The First of July = Baking Cake

July 1 is my husband's birthday. And as it is written, everyone needs a birthday cake. Keeping with my recent Dorie Greenspan obsession (and seeing as I had 4 perfectly overripe bananas leering at me from the counter top this morning), I decided to make her Lots of Ways Banana Cake. I'm am happily convinced that I could use any of her recipes last minute without hesitation that they will emerge from the oven perfect examples of what true cakes should be.

These babies were so delicious that had they not had frosting, I may have even passed them off as a somewhat healthy banana bread and toasted them for breakfast. With frosting (I chose her Marshmallow Frosting from previously addicting Devil's Food White-Out Cake...) it may have been a bit sweet, but I'm not complaining.


Before the oven.

We had Orange Roughy fillets, roasted in foil in a 400 oven for about 15 minutes - my favorite way to never overcook fish. I tossed in a drizzle of olive oil, a smidge of butter, a dousing of vermouth in lieu of white wine, and salt and pepper. Along with my new favorite farm market discovery: new garlic.

If you look carefully, you can see where the new cloves would develop.

New garlic apparently is underdeveloped garlic. Picked before the individual cloves are formed, it seems to me to be a bit milder than regular garlic. But in stir-fry last week, it held up and had no harsh garlic bite, and when roasted tonight, it was a delicious mild, toothsome garlic. I love this stuff! Thanks to the amazing Pinehold Gardens gardeners in Oak Creek for producing the best local garlic ever! Their site is under construction, but check back: Pinehold Gardens. Two years ago when my husband's Rhode Island relatives were visiting, his uncle actually took home their garlic in his carry-on. I'm sad when October comes, and after I've used my Pinehold stores, have to go back to finding garlic in the co-op.

Before all of this, I thought I would be making a spicier type fish...and utilized the perfectly ripe mango that when it woke up this morning, probably thought it may not get the chance to make it into my belly. Normally, I make the Ina Garten cooked mango salsa, but today decided to cube it up and leave it raw. Just green onions, some red pepper, cilantro, one minced chipotle chile, half a lime and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and perfection. I think I'll have some on some eggs for breakfast tomorrow, and knowing me, probably in a tortilla. Perfect for summers of limited heat in the kitchen.


We still ate some salsa on the side of the rice: see my plate for example.

A good day! With a baked cake, how can it be bad? Another happy and healthy year for my darling and a nice dinner at home. I could only be more excited about my knitting class yesterday which empowered me to knit on circular needles with confidence...and my confirmation into the world of the Daring Bakers. Stay tuned for my first challenge post at the end of the month.