May is definitely a month to celebrate. Days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, the farmers markets are opening and there’s a feeling of growth, change and new beginnings. Ruth Ann Templeton, the protagonist of my latest novel, Reinventing Ruthie, is caught at just such a crossroads in her life and how she grows and changes into a new person forms the core of that novel.
I saw the quaint swing and couldn’t resist!
And speaking of farmers markets, World Baking Day is May 21. Pick up some fresh berries to serve with this Lemon Yogurt Loaf.
Lemon Yogurt Loaf
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and place on a baking rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool completely.
Serve as is, or drizzle with a simple glaze of 1 cup confectioners’ sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Jenny Hale’s latest book, The Magic of Sea Glass, is a perfect story for anyone who has lost someone they love—as I assume we all have. The book shows our loved ones are always with us. The characters are so easy to relate to. A lovely story and a great beach read.
After the loss of her fiancé a year ago, event planner Lauren Sutton can’t seem to go on with her choice of career or the life she’d built with her fiancé any longer. Floundering emotionally, she makes a snap decision to sell her half of the business and spend the summer among the sand dunes and changing tides of the Outer Banks, taking care of an old inn in Rodanthe, North Carolina with its elderly owner Mary Everett.
Perhaps the salty breezes of the Atlantic and the warmth of summer sun on her face will help her find her direction. What she doesn’t expect to find is a story hidden away in a string of sea glass that will change her life forever.
And complicating things is local fisherman Brody Harrison. All she’d wanted was to sink her toes in the sand and let the coastal breeze calm her aching heart. But Brody shakes up her plan in ways she’d never imagined.
When I walk with Piper each morning I am dazzled by the splendid blooms in the neighborhood. As a newlywed, my husband and I moved to our Seattle home thirty-seven years ago! The camelias, azaleas, and rhododendrons in our yard continue to return each year thanks to the previous owners. But it looks as though several of my favorite perennials that attract hummingbirds didn’t make it through our colder than usual winter.
An incredible array of hydrangeas made me stop to admire them.
In the Puget Sound the nighttime temperatures are finally getting warm enough for me to plant my many pots. I hope! I have planted too early often. According to a friend, nighttime temperatures must be above 40 degrees to plant thriving annuals. Looks as though I need to buy flowers. My kind of shopping spree!
I can’t wait to browse through my favorite nursery.
Please enter my Giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and one copy of Reinventing Ruthie. U.S. only. Winner will be announced Tuesday, May 23, and has three days to respond to my email.