This has been my mantra for the last week or so, courtesy of the wise drunkard, Winston Churchill.
It’s true. If you find yourself in the middle of the storm, don’t stop, even though you might want to. KEEP GOING. It’s the only way you’ll find yourself on the other side.
I don’t want this blog to turn into a place where I constantly bitch, but I have to be honest, that’s where I’m at right now. This is not a time for rest. Everything is whirling around me at 100km an hour- life, work, and everything in between. There is no time to stop and reflect. That will come later but, for now, everything is on the move. You do the best you can, and then move on to the next task. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Hey, if this is going to be a quotey post, let’s run with it, shall we?
“… And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
Mmm, yes. Nothing like some Haruki Murakami wisdom to start off your week.
I have no doubt that, in a few months, I will not be the same person I was in January. Heck, I’m already not the same person I was in June. I look back and think of periods of time- years even- where I had a good time, but not much happened in the grand scheme of things. This is not one of those times. In the last year and a half alone I bought a house, I got a dog, I got a swift kick up the corporate ladder, I lost friends and family, I gained friends and family, I battled with my health and I started a food blog. What a wild ride.
But, I know it won’t last forever, so just ride the wave! Enjoy the good stuff, power through the bad stuff and KEEP GOING.
At least, even in the storm, life will throw you a bone every once in a while. Peeling off your business casuals and pouring a glass of good wine on a Friday evening. A pot of tea on a Saturday morning, sipped while wrapped in a woolly fall sweater. That hour before bed, when my dog curls up next to me and snuggles while I type away on my laptop. Warm puppy snuggles melt everything else away. Snippets of peace, but I’ll take what I can get.
This coffee cake is the result of one such snippet of peace. My in-laws are staying with us for a little while as their new house gets the finishing touches put on it. It’s a full house, but in the evenings, post-dinner, everyone is relaxed and happy. In lieu of the average sitcom, Colin has taken this opportunity to introduce his parents to some of his HBO favourites. Whether or not they appreciate the shows quite as much as he does… verdict is still out on that. But they’re certainly being good sports about it.
Fire’s on, lights are low, tea is made and everyone can turn their brains off as they follow the honourable Ned Stark standing up to the somewhat-less-honourable Robert Baratheon who are, at this point in the show (SPOILER), both still alive.
So, of course, since we live in an open-plan house, I decide it’s a good time to bang around in the kitchen. I’m not sure everyone appreciated that part (oops), but they all seemed to appreciate the part where heavenly smells permeated the ground floor of the house.
Apples fresh off the tree, warming pie spices, moist cake, gooey caramel sauce. I mean, come on. If that doesn’t say welcome-to-fall crowd pleaser, I don’t know what does.
Part caramel apple (hellooooo Halloween), part apple pie, this slice is pure comfort. It’s a snuggle on a chilly day. It’s like a pumpkin spice latte without the yoga pants. Or… pumpkin. You get the idea. It’s like fall threw up all over the place- in a good way.
Colin likes to throw around the phrase “happy wife, happy life.” It’s true, for the most part, but I took it one step further this rainy evening. Happy family, happy life. If I can have everyone under my roof going to bed feeling good, at least I can feel like I have one element of my life under control. For an evening, at least 😉
Phew! Now that’s an efficient use of down time. (I guess it’s not really ‘down time’ then if I’m being ‘efficient’… hmmm…)
|Caramel Apple Pie Spiced Coffee Cake|| |
- ½ cup unsalted butter + more to grease pan
- 1½ cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup flour
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Caramel Drizzle:
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x13" glass baking dish with butter.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each. Fold in the yogurt and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until fully combined. Fold in apples. Spread batter evenly across the greased baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine crumble ingredients. Sprinkle over the batter in the baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, prep the caramel sauce. Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring slowly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. This should take around 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cooled.
- Once the cake is out of the oven, drizzle caramel over the cake. Serve cake warm.