The year after we graduated from college, I brought my group of friends…which included one certain future Husband, home to the Cape.
My dad, naturally, found it to be the perfect time to enlist the boys into helping him chop wood, telling them “any day you get to use a chain saw, that’s a good day.” It’s a wonder the Husband stuck around.
And yet, I feel the same way about my standing bowl mixer, which I wrestled out of its storage place to make this lemon poppy seed pound cake in celebration of our book club anniversary.
Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
for the cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus LOTS of butter for greasing the pan
2 cups cake or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, yolks separated from whites
about a teaspoon grated lemon zest
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 small container of poppy seeds (about 1/4 cup)
for the glaze
about 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
juice from the other 1/2 lemon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Seriously butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan. And then butter it again, because this pound cake likes to stay in there.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl; set aside.
Use your mixer (yay!) to cream the butter until smooth. Add about half the sugar, mix through, add the other half. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything mixes through.
Slowly add the dry ingredients…and here’s where it gets less fun: by hand. You might actually need to put your hands in the bowl and smoosh the ingredients together. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold them into the rest of ingredients, gently, along with the poppy seeds.
Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 70 minutes. In the meantime, make the glaze by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Let the cake rest about 5 minutes before extracting from the pan. Let cool completely before glazing and slicing.
First off, a very, very happy first-ever block party to Angie and the crew over at The Novice Gardener! I am not a regular over there, more like a creepy neighbor, looking over the fence. So this time, I’m actually bringing something. And it’s delicious and totally not creepy.
We ate this recipe, inspired by the Smitten Kitchen, for dinner, but made with smaller eggplants, this is a delectable, decadent appetizer. (As the Husband said, right after he finished his eggplant off, and right before he heated up some leftover pizza, “this might be too much veggie to be dinner.”)
Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt-Tahini Sauce and Crispy Chickpeas
for the eggplant & chickpeas
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry (really, you just need one can, but if you’re like me, you’ll eat so many of these as they’re coming out of the oven that if you want enough to actually eat with your eggplant, you should make two cans)
salt & pepper
generous handful each of smoked paprika and garlic powder
1 or 2 large eggplants, or 3 small, Italian-style eggplants
for the sauce
3 heaping tablespoons tahini
about 2/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I supplemented with a bit of light sour cream)
juice from 1/2 lemon, plus a bit of freshly grated zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper, a touch of crushed reds, if you please
3-4 tablespoons parsley, divided
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread out the chickpeas, drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil all over. Toss chickpeas evenly with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder. Bake for about 30-40 minutes; make sure to give them a toss at least once or twice so they don’t burn. Dust with another quick pinch of salt as they come out of the oven.
On another baking sheet, spread out another layer of aluminum foil, and spray with a bit of olive oil. Cut the eggplants in half and spray both the tops and the bottoms with a bit of olive oil. Arrange cut side up and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes and then flip.
As the chickpeas and eggplant cook, make the sauce. Whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, a few grinds of pepper, a tablespoon of parsley and a touch of crushed reds.
Serve the eggplant, cut side up, topped with sauce, the crispy chickpeas, and a bit more parsley.
This. Was. Awesome. As appetizers go, this IS a dish for which you will need a knife and a fork, but hey, that’s a small price to pay. This does not reheat well, as the eggplant gets a bit mushy…so invite all your friends! And thanks, Angie, for inviting us!