As an artist, a Taurus, feminist, American young woman I will admit that it’s probably one of my biggest character flaws to become easily defensive and indignant about various things. Both the humbling experiences of living in Morocco and being married have squeezed some of this out of me, but it still flares up from time to time. One thing that I can get oddly defensive about is the fact that yes, I blog about food sometimes and yes, I love baking. I constantly feel like each one of these statements needs to be followed up by BUT I’m a feminist, or something along those lines. Which is absolutely ridiculous. Why should I even need to say that.
There is this stigma I have heard too many times that food blogs are something for bored housewives, but let me tell you the people I have met throughout the years of having various blogs (That’s So Vegan + Half Full) are wise, intelligent, and thoughtful individuals who work hard manage what they do (shout-outs to Amanda, Renee, Heidi, Sara and Angela who I’ve been following for years and have always inspired me). Having your own blog is essentially having your own business if you do it right and nothing about that is easy on the mind.
I’m trying to get better at just saying flat-out I love to make cakes without any indignant follow-up. Let's all just stop apologizing for things that bring us joy. I’m also trying not to get so precious about the “image” of this blog, which is way easier said than done. You read all of these articles about writing for a certain niche and how to gain followers and blah blah blah, then you start overanalyzing everything you post instead of having fun with it. I have to constantly keep reminding myself why I’m here:
- I have yet to find any contemporary dancers writing and blogging about the life and work behind their career, so I’m putting my pointed toe out there.
- I want to improve my writing by forcing myself to write weekly- and publicly.
- I really, honestly missed food blogging. I love the community, I love the sharing, I love the way food always brings people together- even online.
- I would like to see if there are other dancing, cooking, writing, creating people like myself out there and, quite simply, make some new friends + connect.
That is my reminder. Here, for everyone else to see and to repeat back to me if I ever start to get indignant, obsessive or insecure about blogging. It is so important to keep the process joyful, because as the wise Anne Lamott says in Grace (Eventually), “Joy is the best makeup.”
Joy is also cake. For me, the smell of peaches and toasting almonds wafting through our apartment is something that incites nothing but pure delight. Peaches are almost out of season here, which means you can find crates of them for crazy cheap prices, yet woefully speckled with bruises and bumps. Sad-looking yet great-tasting peaches happen to be perfect for baking. If peaches are totally out of season where you are, frozen or canned will work just fine in this recipe as well. This breakfast or snack-time treat is crumbly, moist, not-too-sweet and bursting with flavor.
I am a strong, independent young woman and I made this cake. No apologies.
Peach Almond Snack Cake (gluten-free)
Makes about 12 servings, adapted from my oldie-but-goodie apple cake recipe on Half Full
- 175g (1 3/4 cups) whole almonds ground into a fine flour
- 60g (2/3 cup) oat flour (you can make your own by grinding rolled oats in a food processor. Use gluten-free if necessary)
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 very ripe banana
- 2 large eggs
- 90g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or any kind of milk you have on hand)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 large peaches, cubed
- 55g (roughly 1/2 cup) chopped almonds
- 3 tbsp oats
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
Preheat your oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and butter up a rectangular cake pan (9x13" is standard, but you can use smaller for a thicker cake). In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder and salt. In a larger mixing bowl, mush up the banana then whisk in the eggs, sugar and butter, milk + vanilla until frothy. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Fold in the cubed peaches and spoon the batter into your prepared cake pan. Make the topping by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl with your fingers until it's good and crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over the cake. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the center is solid and doesn't wobble when you touch it. Let cool for about 10 minutes, slice and enjoy.