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Pavlova Layer Cake with Raspberry Sauce

February 4, 2022

There is so much to love about this Layered Pavlova Cake! It tastes like a macaron cookie grew extra large and gave you a hug, but kept it’s signature fluffy merengue texture and intense filling flavor. The raspberry sauce and ice cream in the middle is such a textural delight – creamy, crunchy, gooey, smooth and sweet. I just served this for a Galentine’s/Birthday party with friends last night and it was so good. It is light yet hits the sweet spot perfectly.

It also happens to be really easy to make. It takes around 10 minutes of prep and then it cooks for a while (see directions).   If you love someone who can’t abide gluten this is for you! If you love someone who doesn’t do well with dairy, we ate ours with vanilla coconut milk ice cream and it was amazing.

You start by beating 8 egg whites + 1/4 teaspoon salt in a stand mixer with the whisk setting. It takes 5-8 minutes, and your oven should be warming up during that time. (You put it in a 350 degree oven then immediately turn it down to 225. It is low and slow for cakes). Then you slowly add 2 cups of sugar while it is still beating. Then you gently fold in 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar (or cream of tarter – the egg whites need acid to create stiff peaks) and 4 teaspoons cornstarch.

You can add a drop of food coloring for a light pink color, but white is so pretty too. Then you make 2 circles on parchment paper using a 8-9 inch cake round pan. Turn over the paper so the pencil doesn’t get onto the cake. Then you spread the mixture into the two circles.

You bake them for 50-70 minutes (see below) until they are hard and then I let mine rest in the oven for another hour, but you only need to let them rest until they are cool.

While they are cooling, you can make the raspberry sauce. I use Ina Garten’s recipe – it is so easy just fresh raspberries, sugar, water, all cooked together for a few minutes. Then that mixture is blended with a jar of raspberry jam and raspberry liquor. The result is such an intense raspberry flavor, you will be so in love when you taste it and you will want to put it on everything.

Assembling the cake is so easy – just layer pavlova, ice cream, then raspberry sauce…

Then add the second pavlova on top, cover with raspberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can add the rest of the sauce on top if you want but it is so pretty and good with just raspberries.

So add some extra eggs and raspberries to your grocery list and consider your Valentine’s Desert covered. You will float away on a cloud of bliss, I promise.

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Pavlova Layered Cake with Raspberry Sauce



  • 8 (about 260 g) egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons (10 g) cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cream of tartar, OR 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • a couple drops of food coloring (optional), I used one drop of red but pink is better to get a nice pink color. I have also made this without any food coloring, and the white is so pretty too so it is totally optional. 
  • NOTE: This recipe makes TWO pavlovas. You can split the recipe in half for one layer.



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. (NOTE: you will reduce this temperature later). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace a circle on each, using an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan as your guide. Flip the parchment paper over, so the pencil doesn’t get on the pavlova. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Note: the eggs will foam first and then come together to create soft, white peaks. Be patient. This will take a few minutes.

Once the soft peaks have formed, gradually (very gradually), add the sugar (about one tablespoon at a time).

After the sugar is incorporated and stiff peaks have formed, stop the mixer and fold in the cornstarch, cream of tartar (or vinegar), vanilla bean paste, and food coloring (if using).

Divide the meringue in half and pour one half onto each of the parchment sheets with circles on them. Gently spread the meringue to the edge of the circle you drew, making sure the top is fairly level. The edges don’t need to be perfectly round or even. In fact, the more rustic and left alone, the better.

Place the pavlovas in your oven. If you have two ovens, you can place one baking sheet in each. If you have one oven, you can place both baking sheets in at once, on two different racks, making sure to switch the baking sheets halfway through baking.

When you place the pavlova in the oven, immediately reduce the temperature to 225 degrees F.

TWO OVENS: If you are using two ovens with one pavlova in each, your bake time will be about 50 to 60 minutes. 

ONE OVEN: If you are using one oven with two pavlovas, your bake time will be closer to 70 to 90 minutes.

You are looking for the meringue to harden, but not get too brown or crack too much around the edges.

Once the pavlova is done baking, turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.



1 half-pint package fresh raspberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam

1 tablespoon Framboise liqueur (I used a local raspberry liqueur)


Place the package of raspberries, the granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and Framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.


Place one pavlova layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with a pint of ice cream and half of the raspberry mixture and then fresh berries. Cover with second pavlova and garnish with fresh raspberries and powdered sugar. (You could also top with more ice cream and the rest of the raspberry sauce if desired but the ratio was lovely of meringue to ice cream and sauce with it just in the middle.)

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Cake by Courtney

Quinoa Bowl With Balsamic Vinaigrette and Roasted Vegetables

April 20, 2015

Have you ever heard of a Buddha Bowl?



There are lots floating around lately in the healthy eating world. This website gives some examples as well as this definition from Urban Dictionary:

buddha bowl (n). a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded “belly” appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha

 I am an 80/20 girl when it comes to healthy eating/indulgence, with delicious flavors a requirement 100% of the time and a weakness for anything French.  But, I love feeling great, so sometimes I need to make a big batch of this quinoa salad to have in the fridge for the week. Plus, one pot/bowl cooking makes life easy.

And, my husband loves this dish.


The basic building blocks of a buddha bowl are:

1. Grains – if you are eating legumes, use whatever you like. I love how the quinoa has protein and absorbs the dressing, but black beans, lentils, etc. are all great. I added chick peas too because I love them.

2. Protein – you can add your favorite meat or beans or tofu as well. I counted the quinoa and chick peas as protein.

3. Something Crunch – I used carrots and celery in this one, but nuts, onions, seeds, asian noodles, etc. are all yummy.

4. Something Creamy – avocado, feta, mozzarella, goat cheese, are all good options. Hummus and dairy based dips are yummy too. Noodles also offer a creamy element.

5. Veggies – roasted veggies have a concentrated flavor, so I tend to love them, and nutty cauliflower is my favorite right now. I often make a big batch of roasted veggies on a Sunday and use them up during the week. Any raw veggies, lettuces, sprouts, and marinated veggies are all great too.

6. Dressing – lots of buddha bowls use tahini dressing but I went with more mediterranean flavors. I make it with Asian flavors too, and you can even stir store-bought pesto into the quinoa with yummy results. (Basil mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes go very well with this dressing.)

**I like to make sure I have something acidic – the dressing, olives, capers, etc. But my husband doesn’t love olives and capers so I add them myself.



The thing that gives this dish its flavor is the dressing, and when you add it to the warm quinoa, it absorbes all that goodness. Balsamic vinegar, dijion and garlic are are mixed with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper – pretty simple. If you have favorite homemade dressing ingredients – lemon, shallots, scallions – you really can’t go wrong, but my husband loves balsamic so that’s what I use. It also gets better every day it sits.


Quinoa with Balsamic Vinaigrette and Roasted Veggies (printer version here):




2 onions, sliced into rings

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 carrots, diced

2 celery, diced

feta or goat cheese, crumbled



Preheat oven to 425.

Bring one cup water to boil, then add 2 cups of quinoa. (Cook according to package directions, usually for 15 min).

For Dressing (I use a 1:1 ratio for oil and vinegar, use what you prefer):

¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed in garlic press

salt and pepper

Toss half of dressing with quinoa as soon as it is done cooking. Set aside in large bowl.

For Roasted Veggies (select 2 or 3 veggies):

Slice or cut up veggies in as uniform a size as possible for even cooking.

I used cauliflower, onions and cherry tomatoes.

Sprinkle with EVOO, salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Assemble Bowl: Stir quinoa, roasted veggies, chopped veggies and chick peas together. Add additional dressing to coat all ingredients. Sprinkle with feta or goat cheese, and capers if desired.


Things I Am Loving Right Now

October 26, 2012

Since you all know the reason this post is not about a savory fall classic with some sophisticated modern twist (see last weeks post), I decided to share with you some things I am loving right now.  (I love it when other blogs do this and I have never done it.) Oh and I can tell you I am coming out of the nausea!! I actually ate pasta with some feta, fresh spinach and salad dressing! That is practically a salad! Turning the corner :0) which means good food soon.

1. Boden – I love this company! Their clothes are like the UK J. Crew. A bit pricey, but you can wait for 20-25% off emails.  Plus they are great quality and wash really well.  I notice when the seasons change I reach for these pieces first the next year because they still look good.  They have kids clothes that are so cute but given that they are an investment I get stuff for the girls sparingly (like their tights).  They also have maternity so of course I just got some T shirts to get me through.

2.  Eat, Live, Run –  This girl has been doing her food blog for years and it rocks.  She has this cozy approach to food that makes you want to get into the kitchen.  I guess the name was because she used to run I lot (which I do to) but then she moved on to yoga (which I also love) and has become a certified teacher, so lots of interesting health notes go into her blog. Plus, her photos are amazing, which leads me to my next point….

3. The Canon Rebel –  My husband got me this for my birthday! Love him.  I have to learn how to use it, but I can’t wait to get started.  Expect awesome food and awesome photos in the future.

4. Little Kid Pajamas – They are just so stinking cute.  We just broke out a bunch of new warm cozy fleece ones.  Clearly this was not shot with a Canon Rebel or cooperative kids, but you get the idea.


5. This Julia Child Recipe for Soubise – I literally have never heard of this before I read about it a few weeks ago. An onion and rice casserole? Must. make. soon. If you make it before I do, let me know how it is!

6.  The holidays are right around the corner but it means I get to break out this delicious side dish I have been making for the last few years. I think the Soubise recipe reminded me of it, but this is the Humble Onion, right?  It is from Giada, and it is Roasted Cipollini Onions with Balsamic and thyme.  You can find and print the recipe here.  A new tradition that we love and smells like the holidays when it is cooking. But you can make this anytime.  SO good with steak!

7.  In case you were looking for a blog to make you feel inadequate, check out Soule Mama.  She has 5 kids, runs a farm in Maine, and has beautiful photos and ideas throughout her blog.  She has written 3 books and edits a quaint Maine literary magazine called Ploughshares.  Did I mention she has 5 kids? And she makes all her own quilts.  I am pretty sure she shears her own sheep and turns the wool into yarn.  But she is not annoying like Martha Stewart, probably because she learned how to do all this from her mom and grandmother so she is down to earth about it.  I will never be this woman, so it is interesting to peer into her life.

8. Cider Donuts.

9. I wish I could say I am reading this great book, but lately I have been reading books on the craft of writing.  And blogs. I can always tell when I am not in the middle of a good book, because I get a little twitchy and grouchy. Like I haven’t talked to my best friend in a while.  (Note from later the same day: Just started Ann Pachett’s novel ‘Run’. Like her other books I am loving it. All is right with the world now). In the meantime, I find great essays at Kristen Armstrong’s blog on Runner’s World called Mile Markers.  She is so insightful and positive, like the cheerleader older sister I wish I had.  She always makes me stick to working out because of the emotional dividends it gives.  My favorite quote: “I run to burn up what I don’t need and ignite what I do.”

10.  Halloween.  Candy and cuteness!



What Can I Bring?

September 5, 2012

Quick Trivia for you:


What do Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Julia Child, and Ina Garten all have in common (besides being inspiring cooks)??



Wait for it…..



Wait for it………………



Answer:  They all had/have NO ‘families’ to cook for. None.  The only ones coming to their dinner table are a well-fed husband or friends (Martha has the only child in the bunch, a well-fed adult daughter, but no husband).  This fact makes me laugh when I think about home cooks that try to be perfect or hold themselves up to some bar that is just not possible for us mommies. (Please no complaints about how a married couple are a family or friends are our families. I easily concur. My point here is opening your 40th jar of play dough while you are cooking can slow things down a bit.)

In order for good food to get made at my house, it needs to be simple (or a weekend).  It also doesn’t mean we have to eat frozen meals either. Or frozen appetizers (ok, sometimes, I am thankful for them. But often they are kinda gross).

But now that I know how easy these are to make, I am never bringing their frozen counter part again!


Consider this a road-tested appetizer…I just brought them to a Labor Day party and people were grabbing them off the tray as my husband walked in with them.  Kids and adults both dug in. Michael from Germany told me in very good English how much he loved them four times.  AND they were super easy! They took me exactly 30 min. from pulling out fridge ingredients to walking out the door.

I don’t know about you but I sometimes leave parties hungry lately! I vow to bring something substantial from now on because chips and salsa and cold grill meat aren’t doing it for me.  Thus was my thought process when I settled on bacon and onion egg quiches.

It is the same as large quiches (which are also one of my favorite make ahead meals. I made 8 for our post-wedding brunch).

You saute bacon and onions:


Make an egg and cream and cheese mixture, plus parsley (it counts as a veggie right?):


I cut out circles from store bought pie crust, and placed them into a mini muffin pan.


I cooked the crust for 5-7 min first, then added the egg mixture. But you know what? I had extra filling and cooked about 10 of these with no crust, just some cooking spray in first. They were delicious! So if you are on a cave man/Paleo/low carb diet, or just forgot crusts at the store, these can be made with no crust.

Bacon & Onion Mini Quiches:

(adapted from a recipe found here)


    • 1 package pie crust (2 crusts)
    • 6 slices bacon, diced
    • 1 onions, finely diced
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 cup cream (or use milk or fat free cream to go lighter)
    • 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (fresh is best!)
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook the onion and bacon over a low heat until the onion is softened.
  3. Allow to cool a little.
  4. Mix together with the eggs, cream, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.
  5. Using a pastry cutter or glass, cut 12 circles from each pastry sheet.
  6. Use these to line a mini muffin pan.
  7. Cook for 5 min. in 375 degree oven.
  8. Place about 2 teaspoons of the egg and bacon mix in each pastry base.
  9. Bake in a moderate oven for about 12 minutes per tray (or until puffed, golden and set).
  10. repeat with remaining pastry sheets and mix.

FYI:  The green leaves on the tray are Hydrangea leaves. I love this time of year when they are so big!

New School Year Dinner

August 31, 2012

Hiya!  Happy New School Year!

If you are a mom you know that brings the relief of structure, and the confines of it too.  Like a well-oiled machine, our home and kitchens need to be set up to handle the daily grind that is around the corner.  Maybe it is the life-long habit of new school clothes and supplies, but fall brings on the feeling of newness in every area.  I love it. The past week has me organizing our mud room, our pantry, drawers and of course, closets, in anticipation of the busy early mornings and quick family dinners.

I have also found a ton of wisdom from other moms on various blogs.  My new favorite site is Like Mother Like Daughter. This mom shares her lifetime of insights from feeding a family of nine.  She makes biscuits out of a little left over squash, has posts like Make Dinner Every Night and Like It, and Make Menus, Really.  She shined a light on the very loose meal planning I do, and suggests that families start by making a master list of meals they like, and when you meal plan, pull from that list.

I love this idea, and am going to make my families master list this weekend.  I am inspired to add a few new ones to it and I hope you are too!  This meal will DEFINITELY be on the list:

Pork Chops with Balsamic Honey Glaze, and Butternut Squash with Sage and Blue Cheese


I just made this last week when I found this easy recipe for butternut squash as a savory side (or a full meal if you are so inspired!).  Literally, just chop and roast this gorgeous orange vegetable, add cheese and you have a silky, luxuriously rich vegetable at your table.  And since it goes well with pork, I made boneless pork chops with Giada’s Agrodolche Glaze for pork chops.  This glaze is heaven and is one of those flavor combinations that you keep remembering because it is so good!

For the Butternut Squash, start with these ingredients (the sage is from my herb garden!):



That’s it! So easy.  In fact I got it from another food blog that titled it ‘Relaxing’. Find it here.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Gorgonzola
Serves 4

2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1 lb)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 leaves of sage, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.
Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil, sage, salt, and pepper. Roast squash for 20 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle gorgonzola on top. The heat of the squash will melt gorgonzola. Serve.
While that was roasting away, I remade a version of pork chops that Giada De Laurentiis made a while back, and it is so good, I think I might make it again soon because I am hungry for it just thinking about it!  I left out the red pepper flakes for my kids, but if you like a kick it is super good.  This recipe is from the Food Network, and she called the glaze ‘agrodolce’, an Italian name meaning sweet and sour.

Pardon me while I geek out on you, but I was curious about this so I looked it up on Wikipedia. They write:

Agrodolce is a traditional sweet and sour sauce in Italian cuisine. Its name comes from “agro” (sour) and “dolce” (sweet). Agrodolce is made by reducing sour and sweet elements, traditionally vinegar and sugar. Sometimes, additional flavorings are added, such as winefruit, or evenchocolate. The sauce is thought to have been brought to Sicily by the Arabs. It can be high in fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar, used for lamb, and served over rigatoni or wide noodles, such as pappardelle.  Though the term “aigre-doux” could refer to any sweet and sour sauce in French cuisine, a gastrique is very similar to agrodolce.[1]

If you want to find the Food Network link for easy printing you can find it here.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, pale green and white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pork: In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes. Add the pork to the pan and cook until cooked through. for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or Remove the pork from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.

Glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, honey, garlic, scallions, and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey has dissolved. Simmer for 9 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the pork chops on a platter and drizzle with the glaze.

Please comment and let me know your favorites on your families master list! I am forever curious about other mainstays in the life of busy families!

Vanilla and Ginger Roasted Plum Compote

August 20, 2012

There is so much fresh produce lyinging around, and sometimes garden vegetables get all the attention.

But my heart right now lies with plums.  We had close friends visiting this weekend. On the menu was beach, food, and fun.  We had a ton of each! I made this recipe after we had a great session of Iron Chef Mussels – two great family chefs, my mom and Mark, my friend’s husband, both competed for the title and well, you’ll have to read my next post to find out more.  This is what I made for dessert to cap off the meal:


I have been wanting to make this since I read the recipe last spring, and each time I buy plums we eat them before I can make this. Finally I bought waaaay too many which turned out to be just enough to make this delicious and EASY compote.

The smell of this fruit simmering with vanilla and ginger rivals mulled cider or wine, and the fragrant taste of all those complex flavors over ice cream tastes like a world class desert.


Vanilla and Ginger Roasted Plum Compote

(adapted from the FineCooking In Season cookbook)

Serves 6

6 firm-ripe black or red plums, halved and pitted

Unsalted butter for baking dish

3-4 T. sugar

1 t. lemon zest

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. rum, preferably dark

1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

1/2 t. grated fresh ginger

Pinch of salt

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425. Slice the halved plums into four wedges each.  Generously butter an 8×11-in. backing dish (or one just large enough to hold the plums).

In a mixing bowl, toss the plums with 3 T. of the sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, rum, vanilla, ginger, and salt.  Toss well.  Taste one of the plum wedges;  if it’s still tart, sprinkle in the remaining 1 T. sugar.  Pour into the baking dish and roast, gently stirring occasionally, until the plums are tender and juicy, 10-20 min.  Don’t overcook them or they’ll fall apart.

Let the plums cool for at least 5 minutes or up to an hour before serving.  Serve them hot or warm with vanilla ice cream and juices spooned over the top.



I am also hoping to try this plum recipe: Brown Butter Upside Down Cake.  So I can marry my obsessions with both brown butter and plums.

Check it out here or go to

What are you doing with your in season produce? I would love to hear about it in the comments!