Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream

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Peach Pie Coffee Cake

I’m determined to make it through a bunch of the recipes I’ve Pinned this year. I have a mere 5,400+ Pins … and most of them are probably recipes. Because mostly I use Pinterest for its original intent: to have a visual bookmarking system.

Since I have a dorm full of high school boys waiting to be fed, I should have no problem finding someone to feed these recipes, right? Every Wednesday, Mr. V has a small group of boys (6), and then Thursday nights I aim to feed the whole dorm with a larger recipe (usually dessert).

I’m not sure if this coffee cake was a hit with the boys – I haven’t checked with Mr. V – because his small group is largely students from China and Hong Kong. The Chinese are not like Americans when it comes to sweets, I’ve found. But really, I don’t care. Because it’s AMAZING and I am so glad to have unearthed this recipe.

The original recipe is actually for an Apple Pie Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Maple Glaze. I fully intended to follow the recipe. But then I decided it is still summer, I’m not done with peaches yet. Plus I don’t even like cooked apples, so peach filling was much more appetizing for me. (Although I make lots of things with cooked apples, because I know most people love them. Like Caramel Apple Bundt Cake and Upside Down Mini Apple Cakes.)

I also simplified the streusel and the frosting a little bit. And to be honest, I think I would like this even more without the frosting. I find buttercream to be too sweet for me – I prefer cream cheese frostings if any. But, sadly, the cake is not real pretty without it. Maybe if there was streusel on the top, too, it would help that? I may give that a try next time.

Peach Pie Coffee Cake

There is nothing really virtuous about this to make it breakfasty; the cake simply feels more like a coffee cake because it is dense, fruity, and has streusel. So tell yourself it’s breakfast, or be honest and serve it up for dessert.

(I had some for breakfast this morning. I won’t tell.)

Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream

Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream

Adapted from Beyond Frosting.

Ingredients

    Peach Pie Filling
  • 4 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • Cake
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. minus 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Peach Pie Filling
  • Streusel
  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil or melted butter
  • Maple Buttercream Frosting
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 T milk

Instructions

For the Filling

In a large saucepan, combines peaches, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour. Cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, until it melds together and the peaches are very soft. Try not to eat all the filling. Set aside to cool.

For the Cake

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan well.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix well. Sprinkle salt and baking powder over the batter, then turn mixer on low. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until batter is uniform.

By hand, fold in the peach pie filling.

Make the Streusel

In a bowl, mix almond meal, brown sugar, and cinnamon together with a fork. Drizzle oil or butter over the top, and then stir until clumpy and oil is mixed throughout.

Back to the Cake!

Pour half the batter into the greased bundt pan. Sprinkle two-thirds of the streusel mixture on top of the batter. Spoon remaining batter on top, then sprinkle with the remainder of the streusel.

Bake 50-55 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn over onto a plate, patting on the sides to release the cake. Cool before frosting.

Frosting

Melt butter in a big bowl, then add powdered sugar and cinnamon and stir. Add maple syrup and 1 T milk. Add more milk if needed to reach a good consistency. If you want a runnier frosting, cut down sugar to 1 1/2 cups. For a more spreadable rather than pourable frosting, add more powdered sugar.

Pour frosting over cake and let set.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/08/peach-pie-coffee-cake-with-maple-buttercream/

Seriously, y’all. This was amazing. Try it!

How do you use up ripe peaches?

What Centers Me? Thoughts from a Highly Sensitive Person

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Happy Sunday! #coffee #ceramicmug #fleece #blanket #winter
source: Julie Rae Powers via Flickr

As someone who is both Highly Sensitive and who deals with depression, I get off-kilter a lot. It’s easy for me to get consumed with people-pleasing rather than God-pleasing thoughts and to get angry at being how I am. I know God made me who I am for a reason … but I don’t always like it.

For example, when being Highly Sensitive means I am completely unable to stop myself from crying in public places. That’s just as wonderful at 33 as it was when I was 12.

I have a routine I stick to when it comes to managing my depression, and it occurred to me that perhaps the same thing is in order to handle these feelings of being inept and consumed by emotions. After a little episode today, I’m realizing these are the things that help center me. I would encourage you to think through your centering and comfort things so you can remember them easily in the future!

  1. Talking to my husband. In my opinion, it’s good marriage advice to marry your friend. Mr. V and I were friends for nearly a year before we ever started dating, and that has been really good for our long-term relationship. You won’t always feel lovey-dovey toward your spouse, but if he/she is something you like to hang out with, you can work through those times. Anyway, Mr. V is used to my crazy emotional state and can often talk me off a cliff. In college he called it “Mental Breakdown Tuesdays,” but I think I’ve become a little more solid than that. Maybe.
  2. Prayer. Especially focusing on praying for others, taking the limelight off myself. I still love the image-based prayer I talked about here.
  3. Physical warmth. Drinking coffee, wrapping myself in a blanket, cuddling with a kid.
  4. Writing. Obviously, I process a lot through writing. Maybe for you it’s another art form.
  5. Crochet. Crochet is another art form I love and it just helps me to focus elsewhere. I can’t think about much else when I am trying to follow a pattern. It also calms me.
  6. Reading. Something mindless.
  7. Oils. Y’all know I love my essential oils. Applying White Angelica, Peace & Calming, and Joy are all helpful to restoring some peace for me.

These are similar to ways I manage my depression but definitely not exactly. Do you find you have ways to deal with certain moods or times in your life?

Crunchy Granola Breakfast Cookies

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Granola Breakfast Cookies

These crispy cookies are chock-full of healthy ingredients. A drizzle of white chocolate might help you fool your kids into thinking they’re not.

I’ve been working on stocking my freezer for the school year lately. For lunches, I’ve made Pizza Sauce, Pizza Rolls, and Pizza Balls from Weelicious Lunches; some easy baked chicken nuggets; PBJ Smoothies frozen in silicone pop molds; and a couple muffin recipes that will work for breakfast, lunch, or snacks. For breakfasts, I’ve also thrown in a few waffles and extra pancakes as well as both baked and unbaked muffins!

I listed these cookies on a post I did two years ago at ParentLife: 25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back-to-School. But I had never actually tried them. So today, tucked inside due to the pouring rain, I decided it was time.

The original recipe calls for mashed banana instead of eggs. I didn’t have any that were ripe enough, so I just used eggs as a binder. I added some coconut sugar for a little sweetness. I’ll admit that these still are not very sweet. I like the almost bitter taste from the allspice mixed with the sweet bite of dried fruit. But I drizzled a little white chocolate over most of them to help my kids enjoy them. They are used to pretty sweet baked goods (and yes, often prepackaged granola bars), but if yours will eat straight oatmeal or don’t have much sugar, you can leave off the topping.

I am super happy with how these turned out, and I will be enjoying them for breakfast along with my kids on these busy back-to-school mornings.

Note: These are gluten-free as written. Use gluten-free oats if necessary. For a nut free cookie, simply substitute some type of flour for almond meal.

Crunchy Granola Breakfast Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: about 18 2-inch cookies

Crunchy Granola Breakfast Cookies

These crunchy, granola-bar like cookies are simple to make and easily customizable. Add finely chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, or whatever else suits your fancy. You can substitute 3 mashed bananas for the eggs or applesauce for the oil if desired.

Source: Blueberry Girl

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. almond meal or flour
  • 1 c. dried fruit of choice, chopped if needed (I used dried blueberries and raisins)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. grapeseed or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 oz. chocolate of choice (white, dark, milk, whatever) (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

In a bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, and almond meal until combined. Add dried fruit and stir, making sure fruit does not clump together.

In a small bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until moistened throughout.

Here is the method I used to bake these. You can also use a cookie scoop and press down until firmly packed, or roll balls with your hands.

Using a round-ish cookie cutter, scoop about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough onto your pan. Press down until the dough is packed together, then lift the cookie cutter off.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are browned. Cool on racks.

If desired, melt chocolate in microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Drizzle over cookies or spread the tops with the melted chocolate. Let cool and harden before serving.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/08/crunchy-granola-breakfast-cookies/

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe to freeze?

Tossing Pennies into the Toll Booth

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Toll Booth
source: Marjorie Lipan via Flickr

When I was in high school, I had to drive each day – once I was old enough to drive – through a toll booth. Back then, it was a straight-up 50 cents. (Our recent trip to Richmond revealed that it is now 70 cents – plus it didn’t take one of my first quarters, so we ended up tossing nearly a dollar at the thing. A travesty! Almost as bad as Ukrop’s being gone.)

Usually my co-pilot and I were armed with quarters or tokens, ready to throw the coins and get through quickly. But one day, I was alone for some reason. Maybe I wasn’t even going to school that day. I found myself approaching the toll booth and realized I had nothing but some loose changing floating around in the console of my Eagle Vision.

Quickly I gathered up as much as I could. And I remember vividly watching the numbers slide above the toll basket, praying that I could find enough to change to equal those 50 cents. I was tossing pennies by the fistful. And finally, breath escaped, I saw it click down to zero and the bar raise.

I don’t even know what happens if you don’t have those 50 cents. I bet it happens a lot more now than it did in 1998, although maybe EZ Pass-type things help.

I’ve felt a little bit of that same panic in these last weeks of summer.

School supplies were purchased, I’ve been stocking my freezer with items for school lunches, and Nana bought Libbie a new backpack. We’ve registered and before that vacationed and traveled and visited and swam and played to our hearts’ content.

And yet the day before Libbie started back to school, I still felt panicky. Unprepared. With first grade there wasn’t the same sense of preparation there was for kindergarten. There are no more phase-in days, no staying with her on the first day, nothing but a messy and loud thirty minutes of handing in paperback and handing over school supplies to her teacher.

Did I forget something important? She’s armed with summer projects, a reading log, a poster timeline of her short life. It’s all there. We have the first-day picture with her printed-that-morning-off-the-Internet sign. David’s registered and ready for his preschool class.

  

Perhaps it’s that the whole summer I have felt confused. Apparently having three kids at home full time will do that to you. I just always felt like I had more to remember than I could keep in my brain. I forgot deadlines, to mail things, to call back. Embarrassing and a little wretched. 

When I was pregnant with Libbie, one of my coworkers told me that after he and his wife had their first child, they just wanted to get back to normal. Then when they had their second, they wanted to get back to normal – the one-child normal they’d found. But with kids, normal is an ever-fluctuating concept. 

Right now, I am looking forward to returning to normal, knowing that it will likely be a different normal than last school year. Even though the kids are at their same schools on the same schedules, they are a year older. Joshua is a maniacal two-year-old instead of a toddling, babbling guy. Things will be different.

But I’m hoping soon I will feel like I have two quarters instead of a handful of pennies.
 

soliloquy

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It’s just been one of those days.

I feel gross. I still haven’t figured out how to tame my coarse, curly-ish hair in 33 years, and now it’s flecked with gray. My gums ache because I went to the dentist and I don’t floss enough.

I tried to sit down and write this afternoon, blessed with a few solitary and quiet minutes, and the words wouldn’t come. I feel like I have much to write until I sit down, intimidated by the keyboard before me. No wonder every blogger has a book coming out except me.

My kids don’t even attempt to eat dinner for the second night in a row. I’m not sure how that’s possible when they didn’t eat lunch either, preferring to put on a sideshow in Applebee’s for my sister, her coworkers, and everyone else within a mile radius.

Lest you think I am exaggerating about Joshua’s antics, tonight after sitting on his little potty, Joshy stuck his finger in the big potty and then directly into his mouth.

AGHHHHHH!!!!!!

I laid on the floor and felt like the worst mom ever. The worst person. Nothing.

Tonight I need to tell myself something true instead of the negative thoughts that want to fill my brain, saturating me with lies and anger. 

Here is the truth: I am in no way the worst mom in the world. They will eat when they’re hungry. No one is judging me based on my hair, and if they are I feel sorry they don’t have better things to worry about. I am a writer, and God will guide my words at the right time for His purpose.

God says I am His treasure, the one He paid a great price for. And that is the truth – not whatever I happen to think about myself today.

Thank You, Lord.

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken {Secret Recipe Club}

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Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

It’s another beautiful month of the Secret Recipe Club, y’all! You know what? I have been participating in the club for over four years now, with only a couple months off here and there. And it’s truly still enjoyable for me. I love getting to peruse new-to-me foodie blogs.

I think people probably get confused when they’re assigned my blog, since I’m not a *real* food blog. But I am glad they allow me to participate, and it makes sure I cook something new at least once a month!

This month I was assigned to A Spoonful of Thyme. Kathy has been blogging since 2009 about good food, memories, her children, and more. I really enjoyed perusing her gigantic recipe index, and finally got so overwhelmed that I let my husband pick the recipe for this month. He really liked the look of the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers, but determined that our kids wouldn’t touch them, sadly. (Stinkers.) So instead he decided on Lemon Chicken, Asian-Style.

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

I would never order this in a Chinese restaurant, even though I’ve seen it on the menu, because it doesn’t seem authentically Chinese to me. I didn’t see much fried when I was in China in 2002. But maybe I’m wrong? Either way, whatever the inspiration is, the sauce is nice and tangy and I enjoyed this dish!

I modified to shallow-fry the chicken, although I think deep-frying like Kathy did gives it a better crust. I just don’t have a lot of deep frying skills and I try not to use the typical frying oils (like vegetable or canola). I shallow-fried the chicken in a combo of palm shortening and grapeseed oil, but you can do what you want!

We all thoroughly enjoyed this chicken and sauce over jasmine rice and accompanied by roasted broccoli, which I jazzed up by drizzling the florets with sesame oil as well as olive, adding to the Asian flair. Sesame seeds sprinkled on it all would be good, too!

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Yield: about 6 servings

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs. thin chicken cutlets
  • oil for frying
  • for the batter
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1 1/3 c. club soda
  • for the sauce
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp. finely minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 T honey (start with 2)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch stirred into 2 T cold water

Instructions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. It is ready to go when you put the end of a wooden spoon in it and bubbles form around the spoon. (Or 375-400 degrees.)

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a measuring cup, beat egg, then stir in club soda. Add enough club soda mixture that the batter is a little more runny than pancake batter. For me this took about 1 1/3 cups.

Dip chicken cutlets in the batter, letting extra drip off. Deep-fry, or shallow-fry about 5 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. Place a cooling rack on a jelly-roll pan, and put cooked cutlets on the rack in a 300F oven to warm while you finish cooking the chicken and sauce.

For the sauce, bring all ingredients except cornstarch to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce by half (to about 1 cup of liquid). Add cornstarch slurry to boiling liquid and cook a few more minutes, until thickened.

To serve, drizzle sauce over chicken pieces. Sprinkle with chopped scallions if desired.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/08/asian-inspired-lemon-chicken-secret-recipe-club/