That Place

Haven’t posted in far too long because I’ve been working too much.

To start catching up, I want to share some wonderful photography.

First are some amazing images by Neal Slavin of Portugal. Really lovely stuff, discovered by Paul.

He also sent me these fantastic mid-century photographs of San Francisco. I still miss “our old home,” as James would call it. I miss the light, the colours, the sounds, and living so close to the ocean.

San Francisco cable car overlooking Telegraph Hill  1002939

I’m sorely in need of a vacation and these two different sets of photographs provided me with a temporary escape.

Delicious Gluten- and Dairy-Free Poppy-Seed Cake

Yes, it really is possible to make one.

After Googling and finding no diet-restricted recipes that came close to looking or sounding like the German poppy-seed delicacies I was raised on, I decided the time had come to modify my first recipe. (Thirteen years without poppy-seed baking was far too long.) I made a Lottie + Doof recipe both gluten- and dairy-free. A big thanks to L + D!

I had the best taste-tester: my dad, who has passed on his love of poppy-seed cake and strudel. Perhaps I channelled my maternal German grandma’s baking prowess, because he couldn’t tell that the cake made with the following recipe was gluten- and dairy-free. Success. Along with the delight of finally getting to eat a true-tasting poppy-seed cake, I was proud.

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Poppy-Seed Cake
(original from Lauren Chattman via Food & Wine)

**To do ahead of time: In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the 3/4 cup of poppy seeds and cover. Let stand for 1 hour. Scrape the seeds into a blender and pulse until lightly crushed.**

3/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cups of Bette Hagman’s gluten-free mix (2 parts rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, and 1/3 part tapioca flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan, tapping out excess flour.

In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/3 cups of flour with the baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance sticks with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the poppy-seed mixture and beat at medium speed until just combined. Add the eggs to the batter one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack, and let it cool completely (about 2 hours). Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, cut it into squares, and serve.

The cake keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. Enjoy!

(recipe and photo via Lottie + Doof)

Comparisons

Want to capture here all of the great photography that’s been showing up on blogs and getting shared on Facebook etc. For the three photography projects shown above, it’s all about comparisons.

At the top is a haunting example of soldiers before, during, and after war by photographer Lalage Snow. His eight-month long project, We Are The Not Dead, chronicles British soldiers before, during, and after their time in Afghanistan. The sum of subtle transformations equals dramatic differences.

The photograph in the middle is from the Life Before Death collection by German photographer Walter Schels and his partner Beate Lakotta. The evocative photographs capture people before and after their deaths.

The third photo is from the Models and Mothers collection by Howard Schatz. For over 12 years, he has used his camera to look at the origin of beauty. The fitting results? Beautiful.