Thursday, February 14, 2008


The indoor bulbs have been making an appearance throughout the house. It's always fun to see these guys do their thing exposed and right in front of our impatient, watching eyes.

This year I tried forcing muscari and it seemed to work really well. The snowdrops have proved to be more temperamental and prone to mold. Ah well.

The oven's been on at our house for a few days now. I've been baking while Calder naps. It's one creative outlet that makes me feel productive and results in something that I, and others, can enjoy. Though I am still wishing to get deeper into some artwork when those afternoon naps give me the time. I am struggling with the sudden appearance of a couple free hours and the indecision of what I should do with them.

Instead of diving into a painting/paper/fiber project I've been having a mental debate over how best to prune our young grapevine. After consulting Sunset's Western Garden Book and the local Extension Office I am still nervous and have not made the first cut. Maybe today.

The images above and below feature a delicious cake recipe from The Angelica Home Kitchen. I believe it's called "Orange Poppy Seed Cake". (Oops! A friend shared the recipe with me and it's not named on the scrap of paper.) It happens to be vegan - a bonus if you need that.

Angelica Kitchen Orange Poppy Seed Cake

2 c. Whole wheat flour
2 c. White flour
*note: I use all whole wheat pastry flour instead of a combination of the two.
1 T. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. orange juice
1 c. water or apple juice (I've always used water.)
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 2/3 c. maple syrup
2/3 c. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 T. orange zest
1 tsp. salt
3 T. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 9" rounds or place parchment paper on the bottom of the pans.
Mix dry ingredients. *It's extremely important that there's no lumps - especially baking powder or soda. Man, we're dodging some gnarly patches in this last round of cakes. A bite of baking soda cake is no bueno.
Mix wet ingredients.
Fold together and stir in poppy seeds.
Divide batter between the two pans and place together on the middle rack of the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Do not overbake.

This is a great cake. Very moist. I don't frost it or glaze it at all as I think that would add something too sweet that it doesn't need.

Next I'll share a couple new recipes that feature Almond Butter. I'm not in love with it on its own, but I've found a smoothie and a cookie that make good use of it. Stay tuned.

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