Ben and I got to get away this weekend for the first time since before Tayers was born (August 2008 last nights away). It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. If you're a mother, can I just say that you need time away. Your kids will be fine. In fact, they'll be the better for it. Heck, you both will be the better for it. And most likely, your husband has been wanting to get away with just you for quite some time. If you're a single mom, then enlist someone's help to give yourself extra alone time, because I commend your hard work & efforts doing this job alone. All in all--get away, don't think twice, just do it. It will give you more to give back.
It was also over a year ago, with me 7 months pregnant, baking every single dessert for my dear friends (Tina & Jason) wedding. I had the privilege of making Jason his favorite dessert (Carrot Cake) and he would echo my praises when I say, "it is pretty much the best carrot cake EVER!" Then, for Tina as the gluten-intolerant gal that she is, I made chocolate truffle cakes with homemade raspberry puree. Her all-time combo is chocolate & raspberry. Well, after the day was over, I told Ben to remind me to NEVER do that while I was that pregnant again--no matter who is asking. But, lucky for me, I was blessed with a gift certificate to a local spa in town from my dessert making at 7 months effort. So on Saturday I finally used it (only about 17 months later) for my 90 minute Swedish massage. Heavenly!
It even got me reflecting about my last massage (I was pregnant) and how maybe I'm ready for another baby. Well, let's stop right there, because A. this will not be the place I will first be discussing such BIG ideas and B. I think the masseuse hit some pressure points leading to romantic, idealism babyland. Mental note: Kamille, enjoy your first over night away with your husband without thinking about adding more insanity quite yet.
We did enjoy our time together. Our room overlooked the water, we went on walks, ate some classical French food (some I will most likely not eat again), & had adult conversation without interruptions. We also had this Portugese Almond Cake with Apricot Compote. I enjoyed it, as I enjoy most anything with almonds. It reminded me of this Almond Cream Cheese Pound Cake I made a while back, but haven't shared it with you yet. And this seems as good as any.
Brown Sugar! and Almond Pound Cake (printable recipe)
This cake is adapted from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. I made this pound cake, then whipped up some heavy cream for whipped cream and used my orange cardamom caramel to make an Almond Orange Cardamom Caramel Trifle. Down right dangerous, but I play high stakes. Also, go to Trader Joe's to purchase Almond Meal for a cheaper price. I sifted my almond meal to separate the ground skin from the almond meat.
- 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour, sifted then measured
- 1 ¼ cups ground almond meal or almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1 Tb vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Spray two 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, set on medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy (3 minutes). Gradually beat in the brown sugar and confectioner's sugar and continue beating until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold the flour and almond mixture into the batter by hand, using a rubber spatula or large balloon whisk, until no traces of flour remain.
Spoon the batter evenly among the two loaf pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes before unmolding onto the rack. Let cool completely on wire rack. The cake can be eaten, wrapped well in plastic & stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.