Monday, June 23, 2014

Sweet 16th: Almond cake with pear

I made a new recipe this week!  It has been a really long time, and I am sorry for that, but you know I can't be creative in all areas all the time. Sadly.  Anyways, this recipe was inspired by something I saw on a desert menu at a little cafe in Seattle. They didn't actually have any left so I couldn't try it, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. And so, I made up my own version.  So now, let me share with you my pretty, simple little almond cake :)

To make this you'll need:

4 Tablespoons of butter (1/2 a stick) at room temp
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup almond paste
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs at room temp
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
a pinch of cinnamon
1 pear (I used a Tosca, cause that's what I had)

In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter, shortening, almond paste, baking powder, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Mix it for a couple minutes, it starts to get a bit sticky. Make sure to scrape down the sides a couple times.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each.

Add in a third of the flour and mix.  Then add half of the milk, mix. Another third of flour, then the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour.  You get the idea.  Mix after each addition. 
Lastly, stir in a pinch of cinnamon.

You should have a pretty thick batter.

Pour the batter into a 9 inch round baking pan that has been oiled, floured, and the bottom lined with parchment.

Spread the batter out in the pan so the top surface is reasonably flat.

Now peel, core and slice the pear into very thin pieces.  I used about half of a pear, which meant I got to eat the rest.  No complaints here.

Now lay the pear slices on top of the batter in the pan in any lovely design you choose!

Now pop the cake in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

When it is done, let it cool in the pan for a little while before digging in!  This cake is moist and dense but still fluffy, and very almondy.  It's kind of like just eating the middle part of an almond filled croissant :)

My strange child decided he didn't really like this for some weird reason, but that means more for me!  Time to break out the Wii fit again...

Anyways,  I'll leave you with a preview pic of his Halloween costume instead of a toddler approval photo.

Happy Baking!

*edit: I forgot to include the amount of flour in this post originally! Ooops! It's in there now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Star Wars shirt

We all eventually go through the time when all of our friends start to get married. This is that year. I get to go to three weddings this summer, which of course means dressing not only myself but my guys as well. The hubby can take care of himself in that area, but the little man has some pretty strong opinions when it comes to dress shirts. After going to countless stores with no success, I made a comment about making one. Well of course the little dude jumped on that and decided he wanted a Star Wars shirt. Yeah.

The quest for decent Star Wars fabric began. I finally wound up on Spoonflower (of course) where the little man picked out this fabric:

I got the basic cotton since it's a kid's shirt, washable, wearable, etc. I had made a test shirt previously and made both the test and the actual shirt from McCall's M6222 pattern. It's not a perfect pattern but worked tolerably well. Some weird stuff in the way the collar and facings fit together. The kiddo also picked out the buttons for the shirt. Here are some beauty shots.

And a final shot of the very happy kiddo.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Birthday Party

Sorry I've been so quiet around here. This spring hit me hard and I'm forced to take naps in the afternoons just to keep up! I know it's bad when my relatives start asking "when are you gonna post a blog?" (You know who you are.)

I have loads to talk about but I figured I'd start out with a post about the little man's 5th birthday party. This was the first time we've ever done a party with friends from school. It was lots of fun but way more stressful for me. We got a picnic shelter at a nearby park. It rained so I was very thankful for the shelter, plus we had a lovely view!

This is at Lake Wilderness Park. We kept having small flocks of ducklings swimming up to the shore too, free entertainment for the kiddos.

Little man wanted a Lego themed party, so after scouring pinterest and feeling slightly intimidated by all the crazy ideas, I narrowed it down to a few that I could pull off in my time frame.

I made a Lego beanbag toss game complete with the brick shaped beanbags.

I got the idea here.

Mainly the kids ran around, played at the nearby playground and chased a giant beach ball.

I made chocolate cupcakes with gummy candy Lego guys. I have to give credit to the little man for requesting sprinkles last minute. It really pulls the look together on these.

Goodie bags were Lego themed too, and I have to admit I had a really good time making them.

There were 10 different faces to choose from, each with a twisty straw, those hard building brick candies and a mystery minifigure.

The next day consisted almost entirely of putting together and playing with new Lego sets, so that was fun. All in all a successful 5th birthday! (oh my gosh he's five! Where does that time go?!)

Bye for now.