Thursday, July 18, 2013

Current Favorites...and Blueberry Cake Recipe!

In the melting heat (and it's not as bad in Maine as in Boston), I find plenty to complain about--trust me on that.  But it's important for me to remember that there are lots of good things going on too--favorites of July 2013.  These include:

These Granola Bars, which are worth the hassle of stirring a ball of date paste into a bowl full of oats.  Few ingredients, no cooking, and delicious.  Sam is finding that he can't live without them.  Always good to see the kid/s loving non-processed snacks.

Discovering that one of the little trees in the back yard is a cherry tree!  (Sadly, the squirrels got most this year.)

Library books, library books, and more library books.  For all of us.  Anya is the one taking off with reading voraciously this year.  

Riesling just as the sun shifts and the afternoon/evening starts to cool.

Sam's newly green room:

On the green theme: season's first pesto!!!

Farmers' Market on Thursdays.  And Anya's insistence on buying bread and flowers as well as veggies.  Good call, Anya.

Mistress Anya's fortune telling:

Reading School of Fear with the kids.  Yeah, I know, we could be reading something more enlightening.  But this is fun!  At least I've got the boy reading Fahrenheit 451, and that's something, right? 

The bookshelf porn website that I found via Nancy.  Ah, dreams... I will admit, though, that the books/bookshelves-as-art-pieces appeal to me less than the pictures of stacks.  I guess I think function leads to a deeper aesthetic in this case.  

To round out, I will share of one of my favorite summertime recipes that I need to make soon.  This is a cake that can move into fall (any time of year, really), but always seems best in summer.  It's one of the many cakes from my childhood and youth.  Tasty, but not too sweet.  Easily doubled if you want a larger cake.

Blueberry Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Grease and flour an 8x8 inch cake pan (9x13 if you double the recipe)

Mix together in a large bowl:
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 1/3 cups flour (cake flour is good)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk 

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla 
and mix a little more

Fold in 1 cup blueberries.  
(note: these should be the wild, small blueberries, not the big ones!  They are fresh in Maine in mid to late summer, and you can find them in the freezer section--frozen works fine).  

Pour and spread batter in pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until top is springy (or toothpick comes out clean), and edges start to pull from the sides.  You can also smell when it's just about done, if you have a nose trained to that.  I tend to check a couple of times before it's supposed to be done, just in case, but that's just me.  

Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top, and voila!  Delicious dessert without much fuss.  

What are you loving these days?

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