Living in a rainy climate like we do here in Oregon means lots of indoor days. I’m not used to this, and the girls aren’t used to this. We’re trained to expect a daily trek outside that ends up at the local grocery shop, random park, or the beach. Living on a student family budget also means we don’t get to cheat by stocking up on museum passes and extra-curricular activities. Luckily there’s always baking.
I had to be strict not letting the girls lick the spoons after the the final steps of this cake had been completed as it’s magical flavor comes from rum soaked oats. Although they saw it was cruel and unusual punishment, they forgave me when we moved on to prepping the frosting and I let them have at it with as many finger scoopin’ tastes they wanted.
Being pregnant, my feelings towards food change constantly and are irritatingly unpredictable. That’s why I turned to this cake for our latest bake, because cinnamon rum spiked oats and can never ever be wrong.
I most certainly did excuse a cold square of this cake for breakfast the next few days because, ca’mon, I’m not going to wait until the afternoon to taste it again, and the extra punch of sugar than I’m used to does a sleepy preg-body some good.
In other non-food related updates, we know this next offspring of ours will be a boy. Yay for teeny-weenies! I am considering calling in retirement after this one because now we’ve secured our little bub I don’t have to worry about any future “I wonder… what if…”
Andrea and her family have finished their stay in France and have taken temporary harbor in Canada, the beautiful Motherland. Speaking of which, I am trying to perfect the Nanaimo bar, and a variety of other Canadian specialty foods that Phil misses constantly. If any of you have a Canadian food requests, please send it my way as I’m in the zone right now figuring out these new wonders until thisMontreal Boy of mine give is the big approval. When that Nanaimo bar is ready, I promise to be kind and share the love here.
1½ cups gluten free flour (regular flour can be used)
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons of bourbon
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed-at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup sugar
1¼ cups brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons of cinnamon
(ca’mon, if you have it add a pinch of cardamom!)
8 ounces chopped pecans
½ teaspoon bourbon
2 tablespoons GF flour
4 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.
This first step is not only to add flavor, but it helps the nuts from all sinking to the bottom of the pan: Begin by tossing the chopped pecans with ½ teaspoon bourbon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of GF flour over the nuts and toss until coated. Set aside for later.
Place the oats and butter in a large bowl. Bring 1¼ cups water to boil. Pour boiling water over oats and butter. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and melt the butter. Add the 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes. *I’d recommend you lean over the bowl several times during this 30 minute period and take a massive whiff of the warm butter/bourbon/oat magic.
Whisk together eggs, the sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. You’ll probably have to tap your fingers here for a moment waiting for the oats to soak; or you can be diligent and clean up the mess so far like a pro would. I’ll also remind you to make sure the butter and cream cheese is sitting on the counter for the frosting later.
When the timer is up on those oats, fold all these remaining mixed ingredients in with the oatmeal, stirring until well combined.
Lastly fold in 1½ cups flour and the prepped pecans. Pour batter into greased pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool raised on a rack about 30 minutes.
For the FROSTING: Beat room temp butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Add bit by bit the powdered sugar, cinnamon, & vanilla extract until smooth.
Frost the cake and enjoy both fresh and cold from the fridge! Top with extra chopped pecans and cinnamon if you’re a gourmand like me.
What do you get when a oooey gooey and perfectly chewy chocolate brownie makes sweet passionate love to a moist and rich chocolate cake? This baby right here. Her name: Le Gateau au Chocolat Fondant de Nathalie. I am telling you right now, there is NO chocolate cake in this WORLD that is better than this one. I dare you to challenge it.
If you look at any other blog that features this cake, they say the same thing.
This cake is from its own planet and if finding this recipe is the only thing we leave with from France- well, it has all been worth it!
And get this, the original recipe can easily and unnoticably be transformed into a completely gluten free item because this cake only has a tablespoon of flour as is! Click here to Read More
Andrea did it! She survived! That’s one great big Check Mark on the list of “Things To Do Before You Die” list: Have a baby in France. Baby Ira is ridiculously handsome already, which in my opinion is a rare thing for baby boys… I mean, they can be cute as in Old Man Cute, but Ira is the real-kine legit cute with out the old man face. And they’re both doing really well.
Our family also survived…. a less impressive feat than having a baby, but a feat none the less: both our girls’ b-days, cousin Chloe’s b-day, Christmas, a trip to Flagstaff, the husband had a month off school (come on, all women know having a man around the house 24/7 is ten times the work and effort than kids are…) and this was all in just a months time. Thus the near month absence from blogworld. Eden, now 2 yrs, believes that “fêtes” are daily routine and won’t stop requesting cakes, candles and cadeaux. It’s time to tell her the truth how life really works.
Yesterday I was all ready to be a big-fat-grump and share my pessimistic thoughts on the concept of perfection. Luckily I couldn’t finish this post in time, ironically I read some similar thoughts (but in nicer words) from a favorite food blogger of mine, and then I slept on it.
Well I woke up on the right side of the bed today. Fewf! Mind you I still feel the same way, I just don’t feel as inclined to spew all my blabbering thoughts onto this space Andrea and I share. Just in case you’re curious, I’ll still give you the cliff-notes and you can let me know if you’ve ever felt the same way:
I hail from a land where achieving perfection in all walks of life is greatly stressed. It’s a combo of religious pressure and micro-cultural social pressure. Confessional: I do try for perfection in the things I’m passionate about. But I wish I didn’t. It irritates me. I almost hate letting other people see my paintings because to me, they’re never finished… there’s always something imperfect about it that “if I just spent more time on it” I could improve. But in my point of view, imperfection is better, in a way, when I’m seeing other people and the fruits of their labors. Click here to Read More
We’ve decided to raise our children with solely French in the home. But the trick is Teya, 6 yrs old, wasn’t introduced to intense French until Eden was born. Eden, on the other hand, has heard only French since the day she was born. I’ve been asked a lot WHY?! Why take it on when it’s not my mother tongue, when Teya would be starting from ground zero at 4 years old, when it’s “not useful in America” (as so many people have told me), and when it takes so much darned effort all day long???
Let’s start with the number one reason: I’m passionate about language. If granted three wishes, the first would be fluency in every language of the world. Reason enough. But I also believe Click here to Read More
Vanilla Roasted Honey Pears….. mmmmm… good discovery! Light, simple, good by itself or paired with ice cream (in our case-rice dream) or yogurt! My mom got this recipe from her friend who has a really neat blog called Cher Stuff http://www.cherilitchfield.blogspot.ca/. These were good warm out of the oven and even good cold the next day mixed into my yogurt!
It has been fun being at my parents because they have many food sensitivities too, so its like we are on the same team in the kitchen! My hubby is flying in today so we are going to have to make things a little more hearty from now on! haha. I remember the first time he came to my parents he discovered it was a good idea to eat a meal before our supper at the house! We would go get some fast food before dinner Haha. It is true, if you are not use to clean, simple foods they do not seem satisfying at all. I have experienced the same thing! Click here to Read More
Well, are you curious to what people are cooking up in the great mother land up North? Yep, I’m here in Canada and loving every minute of it. We will be here for the a little while before we make our way to France where we will start our new chapter! Besides reconnecting with my family, I think the best thing about being here so far has been sleeping in a bed! Oh my gosh, I knew it would be better than an air mattress, but my oh my it’s completely glorious. I almost want to recommend sleeping on an air mattress for a couple of months just so you have a new found love and appreciation for your bed. The first night, we a solid 15 years, the next 13, the next 12, and been averaging 10 hours ever since. Back home in Hawaii I was sleeping a broken up sleep of 6 or 7 hours. I have a new philosophy…you spend half of your life in your bed, make it a good experience- invest in a good bed and nice bedroom! Not only do you spend half of your life in your bed but that time effects the time you are out of your bed. Bad bed equals back aches, poor quality of sleep, drowsiness in the day, an unsharp mind etc etc. Good bed equals a better quality of life- I am convinced! Or maybe I am just getting old and whimpy…what do you think? Click here to Read More
While visiting my family on the mainland for the Summer, I find myself badly missing my friends and life in Hawaii. I miss walking everywhere I need to go, I miss the salt in my hair, I miss seeing Andrea and her cute little Tama often… and I miss the food. It’s true certain foods and produce are not as wonderful in Hawaii (like tomatoes which are pink and hard and shouldn’t even be called tomatoes) but other foods are pure bliss. We never had a day without eating at least one mango and one papaya for the afternoon gouter. Curry from Fiji and Pakistan were a weekly affair. All sorts of fish fresh from the pacific ocean were softly seasoned and sauteed before being presented at dinner… or skip the saute and enjoy the worlds freshest sushi!
Utah has a completely different food culture. Not in a bad way, it’s just different. Mexican and Texmex flavors dominate the scene (a good Mexican place is hard to come by on Oahu) and the fish will never be as fresh. Often when I’m missing our life in the Aloha State, I do the obvious and turn to food to bring back the flavors and memories I love so much. Click here to Read More
Inspired by my mother in law who hands me a large jar of vanilla wafer cookies, with a request to make something yummy for a family gathering- tonight. I love a task like this. It feels like a challenge on chopped-use ‘this’ ingredient and you have X amount of time-go!
Hmmm… the night before there was a lot of talk about trifle, so I thought that would be an easy pleaser, but somehow I ended up with this concoction of layers. Starting with a baked vanilla wafer cookie crust with crushed pecans and brown sugar, followed by a cinnamon cream cheese layer, topped with loads of fresh sliced bananas between another layer of vanilla hazelnut pudding, a drizzle of caramel and finished off with a cloud of whipped cream! Click here to Read More
Tawny, this one is for you seeing how you are enjoying the beautiful addition of brandy in your sauces and recipes these days! If you have any left over make this for your hubby! Shem basically ate the whole pan in one sitting- I mean ‘Riggins’. Hah.
Peaches, apricots, and nectarines are tasting so good these days! It is the season! I can not wait to go visit my parents next month. The Okanagan peaches from B.C are the size of baseballs and full of so much juice you have to eat them leaning forward to entire time. Oh my gosh they are incredible! But peaches everywhere are great right now so take advantage! Click here to Read More
We are Andrea and Tawny, friends who met on The North Shore of Hawaii that share the same story. We’re both moms to discerning youngins, ‘nuff said. We have ravenous husbands with no limits to what they’ll ingest. Add to that our own food sensitivities (gluten & dairy) and we have a challenge in front of us. To expand our abilities in the kitchen we studied with a diverse group of women –ranging from the South Pacific to Europe– where we shared meals & methods from their homelands. Recently we’ve been pulled apart by our husbands’ masters degrees, having to leave Hawaii for Oregon and France, but this blog keeps us connected! We love to share, most especially food, so please enjoy the spectacle as we document our travels and recreate recipes: some from our childhoods, some Hawaiian fare, and many from far far away!