Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

In foodie circles, Meyer lemons seem to be the nectar of the gods. So of course I can never find them here. But last week there they were in the produce department, and you better believe I bought a whole bag.

They are lemons crossed with an orange, I believe, to create a sweeter, more complex tasting lemon with a lovely bright yellow color.

Martha’s recipe for Meyer lemon coffee cake looked absolutely divine in the photo, so I decided to give it a try.

After reading on another blog that you can’t substitute a regular pan for an angel food cake pan with this recipe, I had to improvise one with a springform pan and a tiny glass jar in the center. I had to cook it about 10 minutes longer, but it actually worked.

The only thing I would change is that I would either invest in a mandoline slicer to get truly paper thin slices of lemon or take off the peel before baking it. The bitter rind flavor was still there for me. And I am very picky about cooked fruit, so I might even eliminate the fruit altogether and just use the zest, which imparts the majority of the flavor and color anyway. Oh, and I didn’t make the glaze because, dear God, this cake has enough sugar already.

You can just grab the recipe from her site, but I thought you might enjoy the photos of the process. It’s a pretty one!

Sadie says …

“In my dreams I get all the squirrels.”

Mini puddin’ pies

This is more of a technique than a recipe, but go ahead and try it anyway. Because everything really is better in miniature, and better for your waistline in a single bitty serving.

OK, just make it so you can have an excuse to buy mini ‘Nilla wafers, which are impossibly cute and yummy.

Mini puddin’ pies

1 package chocolate pudding/pie filling
2 cups milk
6 mini graham cracker crusts
Mini ‘Nilla wafers
Whipped cream (optional)

Mix up your pudding mix and milk and chill in the fridge for a few minutes to an hour, depending on how quickly your mix sets.

Spoon the pudding into each mini crust, smooth it out, and top it with a ‘Nilla wafer design of your choice. Add whipped cream (or whippy-do as we call it in my family), if you like.

Loving: blooms

When I returned from vacation everything was dry, dry, dry, which is very unusual for Iowa. Springs are very rainy here (especially last year when it flooded badly), but not this year. Still, some of my blooms were hanging on for dear life, including a rose bush that has not bloomed once since we moved here. It’s usually attacked by a crazy vine, and then it gets too prickly for me to try to peel it off.

But not anymore. That sucker exploded in pink blooms. Not the tight, sturdy blooms you’re used to getting in a bouquet. But delicate petals that smell like a grandma’s floral perfume.

And the zinnia I planted on the front porch grew like a beanstalk into this beauty.

I also discovered a vendor at the farmers market who sells these wonderful little succulents and cacti. I see them all over blogs now, and I just have to buy one every time I see them.

I thought maybe if I started with a little aloe vera I could watch it grow into a big one.

Don’t tell Mike, but I’m going to have my whole little kitchen window filled with them.