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Winter Funk

CitrusPoundCake012.jpgI am in a major funk. I have no idea what is wrong with me lately, but I just feel like getting back into bed each morning and pulling the covers over my head until winter passes. I'm sick of the snow. I'm sick of the frigid temperatures. I'm sick of the gray and gloomy skies. I am sick of being cooped up in the house with the kids all day because it is too cold to go outside and too much trouble to get everyone bundled up to go somewhere. My attitude stinks... I'm getting irritated about things and people that I normally wouldn't let bother me.

Typically, I am a fairly laid back person. I tend to be somewhat cheery and happy about life in general. Not lately. I am thankful for all that I have, but I am not cheery about it!

One of the things I have been trying to do to get me out of my overwhelming gloom is to open the blinds wide to let what little sunshine there is pour in,  and to bring some "summertime" in by the foods I cook. We have been having some non-seasonal dishes lately just so I can feel like maybe the warmer months are around the corner.

One of the recipes I made lately was the Citrus Pound cake from that wonderful January 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine that I keep raving about. Little bits of lemon and orange zest in a rich and buttery pound cake. The smell alone of it baking made me feel happier. Then I took a bite and the flavor... oh the flavor! It is like a springtime shower in your mouth... bursting with a full citrus flavor that will turn any funk into a "dance around your kitchen singing at the top of your lungs" kind of mood.

If you are suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and need a quick lift, try this Citrus Pound Cake recipe. I'll post the recipe here... but really... you MUST pick up a copy of this issue of Gourmet if you haven't done so already!  

Happy baking!

Citrus Pound Cake

Serves8
  • Active Time:20min
  • Start to Finish:3 1/2 hr (includes cooling)
January 2008
Homemade pound cake hits all the right notes—it’s buttery, rich, and immensely satisfying. This version is classic, with hints of lemon and orange, perfect with afternoon tea.
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Garnish:

    confectioners sugar for dusting
  • Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix together sugar and zests with an electric mixer at low speed until sugar is evenly colored, then add butter and beat at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Beat in eggs 1 at a time at medium speed, scraping down side of bowl frequently, then beat in juices and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just incorporated.
  • Spread batter in loaf pan and rap pan several times on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan and invert cake onto rack. Cool completely, top side up.
Cooks’ notes: Cake improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead and can be made 5 days ahead and kept, wrapped tightly, at room temperature.

 

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 08:38AM by Registered CommenterKristen | Comments31 Comments

Reader Comments (31)

Here in Lima, Peru we don't have winter rain, only winter clouds. We are supposed to be in *summer* right now but the sun has only popped through a few times since last May or so. UGH! This cake looks like a great Cheer-Me-Up. Thanks!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Noelle
I know what you mean about winter getting to you. It's been horribly cold here the past week. Yes, horribly, I said it, and I mean it! I've been baking really early in the morning to try and get a few good pictures of the food I make, but I can't wait for Spring to roll around! Really beautiful cake Kristen, I love the contrasting colors in that photo.
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB
I have really been craving a pound cake lately! And I have been using a lot of lemons this month for the same reason - trying to bring a little bit of sunshine in the house!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah
I wish I could offer some cheery words here... Would it make you feel any better if I told you about the constant gray skies, damp weather and acres of mud we're living in? No? I didn't think so...sigh...
How about "It's almost ground hog day"?
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
This does look like a summery, light cake, just what we need to bring us out of the gloom of winter. I guess a lot of us are feeling a bit low just now! Roll on Spring!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterholler
This sounds wonderful and should brighten up my day. I need to go find my issue of that Gourmet and take a second look!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. L
I've been bummed out all day... this looks like a wonderful pick me up, Kristen.
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Grr, I loathe the wintery blahs! I hope you feel better soon--just keep thinking about how hot and humid it will be in summer--that helped me a tiny bit! (A really tiny bit....)
That cake looks marvelous! Yum yum yum!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa : )
Same here -- I've been trying to load up on foods with lemon, to bring some tang into the cold grayness of January. Lemon, and hot peppers -- but not together!
January 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLydia
Yeah, I feel the winter blues. Hrm... blues berries? Yes, I think blue berry pancakes this weekend. Anyways, cake looks delicious!
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoel
I feel your pain. Something that really helps me is candles. Something about the soothing flame....

I don't know if it's a great idea around your little ones, but it is a nice touch. Keep your chin up!
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Winter blues... I am sorry.... the cake looks so good though.
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCris
Do you remember, mom used to pile us in the car late every January or February to go over and visit Grandpa Hudiburg? She would say he had the winter blahs, and we were to help pick him up. I didn't get it then, but I do now! Love you--
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
Boy, I know what you mean. I called it Cabin Fever in my blog today. I was thinking about making pumpkin scones, but the Citrus Pound Cake sounds much brighter and more uplifting. I'm headed to the store!
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTerri
Perhaps you need a SAD lamp like several of my friends have. :)
Hope your citrus cake gives you the pick me up you need.
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpeabody
Your description of the pound cake has me thinking of summer already! I am going to have to try it very soon... I love citrus flavors in my desserts, of course, that is when I am notlusting after chocolate.
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpatsyk
I hear ya! I'm sick of the cold too. And my apartment is so dark, it's hard to get any natural light. Today was sunny though and as I walked back from getting some groceries I had to wait at a stoplight and despite the frigid temp, the warmth from the sun was lovely. I definitely think I need to bake more though to combat the cold. I've had banana bread on the brain lately.
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbrilynn
I thinking my baking attempts just increase my SADS. I will stick with hot chocolate to get me through the season :)
January 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCountryGirl CityLife
Anything with a citrus kick at this time of the year is good for lifting the spirits. We don't have snow (thank goodness) but we have everything else weatherwise here in the UK. January is not the best month of the year!
January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret
at the risk of being redundant, I know what you mean! seriously, I live in a snow globe.....and it makes me cook a lot more....which makes me eat a lot more....which makes me want to go outside and run a lot more,,,, which I can't do becuase it's soooo cold. Oh well, I suppose foods like this beautiful citrus pound cake DO make it all seem a little better.
January 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermary

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