Hopefully I am not the first to break it to you, but we are living through a limepocalypse. I first discovered it a few weeks ago when I volunteered to make cocktails at a friend’s birthday party. Inspired by the then current issue of Bon Appetite, I decided to whip up some refreshing Palomas — which is basically tequilla, grapefruit soda and fresh lime juice. I added “a dozen limes” to our shopping list and sent my husband off to the store. Turns out those limes were $1.50 each! The cocktails were enjoyed by all, but the whole time I kept thinking about how much dough was being slurped down those straws. I am happy to report, it was well worth the splurge. A couple of days later I heard a story on NPR about the cause of the price surge: One, a infectious disease effecting citrus plants in North and South America. And secondly, corruption in Mexico’s export business. (See this NYTimes story for more detail.) Suddenly something we take for granted has become a hot commodity. Luckily, the shortage won’t last long. Once the summer crops arrive from other regions, things should level off. But in the meantime, what to do this weekend? What is a Cinco de Mayo fiesta without guacamole and margaritas?
Do you have any non-lime cocktail recipes to share? Please help!
If you follow fashion trends at all, you know that blush pink is the color to wear this spring. Feminine yet earthy, it’s one of those tones that makes everyone look like they’re keeping a secret. In home decorating, the trend continues, which means pastels aren’t just for Easter. We spotted this lovely earthenware over at Kate Spade Saturday and thought it’s the perfect way to update your tabletop in the new hue. With clean lines and sturdy curves they’re a pink that even your male guests won’t mind clutching. Mix and match with other tones, such as celadon or grey and you’ll have a spread that’s worthy of magazine cover of its own. Glazed mugs, plates, and bowls start at $10 a piece at Saturday.com.
This winter I’ve been eating clementines like they are potato chips. I always have a bowl at my desk and even toss them in my bag when I’m on the go. This recipe for Mandarin Olive Oil Cake from Real Simple brings my new mini-orange obsession to a whole new delicious level. I’ve made it using clementines and I’ve made it using mandarins. Both are equally yummy. I also poke holes in the cake before I pour on the icing, which I make a little more runny than the magazine called for. That way the sweetness becomes almost like filling, and makes the cake super moist.
Here’s my take:
Mandarin (or Clementine!) Olive Oil Cake
What You Need:
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp plus a pinch fine salt
3/4 cup whole milk (I used 1% and it was fine)
2 tbls unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbl finely grated mandarin zest, plus 6 tbls mandarin juice (from about 6 mandarins*)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (RS called for one and half but I like mine thin)
How To Make:
1. Heat oven to 350° F. Brush an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan with oil and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, butter, vanilla, mandarin zest, and 4 tablespoons of the mandarin juice; set aside.
3. Beat the granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing well between additions. (The batter will be thin.)
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, the remaining mandarin juice, and the remaining pinch of salt in a small bowl; whisk until smooth. (The glaze will be thick.) Poke holes in the cake with kebab skewer. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake. Let set before serving.
We don’t need to wait for warm weather to have a tropical party at house, but Oh Joy‘s new collection of celebration goodies at Target has us dreaming about flower filled bashes bathed in sunlight. With bright pops of color, festive garlands and easy-to-mix and match patterns, the decorating and entertaining goods make hosting a chic and festive gathering a breeze. On our must have list: pretty 3-d wall decals that you’ll want to leave up all the time, and this minty green domed cake stand.