A Spring Potluck with Whole Foods Market and Instacart

spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
whole foods and instacart-4105.jpg
whole foods and instacart-4163.jpg
spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co
whole foods and instacart-4156.jpg
Rhubarb and Rye Upside Down Cake | apt 2b baking co

Every Spring when the weather finally warms up enough that the cherry trees start to blossom it seems like everyone in Brooklyn emerges from hibernation. We all trade our winter jackets and scarves for lighter gear and sunglasses and our neighborhoods finally feel bustling and busy again. Warm weather also makes it much easier to convince friends to leave their cozy apartments to hang out. I'm a big fan of the casual weeknight potluck and while potlucks are just about the easiest way to entertain, there's a little trick I use to make it even easier on me - grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market.

It is such a time saver whether I am hosting a little get together or I am in the middle of a shoot and realize that I need another bunch of parsley or a pound of butter or whatever. I work by myself most of the time so in the middle of a busy workday it super convenient to hop on my phone and order whatever I need without leaving the kitchen and interrupting my workflow. It also makes entertaining on a weeknight totally doable because while I work I can also order up the ingredients for perfect cheese plate and dessert, and it is delivered straight to my door - my pals can bring the rest :) 

The cake pictured here is one of my very favorite Spring recipes from my book - a Rhubarb and Rye Upside Down Cake. It is just a bit wholesome from the rye flour and topped with a pound of perfectly pink and tart rhubarb. It's perfect with a little something bubbly to round out a Spring meal.

If you are curious to try Whole Foods Market delivery powered by Instacart, I am so glad to be able to give you guys a deal - Follow the link above and use the code wfmapt2bbakingco for free delivery and $10 off your first order

Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 5/19/2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time or while supplies last. Credit valid only for first-time Whole Foods Market orders made through Instacart.com or delivery.wholefoodsmarket.com of $35 or more. See additional terms: http://bit.ly/deliveryterms

Rhubarb and Rye Upside-Down Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

An upside-down cake is a great way to highlight just about any fruit, but this springy version is especially nice due to rhubarb’s vibrant pink hue and tart flavor. The cake batter is light, fluffy, and speckled with just enough rye flour to make it interesting. As the cake bakes, the tart rhubarb juices caramelize into a delicious sauce that soaks into the cake. Serve slices of cake warm, with a bit of whipped cream or ice cream on the side for a perfect spring treat.

Rhubarb Topping

1 pound (450g) rhubarb, leaves removed, cut into 2-inch (5cm) lengths

1 vanilla bean

3⁄4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (55g) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Pinch salt


1 cup (125g) all purpose flour

1 cup (130g) rye flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (355ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

To Serve

Lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375F (190C/Gas Mark 5). Butter a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, 3 inches tall, line it with parchment paper, and butter that too. Dust the pan and paper with flour.

To make the rhubarb topping: Use the tip of a knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; reserve the pod for another use. Combine the sugar, butter, vanilla seeds, lemon zest, and salt in a skillet and set over medium low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and butter begin to melt together, then add the rhubarb. Cook the rhubarb, turning it occasionally in the pan, until it is juicy, tender, and slightly caramelized but not falling apart, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the rhubarb and its juices into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.

To make the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk the all purpose and rye flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together at medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix for 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk in three additions and mix until just combined. Carefully pour the batter over the rhubarb in the pan and smooth the top. Tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles. If using a springform pan, set it on a baking sheet to catch any potential leakage.

Bake the cake until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack

for 15 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving platter. Remove the parchment paper and reposition any rhubarb that has stuck to the paper. Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like. This cake is best served the day that it’s made.

a spring potluck with whole foods market and instacart | apt 2b baking co

This post was created in partnership with Whole Foods Market powered by Instacart. Thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

Rhubarb and Honey Panna Cotta

rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co

Every Spring I get SO excited for rhubarb, I always push the season a little bit. We don't get rhubarb in NY until about June, and when I saw these cute skinny little stalks at the store the other day I couldn't resist...They were so perfectly pink. 

I got it home and let it sit in my refrigerator. It somehow seemed too precious to use so I'd open the drawer every day just to say hi - happy that it was there, but not sure how I wanted to cook it. In the end, I roasted the rhubarb very simply with just a bit of sugar, vanilla, and lemon until it was soft and yielding but not falling apart - ready to top my morning yogurt or something a little fancier (but still quite simple) like this honey sweetened panna cotta.

Panna cotta has a bad wrap for being boring and rubbery, but a properly set panna cotta is creamy and light, and a totally dreamy base for just about any seasonal fruit. I made this one with a bit of kefir subbed in for the milk but you could use buttermilk or plain yogurt thinned with a bit of milk instead. The cultured dairy adds some tanginess that cuts the sweetness of the honey and really nicely compliments the tart rhubarb.The pistachios add a nice pop of color and crunch, but you could sub just about any nut or even a bit of bee pollen if you like.

Both recipes below call for a vanilla bean, but I'll let you in on a little secret - I used the same bean for both recipes. I used it first in the panna cotta, then rinsed it off to roast with the rhubarb, there was plenty of flavor to go around! 

Honey Panna Cotta

Makes 6

This lightly sweet and tangy panna cotta is the perfect base for any seasonal fruit, but in the early Spring, Roasted Rhubarb is where it’s at. The panna cotta is slightly adapted from the Chamomile Honey Panna Cotta from Sweeter off the Vine, which would also be super delicious with some roasted rhubarb on top. This is a great dinner party dessert that you can definitely make a day ahead. Make both components and store them in the fridge - top each panna cotta with the rhubarb and pistachios just before serving.

1 cup (240ml) kefir or buttermilk

1 (1/4oz/7g) envelope unflavored, powdered gelatin

2 cups (480ml) heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split

1/4 cup (60ml) mild flavored honey I used Blackberry Honey from my pals at Old Blue Raw Honey

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Measure the kefir and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top, but do not stir. Let the gelatin soften until the grains look wet and like they are beginning to dissolve, 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the cream, honey, salt and vanilla bean in a saucepan set over medium heat until just barely simmering. Stir occasionally to dissolve the honey. Turn off the heat and remove the vanilla bean, scraping the seeds into the pot.

Add the milk and gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Divide the mixture between 6 ramekins or glasses. Cover and chill until set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight. If you are going to leave them overnight, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap.

To unmold the panna cottas, run a thin knife around the top edge of each ramekin to release the sides, and invert it onto a plate. You may have to shake the ramekin gently to get the panna cotta to release onto the plate. Top each panna cotta with a spoonful pf rhubarb and it’s juices and sprinkle of chopped pistachios. Alternately, serve the panna cottas straight from their ramekins with the garnishes on top.

Roasted Rhubarb

1/2 (225g) pound thin rhubarb stalks

1/2 cup (50g) granulated sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup chopped pistachios, to serve

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Slice the rhubarb into 2-3 inch lengths. Toss it in a baking dish with the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla bean. Roast until soft and juicy but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool before serving.

rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
honey panna cotta with roasted rhubarb | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co
rhubarb and honey panna cotta | apt 2b baking co