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A Load of Lemons, Part I: Meyer Lemon Cake

Monday, 14. January 2013 5:25

More than a pound of lemons goes into this cake, along with almonds and candied ginger.

That’s what my backyard tree gifted me this winter: a load of Meyer lemons.

After last season’s dismal crop that netted me barely enough lemons to make a couple quarts of lemonade, I was overjoyed to see the bumper harvest this year from my one little dwarf tree.

When life gives you a load of lemons, you just have to use them, of course. In everything you can think of — and then some.

So, I couldn’t have been happier to spy this recipe for “Meyer Lemon Cake” in the new “The Sunset Essential Western Cookbook” (Oxmoor House), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook, by the editors of Sunset magazine, features more than 150 recipes that are so very Californian in spirit — everything from “Hangtown Fry” to “Char Siu-Glazed Pork and Pineapple Buns” to “Tagliatelle with Nettle and Pine Nut Sauce” to homemade fortune cookies.

This quite citrusy cake uses more than a pound of lemons. Most of them are pulverized — rind, pulp and all — to go into the cake batter, which contains no butter. Instead, ground almonds give it richness, along with five large eggs.

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Category:Fruit, General, Ginger, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (20) | Author:

Classy Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Ring In the New Year

Friday, 28. December 2012 5:25

12NtM's Blanc, a sparkling, non-alcoholic beverage.

If you’re the designated driver on New Year’s Eve or just prefer to imbibe something that won’t leave you tipsy, you’ll enjoy two new non-alcoholic beverages.

First up, 12NtM sparkling beverages, created by New York Chef David Burke.

Not surprisingly with that pedigree, they are a most elegant alternative to wines. The fizzy beverages come in a white, Blanc, and a red, Rouge. The Blanc is made with citrus, ginger, cardamom, herbs, spices, fruit juices and a blend of three teas. The Rouge features pomegranate, black currant, bergamot, juniper berry, herbs, spices, fruit juices and three different teas.

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Category:Chefs, Fruit, General, New Products | Comments (9) | Author:

Apple Brownies? You Bet!

Wednesday, 26. December 2012 5:25

Not your usual brownies. These are made with apples.

OK, technically, “Apple Brownies” are not brownies at all.

For one thing, there’s no chocolate in them.

But there are plenty of apples in a tender crumb that is suffused with cinnamon.

Plus, just like the best brownies, these bake up with an irresistible crackly texture on top. So much so, that just like brownies, you will be grabbing for the corner pieces first just to get as much of the sugary, crisp edges as you can.

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Category:Favorite Cookie Recipes, Fruit, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (15) | Author:

Italian Sweet Treats From Emporio Rulli

Friday, 23. November 2012 5:25

A fruitcake even fruitcake haters will love. A holiday specialty from Emporio Rulli.

After stuffing ourselves silly on Thanksgiving, it’s hard to fathom attacking more sweets.

But the Bay Area’s Emporio Rulli makes it so very hard to resist.

Especially when it comes to Italian specialty confections such as panforte and cialde wafer cookies, of which I just received samples of both.

I remember years ago during the winter, getting in line at a bakery in Siena, Italy, where panforte is a specialty. I had no idea why everyone was queued up, but I fell in behind everyone, hoping something wonderful awaited at the front. When my turn finally came, I bought what everyone else was buying — panforte. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I unwrapped it and took a bite. My expression fell immediately as I realized I had just spent money on a dreaded fruitcake. Not my fave, to say the least.

But Emporio Rulli’s version just might make a fruitcake believer out of you, as it did me. Unlike the one in Siena that was sticky, gooey soft, the Emporio Rulli one is extremely chewy and crunchy — more along the lines of a hard nougat. You’re hit with the unmistakable fragrance of oranges the minute you unwrap the round that’s studded completely with almonds, hazelnuts, apricots, candied orange peel and citron.

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Category:Bakeries, Fruit, General, New Products | Comments (8) | Author:

Bruce Aidells Part I: Turkish Lamb Shoulder Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 19. November 2012 5:25

A lamb dish strewn with pretty pomegranate seeds for the holidays.

If there’s one cookbook that I always recommend homecooks have on their shelf, it’s “The Complete Meat Cookbook” by the Bay Area’s meat expert, Bruce Aidells.

I’ve cooked numerous recipes out of it. I’ve also referred to it countless times for information on meat cooking times and the differences between various cuts. It’s a carnivore’s best one-stop resource.

So, I was counting the days for Aidells’ new version, “The Great Meat Cookbook” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), to be published.

It’s been more than a decade since Aidells, the founder and former owner of Aidells Sausage Company, wrote that first book. The new meat book is even more comprehensive. It’s updated with information on the “grass-fed” label, heirloom pork varieties, and includes recipes for not only lamb, beef, veal and pork, but bison and goat. What’s more, there are hundreds of handy-dandy color illustrations of just about every cut of meat you can think of, making it easier to pick them out at the grocery store.

The recipes span all-American comfort to global-inflected dishes. When I received my review copy of the book, it was the recipe for “Turkish Pomegranate-Glazed Lamb Shoulder Chops and Carrots” that caught my eye first.

First, I love lamb. Second, it’s such a pretty dish with jewel-like pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and fresh green herbs strewn over the chops.

Pomegranate seeds -- as pretty as rubies.

Third, the folks at Pom Wonderful had just sent me samples of their newest product, Pom Poms fresh pomegranate seeds or arils. Yes, they’ve eliminated the messy, stain-inducing task of digging the seeds out of a whole pomegranate. The new Pom Poms come in both 8-ounce and a 4.3-ounce sized containers. The latter even has a fold-able plastic spoon included so you can just open the container to start enjoying them.

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Category:Enticing Events, Fruit, General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (5) | Author: