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Showing posts from July, 2013

Blueberry-Peach Summertime Babka

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 A babka that tastes like summer...... In my mind's eye babka doesn't bring summer to mind, although a slice of any babka with coffee or tea- iced or hot- would never be unwelcome. This version, however, takes advantage of two of our favorite summer fruits - blueberries and peaches. The blueberry syrup wash on the outside gives the cake a not-too-sweet finish. I must admit that when I bake babka, I think of that "Seinfeld" episode.....the babka you know and love is always the best..... this one really is delicious. Although not a typical Eastern European babka, the testers at our house gave it a thumbs up just the same. The dough is a combination of white whole wheat and bread flour. White whole wheat, a less assertive whole wheat flour is available at either King Arthur Flour or at Trader Joe's . The addition of lemon extract and zest gives the cake a lemony undertone, a perfect compliment to both the blueberries and the peaches.  If you are

Rustic Fruit Crumble

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At our house this simple fruit crumble is called "Apple Stuff."  Calling it "Apple Stuff" doesn't mean that it's always made with apples, and since it defies any clear category- it's a rustic throw together type of fruit dessert- we just call it "stuff." You can make this dessert in about 75 minutes, start to finish. At one time I was making a cobbler, the recipe just got simpler, faster, less sweet and less fat laden as time passed. We have "Apple Stuff" for dessert on most weekends of the year- it's great alone or alongside cake and/or ice cream. There is no dramatic kitchen equipment involved: large shallow baking pan  cutting board and knife  glass measuring cups that are micro-wave oven proof  mixing spoon  Choreography:  Grease the baking pan (vegetable oil spray is fine, so is butter or margarine) Prepare the fruit filling Prepare the crumble topping and sprinkle it over the fruit Pour 1/4c or

Lavender-Vanilla Icebox Cookies

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Hurricane Sandy affected everyone's garden around here. The hurricane winds carried in a salty ocean mist and in then in combination with the cold wet spring some plants showed signs of stress this season. The lavender however, does not seem be the least bit affected; we are experiencing gorgeous lavender blooms.  The bees and other pollinators are clearly happy as are the humans that walk past the lavender and cannot help but stop to smell the musky delicious odor that permeates the air near the plantings. I was just talking to a neighbor, a serious amateur gardener, about the lavender this year. He commented on how lavender used to be an "iffy" plant in our gardening zone, but appears to be much more reliable in the past few years. We both lamented that the plant requirements haven't changed, but rather the weather has - we are now designated as a zone 6 growing area rather than zone 5, accounting for the happier lavender. The climate change is causing angst am