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Snapshots: Thinking, Reading, Doing, Snapping and Eating (August)

August 25, 2014

Thanks for all your positive comments about my debut “Snapshots” post. Here’s the latest roundup-esque post with a glimpse of things I’ve been doing, thinking, writing, reading, photographing, and eating during the last week.

Thinking …
I’ve certainly been doing my share of thinking. But I’m not going to write a lot at this moment. I woke up Saturday morning having pulled a muscle in my neck and it’s been so painful all weekend. I suspect typing until all-hours on this computer won’t help. So I’ll catch you up with my thoughts in future posts.

books_aug 24

Reading …
I’m continuing my summer binge-reading with some great books. I already told you about Good Chinese Wife, which was a wonderful read. I went on to read The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard. This book was sitting on my “to read” pile for months and I finally picked it up, and proceeded to finish it within a few days. I love it when you find a hidden gem of a book waiting for you all along.

This is a great story about a Midwestern family that is torn apart after the girlfriend of one of the son goes missing. It was beautifully written, heartbreaking, yet not depressing either. It was a really great reminder how something like what this family went through could really happen to any one of us. And the cover’s beautiful image of fireflies in a jar is just gorgeous too.

I just started Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen. This story takes place under the backdrop of India’s transformation and follows a woman who must confront her past in order to fight for her future. I just started this one, so I’m not ready to give it a full review. But it’s definitely help my interest so far.

IMG_7226

Eating …
The best thing I ate (and baked) in the last few weeks was a Finnish marble cake from the Apples for Jam cookbook. This book is gorgeous, chocked full of colorful photos, family stories, and simple recipes that are organized by color (love this idea). This cake was absolutely mouth-watering and so simple. The recipe is below. Make it today! You’re welcome!

2 1/4 sticks softened butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 1/4 cups plain flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9 1/2″ spring-form cake pan. I used a 9″ cake pan.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until pale. Gradually add the eggs. Sieve in the flour and the baking powder. If the mixtures looks curd-ly before, add some flour. Beat well, then beat in the cream.
  • Divide the batter into two bowls, adding more batter to one bowl. In the bigger batter add the vanilla extract, and mix well. Sieve the cocoa into the second bowl, whisking in completely.
  • Dollop most of the vanilla mixture in the pan. Then add spoonfuls of the chocolate mixture, here and there. Then add the remainder of the vanilla mixture. Use a skewer or a tsp to make a few swirls. Do not blend in the two batters.
  • Bake 50 – 60 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan before serving. I added a dollop of fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries to mine.

Snapping …
This month, Sophie enjoyed her first baseball game. Go San Diego Padres!

baseball

We’ve been spending time in our backyard watching the sunflowers. sunflowers

Sophie’s been keeping busy coloring her cardboard castle.castle

Tess and Casey are hanging around.Tess

Casey

And we only have one more week of peaceful sleeping in and leisurely days until school starts next week! sleeping sophie
So how was your August? What are you reading, eating, cooking and doing? 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2014 4:04 am

    Oh, Leah, hope your neck feels all better soon. (I’ve done that before and I know how painful and difficult it can be.) Thanks for the reading and eating suggestions, and I love the photos. Sophie’s so big! As for me, I’m mostly writing and also doing some painting (house) and a little weed battling — can’t really call it gardening this year. Hope you feel better.

  2. August 29, 2014 10:00 am

    I enjoyed this post, nice to get to know you a little! Real quick, since you asked:

    Reading: Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath… my favorite book.
    Eating: Thanks to Yelp, we discovered a great Japanese restaurant in the Inner Sunset called Kitchen Kura. We had the hamachi special, nanban chicken, fried eggplant, and lots of little wonderful salads and sauces. Can’t wait to go back.
    Cooking: Not enough! But I have marjoram, sage, and thyme all coming up in my herb garden, so I’m going to have to learn how to use all three sometime soon.
    Doing: Teaching my class, working with one-on-one students, recording my podcast, brainstorming on a new Logic Games book… it’s my busy season. Looking forward to a break in December.

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  1. Snapshots: Thinking, Reading, Snapping and Eating (October) | Leah's Thoughts

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