I feel the same way each year around the same time. A slump begins in late January/early February and seeps into March, but halfway through the month I start to get more energy, I feel more inspired, and I am more and more excited for warmer weather. In the past week I started to actually prepare things (using my hands and getting them dirty, yay!) for this year's garden. We prepped the garden beds (with a lot of help from my husband and toddler), we planted our little seedlings, and will plant flowers this weekend, a worthy activity for the first days of spring. This will mark my second year as a legit gardener (meaning growing things I actually eat) and though I still feel clueless, I can't wait. The past couple days have also included walks in the sun with sandals on and bare legs, drawing on the sidewalk with colored chalk, and the years first skinned knees and elbows.
I read in a book once about a girl who celebrated her birthday in March. She thought of it as the gateway to summer, when the sun becomes warmer on your skin and everyone is drawn outdoors. I feel the same way come March, I am already making summer plans. This year, it will be filled with tomatoes, huckleberries, strawberries, a couple watermelons, some of my favorite flowers that I pray will not die on me, and welcoming another little one into our family. I love summer babies. I can already imagine the sleepless nights that will be a little sweeter with a new life to hold and fragrance from the blooms under our window filling our room with every summer breeze. Assuming my brown thumb doesn't take over, I did make sure to purchase hardy plants this year.
What plans are you making? Spring is here!
I made a cake like this a number of years ago for Easter. Since then I have made it every other spring, it seems the perfect time for bright flavors and sweet treats.
coconut and lemon cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
Butter 2 cake pans, line bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs then vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. At the very last, add the lemon juice. Pour half of the mixture in one cake pan, the other half in the second.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
white chocolate and lemon curd frosting
7 ounces white baking chocolate (chopped up)
1/3 c. heavy cream or coconut cream
Over a double boiler, melt white chocolate and cream together until melted and smooth, stirring often.
Let cool completely.
While it cools, whip 1 cup whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Set aside.
1 cup butter or coconut oil
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
lemon curd, optional
Combine cooled white chocolate mixture, whipped cream, and creamed butter/coconut oil, sugar and vanilla on high until fluffy. Layer the cakes with a layer of lemon curd and frosting between the two layers, and coconut shards on top. You can toast the coconut shards if you like, it adds beautiful texture and gives the coconut a little crunch.
Extra frosting keeps well in the refrigerator.
Do not combine the lemon curd with the frosting, it will cause the frosting to curdle. Though it doesn't affect the taste, it will affect the texture.
Feel free to replace everything lemon with other citrus, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.