Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lemon Basil Cake and the Art of Food Sampling

Lemon Basil Cake: Use a vanilla cake mix, and this cake comes together in 5 minutes!  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 Don't you love food stores that give out free samples?
 I have a friend who says he can make a meal out of what they give out at Costco. 

As much as I love nibbling my way through a store,
I won't do it just anywhere.
Sometimes, the samples look kind of skeevy...
uh, no thank you...I'll pass.
But, at Trader Joe's, I practically make a beeline for the free sample counter...
knocking over old ladies, and little kids with those tiny shopping carts.
Nah, not really. You know me better than that!

Lemon Basil Cake: Use a vanilla cake mix, and this cake comes together in 5 minutes!  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

In fact, my free sample strategy is to nonchalantly hover around the cheese section,
glance over and see what they're giving away,
and acting as if wanting a sample is the last thing on my mind.
Then, I casually make my way over, 
pretending to look at the salads,
until they ask, "would you like to try a sample?"
"Me? Oh, why, yes, sure, why not? Thank you."
Seemingly indifferent, that's my M.O. 

I remember once when when Junior Goo Shoes was little,
he took a sample, and said, 
"Mom, this is the best chicken I've ever had. What's it called?"
I looked at the box - saw it was fish, and told him it was "tilapia chicken."
And yes, I bought three boxes of that "chicken."

Lemon Basil Cake: Use a vanilla cake mix, and this cake comes together in 5 minutes!  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The other day, as I ambled up to the counter,
I was handed a bite of lemon basil cake
(remember I mentioned that in my herb post?)

O. M. G.
It was soooo good, but one little bite was such a tease.
For a second, I thought about putting on my sunglasses 
so I could get another piece without being recognized.
Instead, I snapped up the ingredients, and sped home. 
I didn't make it right away.
I did dream about it, though. 
For days. 
Is that weird?

Lemon Basil Cake: Use a vanilla cake mix, and this cake comes together in 5 minutes!  | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

 You can use any vanilla cake recipe you like.
A cake made from scratch is ideal, and second best, IMHO, is Trader Joe's.
I think it is much better than what the supermarkets sell, 
but if that's all you can get, go for it.
I just can't guarantee that it will be as delicious.
  
Prepare the cake mix as instructed on the box,
and then add in the basil and lemon zest.
Is that easy or is that easy?

The Trader Joe's cake mix fits an 8" x 8" pan.
If your recipe calls for a 13" X 9" pan, double the basil and lemon zest.
I opted to add a lemon glaze on top...
it is delicious with or without.
Let's bake!

Lemon Basil Cake: Use a vanilla cake mix, and this cake comes together in 5 minutes!  | Ms. Toody Goo ShoesLemon Basil Cake 
Recipe by Trader Joe's 

1 package Vanilla Cake mix, enough for an 8x8 baking pan (I used Trader Joe's) 
    + ingredients to prepare cake according to box instructions
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
zest from 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
  * If your cake recipe calls for a 13" X 9" pan, double the basil and lemon zest

Prepare vanilla cake according to box instructions. 
Add basil and lemon zest to the batter after mixing. 
Bake cake according to box instructions.  

Glaze:  
Recipe from Cooks.com

2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Put the sugar in a small bowl.
Add lemon juice and rind.
Whisk together until smooth and well blended.
Drizzle over cake. 


Have you used herbs in baked goods?
If so, do tell! 
I'm hooked!


13 comments:

  1. Well, if we had a Trader Joes anywhere near here (Greece) I would whip up one of these with our tree ripened lemons and basil from the garden but guess I'll wait until I get back and try one in Kirkland! Great post (I love samples)!

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  2. This looks so good and a little different! Pinned!
    Amalia
    xo

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  3. Try adding some cilantro and jalapeño to your next batch of cornbread....

    I love lemon so may have to give this a try

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  4. Lol I think we have the same MO ;).

    You may know I love lemon, and if this cake is half as good as your lemon tart, I'm in!

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  5. I have not used herbs for baking but I have an overflowing basil plant waiting to be used! This sounds SO good. I must run out now and get the ingredients!!

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  6. Yum! that cake really looks good. thanks for sharing the recipe. I love the story about your son thinking the fish was chicken and you going along with it. we don't have a Trader Joes near us. So, I don't shop there. I think there is one about an hour away.

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  7. This recipe is absolutely delicious! I didn't think about putting a glaze on it! YUM...will definitely use the glaze next time!

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  8. Sounds a wonderful mix of flavours - and looks great in your pictures.

    All the best Jan

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  9. Sounds a wonderful mix of flavours - and looks great in your pictures.

    All the best Jan

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  10. I'm pretty intrigued as I loooooooo basil, and this really looks amazingly good!

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  11. That looks delicious! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

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  12. Looks really good and will have to make this for the next bookclub.
    I know what you mean about samples, there is ugh samples and oh yeah pile up my plate samples...

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