Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cardamom Coffee Cake.

The end of summer is drawing near and I've been relying on trusted recipes to see me through these final long summer nights. The summer heat drives me away from the oven and toward simple, low or no heat cooking.  But what I miss most during the summer is baking and I won't allow the heat to deter me from my beloved stove, so I decided to bake you something.

I recently made one of my favorite treats, it's one I learned in cooking school.  It takes coffee cake to a whole new level.  Hold on to your horses, cowboys and cowgirls, this coffee cake honors the blessed spice, cardamom.  Other coffee cake recipes cry out, "We're not worthy!!! We're not worthy!!!!" and it's hard to argue with them.

Cardamom Coffee Cake
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. canola oil
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or bowl of Kitchen Aid stand-up mixer, mic the flour, salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. cardamom, ginger, brown sugar, white sugar, and canola oil.  Remove 3/4 c. of mixture, and add it to nuts and remaining cinnamon and cardamom.  Mix well and set aside.

To remaining batter, add baking soda, baking powder, egg and buttermilk. Mix to combine.

Spread the batter in a prepared 9" square baking pan.  Sprinkle with the topping and bake 40-45 minutes until done.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Honest writing.

I shared this through e-mail with friends who are writers, visual artists, sonic artists, and creators by nature, but I realized this is something I'd like my friends in cyberland to also check out. If you have followed Madame Munchies for a while, you know I think the world of Molly Wizenberg, food writer extraordinaire and the creative force behind the blog, Orangette. While the topic speaks to her own struggle to write I think the theme permeates throughout all of our journeys, escpecially for those who create. If you have some time, snuggle up with your favorite mug of tea/coffee or other beverage and soak this post in. You won't regret it.

This very topic has been of particular interest to me for quite some time - I find myself wanting to spend more time creating, whether it's writing, singing, playing the piano, making food, working on new zine ideas, knitting, etc. but have chosen to spend my free time doing other things instead (for various reasons, my friends). But I've noticed too that when I do create, my overall outlook and mood is much more positive. Reading this post also nudges me to finally read Bird by Bird. Thought this was kinda odd, considering I was discussing Anne Lamott over the weekend with some new pals at a BBQ. Coincidence?!? I think not.