Orange Pound Cake with Lemon Mascarpone

It’s technically winter and spring isn’t here for another 8 days but it’s been warm the last couple days and I see beautiful, sweet berries at the store so I decide it’s okay to eat raspberries layered with orange pound cake and lemon mascarpone as dessert for book club before spring/summer.  This is my first time hosting book club and I’m still a newbie in the club so I was racking my brain for days trying to come up with a dessert to serve and I remembered this Trader Joe’s Cookbook recipe I love that uses ladyfingers soaked in orange juice layered with berries and lemon mascarpone.  I decided to try it with Ina Garten’s Orange Pound Cake and it had to be pound cake since the characters in the book had pound cake after their eventful dinner.  We just read the book “Mother of Pearl” by Melinda Haynes and we all agreed the first third of the book was really hard to get through.  There was a lot of crude words and language that really didn’t need to be there and should have been cleaned up by the editor.  Plus the story was difficult to follow as was keeping track of the characters in the beginning.  But once we got through the first couple hundred pages of the book, it finally started to pick up and things were starting to make more sense.  Also, we weren’t reading swear words and the crude words for body parts in every other sentence (okay, I exaggerate).  There were great relationship developments towards the end and it was overall a good read, IF you didn’t end up tossing the book at the beginning :).

I baked the Ina Garten Orange Pound Cake the night before so all I had to do was simply mix the lemon curd with mascarpone and layer with the pound cake and berries.  I think the raspberries go really well with the lemon mascarpone and the Orange pound cake rather than other berries, but strawberries would work well too.  It tastes great with ladyfingers but also tastes even better with the orange pound cake and all the wonderful citrus zest it it makes for a fresh, delightful dessert!  
It’s assembled into an 8×8 inch glass baking dish but can be made in individual glass cups for an even more elegant presentation.  It it is so fast and simple to make and even more so when you use store-bought ladyfingers!  Here are the recipes below! 
Orange Pound Cake by Ina Garten – it makes two loaves and you only need one loaf for the trifle dessert so you can always give away the other half, eat it yourself, or freeze it.
Better-Than-Tiramisu
adapted from “The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook”
Ingredients
1 (10oz) jar Lemon Curd
1.5 (8oz) containers mascarpone
1/2 cup orange juice
1 loaf Orange Pound Cake (recipe link above) or 1 package ladyfingers
about 2 cups fresh raspberries, washed and dried
Directions
1. Mix the lemon curd with the mascarpone cheese until smooth but don’t overbeat.  May become grainy if you beat too long.
2. Slice the pound cake into 1/2″ slices and dip it in orange juice.  Place dipped side up in the bottom of an 8×8″ dish and repeat until you fill the bottom of the dish.  Do the same for ladyfingers, if using.

3. Spread half of the lemon curd mascarpone mixture over the cake then top with half of the berries.
4. Repeat with another layer of sliced pound cake dipped in orange juice and top with remaining lemon mascarpone and raspberries.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
  
Serve and enjoy~
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Cheers,
Flora

Quick Chicken Wonton Soup

I’m an avid Trader Joe’s fan and of course I enjoy going to Costco just as much.  So it’s no surprise that most of the ingredients for this wonton soup are either from Trader Joe’s or Costco, with the exception of the rice vinegar, which I purchased at a local Korean grocery store.

The frozen wontons, chicken stock, and the soy sauce (refill) are from Costco.  Everything else, minus the rice vinegar, are from Trader Joe’s.  And don’t get me going on their frozen crushed garlic: They are just SO convenient and easy to use, and the same goes for their shredded carrots.

So it’s been cold here in the Bay area (as cold as it can get here in Nor Cal) and I have been craving a lot of hot soup to warm me up.  This is such a quick and satisfying soup that I have been making it quite often and just made some tonight to go with some fried rice (when husband’s not home for dinner, I like to keep dinner quick and easy).  It can definitely stand on it’s own for a lunchtime meal and makes enough for myself and my 3 little musketeers.  I originally got this recipe from my favorite book “The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook”  (which I scored from my local library’s used bookstore for $2) and made some tweaks to suit our taste buds and has been and will continue to be my quick go-to soup.  Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

  • 1 quart (about 4 cups) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cubes of Trader Joe’s frozen crushed garlic (or 2 cloves garlic minced)
  • 1 TB light soy sauce
  • scant 1 TB rice vinegar
  • chicken cilantro wontons (fully cooked, frozen from Costco) (about 2-3 handfuls)
  • handful of shredded carrots (Trader Joe’s)
  • quartered (or halved) baby bok choy
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Add chicken stock, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar in a medium pot and bring it to a boil
  2. Add the frozen wontons, bring to boil, then simmer until ready 
  3. Put in a handful of shredded carrots and the baby bok choy and simmer until tender.
  4. Remove from heat and add the sliced green onions and the sesame oil
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!

Thanks for reading! Please subscribe!
Cheers,
Flora