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play groups

January 13, 2010

Yesterday I hosted a group of women and their kids from my MOMS Club. It’s funny how these groups have changed over time. My first play group consisted of 7 very tired mommies and our newborns. I think Ava was about 3 weeks old at the time. We didn’t talk about anything but our transitions to motherhood. Now, the kids are old enough to go play board games or elaborate make believe games in their rooms (yesterday, one of the kids hung a sign on the bedroom door: NO MOMMIES ALLOWED!). There were 4 moms here yesterday whose kids were in school – but they came over anyway for some coffee and conversation about fitness, The Bachelor (hello! – craziest contestants EVER!!), shoes, celebrity crushes, and yes, a short bit of talk about our kids.

The younger kids still want attention, so they played within eyesight, but the older kids just wanted to be left alone to do their own thing…signs of times to come, I guess. I took a picture of the total destruction that was left in the bedroom, but for some reason it came out too dark, so I won’t post it. Needless to say, if you picture a sea of play food, doll clothes, cars, wooden train tracks, and tutus about 7 inches deep from wall to wall…that would sort of begin to scratch the surface.

I made a French Lemon Yogurt Cake and several people asked for the recipe, so here it is. I’m going to note that this is a mishmash of recipes based on what I had on hand and I actually didn’t eat any yesterday so I have no idea what it actually tastes like. But, then entire cake was gone at the end of the morning, so it can’t have been too bad. I’m guessing it’s nice and lemony, and moist from the yogurt. I’ve made both of the inspiration recipes to the letter and they were both delicious with a cup of tea. Both called for syrup and icing…I basically combined them into one concoction. I did lick the spoon on that…yum.

French Lemon Yogurt Cake
adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Parties and Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 T baking powder
2 T grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla and it was fine)
1/4 cup olive oil (you could also use canola, but I didn’t have any and the olive oil made the cake smell yummy)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan or a 9 inch cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. In another bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Pour into dry ingredients, stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, bake 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter.

3. Combine confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Spoon over warm cake. Cool completely before serving, or serve while still warm and gooey.

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