Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lemon Berry Cake with Cannoli Filling

After receiving a delivery of California citrus offered to me by Limoneira, we had two wonderful meals using the lemons -- swordfish with a lemon sauce and the shrimp recipe that I posted. I had six lemons left and Joe suggested I make my lemon berry cake. Several years ago, we enjoyed a lemon berry cake with a mascarpone filling at a restaurant, and I was inspired to duplicate it. Here is the photo when I made it in 2009. The lemon berry cake is the most popular post on my blog and has had over 20,000 views. When I made the cake this time, I used cannoli filling that we are able to get from our local Italian market. 
Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling
 (I used cannoli filling)
Ingredients for Two Layer Cake:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 pound (1 stick) salted butter
1/4 cup finely minced lemon zest
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8" round baking pans and set aside. Prepare crumb topping and set aside.

Streusel topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
dash of cinnamon
8 Tbs. (1 stick) of butter, melted

Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until your crumb topping resembles peas. You want crumbs, so don't overmix.

Cake instructions:

Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda, and set aside.

With a mixer, cream butter and lemon zest until the butter is soft. Add the sugar and beat to mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches alternately with the sour cream in two batches, beating only until incorporated after each addition. Scrape batter into buttered pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle each cake batter with half of crumb topping and 1/2 cup (or more) of mixed berries (I used a frozen mixture of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries). Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and dry. Baking time may vary with different ovens and types of pans.

Once cake has cooled, remove from pans. (Once cool, I wrapped each layer individually in foil and kept refrigerated until I was ready to use)

Prepare the mascarpone cream filling:

12-ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
1/4 cup light cream (half & half)
4 tbsp powdered sugar, or to taste
grated zest of lemon - optional

Beat all ingredients together with a whisk until soft peaks form. If you want to make the filling sweeter, then add a bit more sugar. You might have to add a little more cream to keep the filling from getting too stiff. Spread cream filling over a cake layer, sprinkle with a handful of fresh blueberries, and top with the second cake layer. Refrigerate at least two hours and serve cold.

My notes:

This dessert is served cold, and keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can drizzle some raspberry sauce on the plate for a nice presentation.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Run For The Roses Pie

You still have time to bake this tasty Run for the Roses pie. I brought it to a Derby Party last year and we loved it.

On Saturday we'll be watching on our TV, and I'll wear my hat. A hat is believed to bring luck to the jockeys, horses and your bets.


1/2 recipe Pate Brisee (I used a prepared pie crust from Aldi's)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-­purpose flour
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey


1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pate brisee into a 12 ­inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off the excess flour; fit dough into a 9­inch pie plate, pressing it into the edges. Trim to a 1 ­inch overhang all around. Crimp edge as desired. Cover with plastic wrap; chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes. 

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Line with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1­inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges of the crust are just beginning to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights. Return crust to oven and continue baking until golden all over, about 5 minutes more. Transfer pie shell to a wire rack; let cool slightly. 

3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs and butter. Add sugar and flour; mix until well combined. Stir in pecans, chocolate chips, and bourbon. Pour into prepared pie shell. 

4. Transfer pie to oven and bake until filling is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack; let cool before serving.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Limoneira Lemons

A delivery of California citrus was offered to me and arrived yesterday. Mr. Mountain Breaths called me at work while admiring the beautiful green box. We love anything "lemon" in this household. I drink a glass of fresh squeezed lemon juice in a glass of water first thing in the morning. Adding fresh lemon juice or lemon slices to hot or chilled water is a great way to naturally flavor water.

I will surely be looking for Limoneira lemons at Trader Joe's. I understand they will be available soon! I think Costco may also have them. I have never seen (or felt) such a beautiful lemon here in central New York. LOL
Thank you Limoneira! 

This is a shrimp dish that I make on a regular basis. I'll be making this tonight with these beautiful lemons.  

Garlic Lemon Shrimp


1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 to 6 medium cloves garlic crushed and minced 
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Directions: In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until butter stops foaming, about 30 to 45 seconds. Add the shrimp and garlic and sauté over medium heat, turning frequently until the shrimp just turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley, lemon juice, and salt to taste; stir well. Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Martha's Vineyard and Fairy Tales

 Susan Branch's book arrived in the mail on Saturday, and I have not put it down except to sleep and do this blog post. I think you would love it too! As I am reading it, I am recalling the beautiful sights from when we went to Martha's Vineyard in July 2013 for a week. We will go again once we retire :-)  Vineyard Colors photographer allowed me to share photos on my blog when I did the post in July 2013. Most of the photos below were taken in May and June 2013. 
Brookside Farm, Chilmark. 
Vineyard Haven Harbor - 5:24 a.m.
Quiet Fuller Street beach has a wonderful view of Edgartown Lighthouse.
5:14am, Edgartown Great Pond: standing in the water to hide the rising sun behind the boat.
Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Edgartown Harbor Light
Keith Farm, Chilmark

Lambert's Cove Beach, West Tisbury
Long Point Wildlife Refuge, W. Tisbury
North Road, Chilmark - wet, foggy, spring morning
Oak Bluffs Harbor
Seaview Ave., Oak Bluffs
Squibnocket Beach, Chilmark
One the many colorful cottages in Oak Bluffs.

We walked by Susan Branch's home when we were on the Vineyard (I was hoping she would come out in the yard LOL). In case you've never been to Martha's Vineyard - the three most populous towns are “down-Island” — Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven (also called Tisbury). The three rural communities are “up-Island” — Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

In LOVE with Shasta Trailers

When I saw this 1966 Shasta trailer for sale, it reminded me of the "glamping nights" when I was a youngster. My grandparents had a cute Shasta trailer that they would bring to my parent's camp, and we had campfire dinners, dressed up in my grandmother's costume jewelry, baked pies in the little oven, had treasure hunts, and my favorite thing was to sleep in the "bed" on the upper level of the trailer.

When I saw this 1966 Shasta Travel Trailer glamper camper for sale in Farmersville, Texas on Facebook, I squealed with delight. It is the same trailer (and color) that my grandparents had, and I've been looking for one to restore when I am retired.

The ad read:  $4,800 Adorable 1966 16' Shasta Travel Trailer. We have painted the inside and outside, new flooring, replaced a front window and removed and corrected the damage from some wood rot. The front door had been replaced by the previous owner along with the sub flooring. And it was done correctly or we would of redone it. We left the original Ice Box for storage, however we added a dorm refrigerator in. Trailer comes with a double hot plate and toaster oven. The oven was removed by the previous owner, however the gas lines still are there if someone wanted to replace it. Comes with portable A/C and all decorations you see. This is a great Camper, ready to roll. She was built right here in the Grapevine, Texas plant and been in Texas all her life. Texas Title in hand. Asking $4800.