Looking Forward

2 more sleeps.
Our flight home leaves in two days. The past ten months have whizzed by in a whirl of newness. New country, new language, new culture......And now in TWO days, 2 pinch me I can't wait days, we will be on our way back to Seattle for the Summer.

We'll be trading.......
This is my dining table during finals week.
 and Mediterranean views

Les Thermes de Antonin

For a well used backyard

My backyard at the height of summer!

Visits with family and friends, sleeping in, bald eagles, osprey, hikes to Oyster Dome, wine tasting, BBQ's, s'mores, and.....well, here I'll just send you a little link love to all the places I am going to see the next 8 weeks.

Skagit River Brewery, because life is too short to drink bad beer.

Bellingham Farmers Market, one of the top 10 farmers market in the West according to Sunset magazine.

San Juan Islands, this archipelago of 172 islands needs no introduction.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, I saw one of his installations in Venice Italy years ago and I can't wait to see this new exhibit at the Seattle Center.

The Breadfarm, Fig and Anise Panini, Sour Cherry Lemon Bread, Cocoa Nib Shortbread.....sigh.

Samish Bay Cheese, Oh Lord. I'll leave it at that.

There is so much more so you'll just need to stay tuned.....

Afternoon Tea

I originally made this cake for an afternoon tea. But truth be told, we ate it for breakfast the next morning. We also ate it for second breakfast, and maybe again after lunch. Maybe another time later that day but we won't go into that.

And while I'm being truthful, when I say we, I meant me.

The pistachios are front and center, swirled through the batter and then added to the top for even more crunch. Their violet and green color certainly makes for a pretty cake. But once you take a bite, I think you'll be surprised to find how the orange and lemon flavors really steal the show.

Pistachio Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze
Adapted from Bon Appetit
For the cake:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons of grated orange zest
2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons of orange juice
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 cups flour
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped divided
For the glaze:
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease and line with parchment paper a 9 inch loaf pan.
For the cake:
In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Add the zest and citrus juices and mix well, the batter will look very curdled at this point. Do not despair, it will come together when you add the dry ingredients.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and blend to combine. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Fold in 3/4 cup of the nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle evenly with the remaining nuts.

Bake for 1-11/2 hours or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

For the glaze:
While the cake is baking make the glaze by combining the orange and lemon juice with the icing sugar. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved, and then set aside.

When the cake comes out of the oven poke the surface with a skewer evenly. Spoon the glaze over the top of the warm cake. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.