Lemon Lemon and More Lemon

Its Big Ted's birthday this coming Thursday and I wanted to make him a cake that I knew he couldn't resist.  Like my dad, he loves all things sweet and lemon flavored.  As I continue to grow in the kitchen, I am finding there are some chefs who are spot on EVERY TIME and Ina Garten is one of them (also known as the Barefoot Contessa).

This Lemon Cake is the key that will unlock the lemon lovers soul. It is truly something to write about. Moist, sweet and tart, and melts in your mouth. Let me not forget that it is also easy to bake.


  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (4 eggs will do if its all you have)
  • 1/3 cup grated lemon zest (4 to 6 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:

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


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.
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. Allow the cakes to cool completely.  Dip cakes in syrup (Optional**).
**If you decide to use syrup I recommend pouring the syrup into a flat pan that your loaf easily can be placed in and removed. After letting your cake cool down enough that you can pick them up with your bare hands, dip the top and bottom in the syrup.
Syrup (Optional)

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. (I used 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup water and didn't use all of the syrup)
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.

Childhood Favorite: Mackerel Patties & Rice

So its been a very very very very long time since I have posted.  Did I already mention that its been a VERY long time since I have blogged. Well it has and I have missed it. I just finished my first term of graduate school and moved my parents to Los Angeles so I can help care for my mother. LOTS going on to say the leaset BUT...today I am sitting  on the lanai over-looking the pacific ocean on the island of Maui. It’s been a while since I have blogged but an even longer while since I have taken a vacation. I am taking each day and allowing myself to be at peace with what is-MY LIFE!  Since finishing school and getting settled in Maui I am finding my desire to bake is taking over. Last night I made a batch of strawberry shortcake cookies and a strawberry loaf bread....”mmmm mmmm good” said those at dinner.

Today I am making one of my childhood favorites-Mackerel Patties and Rice! 

Growing up my dad would make these little patties and serve them with rice. Dad would give each of my sisters and I a bowl of rice and then have a plate of patties that we could take from as we wished. Not to long ago I asked my dad for the recipe not knowing just how easy these little treats are to make. 

1 can of mackerel
2 eggs
salt to taste (I use Lawry’s seasoning salt and some garlic salt)
pepper to taste
1-2 Tbl flour

1. Open can of mackerel and let it slide out onto a plate. Gently split the fish down the middle and remove bone. If done carefully the whole bone can be removed in one move. If not, it doesn’t take long to debone and I have read that some people don’t even debone mackerel because the bones are so soft you don’t even notice them once the patties are prepared.

2. In a separate bowl lightly mix the eggs just until the yolk has dissolved into the white of the egg. 

3. Heat frying pan on high with a little bit of vegetable oil.  When ready to insert your patties turn the temperature to medium.

4.Add the deboned mackeral to the egg mix and with a fork mash it really well.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste 

6. Once egg and mackerel are mixed well add 1 Tbl flour. Continue to mix until you can form a patty in your hand. If fish mixture is too runny just add more flour. 

7. Make all the patties and place them on a plate before you start to fry them. Cook them several minutes on each side.

8. Put a paper towel on a plate as lay patties on paper towel as they finish.

9. Make a side of rice  and vahlaa...Dad's mackerel and rice!


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