I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by. I feel like I always gauge the duration of summer by the length of time I spend running around the kitchen like a crazy person trying to cook down and preserve hundreds of pounds of tomatoes. This year, because of our terrible, crappy, all-around no-good spring, I didn’t get a ripe tomato from the garden until early August. So by those terms, it really was an incredibly short summer. Even though part of me is shouting a deep internal YAYYYYYYYY for fall, another part is very very sad that this season is nearly over. Looking back, though, I did get to do some pretty fun summery stuff that I’d been wanting to do for the past few summers but never got around to doing because of cookbook stuff. These fun summertime activities have included:
- Camping with friends and hanging out in a creek
- Going to the zoo (we got to see the zookeepers feed the buzzards a mystery carcass! Watching them eat it was eerily hypnotizing.)
- Eating Salt n’ Straw ice cream (which, oddly enough, took me going to Los Angeles to do)
- Visiting the international rose test garden and stopping to smell enough roses to bore the life out of Jeremy (there are over SEVEN THOUSAND roses there. I probably smelled only a few hundred. SAD.)
- Finally snagging tickets for OMSI After Dark (it’s a children’s science museum that they open up at nighttime once every couple months for adults only and serve booze throughout the museum. Science + alcohol + physically interactive exhibits = BEST. IDEA. EVARRRRRR.)
- Going on vacation with Jeremy (will be sharing a Scotland travel guide with all the deets up on the blog this fall!)
- Having lots of refreshing summery cocktails at my favorite bar in the city
- Going to the beach and watching our beagle-mix Sequoia chew on sand in a pure beach-induced joy
- Gorging myself on summer veggies thanks to our killer CSA from Tumbleweed Farms
- Seeing the total eclipse of the sun in Madras with my friends & family (this bit wasn’t really an option for the previous summers TBH)
- Listening to my fave podcast non-stop all day every day (any other true crime junkies out there?? Ann Rule books were my self-imposed bedtime stories from age 10 onwards…don’t think my mother knew what those were when I was checking them out from the library. Until now. Hi, mom!)
- Creating cooking videos for my youtube channel, which I’ve been wanting to do for years but finally found/made the time to make it happen!
- Preserving insane amounts of tasty produce from the garden.
So all-in-all, a pretty fun mix of summertime activities. There’s one activity that I haven’t done much of this summer, though, that I’ve started to get a hankerin’ for, and that’s baking. It’s been one of the hottest and driest summers on record here in Oregon, so I’ve avoided turning the oven on as much as possible (we don’t have any air conditioning). This past week, however, I decided to brave the inevitable sweat-soaked sun dress/apron combo and dove headfirst back into baking, whipping up this bundt cake and cupcakes.
For the bundt cake, I made a raspberry swirl inside of it with some homemade raspberry concentrate, and then topped it off with a white chocolate glaze. For the cupcakes, I hollowed out a little scoop inside each one and filled it with the raspberry concentrate, then iced over it with a deliciously salty vanilla buttercream (sweet things are always a little tastier with some salt in them, in my opinion!) Jeremy and I also made another how-to video about homemade buttercream, yay! If you like it you can watch more and subscribe to my youtube channel 😀
A Word of Note…
The “raspberry swirl cake” recipe can be made to either make the bundt cake, or the cupcakes, then you just make either the buttercream or glaze, depending (glaze for bundt cake, buttercream for cupcakes). If you’re a crazy cake person like me and want to make both the bundt cake and the cupcakes, double the raspberry swirl cake recipe.