Thursday, August 4, 2011

What's Been Cookin'? Sparrow No. 2 and a Lemon-Almond Cake

After waiting 41 plus weeks, our No. 2 finally arrived.  He was born on a very hot morning and weighed in at 8 lbs. 4 oz.  That's a big baby.  Um, really big.  We are thrilled about our newest addition (and growing family) but we have been very tired too.   Lucky for us we have GREAT friends.  Within a few hours of coming back from the hospital we had delicious food in the fridge.  There was a to-die-for chocolate tart with apricot preserve (I will post the recipe once it has been translated from Swedish), quinoa with kale, tomato quiche (recipe from this month's Bon Appetite), Blue Sky Bakery muffins, Coco Roco dinner (with a vegetarian platter included), chocolate and zucchini bread, Ample Hills ice cream, lemon-almond cake and bagels (etc.). I think you get the picture.  Not a bad way to start the day and I didn't lift a finger. 
Trust me when I tell you that one of the nicest things you can do for some who just gave birth is to bring over some food.
We are still collecting veggies from our CSA, so at some point I will bust out the pots and pans and get cooking...but until then I'm enjoying great food delivered by great people. 
Here is Nigella Lawson's recipe for Damp Lemon-Almond Cake. This is the first post (out of about 117) that I didn't actually cook/bake myself. Our friend Beth C. (who is a wonderful cook and expectant mother herself) brought this cake over...and now there isn't a crumb left! 
Damp Lemon-Almond Cake (Courtesy of Nigella Lawson, How To Be A Domestic Goddess, by way of Beth C.) 

Serves 6-8 
Ingredients
1 cup soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
8-inch springform pan, lined on the bottom with parchment or wax paper
Directions 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition.  When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond extract, lemon zest, and juice.  Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for about 1 hour.  I say "about" only because ovens seem to vary so violently.  I've cooked this in one oven when it was finished after 50 minutes; in another when it needed 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Whichever, after about 30 minutes you many well find you have to cover it loosely with foil; you don't want the top of the cake to burn.  The cake is ready when the top is firm and a skewer, inserted,comes out cleanish: you want dampness, but no batery goo.  Take the cake out and let it stand for 5 minutes or so in the pan.  Then turn it out on a wire rack and leave till cool. 
Then, preferably, wrap well in tin foil and leave it for a couple of days.  Push some confectioners' sugar over the cake through a fine sieve or tea strainer when serving.  I can't stop myself from murmuring "raspberries" to you, either.
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And here are some seasonal recipes (good for CSA/farmer market produce) that I previously posted on this blog (click on the hyper link title for the recipe):




And introducing the smallest sparrow...
We call him Theodore Benjamin. 

 Next up:  Carrot-Ginger Soup!
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5 comments:

  1. Estella Robinson, North CarolinaAugust 5, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Best wishes to you and your growing family. Keep cooking when you can!

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  2. congratulations! the mini-sparrow is adorable. I am a long-time reader of your site and am very impressed that you are up and about blogging with a newborn in the house.

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  3. Thanks shahnaz! You will notice though that the recipes have gotten easier...no more layered lasagnas and complicated stews...maybe in a few months :)

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  4. :) Nursing a 3.5 month old as I type this. And I swear, this baby is made of frittatas. Easiest recipe to throw together when there's a little person in the house.

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