James Kicinski-McCoy is a writer and blogger, specializing in strategic marketing and branding, is a co-founder and editor of Mother Magazine, and co-owner and creative director of Two Son. She lives with her husband and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.
I am back at home after a difficult trip to Arizona to visit my grandfather in the hospital. He has regressed and it’s been an emotional ride. I am looking forward to spending the weekend cuddling with my kids and getting back on track. Hope you all have a great Memorial Day, and cheers to the long weekend. Here are this week’s ten things…
Apologies for the radio-silence this week. It’s been a tough one. I am currently in Arizona visiting my family for a few days. My Grandpa had a stroke on Sunday and is in the hospital. So many thoughts and emotions that go hand-in-hand with the possible loss of someone you love—I feel like I have been weeding through them all. I am happy to say that he is making progress. His strength inspires me so deeply.
So, this cake may not be the prettiest, but I promise it tastes really good. Ha! The kids were stoked because it’s a Happy Potter cake.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Maple Sauce
You will need:
12-16 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ cup hot water
½ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¼ cup grade B maple syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup heavy cream at room temperature or warmed
Begin by moving a baking rack to the center of the oven and preheating to 350°F degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan and set aside. In a small bowl, add the dates, hot water, and baking soda—stirring to dissolve. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes, then combine in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup, processing until well-combined. Next, add the butter and eggs, and process until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter or the cake will come out tough! Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or just until the cake is golden brown and springy. In the meantime, start the maple sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup and butter together until well-blended, then slowly whisk in the cream. (The mixture should be kind of soupy.) Let the sauce sit at room temperature as the cake bakes and line a large plate with parchment paper. Once the cake is removed from the oven, pour ⅓ of the sauce over the top evenly while it cools. When the cake is completely cooled, invert it onto the lined plate, then immediately invert it again onto a serving plate, making it right-side up. Serve slices of the cake warm or at room temperature and pour a little extra sauce on top of each slice. Store the cake in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 days and the sauce in a refrigerated airtight container for up to 1 week. The sauce can thicken, so you might need to whisk it and possibly warm it before serving.
So, today is Birdie’s graduation!!! Her school recommended she skip kindergarten and go directly into first grade, so that’s what she’s doing—smart cookie, that one! I am looking forward to a relaxing a little bit this weekend at home with my family after a long and crazy work week. Hope you all have a great, sun-filled weekend. Here are this week’s ten things…
One of the spaces that is top priority in our upcoming renovation is our kitchen. While ours is bright, white, has great space and is full of quality appliances, it’s outdated, the fridge leaks, the hardwoods are warped, the stove top burners aren’t reliable, and it could just use some upgrades overall. Our kitchen has a connected eat-in dining room, much like this kitchen in the photos above and below, which we also want to upgrade a bit.
My biggest struggle with our redesign/remodel, besides maintaining a budget, is that I want to make sure that the house is open, clean, and minimal with plenty of storage and without being too trendy—example: subway tile. While I do like it, it’s everywhere and a little overdone, in my opinion. I don’t want my home/kitchen to feel like every coffee shop in town, so I’m looking to find unique, yet simple, classic design elements that I will love for years to come.
The spaces above have the most beautiful flooring, the stainless appliances are a dream, and of course, I am a huge fan of the white-washed walls and cabinets. Here are some more kitchen/dining spaces that have aspects that I love…