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Tag Archives: 30 before 31
This past weekend I finally crossed of #8 on my 30 before 31 list! I completed my 12th recipe from cookbooks I already owned. It actually turned out to be a more difficult challenge than I’d anticipated: I am much more inclined to check out what is in my pantry then bake accordingly than I am to go buy all of the ingredients and then have a set bake day. Regardless, I did it, going out on one of my favorite recipes of this whole thing, a quick and easy Apple Pecan Cake.
- I made a couple of changes to the basic recipe to really bring this cake home. First of all, I used brown sugar instead of white for that rich molasses-y taste that pairs so well with apples. Next I cut out the allspice (since I don’t really care for it) and doubled the cinnamon. I also added a tablespoon of vanilla extract, I don’t know that it made much of a difference, but…..it’s what I did.
- The mix was a bit unusual, so much apple! You couldn’t really pour it into the plan, you had to plop it out in chunks and press it as level as a possible so that it can bake evenly.
- I bake pretty regularly, but this recipe got the most enthusiastic response out of Andy that I’ve seen in a while. He ate four pieces the day I baked it. Clearly I need to add this to my regular rotation.
I am putting in a little extra effort these days to get as many items crossed off as I can, although there will be a couple that I know I won’t be achieving. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
In pursuit of getting one step closer to crossing off #8 off of my 30 before 31, I pulled out a cookbook I received for Christmas from my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It’s chock full of chocolaty perfection, and I was eager to make something Andy and I could quickly grab as a snack in between running errands and our household chores.
After perusing the book for a few minutes, I landed on this tea bread. It was pretty simple to whip up, and I thought with a couple of tweaks it would be pretty perfect for us.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup craisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- zest of one orange
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each. If the mixture starts to curdle beat in 1-2 tablespoons of the four.
- Mix in the chocolate, the crasins, the pecans, the vanilla and the orange zest. Sift the flour and gently fold into the mixture.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and create a small well down in the center with the back of a spoon.
- Place loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
- Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes then carefully turn our to finish cooling.
- Serve in thin slices.
- At first glance, it looks like I changed a lot of this recipe, and to a certain extent ,that is true. I replaced three of the ingredients because of Andy’s food allergies and my absolute disdain of raisins, but I tried to stay close to the original recipe by swapping them for items that wouldn’t alter the integrity. There was still chocolate, dehydrated fruit, and nuts, so I think it all came out pretty true in the end.
- I left my bread in the full hour, and it came out a little drier than I like, which isn’t a problem if you are actually serving this with tea, but I think next time I’ll cut 5-10 minutes off the cook time.
It’s resolution time, people. I am now in the first bright and shiny year of my thirties, and boy howdy, do I have plans. Here, for your reading pleasure, is my list of 30 things I would like to accomplish before I turn 31.
Go somewhere I’ve never been.
- Take 1 class a month.
Intuitive Painting – May
Intuitive Painting – June
Sea Glass Painting – August
Intuitive Painting – August
Glass Fusing – January
- Visit the west coast.
30 days of minimalism challenge. Have high tea in another state. Have a girls only mini vacation. Try 10 new restaurants.
Salt Water Seafood Co
Liberty Bar & Restaurant
Brick & Spoon
Green Truck Pub
Southern Public House
Make 12 recipes from cookbooks I already own.
Chocolate Toffee Coffee Cake
Orange Spice Cookies
Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake
Blood Orange Tiramisu
English Chocolate Tea Bread
Dark Chocolate Fudge
A Very Vanilla Sprinkle Cake
Cinnamon Streusel Cider Muffins
Dolly’s Doughnut Cake
Cranberry Maple Muffins
Irish Tea Bread
Apple Pecan Cake
Make 5 projects off of my Pinterest “Craft” board
Jingle Bell Wreath
- Finally, finally, FINALLY open my Etsy shop.
- Go to a blogger meet-up.
Read 30 new books.
City of the Lost – Kelly Armstrong
Dark Places – Gillian Flynn
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
The Mermaid’s Sister – Carrie Anne Noble
Redemption Song – Craig Schaefer
The Living End – Craig Schaefer
Plain Dealing Villain – Craig Schaefer
The Killing Floor Blues – Craig Schaefer
The Spirit Class Charade – Colleen Gleason
The Clockwork Scarab – Colleen Gleason
The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchison
The Paper Magician – Charlie N. Homberg
The Glass Magician – Charlie N. Homberg
The Master Magician – Charlie N. Homberg
Play Dead – Anne Frasier
Stay Dead – Anne Fraiser
Pretty Dead – Anne Fraiser
The Body Reader – Anne Fraiser
Shes Not There – PJ Parrish
The Moonlit Garden – Connie Bomann
The Beaufort Bride: The Life of Margaret Beaufort – Judith ArnoppMagic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie N. Holmberg
The Bloodletter’s Daughter – Linda Lafferty
The Crying Girl – Glen Ebisch
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
Weightless – Kandi Steiner
The Room – Emma Donoghue
The Heir of Linn Haug – Karen Charlton
The Sans Pareil Mystery – Karen Charlton
Betrayals – Kelly Armnstrong
Wear fake eyelashes. Try to do 3 creative projects a week. Walk on the beach and collect sea shells. Get my makeup professionally done. Try purple lipstick. Get a tattoo. Formulate a five year plan. More original content for the blog. Work on my photography skills. Collaborate on projects with other creatives. Host a Sunday brunch. Get better at participating in social media.
- Finish the gallery wall in the master bedroom.
Paint and decorate the guestroom.
- Paint the guest bathroom.
TBD – Complete an entire puzzle Make something that I can wear. Get my home office to the point where I can actually work in it.
I left 28 as sort of a swing goal. Every year I run into something challenging or interesting and what better way to force myself into action than to add it to this list where I have you guys to follow along and keep me accountable. Last year I did pretty well if I do say so myself. You can check out my 29 before 30 here and see how I did.
Image from here.