Eclipse Weekend

August 23rd, 2017

Orange Cake

Our family rented a house in Highlands, NC to watch the total eclipse of the sun.  It was one of the locations along a narrow track that would experience totality. We were excited to be there.  It was also our DIL’s birthday.  As part of the four day event, I made this Orange and Brown Sugar Glazed Cake from Jamie Schler for the celebration.  Her new cookbook, Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet, has just been released.  It is a gorgeous book that showcases oranges in many ways.  I have been following her blog, Life’s a Feast for years.

Orange Cake

The orange flecked cake is drizzled with an orange glaze.  Because it was a birthday cake for Kristen, I added a brickle topping and extra orange zest.  I served it with Jamie’s orange flavored whipped cream. I will be making this cake often.  I will also be ordering Orange Appeal from Amazon.  I am anxious to try the Beef in Bourbon Sauce and her Chocolate Orange Marmalade Brownies.

Sweet Potato Salsa

Kristen was in charge of breakfast one morning.  One of the components to her Eggs Benedict dish was this Roasted Sweet Potato Salsa from Foster’s Market.  The smell of roasting sweet potatoes with Balsamic vinegar and cumin drew everyone into the kitchen.  This is such a versatile recipe.  Serve it with a steak, add it to tacos or serve it with eggs as we did.

Eggs Benedict

Kristen layered the English muffins with guacamole, cheddar cheese, sweet potato salsa, poached eggs and a crema sauce made from milk thinned sour cream.

Eggs Benedict

This was a unique take on traditional Eggs Benedict and we loved it.

Eclipse Group with glasses

After breakfast we were ready for the eclipse.  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate.  Clouds rolled in to block our beautiful view.  In spite of that, it was awesome.  Darkness descended quickly, the crickets began chirping, birds flew to their nests, the temperature dropped, and for a brief moment the total eclipse came into view, with a flash of the aurora.  The kids will remember it always.

(As printed in Fine Cooking Magazine by Jamie Schler)

For the Cake:
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
12 oz. (scant 3 cups) unbleached cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
2 oranges
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Tbs. orange marmalade

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, well chilled
1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. finely grated orange zest

Make the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Use a rasp-style grater to remove 1 tbs zest from the oranges.  Juice one of the oranges to yield 1/4 cup juice.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and orange and lemon zests on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition just to combine.  Add the vanilla, and beat briefly to combine.
In three additions and alternating with the milk and orange juice, add the dry ingredients, beating on medium speed after each addition and scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to remove air bubbles, and smooth the surface with a spatula.
Bake until the cake is just set in the center and golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. (A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake may have a few crumbs clinging to it.) Check the cake during the last 10 minutes of baking; if it’s browning too much, tent it loosely with aluminum foil.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slice a knife around the edge to release the cake, if necessary.  Remove the side of the pan, and using a large cake spatula, transfer the cake from thee pan to a cooling rack.  Let cool.

Glaze the cake:
Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick in 3/4-inch intervals.
Combine the juice, sugar, and marmalade in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat to low, and whisk often until syrupy, about 10 minutes.  Brush the glaze onto the cake, letting some drip down the sides.  (The cake can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days before serving.)

Make the whipped cream and serve:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl using a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and zest, raise the speed to medium high, and continue to whip until medium soft peaks form, about 2 minutes more.  Serve the cake with the whipped cream.


2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 scallions, minced (green and white part)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
juice and zest of 1 large lime
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, vinegar, chili powder and cumin and spread in one layer on a large, rimmed baking pan.
Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until the potatoes are golden brown and soft.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, place the tomato, red pepper, jalapeños, scallions, cilantro and lime juice and zest with the sweet potatoes; toss until combined.
Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with eggs, tostadas, grilled steak or chicken.

Printable Recipe Orange Cake

Printable Recipe Sweet Potato Salsa

Garlic Confit Toast

July 14th, 2017

Garlic Confit Bread

We all love garlic bread.  I have made many versions over the years. But I have to say that this recipe is the most amazing I have ever made.  Brought to the internet by Bon Appetit, I couldn’t resist making it.  It helps that my weight-conscious husband is on a motorcycle trip and I can eat anything that I want for dinner.  Last night it was bread and wine with a very small helping of cole slaw and pork.Garlic Confit Bread

Usually a confit refers to the method of cooking duck or goose in their own fats.  But in this case, whole cloves of garlic are cooked in butter until they are golden brown.  the mixture is then mashed together with Parmesan cheese, oregano, lemon zest and red pepper flakes.

Garlic Confit Bread

The mixture is spread on a sliced baguette and broiled. Be very watchful of the bread because it can burn easily.  Not sure what I will do with the leftovers, but I will worry about that later.  I thoroughly enjoyed my indulgence.  My, oh my.  This was good.


  •  head garlic, cloves peeled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 baguette

Cook garlic in butter in a small covered saucepan over medium-low heat until golden brown and very soft, 15−20 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.

Add Parmesan, oregano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes to garlic and mash to a paste; season with kosher salt.

Heat broiler. Slice baguette in half lengthwise, then crosswise. Broil, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet until golden brown, about 2 minutes (watch carefully). Let cool slightly, then spread cut side with garlic paste. Broil until cheese is golden and bubbling, about 2 minutes. (Mine took only 1 1/2 minutes) Slice.

Printable Recipe

Cauliflower Cake

June 15th, 2017

Caulifower Cake

Spreading my wings in cultural awareness of Middle Eastern Cuisine has taken me to cookbooks by Yotam Ottolenghi.  In partnership with Sami Tamimi he wrote the cookbook Jerusalem, his home city, which reflects the diverse cuisines of the Muslims, Christians and Jewish communities within its borders.  Now a well known vegetarian chef and restaurant owner in London, Ottolenghi has received many awards for his innovative cuisine.  More cookbooks followed among them Plenty and Plenty More.

Cauliflower Cake

From the cookbook Plenty More, I made this savory Cauliflower Cake.  Many of Ottolenghi’s recipes require unusual ingredients, but this is a pretty straightforward recipe.  The only ingredient that I did not have access to was nigella seeds.  As they are only sprinkled on the sides of the cake along with sesame seeds, I did not consider them necessary.

We love this cake.  Cauliflower florets are suspended in an eggy cake batter with flecks of rosemary, basil and red onions.  To make it even better in my mind, I added cubes of ham.  But you could leave it vegetarian and it would still be delicious.  There is added richness with lots of Parmesan cheese.  I think an aged cheddar would also be good.  I will be looking for nigella seeds because some reviewers said the seeds on the edges added a nice crunch.

Califlower Cake

You can serve this cake along with a salad for a light supper or make it for a brunch with friends.  It makes me happy.  Enjoy the coming Father’s Day weekend.


Serves 4 to 6

1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounces)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
7 large eggs
1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan or another aged cheese
Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)
Salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices, each 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end of the onion and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch/24-cm springform cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.


Crispy Kale and Garlic Cream Tartlets

May 18th, 2017

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

Tartlets and quiches are some of my favorite foods.  Add crispy kale and bacon and I am in heaven. While scrolling the internet, I found a blogger who had attended one of Mimi Thorisson’s pop-up dinners in France.  Mimi, of the blog Manger, has served dinner to many people in her home in Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc in the Bordeaux region of France.  The blogger showed a picture of the appetizer that was offered that night.  It was this tartlet.  I knew that I had to make it, so I searched Mimi’s blog and found it here.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I kept the concept of the dish but changed it up to suit my taste.  I wanted more custard and used heavy cream instead of crème fraîche.  The kale is indeed crispy.  It is added near the end of the cooking time.  It provides a surprise element to a simple tartlet.

Southern Chicks MarketPenny of Enjoying the Simple Things and I found a new shop in Hendersonville for all of you who love the “Fixer Upper” look of Joanna Gaines.  The shop is called Southern Chicks Market.  It is full of tempting merchandise.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I think you will also find these delicious tartlets tempting.


1 1/2 cups Kale, torn into small pieces, washed and dried
6 slices of bacon, fried and crispy
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
Pinch of nutmeg

Pastry – Enough for a single 9 inch pie pan cut into 6 rounds large enough to fill 6 tartlet pans.  You will have to roll, cut, gather scrapes and roll again (probably twice).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick bottoms of pastry in tartlet pans.  Place on cookie sheet and top each with parchment paper and pie weights. (I use dried lima beans). Bake until lightly browned.  Remove weights and parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the cream and the egg yolks along with a pinch of nutmeg and the minced garlic.  Season with Salt and pepper.  Whisk all together.

Divide the mixture among the tartlets and bake until set, Approximately 15 minutes.  Add the kale, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook for a further 10 minutes or until crispy and the pastry is golden.

Place a slice of bacon on each tartlet and serve.

Printable Recipe



Sugared Rosemary-Lemon Scones – {the} Lost Kitchen

May 11th, 2017

Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

These are not ordinary scones.  First of all the flavor; lots of lemon flavor from grated lemon zest and a subtle undertone of finely chopped rosemary.  The texture is both crumbly and crisp.  Secondly the method of preparation; the dough is rolled into a long log, stored in the refrigerator and sliced and baked when you are ready.  This is perfect to have on hand for fresh scones for breakfast without the prep and clean-up.

Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

The recipe came from a source new to me.  There is a small 40 seat restaurant in Freedom, Maine named {the} Lost Kitchen run by an intrepid strong woman named Erin French.  She had previously run a Secret Supper Club from her apartment.  These “pop-up” dining places have become popular.  Witness the seasonal pop-up that Mimi Thorisson established in her rural home in France.  Erin’s Pop-up restaurant and cooking garnered such enthusiasm that she eventually opened a restaurant in Belfast, Maine.  But after two years and much soul searching, plus a divorce, she eventually lost the restaurant.  Erin worked her way back, first by outfitting an Airstream trailer for cooking (bought in my neighborhood of Bat Cave by the way), and then by finding an old mill that she turned into a restaurant in her hometown of Freedom, Maine.

The Lost Kitchen

I would love to eat there some day.  The restaurant is opened from May 1st until New Years Eve.  Reservations open on April 1st of each year.  This year on April 1st the phone rang so often that 10,000 people called for reservations. Needless to say, the staff was overwhelmed and the waiting list is long for a 40 seat establishment.  You can hear Erin’s story in this  James Beard Award Winning Video.


Sugared Lemon Rosemary Scones

All I can say about Erin’s recipe for scones is that I will be making them again and using her idea of forming a log from the dough so that I can bake them in my own time.  The flavor of these scones is amazing, but be sure to use lots of lemon zest.  I tried to hide them so I could keep them to myself, but David was not to be outdone. Even though bread is not in his diet, he managed to eat several.  They are delicious. Just imagine how many combinations you can come up with. I am planning another batch. Erin French is my new hero.  If I were younger I would want to be her.  I wish her the best.Lost Kitchen You will not be sorry to own this beautiful cookbook.  Buy it on Amazon.

SUGARED ROSEMARY-LEMON SCONES ( Erin French from Food & Wine Magazine )


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon ( Use a large lemon or two small ones)
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing


    1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the 1/3 cup of sugar, the rosemary, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with some pea-size pieces of butter still visible. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the 3/4 cup of cream until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead just until it comes together. Gently roll the dough into a 14-inch log, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the log into 8 rounds and transfer to the baking sheet. I sliced them into 10 rounds.  Brush the scones with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the scones are golden. Let cool slightly before serving.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.