GF Whole lemon cake

•May 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

lemon cake


Our landlords happen to be our next door neighbors which is lovely because they’re lovely people. They have a lemon tree in their back yard and insisted when we moved in that we help ourselves to their lemons. I’m usually too embarrassed to go poking around in their yard, but after a few glasses of vino and if its dark out I sometimes let myself in to their yard like a weirdo and pilfer a few. I tend to only take the ones that have already fallen on the ground, all bruised and forlorn. Plus thats how I justify the stealing, like I’m the one doing them a favor. I’m sure this all reflects on my low self-esteem somehow, I’ll figure that out later. Right now I’m too busy baking. With the lemons I just stole.

I have a fair number of gluten free folks in my life, and even though gluten is my favorite segment of that food pyramid (its a segment of the food pyramid, right? its the one right next to red wine and mcflurries?) I do feel worlds better too when I limit the amount of gluten in my diet. So. Gluten free lemon cake!

I usually don’t bake because I’m terrible at it and incredibly impatient with recipes and because bakeries exist. But sometimes I’m feeling extra home-maker-y.

What you will need:

  • 3 or 4 large Meyer Lemons (approximately 12 oz, total to yield 1 cup of whole lemon puree)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tblspn lemon curd

For the icing:

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar


  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Wash the lemons and put them in a pot. Cover them with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the lemons and let them cool until you can handle them. Cut them open and remove the seeds, but keep everything else. Do this on a plate so you can retain all the juices. Once you have removed all the seeds, put everything into a food processor or use an immersion blender like I did. Blend until finely pureed. You may need to pulse the machine at first, and scrape down the sides as necessary to get everything smooth. This will only take a couple of minutes. You will need one cup of lemon puree for the cake.
  4. Beat the eggs and the sugar until pale in color. (The original recipe called for a cup f sugar but I subbed half a cup for a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. You could sub the whole cup, or use Stevia) Add the lemon extract, lemon curd and honey/maple syrup.
  5. Fold in the almond meal, baking powder, and lemon puree. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Turn the batter into a greased 9″ springform pan. Smooth out the surface so it is even.
  7. Bake for about 50 -60 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then gently release the sides of the pan and remove the cake to finish cooling.
  9. Make the icing while the cake is cooling. Combine the sugar with the butter and lemon juice. Beat until smooth and creamy. Adjust the texture by adding more sugar or more lemon juice. If you prefer a less tangy icing, use less lemon juice and add a little milk or cream. Spread the icing on the completely cooled cake. Add tiny curls of lemon rind and a dusting of powdered sugar.
  10. Pucker up and enjoy a sweet and tangy slice with coffee!

xo j.


Salad (sans salad, plus chips.)

•May 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Last week I wanted to make a quick and healthy week day lunch, so I piled what I could find into a bowl: tuna salad, black beans, avocado and green tomatoes. I topped with olive oil, a few honks of a lemon wedge, some tabasco, salt and pepper, then I made the decision to skip the lettuce and add chips (definitely just those 4 chips pictured, definitely not the whole bag) instead because life is so short and lettuce is cute but its for rabbits.

It was salty and crunchy and the sturdy corn chips seem to be made specifically for maximum scooping potential. And I think it was semi-healthy? You know what who cares.

xo j.


Braised pork shoulder + soft polenta.

•April 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment




My new favorite protein to work with is pork shoulder. Browned first and then cooked slowly, it’s smokey and tender and saturated with deep meaty flavors.

Marinate the pork shoulder overnight in a mixture of honey, apricot preserves, worcestershire, hot sauce, red wine, organic bbq sauce, turmeric, smoked paprika, sea salt and fresh black pepper.

Brown the pork shoulder in a hot oiled pan. Once all the sides are darkly caramelized transfer to a deep baking dish, pour in an inch of wine, cover with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 3.5 hours.

Use the remainder of the marinade to deglaze the pan you used to brown the pork, add a cup of red wine. Let that simmer and thicken. Once your pork is done let it rest, then return it to the sauce in the pan, cover and simmer together for about 25 mins.

While thats happening make a simple creamy polenta, I added some grated manchego cheese, giving it creaminess and a nutty flavor.

Serve with a big juicy glass of Apothic red, which will be getting its own post soon.

xo j.

Hawaiian chicken thighs + pickled veggie salad.

•April 7, 2016 • Leave a Comment



IMG_8346If you’re not eating chicken thighs you are missing out. They are juicy and flavorful and WAY CHEAPER than sad sad chicken breasts, which by comparison are so dry and just nothing. Some people are grossed out by dark meat and to that I say good, more for me.

Hawaiian Chicken

Marinate chicken thighs in a gallon zip lock bag (something I learned from Cella!) with teriyaki sauce, sriracha, honey,  rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I like to let them marinate over night, the chicken turns a deep brown color and the marinade starts to thicken and look like molasses. These are all good things.

Chop up some fresh pineapple and grill it.

Sauté chicken thighs over high heat until they get a nice char on them, then reduce heat to low/medium and continue to cook for like 20 mins or so. Chicken thighs are fatty and can take a longer cooking time, I’ve found that sautéing them low and slow gives them an almost candy/bacon-y quality.

After you’ve gotten the chicken thighs browned and cooked to your liking, add the remainder of the marinade from the bag and the pineapple to your pan and let it all simmer for a while. Chicken is done.


Pickled veggie salad

Put chopped cucumbers and edamame in a bowl, toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, salt, sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh ginger, fresh garlic. Steam carrots in stock, lime juice, chili flakes, sesame oil and rice vinegar until al dente. Let the carrots cool, then toss with cucumber/edamame mix.

Plate everything, shake some sesame seeds over it, garnish with whatever. Cilantro or fresh basil would be good. Washed down with chilled white wine.

xo j.

breakfast salad

•April 4, 2016 • 1 Comment




In an attempt to look hotter, live forever, etc. Matt and I have tried to lighten things up lately. My favorite manifestation of this is this, dubbed “breakfast salad” by fellow foodie blogger and delightful weirdo Jessica Seinfeld.




I start with a base of kefir blended with a tiny bit of Turkish honey and a slurp of walnut oil. Topped with grapefruit segments, red berries, pomegranate seeds, banana coins, pumpkin seeds, cashew/almond/walnut mix, chia seeds, shredded coconut, a few dark chocolate chips for fun.

Its fresh and crunchy and tart and sweet and nutty and nourishing, our pants feel a teensy bit looser and our hearts feel happy.

xo j.

cilantro elixir. 

•March 28, 2016 • 1 Comment


 I cannot recommend this sauce enough.  it is fresh and gorgeous and you will want to pour it on EVERYTHING including your body. I made it to dollop on top of chili lime rubbed chicken thighs, coconut rice and beluga lentils, but since then have also put it on: bread, eggs, mashed potatoes, added olive oil and made salad dressing, deviled egg filling, spoonfuls into mouth. 
it’s amazing if you have a vitamix and can get it completely smooth, but I do it in the cuisinart and get it as fine as I can. 

2 bunches of cilantro, stems cut off

4 garlic cloves

juice of 1 lemon

tub of Greek yogurt

medium jalapeño, mostly seeded

salt pepper olive oil drizzle 


protein slam. 

•March 21, 2016 • 2 Comments

  and we’re back! there is nothing in my fridge except the above items and a bottle of champagne. adulting is good stuff. 
-ciabatta buns (buy a bag, freeze, defrost as needed and toast)



xo c.