We've had a week of 70-80 degree days so it only made sense to head out and visit the ocean. Of course, we stopped and picked apples along the way but our final destination was the beach.
On this adventure we headed to Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Have you been? It's a wonderful property owned by the Trustees of the Reservations, an organization dedicated to preserving open space for everyone to enjoy. Simply put, it's beautiful. You can see more of the estate in an earlier post here.
We were a bit nervous last winter because the winter storms took a toll on the property, tearing up dunes and the gorgeous landscape we sadly took for granted. We visited in March and were heartbroken to see the storm's impact. The beach had been devastated by the blizzard.
You can imagine our surprise when we visited again this summer and found the beach completely restored. Not only has the beach recovered, it's better than it was before.
The sand dunes are back with beautiful fresh green growth. The ocean redeposited the sand and at low tide beach front is now huge. Interestingly enough, when the water receeds it creates mini pools of warm water that kids can play and frolic in. This may not seem like a big deal to those of you who live in warm climates, but the ocean in New England is damn cold so having pockets of warm water is a big deal here.
One interesting thing about going to the beach in the fall, at least from a photographers perspective, is the lighting. We were at the beach for two hours and the lighting changed so rapidly and frequently it was hard to keep up. The lighting changes also made for some very dramatic photos. All of these photos were taken in a 30 minute time frame, no filters have been applied. Amazing, right?
For this adventure I made a pistachio orange yogurt cake. Yes, it would have been nice to photograph the entire cake for you but we ate half of it before I could get the camera out. Seriously, it's that good. It also tastes great with a little bit of fresh whipped cream flavored with orange.
It would be great to learn about the best beaches near you. What's your favorite? If you're not near one, what's your favorite beach to visit? While you think the best beaches in your part of the world, get in the kitchen and try this recipe out. You'll love it. It's scrumptious.
Pistachio and Orange Yogurt Cake with Orange Flavored Whipped Cream
1 c (100 g) pistachios (shelled, unsalted, no skin)
1 c plus 2 tsp. (150 g) flour
2.5 tsp (10 g) baking powder
1/4 tsp coriander
8 tbs (110 g) butter, melted and cooled
3/4 c plus 1 tbs (165g) sugar
4 tbs (60 g) plain yogurt
2 tbs (28 g) freshly squeezed orange juice
extra butter for greasing the pan
extra flour for flouring the pan
Preheat oven to 350 F (180c)
Grease and flour standard loaf pan or multiple mini-loaf pans
Grind the pistachios in a food processor until you have about 80-90% flour with a few pistachio pieces remaining. Place in a bowl with the flour, baking powder and coriander and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 1 minute. Mix in eggs. Mix in yogurt and orange juice. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until blended.
Bake for 30-40 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely. Remove from pan. The cake tastes best the next day.