Strawberry Lemon Loaf Cake

Nothing makes me happier than a citrus-y dessert — key lime pie, lemon tarts, YUMMMMMMM. So when I came across the recipe for strawberry lemon loaf cake, I knew I had to make it. Easy, delicious, summer in a cake, yes please.

 

Ingredients:

 

 

For the loaf:

  • 1 cup diced strawberries 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cupvegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Directions:

 

  • First, heat oven to 350 degrees. And spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Diced fresh strawberries.

Toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 cup sugar.

Zest.

In a second large bowl, combine the sour cream, oil, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.

Stir the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir gently to mix.

Then add the berries (gently) to the batter and make sure they are evenly spread.

Pour into the loaf pab.

While the cake bakes (60 minutes), make the glaze.

Whisk all the ingredients together.

You must cool the loaf first before you add the glaze.

So good, so delicious.

It is a great dessert or a breakfast or a snack!

Note — I used whole wheat flour, which is why the loaf is a little darker. It tasted just as good (I imagine).

 

I loved this loaf so much that I plan on making it again this week. It is not too sweet or dense, rather it is light and tasty.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day when shopping at a bakery, I bought the most delicious sesame tahini chocolate chip cookie. And so of course, I became obsessed with finding best recipe to recreate my own version of this deliciousness. Sure enough, the NYTimes had the best reviews — and aw man, are they beyond! Run to get the ingredients and make these stat! I just ate TWO in half a second.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Edible Cookie Do

One of my downfalls is that if I go in to a gourmet grocery store searching for one specific item, I leave with a huge bag. Especially if I am hungry. So the other day when I was on the way to my daughter’s school pick up and I went in to a get a watermelon lime juice (yes very specific), I walked out with every new sweet item I could find. My favorite was edible cookie dough, Do! I had heard about this phenomenon, and actually seen the lines at their downtown location, but I had never tried it. And of course, once I tried it, I fell madly in love, and have since returned to buy various flavors. The most recent purchase was their seasonal flavors of Pumpkin and Apple Pie.

 

Seasonal Flavors

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Synful Eats

At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.

 

Since it is local delivery, the cookies arrive in the most beautiful pink box and bag. Even the box is perfection.

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Frozen Key Lime Pie

Hands down my favorite dessert is key lime pie –(remember last year when I ordered 13 pounds of key lime pies by accident). And so I decided to start off the week on a sweet note by making key lime pie — but not just any key lime pie, but FROZEN key lime pie. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa and is so stinking easy that I hope I dont start making it every week just to have in the kitchen…..

 

(Pre frozen — I couldn’t stop myself, it is that good)

 

Ingredients:

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Made-In-The-Pan Chocolate Cake

I have had the tab with this NY Times recipe open for months, so finally I decided to make it (COVID 19—- 19 pounds over normal weight here weeeeeeeee commmmmmmeeeeeee). Super easy, fun to make, and delicious. Randomly, it is vegan too (which just means no eggs in this cake recipe) so my dairy free friends can make this and love it. It is a great cake to make with kids and when you are sick of dishes.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Key Lime Pie

In the ultimate grocery ordering fail, I ended up with 13 pounds of key limes. Granted, this would be a win if I were having a tequila and taco party (oh please, doesn’t that sound so dreamy????) but since there is no party to be had, I have LOTS AND LOTS of key limes to use! So I went searching on the good ‘ol internet and found this recipe for a key lime pie — thank you Bon Appetit!!!

 

HAPPY!!!!

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Gjelina Warm Date Cake

A month ago when I was in Los Angeles to run the marathon, I dined at Gjelina not once but twice. It quickly became my favorite restaurant with the most scrumptious veggies, pizzas, sides and desserts. Immediately upon returning to NYC, I bought the Gjelina cookbook. This past weekend, I decided to make the warm date cake and HOLY SHMOLY HOT DAMN this cake is amazing. It is sweet, moist, and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this cake and can’t wait to eat it all up (and to make it again shortly thereafter).

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Coolhaus Ice Cream

Hands down, my favorite ice cream of all time is Coolhaus Banana Foster. Decadent, rich, creamy and oh so delicious — it tastes exactly like Banana Foster (my all time favorite dessert) but in ice cream form. Then I found out, *ALL* of the flavors Coolhaus makes are incredible, and that you can’t go wrong. Right now, I am especially fond of their ice cream sandwiches aka “sammies“. And believe it or not, they have dairy free sandwich options so vegans and lactose-intolerant people can still enjoy these scrumptious desserts.

 

You should see my freezer — I like to hoard ice cream. But we also eat a lot of it — 4 pints, 2 boxes of Ice Cream bars, and multiple sandwiches PER WEEK.

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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Black Rice Pudding

I always love Gwyneth Paltrow cookbooks as they are simple, easy, healthy, and delicious. So when she came out with her newest book, The Clean Plate, a couple weeks ago, I was so excited to try out all the different recipes. And sure enough, everything I make from it is a WIN and I love them all. Randomly this past weekend when it was Arctic temperatures outside and there was nothing to do besides be cooped up and freezing, I decided to make the black rice pudding from her book. It was suuuuuper easy and extremely tasty. I plan to eat it as a dessert or as a hearty winter breakfast or both.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Banana Date Shake

I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!

 

This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.

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Chocolate Buttons

My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.

 

A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.

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Royce’ Chocolate

In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.

 

This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.

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Tony’s Chocolonely

I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.

 

My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.

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Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

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Raspberry Crisp

This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds.  I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE!  This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.

 

First, you pick.

 

Toosh is officially my picking partner and could stay all day picking the fruit. She never wants to leave when we decide we are done.

Toosh is officially my picking partner.  She never wants to leave.

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Ellenos Greek Yogurt

Last week when I was at the grocery store (my favorite hobby –> grocery shopping), I came across a new-t0-me product, Ellenos Greek Yogurt. It looked delicious and I liked the packaging, so I decided to buy one to try. At checkout, the clerk said to me “This stuff is crack. I have never done crack, but this stuff is what I imagine crack to be like, and once you start, you cannot stop.” I giggled and moved on.

 

Well what do you know, this stuff REALLY IS CRACK AND I CANT STOP EATING IT.  Addictive, rich, amazing, delicious, and smooth. Currently, it is only sold at Whole Foods and random locations on the West Coast, but mark my word, this stuff will soon be sold everywhere in the United States — guaranteed. It is unlike any other yogurt I have ever tasted and really feels like a dessert more than anything.

 

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

Why buy one flavor when you can buy four?

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Thanks to Instagram, I saw a recipe for a peanut butter pretzel truffle from Minimalist Baker and knew I had to make it. The recipe is simple, easy, and a huge win.

 

How good does this look?

How good does this look?

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup pitted medjool  dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained

* 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter

* 3/4 cup raw almonds

* 1/2 cup mini pretzels

* 1.25 cup chocolate chips

* 1 tsp coconut oil

 

Directions:

 

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

 

* Place almonds in the food processor and process until you reach the consistency of a meal.

 

* Then add in pretzels and  soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.

 

* Next, add the peanut butter and mix until well combined. You don”t have to do this in a food processor, and can really just mix it in with a spoon.

 

* Once you have a dough that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon amounts and roll/carefully form into balls. Set on parchment paper and place in freezer to chill.

 

*  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil (which helps thin out the chocolate).

 

* Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the melted chocolate. Transfer back onto parchment paper and place in to the freezer.

 

* Store them in the freezer until you eat them (or else they will melt — they will still be delicious, but they will melt).

 

They will not last long, mainly because you will eat them because they are so good.

They will not last long, mainly because you will want to eat them right away.

 

Happy weekend! Spring here we are, thank goodness!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Rawmantic Chocolate

Happy Friday! Before I post an indulging (yet delicious) food item, I want everyone to read the article written by our good friend, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn. Eight years ago, Sasha was hit by a tree in Central Park, and is wheelchair bound. His op-ed in the NYTimes from Wednesday is an eye opener, so please do so. I also highly recommend watching the video that accompanies it. Thanks in advance for reading it.

____

 

I am constantly on the search for a “healthy” dessert.  While I am well aware of the effects of sugar …..I still love nibbling on something sweet at the end of my meals. Call it an addiction, or a vice, but it is a habit that I can’t stop. So these raw chocolate energy bars are perfect. Raw chocolate, sweet, nutty, gooey, and great.

 

Romantic rawmantic.

Romantic rawmantic, yes, handcrafted with love.

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