Awesome in April

Awesome in April

April was a bit bi-polar. I spent most of the month wandering around in an ovenless daze. The weather was completely crazy. Two weeks ago it was sunny and I was spritzing on the sunscreen as I hiked through the Scottish hills. Then two days ago, it was snowing. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole, and I’m completely lost in Wonderland. Nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t. 

We had a visit from one of our favorite munchkins. I spent an aimless week at work without any wonderfully but smelly teenagers, I danced my heart out on a boat with a series of large glasses of rose in my hand, and I got in touch with nature. It was a gorgeous month of shenanigans.

Bread Meats Bread

We tried to us burger place, Bread Meats Bread. They make a very solid, respectable burger. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely go back. It’s just not quite as good as Handmade Burger Company which is on the other corner of that block and usually has more open tables. Too many good burger joints is a great problem to have. 

We also explored Pollock Country Park, Loch Lomond Shores, and the Riverside Museum. Me and Scotland are getting to be best friends. There’s so much to explore here. Imagine me with a car. I’d go crazy. Also, don’t ask about my current obsession with opening a cat cafe and become a fox foster mom. 

In the realm of delicious internet things, it appears that the lovely ladies of A Beautiful Mess share my chips and dip obsession. They made a pretty bad ass Cheesy Baked Bean Dip I desperately need to try out.

Foodie with Family is making my sweet and salty heart sing with a gorgeous Chocolate Pretzel Sheet Cake with a ridiculous peanut butter drizzle.

And I’m considering becoming a bourbon person. It seems like all the cool kids are doing it. Who’s cooler the Jessica? What’s more lovely than this Amaretto Bourbon Punch? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything, either.

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

This month, you loved Peanut Butter Fudge because you’re smart and you know it’s the most addicting food ever created.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You threw caution to the wind and decided to make Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf. High fives for you!

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And your true love this April was Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies. Look at ’em. Aren’t they just lovely?

April in Scotland is pure insanity. It already stays light until about 8:30. I’m in a whole new world, and it couldn’t be awesomer. Come on, May. Bring it!

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I really need to learn to be more patient. And I’m not just talking about trying to get cheese or cake into my face as quickly as possible. I need to learn to be more patient with myself. I recently changed roles at my job to something that I knew would be much more stressful. I was actually looking forward to being really and truly challenged. 

Between school holidays and being stuck in the woods last week, this has been my first real, full week on the job. I’ve had about sixty things on my OCD task list every day which means if I wanted to actually do all of them in a single work day, I would only get to spend about 8 minutes on each thing. I’ve been so frustrated with myself for not getting through it all. I’ve beaten myself up because I haven’t known the answer to every single question I’ve been asked. I’m a crazy person.

I need to relax. I need to be patient with myself. I need to allow myself to be a beginner. It doesn’t mean I’m not competent. It doesn’t even mean I’m not a total bad ass. It just means I’m human, and I need to give myself time to learn. Somebody remind me I said this tomorrow when I’m pulling my hair out.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

So here’s a little something to help us all slow down a little bit. This cake is gluten-free and dairy-free, but don’t worry. Or I guess, if you’re one of those people who cares about such things, get excited. Either way, this cake tastes awesome. Even after five days in the tin waiting for shy Brits to come along and eat it, it’s still light and moist. 

It bakes in a springform pan, so there’s no stress about turning it out, and the most you need to do with it after it cools is dust it with some powdered sugar. To be quite honest, I did it more for visual effect. This cake is perfect just the way it is. Set it next to a strong cup of tea and you have a relaxing, heavenly afternoon ahead of you.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m giving myself permission to be a beginner. I’m going to ask questions and streamline my work life, and then I’m going to conquer the world. Along the way, I’m going to eat a lot of cake.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
Serves 10
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally awesome.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 50 grams cocoa powder, sifted
  2. 125 milliliters boiling water
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 150 grams ground almonds
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 150 milliliters olive oil
  8. 200 grams sugar
  9. 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 170 C (350 F) and grease a 9-inch springform pan with some olive oil spray. If you don't have spray, just drizzle a bit in the bottom of the pan and spread it around with a paper towel.
  2. Sift your cocoa powder into a bowl, then add the water from a just boiled kettle and whisk to combine. Once it's come together in a thin paste, whisk in the vanilla extract then set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the ground almonds, baking soda, and salt. Set that aside as well.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, sugar, and eggs, and beat with an electric mixer on medium high for about three minutes or until you create a foamy mixture that is pale in color and has doubled in volume.
  5. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the cocoa mixture. Be sure you scrape every last bit of chocolaty goodness into the cake batter. Finally add in the almond mixture and mix until just combined.
  6. With a rubber spatula, give everything one last good scrape and fold, and then pour the batter into your waiting pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Your cake should be springy but possibly still a bit sticky on top. A toothpick should come out mostly clean with perhaps a few sticky crumbs.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the collar of your springform pan. You can serve it warm or allow it to cool. It will keep in an air tight container for at least five days.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
How to be awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Can I just tell you how excited I am to have a working oven again? Three weeks, guys! Three weeks of not being able to bake anything! I feel like I’ve been reconnected with a long lost friend, or I’ve gotten a cast removed or something. Part of me was missing, and now it’s back. 

Also, the sun has been shining on a relatively consistent basis, including the two days I found myself having to hike through the woods with a couple of teenagers. The sun is glorious, and I’m loving it. More more more!

I made you something really indulgent today. This Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup is hard core awesome. It’s salty and sweet and dangerously hard to stop eating.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

There is absolutely nothing complicated about making this, but you do have to commit some time to mindless stirring. We’re whisking a whole stick of butter into maple syrup, and you need to add it slowly to get the fat from the butter to incorporate with the liquid beautifully. It’s just some lazy, early morning whisking. No biggie.

Also, in true cheapo fashion, I didn’t use pure maple syrup for this. I’m sure if you can afford it, it would improve the experience. I don’t have that kind of money. Use whatever maple flavored syrup you prefer. If you happen to have some, you can add a dash of maple extract to the pot to intensify the flavor.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

All that’s left to do is cook of your favorite buttermilk pancakes, and feast! The sun is shining, you’ve got Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup, and all is right with the world.

Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup
Serves 4
Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup is salty, sweet, and dangerously hard to stop eating.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 7 slices smoked bacon
  2. 1/2 cup maple syrup or maple flavored syrup
  3. 4 ounces butter
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  6. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Lay your bacon out on the baking sheet and cook the bacon in the oven for about 15 minutes or until it's as crispy as you'd like. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. While your bacon is cooking, add the maple syrup to a small sauce pan and put it over low heat. Add the butter to the maple syrup in small chunks, whisking each chunk until it's completely melted before adding the next one. You will have a smooth emulsion once all the butter is whisked in.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla extract, maple extract, and salt.
  5. Once the bacon is ready, chop it up into half-inch pieces or smaller and add it to the syrup.
  6. Spoon this awesomeness over your favorite pancakes or waffles and just try to stop smiling.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
How to be awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...