When your favorite hobby is also your job, things can get a little out of control when it comes to “business-related expenses.” When cooking was simply a pastime, I tried to keep my purchases in check as much as possible, although a trip to any cooking store was still a dangerous proposition.
My kitchen has been fully equipped for several years, but when I started taking pictures of everything I ate in order to create this blog, I realized I was sorely lacking in the “prop” department. While you could certainly operate a food blog using just everyday silverware and white dishes, interesting props like fun bowls, vintage silverware and colorful linens add a little spice to the monotony of daily photography.
So, I started by scouring the clearance racks at department stores for mismatched bowls and linens that could be scored on the cheap. What was originally a small pile of napkins and two plates in a back corner of the linen closet has started to take over the house. More than half of that closet is now filled with photography props, and no actual bath or bed linens reside there.
Placemats, spare ingredients and camera accessories overflow into the guest room, the spare room and storage boxes hidden under beds. The dining room table is never clear. And still, I’m always on the lookout for more. I mean, it’s a tax deduction, ya know?
This lemon loaf pan is one of my favorite business expenses yet. I’ve had it for months but have been waiting for a special occasion to use it. When I found out last week that one of my recipes was a finalist in a contest, it was time to break out the lemon pan in celebration. This is a classic pound cake kept super moist with cream cheese and butter made with milk produced by Michigan’s hardworking dairy farm families. I gave it a triple shot of lemon with fresh lemon juice, grated lemon zest and lemon extract. I also whipped up quick raspberry compote to serve with the cake for an extra special touch.
Did you know that 98% of Michigan dairy farms are family owned, many by multiple generations of the same family? I’m happy to support these families by buying locally made dairy products, especially if it means I get to bake a lemon pound cake on a Thursday. For more information on The United Dairy Industry of Michigan and to find out why Milk Means More, visit their website and connect with them on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.
For the Lemon Pound Cake:
- 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the Raspberry Compote:
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Make the Lemon Pound Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a 6-cup loaf pan.
- Over a sheet of wax paper, sift flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt two times.
- In large mixing bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese 30 seconds or until well combined. Gradually add sugar; beat 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in lemon juice, zest, vanilla extra and lemon extract.
- Reduce mixer speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, beating until just combined between additions and scraping down sides of bowl.
- Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pan to wire rack; let cool 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the Raspberry Compote: In medium saucepan, cook raspberries, sugar and water over medium heat 14 to 16 minutes or until raspberries are broken down and mixture has a jam-like consistency. Slice and serve Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Compote.