My baby (I mean, my blog) is one year old already! I really cannot believe that it's been a whole year since I started my blog. Time really flies. I remember not having any idea of how to start and what to post... I started visiting blogs that I'd seen from before starting my own blog. Slowly, ideas began coming to me. I've learned so much through blogging!
I've found that I have grown tremendously as a person in this past year. I have found an outlet for something that I truly love. I am able to express myself in a completely unique way via blogging. I love cooking, baking and sharing. This blog has been a perfect vehicle for all of those things. In addition, I've learned a little bit about recipe writing and photography (OK, very little).
I am also thankful for all of the amazing souls I have "met" virtually through blogging. Dear friends who didn't know I existed a year ago have been so kind, sweet, encouraging, and supportive in good times and during rough patches. I am truly grateful for each and every interaction we've had and look forward to deepening friendships and new friendships in the coming year.
As always, I am open to any comments/suggestions as to how you think this blog could be improved or for any specific post requests. Once again, thank you all and let's get the party started!
I thought it would be best to celebrate with the fruits of the season. So, I made an apple cake to share with you all. This cake (adapted from my King Arthur Flour baking book) is perfect for snacking or can easily be dressed up for a simple, elegant dessert. Sweet apples are complemented by raisins, dried cranberries, and spices. The result is sheer bliss without much effort on your part!
Apple Cake (yields 16 pieces):
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1/4 cup (for mildly sweet; can increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter)
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/8 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
Allspice - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
Softened butter - 4 tbsp
Crystallized ginger or fresh ginger (optional) - 1 1/2 tbsp, minced finely
Apples - 2 cups, peeled and chopped
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Dried cranberries - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with greased parchment paper or grease and flour the pan.
2. Whisk the dry ingredients (flours, salt, sugars, baking soda, and spices) together. Cut the butter into pieces and add it along with the apples, ginger, raisins, cranberries, and the egg. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Note: The batter may seem a bit thick, but it's ok!
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top and bake at 325 F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, slice, and serve!
We had ours plain (mine with whipped cream) with tea or coffee. So moist and flavorful with spices. Juicy bursts of raisins and cranberries throughout made it the perfect cake for the season! I think that a cream cheese frosting would be delicious on it, too. This is one that I will definitely be making again. Hope you enjoyed my celebration and here's to another wonderful year of blogging!
Update: I'm sending this in to JZ's Santa's Holiday Challenge event.