Pumpkin Maple Bundt Cake
This stunner belongs in your holiday get-togethers!
Yes, caprese gets quotation marks. It’s not exactly a caprese, but I just made a little substitution.
How was everyone’s weekend? We didn’t have a lot of things on our schedule, so we just had a glorious, relaxing couple of days. We got our butts absolutely kicked in yoga. We watched the Timbers win big in Salt Lake with some delectable beers and burgers at the Old Gold, one of our favorite bars in PDX. We hit up the farmers market and I read almost all of Gone Girl. There’s just about 90 pages left. Dave and I also made new sewing projects. He made a chambray shirt and I made a super cute skirt that I can’t wait to bust out.
Oh! And I forgot one important and exciting thing: I biked to work every day last week! It was the first time that I was five for five in pretty much forever – probably since I lived in Longmont, CO and was about 1 mile from work. Well now, I live about 5 miles from work. It takes me about 18 minutes to ride in and about 30 minutes to ride home. Why the big discrepancy? Two words: sea level. Work is about four blocks from a river. Home isn’t a whole lot higher, but almost everything is higher than sea level and the meager elevation change is enough to make the entire ride home an uphill trip. I am sure that in a couple of months I will feel great about nailing that uphill ride home every day, but by the time Friday came around last week, my quads felt like cement blocks. I was glad to rest over the weekend, and today (Monday) I felt like all of the hills were a teensy bit easier. But… we’ll see how I feel at the end of the week.
Friday night after we both biked home, Dave and I walked over to New Seasons to grab groceries and made an amazing date night dinner. Our appetizer featured some of the local Hood strawberries we picked up, and it couldn’t be easier.
The key to making simple dishes really shine is using the very best ingredients you can find (which doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive). Fresh, local fruit. Fresh mozzarella. Good bread and very, very good oil and balsamic vinegar.
Here’s what you need:
Baguette rounds or half slices of larger good bread loaf
1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
3 oz. ish fresh mozzarella, diced
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonaded
Best balsamic vinegar
Very, very best extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Coarse salt (recommended: Jacobsen Pinot Noir flake salt)
Assembly is too easy: toast the baguette rounds or half slices until they gain structural integrity. Toss the basil, strawberries and mozzarella together, then spoon onto toasts.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper.