Tag Archives: homemade

French Almond Cake

Standard

Hola!

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!

FrenchAlmondCake1

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

FrenchAlmondCake

It’s also beautiful, simple and elegant.

It’s a must bake!

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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!

Besos,

Flor

Source The Cafe Sucre Farine

 

Mint Sugar

Standard

Hola!

Last summer I posted about how I like to dry the mint growing in my backyard to use throughout the year for cold or hot tea. This mint sugar is awesome for sweetening your mint tea or any other drink you want a hint of mint in.

You are going to be using fresh mint for this.

This is go good and fresh tasting! You can even sprinkle it over fruit!

Mint Sugar

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup sugar
Directions
n a food processor (I used my blender), add mint leaves and sugar. Pulse until mint is finely ground and mixture is well combined.
– Makes about 1 cup
– Store in an airtight container for 1-2 days
Besos,
Flor
Recipe source Love Grows Wild

Chipotle Ketchup

Standard

Hola!

It’s getting dark so  much earlier now! 7 pm is when it is dark here right now. That just makes me want to curl up and go to bed at 7 pm but that does seem a bit early doesn’t it? The new TV season makes me want to curl up and watch TV the minute it gets dark too. I must resist! But I don’t… I’ve watched my share of TV already!

Julieta says I have the tongue of a dragon. That is when it comes to spicy food. I like some spice. It just brings some zing to the food that I can’t be without. Nobody else at my house likes anything spicy. The exception is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for Julissa. I saw this recipe for Chipotle Ketchup and I was like “Let’s get it on”!

This was soooooo good. It had that smoky flavor going on. MMM!

Chipotle Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp chipotle paste (or more to taste) ( I used the sauce from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk until smooth. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and cover until cool. Chill and store refrigerated in a covered container.

I don’t always use up a can of chipotle peppers in one recipe so I always split up the leftovers into small tiny containers and freeze them for later use.

This ketchup was the bomb! Use it on anything you would normally use tomato ketchup on like hamburgers, hot dogs, with french fries.

I had mentioned before that I had bought some shoes online…well they all came in. I am beyond excited but now realize I may have to get rid of some of my old ones. Maybe I’ll do that next summer…

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Skinnytaste

 

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Standard

Hey!

This weather here has been crazy! In the 80’s! The rain we’ve had has been nice! What do we expect in the Chicagoland area? A little bit of everything!

How many of you drink coffee every morning? I know I drink at least 2-3 cups every morning before heading out to work. I don’t do much in the mornings but make sure Julieta gets out the door and get myself ready. I am not the type of person who does laundry and cleaning before going to work. I leisurely drink my coffee and check my e-mails.

About 3 years ago I stopped putting sugar in my coffee. Why? I was trying to cut out a bit of sugar and now I am really used to non sweet coffee.  I love the pumpkin coffee and lattes at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. I don’t have them that often…they are more of a treat for me than a regular every fall day thing. When I saw the recipe for this Pumpkin Spice Syrup I went crazy! Y

Now every fall day I can enjoy pumpkin flavored coffee and The King. And yes, I realize it has sugar in it.

Homemade Pumkpin Spice Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup water
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Combine water and sugar in a microwave safe bowl and heat through (4-5 minutes).
  2. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Whisk in pumpkin puree and spices.
  4. Drain over a small sieve or cheesecloth.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Add as much or as little of the syrup to your coffee as you like! This is delicious, inexpensive and easy to make. What could be better?

Something that might be better is shoes. If you’ve read my blog for a bit you know that I have foot problems but I love shoes…that’s just the worst combination! I feel super comfy in wedges so I went on a shopping spree online! What is wrong with me? Half of the shoes I bought I can’t use until next summer but I got some great deals! I guess I am telling you this because I feel a bit guilty. The next few days will be awesome as my shoes arrive. I am super excited but feeling guilty…well, not that guilty!

Happy Friday!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source In Katrina’s Kitchen

 

 

Strawberry Shortcakes

Standard

Happy Memorial Day!

I want to Thank every service man and service woman for their unselfish giving for our country. Thank You!

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer and this start has been a bummer! The weather hasn’t been all that great this weekend. We didn’t have many plans for this weekend because we were hoping to catch up on some much-needed planting and cleaning here at home. We had plans for one day and those changed due to a family  issue. Today I am just going to catch up on some cleaning and cooking and hopefully get into my craft area again.

Who loves strawberries? I do! And with cake? Even better!

Start out with a delicious shortcake.

Then add all the sweetness…

This is the perfect summer dessert! Homemade yet super easy!

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

  • 3 baskets of fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla

Directions

Remove the stems from the strawberries. Slice into thin (1/4″ to 1/8″) slices. Put into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are to begin with) and mix into the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (which means that the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).

After the strawberries have been sitting for 20 minutes or so, take a potato masher and mash them a little. Not too much, just enough to get more juice out of them.

Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.

Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Makes about 9 biscuits.

To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dollop of whipped cream.

There is a certain freshness about this recipe that I just love! Go out and get yourself some strawberries!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source http://www.simplyrecipes.com/

 

Homemade Lotion Bars

Standard

Hola!

I hope e everyone had a great weekend! I had a wonderful weekend! I visited my son this weekend at school for just a few hours. Needless to say he couldn’t wait until I left! Our basement floor is done so I was able to put 99% of my craft room together on Saturday night! I am so excited to start crafting again. I still have about 3 bins full of “non-craft” stuff that I need to organize. For each of my children I keep rubbermaid bins that I put all of their “memories” in and I need to organize all 3 of those “non-craft” stuff into each of their rubbermaid bins. I have such a hard time throwing out stuff that they have made….I am sure I am not the only mom who has a hard time.I just hope that whenever I give each of them their bins that they keep all the stuff I have so lovingly put away for them! Yesterday we went to one of my best friends sons birthday party. We had such a great time!

I have the world’s driest, cracked fingers ever!  When my children were little  I had gone to the doctor and the dermatologist and they said I had “mommy hands”. It is supposedly from so much washing, cleaning without using gloves. I just cannot clean with gloves on! I feel like whatever I am cleaning is not being cleaned properly if my hands don’t actually touch it…weird huh? I was given prescriptions by both the doctor and the dermatologist but none of them worked. My fingers get especially cracked (to the point of bleeding) in the winter. I have bought every lotion on the market and nothing has really worked. When I saw this recipe for the home made lotion bar I thought I would give it a try. Of course I had everything on hand!

I was super excited to make these because I was able to use my vintage jello molds to mold these bars into beautiful little works of art! They are so beautiful they look like you can eat them!

This certainly did not “heal” my dry skin but it sure helped! It made my hands soft and felt so much better. I am sure you can use them all over your skin, but I haven’t done that yet.

EVERYMAN’S LOTION BAR RECIPE

1 part vegetable shortening
1 part vegetable oil
1 part beeswax

Melt the shortening and beeswax a double boiler or a little pan in a bigger pan of simmering water. Stir in the vegetable oil. Pour into cups/molds and let cool. Pop out of “mold” and it’s ready to use. The beeswax will fragrance the bars with a nice, light honey smell, or you can stir in a little essential oil before you pour it into the molds.

I used some orange oil in one batch and lavender oil in another batch. They both smell divine. I actually packaged some of these and have given them away as gifts. They were a big hit and people didn’t believe that I had made them! I don’t think I will ever go back to store bought hand lotion again!

Get crafty, people!

Besos,

Flor

Inspired by http://www.littlehouseinthesuburbs.com

 

 

Last Minute Home-Made Gift…

Standard

Hola! Buenos Dias!

Yesterday was such a great day! I was able to clean quite a bit of my house and even did groceries for Christmas Eve dinner. I even relaxed and watched TV for a bit…I could really get used to this!

In previous years I kind of felt like if I gave someone a home-made gift I would feel like a big DORK. Now I feel totally different. I am in the frame of mind that if it comes from your hands, it comes from your heart. Don’t misunderstand me, every one appreciates a gift whether it is store bought or hand-made. I am feeling more confident about my crafting skills and have found that many of my friends (not all) would prefer hand-made/home-made gifts. I did some shopping at the mall, but also made hand made gifts like cards and these awesome cookies in a jar mixes…

I layered the ingredients in a mason jar and decorated the jar. The recipient just needs to add the fresh ingredients and bake the cookies!

Super easy gift to make and super easy for the recipient to bake!

So if you need any last minute gifts to this is a great idea. You more than likely would have the ingredients on hand, just find some mason jars and stuff to decorate the jar.

I had seen the original idea on http://www.bakerella.com   but just adapted it for christmas.

Go ahead…give them your heart!

Besos,

Flor