Month in Review: April 2019

From sunny days in the park to losing power during a snow storm, April was full of highs and lows. It was difficult to make outdoor plans in advance since we never knew what type of weather we would be graced with. Luckily, we were able to fill our month with an array of events that kept us in good spirits despite the unruly weather patterns.

We began the month with an afternoon trip to the Mitchel Park Domes. It was a mini escape from Wisconsin’s dreary weather. As soon as you enter the domes you are transported to warmer climates. While I’m quite fond of the rainforest dome (it has a waterfall!) Ian and I ended up spending the majority of our time in the desert dome. It was less crowded and allowed us to sit back, close our eyes, and pretend we were on a desert vacation.

As a belated birthday celebration, Ian purchased tickets to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Art in Bloom exhibit. As soon as we walked through the front doors we were greeted with the most wonderful scent. The entire atrium was decorated with flowers and hosted a series of events. You could sit back with a cocktail, watch a live painting, and listen to a harpist. Once we pulled ourselves away from the atrium, we ventured into the permanent collection wing for the main event! Local florist created stunning floral arrangements that were inspired by paintings. It was easy to lose track of time in the exhibit and Ian and I ended up spending the majority of our Saturday wandering around the event, soaking in the beauty of all of the flowers.

It’s clear that I have a deep love for flowers, therefore, it comes as no surprise that I was delighted to see blooms start peeking out of the ground this month. Luckily, these are hearty flowers since they had to endure a few snow storms in April. I don’t know if there is anything that sums up spring in Wisconsin more than the sight of daffodils covered in snow.

To get a closer look inside our month watch our video below which shares one second of every day!

Cinnamon Raisin Apple Scones

In a world of constant distractions, moments of uninterrupted quality time are cherished. In the past year Ian and I have started our weekend mornings by leaving our phones at home and going on a walk. It’s become my favorite tradition and I decided to take it one step further on Sunday mornings – unplugged breakfast. We sit down with a pot of tea and a pastry and talk about our goals for the day and how we can support each other as we gear up for a new week. It’s a simple change, but one that had brought us a lot of joy.

As part of this new tradition, we have been trying out new breakfast recipes. Blueberry muffins were a big hit until I came across these cinnamon raisin apple scones. Served warm with a spread of butter, these scones instantly win a place in your heart. They pair perfectly with a warm cup of chai tea and are sure to start your day off on a happy note.

Cinnamon Raisin Apple Scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 C. butter, chilled
  • 1 medium apple, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C. raisins
  • 1/3 C. honey

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400˙
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt together.
  • Add the butter and use a pastry cutter to combine until the mixture resembled coarse crumbs.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the apple, raisins, milk, and honey.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until moistened.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface five to ten times to combine all the dough together.
  • Pat the dough to be 1/2 thick and use a circle cutter to form scones.
  • Place scones on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tasting History: Daffodil Cake (1930s)

Daffodil Cake

With Easter right around the corner there isn’t a better recipe to dust off than the Daffodil Cake – also known as Easter Dinner Cake. This recipe was printed on the pages of the 1930s addition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. This is a thrifty cake since the recipe makes use of the egg yolks left behind when making angel food batter. This results in two different colored batters, the white angel food and yellow sponge. By alternating layers of batter, you are left with a cheerfully marbled cake fit to serve after Easter service.

Daffodil Cake

When I uncovered this recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I couldn’t help but flip through an old parish cookbook to see if I could find this vintage recipe. A few pages into the cake section I saw it, printed for a new generation to enjoy. Clearly, this cake was a beloved recipe that originated in the 30s and was then passed down from mother to daughter. I couldn’t wait to bake it in my own kitchen and have a taste of this celebration cake.

Daffodil Cake

Daffodil Cake

Ingredients:

Angel Food Cake Batter

  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 C. sugar

Yellow Sponge Batter

  • 3/4 C. flour
  • 3/4 baking powder
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. cold water
  • 1/2 C. sugar

Directions:

Angel Food Cake

  • Beat egg whites until frothy, then egg the cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt.
  • Whip until soft peaks form
  • Gradually add the sugar until well combined
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and powdered sugar
  • Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients 1/4 C. at a time until combined

Yellow Sponge Cake

  • Mix the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, lemon juice, and water together for 5 minutes.
  • Gradually add in the sugar and beat until combined
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture 1/4 C. at a time

Assembly

  • In an angel food cake tin, alternately spoon in the angel food cake batter and yellow sponge batter
  • Bake at 375˙ for 35-40 minutes
  • Cool the cake upside-down
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving