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Random

A pet peeve, a find, an Oscar review and 12 recipes this time. And there's always the Archives.
Have fun!




Pet Peeve
So “they” have come up with a new logo for the Greater Montreal area. And it sucks!
First, it is quite unimaginative. Five parts to the area, so five colors on a big “M” in a weird font. The colors are straight from the 1970s, too. And would someone please explain to me why Longueuil and the South Shore are considered two distinct areas, as are Laval and the North Shore?
Also, the French slogan (“L’espace pour se réaliser”) basically makes sense, but the English translation still needs some work (“Room to make it real”). And “they” kept the accent on “Montréal” in English. Now, while the population is complaining about the awkward translation, the English team believes it is “perfectly right”.
The whole point of this is to draw more foreign investment in the region. So presumably, they had to make the logo appear friendly and unpretentious. But I’m sure there’s a way to do that while still being stylish – and while making sense in both official languages of the country. And also, I’m sure it could have been done for less than $700 000 and counting!





Find
I wanted to take some time to mention this line of skin care products. Yes To Carrots isn’t really new, nor is it obscure, but I only tried it for the first time shortly before the 2008 holidays and I haven’t talked about it yet. Let me just say that I really LOVE it! The whole line is paraben-free and uses mineral and organic ingredients, including beta-carotene (found in carrots, hence the name). I’m currently using the Hand and Elbow Moisturizing Cream, which has tantalizing ingredients such as carrot juice, rosemary extract, aloe, chamomile, sesame oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, pumpkin juice, sweet potato extract, honey extract and water from the Dead Sea. The cream smells delicious, but the smell itself is not overpowering. It is absorbed well by the skin and it’s done wonders for my hands and feet! There’s also a lip balm that I really like, and a bunch of products I haven’t tried (eye cream, cleanser, shower gel, shampoo, etc.). So if you like natural products, go ahead and try these, they’re great!


Oscars
February 22nd, 2009 – 81st Academy Awards

This will be the last time I review the Oscars. I’ll keep on watching every year, and I might still comment on them, but really, I think these long articles have run their course. After all, I’m only recapping them, but if you haven’t seen them, you probably don’t care (or you can go to the official website to see clips). Plus, it takes me forever to write the article, forever to translate it, and then... forever to actually get around to writing the html and posting it. So I’ll stick to shorter comments after this year (I think that’s one more reason why the blog format seems to work so well for me).

Hugh Jackman’s opening was brilliant. He has a lot of showmanship and is gifted at musicals; it’s nice we got to see some of that talent.

In order to introduce the award for some categories, five presenters took the stage (instead of the usual one or two). For the award for Best Supporting Actress, Tilda Swinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Goldie Hawn, Anjelica Huston and Eva Marie Saint were all presenting (and they are all past recipients of this award). However, there were no scenes from the movies for which this year’s actresses had been nominated, which I found a little disappointing. The award deservedly went to Penélope Cruz, for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Then, Tina Fey and Steve Martin gave the award for Best Original Screenplay to Dustin Lance Black, for Milk; he devoted his speech to the cause discussed in his movie instead of talking about the prize itself, which was very touching. Tina Fey and Martin also presented the award for Best Adapted Screenplay to Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire.

Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black were the presenters for the animated movies categories. I’m happy that the Academy now limits itself to nominating three animated movies instead of automatically nominating everything, like they did in the first few years of this category’s creation. Wall-E won the prize for Best Animated Feature, predictably (and deservedly). The Best Short Film – Animated was La Maison en Petits Cubes.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Daniel Craig presented the Award for Best Art Direction to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – I’ll say it right now: Benji Button should win the award for most OVERLY nominated movie this year (13 nominations; I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t THAT good). The Best Costume Design award was given to The Duchess. As for Best Makeup, any of the three nominees could have won, but it was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button again.

I really liked the fact that there was some kind of logic to the order in which the prizes were awarded: it was mostly the same order as the different steps in movie-making.

Then, Robert Pattinson (from Twilight) and Amanda Seyfried (from Mamma Mia! ) presented a montage on the theme of love, and I was thrilled that there was finally a same-sex couple in there.
Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller (the latter doing an awesome Joaquim Phoenix impression) presented the award for Best Cinematography to Slumdog Millionaire. While it’s true that its cinematography was very good, it did feel a little like The Dark Knight was getting robbed.

Jessica Biel, hosting a segment that lasted all of 60 seconds in between two publicity breaks, announced the recipients of the Sci-Tech awards, which had been held previously.

James Franco and Seth Rogen did a funny skit about this year’s comedies, though I couldn’t help but notice that not too many of them were mentioned – were there few comedies in 2008? Anyway, they presented the award for Best Short Film – Live Action to Spielzeugland (Toyland) .

Then Hugh Jackman, proving once again that he is quite the showman, did a quick stage musical for us, and was joined by Beyoncé. There was a montage of some of the best musicals over the years.

To present the award for Best Supporting Actor, five heavy-weights once again took the stage: Christopher Walken, Kevin Kline, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alan Arkin and Joel Grey. While I think this is a good way to present those awards, I do miss the scene excerpt that allowed us to see a bit of the actor’s performance (especially for Heath Ledger, a montage would have been nice). There was a cut to Philip Seymour Hoffman in the audience, who surprised me by wearing what appeared to be a skull cap. The award went to Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), who totally deserved it; his family accepted it in his name, while the camera would cut to teary-eyed celebrities in the audience. They gave a good speech, to honour their son’s memory.

The award for Best Documentary Feature was given to Man on Wire by Bill Maher (who was unfortunately not nominated for Religulous; note that he would make an interesting host for the ceremony in future years!). There were cool antics on stage (involving a coin and a balancing act by Philippe Petit). The award for Best Documentary Short Subject went to Smile Pinki. I noticed at this point that the Oscar website was being updated live, which is impressive.

There was a very good action montage about postproduction. Then, Will Smith presented the award for Best Visual Effects. While all three nominees were really good, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won again and I couldn’t help but feel badly for Iron Man. The Dark Knight won the award for Best Sound Editing (awesome!), while Slumdog Millionaire won for both Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing (I’m happy about that last one, because the editing was excellent in that movie).

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was presented to Jerry Lewis (by Eddie Murphy), for his work with children suffering from muscular dystrophy.

Hugh Jackman came back to introduce the scores; there was an orchestra to play the theme song from all the nominated movies, which was great (it’s too bad The Dark Knight wasn’t nominated).The award for Best Original Score was presented, by Zach Efron and Alicia Keyes, to Slumdog Millionaire. They also presented the award for Best Original Song – the fact that there were only three nominees this year broke the curse for two songs from the same movie splitting the vote. Rahman sang a quick O Saya by himself, then John Legend sang Down to Earth, and they teamed up with more people to sing Jai-Ho. The latter won the award, and I’m glad, because it was my personal favourite.

Liam Neeson and Freida Pinto then gave the award for Best Foreign Language Film to Departures (from Japan). Queen Latifah presented the in memoriam segment, with a song (which as a nice touch).
Reese Witherspoon then gave the award for Best Director to Danny Boyle. Good for him! It was a Slumdog landslide, after all, and as much as I liked Benji Button, I liked Slumdog more.

Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Shirley McLaine and Marion Cotillard gave the Best Actress award to Kate Winslet (The Reader), who finally got this long-overdue prize, after six nominations. It was great to see her give her acceptance speech onstage.

Robert DeNiro, Sir Ben Kingsley, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas and Adrien Brody gave the Best Actor award to Sean Penn, for Milk – awesome! And he made a great speech, too.

Steven Spielberg presented the last award, for Best Picture. There was a montage of the nominated films interspersed with past winners, classified by theme. The award went to Slumdog Millionaire. It was beautiful to see the cast and crew on the stage, including the child actors.

This year, I had seen about half of the nominated films, so I enjoyed this much more than last year! I found the ceremony itself more enjoyable, too. The whole thing lasted about four hours and ended with previews for 2009. There are a lot of interesting movies coming out this year!


Recipes

Chicken Burgers with Soy Sauce and Ginger

1 grated carrot (½ cup), drained
1 egg white
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or regular breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 lb ground chicken
6 hamburger buns
Toppings: cucumber, alfalfa and lettuce

In a bowl, whisk the egg white; add the grated carrot, onions, garlic, panko, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and oil. Add the chicken and mix.
Make 6 patties about ½ –inch thick.

Cook on medium heat in a pan, turning once, during 15 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 165 oF / 74 oC).

Serve on buns and garnish with cucumber, alfalfa and lettuce. If possible, use Thintini breads; they are perfect for this recipe.

Zucchini Flat Cakes

1 ½ lb grated zucchinis (4 or 5 medium-sized)
¾ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¾ cup flour
½ cup grated parmesan
½ onion, finely chopped (small or medium)
½ tsp pepper

Mix the zucchinis and the salt and put them in a colander. Place a plate on the zucchinis, then put a few can on top as weights. Let drain for about 15 minutes (throw out the liquid).

In a bowl, with a whip, beat the eggs and garlic. Add flour, parmesan, onion and pepper and mix with a wooden spoon until the preparation is moist, no more. Add the drained zucchinis and mix.

Put some oil in a pan and heat on medium heat. For each flat cake, put about 2 Tbsp of the mixture in the pan (cook about 4 or 5 pancakes at a time) and spread it into a circle about 3 inches wide. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until cakes are golden. Set aside on a warm plate and repeat with the rest of the mixture.


Flourless Poppy Seed Cake

I’ll share with you a recipe for flourless poppy seed cake. I love poppy seeds and I had never seen so many in a cake before. I’ve adapted Clotilde’s recipe (Chocolate & Zucchini), who herself had adapted it from Lilo’s recipe (Cuisine Campagne). I encourage you to read both, since the variations and the story behind it are quite interesting. This is originally a Central European cake.

½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
a dash of vanilla
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup + 2 Tbsp poppy seeds (yes, it’s a lot!)
a pinch of salt
a package of yeast
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch round mold; put waxed paper on the bottom and grease again.

Beat together the butter and ½ cup of the sugar until the mixture becomes pale, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla and beat until they are blended in.

Mix the almond powder and the poppy seeds by hand. If you choose to use a blender (even though it’s not necessary), put the poppy seeds in the freezer for 2 hours before that, to avoid them turning into oil.

In a clean bowl, put the egg whites, the salt and the yeast. Beat on slow speed at first, until the eggs are frothy. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar and beat on high speed, until the eggs whites are stiff.

Delicately fold one third of the egg whites to the butter mixture, by lifting the dough. Slowly fold in half the poppy-seed mixture. Repeat with the second third of the egg whites, the rest of the poppy seeds and the rest of the egg whites. Work slowly, the goal being to incorporate air to the mixture without deflating the egg whites.

Pour in the greased mold and bake for 30 minutes, until the cake is golden on the edges. Turn off the oven, but leave in the cake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool 10 minutes, then unmold and let cool completely.


Red Kidney Bean Curry

This was a very easy recipe, but very rewarding. I adapted it from Smitten Kitchen. It serves between 4 and 6 people, depending on your appetite (it was 5 servings for us). Also, I used dried beans that I soaked, cooked and rinsed, so that limits gas that could occur with canned beans. This recipe has the perfect amount of spice for me, but then again, I don’t really like spicy foods, so feel free to add a chili pepper, hot sauce or more cayenne pepper.

1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (it seems like a lot, but it helps mix the spices)
4 tbsp of finely chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
½ tsp of cumin seeds
½ tsp of ground turmeric
1 pinch of savory (optional)
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tomato, diced
3 cups boiled red kidney beans (or a 30 oz can, drained and rinsed)
1 1/3 cup of water
½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add the ginger, garlic and onion and let sizzle for one minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt and spices and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kidney beans, water and tomato. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and naan bread.


Coconut Cupcakes with Seven-Minute Frosting

This is basically the coconut cupcake recipe from the February 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living (which has the greatest cupcakes ever!).

Coconut Cupcakes

1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
½ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup of margarine or butter, softened
1 1/3 cups of sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
¾ cup of unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ tsp of pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line 20 muffin tins with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and shredded coconut.

Cream margarine and sugar with a mixer until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Repeat with egg whites.

Mix coconut milk with vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture to margarine mixture in 3 additions, alternating with coconut milk and ending with flour. Scrape sides of the bowl.

Divide the batter among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

Seven-Minute Frosting

This is the recipe as it appeared in the magazine; however, I had about twice as much as I needed for the cupcakes (though it would have been enough for a cake).

1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp of sugar
2/3 cups of water
2 tbsp light corn syrup
6 large egg whites

Mix 1 ½ cups of sugar, the water and the corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 230 °F on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tbsp of sugar.

With mixer on medium-low, pour sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is cool, about 7 minutes.

Frost the room-temperature cupcakes. You can garnish them with large flakes of unsweetened coconut. It is best to serve them immediately, as the frosting will harden on contact with air. So it does not go bad or anything, but it will be noticeably drier and harder by the next morning – it’s the marshmallow effect. (Note that this did not happen to some frosting that I had saved in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.) That being said, I LOVED this frosting, not only because it tastes great, but because it is lactose-free. And the cupcakes were fantastic, too!


Quiche with Apples and Bacon

This recipe has a special place in my recipe notebook, because it is the first real recipe that I made in my first real kitchen after leaving the family home.

5 or 6 slices of bacon (or more, to taste), cut into small pieces
3 apples, cored, peeled and cut into small dices
1 ½ cup of grated cheese
3 big eggs
1 big egg yolk
1 cup of whole milk
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of paprika
salt and pepper
one or two rolled-out pieces of pie dough

First of all, for the rolled-out pieces of dough: if you have a big dish, about 10 inches wide and 2 inches deep, one piece of rolled-out dough is enough. (You can use my recipe for pâte brisée.) If you buy premade dough, such as Tenderflake in 9-inch plates, then you need two, and you might want to increase the quantities of eggs and milk. You can then put one quiche in the freezer, which is convenient on evenings when you don’t have the energy to make dinner.

Then, for the cheese: I used about half a package of Kraft Live Active cheddar, which does not contain lactose (probably thanks to the probiotics, because it’s the same thing for Activia yogurts, for example), and one package of lactose-free Swiss cheese. Actually, the more aged a cheese is, the less lactose it has. But to know whether or not it’s right for you, there’s only the trial-and-error method. That’s why I really appreciate the small packages of Swiss cheese that specifically say “lactose-free”. And with lactose-free milk, voilà!

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Heat the bacon in a pan on high heat for 3 minutes. Add the apples and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool and pour it in the rolled-out dough. Cover with cheese and season with nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper.

Mix the eggs and egg yolk with the milk. Pour on the cheese.

Bake in the oven about 40 to 45 minutes (if you have two quiches, it’s closer to 30 minutes).


Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake

This is a recipe from Graziella Battista, chef at the restaurant Graziella, which I’ve modified just a tiny bit. The recipe was published in the first edition of Maison & Demeure. I used olive oil that was given to me by my friends R. and J., because it was quality oil (Villa Bisini Gambetti) and because the taste of oil is important in this delicious cake.

1 ½ cup of all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
4 eggs
¾ cup of sugar
2/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp of fresh rosemary, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Grease a rectangular bread mold.

Mix the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.

Beat the eggs with an electric whip until you have a frothy consistency. Add the sugar. Whip on high speed until the mixture is a pale yellow, has tripled in volume and it falls from the whip in a thick ribbon. Reduce the speed and add the olive oil and the rosemary.

Pour the dry ingredients in the wet mixture and mix just enough to incorporate.

Pour the batter in the mold. Bake for 45 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Wait 5 minutes, then unmold on a rack, then let cool. Serve with apple sauce and whipped cream if you want.


Cranberry, Almond and Cinnamon Tart

I first saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living and it really hasn’t disappointed.

Pâte sucrée
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 ½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp ice water

Tart
1 ½ cups cranberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
½ cup + 1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp water
8 oz cranberry jam
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
6 oz (1 ¼ cups) whole almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

For the pâte sucrée
In a food processor, pulse flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds.
Lightly beat egg yolk with ice water. With processor running, add yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube, and process until dough just holds together (no longer than 30 seconds).
Turn out onto a work surface and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.

For the tart
Put the cranberries, ½ cup sugar and the water into a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring to dissolve sugar, until cranberries have just softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough for the pâte sucrée into a 12-inch circle, 1/8- to ¼-inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan, pressing crust into bottom and up sides. Trim excess flush with rim.
Prick tart crust all over with a fork. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes (don’t hesitate to use pie weights if you have them). Let cool on wire rack.
Raise oven temperature to 375 °F. Spread the jam over the bottom of the tart crust.
Beat butter and remaining 1/3 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium. Slowly add ground almonds, cinnamon and salt, and beat until just combined. Spread mixture over jam-covered crust.
Bake until filling is set and has darkened slightly, about 50 minutes. (If the top of sides darken too quickly, cover them with tin foil.) Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Remove from pan and top with candied cranberries. Serve warm.


Duck Confit Parmentier

4 duck legs confit
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
7 or 8 potatoes
milk
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of grated cheese (parmesan, Swiss or your favorite lactose-free cheese)

Peel the potatoes, cut them in cubes and boil them until tender. Once they are cooked and drained, mash them and add salt and pepper to taste, as well as milk, until you get the desired consistency. The mashed potatoes must be compact, but relatively fluid.

Meanwhile, use a fork to shred the meat off the duck legs in small pieces. Preheat the oven at 350 °F.

In a pan, melt a bit of the duck fat that was on the legs. Cook the onion and garlic in it for a few minutes, then add the duck and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.

Pour 1/3 of the mashed potatoes in a greased oven-proof dish. Cover it with half the duck. Repeat and end with the last layer of mashed potatoes.

Put the dish in the oven 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cheese on top and broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is golden brown. Serve hot.


Chicken Risotto

4 deboned skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 red onion, chopped (2 if they’re not too big)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups warm chicken broth
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 pack cherry tomatoes (or smaller)

In a saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil on medium heat. Cook the chicken pieces. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.

In the same saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil. Add the onion, garlic and herbs. Cook on medium heat during 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the rice and stir well.

Wet with the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the broth is absorbed between each addition. Incorporate the vinegar. Continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Add the eggs and stir well. Add the parmesan and stir well. Add the chicken and tomatoes and stir well. Serve immediately.


Vegan Carrot & Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup real maple syrup, at room temperature
½ cup coconut oil, warmed until just melted
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 375 °F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and oats. Add the carrots.

In another bowl, mix together the maple syrup, coconut oil and ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drop onto the baking sheets, one spoonful at a time, 12 to a sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, until the cookies are golden.


Strawberry Cake

I made a simple buttercream icing to go with this cake, using 1 ½ cups of lactose-free margarine and 3 cups of powdered sugar.

I puréed the strawberries for the recipe, and used the leftover purée as a sauce on the side. I wasn’t bold enough to add it to the icing and start messing with adjustments for the consistency. Though I must say that I was left with strawberry seeds most everywhere (maybe my strainer is too small and held back more than just seeds); I’d consider buying premade purée in a specialty store next time. And I didn’t use the food coloring called for in the recipe.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups puréed strawberries, strained
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
4 large eggs, beaten
red food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Grease and flour two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, tapping out excess flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir to combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a smaller bowl, mix oil, puréed strawberries, vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs. Add the strawberry mixture to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just blended.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertips, about 45 minutes.

Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto wire rack. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Prepare the frosting; frost as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

amelie amelie amelie amelie amelie

amelie amelie amelie amelie amelie