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Rhabarberkuchen or Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Kuchen I decided to celebrate with cake. I heard mention of a German dessert called “Rhabarberkuchen” somewhere on the interwebs, and immediately it summoned an image of a soft, yeasty cake topped by soft, tart rhubarb. A bit of googling made me decide to finish it off with a meringue. The result – a not-too-sweet coffee cake with a rhubarb tang which is perfect for teatime but just far enough on the spectrum from cake to bread that you don’t feel guilty eating it for breakfast (or Mother’s Day brunch.) [...]

Huckleberry Blueberry Cornmeal Cake and Mother’s Day

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake 2 Mother’s Day is on my mind this week. I am replete with motherhood. My bel If some of you are less lazy encumbered than I am, this blueberry cornmeal cake would be an excellent treat for Mother’s Day. The recipe is supposedly one from Huckleberry, which is one of the best bakeries in LA, and it’s a lovely crunchy, fruity, not too sweet cake. If you’re into mother’s day breakfast or brunch, this would be a great addition – it’s not too rich or decadent for morning. It would also be a standout at afternoon tea, or if you’re cooking dinner for the mother or mothers in your life, it would be excellent with a bit of ice cream (vanilla would work, or I’m thinking a lovely buttermilk sorbet if you want to get ambitious.) Blueberry Cornmeal Cake 3 [...]

Father’s Day Grands-Peres – Maple Syrup Dumplings

Grands Peres 3
When I saw this maple syrup dumpling recipe in Saveur, I was instantly intrigued. We always keep a bottle of maple syrup on hand (Grade B, natch, for maximum flavor) but we usually pour it over the french toast, waffles or pancakes. These dumplings are cooked in the maple syrup, which gives them an intense maple flavor and gooey texture that’s perfect for a sweet and not at all sensible weekend breakfast. [...]

Eggs for Breakfast: Eggs Toscana and a Giveaway!

Eggs Toscana I was raised as a breakfast eater. Every morning before school when I was a kid, I ate breakfast – occasionally cereal with milk, often toast with cheese or peanut butter to add protein. But on important mornings, when I had a biology test, a school play performance, or the SAT’s, my mom made eggs. Scrambled, fried, in omelets, hard boiled. Eggs were my breakfast of champions. That’s why when Kitchen Play and the American Egg Board asked me to participate in their SideCar event about eggs for breakfast, I jumped at the chance. The American Egg Board is also sponsoring a great contest for those of my readers who write their own food blogs – scroll to the end of the post for details. I’m writing this post and creating this recipe as part of a partnership between Kitchen Play and The American Egg Board. They have compensated me for my time and cooking expenses but my opinions and tastes are my own. I only like to write about products I wholeheartedly endorse, but eggs and I go way back. I always keep a carton of eggs in the fridge, knowing that I can whip them into a quick meal or snack at any time of day, but eggs have a special place for breakfast. [...]

Buttermilk Pecan Sticky Bun Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake-4 I do apologize for my quiet recently. It all stems from some exciting news, which is that after years of bubble sitting, Ken and I finally bit the bullet and bought a house. I say “bought” but we don’t own it yet. Please keep your fingers crossed. It’s not a fun process. Of course, this probably more exciting for us than it is for you, other than an increased variety in backgrounds to food photography you see on The Domestic Front, and a period of quiet while I’ve been stressing, packing, organizing, purging, drinking very large glasses of wine and lukewarm margaritas (it was an EMERGENCY), packing, stressing, packing some more, and not cooking. Seriously, we’ve been living on hamburgers (frozen, courtesy of the George Forman Grill) and toast. A lot of toast. Good thing I really like toast. I’ve also been a bit, um, distracted, with my new project. So not enough posting. I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll come back and teach you how to make a lukewarm margarita in an emergency (hint: it involves not measuring the tequila). Coffee Cake-1 Of course, this means I found myself, a couple of Sundays ago, due for book club and having NOTHING to bring. (I said I’ve been busy, but book club is sacred. I need my girl time. And there needs to be carbs). So I whipped up this very basic coffee cake based on things I had in my house and one cookbook that had escaped the boxes (I keep finding cookbooks in the oddest places all over my house). Now you know my staples. (I know buttermilk seems like a weird staple, but buttermilk biscuits and dressing can save almost any meal). And this is delicious — gooey, decadent — not at all the plain coffee cake I envisioned. And it comes together in a flash, too. Don’t try to unmold it — you’ll just lose all that gooey, sticky icing. Just scoop it out with a spoon. If you’re under just a tiny bit of stress and you need a good hit of carbs and sugar, this has DEFINITELY got you covered. [...]

Savory Baked French Toast Croque Monsieur (with Ham and Cheese)

French Toast 1-4 I don’t really understand the marketing of Mother’s Day. I see all these floral pastel cards and delicate lacy handkerchiefs and early morning breakfast in bed and advertisements for “brunch” and “afternoon tea” with fussy hats implied. Let me set the record straight. I am a mom, and I know a lot of moms. An informal survey of what our ideal Mother’s Day would look like involves 1) sleeping in; 2) a pedicure with some celebrity gossip magazines; 3) sushi; 4) chocolate and 5) lots of wine. Maybe this holiday doesn’t sell so well on a greeting card, but it sounds pretty awesome to me. Too awesome to be an also-ran Mother’s Day. Maybe I will name it something else, like “Saturday”. And it will fall once a week. If your Mother’s Day veers towards the more traditional, or you’re trying to fill the time between pedicures, sushi and wine, try cooking brunch at home, and avoid the overpriced and overcrowded restaurant brunch options. (For more on this, see Brooke of FoodWoolf’s insider’s take on the restaurant Mother’s Day brunch. If you’re not feeling confident in your hollandaise sauce, or you’re a late sleeper yourself and don’t want a giant fuss in the morning, this is the brunch dish for you. [...]

Blueberry Lime Muffins With Ricotta and Food Blogger Bake Sale

Blueberry Lime Muffins -- Completed Muffins I’m not much of a muffin girl. Despite my rather extreme sweet tooth, I don’t tend to like sweets for breakfast, and most muffins are just cupcakes without frosting. And the times I actually want something sweet — elevenses or tea time — a muffin doesn’t quite cut it. I might as well have the frosting. Or a cookie. Or a bacon salted caramel brownie. And it doesn’t much help that most muffins are not worth the paper they’re baked in. Take the blueberry muffin — what really should be the king of the genre. Most are cakelike, too sweet, with an indifferent texture that has neither the chew of bread nor the tenderness of a good cupcake. The exterior tends to dry at best, sticky at worse, and they always seem to insist on serving ice cold gluey blueberry muffins on airplanes. The thought makes me shudder. But then I encountered these muffins. [...]

Irish Soda Bread — Erin Go Bragh

Soda Bread 4

Wednesday is Saint Patrick’s Day (don’t forget to wear green or the leprechauns will pinch you) and even though my family is only moderately Irish, and I, in fact, have never been to Ireland, my family celebrates every year without fail. Part of it is that my grandparents were married on March 17 (and enjoyed the luck of the Irish — they were married for 59 years), and part of it is that we happen to like celebrations, and if that celebration involves food, then we’re definitely in.

So March 17 sees us feasting happily on beer, corned beef, more beer, English mustard (don’t tell the people who are actually Irish!), beer, cabbage, Jameson’s (a change from beer), mashed potatoes, and always, always Irish soda bread. This might not look like the Irish soda bread you’ve seen — there are no raisins, no caraway seeds. But this version, a “brown soda bread” made with half whole wheat and half white flour, is more authentically Irish, according to Darina Allen and Rory O’Connell, founders of the Ballymaloe Cooking School. And it’s incredibly satisfying – hearty and only slightly sweet, with a crunch to the crush and a melting interior. Warm from the oven with a pat of butter, it really can’t be beat. [...]

Laissez Les Bons Temps Roulez — Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake 1

Skip straight to the recipe

A confession: I’ve never been to Mardi Gras. I realize it counts as one of those things you should do in your life but I’m kind of afraid that that ship has sailed. Although I’ve never been a wild partier, there was a time when a citywide party with a crowd of strangers and copious alcohol may have seemed like it might be fun. Now, in my advancing middle age (I’ll be Thirty TWO on my next birthday) I am now firmly in the stage of my life where a good time means a comfortable seat, a scintillating conversation, and one or three cocktails prepared with extreme care. And I have a secret suspicion that those three items might be hard to find in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
There are certain things I AM sorry to miss out on, though, and one of those is the famous King Cake. I’ve had the French Galette des Rois for Twelfth Night (you may have noticed if you’re a regular reader that my upbringing tends towards the francophone), but that frangipane and pastry confection is, from what I understand, NOT the same thing. I have friends in the South who talk about King Cakes from January 6 through Mardi Gras, and my interest was piqued. I’ve spent the past few years checking out all the places in Los Angeles that I thought might reasonably sell King Cake, all to no avail. So I did what any moderately insane curious person with a kitchen would do — decided to make my own.

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After School Snack — Gluten Free Pear Almond Muffins

Pear Almond Gluten Free Muffins
The Nuni just started preschool a few weeks ago. My baby is growing up! Generally she’s very happy and excited about school, because there are not one, but TWO slides and also there is a play kitchen. This new development does bring with it all sorts of new questions, such as “How many changes of clothes do I need to send each day because she will get the clothes she wore to school covered in paint?” or “Is it normal for a two year old to talk about kissing all the boys in her classroom?” or “Why does she keep telling the teachers that other kids’ jackets are hers?” The most important question of all, though, is what to provide for that time-honored ritual – the after school snack.
I pick Nuni up from school right at the start of rush hour, and our trip home can be LONG, so I have to make sure I’m carrying something that can be eaten in the car, which means that has a low choke risk (because I’m a paranoid parent) and ideally, some good fat and protein, since my skinny minnie has been running around all day (did I mention there are TWO slides?). Cheese is the obvious answer, but it’s often rejected — I wanted something that would be appealing but still pack a nutritional punch. When talking with Stephanie of Wasabimon and Karen of Fickle Feast about gluten free baking, I got the idea to use nut flours to up the protein content in a standard muffin, which also has the added bonus of turning the standard muffin into something else entirely. [...]