Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

Friday, June 13, 2014

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
Peach Streusel Coffee Cake

It's stone fruit season. I'm in love. 
And I had a presentation to give at a meeting so I brought these. Know your audience :)

It's World Cup time! Looking forward to seeing all the games, the excitement of countries staying up to watch and cheer, lots of passionate tweets, and Cristiano Ronaldo. At work, we've been "researching" restaurants with the best TV placement for our lunches (looks like I'll be eating out for the next few weeks)!

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
I made this once before with nectarines. This time, I added more vanilla, used peaches (the original is for peaches) and still didn't get the consistency of the liquid ingredients that the recipe calls for - oh well, it all came together.

I love coffee cakes. Not very sweet, lovely topping and, in this case, a fruit surprise.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
Peach Streusel Coffee CakeI used two yellow peaches in the cake (sliced thin) but you can use other stone fruit. I'd like to try some cherries and apricots!

I also used Vanilla Bean Paste because it is awesome. Have you used it? It gives you all the flecks of vanilla but it is less expensive than whole vanilla beans.

Peach Streusel Coffee Cake
When I have a meeting at work, I either bring a half-sheet or quarter-sheet pan. I bought plastic covers for them at my local restaurant supply house (similar to these) and they are pretty awesome. My covers are low profile so you can stack about three of them in the refrigerator.

Enjoy the World Cup! Between matches, make this cake! :)

Nectarine Streusel Coffee Cake
Adapted from Williams Sonoma's Peach Streusel Coffee Cake and they adapted it from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Muffins, by Beth Hensperger (2003).

3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams)  firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, at room temperature
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Original recipe has 1 tsp. almond extract, but I did not include it
2 firm, ripe nectarines or peaches peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper. (The original recipe calls for a  9-inch round springform pan.)

2. Make the streusel:  In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown and granulated sugars and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Place in refrigerator or freezer while assembling the rest of the cake.

3. Prepare the fruit: Peel the peaches (blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then remove), pit and slice the fruit. I used two yellow peaches, but other stone fruits can be used.

4. Make the cake: Mix together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside. In another bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat the egg, melted butter, milk, vanilla and (almond extract, if using) until creamy, about 1 minute. (The recipe calls for "until creamy" but I beat the heck out of the mixture with a wire whisk and never got a "creamy" consistency - see above.) Add to the flour mixture and beat just until evenly moistened. There should be no lumps or dry spots. Do not overmix.

5. Spread batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula. If using a springform pan, arrange the peach slices in concentric circles from the pan sides to the center. If using a square pan, arrange the slices in rows. Gently press the slices into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel.

6. Bake until the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
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How to Read & Watch your iPad or Tablet While Lying in Bed - LEVO Deluxe iPad Floor Stand!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My New Crazy Awesome iPad Stand

This post has a ridiculous title: How to Read & Watch your iPad or Tablet While Lying in Bed - LEVO Deluxe iPad Floor Stand!

But this thing I bought is the freaking answer.

First, this is not a sponsored post. I paid money for this thing and just love it. I know there are others who might want something like this too so I'm blogging about it. In fact, I already told a co-worker about it and she bought one for her husband who LOVES it!

However, I need to disclose that I'm part of Amazon Affiliates so if you click on the link and buy one, I get a itty bitty percent of the purchase (you aren't charged anything extra and I'll never know who bought it - but if you do click on the link and buy anything on Amazon, I appreciate it! It helps me buy Bundt pans and iPad Stands!)

Okay, last year I bought the iPad Air and LOVE IT. Seriously the best one they've made (I've used the older editions). Screen is awesome and the speakers are so much better than previous iPads (you can't DJ a wedding with the speakers, but they are totally fine to watch a movie, YouTube videos and listen to NPR in bed when you should be doing other stuff...)

But I was always kinda annoyed because it wasn't easy to read in bed. My arms would get tired if I was on my back holding up the iPad. Although it's the iPad Air and totally light, I have it in a case and that added weight. Sometimes I would prop it up with a pillow and lie on my side to read. Anyway, it wasn't the best solution.

After a bunch of searching and reading too many reviews, I decided to try the LEVO iPad & Tablet Stand, Deluxe Edition.

Oh my goodness.
Changed my life.
This is awesome.

My iPad Air (excuse the dust) is attached with the bungee-type cords, and you can angle it upside down
The unit is adjustable in height and the arm is adjustable at two points. The pad that holds the tablet or iPad can adjust 180 degrees (you can make it go completely flat or tilted up - so you can lie flat on your back and look up at the screen, or sit up and tilt it to the best angle. See the photos on Amazon for more positions)

It's versatile because you get four cords that hold in your device - so you can put an eReader in it, tablet or iPad.

The base is stable because it is so heavy. When the package comes from Amazon, it was in a big box. Then you tried to lift it and thought, "What's in this box? Weights?" Well, turns out there are weights in it! The base has a heavy weight so the thing doesn't tip over on you. Yeah, that's a good thing. (It could leave those furniture indentations on carpet because it's heavy so I move mine around every couple of days)

I think the unit is well made. It comes on four wheels so you can wheel is out of the room when you have a special guest (wink, wink) or you can move it in front of a chair or table too. You can wheel it into the kitchen and use it to "hold" your recipes on the iPad. Haven't done that yet...but I just might!

Photo from Amazon - not me and my dog 
My unit cost $189.99 and I bought it in May 2014. It has free shipping on Amazon but it isn't Prime so you have to wait a few days for it (Prime people know what I'm talking about...that long, long wait for things that don't come in 1 or 2 days!) There are only a few pieces to assemble, but the box is heavy because of the base. Also, this is the DELUXE version. The reviewers say it is better than the original. Having never seen the original, I spent a couple more bucks because the reviewers made it sound much improved. I believe Brookstone sells this in-store if you want to try it out...I just pressed "buy now" on Amazon and crossed my fingers that I like it. :)

Gotta go. I have to a couple books to read and YouTube videos to watch! (Oh dear, that's another post where I admit that I'm 43 but have the YouTube viewing preferences of a 14-17 year old teenage girl who watches Tyler Oakley videos. And Sup3rfruit - but they are really hella funny. Really, I tried to watch TED Talks and the like but... ;)

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Lemon Scones

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lemon Scones
Lemon Scones

I made these scones in January and am finally getting around to posting them. I can't believe today is the first day of June! What happened to 2014?!

Lemon Scones
This is a super easy recipe. It uses buttermilk instead of heavy cream so I think it has a bit fewer calories (but don't worry, it has a stick of butter so it's plenty rich). The lemon flavor is delicate as zest is the only lemon flavor used in the recipe.

Remember, when making scones, you should be able to see little bits of butter. When heated, the water in the butter will create steam and cause the dough to puff up.

Lemon Scones
The original recipe from Taste of Home says you should make one large circle and cut it into 10-12 scones. However, I made two circles and made 12 scones from the two circles.

Lemon Scones
These are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee...perhaps some lemon curd or jam too.

Lemon Scones
Adapted from: Taste of Home

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar plus additional sugar for top
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (original called for 1 1/2 teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the lemon peel. Pour the buttermilk over the mixture and stir until just mixed.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead a couple times and shape into two balls (or one big one). Place the ball on a parchment paper covered baking pan, and pat into a 1/2" to 3/4" thick circle. Using a knife, cut circle into wedges but don't go all the way through the dough - you are just scoring the dough. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown on the bottom and edges. Enjoy! These are good on their own, and can be served with butter, jam, or lemon curd.
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