Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lemon Berry Coffee Cake (bringing back the recipes!)

I have a carton of buttermilk I need to use up and a couple lemons that need zesting or juicing before they dry up.  I found this recipe in this month's Better Homes and Gardens magazine and knew it would be perfect... I didn't imagine that it would taste as moist and amazing as it does, though!  The buttermilk makes it moist.  I was afraid that only 1 tsp of "lemon peel" wouldn't make it lemony enough, so I just zested a whole lemon, and the lemon taste was perfect.  I also didn't have fresh or frozen raspberries, so I just thawed a cup of frozen Trader Joe's berries I had.  Seriously, make this coffee cake!  
I can imagine on a bridal or baby shower buffet table or just for an afternoon snack.  

Lemon-Raspberry Coffeecake
Cut wedges straight from the pan or transfer the cake to a serving plate for pretty presentation.
Prep:  15 mins.  Bake:  45 mins.  Oven  375*F  
Cool:  10 mins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel (zest)
1 egg
1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (or blueberries or blackberries)
powdered sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly grease botton of 9x1 1/2 inch-round cake pan.  Lime bottom of pain with parchment.  Grease and lightly flour pan; set aside.  For cake, in a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2.  In a medium mixing bowl beat 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the butter with mixer on medium to high until combined.  Add 1 egg and the vanilla.  Beat on low to medium 1 minute.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar mixture, beating just until combined after each addition; set aside.
3.  For cheesecake filling, in small mixing bowl beat cream cheese and remaining 1/4 c. granulated sugar on medium to high until combined.  Add lemon peel and 1 egg.  Beat until combined.
4.  Spoon half the cake batter into prepared pan, spreading to edges.  Pour cream cheese mixture on cake batter, spreading to edges.  Dollop remaining batter on cream cheese layer, carefully spreading to edges of pan.
5.  Bake 20 minutes or until puffed.  Gently press raspberries into cake.  Bake 25-30 minutes more or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.  Loosen edges of cake from pan; remove from pan.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.  Makes 10 servings.
EACH SERVING:  309 cal, 14 g fat, 72 mg chol, 302 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.  

Adapted slightly from Better Homes and Gardens  April 2012, page 159

Friday, March 23, 2012

Family in town!

Last week my parents came in town!  
I was so excited to finally show them our new home, new town, and just enjoy 5 days off with them.
Their trip coincided with my dad's brother's son's :) Wesleyan University baseball spring training out here.
So, in addition to my parents being here, so were my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins.
It was so fun to spend time with family.
We walked around Papago Park, went to Sedona, got our nails done, went out to eat, watched baseball games, enjoyed the gorgeous weather (minus that 5 minute bout of hail!), 
and enjoyed each other's company.

When Mom and Dad left on Monday, I realized how much I missed them!

Thanks for spending time with us.

We love you!

Me and Mom at Oregano's

Cousin Abbey and grandpa Bo

The Weiss men plus Andy (Dad, Bo, Uncle Dave, Andy)

Weiss ladies

Kyle Weiss at bat

Cousins in law, Kyle and Andy

Mom and me in Sedona

We love bears :)

At the Desert Botanical Gardens

Kristen came too!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


"Hope is the great stabilizer.  It steadies us in times of fear and difficulty, not because we know that everything will turn out as we want, but because we know that God is trustworthy.  Hope is what helps us stay on course regardless of circumstances."   
Ann Spangler Praying the Names of God

Have you ever felt like you were waiting for something particular to happen in your life for a really long time that your heart started to hurt?  I have, and I currently am.  Solomon wisely pointed out in Proverbs that, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick."  (Proverbs 12:13)  Isn't that the truth?

Being in a season of longing, a season where hope continually seems to be deferred... I have decided to believe that God's will isn't for my heart to be "sick".  The second part of that Proverb is:  "but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."  That is the character of the God I know and love.  But, reality is that what I'm longing for is not happening... so, what can I do about it?  I think I need to figure out where to put my hope.  And that's what I'm doing.

God is teaching lots of things to me through this process... this journey of wanting to be pregnant and it not happening the way I planned.  There, I said it.  Among the many things I'm learning (besides how to release control, that God's timing is perfect, that I can't always plan things out to the T) is what HOPE really means.

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, 
for I will yet praise Him, 
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11
When we put our hope in the outcome, there is inevitable chance for heartsickness.  When we put our hope in God, we will never be put to shame.  Yes, we obviously can and will hope for things... for blessings... for circumstances to change... for people to change... for us to change... for an outcome... but at the end of the day, we can't stake everything in those hopes.  I can stake it all in Jesus.  When I hope in Him, I am secure.  SO that's how I can remain stable and joyful even when my longing for a child is unfulfilled.  I know that my hope is in His unfailing love, my hope is in God, my hope is ultimately so much more than an earthly blessing or event... it's for "the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own..." (Titus 2:13-14)

God put a picture in my mind a few days ago as I was praying on this very thing that has given me... lots of hope!  It was a crude depiction of a sea with the waves at the top and the sandy bottom far below the surface.  Then I saw a diver (me) taking a big hook and swimming all the way to the bottom of the sea and securing the hook to the bottom.  Then it became an anchor.  The surface of the ocean is unstable, shifting, changing, insecure, vulnerable... the ocean floor or deep is secure, safe, stable, firm.  Where do I want to put my hopes?  I know the answer.

So I am praying that the thing I am hoping for would be firm and secure in the Rock of Jesus.  When we call His name, He answers, He comes.  If this--getting pregnant--is going to take some time, I want to learn all that I can from God in the process.  I don't want to miss something He's trying to teach me here.  Yes, it is painful... hope deferred makes the heart sick.  But my deepest longings... the ones of my spirit... are fulfilled in Jesus, and in faith there is a tree of life being planted in my heart here.  

I will leave you with my favorite verse from the Bible:

"A blessing on the one who puts his trust in the Lord, 
with the Lord for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside
that thrusts its roots to the stream;
when the heat comes, 
it feels no alarm, 
its foliage stays green; 
it has no worries in a year of drought, 
and never ceases to bear fruit..."
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (Jerusalem Bible trans.)