Wednesday, June 05, 2013

smell the coffee

With a plethora of options that bombard us on a daily basis, both with the everyday (like buying groceries), to the more complicated (like the path to raising our children), sometimes I think having too many choices have actually paralyzed us from making one singular, intelligent, well informed decision.

I remember a simpler time, when as a child, ice cream primarily came in three flavours:  vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.  I remember a time when ketchup came in a glass bottle, and not two shelves with variations such as organic, sugar-free or an upside-down-so-it-is-easy-to-pour version.  I remember a time when finding something to do after school was easy...I'd roller skate along the sidewalk, with the theme to "Ice Castles" (a popular 70's movie) in my head. And although my parents did their share of chauffeuring my brother and I around to various extra curricular activities, the choices were limited...and back then, it seemed our decisions on "what to do" seemed so clear.

With summer around the corner, I've yet again started to create a list of things to do this summer.  But like last summer, my list is a little different than your average "what to do" list.  It speaks more to what I want my children to remember about summer...not what I want them to accomplish.  They are only so young for such a short period of time, and instead of signing them up for more schedules,  I've changed my outlook on this precious time we have together, and plan on exploring life's little pleasures.

Like biking to the creek to find crayfish (do those still exist?).  Or lying underneath the sprinkler in the backyard on a hot summer day and just watch the curved water drops sway back and forth on top of the grass.  Or just rest on a picnic blanket to read or see shapes in the clouds.

And as the kids create those wonderful childhood summer memories, I too, will enjoy waking up to the aroma of freshly made coffee, and now and then, enjoy a little cake for breakfast (gasp!) start our summer day discovering life's little pleasures.

Streusel Topped Coffee Cake

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cups white sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • Grease and flour baking pan (I used a loaf pan, bundt pans work well too)
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cups white sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. 
  • Add flour, baking powder and baking soda, then beat until well combined.
  • Pour batter into Bundt pan. 
  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.



  1. I totally agree with the idea that having too many choices can really paralyze the decision-making process! (Just finished reading "The Happiness Project" and there was something about that in there as well.)
    As a picky eater, I often just skim recipes on blogs, but I'm totally on board with all of the ingredients for this coffee cake (in fact I think I already HAVE all the ingredients), and I'm pinning it now!
    Congrats on making the SavvyMom list!

    1. Thank you! Sometimes the best things in life (and in food!) come when we simplify and go back to the basics. Enjoy the coffee cake!


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