Having had a ridiculously strong craving for something sweet and lemony, I took off down the byways of the Internet in search of lemon cake.  Lo and behold, who (unsurprisingly) had the best recipe: Ina Garten. Hands down.  This is the perfect dessert to refresh you and your guests on a hot summer’s night.

A couple of notes before you start:

1) Use real butter, or I shall have to beat you. ;)
2) Note the ingredients in the list that are divided.
3) Don’t skimp on the 5 minutes to cream the sugar and butter.
4) If you don’t have x-large eggs, add one additional large egg.
5) I removed the cakes from their pans after only five minutes.
That seemed to help with the absorption of the lemon syrup.

Ingredients

nocoupons

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze:

nocoupons

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

Enjoy!

An adorable dynamic iGoogle Theme, based on the childrens educational and entertainment show, Pocoyó.

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iGoogle’s new dynamic Autumn Theme, featuring an adorable raccoon family!  Apparently, they only get 2 hours of sleep!

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Sun, shining through glass
Seeing you with open eyes
Now, a moonless night

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Crisp white sheets lay low
Barely covering his hips
Beauty, hidden there

He sings, he dances, he produces.  He can act any role from a Romance Novel writing truck driver to a full-fledged comic book hero, and he does all of them well, with a sense of complete ease and exuberance.

He is a loving and attentive father.  He adores his wife.  You will rarely see him without a genuine smile on his face, and by all accounts he is a really nice guy.

He has a body and persona that makes any woman, or man for that matter, take notice.

He is the perfect specimen of male.

He is Hugh Jackman.

Posted in answer to a Writing_Readers challenge for this pic:

“Tommy, wake up. Tommy, wake…up!” the young boy’s voice whispered loudly.

It had been a good dream, a very good dream and Billy Anderson had to go and ruin it. “What do you want?” he asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes with both fists. “It’s the first day of summer and Ma said I could sleep in, just this once.”

“Exactly, Tommy,” Billy emphasized the name. “The first day of summer and you’re still lying in bed.”

The mattress squeaked beneath him as twelve year-old Thomas Buford sat up, untangling himself from the thin summer blanket. He pulled the pillow from behind and onto his lap, resting his elbows on the soft, down cushion. Hunching forward he eyed his best friend who managed to be leaning through the half-open bedroom window. Tommy could imagine the feet below, dangling just above the ground.

“So, it’s the first day of summer. What’s the rush? I was having a good dream.”

“You can dream all you want, tonight, Tommy. Right now we have a tree to claim.” The rush to act was evident in the boy’s voice. “You know the rules…first to tree has Summer Rights. We’re not losing it again this year!”

Tommy’s eyes widened, and pillow and blanket flew across the bed as he scrambled to get his feet on the floor. How could he sleep in…how could he forget? It was all that stupid dream’s fault. The dream and Cathy Wilkerson. Cathy Wilkerson in his dream, teasing him with that smile of hers, and ice cream cones. Stupid dream!

Dungarees were quickly tugged over Spiderman underwear and yesterday’s dirty t-shirt was pulled over his head. Feet slipped sockless into worn-out sneakers that were quickly tied, only for the purpose of not tripping over the laces.

“What are you waiting for?” he asked, already running toward the window. “Let’s go!”

Billy Anderson dropped to the ground beneath him, grimacing as he heard the crunch of one of Mrs. Buford’s hollyhocks snap under his shoe. But, that was the price he’d have to pay for glory, and before he was even clear of the space Tommy was already through the window, landing with a thump on the same ruined stalk of flowers. He didn’t give them a thought.

“Go, go!” Tommy yelled, sprinting across the wide field to the spreading oak beyond. They dodged a half-dozen cows and countless cow patties, narrowly missing some. But, it wouldn’t matter if they stepped ankle deep into the dung, because Victory was theirs.

That was until thirteen year-old Cathy Wilkerson with the boobs she had grown over spring, in her cropped blouse and tight summer shorts, stepped out from behind the massive trunk, armed with a grin that stretched from ear to ear.

“Sorry, boys. Better luck next year,” she said haughtily when Billy and Tommy skidded to a stop at her feet.

“NO!”

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