Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake and a Wine Cork Wreath

My favorite co-worker and friend Donna had a birthday last week, and at my lab, no birthday goes uncelebrated. We usually bring in treats and gather in the office for an extra long coffee-break. I was inspired by a recent guest post on Chef Dennis's blog from Liv Life. She made a beautiful blueberry lemon pound cake adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, so I decided to make it for the party.

It came out perfect, everyone loved it! I did have to go out and buy a bundt pan at the last minute. I thought I already had one, but all I could find was an angel food cake pan, and I really just HAD to have those pretty rounded edges. It just wouldn't be as special without them.

Unlike my typical blog posts, I'm not going to try to reproduce her recipe. She took such beautiful photos that you just need to go visit her post yourself.

I compared her version of the recipe with the original Cooking Light recipe from 1998, and I think she made some changes for the better. She nixed the light butter for regular, whole eggs instead of a combination of whole and whites only, and she added some lemon juice and zest to the batter, which gives it an extra kick of lemon goodness. Licking the remaining batter in the bowl has always been the highlight of any baking experience for me, and I really enjoyed the taste of this batter :-)

The only thing I might change if I made this again is double the recipe for the glaze. It was so good - I just wanted more!

Since wine goes hand in hand with food and cooking, I feel that it's relevant to share a recent craft project I made with wine corks. I'd been saving the corks for about six months (with help from a few friends who also drink their fair share of wine!). They had grown into quite the collection and I finally got around to one of the projects I wanted to make with them.  This is the wine cork wreath I made for Donna for her birthday:

It was very easy to make. I bought a brown twig wreath and a long strand of artificial grape leaves. The grapes that came on the strand looked very old and shriveled, so I cut those off and bought some better-looking plastic grapes to attach myself with green zip-ties. After winding the leaves around the twig wreath, I simply glued the corks on with a hot glue gun. I liked the corks that were stained with red wine because they added little bursts of color. It looks good against Donna's red/burgundy front door.

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