Ontario peaches and other stone fruits have found their way into grocery aisles. For any of you muttering meh, you can stop reading right now and go have another Twinky. The rest of you can join the happy dance at Peachy Headquarters.
Peach & Burrata Salad
What you need:
2 large ripe peaches, thinly sliced
¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
salt, pepper to taste
4 cups mixed bitter greens
¾ cup fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces burrata
What you do:
Toss peach slices, onion, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Allow to rest for ten minutes.
Strain mixture, reserving liquid. Add greens and mint leaves and toss gently together. Drizzle in oil and 2 tablespoons of reserved pickling liquid.
To serve: spoon salad onto plates and top each serving with pieces of burrata. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more oil if desired.
This is filling enough for lunch, or as a tasty appetizer for your patio dinners. I like it with buttermilk eggplant(recipe coming next week, along with a book that caused me to ignore my family for 24 hours. Yes, it was that good. More next week).
More from peachy headquarters here:
Not a fan of peaches? Dropped on your head as a baby, I see. Here’s some other juice for your weekend reading:
Reasons Your Creative Type Has Broken Up with You (dedicated to my writing peers, especially new friends from a creative jolt kind of day I experienced recently. Last weekend I attended a “writing in the garden worship” with nine writers and an instructor (Thanks Beth Kaplan) who fed us lunch and wine at the end of the day, after feeding us writing prompts, then sending us off to write in her leafy oasis. We would then convene to read our words aloud if we chose. We did, and oh what words tumbled forth! This kind of activity may not suit a beginner but it does suit this wonky writer: I found the company and the exercises equally brilliant.
Wish I wrote these snappy lyrics: “Some say she’s from Mars / Or one of the seven stars / That shine after three-thirty in the morning / Well, she isn’t!” from “Planet Claire”. A big star for you if you guess which talented musicians wrote them. Or just find it here in this awesome list with some of my all time faves (curated by NPR): The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women
50 Things It is Finally Time to Get Rid Of (This list made me twitchy. Have they been sneaking around my house or what?)
The Toronto Islands will reopen to visitors this Monday. This is welcome news for this picnic fan. What of the residents? How did they fare? Read on about The Year of the Flood.
Saturday night movies at home are suddenly hip again, thanks to a terrific new Canadian series hosted by arts journalist Johanna Schneller.
Celebrity pseudo-science has a new Canadian enemy and she’s ready to fight.
HAVE A PEACHY WEEKEND. Got some tasty peach recipes to share? Have your say below!!!
Daisy Tea Cake
This is a winner for everyone who favours their cakes with a hint of lemon and a heap of fluffy. It’s my favourite warm weather special occasion cake, served up with some seasonal berries and a dollop of Chantilly cream. I usually make it in a rectangular pan with daisy imprints on the bottom, one given to me as a gift that I love, but I’ve also made it in a regular 9 by 13 pan and cut out flower-shaped pieces for special occasions.
What you need:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- finelygrated lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 4 eggs plus 2 extra yolks
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon rum
- finely grated lemon zest of ½ lemon
What you do:
1. Position a rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325 Ⓕ.
2. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.
4. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and continue to beat.
6. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
8. Fold in flour mixture in 3 stages, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with flour.
9. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan. Bake approximately 50 minutes until toothpick in centre comes out clean.
10. Transfer to rack and let cook in pan for 10 min then invert onto serving plate.
12. Prepare glaze. In bowl, stir together water, lemon zest, sugar and rum until the sugar dissolves. Brush the warm cake with glaze and let it cool completely before serving.
WANT MORE CAKE?
from three years ago: Strawberry Shortcake
Or pick up a copy of my food memoir where cake is in very good company.
Slippers and my grandmother’s afghan saved me this week while I recuperated from an unfriendly spring chest cold. Hacking doesn’t work for a spring jam, but the birds were tolerant enough. Great reading material works well too. I’ll tell you who kept my company this week in this space tomorrow.
Sooner or later, you’re better enough. Your kid makes dinner and there’s a spirit about, calling for action.
Two words: ice cream…with three ingredients. Read More
A cake. Made with love.
Not many things have as much impact in the gift department.
Come Sunday, I promise smiles with this heavenly number. This is a once-in-a-year cake due to the amounts of white chocolate, but so is Mother’s Day.
The Apricot Queen
You can switch up the fruit in this cake. Use berries and matching preserves if you want. Key to this recipe is a good quality white chocolate. And time. This one is for the special people who deserve the extra flourishes.
What you need:
• 8 ounces good white chocolate, chopped
• 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 1 ¼ cups whole milk
• 16 ounces ( 1 lb) good white chocolate, chopped
• 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups sifted icing sugar
• ½ cup water
• ¼ cup sugar
• 1 ½ lbs apricots, pitted and thinly sliced
• 1 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
• 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted
What you do:
To make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Butter two 9-inch parchment paper rounds and place in pans, buttered side up.
2. Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.
4. Beat butter and sugar with mixer until well blended.
5. Add eggs, one a time, blending well after each, then beat in vanilla.
6. Add dry ingredients and milk in 3 additions, alternating and blending well after each.
7. Add the melted white chocolate and beat just until blended.
8. Divide batter between pans and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. A tester inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool in pan on racks for 2o minutes then flip over and remove from pans to fully cool on racks.
To make buttercream:
Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.Beat soft butter in mixer with melted white chocolate and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar.
Cover and refrigerate until thick enough to spread about 45 minutes.
To assemble cake:
1. Boil water and sugar in small pot over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool syrup.
2. Cut each cake layer in half with a serrated knife. Place 1 layer on cake platter. Brush with 2 tablespoons of syrup.
3. Spread 6 tablespoons of buttercream over cake. Then cover buttercream with a single layer of sliced apricots.
4. Spread another 3 tablespoons of buttercream over apricots and top with a second cake layer. Repeat layers of syrup, buttercream, sliced apricots, more buttercream, cake.
5. On the top, spread thinly 1 cup buttercream over top and sides for a crumb coating. Chill for an hour then spread remaining buttercream over for another coat.
6. Press chopped walnuts onto sides of cake. Cover top with remaining sliced apricots. Brush with apricot preserves. Chill cake 1 hour to set.
Remove cake from fridge at few hours before serving to allow icing to soften before cutting.
Notes: This cake should be made as close to the day of serving as possible. If you do make it ahead, keep it chilled while remembering to bring it to room temperature before serving. And don’t skimp on the fruit or the walnuts. They help keep the flavours balanced and smooth out the sweetness of the buttercream.
My food memoir, with love and sugar, comes out tomorrow with a special seasonal cover. This most decadent offering is included in the spring recipes inside my book, along with a bunch of other yummy cakes you might consider for Mom’s Day and any other celebration. Order your copy soon as this is very limited release for spring. Those in the Toronto area looking for a gift for Sunday, email me promptly:
I love weekend brunch. It’s my favourite meal to host, but so too is sitting down to a latte bowl made by someone else at a tiny gem in your own city. Hitting the Toronto brunch scene used to be a rare thing for us. You try hauling teenagers out of bed on a weekend morning, let alone waiting for them to get dressed and ready for a family outing. Now the Friendly Greek and I play tourist in our own town and smile as we ask “table for two, please.” Read More
Screw you spring. So you want to take your time? That’s okay. I’ll make do with hot blooms*, and well…there’s always mangoes.
Living in a big city like Toronto means finding these fruits will not require a trip to the Caribbean. Mango lovers can find a fantastic variety of this juicy stone fruit at most grocers, and they’re in season now. I found these beauties, the Palmer variety from Brazil, at Longos this week and cranked the music up. Grab your sarongs. Yeah baby. It’s a mango party.
Showing off in the Tropical Treats chapter in my food memoir is a very dangerous cake. I usually make it with four small Ataulfo mangoes, but if you’re able to get your hands on one of the Palmer mangoes, one mango will do the trick.
You’ll need rum too. Sip it slowly as you make the easy peasy caramel that coats the bottom of the pan. Thanks Mom, for this tiny perfect copper pot: my new go-to for wee cooking matters like the caramel syrup in this recipe.
The amount of rum that actually goes into the cake is tiny and no, you can’t taste any alcohol, just a gooey rich mango-banana flavour that is (almost) as good as a trip to the beach. If you want the recipe, I’ll happily send it, along with my buzz sheet that goes out to subscribers. Sign up is easy on the top right of this site. Or order my book and you can have all the recipes to yourself.
Throwback Thursdays (colour therapy after all) in the long slow thaw are a little easier with a crisper full of the tropics!
Coming up soon…Coconut mango crisp. Mmmmmmmmmm…..
Can’t find mangoes? Hop down to the Shrangri-La Hotel where this incredible virgin cocktail is on the bar menu. Hong Kong Lemonade, a sheer shot of
adrenaline sunshine, is a blend of juices including ginger, yuzu,orange, cranberry, and lemonade.
*blooms courtesy of Kindness Queen Stephanie Black, who popped into Anne’s kitchen with Junior Star Baker Chloe for this week’s edition of with love and sugar bakes. Who will be our guest next time?
Clocks move forward this Sunday. These decadent doughnuts might help your groggy group of weekend guests. If they’re still grumpy with the lost hour of sleep, give them something to read (see below for some awesome weekend reading). Don’t say I don’t take care of you. Read More
Subscribers to my buzz sheet will be getting this scone recipe today. I’d love you to join us. Sign up on right to join my circle and receive a monthly wrap of all posts and a special recipe just for you.
Today marks the beginning of Random Act of Kindness Week. I hope all my readers find ways to drop wee gestures of kindness around their circles and workplaces.
Me? I’m sticking to the basics for my favourite Kindness Ambassador Stephanie Black, who asked if I could bake up some sweetness for her work in the field. These are the easiest cookie around. You’ll find all the ingredients in your pantry. Grab a rolling pin and your favourite sparkles (I’m partial to disco dust myself).
What you need:
- 3 sticks (¾ lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
What you do:
- Cream softened butter and sugar in mixer just until blended. Add in vanilla.
- Sift together flour and salt. Add to butter mix and blend gently until it begins to come together.
- Gather into two discs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 3o minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Roll out dough to about ½ inch thick. Cut out heart shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Set trays in fridge for ten minutes.
- Bake each tray for approximately 15 minutes until edges begin to brown.
- Let cool and then decorate with royal icing. Or leave them plain and sprinkle some sugar only.
These cookies keep well if wrapped tightly in plastic. You can also have fun adding flavours like chocolate chips or ginger.
Get baking. Full hearts abound. If you need more prompts, you know where you can find them. My book, with love and sugar, is full of baking ideas. Order it here in the link above.