Travel

Plain and Simple Almond Cake

Last week, my foodie friend, Cheryl, came to visit from Nashville.  She is gluten intolerant and I just bought a bag of almond flour for my pantry.  

To be honest, I wanted the almond flour to start making my own macaron cookies.  You know, these things:

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Photo from XTPatisserie

Homemade macarons have been in my sights for a long time.  Sigh...excuse me I while swoon.

Back to the business at hand.  Gluten-free cake recipe and gluten-free friend visiting.  Worlds collide!

The second simple cake recipe in Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi happens to be a Plain and Simple Almond Cake.

Literally five ingredients.  Six, if you want to dust the finished cake with powdered sugar.

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For this recipe, you just have to be a bit gentle with the ingredients.  You fold some egg whites together  with the almond flour and then again into egg yolks.  This is a great cake to dress up, either with the dusting of powdered sugar or Dorie's super smart suggestion.  She slices it in half horizontally and fills it with jam.

Cheryl gave the cake a big gluten-free thumbs up.  It was a great weekend cake for us as we took a small roadtrip to wine country.  Even G, who is not used to gluten-free baked items, loved it.  Although he has requested that the next one I make include the jam.  Some honey.  Some chocolate sauce...


Nashville Weekend

Recently, I enjoyed one heckuva great girls' weekend in Nashville.  I visited my lifelong friend, Cheryl, who is a superwoman in the kitchen.  By the end of the weekend, I think we had shopped at eight different grocery stores.

Cheryl picked me up at the airport and greeted me with a cherry limeade from Sonic.  She knows me so well.  As I sipped my tasty treat, we drove the half hour back to her house, making a stop at a local BBQ shack (seriously, it's a shack) for our takeout dinner:  massive amounts of pulled pork, potato salad and slaw for her husband and stepson, and two bbq chicken and pork baked potatoes for me and Cheryl.

With our potatoes, we chose a white bbq sauce.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It's super bad for you, but oh so good.

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The next day we went to an amped up version of Whole Foods Market.  Cheryl shops there occasionally and passes by the little grill they have to serve lunch to shoppers.  It's a cute, u-shaped bar with a small menu of soup, salad, and sandwiches.  Whenever Cheryl shops there, she's in a hurry and by herself so she never stops for a snack.

For lunch, I had one of the best veggie burgers ever and Cheryl had this tasty spinach salad with a tiny bit of bacon, tomatoes, cashews, avocado and a citrus ginger dressing.  Delicious.

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NYC, Here We Come!

G and I just booked a trip to, well, New Jersey, really.  We're going to housesit for our friends, P&J, while they travel to Paris for the first time.

I'm not even bothered with the fact that P&J are going to France and I'm not (usually an occasion for bright green envy), because I will have a week long train pass to get into New York City.

My head spins with all of the possibilities for luxurious food moments.

Mario Batali's new over-the-top food marketplace, Eataly.

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Prune.

Boqueria, a tapas place that I've visited before, but I want to introduce it to G.

The Chelsea Market, a place that G and I discovered on our last trip to Manhattan.  The place is filled with gems, including Amy's Bread and Jacques Torres Chocolates.

Also on the wish list:  Murray's Cheese Shop

If you have any other suggestions for great NYC food destinations, please comment!