LATE SUMMER SWEETNESS: PIXIE CAKE


It's been such a joy collaborating and photographing Roxanne Rosensteel's recipes for the blog this week. I've saved the best for last -- This cake, a simple citrus and herby wonder, is so good around the clock. There's no time of day it's not suitable for, no pair of lips it can't curl into a smile, no mood it cannot lift. The Ojai Pixie tangerine is a special feat of nature (and farmer's manipulation), so sweet and a little tart -- it's popularity is world renowned. We are lucky to live so close to the source, and lucky Roxanne decided to spin a simple cake with lots of zest as the star of the confection.

LATE SUMMER SWEETNESS: PALO SANTO INFUSED ICE CREAM SUNDAES WITH HONEY & DATES


Palo Santo infused ice cream sundaes drizzled with local honey and split dates, have you ever heard such music in your ears? I couldn't stop smiling as Roxanne rolled out the ingredients to assemble these truly awesome desserts. They were the perfect thing to eat under the canopy of a rustling Sycamore tree, the breeze blowing just slightly as we threw our sweatshirts on in the twilight of early evening, in the backyard of the Ojai Rancho Inn . . .

LATE SUMMER SWEETNESS: BUCKWHEAT SHORTCAKES WITH CREME FRAICHE & MULBERRIES

These just barely sweetened shortcakes are brilliant! Roxanne took the earthy goodness of Buckwheat flour and shaped these little babies with a crackling topping of turbinado sugar and sunflower seeds. They're simultaneously sweet and a tad savory, light yet satisfying. I planned on having a bite and ate the entire sandwich as my lunch. I also whipped up a batch right after our shoot, I simply had to have more!! The recipe is straightforward and sure fire for your next hang . . . The type of treat that will have friends going on about for weeks after the last crumb was mopped up.

LATE SUMMER SWEETNESS: PLUM CASHEW UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

The marriage of plums, brown sugar, butter and toasty cashews is a holy one. Plums are one of the key symbols of summer for me, and at this stage, I'm up to about 4 per day. My addiction runs strong for these jewel-like orbs and this upside down cake Roxanne Rosensteel made for this story is a new classic you've got to make before these plum days run their course. I'm whipping one up this week to serve with a mountain of vanilla ice cream.

LATE SUMMER SWEETNESS: MATILIJA MUSK COCKTAIL

There's nothing quite like the melting of one season to another, and late Summer/early Fall is definitely a magical time of year. It's a period of renewal, pink skies, regrouping, holding on to sandy feet and lazy Sundays . . . And cocktails on the porch. That's where this beauty comes in!

Roxanne Rosensteel, food stylist and recipe developer extraordinaire, and I collaborated to bring a story of late Summer desserts and sundries to you -- perfect for this end-of-season shift when you want to drink in these salad days. First up is Roxanne's enchanting Matilija Musk. Recipe below!