December is such an odd month in my kitchen and in my culinary-mind. I am a college professor, so December is a wild month with the end of classes, grading papers, administering exams and then more grading.. all while celebrating Advent and Christmas gift buying and celebrating my son’s birthday and baking and gift making! I have never blogged in December, since this is my first year at this endeavor so I am a little overwhelmed about how to approach it. So much to write, so much to bake, so little time to edit, photograph, and difficult to know what you’d want to hear about.
This past week I made an Almond Cake, Spicy Vegetarian Chili, and homemade salsa- that I’ve wanted to tell you about but I have been busy teaching and grading. And then last night I made my peppermint bark and mint brownies, and some tangy balsamic vinaigrette dressing for a salad, all of which I want to share with you. This coming week I will be hosting my students in my home for a couple of end-of-the-semester-celebrations and will be baking for some of those. Asher’s birthday is Thursday and he’s already putting in his requests for his goodies: “a giant chocolate chip cookie…no, a strawberry cake (his usual choice), no, a red velvet cake, no, a pound cake, no, frozen chocolate covered bananas, no, an ice cream cake”!
So, I have a lot going on in my mind and in my kitchen that I want to pass along but am trying to figure out what and how and when. Regardless, I am thankful that there is someone out there to tell about all of these yummy endeavors and to share my mess-ups, successes and ideas.
I think for today I will give you Almond Cake
. We’ll start at the beginning of last week.
Do you like almond flavoring? I love it! I have a few friends who love it too: Sara Beth, Amy G., Amy J., Melissa B., Melissa S., Gretchen, Patsy…the list goes on and on. I think we might should consider forming an Almond Fan Club. Our club could meet monthly and we could just sit around and eat almond-y things and “ooh and ahh” over them. We could start an online group forum for local clubs around the country, the world! Okay, I am getting carried away.
Well, a new almond recipe recently entered my life and I just have to share it with you! This almond cake was brought by my friend Kelly to the flower arranging DIY class, which I hosted earlier in the fall (see post). The cake was simple and familiar, yet elegant, unique and fragrant with almond! I had to get the recipe and when I read the ingredients I realized this is really an Almond Pound Cake (meaning it has 2 sticks of butter and tons of sugar)! No wonder I like it so much.
|Almond cake and pastry filling
It also has an ingredient I didn’t even know existed! Almond cake and pastry filling. I know, crazy huh? It is in the baking section beside the Apple Pie filling at the grocery and it was available in my local Kroger, much to my surprise. It is basically ground almonds in a goopy filling. It is strange looking but has a pretty amazing effect! I can’t really imagine a pie made out of it…like substitute the cherry pie filling for almond and voila an almond pie!? I think I’ll keep it in the cake for now. However I never say never.
I emailed Kelly to get her permission to post the recipe and asked for the back-story. I love a story behind a recipe, don’t you? She said her mother has made it since Kelly was a child and they loved to eat it for breakfast! The recipe came to her mother from a Jewish friend whose family served the cake at special occasions, like when their children had their very first haircuts. How great is that? Thank you Kelly. Thank you Kelly’s mom. Thank you Kelly’s mom’s friend. Enjoy!