Overwhelmed

I feel overwhelmed by life today. After reading today’s news, I was crying over breakfast, feeling that everything was simply too much somehow. At times, I feel it’s such a complex world we live in. Not only is it hard to digest the daily portion of human suffering we’re presented with, it’s equally difficult to witness the seemingly decrease in simple human compassion & the growing sense of ‘us against them’.

Today I’m overwhelmed by life. Overwhelmed by the world & all its complicated struggles.
And I’m not writing this because I feel or pretend to have any of the answers. Because I, like many of us, don’t know how to keep us all united. I don’t know how to stop one man from shooting 49 others, nor do I know how to save families from drowning out at sea. I don’t have the power to take down fences or fix broken deals. I don’t want to be black & white in my statements, neither do I want to point fingers at the people in power, who, for all I know, are trying best they can. They are, after all, the people we, at some point, elected to represent us.
More than once in the last few years, I decided not to write down how I feel about anything concerning politics or current events, feeling it was not my place. Because it’s just me, you see. I can’t back anything up with facts & figures. I am this one single person, barely 5 feet tall. I can’t even raise my voice enough to order myself a cup of coffee, let alone start a revolution. I have never done anything worth mentioning in any history books to come & I probably never will. I know merely what I read, what I see & what I’m told.

But I know what I feel. And I have a conscience which feels an awful lot for me.
I feel we can’t go on like this. I know things have to change somehow. Something has to happen here, before the whole things spins out of control & sweeps us all along with it. I know I refuse to look back at my life & this part of history to which I will one day belong, and feel ashamed about all the things we didn’t do. I simply can’t justify living in these troubled times without taking as much as a stand, without saying as much as: ‘this is not right. It seems to me that we are moving in the wrong direction.’ I want to urge us all not to fall apart. For us to be kind & generous & open-minded & unafraid. Let’s be the very best versions of ourselves, so that we, together, can make the history books proud.

I know I’m just me. Me, with my little blog, where a handful of people will read my incoherent story about a world too huge to comprehend. Hardly anyone will take notice, hardly anyone will care what I’ve got to say. And that’s alright. I just had some things I needed to get off my chest, just needed to write this down to make some sense of it all. I hope you don’t mind & that I’ll see you around some time….

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Classic Walnut Coffee Cake

To make up for the fact that it’s been so quiet on my blog the last few weeks, I have decided to make it up to you & post two food blogposts this month. And to really show you how sorry I am, I will start off with the recipe of, what I consider to be, the best Walnut coffee cake in the world. I know making coffee cake is not very hip & there must be a zillion coffee cake recipes out there. But I don’t care. First of all I have never considered myself very hip either, that’s probably why this cake & I are made for one another. And secondly, I simply love love love this particular version & would love to share it with you. Who knows, you might fall in love with it too.

Do you have a birthday coming up? Is there a special someone you would love to surprise with a tasty after-dinner treat? Or do you just feel like making a delicious cake & eating it yourself?
The great things about this delightful classic walnut coffee cake is that you don’t really need an excuse to make it. It is just really yummy & I personally think, that’s reason enough:)

This recipe is for one cake & one portion of icing. However, making a doubled layered cake could look extra fancy & I would recommending this when making the cake for parties or birthdays. Simply double all the ingredients, make two cakes instead of one & you should be fine. I find that half the amount of icing is usually enough, even for two cakes. Having said that, please don’t omit the icing altogether. It really finishes the whole thing off. The cake is nice without the icing, but it becomes instantly delicious with the icing on it. And if you’re eating cake anyway, you might as well do it right:)
I added the chocolate drops on top for decoration, but you can easily omit them.

Alright, here’s the recipe. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Have fun with it & enjoy!

Classic Walnut Coffee Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
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Walnut coffee Cake

Ingredients:
– 1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
– 1 tablespoon boiling hot water
– 112 g (unsalted ) soft butter
– 112 g caster sugar
– 2 eggs
– 112 g self-rising flour
– ½ tablespoon baking powder
– 50 g walnuts, blitzed into fine powder
– 20 cm (approx. 8 inch) baking tin
– Handful of halve walnuts, for decoration

Preparing the cake:
– Preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease and line the baking tin.
– Dissolve the instant espresso powder in the warm water and let cool for a bit.
– Mix the sugar and butter until the mixture has a creamy consistency.
– Add the eggs, one by one.
– Add the cooled coffee to the mixture and mix well.
– Mix the baking powder through the flour. Now carefully fold the flour through the mixture.
– Add the walnuts to the mix and give it one last, gently stir.
– Pour the mixture into the baking tin and try to even the top a little bit.
– Place the baking tin in the middle of the oven. Bake for approx. 25 to 30 minutes or until a (cake) skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
– Let the cake cool down in the tin for about 10 minutes before removing the tin and the baking paper. Gently place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, you can get started on the icing.

Ingredients icing & chocolate drops:
– 75 g soft (unsalted) butter
– 100 g powder sugar
– 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
– ½ tablespoon boiling hot water.
– 25 g pure chocolate
– 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Preparing the icing & assembling the cake.
– Carefully mix the butter, powder sugar and coffee, until the icing has a smooth, spreadable consistency.
– Melt the chocolate, together with the instant espresso powder, au-bain Marie on the stove. The chocolate sauce should not be too thick, you have to be able to drop it on the cake. If the chocolate remain a little thick, add a little bit of butter to make it smoother.
– When the cake is completely cooled down, spread the desired amount of icing on top of the cake. Using a hot knife, try to even it as best as possible.
– Now, carefully, make some chocolate drops on the icing. Run a skewer through the drops, creating a ‘heart shapes’ as you go. As I said before, you can omit the chocolate, since it mostly serves as extra decoration.
– Place the walnut halves on the cake and enjoy!

P.S: Don’t forget to check back for this month’s second recipe: a tasty, colourful potato & avocado salad. See you soon!

Goodbye May

Goodbye May. Goodbye to all of your unexpected surprises. The rain, the storm, the sunlight, the misty mornings & tropical afternoons. You could never quite make up your mind, could you, whether you wanted it warm, cold, wet or dry? It seems to me like you, therefore, decided to give us a bit of everything. And in the meantime, you made trees explode into life, you painted the grass the brightest shade of green, you swept clouds across the sky & flowers across the street. It was beautiful. It really was.

Goodbye Dear May, thank you for being so lively & wondrous. Your days have been colourful, challenging, rewarding & memorable, all in one. At times, you amazed me with your ability to combine such a range of emotions into one single day or into one single person. But you did. You left me feeling proud some days. Worried & anxious on others. ‘Not quite sure’ on the many days in between. During your restless days of spring, I learned many new things & rediscovered old abilities. I got lost in the pages of a book, I found my thoughts entangled with the lives of others.
On sunny days, I wandered through the newly decorated forest, marvelling about nature & how it always takes its course. On wet days, as I felt rain drops slide down the warm skin of my back, I decided to stop avoiding the puddles & started to look up at your wonderfully wild skies instead.
Packages arrived, prints were delivered, songs were sang & memories were made. I took a train, a bus, a boat, a bicycle, my shoes. But sometimes, I didn’t move at all & watched time go by without me. It moved so rapidly, hardly taking notice of me & my old fashioned daydreaming. And as I stood there, witnessing time & all its frantic passing, I was relieved to discover that I can still pause whenever I think I need to.

Goodbye May. You leave us in a world unchanged. A world were so many are still left to fend for themselves. A world were decisions are made, but no solutions are found. At times, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Disappointed in myself for my inability to take a stand or make a change. Disappointed in the facts and the figures & more than anything, disappointed in the seemly narrow margins of our human compassion. At the same time, I refuse to give up hope, refuse to give up on the idea that we’ll pull through somehow & will able to look back at these troubled times with a sense of achievement rather than shame. I hold on to my own soul & my own kindness with all I’ve got, because I realize, now more than ever, that it is all I’ve got. And that it’s worth more than I could ever imagine.

Goodbye, sweet May, thank you for all the beauty you gave me. Thank you for giving me 15 years with my dear, beautiful cat. Thank you for all her wit, her cuddles, her bright eyes & her stubborn nature. Thank you for bringing the swallows back to fly speedily pass my window & nest above my head. Thank you for all the words; spoken & unspoken. All the thoughts & all the wondering. Thank you for health, for love, for life & all those other, slightly sappy, nouns we tend to take for granted.
Oh, and yes, thank you for white asparagus, thank you for red strawberries & dark chocolate ice cream. I’m leaving you now, June has already started & the days are flying by. Time to wrap you up and say goodbye. Thank you for everything & I hope we’ll meet again!

Love, Naomi

Book: ‘Room’ by Emma Doneghue (Beautiful, very impressive book, which will leave you wondering for days after finishing it)
Series: How to get away with murder & E.R
Movies: The Broken circle Breakdown
Songs of the month:
Frail love – Cloves
The Fast Lane– Milow
If I needed you – The Broken Circle Breakdown
99 red balloons – Sleeping at last (cover)