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Making memories in the kitchen

Making memories in the kitchen

There are good reasons why the kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. It’s where memories simmer and are savored, generation after generation.

There are also benefits that come with this bonding. While our busy lives can make it a challenge to eat together, studies show families that spend time in the kitchen and actually gather for meals are happier and healthier.

That theme of food and family is included in Jessica Merchant’s latest cookbook, The Pretty Dish. Jessica writes the blog How Sweet Eats and dedicated The Pretty Dish to her family, husband Eddie and children Max and Emilia. 

Jessica remembers her mother cooking dinner at home almost every night. “She made amazing comfort food and things that were just SO good that I can remember every bite,” says Jessica. One of her favorite memories is when her mother would make breakfast for dinner in the form of scrambled egg sandwiches. “It was such an easy, simple meal, but something that I loved and that I still look at as comfort food.”

As a mom, Jessica enjoys cooking with Max, who is 3 years old, and looks forward to cooking with Emilia, who is 4 months old. “Max loves when we cook dough (pizza dough is his favorite thing to make!), and I want to start that tradition of eating together as a family every single night.”

Jessica created a recipe for Grapefruit Rose Pound Cake specifically for Mother’s Day brunch. “In our family, everyone loves to eat cake for breakfast—especially my mom. She comes from a long line of sweet teeth—my grandma loved cake for breakfast too! I love the pound cake made in the bundt pan because it’s almost like coffee cake, which can be considered breakfast or a snack. So, cake for breakfast? Of course!”

Grapefruit Rose Pound Cake

Makes one 10-cup bundt cake


3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons freshly grated grapefruit zest

1 cup whole milk


Grapefruit Glaze

½ grapefruit, juiced and zested

2 cups powdered sugar

dried culinary rose petals for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan. (Don’t use a nonstick spray!) In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients, then beat in the milk. Alternate the dry ingredients and the milk one more time, ending with the dry ingredients. Beat in the grapefruit zest.

Scoop the batter into the floured pan and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before glazing.


Grapefruit Glaze

Whisk together the grapefruit juice, zest, and powdered sugar until combined. If the glaze is too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time. If it is too thick, add in more juice, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake. Sprinkle the crushed rose petals over top. Serve!

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