A Grateful Heart

Recently, I was in a bad mood.  Very irritable, and just didn’t want to be bothered with anyone.  I don’t know where it came from, but it was here and I couldn’t shake it.  I went in my room to say a prayer and then headed out to run my errands.  I thought this would be a perfect time to listen to a podcast.  I opened my Soundcloud app and started scrolling through the handful of people I follow to search for a title that spoke to me.  I came across two podcasts that really helped me shift my focus. I’ve provided links to the podcasts if you’d like to take a listen.

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Simple Lemon Vanilla Pound Cake

Pound cake is one of my favorite desserts from childhood. Whenever we’d visit one of my great aunts, she always had a pound cake ready for us in the kitchen. Nothing fancy, just a good ol’ vanilla pound cake. Sometimes, simplicity can say a whole lot.

This recipe is not my great Aunt’s, but given to me by my Aunt-in-love, and I made adjustments. It’s perfect all by itself or with vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries… oh my, I’m getting hungry. HAHA. Don’t judge me,  I’m just love dessert. 🙂

Instead of the usual cake flour, I use Unbleached Ultra Fine Pastry flour by Red Bill Mills.pastry-flour

I use it for everything I bake now.   It has a much lighter texture than all purpose flour and doesn’t have an aftertaste. Although, it can be hard to find at the grocery stores because it’s often sold out. Since I’m baking a lot more these days, I need to buy more at a time or in bulk from somewhere.

 

lemon-zest

I like to use lemon zest and mix it with the sugar. Then, cream the butter and sugar until it’s fluffy.

Here, I used vanilla extract, however, I have also used my homemade Madagacsar Vanilla and Orange Bourbon extracts. You can also use other flavored extracts and alcohols to change it up in a simple way.  When doing this, I often omit the lemon zest if it doesn’t match the flavor profile I’m looking for.

The last thing I do to lighten it up, although you don’t have to, is the addition of plain greek yogurt. The traditional pound cake can be very dense, so just a small amount will make it lighter. I’ve also used sour cream or heavy cream as opposed to greek yogurt. Whichever I have on hand is what I use.

You can see the recipe below. Are you going to try it? I hope you do.

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Peace and Love!

Yasmin

P.S. If you’d like to add a glaze on top, the one I used for the Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake would be a great option.

Lemon Vanilla Pound Cake


Credit: Yasmin  for BloomingAugust.com

Ingredients

zest of 1 lemon

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 pound of salted butter (4 sticks)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

6 large eggs

3 cups Ultra Fine Pastry Flour (or Cake Flour, or All Purpose flour)

2 tablespoons of greek yogurt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F

  1. Use a cheese grater with small holes and rub the lemon over it to remove the rind. Be careful not to remove the white part of the lemon.
  2. Place sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and mix together.
  3. In your main mixing bowl, beat the lemon sugar and butter for about 5 minutes or until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Pour in vanilla extract.
  5. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix well after each.
  6. Alternate the addition of flour and greek yogurt in 2 parts.
  7. Use your favorite non stick spray on your bundt pan.
  8. Scoop batter into the pan until pan is 3/4  full.
  9. Bake for 50-60 min. until golden brown and the cake testing stick comes out clean.
  10. Let it cool completely, and serve.

Enjoy!

 

Photoshoot Fun w/ my Brother + Baking for the Holidays

So, I’m not one to be fond of taking pictures. If you look through my cell phone there are tons of photos of food, my family, screenshots of inspiration from the web, and a bunch of randomness. Hardly any are of me. I can recall numerous times where I’ve offered to take the picture of a group to avoid being in it or hiding somewhere in the back. I don’t know why… However, with my short stint of pursing acting as a teen, I have taken professional photo a number of times for my headshots and I wasn’t as shy.
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Delicious and Moist Vegan Berry Muffins

Last year, I ventured off into vegan baking out of curiosity.  Every vegan dessert I’d tasted before did not taste good, yet I saw recipes popping up all over social media.  I love sweets, but it would be great  to enjoy a nice pastry that is lower in calories and fat. So, as an effort to create a healthier treat for myself, I went to the kitchen and began experimenting. Eventually, I got to this recipe after a few tries and I must say, it is lovely!

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Delicious and Moist Berry Muffins (Vegan)

Last year, I ventured off into vegan baking out of curiosity.  Every vegan dessert I’d tasted before did not taste good, yet I saw recipes popping up all over social media.  I love sweets, but it would be great  to enjoy a nice pastry that is lower in calories and fat. So, as an effort to create a healthier treat for myself, I went to the kitchen and began experimenting. Eventually, I got to this recipe after a few tries and I must say, it is lovely!

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Lemon Blueberry BundtCake w/ Lemon Glaze

Don’t you just love how this cake looks?!  The Heritage Bundt Pan by Nordic Ware has to be my favorite bundt pan to use.  I purchased it from Sur la Table sometime last year and use it pretty often.  It makes any cake look pretty – especially when I use it for this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake.  When I use a lot of blueberries in the batter, you can really see the berries popping through. Continue reading

6 years down, Forever to go!

On November 20, my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Time flies when you’re having fun! 🙂  In celebration, we decided to take a trip to Austin with some close friends from Dallas, Nicole and Trevez.  We had a wonderful trip and LOVED Austin. I want to go back and see more soon. The hills and neighborhoods reminded me so much of L.A., which I found it to be very comforting since we just moved from there. Continue reading

Brown Butter Cookies with Dried Cherries, Roasted Almonds and White Chocolate

I made it just in time for National Cookie Day! … although, many of you are probably reading this after December 4.  I had this on my list anyway, so I figured why not push it out early.

I can’t get enough of these cookies. The dried cherries, roasted (unsalted) almonds, and white chocolate really balance out nicely.  It’s crunchy on the outside, a little soft… these don’t last long in my house.  When I made it for the family recently, everyone ate it so fast. No leftovers what so ever. I guess they didn’t like it very much. =) Continue reading