Monday, February 8, 2010

Right Now

This very second, I am enthralled with the world.  Things are not always good for us here in this household.  There is a lot I choose not to talk about on here, simply because it's negative, or it isn't my story to tell.  I touch on them sometimes, as with the issues with my eldest brother, but refrain from delving into them too deeply.  Not out of avoidance of facing them, but because, quite simply, I have faith.  I have faith that this too shall pass.  That there is a purpose for the situation at hand.  It is frustrating, it is infuriating, and yet, I have come to know that I must let go of it, because it only brings me and my household down.  

And I choose to see the world as a beautiful place.  I am reveling in the quietness that comes from this sort of snowfall (30+ inches so far, with Tuesday night/Wednesday morning being another 5-12+!).  G has the day off because the entire Charm City area is covered, with no snowplows in sight.  So we've been able to sleep in until 8 or 9, get up and be lazy.  Sure, G is on his way out to shovel snow as I type, but in an hour he will come in to hot soup, cheesy biscuits and a cozy home.  He'll head back out and come in a bit later for hot tea and some of the spice cake that I made last night.  It seems a brief respite from the crazy busy world.  Almost a glimpse into a simpler time, a time we only now read about in books like Little House On The Prairie.  We're even going to try and make maple syrup candy, like in the books later.  Lord knows we have enough snow!  

I had said previously that after I tried the spice cake that I would let you all know the recipe if it was good.  I know, I must be shocking you with the recipes as of late, but I'm feeling very domestic lately.  The spice cake is amazing, though we do change it up a bit.  This time it turned out different than last time, something I'm looking into.  Both times it's been amazing tasting.  
Yogurt Spice Cake (original recipe found here this is my tweaked version)

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt the first time and plain this time, I think the Greek worked better, but I'll give you an update once I've made it again with it to see if that was it)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice*
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 350F (175 C).  Grease and flour bundt pan.  
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the flour, yogurt, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder and spices.  Mix well.  
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 min., remove from pan and continue to cool.

The reason I think that the greek yogurt was what did it is because it's thicker, whereas this was a thinner yogurt and seemed to affect the height.  It still looks pretty dang good, and tastes even yummier than it looks.  Once again, we freeze part of it, using the technique my wedding cake creator taught me:  wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminum foil.  It sounds crazy, but it's how we wrap any bread type item and they defrost as if they were fresh.  

*If you don't have allspice (and I certainly don't) you can use this substitution:  for every tsp. of allspice called for use 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.  

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