Honey Cake with Lemon, Almonds, Berries and Basil

There are so many wonderful recipes using honey, and with Rosh Hashana just around the corner, I’ve seen lots of recipes for honey cakes and desserts popping up. I wanted to make my own honey cake, and I found an easy one I’m just crazy about.

I was lucky that I was able to use our very own honey from a hive we’d had a few years. A very generous friend came over to help me with the harvest because I’ve never really done anything with our hive before,  and I was a bit freaked out. It was very messy, but easier than I imagined.

My friend and I are taking some honey from our bee hive.

Our open bee hive showing the frames, busy bees and gobs of glorious honey.

I still have a ton to learn about caring for our hive, and I recently joined an area beekeeping association. I’m looking forward to going to classes and hopefully getting a mentor! I’ll blog more about our bees as I learn.

Jarring our beautiful honey.

After straining the honey into jars and cleaning up all the sticky mess, I was eager to make something with the glorious amber goodness. I found a wonderful, easy recipe for a honey cake in this new cookbook, Sweet and Tart (which is currently on sale at Amazon, by the way).

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This is such a beautiful, delicate cake that uses fresh fruit – I used the berries from our bush in the back yard, but you could also use other juicy fruits, like peaches. And, since I used basil from our garden too, it felt very homemade.

Lemon-Almond Cake with Basil-Honeyed Berries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 50 Minutes 30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 50 Minutes 30 Minutes
Lemon-Almond Cake with Basil-Honeyed Berries
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 50 Minutes 30 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 - 8 People 15 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 - 50 Minutes 30 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the parchment.
  2. Combine the granulated sugar and almond paste in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely blended. Add the butter, lemon zest, and vanilla and pulse until smooth. Turn on the processor and add the eggs, one at a time, through the feed tube.
  3. Remove the lid and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and pulse a few more times just until blended.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 30 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife if necessary. Invert the cake onto a serving plate, and peel off the parchment.
  6. Meanwhile, combine the berries, basil, honey and lemon juice in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until juicy.
  7. Slice the cooled cake with a serrated knife, and serve topped with the berries and a dusting of powdered sugar. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to a day.
Recipe Notes

If you make this honey cake, please let me know what you think! I've made it for dinner parties and folks always love the surprising combination of garden flavors. I dropped off several pieces for a neighbor who had family visiting, and the cake got rave reviews.

Here's another Honey Cake recipe that I'm eager to try: Majestic and Moist Honey Cake. I follow the SmittenKitchen blog, and I love almost everything she makes.

I posted a recipe for a Lemon Almond cake a while ago, and it is also surprisingly simple and delicious (but no honey). So make this one if you are short on the nectar of the Gods.

XO Trueheartgal

By the way, I'd really appreciate it if you could share this post on the social media you like best - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any others. Thank you in advance, it means so much to me!

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last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner, quick meal, quick and easy recipe, 20 minute meal,

My Favorite Last Minute Meal

last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner, 20 minute meals

Do ever find yourself trying to figure out what to cook for dinner at about 5 pm? Me too. It’s late. I’m out of ideas. I’m in the grocery store, and I don’t have a shopping list. I am hungry, my husband is probably even hungrier. I want something good. but most of all, I want something easy and quick. I am desperate for a last minute meal.

last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner

For moments like this, I downloaded the “jamie oliver 20 minute meals” app on my phone. You can scroll through several easy, quick recipes in a plethora of categories, including: Delicious soups, Easy pasta, Simple risottos, Fast fish, Quick curries, Gorgeous puds (meaning puddings, which I guess is the English way of referring to desserts). A few of the recipes for great last minute meals include: Leek and potato soup with taleggio, Rigatoni arrabiatta, Garlic prawns & veg on herby lentils, Chicken tikka masala, Grilled fruit and lime creme fraiche. Sound good? I think so too.

After you click on a recipe that sounds good, the app provides a shopping list, along with any equipment you will need. Finally, you get step-by-step directions of what to do when you return home. If any of the steps seem tricky, you can view quick videos that provide additional how-to assistance.

My favorite last minute meal on this app is Jamie’s “My Favorite Prawn Linguini.” It’s ridiculously easy and it never ceases to knock our socks off, and my husband would be happy to eat pasta every night of the week.

last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner, quick meal, quick and easy recipe, 20 minute meal,

Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

 

last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner, quick meal, quick and easy recipe, 20 minute meal,
My Favorite Prawn Linguini
Print Recipe
This dish is enough on its own, but add a simple salad and warm Italian bread, and you will have a quick and easy feast.
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings (pretty big) 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings (pretty big) 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
last minute meals, last minute meal, Trueheartgal, prawn linguini, jamie oliver, dinner, recipe, pasta dinner, quick meal, quick and easy recipe, 20 minute meal,
My Favorite Prawn Linguini
Print Recipe
This dish is enough on its own, but add a simple salad and warm Italian bread, and you will have a quick and easy feast.
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings (pretty big) 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Servings (pretty big) 10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings (pretty big)
Instructions
  1. Fill a pot for your pasta and get it boiling. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting and place your plates in to warm. (My grandmother used to warm her plates, which is never something I think about anymore, but this is a nice reminder, as pasta cools so quickly.)
  2. Peel and slice the garlic. Halve, deseed and finely slice the chili. Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and put to one side. Finely chop the basil stalks. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  3. Cook your linguini in boiling salted water according to the instructions. Stir it occasionally to make sure none of the pasta is sticking together.
  4. Put a good sized (but not huge) frying pan on a medium heat.
  5. Add a splash of olive oil to the hot frying pan and add the garlic, chili, basil stalks and prawns. Fry together for a minute or two, stirring.
  6. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to high and keep stirring so nothing sticks.
  7. After the prawns are pink and cooked through (3 - 5 minutes), turn the heat off and drizzle over a splash of the olive oil.
  8. When the linguini is cooked, scoop out a cupful of the hot water to keep, then drain in a colander.
  9. Add the pasta to the frying pan. Toss everything together, and if the sauce is a bit thick, add a little of your reserved cooking water to thin it out slightly. (This is the genius trick to many pasta dishes that I never knew, but it makes all the difference.)
  10. Have a taste then season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with a lid or tin foil to keep warm.
  11. Get your warmed plates out of the oven then use tongs to divide the linguini between them. Scatter your basil leaves over the top. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy.
Recipe Notes

Let me know if you try this, or any of the other recipes on the Jamie Oliver 20 Minute Meal app, I'd love to know what you think.

XO

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Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma

Summer Memories – Potatoes

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The moments and days of this year’s summer are once again disappearing as quickly as they appear.  Spitting out watermelon seeds as juices drip down your wrist. Children playing Marco Polo and screaming in delight as they dive and jump to avoid being “it.” Ice cream melting on peach cobbler still warm from the oven. A lonely bachelor mockingbird singing through the night for a mate. Picking blackberries in the hot sun. Waving to everyone in the Fourth of July parade.

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Sitting in the shade sipping cold wine on a warm evening. Grandchildren and their cousins playing baseball and squabbling over each call. Slicing strawberries for homemade ice cream. Laughing like a child during the County fair’s bumper car ride, and paging through my old favorite cookbooks for my tried and true recipes to make for visiting loved ones.

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The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins is a source of many old reliable recipes. It is somewhat out of fashion these days, but it was a big favorite in the mid-80’s. I love how the book is divided by seasonal special occasions, complete with much-appreciated menus (I wish every cookbook offered them), quotes about the joy of eating and food along with delightful tips on entertaining, and historical notes on foods like this beauty:

Next to the apple, the peach is the most widely cultivated fruit tree in the world. When Madame Recamier, a great French beauty of the nineteenth century, was ill and refused all food, a dish of peaches in syrup and cream restored both her appetite and will to live.”

 

I found the following recipe in a menu the perfectly titled, “Summer Memories” and it included:

Creamy Chicken and Jalapeño Nachos
Swordfish Marinated with Lime and Coriander
Stir-Fry of Three Cabbages
Potatoes Fontecchio
Avocado with Rasberry Vinaigrette
Strawberry Hazelnut Torte
White Zinfandel

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Potatoes aren’t often the stars of a meal, and they are difficult to ruin, but when you add fresh mint from the garden and more garlic you thought possible to consume, they are unforgettable.

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summer memories, Trueheartgal, potatoes, mint, garlic, recipe, ROTD, gardening,

Enjoy!

Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma
Potatoes Fontecchio
Print Recipe
As a waitress during college, my nickname was "the Spud Queen," because I ate potatoes during every pre-shift meal. But my husband eats only those he cannot resist, like these. Super easy, they go great with most any grilled fish or meat.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Summer memories, potatoes, recipes, Trueheartgal, midlife, midlife blogger, Sonoma
Potatoes Fontecchio
Print Recipe
As a waitress during college, my nickname was "the Spud Queen," because I ate potatoes during every pre-shift meal. But my husband eats only those he cannot resist, like these. Super easy, they go great with most any grilled fish or meat.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 30 minutes
Cook Time
2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Scrub the potatoes and prick each one about six times with a fork. Place in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 2 hours. (Now I was sure there was a misprint because the recipe doesn't ask you to rub the potatoes in oil, or wrap them in foil. No - you roast them dry, so they come out a bit crispy.)
  3. Cut potatoes in half.
  4. Toss the warm potatoes with the garlic, oil, mint salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
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