Greetings from Quarantine Day 2. Yesterday felt like another one of those days where switches flipped all across the country, when people started taking the #stayhome orders more seriously, including my children. I went for a run, tested a vegan Caesar dressing recipe for my book, took the dogs for a walk, and made the famous Sarah Keiffer pan-banging cookies. What about you? Here’s today’s episode of Project, Pantry, Purpose…
Project: Pound Cake
If you started the focaccia recipe yesterday, continue that today. If you didn’t, let’s make a pound cake. This is still 100% delicious without the berries.
1 pat butter for greasing pan (or cooking spray)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional, my kids like it better without)
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries or raspberries or blackberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 8 1/2-by-4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, mix together sugar and lemon zest with a fork until well distributed. Add sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract; whisk to blend. Fold in dry ingredients. Once it has come together, fold in berries. You don’t want to overmix. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before slicing.
Pantry: Tomato-White Bean Soup
Makes 4 servings; Serve with crusty bread or that focaccia you started yesterday.
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnishing
1 slice smoky bacon (optional)
1/2 large onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional, about 1/2 cup)
1 large carrot, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
red chili flakes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 1/2 cups cooked white beans (3 15-ounce cans, drained)
3 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
Parm, for garnishing
In a medium soup pot or Dutch oven, add olive oil and bacon, if using. Add onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and all but 1/2 cup of beans.
Remove the bacon, chop into small pieces and add back to pot. Add broth (it should just cover beans) and bring to a boil. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, adding water or broth until it reaches desired consistency. Stir in your reserved beans, warm through, and serve with lots of Parmesan, olive oil, more freshly ground pepper, and crusty bread or focaccia.
Purpose: Read a Novel
From longtime reader Amanda: “I work for an indie bookstore in Arlington, VA, and we, like all other indies, are really struggling right now. We’ve closed the floor of our store to the public and are relying on our online orders to keep us going…A lot of us are offering free shipping right now, and it’s one of the best things you can do to keep community hubs like us thriving! (I’m biased towards my own store, One More Page Books, but there are hundreds of other great ones!)”
Thank you, Amanda! I’ll add that if you don’t already know the local bookstore to support, you can find it on indiebound. Might I recommend ordering Separation Anxiety, by Lauren Zigman? People are loving it. As my friend Rory says, “Judy, the protagonist, is excellent company.”
It brought me great comfort hearing what everyone was up to on yesterday’s post. I hope it did the same for you. Keep the recipes, projects, stories, movies, games, puzzles, ideas coming in the comment field, please.