I "retired" from the corporate world a couple of years ago because I wanted to experience a real life after years of 80 hour work weeks and constant travel. A year later I realized that I was having a really good time, was always busy (how did i ever fit in a job??) and needed a creative outlet to share my experiences. Now I split my time between California and New Mexico but, wherever I am, I write about delicious, fresh, local, organic/sustainably grown food.
will you help celebrate the napa farmhouse 1885 first anniversary? there is meyer lemon cake!
o.k...there is cake...but you have to make it. the recipe is listed at the end of this post.... today is valentine's day (happy v-day everyone)...but it is also the one year anniversary of this blog. sounds cliche, but i really cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. when i first started blogging i did not have a clear purpose...i just started telling stories about my post-corporate life. as the time passed, the emphasis focused on cooking and eating...using the best possible quality ingredients...and not messing them up with overly complicated recipes...broken record, i know...but my motto "the ingredients really do make the difference" is the theme for this blog...
what i did not expect was the many comments, emails, suggestions, ideas and tips that would come from readers...nor the many regular visitors who have provided tons of support for both my blog and my new business. i think these connections have been the greatest benefit of this process...also, since i love to ramble on, this gives me an outlet so i do not bore my family and friends to death hearing my stories over and over...
while each blog post has been meaningful to me...certain posts have resonated more than others with readers...and have showed up countless times in internet searches...i thought i would celebrate my one year anniversary with a recap of the most requested posts...all in one place for future readers...
hands down, the number one search has been about fresh figs...and my post do you like fresh figs?is read daily. the questions range from "what do i do with figs?" to "do you peel figs?" to "what do figs taste like?" and there are frequent requests for recipes using figs. i have listed a few additional fig recipes in other posts and, since my tree fruits twice each year, plan to write many more stories about figs...there seems to be a major interest in this topic.
a very close second in terms of popularity is my post about popcorn and olive oil...creatively called :) popcorn and olive oil? ....this story gets numerous hits every day with people asking the question..."can you use olive oil when popping popcorn?" the simple answer is yes...but the story was about my family's tradition of drizzling extra virgin olive oil on popcorn...instead of butter...and sprinkling the best grey salt you can find over it all. easy, quick and delicious...and everyone goes nuts over this when i serve at parties...i told the story of making this for the napa valley wine auction a few years ago...was a hit...and the company i represented "stole" the idea and now packages the ingredients as a gift set...wow, what a complement!!...try this "recipe"...the secret (as always) is the ingredients...fresh organic popcorn, best quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, a good evoo for the popping...and really good grey sea salt as the final touch...
i think the concept of making soft boiled eggs is intimidating for many people...i wrote a story last fall that was really about my newly discovered love of writing...but my realization that my style...which is a very basic form of story telling...is a far cry from truly brilliant writers...and i used the author toni morrison as an example. i thought it would be fun to compare and contrast styles...so i took a classic passage from one of my favorite books...song of solomon...and listed my recipe for soft boiled eggs...then toni's. i expected numerous comments regarding the writing ...what i got...and still do daily...are requests for instructions as to techniques for soft boiling eggs...try the egg recipe...more importantly...enjoy toni morrison's beautiful words in soft boiled eggs, anyone?
i could go on and on...talking about recipes for persimmons, or recapping my 30 day thanksgiving series (thanks to all the guest bloggers)...or showing all the photos of mose that have been requested by readers( you will see him peeking at the lemon cake in a few photos today)...but this post would be longer than the preceding 70 posts together (70!!) unless i stop now...
if you are a new reader...welcome..and if you go back to the first few posts you will hear more about my story... for regular readers please keep the comments and emails coming...i so enjoy meeting all of you.
but i promised cake...so to help celebrate this anniversary, i am posting my new meyer lemon cake recipe. i have been making this cake for years, but it is "new" because i made this one with agave nectar...i have been experimenting with agave nectar a lot lately...love it as a substitute for white sugar...and will write about it soon..in the interim..enjoy this very, very intensely lemony cake....my anniversary gift to you...
meyer lemon cake
1/2 c fresh meyer lemon juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 eggs, room temperature, separated
1 tbsp finely chopped meyer lemon zest
1 2/3 c unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
preheat oven to 325 degrees. lightly oil(i use olive oil) and flour a 9-5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
add the lemon juice, agave nectar, olive oil, egg yolks and lemon zest to a medium mixing bowl and stir together. in a larger mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. in a third bowl, beat the egg whites until you get soft peaks. stir the lemon juice mixture into the dry mixture just until all ingredients are incorporated..do not over mix. gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter until thoroughly combined. pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean..approx 45 minutes. cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes...then turn out of pan and place on wire rack. place lemon slices on top of cake and drizzle with glaze. keep on rack until completely cool. (note, i add a plate under the rack to catch glaze drippings)
meyer lemon glaze
1 meyer lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 agave nectar
1/4 c fresh meyer lemon juice (about 2 med lemons)
place all ingredients in small saucepan. cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, 10-12 minutes or until mixture has thickened slightly. cool about 10 minutes before using
enjoy!...and let me know if you try the cake...
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™
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