plated cake
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.
steps final
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.
distance final
vert plated cake
half cake

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.


dunes final
dune expanse final

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?

water final
flip flops final
walking final
steps final
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.
with cream

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
2 eggs
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.

Bon appétit!

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  1. Looks like a great beach. My kids and I will have to visit next time we’re in MA. The cake recipe also looks like a keeper!

  2. Your photos makes me miss the ocean. You got lovely photos. Thank you for the recipe for the Pistachio cake.
    We live far from the ocean and today was chilly, rainy and a bit foggy.

  3. Love pistachio cake, never tried it with orange before. Delish idea. Photos of the beach are so gorgeous… thank heavens it’s back to normal and that this year looks hurricane free. Fingers crossed for the future…

  4. You capture New England so well. I love Cranes Beach. We’ve been going there since I was a kid. Now I take mine, How time flies!

  5. Absolutely WONDROUS, El!! My heart is lighter and happier after these glorious, light-filled images. I’m so glad this beloved spot is healed and restored. 🙂 And your cake is scrumptiously wonderful. 🙂

  6. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for your note. I’m not sure where you live but there are plenty of places to buy them online. Simply type ‘shelled unsalted pistachios’ into the Google search engine and purchase locations should appear. Good luck!


  7. Oh stunning! And the colors! Your photos make everything look soft and romantic… like a warm breeze is blowing. So beautiful, much prettier and more welcoming than the Florida beaches I grew up near… and the searing, scorching hot temperatures and sand. And pretty pink flip flops… pretty. But the cake! Beautiful! One rarely sees pistachio cake! I’ve bookmarked this one!

  8. Beautiful! We were down in Hingham Mass last month, and visited the beach there. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but we were there at dusk, and watched a couple setting off paper lanterns. It was lovely.

    On the way home, we spent a night at Salisbury, and had the beach there to ourselves in the morning. That was something special, too.

    I have so many favorite beach memories. Hunting for agates on the rocky shores of Lake Superior. Running for miles on the wide-open beaches in Oregon. Swimming amongst soft, pretty pottery shards near Montpellier, France. Spending an Easter weekend nestled amongst the textured black and gold granules of sand on a secluded beach on Procida, in the Bay of Naples. Beaches are my thing, El. I love them so much. Thanks for bringing these memories to the surface for me!

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