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.


sheet pan pita pizza with broccolini and lemon

All of my teacher friends have gone back to work, the apples on our trees have appeared, and Eggboy comes in every night covered in a light layer of wheat dust because he is about halfway through wheat harvest. This can only mean a few things!

Fall is near

Risotto season is near

All of the mosquitos will soon die

I have to start collecting things for my Halloween costume and learning the choreography to that Haim video

Bojack season 4 and Broad City season 4 will be out soon

And before we know it Candace Cameron Bure will be all up in our TV with this year’s new Hallmark Christmas movies and I’ll be baking my second annual cookie tins, flipping latkes, and humming Sufjan Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I know we’re supposed to be ~hanging on to the last days of summer~ but cover me with pumpkin bread and let me be cozy.

Of course I don’t want to minimize all of the wild and crazy awesome summery things that this last month since Eggsister wedding has brought, so I am going to show & tell some highlights right here:

-I fell in lurrrv with Maine, nearly died of happiness in the shadow of a lighthouse as butter dripped down my face while I ate my first real lobster with old friends and new! I taught classes at the magical Stonewall kitchen, experienced the insanely awesome Tandem Coffee Roasters and Briandre3000, freaked over oysters and kimchi ice at Eventide, and got to see Luke play gong at Bowdoin!! And then thanks to new friend Emily I got to see the Punch Brothers/I’m With Her/Julian Lage tour (and tell Chris Thile that I’ll be making him a hotdish soon)!

-Partied my tuchus off at Jaclyn’s wedding (complete with late night Ted Drewes!!) and Stefani and Kelly’s Bridal shower the day after!

-Judged the first annual town hotdish competition! There were six entries, including something called a funeral hotdish, which you and I are going to sit down and chat about on another day, and one with Thanksgiving stuffing all over the top, which I’m totally going to do this Thanksgiving. Sadly there were no tater tot hotdish entries, so please start planning your entries for next year, ok?  

-Celebrated my fourth anniversary of moving here! And this lil blog's ninth birthday! 

-Road bikes all around Mackinac island with the fam and then ate all of the fudge and snow cones and talked the entire time about how we felt like we were in a poop-scented Disney World. It was so great. 

-And then Eggboy and I saw Bruno Mars live in Fargo!! We bought tickets like a year ago because we loved his performance at the 2014 Super Bowl so much. It happened to be on a Friday and because it was all the way in Fargo, I made this here pizza so that we could have pizza night on the road. It’s kind of a hybrid between a grandma pie and the farmers market focaccia that I love getting at Huckleberry, and it’s covered in a flavor combo that I can’t get enough of these days: broccolini, lemon, garlic, and parmesan. Those four things are the perfect combination of bright/salty/sour/green, the kind of amazingness that can only really be made better on a bed of doughy crust and under a blanket of melty mozzarella. And because we’re eating a bunch of broccolini we’re going to continue to ride the healthy train by making this crust part whole wheat. It’s good! The crust uses the same dough that I use for my pita, it’s super easy to make, and it only rises for a couple of hours (or, maybe only one hour in this heat), versus the overnight pizza dough that I typically urge you to make. It’s also the type of thing that’s just as tasty at room temperature, in case you want to bring this to a potluck or, yeah, enjoy in the car on the way to the Bruno Mars concert!

One thing that will send this over the top:

Let loose with on the flaky salt on the crust. Do not hold back. Zoom in on the very top left picture in my grid up above, the one of the box of pastries, do you see how much salt there is on that chocolate chip cookie? It was an *inspiration*, h/t Briandre. It redefined my comfort level with flaky salt and this pizza crust is my prize and it can be yours too if you set your mind to it. 

sheet pan pita pizza with broccolini and lemon

makes one half sheet pan pizza


for the pita:

1 1/2 c (356g) warm water

2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1 1/2 tb sugar

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

3 tb olive oil

2 c (256g) bread flour

1 3/4 c (224g) whole wheat flour


for the pizza:

olive oil

8 oz fresh mozzarella, torn

1 lemon, cut as thin as possible with a sharp knife or mandoline, seeds removed

1/2 purple onion, cut as thin as possible with a sharp knife or mandoline

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

6 oz broccolini, chopped

kosher salt

black pepper

2 oz parmesan cheese, shredded, plus more for serving

crushed red pepper

flaky salt


for the pita:

in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. with the mixer running on low speed, add the salt and oil, then gradually add the flour. increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes, adding just enough additional flour so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. (alternatively, mix by hand and knead on a lightly floured surface.) place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it once or twice to coat it in oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

for the pizza:

preheat the oven to 450ºf. 

brush a sheet pan with 1/4 cup olive oil and pat out the pita dough to the edge, this might seem like a lot of olive oil but it'll make it good. set this aside to rise (uncovered) for another 20 minutes or so. Now is a good time to chop your toppings.

brush the dough with another little drizzle of olive oil, top with fresh mozzarella, lemon, onion, garlic, and broccolini. add another drizzle of olive oil on top. sprinkle the toppings with a couple pinches of kosher salt, a tonnn of black pepper, and shredded parmesan. Sprinkle the edges of the crust with flaky salt and don't be shy with it.

bake for 25 minutes or so, or until the cheese is browned and splotchy and the crust is golden.

top with crushed red pepper and additional parmesan, if desired. 



farro with dukkah, things from the garden, and grilled lemon

sup, homies! how is your school supplies shopping season going? get any good gelly roll pen colors? smell any pumpkin spice? hear any sufjan? i’ve had a week of major ups and giant downs, downs to the point where this emoji 😩  crept into my frequently used pile. lame! there was our broken oven, a hair coloring emergency, and two stubbed toes. which don't seem like a lot but my heavens i had no idea how boring it'd be to go for 2 1/2 days without an oven. but then! there was a fixed oven and new brunette hairs and lots of progress made on my yogurt book! holler. and eggboy’s beet fields are looking really extra good because he’s been working overtime since we’re going out of town to jaclyn’s wedding in a few days (!!). so when you pair all of those things with the fact that in my broken oven boredom i discovered some great riverdale superfan instagram accounts, we defo ended up with a net positive week. oh and i’m forgetting one of the best things that happened which was that the new wet hot american summer came out. i’ve watched the whole thing three times already. not word for word, i just have had it on continuously in the background while testing yogurt soup and yogurt cookies and it is the best soundtrack for cooking while the end of summer sun pours in. 

speaking of camp, every so often when i’m watching w.h.a.s. or perusing my old summer camp’s instagram stories or getting really into my collection of podcasts about camp (1/2/3), i get the pharaoh song in my head, the one that goes,

“pharaoh pharaoh!

ooooh babay, 

let my people go—*weird thrusting motion that has no lyric but a grunt assigned to it*

yeah yeah yeah yeah”

you know the one, right? we sang it every friday night at camp!

and so because our internet exists in a sea of grain bowls, my mind these days has been going straight to farro when i think about that song and then i get a craving for it. it's so chewy and hearty (and underrated?). (is it underrated? i have a hard time gauging these things living in a small town since i don’t think it’s on any menus here but i have this hunch that it’s maybe on every single menu in california? or maybe it was back in 2015? idk.) the thing is, it's good. i like that it's on the bigger bulkier end of the grain spectrum and that it chameleons itself onto whatever flavors you slap it with. it’s also great cold so you can make a bunch of it in advance and either send it out to the fields for a harvest lunch or keep a bunch in the fridge for when you spend the whole morning testing cake recipes and forget to eat anything of substance until it's too late to spend time making anything.

oh and i was talking about pharaoh! 

the pharaoh song inspired me to want to add egyptian flavors to farro. so i toasted up some dukkah, sautéed a bunch of garlic and onions, and then headed outside to rip some mint and vegetables from the garden. our garden is in the calm before a very tomato-y storm right now since it is filled with zillions of green tomatoes that i just know are going to ripen all at the same time. luckily there have been a few early ripe ones. i also grabbed some basil and radishes, which are giant and probably overgrown, and then tossed everything together with tons of grilled lemon juice for a smokey caramelized acidic situation. the result: a bright flavor-filled summery salad that packs some textural excitement, thanks to the dukkah, which functions as a savory crunchy sprinkle of sorts. this salad doesn't have a formal dressing but between the olive oil that cooks the onions and garlic, the grilled lemon, the herbs, and the dukkah, you have all of the great makings of one, and you also have the protein from the farro and nuts which makes this thing a nice filling meal. can i call it pharaoh farro?

every time i’ve made this now i think i’m going to have enough to keep in the fridge for at least a few days but then eggboy hides it all in his belly before i even have my seventh cup of coffee 🙄  so i guess that’s a good sign but as soon as more tomatoes ripen i should really make a double batch.

ok bye. 

how is your garden growing?

i used bob's red mill farro for this! other than it tasting super good, i like it because the package has directions for boiling it. as simple as it is, i never remember cooking times for grains, so this package makes me one step closer to eliminating the need for getting that grain cooking time tattoo.

farro with dukkah, things from the garden, and grilled lemon

makes 4 servings


1 c (208 g) bob’s red mill farro, rinsed

Kosher salt

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

1 bunch scallions, chopped, whites and greens separated

4 cloves garlic

1 lemon, halved

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 c (75g) toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1 tb toasted sesame seeds

10 oz (283g) cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

a few handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, or a mix), coarsely chopped

crushed red pepper

black pepper

a handful of feta, optional


in a large pot, combine the farro and 3 cups water. bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. drain excess water, season with salt, and set aside.

while the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and add the onion, scallion whites, and a pinch of salt. cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. pour the mixture into a heat safe bowl and set aside. 

wipe out the skillet and heat it over medium high heat. grill the lemon, flesh side down, until browned, and set it aside.

make the dukkah: toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds until fragrant and then crush in a mortal and pestle. mix with the chopped almonds, sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt.

in a large bowl fold together the farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs (reserving some for serving), scallion greens, onion olive oil mixture, the juice from the grilled lemon, a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a bunch of turns of black pepper, the feta, if using, and half of the dukkah. taste and add more salt if needed. 

to serve, top with additional dukkah and herbs as desired. this can be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge and served cold or at room temp. enjoy!


Thanks to bob's red mill for sponsoring this post!

lemon poppyseed olive oil muffins

In my experience, muffins have the ability to be really really bad or really really good. The ratio of bad to good muffins in this world is something depressing, like 2:1, and their lack of nutritional value doesn’t ever work in their favor too. Like, if you’re going to eat that much junk for breakfast, why not go all the way, add a little more sugar and have a slice of cake, you know? I mostly avoid the risk of eating muffins except for when it comes to two equal and opposite specimens: the mini lemon poppyseed kind that come in clear plastic packages in the bakery section of the grocery store that I would devour by the dozen as a wee one, and the large triumphant muffins from Blue Sky Bakery in Park Slope which will be the last remaining muffins on earth once everyone realizes that most muffins blow hard. Both of these muffins transcend the universal muffin problem of what to do with the muffin bottom once you’ve ripped off, buttered, and eaten the lesser evil muffin top, for the grocery store lemon poppyseed muffin’s homogenous squishy texture from the outside in makes the top no different from the bottom, and Blue Sky’s oft filled muffin bottoms read like moist sour cream coffee cakes. 

And here’s a third muffin option that combines my lifelong love for lemon poppyseed with my tendency to root for the underdog: it’s a topless muffin. A stubby breakfast cake that’s moistened with olive oil, beefed up with almond meal, and is as good as a muffin top. It works because parchment muffin liners are nary seen in this recipe, therefore allowing the outer edges of the muffin to get caramelized and crusty, just like a top would be. So it’s kind of like this whole thing is a muffin top with a shape that’s easier to grab onto. And are they kind of just an unfrosted mini cake in disguise as a more socially accepted breakfast food? Yeah, that’s pretty much exactly what they are.

Jumbo muffin tins (7.1 ounce capacity) make these muffins the perfect size. (I don’t recommend making them in standard cupcake tins, as the small size doesn’t allow for the full effect. In a pinch, using a 9” cake pan will work, but plan for more baking time.) These muffins are just as good the next day so add these to your list of brunch things that can be made ahead of time. Serve them with a light dusting of powdered sugar, and perhaps some yogurt and berries for a sweet simple breakfast.

lemon poppyseed olive oil muffins

makes 12 jumbo muffins


1 1/2 c sugar

2 c flour

3/4 c almond meal

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

4 tsp poppy seeds

4 tsp lemon zest

3 eggs

1 1/2 c olive oil

1/4 c lemon juice

3/4 c whole milk

1 tsp almond extract

Powdered sugar, for serving


preheat the oven to 350ºF. coat 12 jumbo nonstick muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.

in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, almond meal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, lemon juice, milk, and almond extract. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. distribute the batter evenly amongst the muffin tins and bake until the edges are deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. 

cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. run a small offset spatula around the edges and remove to the rack. serve warm or cool completely and then serve. dust with powdered sugar before serving.