{twd} lemon loaf cake

*sigh* I’m one week post-surgery and I’m bored silly. Actually, bored silly may be a bit more fun than what I really am: bored-bored. I should be grateful. I’m sleeping again and my pain is under control. Paul is taking very good care of me and has the patience of a zen-master. Since the surgery, I’m only allowed to get up to use the restroom (no baking!). I see my orthopedic surgeon for my first post-surgical follow-up appointment tomorrow. I hope all goes well, the x-rays show I’m healing nicely, and my orthopedist allows more moving around.

I baked this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Lemon Loaf Cake, the morning of the day I broke my patella. As it was a busy weekend and Paul was leaving for a week-long business trip, I  stuck it in the freezer for a later date.

Yesterday we took it out of the freezer and enjoyed the lemon cake for dessert. Perfect timing for a time when times are strange in our house–we were surprisingly out of treats to eat.

I made 1/2 recipe in a full recipe size pan so it baked up low and dense. I also used my homemade rough and tumble vanilla sugar in place of regular sugar. We liked the lemon flavor and thought it was a nice little cake to enjoy with tea. It’s not a stop-the-presses! type of recipe which lemon desserts have high-potential to achieve, so I probably won’t make it again.

You can find the Lemon Loaf Cake recipe in the book we’re all slowly baking through, Baking with Julia, or on the blogs of the hosts for this week: Truc of Treats and Michelle of The Beauty of Life.

photos by paulrus

Some bakings

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It turns out I need surgery. On the follow-up x-ray you can see my patella fragments shifted around. The type of surgery I’m having is called open reduction internal fixation, which means my orthopedic surgeon slashes open my knee, repositions the pieces of my bone in the correct places, and then uses screws to pin everything together. The outpatient surgery lasts about an hour and a half. I’ll probably spend more time at the hospital waiting for the surgery to happen than actual time in surgery.

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I spent yesterday afternoon traversing the medical clinic for my orthopedic appointment and pre-surgery work-up–blood draw, EKG, chest x-ray. Based on my google research, I should be out of my splint in six weeks. Just in time for our wedding. :) We were joking yesterday that we may have Paul walk down the aisle instead of me.

Even though my surgery is not scheduled until 5pm I haven’t been able to eat since midnight. So what do I decide to do? Spend time writing a blog post about things I can’t eat. ;)

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1. Napoleons with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream and Dairy Milk Chocolate Ganache–I used my homemade puff pastry again, my vanilla beans I bought in Tahiti, and Paul’s supply of Dairy Milk Chocolate to make these for Paul for his return home from a week-long work trip.

2. Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares–these are crunchy chewy cookies out of Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchycookbook. They’re a bit of work , in that you have to roll the dough and cut the squaresThe recipe calls for the use of any dried fruit and any flavor combination. I used dried cranberries and lemon zest. I really enjoyed the fresh, light taste and the crunchy yet chewy texture of these. If you have this cookbook, I encourage you to bake these. I think they are a great spring cookie and different from the usual sugar cookie. If you don’t have this cookbook, I encourage you to buy it. I haven’t had a recipe fail me yet. You can find the recipe online:pebbly beach fruit squares.

3. Tarte Fine– I made this the same day as the Parisian Apple Tartlet because it uses almost the same ingredients and is another recipe to cross-off my Tuesdays with Dorie v1.0 list. I used my homemade puff pastry again (!) and vanilla bean sugar. Leslie of Lethally Delicious was the host and you can find the recipe on her site.

4. Irish Soda Bread (again)–Paul suggested slow-cooked scrambled eggs and Irish Soda Bread for his first meal home. In a highly unusual move, this marks the third time I’ve made this recipe from Baking with Julia.

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This post is 100% produced on my iPhone–pictures, links, etc. I apologize in advance if some things don’t work. My lap top is broken, Paul’s camera is out on loan to his sister, and I can’t sit at a computer these days.

Parisian Apple Tartlet

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With a broken knee, I’m housebound. I can’t drive and I can’t walk. I went from an insane activity level to zero.  I now have a total love and appreciation for streaming NetFlix, my iPhone, and pain medication.

Baking is something that has always relaxed me and now it can help me take my mind off not being able to run, hike, bike for weeks. I needed to bake something, anything, but it had to be something I had all the ingredients on hand and it had to be something small. My main eater, Paul, is out of town for work and I also don’t have access to my co-workers.

The Tuesdays with Dorie group baked the Parisian Apple Tartlet in June 2009. It’s very easy to assemble,  makes only one serving, and it’s one more recipe to cross off my list of unbaked recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. Perfect. It’s a circle of puff pastry topped with apple slices and sprinkled with sugar (I used vanilla sugar). I made it a bit more complicated by making my own puff pastry using my go-to recipe from The Art & Soul of Baking.  Jessica of My Baking Heart was the host way-back-then and you can find the recipe on her blog.

{twd} fold-over pear torte

This was one of those desserts that seem easier/a good idea on paper. I really had to go on faith with this one. Especially because my mother was taking it to a dinner party. The Fold-Over Pear Torte is really a pie baked in a springform pan. One of my talents in the baking world is that I can do good pie crust. It was the fold-over part that was a bit dicey for me. I don’t think I quite mastered the technique which required flipping and rolling on the side and who knows what else.

The filling is diced fresh pears, cut up dried apricots, and chopped walnuts in a custard. It clearly states in the directions to not remove the torte from the pan before it reaches room temperature. Well, like always, my parents arrived early without calling. I loosened the torte and removed the springform part. Hoping it wasn’t a disaster… It looked gorgeous! Especially after I sprinkled some powdered sugar. Reports back from the dinner party are positive. They thought it was excellent.

Thanks to Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

{twd} double-apple bundt cake

I almost made this cake into mini-muffins because of easier sharing. Then I thought, screw it. Mini-muffins, while cute in nature, are actually a teensy-bit more work.  Let me explain. Instead of dumping all the batter into one bundt pan, I would have to divide the batter into mini-muffin portions and then I would have to wash  the mini-muffin pan(s) which are a pain to wash.

People laugh at me when I tell them I’m lazy. Although I have an active lifestyle, in my heart I’m lazy. And that’s what counts, right? For instance, I can’t remember why this cake is named “double-apple”. I’ve entered serious self-debate about getting up to go look at the recipe. I mean it’s a whole ten steps to the kitchen.

The cake was tasty. It reminded me of places where leaves actually turn color in the autumn and where you can wear fall clothes like sweaters, boots, and berets.

Thanks to Lynne of Honey Muffin for hosting this week’s  Tuesdays with Dorie selection–Double-Apple Bundt Cake. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

(And, yes, I did look it up. It’s a double-apple bundt cake because the recipe calls for *both* fresh apples and apple butter.)