citrus rose thyme loaf cake

This is a fantastic phase of summer!!! Everything in our garden is suddenly ripe or about to be, the weather is still warm but hints to us in the evenings that fall is coming, school supply commercials are on the TV (!!!!!!!), and Eggboy is in his calm before the harvest storm. July is the month that is safely nestled between the end of spring planting the beginning of fall harvest, which means that he can take full days off at a time to do things like zip down to Chicago for a quick lil visit and clean out half of his office to make room for a desk for me so that I can clear out my kitchen desk to make room for our rice cooker and microwave. Going to Chicago and making room for our rice cooker have both provided me with endless amusement and excitement.

We had just a couple of days in Chicago last week, but we packed them to the brim with fun awesome summery things: Rite of Spring at Ravinia followed by a trip down Steak n Shake nostalgia lane with Jaclyn and Katie, falafel twice from my favorite falafel place, a Cubs game (which felt a little weird since I grew up a Sox fan but the Sox were at an away game and E-boy wanted to see Wrigley Field), a stroll around the Botanic Garden that transported us to Japan and back, and a Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour which honestly freaked me out because his houses, while beautiful, look dark and haunted. I also got to sample a ton of sweets that Mia made at baking and pastry camp. Baking and pastry camp!!! Kids are so cool these days. Overall it was a successful trip but I unfortunately could not locate the Caboodles in my stash of childhood things at my mom’s house so after this I’m going to put on my helmet and dig through Ebay. I mean, name a more perfect food coloring and piping tip container.

Speaking of cake decorating supplies, here’s a cake!!!

In Paris I spotted a beautiful citrus rose loaf cake at Rose Bakery and promptly wanted to recreate it. My version is similar to the grapefruit olive oil yogurt loaf in Short Stack Yogurt but uses lemon in the batter and rosewater in the glaze, and is sprinkled with fresh thyme since the thyme in our garden is currently very happy. The texture of this cake is what I love most: it is soo dense and luxuriously moist, yet it doesn’t feel too heavy thanks to the brightness of the citrus. And this is a really versatile cake! My friend Sam used orange zest/juice in this to make a layer for her wedding cake, and while I’ve never tried it, I feel like lime would be delicious in this as well. Overall it's a very simple cake to make but between the olive oil, rosewater, and thyme, it totally tastes ~fancy~.

citrus rose thyme loaf cake

makes 1 loaf


1 1/2 c (190g) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (56g) almond meal
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, from about 2 sprigs, plus more for decorating
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c (68g) lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons)
3/4 c (169g) whole milk greek yogurt
3/4 c (150g) extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 c (250g) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract

1 c (120g) powdered sugar
2-3 tb (28g-42g) whole milk greek yogurt
3/4 tsp rosewater
1/4 tsp almond extract
A pinch of kosher salt

red or pink food coloring, optional

sprinkles, for decorating, optional


Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that the parchment comes up all the way on two of the sides. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, salt, baking powder, baking soda, thyme, and zest. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and yogurt until very smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and sugar until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking very well after each. Stir in the almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and yogurt mixture in three alternating additions, whisking after each until just combined. Pour into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean; begin checking for doneness at 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then use the parchment wings to lift the loaf out of the pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a medium bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons yogurt, rosewater, almond extract, salt, and food coloring, if using. It will seem like there isn’t enough yogurt at first but keep on stirring. If the mixture is too thick to spread once it’s fully combined, add more yogurt bit by bit until it becomes spreadable but you want it fairly thick so that the drips hold their shape down the side of the cake. Spread the glaze onto the top of the cooled cake, sprinkle with thyme leaves and sprinkles and enjoy.


chicago + minneapolis

thanksgiving came early this year!!! i just returned from my week spent in chicago and minneapolis, spreading all the love and gobbles for jennie-o turkey on the teevee!!!! it was so much fun. when i wasn't in the tv, i got to celebrate stoopie's birthday, eat a butt ton of tacos with some college homies, and have thanksgiving number one with my chicago family. 

since we actually had a massive wedding-related to-do list in chicago (find eggboy a wedding outfit! get me sparkly dancing shoes! convince stoopie that she certainly will not be walking down the aisle in a snowsuit!), our thanksgiving consisted of some unbelievable aleppo cornbread that mum whipped up, one of the easiest turkeys in the whole wide worldand take-out from the restaurant that i absolutely must go to every time i'm home, mizrahi grillwe had turkey and hummus all cuddled up in a bed of pita and it was the tastiest, not to mention the laziest, and i was v down with that, especially considering that thanksgiving number two is coming right up. dessert was our friend marshy's famous lemon cookies, and then later that night, mum made this absurd bar type thing that was pumpkin pie filling topped with yellow cake. it was incredible. sort of like this recipe, but she used a homemade cake because that is how she rolls.

after chicago, i scooted on over to minneapolis, where i made cornbread stuffing on fox (you can watch it here)!!! and then i celebrated my not-barfing-or-potty-mouthing-on-air with a trip to my new favorite store, askov finlayson, and some bison tartare and za'atar cod at spoon & stable. yummmm, what a place. so worth this

i mosied on home last night, but not before another quick segment and a bite with the gem that is melissa from the faux martha. <3! holy guacamole, minneapolis is such a great city, especially after having adjusted to *these winters*. i wish i didn't live so far away. maybe one day i'll convince them to build a bullet train from grand forks to the cities.

i hope you all have wonderful weekends everyone!!!! get those thanksgiving menus planned!!!


thank you soooo much to jennie-o for sponsoring this week and this post!!!! all opinions are obvi my own, and i had such a great time being their turkey girl!!! check out their thanksgiving site for recipes, tips, and other holiday goodies :)

also big thank you to shabby apple for my mustard dress!!! i loved wearing it on air, and it did not get one wrinkle despite the fact that i smooshed it into the bottom of my carry-on. perfection!



when i lived in new york, a trip home to chicago meant a quiet getaway filled with days of relaxation and nights of movies or going out makeupless for shakes at the steak n shake, and then falling asleep to the silence of the suburbs. it was all about family time and scones and laziness.

now that i live in the opposite of new york, a chicago trip means eating all the tacos, getting in all the bagels, seeing this, seeing that, going to trader joe's and the asian market and stocking up on every single thing that's not available in north dakota, walk walk walking, trying new cheese, and putting an ounce of effort into personal presentation because, my heavens, there are so many people!

it's an odd and unexpected change, but so far it has been:

1. a perfect dose of city life for this newly converted farm human.

2. good for reminding me how lucky i am to have found a boy that is from a land where traffic means a slight 60 second delay on main street. (you should have seen the look on all the egg faces when they saw chicago's st. patrick's day traffic.)

3. fattening, but worth it because deep dish.

4. an appropriate amount of time for getting mildly shitfaced with my homegirls.

5. good inspiration for new foods, new design, and new fashions.

6. filled with slushy and realizing that that's probably why winter gets such a bad rap. see, up in these parts, it's so cold that the snow and ice don't have the chance to melt down to slushy until the spring. it's a much cleaner winter than the one i grew up with.

7. a practice in non-awkward human interaction because, again, there are so many people.

last week in chicago we went to some of our old standbys and also met a few new wonderful places:

blue door farm standhome of my dad's new favorite food (their massive carrot cake), cute rustic floors that would be perfect in the farmhouse, and jam stand jams!

bob chinn's crab house: after so many years, this place is still the bee's knees. and i had forgotten how kryptonite-y their garlic rolls are.

das radler: i was sincerely overdue for a schnitzel and some spätzle and the company of hipsters.

big star!: eggboy's favorite. we've learned to always go during lunch to avoid the wait.

the bourgeois pig: i've never been to paris, but i imagine that all of the coffee shops there are just like this one.

mizrahi grill: i could take a bath in their hummus and then sleep a perfect night's sleep in a bed made out of their pita.




eggboy and i are in chicago now, escaping the north dakota cold and seeing my family. it is a crisp -9ºf right now and it's supposed to warm up to zero later today! such excitement, i think i'll shed one sweater layer. 

we spent the weekend in the suburbs with homeland season 3 and a massive stack of cookbooks. we did not surface except to take a salty cheesy trip to eataly with these two and to eat about 12 orders of brunch paella at ba ba reeba

my sisters and i, we do this thing where we impersonate al dente noodles. that's what that gif is all about. i dunno how it started, i think it's a variation on the helpless dog pose that we do when we don't want to do something or if pops is taking too many pictures (do you see where i get it from?). my best guess is that stoop is a penne noodle, mia is a bow tie or perhaps udon, and i like to think that if i were a noodle i'd be some sort of hand pulled strand like one you'd find at xi'an. 

i find myself obliterated with excitement to do things that were once a norm. going to a mall, going to the paint your own pottery place, staring at the whole foods cheese counter. even a five minute trip to trader joe's has been a highlight. it feels benjamin buttony and i like it.

anywho. ikea calls, so i am off to "brave" this "bitter cold weather" and i promise not to call anyone a wimp in the process. (but seriously, chicago, grow a pair.)