This is just a quick post to share a recent find from a fun Etsy Shop (The Providence Story). I saw these adorable tassel keychains and snatched up three (one each for various sets of keys).
She’s also having a sale on these cute mini suede key chains ($13 each is a steal).
This weekend my mom and I went back to Tennessee to take a look at my house. Boy do I miss that house. I walk in and remember what it feels like to have my own house and not live at home with my parents (which is also awesome at times FYI). To have all my own things, and my bed… heaven! To thank our neighbors for being wonderful, we baked them a pound cake. This is a traditional pound cake with just a hint of lemon. We served it with fresh whipped cream and berries and it was perfection.
Classic Pound Cake
Makes 1 loaf
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, plus extra for greasing pan
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cake flour
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper (video on how to do that here).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and shiny, about 15 seconds. Add the sugar slowly, beat until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and water. With the mixer running at medium speed, add the mixture to the butter and sugar in a very slow, thin stream. Add the salt and lemon zest.
- Place 1/2 cup of the flour in a sifter and sift over the batter. Fold gently with a rubber spatula, scraping from the bottom of the bowl, until the flour is incorporated. Repeat twice more, adding flour in 1/2 cup increments.
- Scrape the batter unto the pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Back until a toothpick inserted into the crack running along the top comes out clean, about 70-80 minutes. (Start checking your loaf after 60 minutes. Mine didn’t have a large crack, so I just put the toothpick in the center :)). Let the cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Place a second wire rack on the cake bottom, then turn the cake over. Cool to room temperature, remove and discard the parchment. Serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.
Adapted from Cooking Illustrated.
I am always at a loss at what to do with ripe bananas. There is only so much banana bread one family can eat. When my mom stumbled upon this recipe for a Banana Cake, I knew I had to try it. This cake is moist, not overly banana-y (you know what I’m talking about!), and has the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth frosting. It tastes delicious the first day you make it, but even better after letting it sit for a day. Mom and I decorated ours with some candied kumquats (we had them, so why not?), which cuts the sweetness of the sweet frosting a bit. Any candied citrus would work well. Here is a quick link on how to make your own!
In this recipe, there are two new techniques to be aware of. The first is the use of sour milk. Sour milk is used in place of buttermilk and sour cream in many recipes. For every 1 cup of sour milk called for, use 1 cup of full fat milk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. For this recipe, since it only calls for 1/2 cup of sour milk, only use 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar for the 1/2 cup of milk. The second technique is whisking egg whites into soft peaks. If you haven’t done this before, this is a great step by step tutorial.
Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
Makes one 2-layer cake
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 very ripe bananas, crushed
- 1/2 cup sour milk (add 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar to full fat milk, wait 5 minutes to make sour milk)
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat the oven to 350° F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until combined, 3-5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, blending after each addition. Stir in the bananas, stirring until combined. Add sour milk, stirring until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Do not overmix! Set mix aside.
- Using a whisk or the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into the batter using a rubber spatula.
- Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans, divide the batter evenly between the pans, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done (toothpick comes out clean).
Brown Sugar Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup full fat milk
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Slowly stir in the brown sugar. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until butter is melted and sugar is combined.
- Add the milk, raise the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture boils. Remove from heat, and let the mixture cool until it is lukewarm (about 5-8 minutes).
- Using a stand mixer, transfer the brown sugar/butter mixture and gradually stir in the powdered sugar, beating until smooth, 3-5 minutes.
- Frost your cake and voila! (Here is a good link for frosting cakes).
WOW, three weeks have been gone since I’ve been on here. It feels like such a long time. Here’s the catch-up:
I went to Tennessee to check on the house and do some Army wife business. While I was there I found that the outlet that our basement freezer was connected to had stopped working during the last thunderstorm three weeks earlier. It was pretty much the worst Deployment Murphy’s Law moment that could have happened since I had a flight to catch and had to clean out a freezer full of spoiled food by myself. It was one of those “I can’t believe this is happening to me” moments. But I pushed through and handled it like a champ.
I went to one of my best friend’s weddings in Pittsburgh, which was a blast. It’s always fun to explore a new city with my girlfriends and adventures like this keep me busy while Q is gone. The rehearsal dinner was at PNC Park where the Pirates play, which was a beautiful and fun location.
Carl turned 4 and Q turned 31!
And per usual, I’ve been enjoying a lot of good food, particularly breakfasts.
Mom and I made a delicious pan-fried chicken and arugula salad for dinner tonight and I’m going to prep the recipe for later this week.
Hope you missed me because I missed you!