Music to our ears!
We’ve mentioned before that our eldest son, Michael, started learning guitar almost two years ago. We’ve loved watching him progress! He often comes up from his music room all excited to play us a new song he’s learned.
We love hearing him play, but another bonus is that it’s often a a song that we know and love too. How cool is it that parents and son share a similar taste in music?!
This was an exciting week for us. Michael’s become very passionate about music and it’s gone beyond the guitar. He plays percussion instruments in the school instrumental band and this year he also plays bass in the school jazz band. He loves every chance he gets to play music.
This week the jazz band had their very first gig of the year. Chapters invited them to play in one of their stores for an evening. As a generous fund-raising gesture on their part, they gave the band 15% of all sales during the two hours they played. This money will be used for band expenses that the school may not cover, like transportation or accommodations when they travel for competitions. Way to support the arts Chapters/Indigo!
Shop till you drop!
Our evening was perfect, we got to listen to live music played by the school jazz band and we put a serious dent into our Christmas shopping… well… by we, I mean Liz :-). Chapters is part of Indigo, and for those who may not be familiar with them, are a large chain of big box book stores in Canada. They have a massive inventory of books, as well as things that compliment reading, like blankets, coffee and tea related products, digital readers, educational toys for kids, etc. During this two hour event we were entertained, we were productive with Christmas shopping, and our purchases supported the jazz band… how sweet it is!
Speaking of sweet…
As if Michael hadn’t already had enough fun this week, he was also invited to a buddy’s birthday party. Since we’re good friends with his friend’s parents, we were also invited to the family gathering. I wanted to take a sweet treat to the party. I end up settling on lemon cake. I’ve made a few over the years and decided it was time to develop my own version. I don’t normally serve a dessert that I haven’t tried and tested first, but I was feeling confident…and a little lucky, so I took a shot.
The cake was a hit. There was nothing left by the end of the evening and a few of the guests complimented me on the cake and lemony glaze! I like this cake because it’s a little moist, it’s lemony and it isn’t overly sweet. It’s perfect with a nice hot cup coffee or tea! The glaze makes it look fancier so it’s nice to serve to guests but it’s also simple enough to be served as a weekday snack at home–the best of two worlds.
Why not listen to some great music while you bake something sweet today? And as always, eat well, friends!
This lemon bundt cake is delicious, moist and easy to make. Great as a weekday snack or as a fancy dessert for guests. The glaze is the "icing" on the cake!
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour all-purpose flour will also work
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 eggs room temperature
- 1 tbsp lemon zest from about 1 to 1 1/2 lemons
- 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1 to 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
Grease (with melted butter) and flour the bundt pan. Use a brush for the butter to ensure that all nooks and crannies are covered in butter before applying the flour. Make sure to also get the centre and top outside edges of the pan with butter and flour to prevent sticking. Be generous with the layer of butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large stand mixer bowl, beat the sugar and butter on medium high until light and fluffy. About 4 to 5 minutes.
With the stand mixer still on medium high, add one egg at-a-time and let mix until completely combined.
Stop the stand mixer and scrape the batter from the sides with a soft spatula into the centre and run the stand mixer for another minute on medium.
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Let the stand mixer run for another two minutes on medium speed.
Stop the stand mixer and remove the bowl.
Add the flour mixture and sour cream to the stand mixer bowl and use a spatula to combine all the ingredients well.
Pour/scoop (it'll be thick) the batter into the bundt pan.
Place the cake pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 55 minutes or until the cake tester or toothpick come out clean/dry.
Once the cake comes out, let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 15 minutes.
Place a cooling rack over the bundt pan and carefully flip the two over so that the top is now at the bottom, and the cake is sitting on the cooling rack. Remove the cake pan.
Let the cake cool for 30 minutes.
Place the cake on a cake plate or serving dish.
Once the cake is cool, prepare the lemon glaze.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter on medium.
Add the lemon juice and powdered sugar, and whisk until completely combined.
Keep whisking until the glaze is very smooth. About 3 to 4 minutes.
As soon as the glaze is ready, carefully pour the glaze over and around the top edges of the cake. Let the glaze run down the outer and inner sides of the cake. You might have to help pour the last bit of glaze with a spoon since it starts to harden as soon as it starts to cool.
Let the cake and glaze cool another 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!