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Italian Lemon Cake

This Italian lemon pound cake is a recipe that I'd had my eye on for a long time. I finally made it back in April! I skipped adding frosting but if you visit the original recipe it'll tell you how to make it. The glaze needed a lot more lemon juice than the recipe called for. I used 5 tablespoons of lemon juice and it was still very thick. The cake itself isn’t very lemony so you really do need either the glaze or the frosting to bring the lemon flavour to this recipe. I'm not complaining though, it was still really delicious! Italian Lemon Cake Adapted from My Recipe Confessions Makes 1 Cake Ingredients For the Cake 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup sour cream 4 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 teaspoon vanilla For the Glaze 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 5+ tablespoons lemon juice Directions Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour a bundt or cake p

Adas Polow ( rice with ground beef, lentils and raisins)

My first try with this dish and it was yummy! I'm not an expert when it comes to cooking Persian food, but I keep trying anyway. Some of the dishes are time consuming as well.

If I fail, I can always count on my mother-in-law to make it for us properly.

Above: Tah dig I made using 2 spatulas full of rice mixed with 2 heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of saffron infused water. Heat the oil in the pot then place the yogurt mixture on the bottom of the pot before layering the rest of the rice and the meat mixture.

Above: I serve extra raisins on the side so everyone can add as much as they like.

Adas Polow (rice with ground beef, lentils and raisins)
Makes 6-8 servings

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron, steeped in 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 3/4 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dry orange peel
  • butter
  • oil
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Rinse the rice and pour into the boiling pot. Cook just until tender but still has a slight bite to it. Drain it.
  3. Boil the lentils in a smaller pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and rinse.
  4. Boil the orange peel and drain. Repeat this 3 times to remove the bitterness and re-hydrate them. You can also put them in the microwave for 1 minute, 3 times with fresh water then drain.
  5. Fry onions and garlic in a bit of butter and oil till golden, then add ground beef. Continue to cook until the beef is done.
  6. Stir in the spices and 1 teaspoon of the saffron water.
  7. Add the cooked lentils, orange peel and 1/2 cup of the raisins to the beef mixture.
  8. In the same pot you cooked your rice (because who wants to wash more dishes?) decide how you want to prepare the bottom of your pot. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil to the pot and then ... 
    • Option 1. Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom.
    • Option 2. Place a layer of pita bread on the bottom.
    • Option 3. Take 2 tablespoons plain yogurt and mix it with 2 spatulas full of rice and a few drops of saffron water and layer this on the bottom of the pot.

  9. Place 2 heaping spatulas of rice on top of your selection from above. Add a layer of the beef and lentil mixture. Build a pyramid by alternating layers of the rice and meat mixtures, finishing with a layer of rice. Cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes.
  10. Take the remaining saffron water and some melted butter (2 tablespoons) and pour it over your pyramid. Place a clean dish towel on your pot and then cover with the lid. Cook for another 50 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering to allow the crust (tah dig) to come free.
  11. In the meantime, take another 1/2 cup of raisins and fry in 1 tablespoon butter just until they start to puff up. Remove the rice from the pot onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the fried raisins. Remove the tah dig from the pot and hide it - it's the best part and everyone will want some. Serve with plain yogurt.
Original Recipe: Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food of Life cookbook.


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