Signs of Spring

IMG_0527[3]

From blossoming fruit trees to buzzing honey bees, the signs of spring are everywhere …

IMG_0519[3]

IMG_0512[3]

IMG_0509[3]

IMG_0539[3]

IMG_0521[1]

The beauty of God’s creation abounds … what a wonderful season to experience, enjoy and explore!

Swinging into Spring

hens

I hope you are all enjoying swinging into spring!

I apologize for not posting sooner — I’ve missed you all so much and am enjoying getting caught up on my blog reading! I’ve been so inspired with all of your beautiful spring photos and delicious recipes!

We had a lovely week of spring break, and the great outdoors was calling! Sun-filled days, fresh air with a hint of floral bloom and trying out some fabulous recipes that I am so excited to share!

I even heard a lawn mower running! *happy sigh*

Spring break came and went so very quickly! Then came some very strong winds which must have been carrying a cold bug directly to our house. I am happy to report that we are feeling much better, and yesterday the winds calmed to a pleasant breeze once again.

Today I looked at the calendar — March 31. Where has the month flown? 

I suppose with the arrival of sunnier days, preparations for Easter and a nice break from school, time flies when you’re having fun!

I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful and blessed Easter! I am so excited to be back on the blog — I have so much to share with you all!

I’m posting a favorite photo from Easter — I am very sure the hens loved hiding the brightly colored eggs with me, and they seemed as excited as the girls to search for them!

Rainbow Sky

We have been enjoying refreshing rain showers today — as it was getting close to sunset, the rain gracefully stopped, the birds came out to sing and a full rainbow appeared in the sky.

IMG_0346

 

Coconut Cake With Blackberry-Honey Syrup

FullSizeRender[3]

It is safe to say that I have caught the spring bug, and I love it! Sun-filled afternoons, soft rains and … wait for it … I was even able to open a few windows this week to let in the fresh air!

I tend to brush off the “official” day of spring because it is feeling so much like spring already! I am eagerly awaiting the first blossoms, buds and honey bees, and I suddenly have a great desire to clean everything in the house using all-natural, lemon-scented cleaning products!

This enthusiasm has carried over into the kitchen — culminating in a recipe I came up with for coconut cake with blackberry-honey syrup. I pictured this cake in the midst of a sunny spring picnic or family gathering. I could almost hear the robins tweeting in the background, and I am so excited to share it with you! I only wish we could gather to enjoy it together!

Coconut Cake

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

3/4 cup raw cane sugar

3/4 cup coconut sugar

4 large egg whites

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup coconut flakes

———————————————————-

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine butter, coconut oil and sugars. Add egg whites and vanilla and mix on medium for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

-Gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with the almond milk, until batter is smooth.

Pour into a buttered/floured 13×9 cake pan and bake for approximately 27-29 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center.

-While cake is cooling, prepare frosting and blackberry-honey syrup.

——————————————————————–

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

3 Tablespoons palm fruit shortening, softened

2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup vanilla almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine butter and shortening until creamy. Add vanilla. Alternate powdered sugar with almond milk until creamy.

————————————————————–

Blackberry-Honey Syrup

4 cups blackberries, frozen

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 cup raw honey

-In a medium-size saucepan, combine all ingredients on low-medium heat and stir. As blackberries begin to soften, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until syrup begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

—————————————————————–

-When cake has cooled, frost and sprinkle with the flaked coconut.

-Before serving, drizzle individual servings with the blackberry-honey syrup and sprinkle with additional coconut flakes.

—————————————————————-

I hope you will enjoy! Here’s to a lovely spring!