Monday, August 24, 2009

15 Books in 15 Minutes

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Good Omens
3. A Christmas Carol
4. The Poetry and Short Stories of Dorothy Parker
5. Without Feathers
6. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
7. The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia-Lorca Bilingual Edition
8. The Scarlet Letter
9. War & Peace (because I hate it so much)
10. Pride & Prejudice
11. Persuasion
12. The Color Purple
13. Daughters of Decadence: Women Writers of The Fin De Siecle
14. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
15. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

And, because you know I can’t just list 15 books…

Bonus Round!

16. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
17. The Handmaid’s Tale
18. The Ode Less Traveled: Unlocking the Poet Within
19. Right Ho, Jeeves
20. I, Claudius

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What Heaven Might Smell Like

First, you should know that I took pictures for this post. 9 pictures. From mise en place to finished product! Sadly, I can’t find the damn cord to connect my I-Phone to my laptop. Damn. Damn. That’s right, double damn! Oh, well.

I found this recipe on NPR. I haven’t tasted it yet but if Heaven has a smell it smells like this cake. Make it. Now.

Lemon Pound Cake With Rose Water Glaze


1 ¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Unsalted Butter At Room Temperature
1 Cup Sugar
3 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest
2 Teaspoons Lemon Extract
1 Cup Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease & flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

Sift the flower, baking powder & baking soda together into a small bowl.
Set it aside.

In a medium bowl beat the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. If you have a stand mixer (it’s the only way to fly!) put it on medium high, set a timer for 1 minute & let it rip. After 1 minute scrape down the sides. Set the timer for 3 minutes & let it rip again. Golden.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the lemon zest, rind and eggs. Beat for 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add half the flower & beat on low speed just till combined.

Add half the sour cream & beat till combined.

Scrape down the bowl.

Add the rest of the flour & beat on low speed just till combined.

Add the rest of the sour cream & beat till combined.

Scrape down the sides.

Spoon (the batter is way too thick to pour) the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Smooth it out and make it as even as possible.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes.

Test cake with cake tester/tooth pick/uncooked piece of spaghetti (what? It’s what my grandfather used…of course, we had a lot of spaghetti in the house.). If it comes out clean it’s done.

Let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan then turn it out onto the plate or stand you’ll be using. The plate or stand must, I repeat must, have lip.


2 Tablespoons Rose Water
6 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar

Sift the powdered sugar into a medium size bowl.
Add the juice & rose water.
Whisk until there are no lumps & the glaze has come together.

Poke holes in the warm cake with a cake tester/tooth pick/uncooked piece of spaghetti (agin, what?!).

Spoon or pour all of the glaze over the cake.

It will look like it’s entirely too much but the cake will absorb it, I swear.

Leave it for 5 minutes.

Go back to spoon the glaze that’s left on the plate & in the center over the cake again.

Leave it for 5 minutes.

You thought there would be glaze to spoon over it again didn’t you? Wrong! It’s all basically absorbed.

Done, chief!

Let the cake cool completely.

Sift some more powdered sugar over the cake.