Lemon Layer Cake with apricot and honey

Light, lemon-scented cake layers spread thin with sweet apricot jam and frosted in pastel swirls of floral, honey buttercream.

Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA

The start of our new kitchen remodel will commence in just three short weeks, and I’m kind of freaking out.  Who remodels their kitchen while they are in the middle of recipe testing for a new cookbook?  My kitchen is my office.  If my oven were to be out of commission at any point, I would definitely spiral into a deep, dark place.  But now?  Voluntarily?  In the middle of a busy summer?  Yup.  We are doing it…

And by we, I mean the contractor and my amazing mother.  The boys and I will actually be out of town the first week of the renovations, so at least I won’t have a heart attack watching the workers disconnect my oven and start tearing down cabinets.  And to be honest, it’s a very, very small remodel.  A face-lift, if you will.  Including a new oven that I am equally excited and dreading baking cake in.  It took me months to learns the little quirks of my current oven, so I am borderline terrified of having to adjust to a new appliance.

But you know what?  If not now, then when? 

Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA
Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA

We’ve been living in our home for exactly four years this month.  When we moved in, I had just entered my second trimester with baby Everett and had my first manuscript due in 5 months.  If I could adjust to a new house and kitchen with all of that chaos around me, then I should certainly be able to do it now.  Right?  But that’s not even really my point here.  At that time, I made a promise to myself that I would not freak out over the unfurnished dining room or bare walls.  After getting settled in, my priorities were the book and the babe.  Decorating would have to wait…

Four years, a book, and a toddler later, our master bedroom walls are still blank, my dining table is mostly used as a dumping ground for lose items, and Everett’s closet is the most disorganized storage unit that I’ve ever seen (I don’t know what we are going to do when he decides that he’d like to hang his clothes in there).  Now is the time to make this house a home.

If not now, then when?  I love our home.  I love the layout and the location.  It’s not very big nor very fancy, but I know we probably won’t ever be able to find anything else like it if we want to stay in downtown Vancouver.  And if/when we do decide to sell it, it needs some upgrades.  At this point, the only reason for moving would be to find a larger place to support a growing family (we aren’t there yet, but hopefully some day).  So then when?  When I am pregnant again and we need to move?  That hardly seems like a good time for a remodel.  At least if we do it now, then we can enjoy the new space ourselves instead of just making it pretty for someone else to fall in love with.

Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA
Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA
Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA
Lemon layer cake with apricot honey - Style Sweet CA

As I write this and contemplate the notion of “if not now, then when?,” it feels like a reoccurring theme.  Many aspects of my life can be traced back to this.  Like opening my custom cake boutique and filling an empty spot in the market for fancy wedding cakes before anyone else in town beat me to the punch.  Or making the huge decision to move to Canada before buying a home or starting a family.  And even our upcoming trip – if not now, when else might we be able to have a real family vacation just the three of us?

Of course, not everything needs to be as life changing as a new career or big move.  I also have a tendency to hold onto things, waiting for “the best time” to use them.  Like not wearing my favourite dress so I don’t ruin it.  Or letting the gift card for the Dry Bar become a permanent fixture in my wallet because I don’t want to waste it.  Or holding on to a recipe idea until the right season….

I made this cake months ago for The Cake Blog, but I’ve been waiting for the “the best time” to share it here.  What does that even mean?  I love how beautiful the watercolor frosting is and how airy and ethereal the photos turned out so much that I’ve been saving the images.  But why?  And for whom?  So can look at them by myself? 

Even before submitting the recipe to The Cake Blog, I had been sitting on this flavour combination for a while.  I love the way the sweet apricot is balanced by the floral honey and light lemon cake.  The swirly pastel buttercream mimics the fresh yet subtle flavors.  However, while we are in the middle of a season packed with berry cakes and stone fruit desserts, this cake doesn’t really scream “summer.”  Out of fear of having to compete against mystical ice cream creations and the most impressive latticed pies, I thought I’d hold onto this cake for bit. 

But if not now, then when?  In the fall when pumpkin reigns supreme?  Or in the winter when everyone is baking family heirloom recipes for the holidays or items for this year’s cookie platter?  Then next year?  Get outta here. 

Life is too short, Tesssa.  Make the cake.  Eat it.  Share it.  Enjoy =)

 

Find the full recipe over on The Cake Blog

Lemon Frozen Yogurt with Honey and Rosemary Pine Nuts

LemonFrozenYogurt I'm very conflicted and confused this week. I am overwhelmed with apple recipes and Starbucks is trying to push Pumpkin Spice lattes down my throat (literally). Or a PSL- did I really see that this drink has its own branding now? Well played. Don't get me wrong, I loooove me some PSLs, but it is all a little much for me to handle. I mean, I spent a better part of yesterday morning re-organizing my Holiday Pinterest board while wearing a tank top with all of our windows open.  Surely I am not helping my own confusion by baking off an Apple Tart last week, while also making frozen yogurt. But, both were delicious, so I'm not going to apologize. While some of us want to jump the gun and head straight into fall, others are holding on to summer as long as possible. Both are okay in my book.

While we are in a seasonal limbo, I decided that I will just bake and make what I want. Does that sound okay with all of you? Okay, great- thank you ;) Grocery stores are stocked with pumpkin products, but my tomato plant is still producing beautiful, juicy gems- so what's a girl to do? Regardless if you needed a wool blanket to watch football this Sunday or are experiencing a late summer heat-wave, I promise that you will all enjoy this Lemon Frozen Yogurt.

LemonFrozenYogurt

I was not always a fan of lemon yogurt. With usual suspects like blueberry and peach, lemon yogurt tended to take a backseat in my household.  After deciding to give lemon a chance, my yogurt-buying ways were forever changed.  Creamy and refreshing, lemon yogurt is like the breakfast version of my favorite lemon meringue pie.  Somewhere along my foodie journey I do recall a rich, delectable lemon gelato.  In an attempt to recreate, yet lighten this recipe and incorporate my new love for citrus yogurt, I created this easy Lemon Frozen Yogurt.  I opted for a lighter version by using yogurt instead of cream, but added a few more layers of flavor with bits of quality white chocolate, sweet honey, and savory rosemary pine nuts.  I used a combination of lemon flavored yogurt, with the addition of fresh lemon juice and flavorful lemon zest.  The rosemary pine nuts are toasted with a bit of sea salt, adding perfect crunch to the creamy frozen treat.

LemonFrozenYogurt

LemonFrozenYogurt

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Rosemary Pine Nuts

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