Thursday, April 9, 2015

Solvang / Santa Barbara Vacation

Over Ryan's spring break week last week, we decided to take a long weekend trip over to Santa Barbara and Solvang. It was so much fun!!!

One highlite of our trip: Ostrich Land.

It's exactly what it sounds like - a land full of ostriches. You could even feed them (albeit carefully to avoid them biting you). I love the expression on Ryan's face here, it's like he's having a moment with the ostrich. Precious. 

It was fun to feed them! They also had ostrich eggs you could buy and they were huge!

We stopped in Santa Ynez one morning and had this magnificent view.

This was on our way to Kalyra Winery where Ryan got to do a fun tasting and we bought a bottle that we can both partake in once the babe is born!

On the patio of Kalyra Winery:

And we of course hit up Solvang everyday for fika! We had some great treats everyday, my favorite was this almond-raspberry tart from Olson's Bakery. It was sooooo good. 

And another major highlight of the trip was going to this grand place: Village Spinning & Weaving Shop in Solvang. 

Guess what you guys....I bought my very first spinning wheel!!! This is my trying it out in the shop. I bought an unfinished one, so I need to stain, seal, and assemble it at home. It will be a work in progress, but such a fun one! 

Goodbye Solvang, thanks for the fun trip!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Baby Shower

Last weekend I had a wonderful baby shower with family and friends - thank you, everyone! Baby Sterrenberg is so loved already and we feel incredibly blessed to be so supported by so many friends and family.

Here are a few photos from the fun day!

My super talented sister-in-law made all the adorable decorations (note the Dala horses)!

So thankful my mother-in-law was able to come all the way from Texas!

Had a delicious Swedish princess cake along with scrumptious brunch food!

 My little sister, Maren, flew all the way out from Chicago! So much fun to have her!

We Skyped in Krista, my older sister in Seattle (we missed you!), and had to take a sister picture of us all together. My sisters did a bang up job hosting such a fun shower - it was the best!

It was such a fun day!

Thanks to all who came and celebrated with us from afar! We are so blessed!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Cardamom Cake

I posted about this scrumptious cake just a few weeks ago and have had a few people request the recipe - so here it is in all its glory!

What I love about this cake is that it's a heartier, not overly sweet cake. I highly recommend tracking down some pearl sugar for the topping (IKEA carries it, as do specialty food stores). I'm sure normal sugar would work in a pinch, but then you miss out on the amazing texture and crunchiness the pearl sugar offers.

Swedish Cardamom Cake
1 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 +1/4 cups sugar
3 + 1/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 + 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 + 1/4 cups milk
Garnish: Pearl Sugar or coarsely chopped almonds (I prefer pearl sugar)

Grease a 10" round cake pan and preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter and let it cool. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light yellow and very thick. Add all additional ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or almonds. Bake for approximately 1 hour - test to make sure it's fully baked. Let cool completely before serving.

Be sure to use freshly ground cardamom if you can - it really makes a difference!

I like to enjoy a slice of this cake with a nice cup of coffee and a friend or two.


*Update: My sisters made this for my baby shower in a bundt pan and it worked out wonderfully! Just omit the pearl sugar on top, as it will stick to the pan and not release without leaving chunks of the cake behind (learned the hard way...). This way, you can also refer to it as more of a bread instead of cake and eat it for breakfast. :)