December 23, 2016

Cranberry Pound Cake

I know I'm not the only one who has used Pinterest as a last resort.... okay, let's be honest, it's usually the first resort. 

Let me tell you, this recipe is delicious! It does take a while to put together and I would probably measure more carefully the next time I make this... But for the first try, it was definitely a winner!

This is the perfect combo of cakiness, tart cranberry, with hints of cream cheese and white chocolate. Who can beat that?! Anyways... I'll quite rambling and give you the recipe. :) 

For the Cake:
187 grams cake flour-sifted (it’s about 1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons flour but you better measure it on kitchen scale because the cake could be dense or dry if you overdo it with the flour )
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1cup cranberries (fresh or thawed)
5 oz. white chocolate chunk
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( room temperature)
300 grams sugar ( 11/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons browned butter
For Frosting: 
1/4 cup butter(softened)
4 oz.cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or more to make it thick enough to spread on top of the cake)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Garnish:
handful dried cranberries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 

Now to be completely honest, I did alter this recipe slightly when I made it.... I took things out and added other things, so mine might be a little different than yours.

  • Preheat the convection air oven to 325 F (if you don’t have convection air oven raise the temperature to 350 F and you will have to rotate the pan half way through the baking time)
  • Butter and flour 8.5x4.5x3 inches loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and sift it three times, set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat brown 2.5 tablespoon butter until it’s nice amber color, remove the foam and set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg with vanilla extract and set aside.
  • Mix the butter on medium speed until it’s creamy, slowly add sugar and continue beating until it’s creamy.
  • Add heavy cream and mascarpone, and beat on medium speed.
  • Turn mixer on low speed and gradually add dry ingredients alternately with eggs.
  • Add handful flour in chocolate chunks and toss them to cover evenly. Toss cranberries with a handful flour to cover them completely.
  • Add chocolate chunks in the batter and stir well, then gently stir in cranberries
  • Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth the top and gently tap the pan on working surface to remove the air bubbles.
  • With a butter knife draw a line down the center of the pound cake and pour browned butter into the line.
  • Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 55 to 65 minutes). Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool on the rack.
  • When the cake is completely cooled prepare the glaze.
  • With a mixer, cream together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until smooth, mix in vanilla extract. Spread on top of the cake.Place the cake in the fridge until the frosting is set.
  • When the frosting is set melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat until it’s smooth( cool if it’s too thin)
  • Sprinkle the cake with dried cranberries and drizzle with chocolate. (You can drizzle the chocolate with a spoon or transfer it into small zip-lock bag, cut off the corner and pipe the chocolate over the cake).

Now I should probably go burn off some extra calories I may have obtained from snitching broken pieces of this cake. 

Anna Rose

December 16, 2016

Iowa Bridges and Frostbite

 "But it's freezing outside!" Laura looked at me like I was crazy.
I didn't worry too much. Crazy was a word I was familiar with. 
I could have cared less that it was less than 10 degrees outside.
"It'll be quick, promise!"

And so we went. "Take me anywhere that's pretty," I told her and she did a smashing job, I would say.
We drove to the creek and poked around for a few minutes before we decided that the numbness in our hands meant that we should move on to the next spot before frostbite set in. 

We made sure to stop by the hay bale snowman standing outside of the grain bins. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the lack of snow had driven one farm boy to bring some Christmas cheer to the world in this simple way.  

Our next stop was the bridge. Ever since the first time I saw this bridge I knew it was destined to be the subject in some of my pictures. 
And this was certainly the perfect day for it too! The sun was shining and the sky was blue.... By this time I couldn't feel my fingers, but I wasn't about to turn around!

The ice in the river had frozen in beautiful circles, proving to how cold it really was- don't let all that sunshine and blue sky fool you!

Finally realizing that there was no way I could work the dials on my camera anymore we decided that heading back to warm up was probably the best plan of action, and so we did just that. 

It seems crazy that this happened just this week... and now I'm 1,420 miles away from this beautiful, COLD state, in an equally beautiful and slightly less cold state. 

But I'm still just as thankful for the warm house and wood stove today as I was on Tuesday. 
And now, I'm off to watch The Nativity Story with my family. 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Anna Rose

December 6, 2016

Jacob { Class of 2017}

“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!” 
― Dr. Suess


When did this crazy cousin get this tall, this handsome, 
and since when is he allowed to graduate?!

Just kidding. I'm proud of you, kid!

-Anna Rose

December 4, 2016


 "It's beginning to lot like Christmas!"

..... in some state other than Iowa.
Thankfully tho, I did just make a short trip to Minnesota, where they had snow in abundance!

The next things on my to-do list are:
- Survive Finals Week
- Graduate from college
- Don't die

Anna Rose