Wednesday, January 16, 2013

get moving. be still. eat cake.

Last week, as we enjoyed above seasonal temperatures, that magical feeling of giving (and receiving) that we enjoyed during the holidays seems to have melted away with the snow.  It is now that time of year to get going...get in shape, make good with all the resolutions...just get moving.

I guess all this busyness helps us fight the winter blues as we settle into another year of promises, hope and dreams.  I actioned on my list of things to do, and began the year reorganizing closets.  Purged all the old to make room for the new. I know many people who have taken action on their resolutions of getting fit.  Fitness gyms have been bustling with business in the past few weeks. Get active!  Get exercising! Get moving!

There has been a lot of talk lately about how we sit still for too long during the day, as noted in the Harvard Business Review's article,"Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation".  It's true...I often wonder if we are raising a generation of children who spend more time behind screens than participating in active physical activity.

As much as I agree that our bodies need more physical activity, conversely I also think our minds need to be more still.  Although we may not be physically moving, our minds are always racing...juggling the balance of our personal and work life, while multitasking both lives on our mobile phones.  And while we may be communicating with various people at the same time, are we really connecting?

As much as we're getting more active and enjoying the winter activities, I also think we need to balance that by teaching our kids how to sit still and resist all the "i-distractions".  In the long run, it will help them stay connected to what, and more importantly, who is in front of them. To actually have a conversation beyond 140 characters.

To me, nothing invites conversation more than sitting together for a good meal or even just a coffee/hot cocoa (and maybe a small slice of cake). And yes, I know this cake may seem to defeat the purpose of exercise, it isn't too sweet and it is dense enough to allow even just a small slice to satisfy.  But it's real purpose is to gather together and savour each bite while enjoying each other's company. And with our devices put away, we can have our cake...and eat it too.

Cherry Almond Pound Cake with White Chocolate Ganache Icing
(adapted from:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter 
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped cherries

White Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. butter or shortening
Gently melt and stir in microwave for about 1 minute, intermittently stirring to not burn.

  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Grease bundt pan with shortening/flour.
  • Cream butter with the sugar until it is light.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  • Slowly add flour, salt and baking soda
  • Add sour cream.
  • Add almond extract.
  • Gently fold in the chopped cherries.
  • Place in bundt pan, and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until done.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool.
  • Top with White Chocolate ganache

Enjoy your cake.

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