whole wheat blood orange yogurt loaf cake.

Whew, that’s a title, eh? But it’s all true! This is a version of a loaf cake that I’ve loved for years; I should post that original recipe sometime soon! However. It is citrus season, specifically blood orange season. I have only one other blood orange recipe on this site, these margaritas, which you should totally make sometime soon. It is a bit of a travesty however, that I’ve only featured blood oranges once! Time to change that, and this cake is the perfect remedy.

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This cake is perfect for February, especially Valentine’s Day! Blood oranges will naturally turn the batter pink, a light, blush pink which is so pretty. Most importantly however, this cake is incredibly delicious and refreshing. The smell while it cooks is intoxicating. Bonus? I made this with white whole wheat flour, organic plain yogurt and coconut oil, so it counts as a healthy dessert! Or breakfast. 🙂

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Like most cakes, this is better the day after it cooks as that allows for the flavors to come together. If you’d like, whip up a quick glaze with one cup of confectioners sugar, one tablespoon of blood orange juice and a half teaspoon of zest. Whisk to combine and drizzle over the cake. Any way you slice it, this is so heavenly, and a perfect breakfast to wake up to on Valentine’s Day!

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blood orange yogurt loaf cake.
adapted slightly from an old issue of Gourmet magazine. 

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt (2% or full fat)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar (I use unrefined)
1/4 cup unrefined white sugar
juice one blood orange (1/4 cup)
zest of one-two blood oranges
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (other neutrals oils will work)

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, white sugar, blood orange juice and zest and whisk together to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until just combined (a few lumps are ok). Add in the melted coconut oil and whisk together.

In a loaf pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, scrap the batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Set aside and let cool. Remove from pan after letting rest for 10 minutes.

If glazing, let cool completely first.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

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winter wassail cocktail.

Hey you! How were your holidays? Mine were full of family, friends, and food. So much food. It was glorious. I served up this cocktail, which is delightfully festive and perfect for any New Years Day celebrations you may have… even if your plans are akin to mine, aka loafing around in your comfy clothes, watching tv, and maybe, just maybe, doing some light housework. Hey, at least you’ve got a cocktail in hand!

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This cocktail was mentioned to me by a friend who tried a sample of this winter wassail juice from Trader Joes, and while the clerk mentioned that it’s wonderful warmed (yum!), he immediately turned it into a cocktail.

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As mentioned, the main ingredient it is this winter wassail, which is essentially an apple/berry juice with mulled spices, so any juice combined with classic mulling spices would be perfect! Classic mulling spices are cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, orange peel, etc. You can even make your own wassail juice by picking up a mulling spices jar at your market and combining it with an apple or cran-apple juice! So many options! Be sure to use real maple syrup here, garnish with a cinnamon stick, or even a cinnamon sugar rim and a burnt orange peel if you’re feeling extra fancy. Cheers to 2018!

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winter wassail cocktail.

ingredients
1.5 ounces brandy or cognac
3/4 ounces pure maple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
winter wassail juice
ice
cinnamon stick, to garnish
white sugar/ground cinnamon (optional, to rim the glass)
lemon or orange peel (optional, to garnish)
rocks glass

directions
Pour ice into rocks glass. Add brandy, maple syrup, lemon juice and top with winter wassail juice. Stir virtuously to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Makes one cocktail. 

meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.

I’ve been ALL about meyer lemons this winter. Normally quite expensive, I’ve been finding bags of them for $2 at Trader Joe’s. So affordable, that they’ve currently replaced regular lemons in my morning warm water and lemon juice routine! I’m sure that’ll stop once they fall back out of season, but I’ve been relishing their sweet, bright, charming flavor as much as I can. One way I’ve done that is use them in this spin on lemon poppyseed bread.

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If you’ve never had meyer lemons, well, you’re in for a real treat! They are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin, and have a lovely, bright yet sweet lemon flavor. If you cannot find them, you can certainly just use regular lemons, and maybe swap up some of the lemon zest and juice for orange. That would be divine!

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As with most quick breads, this is definitely better the next day. To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Enjoy a slice with your coffee or tea!

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meyer lemon poppyseed loaf.
slightly adapted from NY Times Cooking. 

ingredients
1 cup coconut palm sugar
3 tablespoons zest; two-three meyer lemons
1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub in 2% yogurt)
3 tablespoons fresh meyer lemon juice
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon poppyseed
2/3 cup grapeseed oil

directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar and rub with your fingers until it looks like wet sand. Whisk in buttermilk, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk dry ingredients into the batter, then whisk in oil and poppy seeds.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, about 45-1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. If top begins to brown too quickly, tent with foil. Let cool in pan until warm to the touch, then turn out onto a baking rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Turn cake right side up, and let cool completely before slicing.

Best when served 1-2 days after making.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

spicy sweet potato latkes.

Hi there! Today we’re celebrating Hanukah here at PTL. For once I’m actually ahead of the game and posting this in ample time of the holiday. This year Hanukah falls on December 24th, and goes through the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. What a festive end to the year!

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The pinnacle food of Hanukah is the latke. If you’ve never had latkes, let me implore you to try them. They are incredibly simple to make, and mine are an easy twist on the classic. As latkes are cooked (pan fried, actually) in a whole mess of oil, I decided to up the nutrition profile slightly by using sweet potatoes. Now I could have very easily lessened the amount of oil here, but since Hanukah is about celebrating the miracle of the oil lasting eight days and nights (among other things!), we’re going full speed ahead here.

Because I like spicy with my sweet potatoes, I added in a healthy amount of hot sauce (about 1.5 teaspoons/20 dashes). It’s A LOT of potatoes, so these only ended up with a mild kick. Scale up and down to your preference.

It’s VERY important to not skip the salting and draining process of the shredded potatoes. We want crispy latkes, and removing excess moisture is paramount to that process. Once you’ve cooked the latkes, remove them to a paper-toweled plate to drain off any excess oil. Then place them in a warm oven (200 degrees) on a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Do not stack them — remember, crispness is the goal!

You can make these ahead, to reheat from refrigerated simply place them in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes, turning once halfway through, checking to ensure they don’t burn. Serve.

Happy Hanukah!

spicy sweet potato latkes.
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ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
1 medium russet potato, peeled
5 scallions, thinly sliced
10-20 dashes hot sauce (use chile-garlic paste, Sriracha, Frank’s Red Hot, your favorite)
1 teaspoon sea salt + 1/2 teaspoon
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, whisked
2/3 cup unbleached flour

directions

Shred the potatoes using a food processor fitted with the grating blade (alternatively, you can use the large hole side of a box grater for a real workout!). Add the shredded potatoes to a fine mesh strainer that it sitting a top a bowl. Sprinkle the potatoes with a teaspoon of sea salt and mix together. Let sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, use a wooden spoon to push the mixture down and to the sides of the strainer to push any moisture out. Less moisture will yield crispier latkes, which is what we’re going for.

In a large bowl, add the salted potatoes, scallions, hot sauce (to your preference, 10 dashes of Frank’s Red Hot was about 3/4 teaspoon), black pepper, sea salt and mix. Add in whisked eggs, and mix to combine, Finally, add in 2/3 cup flour, and mix gently to combine, ensuring no pockets of raw flour remain. With clean, damp hands, form into 2.5 inch patties (about 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture)

Heat about 1/2 inch of grapeseed or avocado oil over medium/medium high heat in a large, deep skillet. Fry the latkes in batches, cooking about 3 minutes per side, making sure that the oil isn’t too hot (above 350 degrees). If the oil is too hot, the latkes will burn before the middle is cooked.

Drain onto paper towels, and place into warmed oven until ready to serve. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

Makes about 18-20 latkes.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible**