June 16, 2016

Apricot Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Another week of pregnancy gone by, another cake. At least we finally got around to getting everything set up for the baby's arrival? Easier said than done with a hyperactive toddler around (especially one who very much wants to make sure he's getting lots of attention before he has to compete for Mom and Dad).

I had some apricots sitting around that my kid rejected. I can't blame him - I swear they always look better than they taste. They were almost inedibly sour, but the magic of apricots is that they turn into pure sweetness when baked. So I really had no choice but to make a cake, right?

Sprouted Kitchen's "Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake" popped into my head. I'd meant to make it last summer but never got around to it (also, berries never last long in this house). So I adapted it to fit what I had around and wanted to use, and came up with a not-too-sweet, nubbly-textured cake perfect for accompanying a cup of tea or coffee, or being served as a breakfast treat.

I will note that you definitely *can* taste the banana in this. I think next time I'd either replace it with an actual fat (probably flavorless oil, or maybe yogurt?) OR I'd accent the banana flavor more by leaving out the fruit, and subbing in either a caramel ribbon, chocolate chips, or perhaps just a few handfuls of chopped pecans. The original recipe never specified pan size. I didn't have a springform pan and so I used a 10" pan, which I thought made this just the right thickness, but use whatever you like (just adjust cooking time accordingly). Just make sure if the pan is smaller that it's fairly deep (ie thicker than regular 8" or 9" cake pans).

Apricot Buttermilk Coffee Cake:

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dashes of cinnamon and ginger, to taste
2 cups diced fresh apricots

1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup old-fashioned or quick oats
1/4 cup spelt or other whole-grain flour
1/4 c. almond meal
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/4 cup pecans
ground mace (several dashes)
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 10" deep pan with parchment or foil, and grease the bottom and sides.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, mashed bananas, and melted butter. Add the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add one cup of the apricots to the dry mix and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir to combine in as few strokes as possible. Be careful not to overmix!

In another bowl, make the crumble. Mix the softened butter, oats, flours, sugar, spices, and salt together. I found it easiest to rub everything together with my fingers until pea-sized clumps formed.

Pour the batter into the pan and scatter the rest of the apricot pieces evenly on top. Sprinkle the crumble over all. Bake on the middle rack for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Try not to overbake as the cake is low in fat and may come out very dry if you do. Cool on a wire rack, serve warm or at room-temp.

June 7, 2016

Shop Update

I just wanted to share some of my newest printables with you! I've recently added these to my Etsy store. Click on the pics to go to specific listing if you're interested.

This first piece was inspired by memories of summer road trips and travels abroad. Is there anything better than exploring a new place or foreign clime for the first time? This is available in several different font styles.

This is actually a printable that I revamped. I made the outlines around Ursa Major and Ursa Minor - the mama bear and baby bear constellations - more angular, so they'd look more geometric and fresh. For more colors, see here.

Simple and classic. L-O-V-E with the "O" replaced by a heart, all in script on a crimson watercolor background. Again, multiple colors available!

The next three pics are also updated pieces. For the ship captain's wheel shown here and anchor & stars featured below, I added halftone drop shadow details and vintage texture on top. Summer always makes me want to decorate in nautical themes and watery blues!

This anchor & stars is one of the oldest Americana symbols. Also available in white on navy blue.

Inspired by wedding season, I created this piece to commemorate the blending of two people into one family. The tree is a mighty oak, symbolizing fidelity, loyalty, and strength. Also available in non-script fonts.

I can customize any printable in my store to match your color scheme, just ask! I'm also currently offering prints again, just select one of these listings to turn any printable into an actual print!

June 1, 2016

DIY Spring/Summer Tulip Wreath

Just wanted to pop in and share this easy DIY tulip wreath I made using faux blooms from Michael's! I used 8 pink tulips and 5 white ones.

First, select a wreath form. I used a bent wire one for mine but grapevine would work too. Next, cut your flower stems to about 6 - 8 inches and strip off the leaves. This gives you enough to bend around the form to support the bloom, without having tons of extra that will bulk up the form. 

Arrange and stagger your stems around the form, wrapping with florist or other strong wire as you go. I finished with some white grosgrain ribbon wrapped so as to hide the wire, then glued at the beginning and end with Tacky Glue to secure it (the glued parts are hidden behind the bow at the bottom).

I used the discarded leaves to make a bow, bending them in half to form the loops (3 per side). I cinched the loop ends together and wrapped a thinner strip cut from a leaf around them to gather them together. I secured the middle strip with more glue, then glued two more thinner strips with notches cut into the ends hanging down as the bow's "ribbon" ends. When the bow was dried, I glued it to the wreath frame.

That's it! Simple and easy. You could substitute whatever flowers you like - peonies, roses, forsythia, wisteria, or poppies (one of my other favorite flowers!). Use lots of blooms or just a few, all one color or a mix of everything - the possibilities are endless!

May 21, 2016

Rhubarb Breakfast Cake

Since I'm still nesting (aka baking) in anticipation of Baby No. 2, here's another rhubarb recipe for the archives! While this is technically a spin on Elizabeth Bard's "Rhubarb Yogurt Cake", I've taken to calling my version "Rhubarb Breakfast Cake". It has a decent amount of sugar and uses butter instead of oil, BUT it has whole grain flour and yogurt in it as well. So, I'm running with the healthy-ish aspects and encouraging you to serve this for breakfast or brunch (although it's also fantastic for teatime or an afternoon snack). I've made it three times in the past 2 weeks, both for us and as a hostess gift, so (imho) it's a winner. The nubbly-ness of the whole grains and the tartness of the rhubarb are irresistible.


1 c. plain yogurt, stirred to combine if any whey has separated (full-fat recommended)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 pinch of good sea salt (I'm currently into Sea Change, harvested here in Maine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled to room temp
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. whole grain flour - I really like using spelt or a mix of spelt and whole wheat
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon to taste
1 c. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and tossed with a good sprinkle of sugar to macerate for 10 mins.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter or oil a 10" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or foil.

2. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, salt, and extract and whisk until well-mixed. Add in the butter, mix well. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine well after each addition.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a smaller bowl or on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Add to the batter, stirring just til combined (be careful not to overmix).

4. Pour into cake pan, and evenly sprinkle the rhubarb mixture on top (it will sink to the bottom as it bakes, and that's okay!).

5. Bake for about 35 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine have been done after 40 minutes).

6. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack. This part can be a bit tricky since it's a large cake. Just go slowly!

7. Because of the moist rhubarb, I preferred to store slices in a Tupperware in the fridge (or cover the top with foil and refrigerate), rather than risking spoilage at room temperature.

May 12, 2016

Angel Food Cake with Lemon Yogurt Cream and Fruit Recipe

Inspired by Martha Stewart's Rhubarb Tart with Lemon-Yogurt Mousse, I whipped up a faster, easier version for Mother's Day.

The Greek yogurt adds a really nice tang to this and, combined with the bright lemon notes, reins in the sweetness of the angel food cake without taking away from the decadence of the cream. Everyone was raving about the combination!


1 boxed angel food cake mix
1 lemon, preferably organic
1 container CoolWhip or 1 pint heavy/whipping cream
1 container Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
confectioner's sugar
fruit of choice

Make your angel food cake, following the directions on the box. Angel food cake is one of the few things I will *NOT* make from scratch. I tried once and the whole thing plopped out of the pan like a big, old, wet fart shortly after I turned it upside down, and I laughed so hard I cried for the next five minutes. (A shocker for my family members, who assumed I'd be really upset since it was a birthday cake for someone.) The box mix is just easier, foolproof, and delicious!

Once your cake is cool and you're almost ready to serve dessert, get out your CoolWhip or whip your cream. Combine in a large bowl with the yogurt. I used about a 2 parts CoolWhip/cream to 1 part Greek yogurt ratio, but feel free to change this to suit your own taste. Wash your lemon and zest about half of it into the bowl (you won't need the juice). Add a few tablespoons of confectioner's sugar. I used about 2 I think, but again, use as much or as little as you like. Whisk together til thoroughly combined and set aside.

Prep your fruit. Here I used fresh raspberries, but on Mother's Day I stewed strawberries and rhubarb together (adding about a 1/4 c. sugar and some lemon juice) until softened and let the mixture cool slightly.

Slice your cake, top with as much of the lemon yogurt cream as you like, and spoon your fruit on top. That's it! Simple yet delicious.

May 9, 2016

Tulips and Cherry Blossoms

Everything's finally blossoming around here, couldn't resist posting some tulip and cherry blossom snaps! I hope you enjoy them.

Hope all my fellow mamas out there had a wonderful Mother's Day as well!

May 2, 2016

Free Printable Mother's Day Card!

Just popping in to share this free, printable Mother's Day card I made. It says "Mom, you sure can't be 'beet'!" in white over a drawing of a freshly-harvested beetroot.

To print, simply download here (don't worry, it won't have the watermark on it), print it out sized at 8 x 10 - make sure you don't scale it, then cut it out (I made the extra paper area a light gray so you can see where to cut), fold in half, and customize inside with your own message of appreciation for your mom.

If you like it, please share and send it this post to your friends and fam!

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