easy almond peach cake

easy almond peach cakeAny and all recipes involving peaches are getting a rise in traffic which can only mean one thing – it’s PEACH season. I would love to tell you that I bought myself a big ol’ batch of fresh peaches and made this cake. I didn’t. Instead I used the frozen peaches from the big ol’ batch I purchased last summer…you know, the ones I forgot about and said I wouldn’t.

Oh well, this is sort of how all my good intentions go. At least I’ve still got cake.

easy_almond_peach_cake_2 easy_almond_peach_cake_3Looking at these images I am thinking some fresh peaches would have been nice. Sort of would of made these images look a whole heck of a lot pur-tier. Do not let their lack of beautifulness fool you though – this cake is 100% awesome. Not only do you only need one bowl to mix it but you can pretty much substitute any fruit for the peaches. Fresh or frozen. (Except fruit like watermelon but seriously, who would do that? Wait…watermelon cake sounds good. Hmmm….)

easy almond peach cakeAs for the taste…it’s phenomenal! If you like almonds you absolutely cannot go wrong here. This is just one of those desserts that I feel like you can have ready for company and they will absolutely adore you for it. Not that they wouldn’t otherwise, but cake always helps.

Enjoy!

Brandy J

 

 

easy almond peach cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½cup sugar
  • 6tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • ½cup milk
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼tsp almond extract
  • 1cup flour
  • ½cup fine ground almonds (or almond flour)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp baking soda
  • ¼tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups diced frozen peaches, drained well (or 3 ripe peaches, diced - no need to peel)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven 350ºF and grease a 9" cake pan. Set Aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and butter together well with a spatula. Add the egg. milk and extracts and combine.
  3. Next add the flour, fine ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Carefully fold those ingredients in until everything is combined. It will be a little lumpy. Add the peaches and gently fold.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack. Reduce temp to 325ºF and bake for another 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

easy almond peach cake

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bingham at two

bingham_2_years_old_5Cute, so sweet and rotten as hell.

First he’ll smile at you. A charming, mesmerizing, not to be trusted sort of grin. Then he’ll come in for the snuggle…a hard, “best snuggle ever” sort of snuggle. And next, out of nowhere, he will bite you. Or pinch you. Or grab something on your body he is not suppose to grab (ie glasses, hats, moles…).

My mom says “he’s a sour patch kid.” He totally is…and I wouldn’t want him any other way. (Most of the time.)

bingham_2_years_old_2One thing about this kid, he rebounds pretty fast. At first, we had this reaction to a photo shoot:

bingham_2_years_old_3Not a minute later we had this:

bingham_2_years_old_7But mostly we chased while he ran. All boy, all the time. 100%.

bingham_2_years_old_1 bingham_2_years_old_4When Jettie turned 2 I honestly do not remember the “terrible” part. (My man claims I have a memory like a steel trap, therefor I am fairly certain I would recollect such an experience.) Bing though…pretty sure I won’t forget this kind of orneriness.

On one hand, he’s exhausting and the rottenness is incredibly trying on my patience. On the other, it’s the most fun I have ever had in my entire life. And that my friends, is spectacular.

bingham_2_years_old_6Or guy Bing. The best son, baby brother and little shiz our family could ask for. I am so grateful for the joy he brings to us and everyone he encounters. He truly is impossible not to love.

Cheers to TWO Bing-A-Ling!

xoxo,

Brandy J

Posted in Kids, kids style, personal, the rammels | Tagged | Leave a comment

red, white and blue ice cream sandwiches

strawberry_blueberry_ice_cream_sandwiches_for_the_4th_1Hi. How’s it going? It’s been awhile. Like, a long long while. Sorry about that.

So where have I been? Well, busy but the good kind of busy. Shortly after Jettie’s birthday things really started picking up with my etsy shop. Custom orders came in that ate up a lot of my “work time”. It was a great experience, one that I enjoyed not only on a creative level but on a overall “this is what you truly enjoy doing at this time in your life” sort of way. Which feels pretty darn amazing.

That said, I missed this space and am ready to be back. It was frustrating to not have the time to “do it all” the last few weeks, but the reality is I can’t and never will be able to literally DO. IT. ALL. Oh how I wish I could but that whole “I’m only human” thing gets in the way. Story of my life…

Good news is I’ve got all sorts of posts shot and/or thought up that I can’t wait to share. There’s also some exciting things coming (think parties…and baby names, not necessarily combined). And let’s not forget that a certain someone who turned TWO last month and boy did he have one heck of a party!

But first…there’s these ice cream sandwiches. One’s that were suppose to go up before the 4th of July. Instead they are going up today, and you know what? There’s plenty of summer left to make them.
strawberry_blueberry_ice_cream_sandwiches_for_the_4th_3Like many of you, I grew up eating the standard ice cream sandwich – vanilla version with soft chocolate “bread”. Best served on the brink of melting. It was an alternating process of bite, lick, bite, lick…ending with fingertips covered in layers of chcolate goodness. It was messy and it was good.

These guys are a little more grown up but they’re still plenty messy and of course just as yummy.

strawberry_blueberry_ice_cream_sandwiches_for_the_4th_4 strawberry_blueberry_ice_cream_sandwiches_for_the_4th_5These were a huge hit with my kids who thought it was pretty awesome that their mom served them up sandwiches made with ice cream. What they don’t know is I hid most of them in the back of the freezer for their dad and I. The way I see it is that being the adult has to have it’s perks…hiding the good food is one of them.

Enjoy!

Brandy J

 

 

red, white and blue ice cream sandwiches
 
Author:
Serves: 8 sandwiched
Ingredients
  • For the blueberry compote:
  • 1cup fresh blueberries
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • ½tsp lemon zest
  • 2tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1tsp cornstarch
  • For the strawberry compote:
  • 1cup fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • ½tsp lemon zest
  • 2tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1tsp cornstarch
  • for the graham sandwich:
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp baking soda
  • ¼tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pints quality vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream
Instructions
  1. For the Compotes: In a medium pan, cook the blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest over medium-high heat, thoroughly crushing the berries with a potato masher or the back of a large fork until the juices have released and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir the lemon juice mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, stirring until the mixture is thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Repeat with the strawberries. (Can be made up to one day in advance).
  2. For the Sandwich Layer: Preheat the oven to 375º F with the rack in the middle. Butter and flour two 8-inch baking pans, then line with parchment paper with sides over hanging for easy release. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture in two batches, mixing just until combined. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading with an offset spatula. Bake until golden brown, but still tender, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely in the pans for least 1 hour.
  3. To Assemble: Keeping one sandwich layer in the pan, dollop the blueberry compote over the base. Spoon all of the softened frozen yogurt/ice cream over the blueberry and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Dollop the strawberry compote over the yogurt/ice cream. Using the parchment overhang, carefully remove the second sandwich layer from the pan. Invert the layer over the berry compote and yogurt/ice cream layer, pressing gently to form and even sandwich. Fold parchment overhang over the sandwich and wrap baking pan in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and unfold parchment. Using parchment, transfer the sandwich to a cutting board. Trim edges if desired, then cut into bars. Ice cream sandwich (before cutting) can be made 1 week in advance wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil. Enjoy!

strawberry_blueberry_ice_cream_sandwiches_for_the_4th_pin

Posted in 4th of july, Easy Freezy, holiday fare, something sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment

it’s a jolly holiday with jettie…

Mary Poppins PartyOh….it was definitely a “Jolly Holiday” with Jettie. I know I say this every year, but Jettie’s 5th birthday guys, it is going down as an all time favorite. How couldn’t it though?! First of all, it was themed after one of the best movies of all time. A movie filled with whimsy and magic and hats with daisies and cherries. And then of course there’s the songs. The brilliantly written, make your heart happy, songs of perfection.

Mary Poppins…practically perfect for a party in every way.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyGoing into this one I felt overwhelmed but in a good way. (If that makes any sense.) I knew I needed some sort of a plan and that is where I decided to focus on the songs.

The invite had all the Mary Poppins icons that we know – the parrot umbrella, hat, penguins, kite, spoon, ruler – with the heading being “Oh…It’s a jolly holiday for Jettie’s 5th Brithday”. The sweets table could only be one thing of course – “Spoonful of Sugar”. I had a kite craft station setup for “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”. And a cityscape silhouette for “Step in Time.”

First up, the sweets station. I really wanted to bring in the stripes from Bert’s suit (swap pink for red of course) and that is where I came up with the awning idea. We served cherry pineapple tea sandwiches, strawberry soup, powdered donuts and glazed croissants. But the star of this table was obviously the cake. Stacia from Cakecrazy outdid herself once again. I was thinking we would do a carousel cake but Jettie pushed for the Banks’ home…good thing she is smarter than her mom. The cake was every bit of delicious as it was beautiful. [Which makes cutting it just a tad easier.]

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party

Guests arrived to a place setting of their own mini Mary Poppins hat headband and labeled drink containers. Across the room hung “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and yes I had anxiety spelling and ordering those letters. (It’s a big weird word!) Every corner had a little something…including a carousel house that was only made possible by my family. (They rule!)

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyJettie is a crafter and seems to think every party needs a handful of “craft stations”. We go small and intimate on her parties so I went a little more involved with the crafts. I am not sure I will ever top these, by far my favorite stations I have ever created for a party.

Every girl got to make a “kite” out of clear contact paper and assorted shapes of tissue paper. There were twines and ribbon for customizing. The other station was all about magnets. I created designs for the girls to chose from to make their own “bubble” magnets. Once dry, each girl got a chalkboard metal sign to take home with them (complete with their magnets of course). I will talk about these crafts more in detail on a later post.

We also made sidewalk chalk favors for the girls to have. They were tagged with Bert’s famous “You think, you wink, you do a double blink…” quote. Loved the way they looked in the old suitcase.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyMary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party

I failed at taking many people shots this year. [Good news is that meant I enjoyed guests more.] We did manage to snap some cake shots though. Oh, and there was a giant ruler  for pictures. Sort of a last minute thing I put up but I love how it brought that famous part of the movie into the party.

Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins Party mary_poppins-34 Mary Poppins Party Mary Poppins PartyBelieve it or not there are a few more things I wanted to do but all in all I think we covered our Mary Poppins bases. Thank you to our guests for making it so special for our Jettie. And as always, a HUGE thank you to my man and mom for putting up with my ideas and somehow helping me execute them.

Cheerio!

Brandy J

 

 

 

Resources:

  • Cake: Cakecrazy
  • Invite and Party Signs/Labels: PPJ SHOP
  • Small hat, daisies and red glitter balls: Hobby Lobby
  • Large black hats, agent supplies, kite supplies, yellow backdrop: Amazon
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red, white and blue scones

blueberry_strawberry_scones_1Almost every year we go to the lake for the 4th and I struggle with exactly what to bring. I want to be festive but I also need a recipe that requires very little time and minimal appliances.

These scones, these beautiful “sort of look like stars” scones, are the ticket to my 4th of July weekend breakfast. First and foremost they are incredibly easy to make. All you need is a box grater, your fingers and a baking sheet. Secondly, and most importantly, they are so incredibly delicious. I know my family is going to be thrilled with these bad boys come this weekend!

blueberry_strawberry_scones_2 blueberry_strawberry_scones_3I had a feeling that they would not look like stars after being baked…I mean they are scones, puffing up is totally their thing. But much to my delight they did kind of hold their shape, a lot better than I gave them credit for at least. And again, that are darn good. They could be an unrecognizable shape and it absolutely would not matter.

blueberry_strawberry_scones_4 blueberry_strawberry_scones_5These are a little sweeter than other scones I have posted on here but I think the sweetness is perfect for this type of berry baked good. Plus it’s a holiday and we want sugar on holidays, right?! You can go even sweeter but adding some white chocolate chips. For me though the combo as is could not be closer to perfection.

Enjoy!

Brandy J

 

 

red, white and blue scones
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • for scones:
  • 2cups flour
  • ½cup granulated sugar
  • 2½tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp kosher salt
  • ½cup frozen butter, grated
  • ½cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½cup strawberries, hulled and diced (fresh or frozen)
  • ½cup hal&half or heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • for glaze:
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 2tsp fresh lemon juice (plus more for adjusting)
  • ¾cup powdered sugar (plus more for adjusting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400ºF. Adjust rack to the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar baking powder and kosher salt together. Add the frozen, grated butter and blend with fingers (or pastry cutter) until a coarse meal consistency forms. Fold in the berries and set aside.
  3. In another bow, whisk the half&half (or cream), egg and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and gently toss everything together with a rubber spatula. Be absolutely careful not to over mix. Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 1"inch thick disk - it will be about 8" or 9" in diameter. Add more flour if dough is too sticky to handle, only a tbsp at a time though as this will make your scones tough if you add too much flour.
  4. Take a star cookie cutter dipped in flour and cut out stars. (I used a 3" size.) Place onto prepared baking sheet. If you wish to not cut out simply cut into wedges and place on sheet. I did use the scrap dough to make more stars - just try hard to to overwork the dough when doing this.
  5. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the bottoms begin to turn golden brown. Allow to cool completely on sheet before drizzling with glaze.
  6. To make the glare simply combine the milk, lemon juice and powdered sugar. If too thick add more lemon a tsp at a time. Too runny, add more powdered sugar a tbsp at a time. Drizzle over cooled scones and enjoy!

blueberry_strawberry_scones_pin

Posted in 4th of july, breakfast, brunch, recipes, something sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment