Tag Archives: baking

French Almond Cake



Hows’s it going? Wherever you are I hope the weather is beautiful. We are almost to spring and I can’t wait for warm weather, and we haven’t even had bad weather.

We are chugging along in this  part of the world. Working, cooking, eating, crafting. It’s almost time for spring break and I am so looking forward to it. I don’t have any plans but I will be happy to not be on a schedule for a week.

I have finally started doing Zumba again and I am so happy. I do  need to look for new shoes. Maybe cross trainers. Any good suggestions? My foot is doing great since my surgery back n December. I am hoping to get surgery on my right foot this summer so that I can become totally pain-free or as pain-free as I can get! . It’s nice to be a little active. Once the weather is warmer I am also going to try to get back to walking.

I have  baked one of the most delicious cakes I have ever baked. Just hearing the word “French” lets me know that whatever it is it’s marvelous!


It’s sweet but not too sweet. The density is amazing-a bit dense but still light and fluffy.


It’s also beautiful, simple and elegant.

It’s a must bake!


  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour  (almond meal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  • ½ cups sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a small skillet and toast ever so lightly. Watch them closely and stir very often because they will burn quickly if not attended to! Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
  6. Add the oil and stir well. Don’t worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
  8. While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy!

I just loved this dessert and so did everyone else.  I think it’s going to become a family favorite that I will make over and over again.

Have a great weekend!



Source The Cafe Sucre Farine



Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies and a Reading Adventure



How’s your week going? So far so good here by me. Maybe it’s because of cookies. Cookies make things so much better! Are you upset? Have a cookie! Are you hungry? Have a cookie! Cookies solve all sorts of issues!

These cookies were awesome!

Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies


  • – 1 ½ cups of flour
  • – 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • – ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt (or regular salt)
  • – ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • – ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • – ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • – ½ cup of sugar
  • – ¼ cup of powdered sugar
  • – 2 large egg yolks
  • – 1 large egg
  • – 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • – 6 oz of dark chocolate (72% cacao), roughly chopped
  • – Maldon (or other) flaky sea salt ( I used coarse sea salt)


Heat  oven to 375º.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, fine sea salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg yolks, egg and vanilla, and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle a little Maldon sea salt on top of each one. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let them cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies were really good! So make a batch of these cookies and it might just make you have a great day!

The last book I read was in September or October. Actually I had read this book about 8 years ago but it was so good I had to read it again!

In this book, the main Character is named Dolores Price. Dolores tells the story of her struggle to adulthood through obesity, marriage, mental illness and other issues that hindered her. If you have not read this book run to your local library and check it out! It is amazing!



Rccipe Source Egg me on

Papaya Bars



I love short weeks..it’s hump day already. Yes!

Yesterday my husband and I did something  we have never done in all the years we’ve been together…we went out. Not to run errands at the store, not to see my parents, not to the library. We actually went out for drinks …during the week. I don’t know about any of you but that is just something we usually do on a Friday or Saturday night. When the kids were young we didn’t go much anywhere during the work/school week so we can devote ourselves to our kids. We hardly went out on the weekends unless it was something for our kids. Now that they are older we are going wild! Just kidding! I had a Groupon that was about to expire and trust me, I wasn’t going to lose on that deal. It was a nice night out and a nice departure from our regular weekday routine.

Who likes papaya? Raise your hand! I love tropical fruits. I feel like that is what summer is all about (kind of!). Sometimes I will buy fruit and of course no one will want to eat it so what do I do? I bake with it.  These bars tasted like summer!

These bars were so good and of course no fruit was wasted!

Papaya Bars



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced


  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • *3/4 cup papaya puree
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons good honey

Powdered sugar (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by buttering it, placing a piece of parchment on the bottom of the dish and then flouring it. Set aside.

2. To the jar of a food processor, add the flour, salt and dark brown sugar. Pulse until combined. Add the cubes of butter and then pulse once more until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few larger chunks throughout. Transfer the butter and flour mixture to the prepared baking dish and press firmly so the layer is even. Place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, and until the edges are set.

3. Meanwhile, let’s make the filling! To medium bowl, add the sugar, flour and salt, and mix. Whisk in the papaya puree, eggs, lemon juice and honey. The filling should appear glossy and smooth.

4. Pour the filling over the hot crust and transfer back to the oven for a remaining 20-25 minutes. You’ll know the papaya bars are done when the filling appears set. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.

5. Run a sharp knife along the sides and gently lift the parchment

These bars were even better after hanging out in the fridge for 1-2 days. The papaya flavor was a bit more intensified than right after cooling.

Recipe adapted from acozykitchen

Coca Cola Cupcakes and a Reading Adventure


Happy Friday!

It’s been a suuuuper quiet week! I don’t really have a car since I let me daughter use it for her to get to her two jobs so I am kind of home bound! If I get a minute with my car I run to the store even if it’s just to pick up one thing! The sacrifices we make for our children…

Any way…I would never have thought of using Coca Cola in a recipe. Sure I’ve used 7Up and Crush in recipes, but I kind of felt like Coca Cola didn’t go with anything. Boy, was I wrong!

How beautiful are these babies!

I have pretty much given up pop-I only have it about once every 2-3 weeks now. There are so many negative things said about the sweet delicious liquid but it is so good! The best Coca Cola I have ever had has been the one made in Mexico in the glass bottle. Add some peanuts to a bottle and you have an even more delicious concoction. The babies of the supposed engine cleaning liquid and some basic baking supplies were super moist!

Coca Cola Cupcakes

2 cups Coca-cola (do not use diet!)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray the inside of the cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, heat the Coca-cola, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy–do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners/tin and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

As for frosting I used a simple buttercream frosting. Feel free to use any frosting you would like. Either way these cupcakes will get eaten.

Given the fact that I don’t really have a car right now I have been doing some reading. I just finished a book called Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. This book was really good.

It’s based in the 1930’s and  1940’s when there was still segregation. It’s a mix of the past and the present. It’s a love story between a man and a woman who according to many people were not supposed to be together because of the color of their skin. It’s also about the odd friendship between and elderly woman and a younger woman. This book brought me to tears.

I guess not having a car has actually been kind of good for me! Maybe I will read a million books this summer, OK, No I am exaggerating. I should be happy to read a few.



Recipe source http://acozykitchen.com/

Wilton Tent Sale & Kane County



Happy Monday! I wish every weekend was like this weekend except I would add one night of dancing to it!

Every year I look forward to two great things I do with my best friend…the Wilton Tent Sale and Kane County Flea Market.

We went to the tent sale on Saturday and I could not contain the excitement! There are just so many things from scrapbooking items to baking stuff! When we are close we can see the big tent from the express way and I just get giddy! To get a cart you need to stand by the exit and hope that people will give you their cart.

There was no line to get in to the sale and for check out we only waited like five minutes. I am definitely not a professional baker, I really enjoy baking. It’s a big stress reliever. The other stress reliver is buying everything at the tent sale for about 30-50 % off. You have to be careful because you can get your heel cut off with all the carts under the tent. We went to lunch afterwards just like we do every year. Thanks, bestie for a great time!

Going to Kane County Flea Market on Sunday was kind of a last minute decision. My best friend couldn’t go so I settled for my husband! We didn’t have any kids with us so it was nice to look around without arguing with any of them.

I really enjoy looking for treasures! I did get some awesome ones! Th little bowls were only $7.50 for a set of twelve! I wanted to jump for joy when I saw them but my husband would’t have been too happy. The wool thread and the sheet music will be used for card making and scrap booking after my son checks the sheet music to make sure it’s not something that shouldn’t be cut up. The e big spools with thread will probably be used to roll lace up on.The crates are awesome! At one stand my husband got two of them for $8.00. The other one was $8.00 all by itself. I can’t wait to do something with them! I do have one idea from Pinterest that I want to use them for.

I didn’t realize that the sun was so strong…I am all red but it was worth it I think!

If I had a bigger house I would fill it up with treasures!

Have a great start to your week!