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Martin’s Birthday Cake

13 Feb

Martin asked for an ice-cream cake.  An ice-cream cake!  I practically jumped for joy.  Can you think of anything more delicious?

I loved making this cake.  From the moment that Martin put in this request I started thinking about all of the birthdays that I have celebrated with him and all the ones that I hope we get to spend together.  All the plans that we have, all of the wonderful things we have already done.  A lot of love went into this cake.  I think you could taste it.

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Strawberry Sherbet

26 Jul

To say that the little one was brave during her last check up would be a lie.  She started screaming  from the moment she crossed the threshold into the exam room and didn’t stop until we were well on our way home.   There was only one thing that could erase the memory of the whole ordeal.   Strawberry Sherbet!  or Frawberry Isscreeeam! as Bells  would say. 

During the summer I buy pounds and pounds of strawberries, always intending to bake or make something.  They never make it close to a mixing bowl, instead we eat them standing up in the kitchen, on yogurt, in cereal.  No more.  This strawberry sherbert is intensely flavored and the most beautiful colour that you have ever seen.   It is refreshing like sorbet and just decadent enough to feel like a special treat.


Strawberry Sherbert (adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop)

1 lb strawberries hulled and sliced

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vodka (optional)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Toss the strawberries, vodka, lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar begins to dissolve and let sit for at least an hour.  Puree the macerated strawberries with the milk and pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  Chill the mixture throughly.  Freeze according to the directions on your ice cream maker. 

Preparation Note:  If you replace the milk with heavy cream you will have ice cream.  You can also do as David Lebovitz instructs and use equal parts heavy cream and sour cream.  The distinctive tang of the sour cream will pair beautifully with the strawberries. 


103° in the shade

21 Jul

It is hot.  Really hot.  You know that rush of hot air that escapes when you open the oven door?  That is what it feels like when I open my front door.  I grew up in the heat.  I thought I was used to it.  This city heat is another piece of pie.  There are no ocean breezes, no sea the shade of the palest emerald to provide relief.   It is hard planning a day with the little one when it is this hot.  It is almost like being in the middle of winter, you can’t spend much time outside.  Slides at the playground are too hot to slide down.  And after about 90 minutes indoors the walls start to close in on us.   So, in an attempt to feel like we could be near the ocean, we planned a day at the aquarium with friends.

Everyone tells you when you are preparing to be a parent that one of the best things about raising children is seeing everything with new eyes.  Today was one of those days.  Experiencing the aquarium through the eyes of an 18 month old was amazing. The sight of a turtle brought Bella to a complete standstill.  Her eyes widened, she smooshed her face against the glass, sighed and said “turtle”.   She pet a stingray and starfish and pointed out the hippos and the sharks.  It was a great morning.

Later, in my attempt to feel a little closer to Cayman, I decided to make use of the papaya that had been ripening on my counter all week.

Papaya Lime Sorbet

1 small papaya

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 lime, zest and juice

1 shot of dark rum (optional and delicious)

Peel the papaya and remove all seeds.  Cut into small pieces and puree in a food processor or blender.  Strain the mixture. Stir in the sugar, rum, lime zest and juice and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze.  Ice cream and sorbet are almost always better if you let them hang out in the freezer for a few hours before consuming.

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