Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bright, Bright Sunshiny Day

So, as I briefly mentioned in my last post, Jon and I have booked a trip to San Fransicso, California! We'll be taking a few guided tours during our visit (a morning city tour, a tour through Muir Woods and into Wine Counrty for some wine tasting, and then finally to Yosemite for the day), but we also have a couple days free to do as we please!

This will be our very first time visiting the West coast and seeing the Pacific Ocean. We have a lot of research to do about the city still, but if anyone knows anything cool about San Fransisco, please feel free to share! We're interested in vegan/vegetarian restaurants, old pubs, 60s era hot spots and any little interesting city ditties that are out of the ordinary and not typical for a tourist to do.

To continue with the sunshine theme, here in Buffalo today, we felt a hint of spring! The sun was bright, the skies were blue . . .everyone and their dog was outside (and if we had a dog, he'd be outside, too!) A trip to the park was in order.
We saw waterfalls,

some of the season's first green,

sat on natural stump-chairs and pondered the meaning of life,

. . .and just acted silly in the sunshine.

It was wonderful to be outside.

So, to follow the sunshine theme, I'll give you a bright and happy dessert I experimented with a few weekends ago:

Sweet Peach Upside Down Cake
You'll need:
(for the peach layer)
2 cans of sliced peaches (or 4-5 whole, ripe peaches)
1/2 C white sugar
2 T Earth Balance
(for the cake)
1/2 C almond milk
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t cinnamon
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4t salt
2 T canola oil
1/2 C + 4 T applesauce
1 t vanilla extract

To make:
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Melt the Earth Balance and evenly spread it onto the bottom of a standard pie dish
3. Evenly sprinkle the first measurement of white sugar (1/2 C) onto the bottom of the pie dish.
4. Lay your sliced peaches in a circular pattern around the bottom of the dish. Make sure you cover as much of the bottom as possible. Set pie dish aside.
4. In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and the balsamic vinegar. Stir together and set aside to curdle for about 5 minutes.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, 2nd measurement of white sugar (3/4 C),  baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
6. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and 2 T of the curdled milk mixture. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Stir.
7. Add the 1/2 C applesauce to the remaining curdled almond milk, stir to combine,and add this to the rest of the ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
8. Stir all cake ingredients until combined and pour batter evenly over the peaches in the pie dish.
9. Bake for about 40 minutes - or until a tooth pick comes clean from the center of the cake.
10. When cake is cooked, take from oven and let cool completely. Once cooled, keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
11. When ready to remove cake from pie pan, put your serving dish face down on the pan, hold onto sides of dish and pie dish,and CAREFULLY flip in one motion. The cake should flip, cake side down-peach side up, onto your serving dish.

*whew* It looks like a lot of work, but it really was not that bad.
The result is a beautiful sunshiny peach layer on top of a light, slightly spongy sweet cake.

I used canned peaches which made the peach layer a little more juicy - I imagine the fresh sliced peaches might make the top layer a little more firm. Nonetheless, it was a tasty vegan treat!

What do you like to do when the spring weather arrives? Do you have any favorite spring-themed recipes?


  1. Looks like such a beautiful day in Buffalo! You guys will LOVE California. Congrats on booking your trip. So excited for you :) The upside down cake looks awesome!

    1. Thanks so much, Marla :) We're very excited and a little nervous, but that's the beautiful balance in travel - as, I'm sure, you know!