Citrus compote with yogurt and granola

 
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I loved the winter retreat. We had our usual flock of sewing machines whirring away in the dining room, some crafting and knitting in front of several Avengers movies, wine and macarons by the fire. My next retreat will be early June and I already know I’m going to do the macarons again. Practice makes perfect. Especially when you need a mountain of them.

After my last retreat in the Fall, I was able to write up a quick post to document all the inspiration I had used for the meals I cooked. It was a great list and I’ve received wonderful feedback about the links. So I sat down to do the same for this retreat — but it turns out I decided to wing it and followed zero recipes that I can link you to for inspiration!

The ramen is assembled with fabulous ingredients from Mama Earth Organics, the macarons were a mishmash of blog posts I read (although you can find a post about that here), the breakfast tostadas are just eggs and salsa on a crispy fried tortilla (that I happened to buy pre-fried cuz nobody has time to perfectly fry a corn tortilla and clean up the mess), the dumplings and kimchi fried rice follow more of a method than a recipe, and the braised beef on polenta is my own dump-amazing-ingredients-in-the-pressure-cooker method that I have yet to make the same way twice. Even my cheesecake doesn’t really follow a recipe so much as a ratio of eggs to sugar to cream cheese.

Hold it!

Breakfast! I have a recipe for breakfast! Hurray. I can now change my blog post from “no recipes for you” to “Citrus compote with yogurt and granola”! I think I even have a picture or two.

 
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(Don’t you guys love it when I just sit at my computer and type and type away without a real plan for things? it’s the only way these posts happen. I make up my mind to just start typing.)

Sunday morning breakfast at my retreats are often a lighter, easier meal. I minimize the dishes required so I can focus on my guests before they pack up and leave. This citrus compote was made on Saturday night so the flavours had time to develop, and then I served it with my favourite granola (by Ste Anne’s Bakery) and some thick greek yogurt.

Here is the original recipe from kitchn.com.

In short: (because that’s what I do; I learn a recipe and then simplify to something I can remember)

  1. Supreme some beautiful citrus fruit

  2. Squeeze all the juice into a saucepan, add some honey, ginger, and a cardamom pod and simmer for a few minutes.

  3. Remove the ginger and cardamom pod and pour the juice over the citrus fruit and let sit in the fridge overnight. Enjoy over yogurt and granola.

It’s pretty. It’s delicious. And it’s so simple. Especially when you used mostly grapefruit, like I did, cuz they’re the easiest of the citrus fruit to supreme because they’ve got nice big segments.

 
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I’ve got two spots left in both my Summer Retreat and Fall Retreat. It’s a weekend full of food and nothing; you bring whatever you want to fill the nothing. Click here to check out the retreats and join meeee!!!

Variations on a Pound Cake

I once asked my coworker what his favourite cake was. He told me it was pound cake. I think I may have scoffed at his answer. "Pound cake? Really. A dense, crumby, old-lady cake?"

I think I've always dismissed pound cake because I remembered it as a dry, dense cake, usually lacking in flavour. But I went ahead and made it anyway. And then made another for my parents. And then made it again for my birthday picnic.

I've changed my mind. Pound cake is my favourite, too. I'm addicted.

Chocolate pecan pound cake

Chocolate pecan pound cake

I think it's a sign of growing up. I don't need my cake to be covered in icing. I don't need it to be fluffy to be moist. I love a cake that can stand up to coffee. And I love a cake that is so simple to make, you can play around with the flavours and have it turn out perfectly every time.

Now, if only it could be healthier... I did commit to more healthful options at the Farmhouse Retreat, but this pound cake may have to sneak into the weekend feast.

Strawberry jam marbled pound cake

Strawberry jam marbled pound cake

A new jar of jam and a crunchy crust on the loaf

A new jar of jam and a crunchy crust on the loaf

Variations on a Basic Poundcake

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's recipe

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 small loaf pans with parchment paper. I always prefer to make 2 loaves from one recipe. You can always use one larger loaf pan and bake the cake for about 15 minutes longer.

Beat the butter in an electric mixer on medium speed; add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 mins. In the meantime, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

To the butter sugar mixture, add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low until just incorporated. Give it one final scrape with the spatula to make sure everything's well blended. (Check that bottom tricky spot on the bottom of the kitchen aid mixer.)

Fill loaf pans and bake for 50 mins or until a poked skewer comes out clean.

Variation 1 Citrus

I've tried lime (2-3), lemons (1-2), and grapefruit (1/2). Anything goes!

For a vibrant citrus flavour, grate the zest of the citrus fruit and add to the sugar butter mixture at the beginning. Add the juice of the fruit (about 1/4 cup) after the addition of eggs. Don't worry if it appears a little curdled. Continue with above directions. I usually omit the vanilla if I'm adding citrus.

Variation 2 Nuts or chocolate

When adding nuts or chocolate, add them at the end. Just before all the flour is incorporated, add about 1 cup to 1.5 cups of chocolate chips or nuts. You can also crumble nuts on top of the cake, but you might want to bake at 325 to prevent any charring of the nuts. At 325, you will likely need an extra 10 to 15 minutes of bake time. Always test with a skewer.

Variation 3 Marbled Jam

You can swirl your choice of jam into the batter after filling the loaf pans. It's up to you how much you want to mix it in. I've used homemade strawberry jam (a little runnier and less sweet) and swirled in about 1/4 cup to each loaf pan.

If you try any other variations, please share! I'm always looking for new ideas!