Almond and Citrus Tea Cake

This was a celebration cake, as I announced on Twitter, because there was some good news found out the day before I made this! Now, you might have figured out what it was, but because I am superstitious, I am not announcing it just yet…soon, though. Really soon. In the meantime, you should find your occasion to celebrate and make this cake. I had wanted to make it for a while because it looked so elegant. I added raspberries and a few other special touches to make it even more awesome. You can likewise jazz it up. One easy add-in is vanilla sugar for the granulated sugar. It adds pretty vanilla beans throughout the cake, which just enhances all of the flavor in this super moist cake.

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Vanilla sugar with regular sugar

Vanilla sugar with regular sugar

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Earl Grey Ice Cream (and milkshake)

This is a odd posting day for me. It is both awesome and sad. Awesome because it’s one of my closest friends’ birthdays (hi, Sarah!) and sad because it is also the day my mom passed away, several years ago. That was a tough phone call–happy birthday, Sarah, and I have bad news. Luckily, she was such a good friend that she took it in stride. In many ways I am grateful that it was on the same day because August 27 will always mean, first and foremost, Sarah’s birthday. It was part of her AOL screen-name when we first started being friends, it also is two days away from one of my other closest friends’ birthdays, and a few days after my sister-in-law’s birthday. Basically, the end of August is so full of celebration, that I really can’t get too sad about it.

In honor of today, I wanted to post a recipe that was suitable for both. Since both are such ladies, they both like tea. One of my mom’s favorites was Earl Grey, and I used to make sure I had some on hand at first my apartment and then my house just in case she wanted some on a visit. One of the best college memories was going to the dining hall with Sarah and getting milkshakes. We had a local dairy on campus (does that make us sound like farmers? I promise it is a full university and right near DC) and the ice cream was just amazing. I still enjoy it when I make it back for a visit. They would make you a milkshake from any of the flavors. Cookies and cream was one of the best, but I like to think that this Earl Grey milkshake could almost put it to shame.

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