welp – it’s already march. a quarter of the year is done already, which is a scary thought. time seems to slip away more quickly with each year that passes by, and the more i think about that, the more i try and be more mindful of how i spend my time. i’ve mostly been sitting here over the last month wishing that time would pass more quickly so that it will be spring, instead of just living in the moment that’s been given to me (god damn winter). with this weather i find it so hard to feel positive and motivated, and i look back on some of the things i wanted to accomplish this year, like posting on my blog once a week, and feel like i’ve been slacking.
that’s not to say that i’ve been doing nothing, though. i’ve had some major life changes since the year has started: my boyfriend of 6 years and i have broken up, and he moved out this past weekend; i’m starting a new job full-time on monday which will require a lot of travel and really put me outside of my comfort zone (and be a huge adjustment going back to full-time work after being freelance for a year and a half); and i’ve cut some people from my life that weren’t adding any positive value. when i look back on the first quarter of the year, even though some of the smaller goals i set for myself haven’t been met, i realize that there has been a lot of personal growth, and i’m starting a new chapter that’s ultimately aligned with the vision i had for myself at the start of the year.
the takeaway from this life update is: don’t worry as much. focus on the positive, celebrate all of your accomplishments, however small, and appreciate the *now*. i think the most important thing to realize if you’re feeling a little behind or a little down, is that everything ends up the way it’s supposed to be. things may not get crossed off your list in the order you originally planned, but as long as you’re always learning about yourself, growing, and embracing change – shit will sort itself out.
with that being said, i’ve been slacking on the blogging front lately for a couple of reasons, number one being that the weather has me feeling so uninspired to eat. i’ve been eating the most boring, same few foods every day for the last couple of weeks, which is SO unlike me: avocado toast (LOL WTF – i hated avocado until like a week ago, i think i forced myself to like it because it’s easy, filling and relatively healthy); eggs; yogurt and granola; a banana; and a sweet potato with some random toppings. this is all i’ve been eating for the last couple of weeks, every.single.day (with some unhealthy snacks from bulk barn, tim hortons doughnuts, and pasta dotted in there). part of it is i’m trying to be healthy(ish) since i lack the motivation to go to the gym right now, and part of it is i’m just feeling so BLAH and bored of winter foods.
but, i’ve vowed to get back in the kitchen and make some meaningful food that i actually want to be eating and sharing with you guys, starting with this blood orange and ricotta cake.
i’ve been obsessed with candying citrus for the past few weeks – i candied some lemons for a lemon mascarpone tart i made for a dinner a few weeks ago, and then the following weekend i candied blood oranges for the chocolate orange tiramisu i made for my second mangia pop up dinner (photos coming so soon!) and i wanted an excuse to make some more. the process is super simple, you just simmer thinly sliced rounds of citrus in a simple syrup for around 40 minutes, until the rind softens, and then dry on parchment paper. the rind looses some of it’s bitterness so you can eat the whole thing, and the fruit itself looks like the most beautiful stained glass. this recipe candies the citrus while the cake bakes on top of it, and you end up with the most stunning upside down cake. and though my blog probably doesn’t need another ricotta cake, you’re getting one anyway (case in point here, here and here). they’re just so easy, delicious and a staple in my house like banana bread is in others.
i hope you take some time to yourself this week, bake this cake, review the last few months and celebrate your wins (and appreciate the losses all the same). spring is just around the corner, and i’m so excited for what the rest of the year holds for us!
blood orange & ricotta cake
*recipe from apt2b baking co
2 blood oranges scrubbed and cut into very thin slices
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (170g) whole milk ricotta
zest and juice of 2 blood oranges
1 cup (135g) almond meal/flour
1/3 (45g) cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
preheat your oven to 300ºf. butter a 9-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. butter the paper too, then dust the pan and paper with flour. stir the water and sugar together, then spread it on the bottom of the prepared pan. arrange the orange slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.
cream the butter and sugar together with the lemon zest until very light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each addition. then beat the mixture for 5 more minutes. beat in the ricotta and orange juice.
gently stir in the almond meal, cornmeal, and salt. the batter will be very thick. spread the batter over the orange slices and bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then invert it onto a platter.
serve it with barely sweetened vanilla bean whipped cream.