Tuesday, February 11, 2014

#100happydays

100happydays.com
I came across this little gem on Facebook yesterday when a friend of mine posted it on her wall with a call for volunteers to participate with her. I'm a sucker for shit like that so I took a running leap onto that train and registered pretty much right away.

I'm on day 2 and more than a couple of people have already asked me how I can expect to be happy for 100 days in a row....well, I can't, but that's okay because I don't really have to. I just have to notice things that make me happy. Even when I'm being a ginormous, grumpy bitch...and that's a lot lately because I have first world problems and stuff.

When I notice these happy things I should take a picture of them or something that represents them and then publicly post them on my chosen social media platform (Facebook for me, but there are other options) with my designated hashtags, #100happydays and #gingercooke. I do this once a day for 100 days in a row and voila! Coolness.

Why would anyone do this? Let me count the ways: 1) I like fru-fru shit like this, 2) I like taking and posting pictures of stuff anyway, 3) Noticing things that make me happy is not a bad thing, 4) It's positive and sometimes the world needs a bit of that.

Want to see my pictures? If you go to Facebook and search for #gingercooke you will find them. Searching for #100happydays will show you other people's pictures with that tag as well. I also tag with the day if you want to get super specific though: e.g. #Day1 or #Day75.

So first, visit 100happydays.com and sign up if you are so inclined. Then come visit me and we will have so much fun together. Yay!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Walnut Glaze




Happy Thanksgiving! I did not eat turkey today...NOPE! I had a beautiful frittata and pancakes for breakfast with my mother (that I did not photograph - sorry) and then I made this incredible cake just because I wanted something pumpkinny because it's Thanksgiving and stuff. Turns out that I am the Queen of Cakes or some shit because it was deeeeelicious!


Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ingredients:
½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups of agave nectar
2 eggs, room temperature
¾ cup of buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cups of all-purpose flour (plus 1 tbsp for high altitude)
1¼ cups of white whole wheat flour (plus 1 tbsp for high altitude)
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of ground allspice
½ tsp of ground nutmeg
¼ tsp of ground mace
¼ tsp of ground cloves
¼ tsp of ground ginger

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly grease and flour or spray a bundt pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl: mix the butter and agave with a mixer until mostly smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly blended. Then mix in the buttermilk and vanilla.
Into a smaller bowl: sift the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all of the spices.
With the mixer on a low speed, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two additions, scraping the sides of the bowl between additions. Do not over mix the batter or the cake will be tough.
Fold the batter into the bundt pan and spread it evenly.
Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake will come out clean and the sides will spring back slightly from the edges of the pan.
Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Top with cream cheese walnut glaze once it is completely cooled.

Cream Cheese Walnut Glaze

Ingredients:
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp of agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract
½ tsp of almond extract
1-2 tbsp of milk, if needed for thinning
¼ tsp of raw, unsalted walnuts, chopped

Preheat a skillet over medium high and add the chopped walnuts. Stir them around the pan now and then to evenly toast them. When they start to turn golden and you can smell them, remove them from the heat and set them aside to cool. This should only take a couple of minutes so do not walk away from that pan.
Mix the cream cheese, agave, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until it is the desired texture.
Stir in the walnuts while they’re still a little warm.
Spoon over the cake when it is completely cooled.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

more pancakes!

recipe found here

Yes, it's my recipe, I just posted it elsewhere...no copywrite infringement is afoot.