This weekend I made my first ever cake from scratch for some friends we had over for dinner. I took a Lemon butter cake recipe from epicurious, and modified it. The recipe called for the cake to be a white cake with some lemon zest, and the glaze would be lemon. But Zara wanted to ice and decorate the cake using sprinkles and pink icing. I really wanted the lemon to stand out in the cake so I did the following;
In a bowl, mix 1.5 cups sugar with 1.5 tea baking powder and 1/4 tea salt. In another bowl (I know, there’s a lot of bowl, but trust me, it’s worth it) mix 1/2 cup of whole milk, 1 tbl lemon zest and 1/2 tea of vanilla extract. Finally, in another bowl, mix together 1 stick of softened butter with 3/4 sugar. Once the sugar and butter is mixed (it should be soft yellow and fully incorporated), add 3 eggs, mixing them in one egg at a time. Then add the 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the milk mixture, flour mixture, milk mixture, flour mixture. You should now have cake batter! Now, add half of a fresh squeezed lemon, stir to incorporate. Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 35 minutes. I baked in a 9″ circular cake pan.
I then let the two little girls decorate the cake after dinner. This is what it looked like, sort of.
Then tonight, I decided to remake Nigella Lawson’s Rapid Ragu. I make this dish often, with ground beef instead of lamb, and halfway through cooking I realized I didn’t have two of the main ingredients. Ha! I improvised, whatever, it ended up behind delish.
What you’ll need
1 package of ground beef. It all depends on how many people you want to serve. I do a little under a pound.
1/2 stick of unsealed butter
1/3 cup of lentils
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of water
1 tea salt
1 tea pepper
1/4 cup of red wine
caramelize the onions using a little olive oil and the butter. This takes about 30 minutes or until the onions start to brown. Then brown the meat. Add tomatoes, wine, lentils, wine and water to mixture and simmer for 20 minutes. Add jalapeno and spices. Stir and taste. We serve this over rice with some grated extra sharp cheddar. I had it for a cheeky snack after I found out that I’m going to be one of the newest members of the Pilgrim Festival Choir. Soprano 1 baby! (Looking back it seems like I make a lot of chili like dishes…taking note!)