The women that are celebrated in this episode of the Celebuzz’d podcast share two commonalities: The products of their talents are soul food and they both delight in a beautiful plate of pasta.
We kick off this episode with a discussion between host Mia Lardiere and the Celebuzz staff’s resident Lady Gaga historian, Matt Russoniello, about Joanne, her fifth studio album that drops today (Oct. 21. 2016), so #BuyJoanneOniTunes. The two staffers explore the public’s expectation of the album based on Gaga’s existing discography, how Joanne is her most personal yet, and why we should not label her dabbling into other genres as “country.” This topic is detailed further in Russoniello’s review of Joanne, which was retweeted by “Joanne” herself, so take a moment to read it once you’ve soaked up the wisdom of our second guest, Daphne Oz.
Oz spoke to us exclusively at the Pure Leaf Tea event in New York, where she celebrated its new bagged and loose teas and disclosed her most helpful holiday entertaining tips. She also shared recipes from her cookbook, The Happy Cook, and explained why her everyday moments with a cup of Pure Leaf Tea are like a mini vacation in a cup.
“[Drinking tea] is one of those accessible little luxuries that I talk about all the time,” said Oz. “It’s not about having some big moment away or having to carve out time for yourself that feels like another job. It’s about having those little moments of indulgence, which, for me, are great meals, a nice cup of tea, a moment with a good book or a shower by myself. These are things that start to feel like luxuries and that you take advantage of and they just give you a moment by yourself in the chaos all around us all the time.”
Oz also explained how to achieve Happy Cook status in your own home. “You want recipes that are going to make you look good, make you feel good inside and out, be impressive but still easy, and absolutely, the most important thing, is for you to feel confident in the kitchen. A happy cook is a confident one,” she shared.
Listen to our interview with Oz and our discussion about Joanne in the player below. Head over to Pure Leaf Tea’s website to learn more about their single-source origins and purchase your copy of The Happy Cook over on Amazon. Jump below the SoundCloud player to get the recipe for Oz’s recipe for Blueberry Tea Cake from The Happy Cook.
Blueberry Tea Cake
Pairs with Pure Leaf Black Tea with Vanilla, Makes one 9-inch square cake
From the Author: “I have fantasies about living in London one day, but the closest I’ll come for now is having tea time with my daughter on the regular. She’ll pour me fake tea from her plastic tea set all day long, and she goes bananas when I set up the real thing (warm milk and sugar for Philo; creamy Earl Grey for Mommy) and let her help me make a batch of this light, moist vanilla cake, dotted with blueberries that explode in your mouth and topped with a crisp brown sugar streusel.
I’ve used this batter to make muffins, a loaf, and a single layer cake, and I love that it’s a delectable dessert or afternoon delight that requires no fancy frosting or special technique to make perfectly every time. And when your whole house is perfumed with caramelizing sugar and fruit, you may be well on your way to a weekly tradition. It’s not the healthiest, nor the least healthy, cake out there. It’s just right for everyday celebrations, which is what this book is all about.”
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, lay down two sheets of parchment paper perpendicular to each other, leaving overhang to use as tabs to lift the cake out when it is cooked, and grease again with another 1/2 tablespoon butter.
To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, whisk together 11/4 cups of the flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Drizzle in the melted butter and use a fork to stir the mixture together until large streusel-like crumbs form. Set the streusel aside.
To make the batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 11/4 cups of the flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 10 tablespoons butter and cream on low speed until the mixture is combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and cream until the butter is airy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
Reduce the speed to medium-low and add half the reserved flour mixture, then the sour cream mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture, mixing until combined and scraping down the bowl as needed. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the blueberries Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top evenly with the streusel and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a crumb or two attached. The top will be a rich golden brown under the streusel, and the cake will give springy resistance to pressure.
Use the parchment paper to remove the cake from the pan, then discard and cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve, or cover with a dome or plastic wrap for up to 3 days (though there’s no chance it lasts that long in your kitchen).
Tip: This batter works very nicely in a muffin tin, a loaf pan, or practically any baking dish. The cook time will vary depending on whether you use a dark coated pan, cast iron, or glass dish, so just keep an eye out for the golden brown top and springy texture to make sure you don’t overcook.
From THE HAPPY COOK by Daphne Oz. Copyright © 2016 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.