Bread crumbs, dotted along my path, stopping here at Sweet and Crumby along the way and trailing forward, around a bend I cannot see the end to. Thank you for leaving them for me. After all, no matter how much I cook, bake, write, photograph or click “publish”, none of it would really matter that much if you weren’t here reading, commenting and writing your own blogs which essentially have led me through this process of blogging.
I love it all…especially the compliments. After all, appreciation does tend to feed our souls or at least our egos. When someone tells me how much they loved a recipe or laughed at a post or thought a photograph was beautiful, it makes my day.
I had almost no expectations when I started this blog two years and exactly two hundred posts ago. OK…I lie…I try to be totally honest here on S&C. I had expectations…to be the next Deb or Molly. Really, I thought it’s just that easy. Write a blog and just be so amazingly interesting that I would be the next big thing. I’m sorry if I just made you spit soda at your screen from laughing so hard. I should have warned you. That would have been nice, but I have a rather sick sense of humor so I just let it loose like a Sumo wrestler doing a surprise cannon ball into a pool.
I had no idea that there are literally millions of blogs out there, and S&C is like a grain of sand on a beach; nor did I realize that popularity or notoriety or lack thereof, hasn’t actually mattered much at all. How could I have ever guessed what I would have gained from all of this? That I would adore the writing as much as the baking and become such a better baker and cook…one who can create and invent recipes and know to the depths of my soul when a recipe is going to be amazing.
But mostly, I am shocked how much I have learned about myself. I had no idea that I would find myself again or, for that matter, that I had been lost. But I had. I really had been missing from my own life. It’s easy to get swept up in parenting or work and let it swallow you whole and define who you are.
I can’t tell you what gave me the itch to start a blog, and like others’ stories, it was just kind of a kick and a “why not” moment when I signed up for Word Press and clicked Publish for the first time. I poured my heart into my first post, and honestly I did my best writing at the beginning. I learned how to properly work a camera, and jumped up and down when I received my first hits and comments, I read and read other blogs and got to know total strangers. It’s been a rather fascinating experiment. But, ultimately, it has been the very best re-introduction of me to me.
So, as I am writing this post, celebrating my two hundredth post and two year anniversary, I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you for being my guides and continuing to come here.
And, of course, I am also here to give you a recipe, one for a lovely summer cake that can be slathered in berries or any just picked summer fruit. It is a cornmeal pound cake and does taste faintly of cornbread but a bit softer, lemon-y and herby. I’ve added thyme because I consider adding herbs to sweets to by my S&C signature. The thyme, in my not so humble opinion, takes it to the next level, that foodie level of sophistication and uniqueness.
So, happy anniversary to Me and I guess I will just have to see what else there is to learn as I continue to write this little blog.
Lemon-Cornmeal and Thyme Pound Cake
Inspired by Cooking Light, but as usual, completely Genified
Makes one bundt cake, serving approximately 12 slices
7 9/10 ounces all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cups)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
8 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. IMPORTANT!!! Spray a bundt pan ( 10 inch tube pan) with nonstick cooking spray AND add two tablespoons to the pan and flour everywhere, leaving no spot un-floured. If a spot looks devoid of the flour, you must spray a little more cooking spray on the spot and sprinkle flour. Then tap pan a bit and dump the excess flour into the sink. The comments on Cooking Light claim this cake to be difficult to get out so I amply coated and floured and had no trouble whatsoever.
Weigh or lightly spoon 7.9 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt). Whisk together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended; stir in olive oil, rind, vanilla and lemon extract. Combine buttermilk and 3 tablespoons juice in a liquid measuring cup. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture
Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl; beat at high speed using clean, dry beaters until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spoon batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
This cake is at it’s absolute best when served warm with fresh berries and whipped cream.