Monday, July 24, 2017

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Good morning! How was your weekend? It was a scorcher here, add the humidity and it was a bit unbearable. Lucky for me I was inside cleaning and baking for my upcoming guests.

I make this cherry almond coffee cake and it was delicious. Cherries and almond are a classic pairing but if you do not like the cherries you could always substitute the berries of your choice, or maybe even some apples come Fall.

The cake has a little almond flavor in every layer, from the cake to the streusel, to the glaze. It is very versatile and could be served for breakfast, brunch, tea or even dessert. 

Cherry Almond Coffee Cake
Recipe from: Sifting Focus

Cherry Filling

2 15 oz cans tart cherries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
pinch of salt

Bring Cherries and their syrup, cornstarch, sugar and salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mash cherries with a potato masher and cook until thick, about 25 minutes. The mixture should measure about 2 cups. Pout into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes. 

Streusel Topping:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 7 oz. tube almond paste crumbled into pieces
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Whisk 11/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Using a fork, stir in melted butter until mixture forms pea size pieces. Stir in 1/2 cup almond past set aside 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch pan. Combine remaining flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowll. Whisk the sour cream, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts together in a small bowl.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat remaining almond paste remaining sugar, and softened butter until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes; Add sour cream mixture and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined, about 1 minute. Return mixture to medium speed and beat until fluffy, an additional minute. 

Pour batter into a prepared pan and spread evenly. Dollop the cherry mixture over the batter and spread in an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel over the cherry mixture and bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean. About 30-33 minutes. Cool cake in the pan about 2 hours. 

Almond Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt

Combine sugar, salt and extract with two tablespoons of water. Mix well and then drizzle over the cake. Cake can be kept for 3 days at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap. 

Have a great day! Stay cool!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Picks from Thristystone

Happy Saturday! This week we are having 6 friends to visit, as I said before there will be a lot of sun, fun drinking and eating. Which had had me thinking about what to serve and how to serve it. 

I love beautiful serving pieces and typically stick to white so that the food can add the color. I also use lots of vintage cutting boards

These beautiful wood, marble and metal pieces by Thirstystone are just the sort of pieces that I like. They are classic, with a twist, elegant and looks fabulous with or without food!

The good news about these pieces is that they are all from Nordstrom and many are on sale for their Anniversary sale.

Have a great day!

NOTE: Post contains affiliate links

Friday Favorites from The Cookie Rookie, Curvy Carrot, Christiann Koepke, Centsational Girl and More

Good morning and a very happy, happy, happy Friday to you!. Can you tell that I am excited it's the weekend? I have had a crazy busy week, and frankly I am ready to relax. We have 6 guests coming next Wednesday-Monday and it is going to be a fun but busy few days. I am actually looking forward to being a tourist in my own town but I need to relax this weekend and get ready for non-stop fun next week, with lots of food, drinks, time at the ocean, kayaking, boarding, hiking and more. 

Image CK

It has been very hot here with more steamy weather to come. When it is like that I have to admit I am really lazy when it comes to cooking(oddly, I can always muster the energy to bake) and typically I fall back on scrambled eggs, grilled cheese or a salad. I will be adding this beautiful and delicious Grilled Moroccan Chicken Salad from Christiann Koepke to my repertoire. 

Image from Rasamalasia

Hot days call for a cool, refreshing drink. Instead of your traditional lemonade why not try this Watermelon Limeade from Rasamalaysia?

Image Pinterest via The Curvy Carrot

I cannot wait to make this gorgeous Coffeecake with Cream Cheese Filling from the Curvy Carrot, in fact I will be making it next week for my guests, so I will let you know how it is. 

Easy Restaurant Queso The Cookie Rookie

I want to make this Easy Restaurant Queso from the Cookie Rookie as well but I do not want to share. I seriously could eat this entire pan. In fact I have been known to go out for Mexican and eat nothing but chips and a big bowl of queso cheese. 

Image Vintage Refined

I love this beautiful bathroom redo with the addition of this classic wallpaper and statement mirror from Vintage Refined.

Are you a Nancy Meyer fan? If so head over to Cote de Texas where Joni gives the low down on the new Nancy Meyers movie Home Again. Make sure to get yourself a coffee or a drink because Joni does a thorough job detailing the original house(when Cindy Crawford lived there), the real-estate images and the movie set. 

Image Centsational Girl

Isn't this Cris Cross Wall Trellis from Centsational Girl cool? If you are handy with a saw and like DIY projects Kate gives instructions on how she built this beautiful addition to her patio. 

Image In Good Taste

Have you ever wondered what your favorite movie poster would look like if it was painted by a famous artist? If so, check out this post 6 Famous Movie Posters Re-Imagined as Painting by In Good Taste.  By the way, In Good Taste is the blog for my favorite auction site Invaluable.

Did you find anything interesting this week to share,  a fascinating book or movie, or a delicious recipe? If so please tell us about it the comments. 

I hope that you have a great weekend. Stay cool and safe. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Good morning! Unless you have been living under a rock this week you have surely heard of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.? It actually starts tomorrow but if you are a card holder you can get early access to your favorite finds. 

As I perused the virtual aisles I put together a selection of casual and classic pieces that suit my lifestyle; a few new things for yoga, a classic black dress, boots for winter, a couple comfy sweaters, and I even threw in a few candles to use while soaking in my bath as the cool weather sets in.

There are some great things on sale so if you are looking for something for your Fall wardrobe or perhaps even to do a little early Christmas shopping you should check out the sale. 

Happy shipping and have a great day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Just Curious...How is Your Summer 2017 Bucket List Coming Along

Good morning! Happy hump day to you. I hope that you are having a great week, mine is busy and seems to be going by in a blur.

As it is already the 3rd week of July and on a daily basis I see people pinning Fall recipes, decorations and inspiration, I thought I would revisit my Summer 2017 Bucket List and see if I am making any progress.

I am actually doing pretty good and I can cross off all but 3 items.

1.  I played with sparklers, poppers, snaps and more, not with my nieces and nephew but with my grand kids who were visiting from Argentina.

NOTE: For those that asked. I do not have children of my own. I am a step-mom to my husbands son and daughter and a grandmother to two adorable little boys, aged 3 and 5. They live in Argentina with their mother and my step-son.

2. I watched the fireworks with my husband on the 4th of July.

3. I have gone on a road trip with my husband and pups and we ate a lot of BBQ, peanuts and scrumptious treats from Buttermilk Bake Shop. If you are on Instagram you can follow me and all of my foodie adventures.

4. June was very rainy here so I had the opportunity to spend not just one but two afternoons watching a few of my favorite movies.

5. I have so many fond memories of catching fireflies as a child. For many years I have not seen any in the summer but last year they reappeared and so I sit on my porch each evening and watch their magical lights zip around my yard. While I was in the mid-west with the grand kids we would watch them each evening, actually I watched them and the grands ran around the years trying to catch them.

6. Be a tourist in my own town. I actually have not done this yet but I will be soon. 

7. Visit a national park. Not yet, but soon. 

8. Go on a picnic. I was lucky enough to go on a picnic and a camp out with my grand kids, of course we were roasting make believe weenies and marshmallows but it was still fun. Even better, my grandkids love donuts and sweets so each morning we would munch on our donuts while watching the squirrels and rabbits frolic in the the yard. I can tell you that a donut tastes so much better when you are eating across from someone enjoying it so much it is all over their face. 

9. Do something I would never do. I have not done this and I am actually having a hard time thinking of something, perhaps this summer I will try surfing or yoga on my board?

10. Unplug from Social Media for the weekend. I actually was pretty successful at this while celebrating my mother in laws 90th birthday. I was able to relax and enjoy not only my own mom, but the grand kids, my mother in law and all of the people that came to celebrate. 

What about you? How is your summer shaping up so far? Have you been able to get to the beach, maybe go on a holiday, read that pile of books you have had for months? Are you finding time to relax and rest? I sure hope so because summer is short and Fall and Winter are not too far away. 

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fun Finds from Baublebar

Good morning! I discovered Baublebar this week, are you family with them? It is a line of inexpensive, stylish jewelry that will add a little color, pizzaz to your outfit!

I love their necklaces.  I think any one of them would look great with a simple t-shirt, a cashmere sweater or a dress on a night out.

As for the earrings, a pair of these interesting pieces are a statement all of their own.

Baublebar sells rings and bracelets as well. But I liked the earrings and necklaces the best.

Have a great day.

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