Blueberry Cake

An easy and versatile blueberry cake you’ll want to make over and over again!

I’ve made this cake so often recently, my friends and family must be sick of it. It can as easily be served in the morning with coffee as it can for dessert after dinner. And so, I’ve made it for coffee gatherings and brought it to dinner parties as dessert and have no regrets about any of it.

This cake is pretty dense and is jam-packed with blueberries bursting with the best tastes of summer. Top it with the crispy, sweet streusel, and you can’t go wrong, folks. Add homemade whipped cream, and your life will change.

The best part about this cake is you can make a giant 9″ x 13″ version, or you can divide it into two 8″ x 8″ pans and bake one and freeze the other for later. When you want to eat the frozen one, you bake as you did the thawed version. How easy is that? So easy.

Blueberry cake

Without further ado….

Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp.baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups blueberries
    For the topping;
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well and add sour cream.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined, then fold in blueberries with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour into one greased 9" x 13" pan or two greased 8" x 8" pans.
  5. Mix topping together and sprinkle on top of cake(s).
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or cover and freeze until baking. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    To bake from frozen:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
http://www.balanceandblueberries.com/2017/02/09/blueberry-cake/

Happy blueberry cake making!

If you’re interested…an apple crisp recipe and the best pancakes in the entire world.

How to Make Your Own Mayonnaise

An easy recipe for making your own mayonnaise at home–using ingredients you most likely have in your fridge and cupboard already. 

Happy Saturday, friends! What are you up to? We’re hanging out a home and making a kit of beer. Fingers crossed it turns out! January is always a really busy season for me with normal work and life stuff, on top of extra rehearsals and meetings and performances. Being gifted a day in which I can just stay home and putter around? Thanks, God.

If you find yourself with an extra 10 minutes today, make your own mayonnaise. It’s so easy, and so delicious, and contains none of science experiment ingredients and preservatives that its store bought counterpart does. The taste difference alone is worth the extra effort!

Mayonnaise

It’ll be easiest if you have a food processor, but a blender or immersion blender will do, as well. I have a food processor and blender similar to those linked, and love them both! (Full disclosure: those are affiliate links, which means I’ll get a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase. It doesn’t change the price you see at all!)

Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 1 egg (just the yolk, or the whole egg)
  • 2 tsp. mustard (dijon is delicious, but plain would be fine, too)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 cup oil (corn, canola, or olive--something mild tasting)

Instructions

  1. Mix the egg, mustard, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in your food processor or blender.
  2. Once fully incorporated, begin pouring in oil in a tiny stream. If you have a food processor, check out the tiny hole on the bottom of the plastic plunger--that's what it's there for! If you are using a blender, pour the oil as slowly as you can.
  3. It's done when it gets thick!

Recipe based on Mark Bittman

http://www.balanceandblueberries.com/2017/01/21/how-to-make-your-own-mayonnaise/

Your mayo will keep in the fridge for 4 days in a sealed container. Smear it on a sandwich, try a veggie dip, or make this buffalo chicken/sweet potato/dressing amazingness for dinner tonight.

Veggie Dip

What are you up to today? Any fun plans?

If you’re interested….a balsamic glaze and DIY fajita spice mix.

5 Tips for Surviving Winter

Happy first Saturday of 2017, friends! It seems like most of the country is experiencing colder than normal temperatures, and might have even gotten a bit more snow than is typical. Three cheers for winter!

Winter

Winter and I have a love/hate relationships. On the hate side, there’s the cold weather, the cold wind, the cold snow, the cold ice. You can’t escape it; winter is cold, cold, and more cold. On the other hand, winter is so cozy! Its pace is slower than the frenetic go-go-go of summer, and it encourages us all toward our hermit-like tendencies. Even though I’m an extrovert through and through, I don’t hate that aspect of this colder and darker season. I love snuggling in to watch a movie, making homemade pizza, and going to bed early. I love enjoying my coffee by the fire the next morning, and I love having an excuse to stay home and cancel plans occasionally (hello, snow days!).

If you’re having a hard time finding the joy in winter, here are 5 tips just for you!

Start an outdoor winter hobby. Fresh air is good for your health, for your mood, and for your body, so get outside! Even when it’s cold, bundle yourself up and breathe some fresh air for a minute or two. Our favorite winter activity is snowshoeing (Bob has Tubbs snowshoes and loves them), but you could try skiing (downhill or cross country), ice skating, or plain old hiking. With warm enough clothing, you’ll barely notice the biting wind and cold temperatures.

Photo credit: Darcy

Sun lamp and essential oils. Maybe a little hippy dippy for some of you, but I swear by my sun lamp and (more recently) diffusing oils. Might it all be in my head? Yes. Do they make me feel better, happier, and more content with being indoors so much? Yes. Final verdict: worth it. I have this sun lamp and this diffuser, and they’ve both been great.

Vitamin D drops. If you live where the sun rarely shines in the winter, I can’t say enough great things about these Vitamin D drops. They work better for me than a vitamin pill, and I can tell a noticeable difference in my mood when I forget my drops in the morning.

Light a candle. There’s something delightful about lighting a candle–its soft, warm glow, the lovely scent wafting through your house. Something about a candle whispers cozy, cozy, cozy and it does wonders to lift my mood.

Candle

Find some community. Nothing makes the winter seem long and lonely like trapping yourself at home for 3 or 4 months. Even though it feels like a lot more work in the wintertime, find people to spend time with-go to church, invite friends for dinner, talk someone into joining you for your newfound outdoor pursuits. It will always be worth it!

What do you do to make the winter more manageable? I’d love to hear!

If you’re interested…a January trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes and an easy, comfort food idea for a dinner next week.