Sunday, September 14, 2014

Peach Cake

The other day I started to think about my finances and things I want to buy or save for in the near future. Perhaps a new car? I have been saying this for a while but my car is on it's last wheels and I'm not sure it will make it through another ignition test, let alone an Ottawa winter. Plus, with all the 2015 models coming out, there are some good deals on 2014 models.. That being said, how much do I really need a car? I go back and forth between wanting to buy a car right this second and just having no car, saving money on parking, gas, insurance etc.. as usual I am always on the extremes. 

I feel as though September comes with so many expenses! Memberships that need renewing, back to school activities, etc.. I don't spend frivolously but i do know that two areas where I spend more than I should, are fitness and food (mostly groceries as I don't eat out a lot). It makes sense I guess, I eat a lot so I need to workout a lot. Actually it's not the quantity that is a problem, but rather that the quality and the fact that I like variety. 

On the fitness side I have a gym membership, yoga classes, barre classes, athletic conditioning classes, not to mention drop in swimming and the occasional running races.  I tried to go without a gym membership for September but have already cracked and re-joined for October. As long as I use it, I feel this is money well spent.  My goal is to not let anything go to waste.. for example, I purchased 20 yoga classes last year and have 12 left that will expire on October 24 if I don't go. Therefore I will try my very best to be a model Yogini and go as much as I can before that. 

On the food side I shop at Costco, Loblaws, Hartman's, Bulk Barn, Farm Boy, Food Basics, Farmers' Market, Byward Market, Nicastros.. you get the idea! And all these on top of my veggie share. I recently read that although you may think you are saving money by going to different stores, each store presents a new temptation and opportunity to spend and you end up spending MORE money. Hmm..something to think about. How do you budget for food? Do you plan your meals in advance? Shop with a grocery list and stick to it?  Please share your tactics with me! 

All this got me thinking, and I opened up my e-copy of Leanne Brown's cookbooks Good and Cheap. Have you heard about this project? It is a cookbook that was on Kickstarter with cheap recipes and you can download it now for free! The premise is that everyone should be able to eat healthy meals on as low as $4 a day. Even if you aren't on a tight budget, it has a lot of great looking recipes. 

When I came across a recipe for peach cake, I knew right away I wanted to make it. I see so many people posting apple recipes, but before I can get on that bandwagon I need to use up my delicious peaches.  Even though I was eating a them as often as I could, time was winning the battle and I knew they would soon start to go bad.  If you are in the same boat, and have lots of peaches in the house, I highly recommend this easy recipe. 

6 peaches, pitted and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
½ lemon, juiced
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ lb unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
11/3 cups brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Lightly butter an 8” x 11” glass baking dish or 9” springformpan. 
- In a large bowl, mix the peach slices, lemon juice, and cinnamon together with your hands, making sure the peaches are well coated in cinnamon.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder
- In another large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and salt, either with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. 
- Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, fully mixing in the first before adding the second.
- If using an electric mixer, switch to a wooden spoon and add the flour mixture into the butter mixture, gently incorporating it until it’s smooth. The batter will be quite thick.
-Spread half the batter over the bottom of the buttered pan. Evenly distribute half the peach slices.
- Spread the other half of the batter over the peaches, then top with the remaining peaches. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of sugar and place the cake in the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour or until cake tester comes out clean 

Eat as is, or topped with ice cream. 


Topped with delicious home made maple ice cream 

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