Here are some things that I love about January. I love that January is a starting point. A place where I can set goals and start something new - a new morning routine, new blogging habits, new rules. I feel revived and ready to take on the world. The decorations are down and I finally feel organized again.
And speaking of new blogging habits, do you like my new layout? I decided to change things up for this year. My blog has always been about cooking and my old background (the lemons : ) reminded me of 1950's style kitchen wallpaper - which I love! For the upcoming year I see my blog as evolving and changing a bit, to not just cooking but other elements as well. Food will always be my first love and the main focus of this blog, but I would like to include more decorating and beauty/fashion into the mix. I decided to stray away from the kitchen theme to a more classic style. I read somewhere that white backgrounds showcase your photos better, so that's why I chose white. Keeping it simple is my mantra lately.
Here is a recipe for Vanilla Bean Pound Cake that is so simple, yet amazingly satisfying! If you love vanilla like I do then you will love this. I used real vanilla beans in the batter. I don't know why I found it so exciting scraping those seeds out, but I could do that all day! Am I the only one?
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps; set aside.
With an electric mixer blend the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla seeds and continue beating until light and fluffy - about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing each until just incorporated. (Do not over mix or your cake will be tough.)
Spread the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake until top of cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean - about 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and invert it to remove from the pan. Let cool completely before serving.
You can't really tell from this photo, but you can actually see the little specs of vanilla in each slice.
Enjoy a quiet moment with a piece of this cake and a cup of tea. Perfect on a cold January afternoon when eveyone in the house is napping except you : - )