Root Beer Bundt Cake

Fresh out of the oven!

Trevor and I are the type of book nerds who actually find it valuable to own expensive eBook readers for the benefit of carrying a dozen books in one tiny package for fear that one day while outside the house, we may finish a book without another book immediately available for consumption. Also, they weigh a lot less than an 800 page fantasy novel. Our devices (a Kindle for him, a nook for me) have some issues but we love them anyway. However, there is one thing I greatly miss since owning one. Trevor and I both love bookstores. We love sitting in aisles, cross-legged like small children, taking our time to peruse our favourite bookshelves in order to pinpoint that one special book to build a relationship with over the next few weeks.

Perusing an eBook store on your nook, Kindle or internet browser doesn’t exactly have the same… feeling to it.

We still make trips out to book stores, although now they’re more like selection processes on what to buy next on our eReaders. That satisfying end result is gone, a crisp, rigid, dogeared free book in our hot little hands as we leave the store, spines waiting to be cracked at our will. We could still buy physical copies of books, but it seems silly to do so just to have that short, joyful moment as you leave the store.

I’ve discovered there is one type of book that exists that I can still buy at bookstores, guilt free. Cookbooks. Most of them aren’t available in eBook format because… why would they ever want to be? The small, paperback book sized screen would never lay out an entire recipe well, the pictures of luscious, chocolatey cakes would now look grainy and one-dimensional, and if I kept it in the kitchen with me… can you imagine the stress of trying to clean flour and melted chocolate out of the crevices of an expensive electronic device? Cookbooks on the other hand can feel as though they haven’t been loved enough if they’re not at least a little bit sticky here and there.

I bought a new cookbook a couple weeks ago. And I am very excited about it.

Baked Cookbook

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Strawberry Birthday Cake

Cake Slice

So my update is a little late this week, but I have a good reason. It was Marta’s birthday!

I’m originally from Canada, but I moved to the Seattle area about 2 years ago. I love it here, but there’s a lot I miss about Canada. The thing I miss the most? The people. People like Marta. She’s been one of my best friends since we were 12 years old, she was one of my bridesmaids when I got married, and before this weekend, I hadn’t seen her for over 2 years.

So I hope you can understand the blog update delay.

Me & Marta

(That’s me on the left and Marta on the right.)

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Blueberry Buckle

Piece of buckle

“Blueberry Buckle” is just one of those phrases I love to say. Blueberry buckle, blueberry buckle, blueberry buckle. I just enjoy the way it rolls out of my mouth, almost a tongue-twister, but not quite. Blueberry buckle.

Pint of Blueberries

Then there’s the wonderful factor of was a blueberry buckle is. Fresh, plump blueberries nestled in a moist coffee cake under a deliciously textured crown of streusel. I’d top everything with streusel if I could, all crumbly and sweet. Top a muffin with it? Of course. Add a little texture on top of a pound cake? Why not? Replace the top crust of my pie with streusel? Yes, please.

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I ♥ Brown Sugar Blondies

Ooey gooey centers

I hated yogurt as a child. It was much too tangy and reminded me of sour milk. My mom understood the concept of hiding healthy stuff (yogurt) with stuff kids like (sugar), and taught me that I could jazz up plain or vanilla yogurt by adding a little brown sugar. I was immediately sold.

Not on yogurt, but on making my yogurt a vehicle for brown sugar.

My mother would apply the brown sugar in the appropriate ratios, taking a container of yogurt and adding a little sprinkling of brown sugar on top. Just enough that I could see sugar was involved. If I managed to get my hands on the sugar spoon, I would mix a large tablespoon of brown sugar into my yogurt with another scoop on top. And sometimes halfway through (after all the brown sugar topping was gone) I would find it too tangy again and add a little bit more.

This was not exactly what my mom had in mind for me and yogurt, so I tried to be sneaky about it. As a mom, she probably knew anyway. She can let you know.

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Banana Pecan Cupcakes

Lots of banana pecan cupcakes!

There’s something special about fruit in a baked good on a Sunday. Maybe it’s the association with brunch or the fact that farmer’s markets (my local ones at least) are usually found on Sundays. Personally, I think it’s that different kind of sweetness that fruit has. Just how there’s something extra sweet about a lazy Sunday that no other day has.

Bananas in particular are just one of those things that warm my heart when found in a baked good. Even though overripe mashed bananas look a little… strange..

Mashed bananas

but I let that slide due to their high levels of flavour and deliciousness. In the end, that’s all that matters.

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

My team at work likes to hold “Wine, cheese and baked goods Fridays” every other Friday. It’s a pot luck of sorts, where people bring in their favourite reds and whites, stinky cheeses, creamy cheeses, and I am usually the one bringing baked goods (seeing as I bring them every Friday anyway!) We sit in the sun outside our building and everyone has a great time.

However, I don’t like my cheese with wine. Because I don’t like wine.

I apologize to all the people out there whose sensibilities I just offended.

What I do like my cheese with is sweetness. With fruit preserves, rich chocolate, candied pecans or perhaps whipped full of powdered sugar. Obviously we’re not talking sharp cheddars here, but creamy smooth mascarpones, oozey warm brie and tangy cream cheese. I have trouble eating any of the creamier cheeses without trying to figure out a way to make dessert out of it. It’s like a sickness. A delicious sickness.

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Fresh Raspberry Tart with Lemon Filling

Fresh Raspberry Tart With Lemon Filling

I love getting inspired by a good farmer’s market. Fruits of all colours, honey from local bees, fresh cider…

Farmer's Market alcoholic cider

or alcoholic cider in this case.

My peanut butter, banana crepe

Crêpes. Crêpes filled with delicious goodness for lunch, not just dessert.

Mmm... Crepe...

That last part wasn’t really as much about farmer’s markets in general, but it’s part of my farmer’s market and it’s very important.

To me.

Moving on…

It’s the time of year for my local farmer’s market to have raspberries. Deeply coloured raspberries, glinting in the sun like baskets of rubies. How does one deny such a find?

Fresh raspberries and blueberries

You don’t. Not on your crêpes or in your baking. You give in, and you enjoy.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake close up

So although they were saved, the turnovers for Trevor didn’t quite go as planned. Also, I only saved 5 or 6 of them for him at home while I brought a couple dozen to work.

To maintain a stable marriage, I really had to bake him something else and keep it all at home, just to make sure he knew that he didn’t just always get the dregs of whatever was leftover after my coworkers were done with it.

Also, he had some tummy aches this week and I felt sorry for him. Poor dude.

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