butternut bundt with sour cream glaze

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Thanksgiving came and went.  I didn’t cook much, but I was so lucky to enjoy a lovely meal at my friends, they made everything to perfection and I kind-of screwed up my green bean casserole because I suck at frying (onions) and I ran out of paper towels.  And then something hit me, it’s basically December and I gotta step up my game.  Not just in cooking and baking, but I need to start knitting, my favorite winter past-time.  I finally broke out the needles this weekend, home alone with many episodes of Downton Abbey.  I finished one easy project and then got excited about the others I want to do and it just keeps hitting me, how much I need to do!

But baking and cooking is definitely on my list.  I have some Polish Christmas classics to tackle and perfect and some cookies to bake and some jams and preserves as well.  And of course I need to keep drinking my ginger tea and kombucha (homemade!) and move everyday (get a home routine) and force myself to do some cardio.

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I made this bundt because I love cakes that are not too sweet, but moist and with lots of flavor.  I mean it’s basically a vegetable cake.  And there is olive oil and sour cream.  I also like to use different flours when I can, rye is great here, you can’t even taste the difference.  And a bit of sugar because it’s a cake.  I also really love alliteration foods.  You can use pumpkin as well but it’s more fun to say butternut bundt isn’t it?

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Butternut Bundt with Sour Cream Glaze

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup rye flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup butternut squash purée (about one small squash cut in half, with holes poked, baked at 350 degrees, cooled, scooped out of skin and mashed)

1/3 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sour cream

for glaze:

2 tbsp sour cream

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

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-make sure you have your squash purée ready!

-preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).

-mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl.  mix the sugar with the eggs in a separate bowl until smooth.  mix in the rest of the wet, again until nice and smooth.

-mix wet and dry together until everything is incorporated.  prepare bundt pan with butter and a sprinkle flour.  pour in batter.

-bake about 45-55 minutes, until toothpick come out clean.

-let the cake cool and make the glaze.  if it is too thin add a bit more sour cream and if too thin add more sugar.

-jrad

rhubarb rose upside down yogurt cake

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New Yorkers love to complain.  In the winter the slightest bit of snow makes everyone freak out and all the schools close. The summers, on the other hand, are too hot and everyone escapes to The Hamptons or Maine (I admit it sucks because there are too many tourists and it smells pretty bad).

Let me tell you what they are complaining about now.  Apparently spring doesn’t last long enough and they keep saying “where is spring?”.  The temperature is between 50-70 most days and we’ve been having a lot of rain. Now everyone likes a good Spring, but when did we (they) get this idea that Spring was a walk in the park?  The earth is literally regrowing itself!  Give it a break.

This morning I woke up to a grey sky again and a dampness in the air that felt like a rainforest and you know what?  It was so beautiful!  That is Spring!  Everyday there is something new, like little presents left out for us every morning, the tress have more leaves and the grass looks greener.  I’m a Spring baby and I embrace the rain and the mess, bring it.

(I do think that some of them mean that soon it will be like 100 degrees because of global warming and they feel Spring is shorter than it used to be.  But they’d probably complain anyway.  Enjoy it while you can!)

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I’ve been a little obsessed with the smells of flowers as of late.  I almost feel intoxicated by them sometimes.  Lilacs are just the best thing ever, they make me feel so good about life.

Rose water is also the bomb and is perfect for spring. I put some in my marinated beets this weekend and it was delightful.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I can’t get enough.   I added some rose to this rhubarb cake that I made Tuesday as it was pouring rain outside.  A couple of weeks ago I got quite soaked walking from the train and when I got home it stopped raining, classic, so I made this cake because.  And oh my gosh almond flour cakes are so moist and I think I might even like the texture better than regular flour.  So this cake was my jam and I used that and just adapted a bit. 

Rhubarb is RAD!

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Rhubarb Rose Upside Down Yogurt Cake

5-6 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 2 inch pieces on an angle, and cut in half if really thick

4 tbsp honey

1/2 cup water

1 tsp rose water

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup rice flour (white, brown or sweet)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

7 tbsp butter, room temperature

1/2 cup honey

1 cup yogurt

3 eggs separated

-heat the honey, water and rose water in a medium saucepan until the honey is dissolved.  add all the rhubarb, or in batches so they aren’t crowded.  cook the rhubarb until slightly soft but not mushy (I did mine too long, it happens quick so watch out!) and strain out.  put to the side.  cook down the liquid some more if you need  so you can use it as a syrup at the end.

-preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

-combine flours, baking powder and salt.  in separate bowl mix the butter with the honey (with a hand mixer or stand mixer).  add the egg yolks and mix well. mix the flour into the butter mixture.

-beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  gently fold in the egg whites and the yogurt and mix well.

-line a spring form pan with parchment paper all the way up the sides.  lay the rhubarb in a nice pattern, better than mine!  a circle is nice, red on the outside and green on the inside is also nice.  pour the cake batter on top.  bake for 50-55 minutes.  let it cool a bit before flipping and removing the spring form.  pour the rest of the rose honey syrup on top!

enjoy! (I had mine with some Early Grey tea, my other new, or renewed, obsession)

teff carrot cake

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April 12th sounds like a great day to eat carrot cake, right?

It also sounds like a great day to have a birthday, right?

Well I must be lucky because I get both of those today, a birthday and a carrot cake!  (It is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday-she is 100! love her).  And the weather in New York has been goooorrrgeous.  The only downfall is the streets are filled with a ridiculous amount of people again (where do they all come from!!?), but at least my neck of the woods stays pretty chill – except for that new music venue that opened up down the block and then rapper who moved into the old firehouse…..

I always think a birthday cake should be representative of the person whose birthday it is.  Also maybe where they are in their life?  Like when you were 10 and you would get a picture on the cake of your favorite hobby.  I guess as an adult it’s different (or not!) – and it’s more about flavor and texture.

I feel like a carrot cake right now.

I contemplated many versions of carrot cake but when I saw this one in Tartine All Day, as I was browsing cookbooks in a book store, I knew it was the one.  I loved that it used different flours (also teff flour is like a superhero flour) because I think it adds a lot more flavor.  I also liked her description of carrot cake being the birthday cake of choice for youngins in Switzerland and England, I thought how perfect for my 29th birthday, my last bit of childhood before I turn 30 next year.

So now that I have my cake it is time to think about one more year of twenties.  Even though forty is the new thirty I still feel like turning thirty is a big deal.  So…

a list of 29 before I turn thirty (in no particular order):

  1. have nice hair (as in don’t cut my own hair anymore and learn how to style it)
  2. make my bed every morning
  3. understand physics
  4. floss everyday
  5. learn how to use excel spreadsheets (or rather re-learn)
  6. have a better music collection (help!)
  7. pray and meditate everyday
  8. keep in touch with people better
  9. make a perfect poached egg
  10. know the difference between whisky, scotch, bourbon and rye and while we are at it maybe red wine too – know more about red wine?
  11. memorize important phone numbers
  12. have better phone skills and probably overall better communication skills
  13. save for retirement (wow I can’t believe I just wrote that)
  14. master the sewing machine
  15. finish things that I start
  16. do more cardio
  17. figure out what I am doing with my life (AKA-somehow get parents to worry less about me)
  18. wear silk scarves around neck
  19. acquire and use airline miles
  20. read the news more
  21. know more in general
  22. get over fear of driving on the highway
  23. document life better
  24. know how to cook amazing things by heart
  25. be less serious because this list is stressing me out and a woman in my Pilates class called me out on being too serious, but I think she meant it in a good way…
  26. spell better (is it too late for that?)
  27. be stronger
  28. be wiser
  29. be kinder

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Confession.  I don’t remember the last time I made a layer cake, I am more of a pie, tort and flaky stuff kind-of girl.  This is a layer cake.  So I did my best, and hope to get better.  It tastes freakin awesome though!  Also I got a kitchen-aid for my birthday!!!

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It worked like a charm, I love it so much.  I feel a lot spoiled and a little bit more like an adult.

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recipe adapted from here

Teff Carrot Cake

cake:

1 cup sugar

1 cup coconut sugar (or more sugar but coconut tastes good if you can swing it)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup applesauce

1 ld carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup warmed coconut oil, so it is liquid

juice of 1 lemon

1 1/4 cup teff flour

1/2 cup rice flour (sweet is probably best but I think mine was just brown)

1/2 cup oat flour

2 tsp cinnamon

grated nutmeg or 1/4 tsp ground

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup toasted and chopped pecans (or walnuts but we like pecans better and it was good)

frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

6 tbsp butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioners sugar

juice 1 lemon

-pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. butter two 9-inch cake pans and put a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.  you can also just use one cake pan and do two rounds.

-beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until thick and light in color, a couple of minutes.  you want a ribbon of egg when you take the whisk out.  add the applesauce, carrots, coconut oil and lemon and mix well.

-in a separate bowl mix the flours, spices, baking soda and salt.  add the flour to the egg mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula.  fold in the coconut and pecans.

-pour half into each cake pan (or save half for next round).  bake about 35-40 minutes.  let the cakes cool about 10 minutes and then invert onto wire racks or plates.  let them cool completely before frosting.

-for frosting, mix butter and cream cheese first in a stand mixer or a hand mixer until well combined and then add confectioner’s sugar and lemon and mix until smooth.  spread frosting on one cake then place the other on top and spread all over.

-enjoy!