Happiness Project#89: Apple Cinnamon Cake!

applecinbg1It’s amazing to me how quickly this year flew by! Just 4 months ago I celebrated my 1 year cancer-free anniversary, and now it’s the end of November! Which means not only my favorite time of the year, because of massive baking sprees, but also new beginnings for my little family of three. A new beginning, taking us from the Bay Area, where we’ve lived for over 15 years together, to just a short hop, skip, and a jump away to Santa Cruz!

My husband is a surfer, and since we are a total beach family, we finally decided this year to follow one of our dreams, and travel over the hill to a beautiful, very family oriented neighborhood community, located less than 10 minutes from my husband’s favorite beach.  Although leaving the SJ area where I’ve grown up, leaves me a bit sad, I’m beyond excited about beginning my new adventure as a wife, mom, and pastry chef within a lovely new beach community! And becoming home owners for the 1st time is super exciting, too! Once we’re more settled in, I’ll post a couple photos of our new house!

However, because of the chaos of packing and moving, I haven’t had much time to bake or blog new recipes. Until Thanksgiving last week, when I FINALLY created THIS Apple Cinnamon Loaf Cake! I’ve had this recipe sitting on stand-by for months, and I’m not going to lie, it was well worth the wait! Super easy to create, particularly if you’re a family with little kiddos who like to help out too.  And it’s heavenly aroma of sweet apples and warm cinnamon? A-MAZING.

Here you go!

For the Cake:

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole milk

For the Apple Filling:

2 Gala Apples, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Firstly, prep your apples by peeling, and then chopping them up into small squares. In a small bowl, combine the apple filling together: the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, until throughly coated. Set aside.

Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Butter, and then lightly flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Now cream together the butter, and the sugar in a bowl on a stand mixer, or by hand held, until nice and fluffy.

Add in the eggs, and then the vanilla extract, until fully combined.

Now slowly add in half of the flour mixture, followed with half of the milk, until both are gently combined. Add in the rest of the flour, followed again with the milk. Beat together until just incorporated.

In your prepared loaf pan, scoop in half of the cake mixture. Drop in half of the coated apples on top of the cake mixture. Scoop out the rest of the cake flour on top of the apples, and then add on the remaining apples. With a knife or small spoon, swirl the entire cake mix together.

Pop that pan into the oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once the cake is slightly domed with a nice light brown crust,  remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack. Once you’re ready to serve, invert the loaf cake from the pan, and drizzle with powdered sugar or a simple sugar glaze.

This little cake is so darn yummy that it’s highly possible that the entire loaf will be GONE in one sitting! Which is truly the BEST feeling to have as a baker, right?

I hope that you and yours have been having a wonderful year thus far! xoxo

 

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One year later…

1yearCfree

This is it. This month, last year, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Resulting in the following 6 months of (very brutal) chemotherapy. Chemotherapy which nearly killed me. Where I was so sick, that I eventually spiraled far, far down into the deepest depths of my own personal Hell. A Hell, in which I honestly was not sure that I would ever escape from.

But thanks to the mercy of God, the radiance of my then 3 year old daughter, and the daily support of my Mom, I fought my way out. And survived. And am here, currently in remission, one year later, living each day within the sheltering grace of this miracle. This 2nd chance at life. A 2nd chance which has changed nearly every aspect of who I am, as a wife, mother, and woman.

And so, in celebration of this 1 year remembrance, I’d like to share some of the most important things that I have learned within this past year. Things that I once took for granted, in so many various ways.

Firstly, being who I am as a Mother. Like most mothers, particulary mothers of younger children, before my cancer diagnosis, I struggled every day with the feeling of not being good enough. Where because of my depression and social anxiety, I wasn’t doing nearly as much as I should have been doing for & with my little girl. Where I foolishly believed that my daughter would be less happy because of not doing the many things & activities that I had seen so many other mothers of 3 year olds doing.  A feeling of inadequaetcy which became completely debilitating while I was undergoing those 6 hellish months of chemotherapy, when I could barely walk, more of less move from bed. It wasn’t until I had survived those 1st four months, when I truly understood what my mom & oldest sister kept reminding me. This being that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t able to take my daughter to the playground anymore, or be on the floor actively playing games with her, or hold her in my arms throughout the night. Because at the end of the day, no matter the many things that I wasn’t able to do, the one thing that mattered more than anything else to HER was that I showed that I loved her. Through a kiss, or hug, or held hand. It was that simple, through those simple actions of affection, to give her what she wanted, and needed, most. Because to her, then, as well as today, I AM enough for her. My love will ALWAYS be enough.

Another thing that I’ve learned most deeply, from then to now, is that every day is a reason to celebrate. Every day that I rise, with my family of 6 snuggled up besides me in our big bed, and every night when I rest my head, is a miracle in and of itself. Where the many moments within each hour, make up the whole of my life. The completion of my heart. Without the guarantee of another tomorrow. Since I now know, perhaps more so than most, how nothing is guaranteed in this life, and that everything (be it good or bad) is fleeting. And everything (EVERYTHING) is a blessing granted. Being able to tinker away in my kitchen, creating a new cake. Jumping in my car, by myself, and drive wherever is needed. Reading a full book again, without becoming completely overwhelmed. Doing the dishes, and mopping  the floor, and folding the laundry, all on my own. Taking my daughter to her favorite playground, where we’ll run around playing hide & seek, and climb rocks together. Being ACTIVE. All miracles to me, in their own little yet incredibly special ways. All blessings, to be cherished, and remembered.

All because God granted me this 2nd chance of life. A 2nd chance that I will strive my hardest to celebrate. Every new day. Every new moment. Because this life, be it busy or slow, is worth rejoicing in.

So tonight, as I push “publish” on this post, one year after my life was flipped upside down, and torn apart, I hope that no matter what you may be experiencing in life, you’ll always be able to breathe your way through it. And celebrate it for the miracle that it is.

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Happiness Project#88: Watermelon Pops!

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Every morning, I wake up breathing in the essence of life. Cherishing every new dawn, and every coinciding nightfall. Because this time of mine is precious. And not a certainty. It’s hard, if not nearly impossible, to go about my day without acknowledging the threat of possible re-lapse, that sits quietly (far) back within my […]

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“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful, than the belief that she IS beautiful.” Let’s talk. Let’s talk about the idea of what “beauty” is, and how we, as people,  particularly as women and girls, become “beautiful.” Societies all over the world, show beauty in different ways. From what I’ve studied, women in Africa show beauty […]

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Freedom!

“Look, Mommy! I’m the tallest!” It’s been a couple of months since I’ve posted anything. Not because I haven’t had the time (because I do have the time), but mostly because I’ve been reevaluating most, if not all, of my priorities in this 2nd chance of life. Last year, with the cancer diagnosis, and the […]

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Happiness Project#85: Minestrone Soup!

I can’t believe that it’s already 2017. Because of how grueling chemotherapy has been these past 6 months, I honestly never thought I’d make it to the new year. But, thanks be, I did it. I survived 6 months of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad endless days, and endless nights of fear, anxiety and […]

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