Midsummer Mojito

Apparently, I was indulging in the bounty of the season around the same time last year and put together this Midsummer Magic post full of other berry delicious treats. I’m seasonally predictable like that. And if you like mojitos, we also have watermelon and rhubarb variations!

There comes a certain point every summer when the mint makes itself known in our garden. It grows like crazy, and we’re treated to its sweet and refreshing smell every time we walk among it.

This is the point when I make the switch from my nightly G&T to mojitos! There’s no better sensory experience than picking the mint, smashing it with some brown sugar, squeezing the lime juice, giving it all a stir, and then taking a big sip.


Last week while I was picking mint, the boys were picking raspberries. We brought our bounty (or what was left, in the case of the berries) into the kitchen, and I was making my drink while unpacking our farm share. Inside the box was a fresh cucumber.

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Chocolate Cake with Buttercream and Rose Petals

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Hey Valentines!  We’re republishing an old favorite today: Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Icing and Rose Petals.  The Schu family loves this simple chocolate cake recipe. Spend a year of birthdays with us and you’re bound to have it at least a few times.  Fancy it up with some buttercream icing and the addition of dried rose petals and you have the prettiest Valentine’s Day (or any damn day) dessert.  If cupid shot you with an arrow and you’re in need of more Valentine’s Day DIYs – check out our side bar for more. Continue reading

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Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin is our ingredient of the season. We’re a big fan of pumpkin desserts (cookies, and popsicles, anyone?), but we’re not opposed to drinking our pumpkin or putting it on our face! Oh, and if you like the idea of a pumpkin soup, but don’t want the spice of a curry, check out this stew!

I’m trying to figure out how to introduce this pumpkin curry. Here are my options : 1. it’s so easy to make! 2. it’s delicious; everyone, including little Luc and Alex, loved it! 3. on a personal note, cooking curry brings back so many awesome memories from my time visiting Sarah in Thailand. All three introductions are true, and together, they have me wanting to make a pot of this curry every night. You should probably make it too.


In Sarah’s post about Bangkok, she briefly mentioned the cooking class that we took together at Silom Thai Cooking School. It was such a great traveling experience. I love eating Thai food, and I’m happy to experiment with recipes I find online and in cookbooks, but it was reassuring to have experienced teachers show us how to make a handful of dishes and confirm that, as I’ll show you today, making a delicious curry is really that simple.

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Lemon Lemon Gin Fizz

Lemon is our ingredient of the season. You still have time to make some of lemon popsicles for the weekend!

With hot and humid days in the forecast, this Lemon Lemon Gin Fizz is the perfect refreshing drink for your holiday weekend. Trust us!


Why “lemon lemon”? Because the recipe contains lemongrass infused simple syrup in addition to the lemon juice typically found in a gin fizz.

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Lemon Cream Popsicles

Lemon is our ingredient of the season! So far we’ve used it in a bucklein barsin a savory pasta, and in the shower.

Lemon cream popsicles : just three ingredients and you’ll create a popsicle that’s equal parts tart, sweet, and deliciously creamy. I’ve been trying for days, but I can’t quite figure out how to explain these. They’re creamy like a lemon custard, but airy, like whipped cream. Maybe lemon mousse? Try licking whipped cream off of the slice of a lemon. That’s what this is (sort of).

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I got the idea for these after reading The Merrythought’s post on Brazilian Limeade Popsicles.Loving desserts that blend citrus and cream (orange sherbet & vanilla ice cream, key lime pie), I was immediately intrigued and thought it would be fun to make a version that uses lemons. Subbing the limes for lemons, produces the recipe as I wrote it below, which just contains milk, sweetened condensed milk, and lemons. That’s it! And there’s no cooking involved,  just blend, strain, and freeze….



At this point are you thinking about the lemon juice and milk combination? Won’t you just end up with curdled milk? That’s what I wondered, but amazingly surprisingly, it just works! Calder says it’s because you’re using cold milk. Maybe that’s the case, but I’m incredulous, I think there’s something else going on here, I just don’t know what it is.

Lemon Cream Pops

Lemon Cream Pops


  • 2 whole lemons
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups milk (I used whole)


  1. Juice one lemon, removing all seeds. Cut and discard the ends from the second lemon, and then cut the rest of the fruit into eighths, removing as many seeds as you can (do not peel the fruit).
  2. Place the lemon pieces, the lemon juice, the sweetened condensed milk, and the milk in a blender. Pulse or blend (my blender doesn't have a pulse option) for about 5-10 seconds. At this point you can taste your mixture and adjust it as necessary, adding more lemon juice or sugar depending upon how tart or sweet you want them.
  3. Strain the liquid, throwing out the pulp.
  4. Pour the strained liquid into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.


A note about our popsicle molds : we love them! We have both the mini pops and the classic molds. The mini pops are the perfect size for kids and for small treats for adults (each pop is less than an ounce). Those are made from silicone and it’s so easy to remove each pop without having to run them under water (the silicone sleeve turns inside out as you’re pulling out the pop) . The classic molds produce large/average-sized pops. These aren’t made from silicone, but you can remove each pop with its plastic sleeve from the large holder. This makes it easy to grab just one pop at a time to run under hot water, or to carry a bunch at a time as you deliver them to your guests on the deck. Zoku. I’m having so much fun making popsicles this summer that now I want to collect all of the Zoku holders (rocket ships!  sea life!). I’m obsessed, but really just because they are such high quality molds that are well designed.

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Luckily for me, I live with a little popsicle monster.  If he had his way, he’d have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have to admit, as the supply dwindles, I love planning what the next batch will be. Strangely enough, he calls every one a “watermelon pop” because that’s the first flavor he ever had!


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Lemon Bars

Every season we like to pick one ingredient and find a variety of ways to love it and use it. This summer it’s lemons! You can find our complete ingredient archive here.

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Lemon bars! Leeeemon Bars!! These are not for the sugar-free, but they’re oh so tasty. I love the tangy flavor and the soft texture of these lemon bars made with fresh lemon juice. Lemon bars are my new go-to party treat because a tiny square can go a long way. I actually halved this recipe because it’s waaaay too much for two people and even a lot for a family of four.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars


  • Crust:
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Filling:
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Grease a 9x13x2 inch baking sheet.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light.
  3. Combine the flour and salt and add to the butter until just mixed. It might seem a bit crumbly, but that is normal.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball inside the bowl.
  5. With floured hands, press the dough into a 9x13x2 inch baking sheet, building up a 1/4-1/2 inch edge on all sides.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° and bake the crust for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned.
  8. While the crust is baking, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and flour. Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
  9. Cut into squares and dust with confectioners' sugar and top with berries if desired.
  10. *If you're making lemon bars for a crowd (six or more people) then double the recipe!


Whaddya say? Lemon bars for dessert this weekend?!

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Orange & Almond Cake

Oranges are our ingredient of the season. We’re filling our archives with zesty drinks, candies,  crafts, and even cleaners!


This recipe for orange and almond cake produces a deliciously dense cake with just the right amount sweet, citrusy zest to brighten any cold and grey afternoon. And that’s why it’s become a winter staple in our house (of course, yesterday I happened to make it on one of the warmest & sunniest winter days, but I couldn’t fight the urge to bring the sunshine in!). The cake is finished with a sweet syrup made from fresh orange juice, and as a result, it definitely doesn’t need any sort of frosting, rather it pairs perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea or coffee ~ just what you’ll need after a day out in the snow.

The recipe comes from one of our favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem, which we may have mentioned here and here. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we share a favorite dish from the book!


A note about the ingredients ~

I love this cake’s short and sweet ingredient list. Of course the eggs, butter, sugar, flour, and salt are pantry staples; you just have to pick up fresh citrus and almonds or almond meal.

This recipe calls for the zest from four oranges and a lemon, as such, be sure to buy organic. There are two reasons to think about buying organic: 1. environmental and 2. health. From a health perspective, you’ll often see oranges and other citrus as being a “low pesticide residue” fruit as they are protected by their thick skin. Since those pesticides remain on the rind, anytime you’re using the zest in a recipe, you would be exposing yourself to a higher concentration of the pesticides if you don’t buy organic. And, I’m sure you know this, but an easy way to ensure that you’re buying organic in the produce section is to look for fruit and veg with a 5 digit code that starts with 9.

As for the almond meal, you can easily buy whole almonds and use a food processor to make the meal, but since this recipe calls for a whopping 2.5 cups, I find that it’s easier to just pick up a bag of pre-ground almonds. Not sure where to look? You can always find it for a good price in Trader Joe’s nut section.

When it comes to zesting the citrus, I find that it’s quicker and easier to use a zester that produces the nice long strips of zest. You can zest a whole orange (or four!) relatively quickly, and then use a chef’s knife to give the pile a few chops and create the smaller pieces that you need.

On with the recipe then. We’re trying out a new feature on our recipe posts, and we hope you like it! You can see the recipe below as in the past, but now, if you would like to print it, just hit the “print” button to the right of the title. That will open the recipe without photos in a new window as well as allowing you to print the PDF and/or save it as a file on your computer. yay! If you’re having any trouble or have any suggestions for further improvements to our recipe posts, we would love to hear them.

Orange & Almond Cake

Orange & Almond Cake


  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest & juice from 4 oranges & 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt


  1. Prep the oven and pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9.5 inch springform pan.
  2. Mix up the ingredients. Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and all zest in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low until combined, but do not add too much air to the mixture. Add half the ground almonds and mix until combined. With the mixer on, add the eggs one at a time. Add the remaining almonds, the flour, and the salt. Beat until all ingredients are combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  3. Bake the cake! Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Use a skewer or toothpick to test for doneness, you'll want the cake to be baked through, but still be moist.
  4. Make the syrup. When the cake is near done, place 1/2 cup of the citrus juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan on medium-high. Bring the juice to a boil and then remove it from the heat.
  5. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, brush it with the boiling juice, allowing the syrup to soak into the cake. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it.
  6. Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream.

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Roasted Root & Squash Soup

Last week Sarah shared her fantastic recipe for squash soup with a citrus zing. Then we debated: should share another soup recipe this week, especially another one that uses squash? The answer was yes, because for us, it’s most definitely soup season and squash season! I was also jumping at the bit to share this recipe before Thanksgiving because I think it could make a fantastic addition to your feast, but it’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted vegetables, turning them into a completely new dish so you’re not eating the same leftovers for days.


I made up this recipe a few years ago, and I never make it exactly the same way twice. I truly believe that anything goes when it comes to the vegetables. In this post I’m giving you an example of a typical vegetable mix in our house, but you could easily add more vegetables to the mix and subtract the ones you don’t like. The same goes for the garnish. I don’t buy anything special for the garnish and always make a point of using what I have on hand. If you do the same, I’m sure you’ll come up with some pretty surprising and delicious combinations.


Soup Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth + additional water
  • 1 medium/large butternut squash
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium/large onion
  • 2 large beets
  • 3-5 medium potatoes

Garnish Suggestions

  • beet or chard greens
  • tuffle oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • sour cream


 How To

  • Prepare the vegetables for roasting. Cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Coarsely chop the beets, potatoes, and two carrots. Place all vegetables on an oiled cooking sheet or baking pan and roast until soft (about one hour), stirring halfway through.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, dice the onion and remaining carrot and saute them in olive oil until the onions are translucent.



  •  When the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the soup pot (removing the squash from its rind) with the broth and enough water to reach the top of the vegetables. Bring this mixture to a boil and then turn down to low heat for blending.
  • Carefully puree the soup using either an immersion or upright blender. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, and then you’re done!


About the Garnishes

I think garnishes add a special touch to what is otherwise a homogeneous soup (not that that’s a bad thing). As I mentioned, there’s no particular right or wrong when it comes to the garnish, but you may want to think about using things that will add a different color, texture, or flavor to the soup. I often use some cooked greens because they add both color and texture to the smooth, pureed base. I like parmesan or cheddar cheeses for their nutty taste, but the tang of yogurt or sour cream is also a great compliment to the sweet flavor of the vegetables. And, as you know, I love the taste of truffles, and a dash of truffle oil works really well on this soup.

If using greens, saute them in some olive oil to prepare them. You can do this with a touch of salt and some diced onion and/or crush garlic or garlic powder.


Alex loves this soup, I’m sure it has something to do with the sweet/savory combination from the roasted vegetables and the easy-to-eat pureed texture. I love knowing that he’s eating such a wide variety of vegetables with every bite. Oh, and I already have two quarts of this frozen for when I’m too tired to cook!

There you have it! A relatively simple soup that is so easy to prepare, packed with flavor, and with so many different veggies! Try making this for friends and family over the holiday season and I’m sure it’ll be a hit… if not, just send it to my house, I have a freezer that I’m looking to fill ;-).  
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