A few weeks ago a family friend invited my mom and me over for coffee. It had been a while since we'd seen her, and so both of us were looking forward to catching up and spending some time together. When we arrive at her house sometime in the late morning, she was ready and waiting with coffee, iced tea, coffee cake, blueberry muffins, and strawberries. It was a fairly simple menu, but beautifully put together and very welcoming. She had put out pretty plates and napkins, and really made things feel festive and special- all for coffee and conversation.
Today I spent most of the day volunteering at the hospital. I was in a different place than usual, and it was exciting to have new things to do (I got asked to chaperone a vaginal ultrasound!! how. cool. is. that.), mostly helping people find their way and giving directions. Very simple interactions, all of them, and empty small talk. I felt like a real newbie, but people were grateful, and it felt good just to help.
Both today and the day we had coffee felt similar- the best part wasn't anything tangible. But I did get something almost tangible from the coffee date, a recipe for overnight coffee cake. I had wanted to do something for our friend to say thanks, and I made a bundt cake. We ended up exchanging recipes, and I love that now they both have a special feeling. The best food is made with love, after all :)
This is the recipe for my "thank you" bundt. It almost seems like a snack cake, but you could make a real dessert of it also. Mine fell apart a bit because I was way too impatient to wait for it to cool all the way...haha. It was still really tasty.
Cranberry-Orange Bundt Cake
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Beat sugar and oil together in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed. Separately add each egg white and the egg, beating after each addition. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately into the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition.
Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the pan.
Bake 30-40 minutes or until the cake is golden and crumbs adhere to a toothpick inserted near the center (won't rise as much as most other Bundt cakes). Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan about 5 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
I've definitely got big plans to make that coffee cake soon, so it'll be coming! :)