Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

by Lydia Ellison
Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

This is the quintessential light cake of summer. Fruity, eggy, sweet and yet refreshingly tart. The olive oil and yogurt give a divine spongy texture. Serve it for a luncheon or at a dinner party with fresh berries. Pack thick slices wrapped in parchment paper for the beach. Best part, no mixer or beater required, just a spoon!

last slice

Olive Oil Lemon Yogurt Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I like Face brand Greek yogurt)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (fruity)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring the eggs to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold the olive oil into the batter, making sure it’s well incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. Best eaten within 3 days of baking.

Anson Mills Corn Bread


by Lydia Ellison

When Drew and I were in the South last month his foodie cousin Chris gave us the most wonderful gift… 2 bags of Anson Mills corn meal (and 4 silver mint julep cups)! Anson Mills sells “handmade mill goods from organic heirloom grains.” Chris gave us the perfect starter selection, one bag of yellow course ground corn meal and one bag of white grits.

Anson Mills cornmeal

Anson Mills corn meal

I brought the bag of yellow cornmeal in my suitcase up to Marin for Mother’s Day weekend. For the first night, my Mom and I planned a BBQ menu and I wanted to make corn bread (yes, my Mom and I plan our menu’s in advance for a weekend’s visit). I used the recipe on the Anson Mills website because an insert in the packaging warned: “Our products won’t work with standard recipes. Standard recipes won’t work with our products.” Word.

Corn Bread, butter and honey

Corn Bread, butter and honey

As they say in the South, the corn bread was “Divine.” It really tasted like corn, sweet fresh farmer’s market corn in July! The flavor was vibrant and sweet (and mind you there is no sugar in this recipe or in any authentic Southern corn bread). The texture was dense but moist. I’ve never tasted better corn bread.

BBQ dinner

BBQ dinner

Honestly y’all need to order some of this corn meal for your summer soiree’s. There is no comparison to the grocery store offerings (even organic corn meal from Whole Foods/natural food stores, I’ve tried them all.) This company makes all kinds of corn products (grits, cornmeal, polenta), plus wheat flours, rice and more. I’m going to place a big order. Just make sure you store them in the freezer once you get the products. They don’t have preservatives and will spoil.

the star of the meal

PS- I will def post when I make the grits, probably sage grits to serve with lamb.

Yam Jacket Potatoes

Baked Yam all dressed up

Baked Yam all dressed up

By Lydia Ellison

Now this is what I call dinner on many nights. It’s not even a recipe but a list of simple instructions. We call them Jacket Potatoes because of our darling friend Sophia from London who subsides off chicken, broccoli and “jacket potatoes” also known as baked potatoes to us Americans.

Yam Jacket Potatoes or Baked Yam’s

Wash and scrub 1 small yam per person (the one pictured is a tiny one from the Farmer’s Market)

Pierce a few times with a fork or knife.

Wrap each yam in foil and place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Then unwrap and place on a baking sheet lines with foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes until the skin is crispy and the yam feels squishy in between your fingers.

Slit the tops of the yams and dress with butter or olive oil, salt and fresh pepper.

Serve with chives or sliced scallions and sour cream, creme fraiche or Greek yogurt (as pictured above because I had it in the fridge.)

Make sure you eat the skin, it has tons of nutrients and tastes fantastic!

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot cookies

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

By Lydia Ellison

When my Martha Stewart Living magazine arrives in the mail each month I have a special ritual. I make tea and snuggle on my sofa with my magazine and some sticky tabs and get lost in the pages of eggshell blue excellence. Last month I received my March issue and read it in this aforementioned fashion and when I got to the last page, the “Cookie of the Month” page, I was struck by inspiration. I got up off my sofa and went to the market so I could immediately make cookies (this is very rare, I hardly ever bake.)

Now I should admit I had been craving oatmeal cookies for awhile… I am an oatmeal-raisin person, not usually an oatmeal- chocolate cookie person but the MSL March “Cookie of the Month” was the perfect balance between the two, Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Apricots and White Chocolate! It sounded amazing and I had all the ingredients except for white chocolate and apricots. I made them with gluten free baking mix instead of regular flour (most oats are gluten free) and they worked perfectly! Moist and fluffy on the inside and crunchy and crisp around the bottom and edges.  I substituted half the white chocolate with unsweetened dark chocolate to cut the sweetness of the white chocolate and cut down the vanilla extract but added my signature almond extract instead. They were fantastic! Drew and I ate 3 cookies each right before dinner (in lieu of a salad course you could say) and later that evening our friends devoured the rest of them at a Top Chef viewing and never once suspected they were gluten free. Success.

You can of course make them with normal flour if you and your loved ones are not sensitive to gluten.

Chocolate, Oatmeal and Apricot Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe

Makes about 4 dozen (I froze half the dough and baked them off the next week)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or Gluten Free Baking Mix)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
4 ounces white chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
7 ounces dried apricots, preferably California, chopped (1 1/2 cups)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour (or GF baking mix substitute), oatmeal, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and almond extracts and eggs, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolates and apricots. Cover, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
2. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake


by Sarah Lagrotteria

I confess that I like making cakes even more than I like eating them.  There’s something about a perfectly smooth frosted cake just waiting for colorful candles, a dusting of coconut flakes or the perfect blooms that makes my heart flutter.   I love how pristine they look when all white or a deep dark chocolate. And the process of smoothing and re-smoothing frosting over the top and sides…it gives me chills.

While my personal cake preference runs toward chocolate or French almond cakes (or chocolate almond cake!) I think the best cake to make for a celebration is a strawberry whipped cream cake. You can use your favorite cake recipe (or cake mix, of which I mightily approve if you add some orange or lemon zest), and make this frosting in minutes.  Just be sure to have leave time for the finished cake to chill before your party starts.

Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake

Serves 9

1 9-inch round vanilla cake (can use pound cake or angel food, whatever you prefer), sliced horizontally into 2 layers

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed hulled and cut into thin slices

4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Note: Place strips of parchment paper along all 4 sides of the cake stand or serving platter, leaving the center of the plate open—it will look like an empty square.  These strips will collect any frosting that falls off the cake while you are frosting it so that your plate stays clean and your presentation perfect.

Place the bottom cake round on top of the parchment-lined cake plate.

Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Turn the mixer to high.  Pour in the vanilla extract as the cream whips and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar.  Whip the cream into firm peaks.  If the cream gets too soft at any point during frosting, just whip it some more.

Add a generous dollop or two of the cream to the center of the cake and use an off-set spatula to spread the cream evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  The cream layer should be abundant, so feel free to add as needed.

Use half your strawberry slices to decorate the top of the cake round—I like concentric circles—then top the strawberries with a small dollop of cream.

Place the second cake layer over the cream and strawberries.  Add the remaining cream as needed to the top of the cake, smoothing the cream out and over the top edges and down the sides.  When the entire cake is coated with thick cream, hold the off-set spatula sideways at a 45-degree angle away from the cake, so the side of the spatula is just touching the cream.  Holding the spatula steady, slowly rotate your cake plate so that the spatula edge smoothes out the sides of the cake in one long sweep.

Use the spatula at an angle to smooth out the top of the cake and decorate as desired with the remaining berry slices.  Gently pull the parchment slips out from under the cake.  Chill until just before serving.

Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants



Hurray it’s kale season! This salad is so clean, bright and satisfying you will start keeping a bowl of it on your fridge to nibble on all the time. The hearty texture of the kale leaves “breaks down” in the lemon vinaigrette revealing a sweet, grassy nature. The apples and currents are a burst of sweetness, the nuts add crunch and the cheese brings the salty richness to the table. I made this last week and Drew and I fought over the last bowl which I snuck while he was in the shower!


Raw Kale Salad with Apples and Currants

Adapted from the recipe by Dan Barber in Bon Appetit

Serves 4


1 bunch Tuscan kale, washed, center rib and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced

1-2 apples, diced (I like Fugi)

¼ cup of currants

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

salt and pepper

toasted slivered almonds (optional)

shaved parmesan cheese (optional)


Rinse kale in cool water and pat dry with a clean towel. Pull or trim the leaves from both sides of the center rib and slice the leaves into thin ribbons. Make a vinaigrette by dissolving a large pinch of salt into the lemon juice, adding the honey and fresh ground black pepper and then whisking in 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the kale in the vinaigrette and allow to sit for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile chop the apple, toast the almond slivers and shave the parmesan. Add the apples and currants to the kale and mix well. Serve topped with shaved almonds and parmesan.


Raw, Vegetarian and Gluten Free. For a Vegan version, serve the salad with out the cheese.

1 4 5 6