Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Aunt Della's Rhubarb Cake

I don't really have an Aunt Della, but I wish I did. For some reason that I don't quite understand, women of my mother's generation would guard recipes as if their lives depended upon it. Maybe it did, in a strange way, validating their homemaker lifestyle. I'm glad those days are over (thank you Pinterest!) Today, we can thank my good friend Galen, whose Aunt Della generously shares this down-home, comfort food cake. It's easy, it's yummy and, if you love that sweet sour thing rhubarb has going on...you will love this cake.

Aunt Della's Rhubarb Cake

2 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter (at room temp.)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg (at room temp.)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon 

Grease (I use butter) a 9" x 13" glass baking pan (metal will discolor the rhubarb)

Prepare fresh rhubarb and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour and salt and set aside. 

Using your mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar 
until light and fluffy.  Beat in 1 tsp vanilla and the egg until combined.
Add the baking soda directly into the cup of buttermilk, then add to 
the creamed mixture. The mixture will look like it is not coming 
together, but take heart, it will all work out in the end. Beat on medium speed
for approximately three minutes. 
Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. 
Add the rhubarb, stir until is distributed evenly throughout the batter. 
Pour into the prepared baking pan, smooth the top of the batter. 

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the batter.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes.

 Not all of the sugar will caramelize and that's okay.  
Serve while warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

When the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping meets the pieces of tangy rhubarb surround by fluffy cake...watch out diet! Enjoy, and thank you Galen and Aunt Della!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Small Pleasures

This summer we are home, working in the studio, but still...home! How glorious it is to be here long enough between painting retreats to appreciate the simple pleasures of our surroundings. I'm feeling particularly grateful and reflective today. Here are some of the things that make me happy in my space.
The way the trumpet vine creates leafy shadows over the pergola.

The Texas sage in full bloom

My first crop of figs (!) and time to enjoy the bounty of the local markets

My kitchen, and the time to hone my baking skills and try new recipes. Like these French Breakfast Puffs (find this doughnut inspired recipe by Ree Drummond here).

Sunset evenings on the patio with my honey, of which I never, ever tire....xo

  What do you enjoy in your space? Happy weekend everyone!

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