We've lived in our house for four months now, and the backyard is still mostly dead grass. Let's see - work on backyard - okay added to the never ending list of things to do. The good news about the backyard is that there is a huge and abundant lemon tree! The tree looks like it's 50 years old. Our house is 70 years old so this is possible, though I know nothing about the lifespan lemon trees. I've always wanted a lemon tree and now I have one that is currently producing more fruit than I can possibly use. In an attempt to use up some lemons, I made a lemon loaf cake from my Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook. I make this cake a few times a year because it's really easy and really good. Now I'll be tempted to make it all the time. 

Please leave a comment and tell me your favorite way to use lemons if you're so inclined. I would love some new ideas!

Lemon Loaf Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. 

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, zest and vanilla. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. 

Place pan on wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear, about 5 minutes. 

Once the cake has cooled 10 minutes, carefully remove it from the pan and place on rack over a sheet pan. Slowly pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the warm cake and allow it to soak in. Cool cake completely. 

For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over cake. 

Serves 6-8. 


Ringing in the New Year, Korean Style

Last night we celebrated New Year's Eve with my closest friend. She is Korean and so we made some Korean dishes that are traditional to New Year's: rice cake soup and dumplings. 

We also made spicy cucumber salad, one of my all time favorite dishes. I just love the crisp, cold cucumbers and the salty, spicy, sweet dressing. It is really easy to make too. This blog gives an idea of how to do it if you want to try it at home.

I love Korean food. Thank you L for introducing it to me, and for sharing so many wonderful dishes (both Korean and non-Korean) with me over the years. I think this should be our annual New Year's Eve tradition.

Happy New Year everyone!