New Year. More Cake.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake 2018

2018.

 

Guys, we survived 2017.

 

As a whole {country} 2017 was a rough one, but personally, I had a great year. I got married to my best friend and favorite human, I got to travel to NYC and explore some fantastic food, and I got a new job that allows me to spend more time with said favorite human.  While I didn’t go to the gym as often as I wanted, and I didn’t post on my blog very often, sorry guys, and I probably watched too much TV, but I enjoyed this past year spending time with my loved ones and truly lived life.

Which is how I landed at the title for this post as well as my mantra for the year ahead.  Life is all about balance people.  Balance between work and relaxation, balance between exercise and couch time, balance between quinoa and cake.  So while New Years Resolutions can be a great way to motivate ourselves to be better, we need to take some time three days after the new year and eat a piece of cake out of the fridge after our workout.

The recipe for this Flourless Chocolate cake can be found here and while I’m not in love with the result, it did satisfy my sweet tooth.  I added cointreau to the ganache that I spread on top.  For the berries, I tossed them in turbinado sugar, white wine, and cointreau and let them macerate overnight.  Stay tuned for a better recipe.

 

Happy New Year!

Falling for Autumn

 

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It’s that time of year again folks.  Newsfeeds are full of first day of school photos, pumpkin spice coffee is on the market, and the markets are losing their summer jewels.  It seems almost too soon.  Gone are the days with our toes in the sand, quick and cold summer rains, and reasons to drink rosé in the middle of the day.

But autumn is my favorite time of year.  Well, until the first snow.  Fall is memories of Friday football games, almost seeing our breath, color guard girls huddled close for warmth in our tank tops, voices turning hoarse as we cheer on our team.  Fall is crockpot meals, long runs with shorts and gloves.  Fall is the crinkling of leaves underfoot as we rake almost everyday.  Fall is pumpkin rolls, homemade apple pie, stockpiling pie filling in the chest freezer for the winter.  Fall is home, when we find ourselves inside with those we love most.

So with fall just around the corner, I grabbed a lonely can of pumpkin puree and made some pumpkin bread.  This loaf is sweet and loaded with spice, cinnamon, cloves, and of course nutmeg.  I coarsely ground up pecans with brown sugar and butter to use as a crumb topping. Enjoy with your favorite strongly brewed coffee.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread (adapted from epicurious)

Makes 2 loaves

 

3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

 

 

Throughly combine all ingredients. This does make a fairly sweet bread, so feel free to decrease the sugar by 1 cup if needed.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes.

 

Top with crumb if desired.

Skillet Banana Bread

I recently was gifted my very first cast iron skillet set from two of my future sister-in-laws who are also a couple of my best friends.  I’ve literally been wanting some cast iron since I even knew it existed!  I could hardly wait two full days to get it out of its packaging and put it to good use.

Of course I made Pioneer Woman’s skillet chocolate chip cookie because let’s face it, she’s a goddess and who doesn’t like an oversized cookie?

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Trust me, I took bigger bites after I snapped this picture.

It seems like I always have brown bananas around.  I do tend to buy a bunch every week when I got grocery shopping, but I have the best intentions!  Or maybe I just really like banana bread….

I ‘ve made a ton of banana bread in my 22 short years, not to toot my own horn or anything.  Over the years, I haven’t really come across a recipe that has stuck with me until a couple weeks ago. This banana bread is delicious and the inspiration for my version.

 

Skillet Banana Bread

serves 4ish?

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup of mashed bananas

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 shakes nutmeg

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

I also like to add in 2 tablespoons each of ground flax seed and whole flaxseed, but this is optional. You can also totally add in about 1/2 cup of whatever nuts or chocolate you want.

Melt the coconut oil in the skillet.  This is double duty because the pan can always use another layer of seasoning, and you need to preheat the skillet a little bit.  Add in the sugar and mix well. Whisk in the eggs, then add in the mashed banana and the almond milk.  Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg of course! Spread into your skillet and bake at 325 degrees for blank minutes. It bakes faster than loaf banana bread because its in a smaller layer and because the cast iron holds its heat better. On the plus side, you get to enjoy it sooner!

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Oh I almost forgot, make this recipe your own! This is the best part of baking! Swap the sugar for honey or agave, the flour for whole wheat flour ( if you go this route you might have to play with the hydration of the dough a little bit), or the almond milk for any liquid really.

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Enjoy!