberries.
Spoon batter into cake pan and bake for 1 -1.5 hours, until an inserted cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

Ingredients for the cake

Chilled, rimed raspberries

Raspberry Strawberry Coconut Cake lightly dusted with powdered sugar

Farmers’ Markets

August 24, 2009

Vendor at the University Farmers' Market

Vendor at the University Farmers' Market

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to buy fresh, local produce at our neighborhood farmers’ markets.  The farmers appear in the various Seattle neighborhoods on a rotating schedule, so we have access to a market nearly every day of the week. 

Blueberries and raspberries for sale

Blueberries and raspberries for sale

Bouquet in a backpack

Bouquet in a backpack

Buyer selects a yellow pepper

Buyer selects a yellow pepper

Loading up on fresh produce

Loading up on fresh produce

Selecting a red pepper

Selecting a red pepper