This is what spring looks and feels like.
There are tufts of fresh green grass growing along the sidewalk; the skies are a deep gorgeous blue, and as the sun warms the city, there’s a skip in my step.
This is the start of my favorite season, one which brings forth new life; fresh beginnings and plenty of opportunities.
On the previously barren trees are now flowers blooming with a vibrant, bright vigor. The coldest and greyest days of the year are now gone, and they won’t be back for a long, long time. That’s reason enough to celebrate for me.
I’ve got Corrine May’s sweet voice plugged in my headphones, and I sing along with her – this is what joy and peace is to me.
So this is spring, dear friends. But not just any spring. It is THIS spring.
There’s an innately strong feeling brewing inside of me – one that hints of opened doors and fulfilled dreams, of brand-new chances and the possibility of living life doing what I love best.
On my to-read list of books that keeps on growing, the one I’ve just started is called “Crush It!“.
I’ve only started the first few chapters, but the author’s insistence that we are free to live the lives we want, as long as we are willing to work hard, is contagious.
According to author Gary Vaynerchuk, the Internet is what will allow to do that – and as long as we take advantage of the web and the immense reach that social media platforms provide us, with the right amount of constant hustling, we can make our dreams come true.
That literally means to start living the lives we’ve always wanted, instead of spending 10-hour days stuck in an office for the mere sake of the month-end paycheck and self-imposed obligations.
Gary also says that this message isn’t just for people who hate the jobs they’re in; it’s also meant for those who are in jobs they can stand but don’t particularly love. He’s saying that everyone, who isn’t currently living his or her passion, can do so, using the tools he teaches in the book.
Does hearing that get you as pumped up as I am?
I’m jumping around in excitement, knowing that there’s truth in what he says, and that one day, I’m going to crush it.
There are moments in life where learning a new concept defines a before and an after, and this is one of those.
I’m excited. Totally, incredibly psyched.
So while the journey unfolds, and I’m on my way to start living my life the way I want – let’s stock up on energy with this fragrant, walnut orange cake.
Made with chopped walnuts, almond meal, and fresh orange juice, among other ingredients, this is one crazy delicious cake.
I ate it on the first day of spring – savoring the fresh citrus flavor of oranges, delighting in the beautiful crunch of walnuts.
It’s definitely a good way to start a new chapter.
A fragrant, delicious cake that tastes of fresh citrus orange and crunchy walnuts.
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cups almond meal/flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour/arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs, separated (room temperature)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of orange zest
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Powdered sugar, optional (for sprinkling over finished cake)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit (175 deg Cel)
- Grease a spring form pan and then place a parchment paper round on the bottom, and cover the sides with parchment paper
- Roughly chop walnuts until you get very small pieces
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, almond meal, tapioca flour, and baking powder
- Beat egg yolks in another bowl until frothy, then add slowly add in the sugar, and beat until pale yellow
- Pour the egg yolk mixture into the bowl with dried ingredients, add orange juice, zest, and coconut oil. Mix well until combined.
- Beat egg whites and salt with electric beater until stiff peaks form
- Gently fold in beaten egg whites into the batter, until just combined (be careful not to overmix)
- Pour batter into the prepared spring form pan, place pan on baking sheet, and bake for around 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool cake completely before removing pan sides.
- Invert cake onto platter and then remove parchment paper.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of cake and serve.
To store cake, place in airtight container in the refridgerator for up to a week.
Adapted from Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Walnut-Orange-Cake-240088)